The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 20 April 2004
  • Updates planned: 2


A mysterious customer of the Dwarves of Erebor

"...the spears that were made for the armies of the great King Bladorthin ... but they were never delivered or paid for..."
The Hobbit 12, Inside Information

A king fleetingly mentioned in The Hobbit as having ordered spears of superior quality for his soldiers from the Dwarves of Erebor. Bladorthin never received his weapons, presumably because of the descent of Smaug on the Lonely Mountain, though like much else about this character, it has hard to be completely certain why the spears were never delivered.

Almost no concrete information about Bladorthin exists. His name seems to come from Elvish, probably deriving from blador 'wide plain' and thin 'grey'. 'Grey' here betrays a curious connection with Gandalf the Grey: in the early drafts of The Hobbit, it seems that the Wizard's name was to have been 'Bladorthin'. Despite this, in the published version the name survives in just the single sentence quoted above. Bladorthin seems to have been a Man,1 but beyond that, no specific details of his life or his realm have survived.



We can't be absolutely certain which race Bladorthin belonged to, but a comment in The Hobbit (12, Inside Information) that he was 'long since dead' at the time of the Quest of Erebor strongly suggests that he was a mortal, and his (apparently) Elvish name implies that he was a Man rather than a Dwarf.

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