The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born before III 2799; slain III 2941
Race
Culture
Settlements
Probably Mount Gundabad1
Meaning
Uncertain2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 4 July 2008
  • Updates planned: 1

Bolg

The heir of Azog

Azog
Bolg

The son of Azog, who succeeded his father as leader of the northern Orcs. He led one of the five armies that fought in the famous Battle of that name, and was slain there by Beorn.


Notes

1

We're not told for sure where Bolg had his seat, but Mount Gundabad is recorded as the capital of the northern Orcs, and as their leader it seems reasonable to guess that Bolg ruled his people from that mountain. His father Azog, however, seems to have been associated with Moria, so there is a possibility that Bolg also ruled from there.

2

Most of Tolkien's orc-names are simply meaningless, but there is a slight possibility that Bolg's name derives from Old English. The word gebolgen in that language comes from the verb 'to be made angry', and indeed that exactly describes Bolg's role in the story of the The Hobbit.

In an early name-list given in volume 4 of The History of Middle-earth, 'Bolgen' is given as an Old English name for Melkor, using the same verbal root. It's clear, therefore, that Tolkien had already considered this as a name for an evil being, so there's at least a possibility that Bolg inherited his name from this source.

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