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Probably formed from III 2770
Extending around Erebor, the Lonely Mountain
Apparently equivalent to the Desolation of the Dragon, created by Smaug during and after the Sack of Erebor
Contained Erebor and Dale
The Celduin (Running River) arose at Erebor within the Waste
Important peaks
Other names
Probably another name for the Desolation of the Dragon or Desolation of Smaug


About this entry:

  • Updated 13 February 2016
  • This entry is complete

The Waste

Last resting place of the Master of Lake-town

Map of the Waste

A desolate region surrounding the Lonely Mountain and the ruins of Dale. Its boundaries are uncertain, but it seems to have been associated with the Desolation of the Dragon that extended out from the old Kingdom under the Mountain.1

After the death of Smaug and the re-establishment of Dale, Bard gave a part of the recovered hoard of Erebor to the Master of Lake-town. This gold was intended for the aid of the Lake-men, but the Master instead took it for himself and set out into the Waste with certain companions, who would later abandon him and leave him there to die of starvation.2



Speaking of the armies encamped outside Erebor (and therefore well within the Desolation) Thorin says that '...they may find their dwelling in the Waste grievous to bear' (The Hobbit 16, A Thief in the Night). So, clearly the Waste and the Desolation overlapped at Erebor, and the most natural reading would be that these were simply different names for the same wasted landscape.


The Master's behaviour is difficult to understand; it's not at all clear what he hoped to achieve by carrying his people's gold out into the Waste. He had no obvious destination (that we know of) other than perhaps the Iron Hills, though he could not have expected a warm reception there. Perhaps he simply intended to conceal the gold in some distant place and return for it later. We are told that the Master was afflicted by the greed-inducing 'dragon-sickness' at this time, so perhaps we should not look too closely for rational explanations of his actions.

See also...



About this entry:

  • Updated 13 February 2016
  • This entry is complete

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