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  • Updated 30 October 2020
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Wormstench

The reeking vapours of the Dragons

The greater Dragons carried with them a cloud of noxious vapours, variously known as Dragon-reek, Dragon-stench or Wormstench. Its effects are described in different ways, doubtless varying from Worm to Worm, but in the case of the Dragon Glaurung the Wormstench was emitted like a cloud of mist, sending out a dizzying sense of terror and disgust. Animals within this cloud ran mad, and its effects were strongly felt by Elves and Men. Even when a Dragon had departed from a place, its stench remained. In the Great Hall of Thráin beneath Erebor, even after the Dragon Smaug had departed, his Wormstench remained heavy on the vast hoard of gold that had been his bed.1


Notes

1

Just as Smaug had lain on a bed of gold beneath Erebor, his forerunner Glaurung had done the same within the halls of Nargothrond. We might therefore expect those halls to have been filled with Wormstench, especially as Glaurung's powerful Dragon-reek is mentioned several times. Actually those halls were indeed left undisturbed, but for other reasons ('...from dread of the spirit of Glaurung and his very memory' according to Quenta Silmarillion 22, Of the Ruin of Doriath). We can probably safely assume that Glaurung's lingering Wormstench also played a part in dissuading any looters from seeking out the abandoned treasures of Nargothrond.

See also...

Dragon-reek, Dragon-stench

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  • Updated 30 October 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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