FAQ / Who was King Bladorthin

Who was King Bladorthin?

Where was his kingdom?

The facts:

From that the talk turned to the great hoard itself and to the things that Thorin and Balin remembered. They wondered if they were still lying unharmed in the hall below: the spears that were made for the armies of the great King Bladorthin (long since dead), each had a thrice-forged head and their shafts were inlaid with cunning gold, but they never were delivered or paid for;
The Hobbit: Inside Information

  • Bladorthin was a great King that had ordered from the dwarves of Erebor to make for his armies valuable spears.
  • He never got them (or paid for them), since he apparently died prematurely before acquiring them.
  • The Kingdom of Erebor was founded in 1999, lasted until 2210 and again from 2590 to 2770. This is two periods of about two hundred years. Especially during the second period,
We read from the Appendix of The Lord of the Rings:

Thrór brought back the Arkenstone, and he and his folk prospered and became rich, and they had the friendship of all Men that dwelt near. For they made not only things of wonder a beauty but weapons and armour of great worth. the Northmen who lived between Celduin (River Running) and Carnen (Redwater) became strong and drove back all enemies from the East;
The Return of the King: Appendix A (III)

The speculation:

The above are the only hints about the possible identity of the king Bladorthin. Robert Foster says that he is probably an Elf. I’m strongly opposed to this, since all major Elven-Kingdoms were mentioned by Tolkien and especially if they had communication with the dwarves of Erebor, that played an important role in the War of the Ring.

Being a king of the Avari, is also very doubtful for the reason that they should have come in some communication with the Silvan Elves (and probably helped them in their wars). Being a dwarf is out of the question, so he could only be a Man.

Also, from the quote we get the impression that not only the king perished, but his kingdom as well, probably losing the battle to which these spears were intented to be used. The best procedure to follow is to search the Tale of Years about what happened during the two periods of Erebor’s foundation. First about the second period, we see a renewal of orcish invasions to Eriador. This may imply that some enemy of theirs fell and they came unhindered even to the Shire. Could it be the Lossoth? I doubt it, since they were very secretive and also poor.

Then we have the first period, where Sauron leaves DolGuldur and goes to the East and the Watchful Peace starts. This happenes in 2063. After 150 years Thorin I leaves Erebor. And Sauron returns after another 200 years. Certainly Sauron went to the East to organize the Easterlings. He probably had to deal with their civil wars and the wars with the less evil kingdoms. This last one is that concerns me.

It cannot be that all the mannish peoples of the East were evil. There must have been some good, that Sauron destroyed. Such a kingdom must have been the one in discussion. King Bladorthin realized that a great enemy had arrived and helped the other Easterlings. He ordered spears from the Dwarves, but they were never needed, since the defeat was quick (natural, since Sauron had no match there).

The actual place of the kingdom should be quite close to Erebor, probably just above Rhun. This place not only explains the possible wars they might have, the communication with Erebor, but also it explains why Tolkien didn’t mention it, since it is outside the “map” of the Wilderlads. It is quite possible that this kingdom was once great and even ruled a great area, reaching Mirkwood. With the arrival of the Dúnedain, they probably retreated understanding their inferiority. But they were never hostile to them. On the contrary, they must have prevented many evil tribes to attack Rhovanion and Gondor. Maybe at the times of the Wainriders, they were already declining and couldn’t confront them.

Authored by Gate7Ole with permission
Comments and Additions

This site was found by Jay and it is a bit more indepth than Costas work, but the works are independent of each other and I think that this speaks well of Costas' deductive reasoning on the subject. It is nice to have verification of a theory-- DougCreller


(C) The Tolkien Wiki Community Page last changed: August 24, 2003