اسماگ یک موجود خیالی در رشته داستانهای به قلم جی. آر. آر. تالکین است که به رمان هابیت در ۱۹۳۷ مربوط میشود. اسماگ اژدهایی ترسناک و نیرومند است که به پادشاهی کوتولهها در تنهاکوه یورش میبرد، این یورش ۱۵۰ سال پیش از رویدادهایی که در رمان آمده است روی داده است. در این رمان ۱۳ کوتوله به پا میخیزند تا پادشاهی خود را پس بگیرند که در این میان گندالف و بیلبو به آنها کمک میکنند.
در پیوست A بخش ۳ از کتاب ارباب حلقهها: بازگشت پادشاه گفته شده که اژدهاها در ویترد هیت آن سوی کوههای خاکستری زندگی میکردند. گفته میشود که اسماگ قویترین اژدهاها در دوران خود بوده و چندصد سال عمر داشته است. وقتی اسماگ باخبر میشود که کوتولهها در پادشاهی شان ثروت زیادی اندوختهاند، بدون هیچ پیش زمینهای به پادشاهی آنها یورش میبرد و کوه را آتش میزند. او پس از بیرون کردن کوتولهها از قلعهشان برای ۱۵۰ سال در این کوه باقی میماند و نگهبان گنج کوتولهها میشود.
در افسانههای ناتمام آمده است که گندالف در مییابد که اگر سائورون از اسماگ استفاده کند، میتواند یک تهدید جدی برای همه باشد از این رو میپذیرد تا به کمک کوتولهها بیاید تا تورین سپر بلوط پادشاهی جدش ثرور را پس بگیرد.
در توصیف اسماگ گفته شده که «او اژدهایی بسیار حریص، نیرومند و پلید است» تالکین در وصف شخصیت اسماگ گفته است که او باهوش است میتواند سخن بگوید از تعریف و تمجید و چاپلوسی نسبت به خودش خوشش میآید و از این که بیلبو از او تعریف میکند لذت میبرد. او قدرت هیپنوتیز دارد به این صورت که هر بار که بیلبو در چشمانش نگاه میکند چشمانش برق میزند و باعث میشود بیلبو حتی هنگامی که به کمک حلقه ناپدید شده تحت تأثیر قرار بگیرد و احساس کند که باید حقیقت را دربارهٔ خودش به اژدها بگوید. این توصیفات کمابیش در فیلم هابیت: برهوت اسماگ نشان داده شده است.
Smaug (//) is a dragon and the main antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. He is a powerful and fearsome dragon that invaded the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor 150 years prior to the events described in the novel. A group of thirteen dwarves mounted a quest to take the kingdom back, aided by the wizard Gandalf and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Smaug is described as "a most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm".
In Appendix A, section III, of The Return of the King, dragons are stated to reside in the Withered Heath beyond the Grey Mountains. Smaug is described as "the greatest of the dragons of his day", and was already centuries old at the time he was first recorded. Having heard rumors of the great wealth of the Dwarf-kingdom of Erebor, he "arose and without warning came against King Thrór and descended on the mountain in flames". After driving the Dwarves out of their stronghold, Smaug occupied the interior of the mountain for the next 150 years, guarding a vast hoard of treasure.
"The Quest of Erebor", a chapter of Unfinished Tales, recounts how Gandalf realized that Smaug could pose a serious threat if used by Sauron. He therefore agreed to assist a party of Dwarves, led by Thrór's grandson Thorin Oakenshield, who set out to recapture the mountain and kill the dragon. Assuming that Smaug would not recognize the scent of a hobbit, Gandalf also recruits Bilbo Baggins to join the quest, which is the subject of The Hobbit.
Upon reaching Erebor, the Dwarves send Bilbo into Smaug's lair, and he is initially successful in stealing a beautiful golden cup as Smaug sleeps fitfully. Knowing the contents of the treasure hoard which he had slept upon for centuries to the ounce, Smaug quickly realizes the cup's absence upon his awakening and searches for the thief on the Mountain. Unsuccessful, he returns to his hoard to lie in wait. Having been nearly killed in the dragon's search, the Dwarves send Bilbo down the secret tunnel a second time. This time, Smaug senses Bilbo's presence immediately, even though Bilbo had rendered himself invisible with the One Ring, and accused the Hobbit (correctly) of trying to steal from him. During his discourse with the dragon, Bilbo detects a small bare patch in the jewel-encrusted underbelly of the dragon. When Bilbo narrowly escapes an attack from the dragon and collapses amidst the Dwarves at the entrance to the secret tunnel, a thrush overhears Bilbo's frantic retelling of his interaction with the dragon and learns of the bare patch on Smaug's underside. This becomes important later when Bard the Bowman kills Smaug during the dragon's attack on Laketown by shooting an arrow into this bare patch, mortally wounding him.
Concept and creation
Tolkien created numerous pencil sketches and two pieces of more detailed artwork portraying Smaug. The latter were a detailed ink and watercolour labelled Conversation with Smaug and a rough coloured pencil and ink sketch entitled Death of Smaug. While neither of these appeared in the original printing of The Hobbit due to cost constraints, both have been included in subsequent editions, particularly Conversation with Smaug. Death of Smaug was used for the cover of an early UK paperback edition of The Hobbit.
From 1925 to 1945, Tolkien was a professor of English Literature at Oxford University, and a prominent critic of and expert on Beowulf — on which he gave a lecture at the British Academy in 1936 and which he described as one of his "most valued sources" for The Hobbit. Many of Smaug's attributes and behaviour in The Hobbit derive directly from the unnamed "old night-scather" in Beowulf: great age; winged, fiery, and reptilian form; a stolen barrow within which he lies on his hoard; disturbance by a theft; and violent airborne revenge on the lands all about. Smaug was intimately familiar with every last item within his hoard, and instantly noticed the theft of a relatively inconsequential cup by Bilbo Baggins. Tolkien writes that Smaug's rage was the kind which "is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy lose something they have long had but never before used or wanted." This theft of a cup, Smaug's knowledge of every item in the hoard, and the dragon's ensuing rampage, all echo the story of Beowulf. Tolkien may also have been inspired by the talking dragon Fafnir of the Völsunga saga.
Like many dragons in Nordic and Celtic mythology, Smaug embodies greed and the calamities it causes.
Smaug was depicted by Tolkien as an intelligent being capable of speech, easily pleased by flattery and fascinated by Bilbo's description of himself in riddles. This is also portrayed in later film adaptations such as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is described as having "quite an overwhelming personality"; every time his eyes flash across Bilbo's invisible form, he feels almost compelled to tell him the truth about himself because of the hypnotic power within.
The Hobbit (1977)
In the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, Smaug was voiced by Richard Boone. In general, Smaug's design in the animated version is consistent with Tolkien's description, save for his face: for rather than the traditional reptilian look associated with dragons, Smaug's face in the animated version has distinctly cat-like features including fur, enlarged ears, and canine teeth. He is also much stouter than in the book. His hypnotic speech is absent, but his acute eyesight is portrayed by highbeam-like lights projected from his eyes.
The Hobbit (film series)
On 16 June 2011, it was announced that Smaug would be voiced and interpreted with performance capture by Benedict Cumberbatch in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, wherein Smaug is presented with a long head, red-golden scales, and piercing yellow-red eyes. The dragon speaks with Received Pronunciation with an underlying growl; Cumberbatch's vocal performance was vocoded using alligator growls. Smaug's design was animated with key frame animation, in addition to Cumberbatch's motion capture performance. Weta Digital employed its proprietary "Tissue" software, which was honoured in 2013 with a "Scientific and Engineering Award" from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make the dragon as realistic as possible. In addition, Weta Digital supervisor Joe Letteri said in an interview for USA Today that they used classic European and Asian dragons as inspirations to create Smaug.
Smaug was considered one of the highlights of the second film of the series (as well as his burning of Lake-Town in the third film), with several critics hailing him as cinema's greatest dragon. Critics also praised the visual effects company Weta Digital and Cumberbatch's vocal and motion-capture performance for giving Smaug a fully realized personality.
In the 1977 "J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar", the Brothers Hildebrandt depicted Smaug with bright red scales and large bat-like wings. In the 2003 video game release, Smaug was voiced by James Horan. Francis de Wolff voiced the red dragon in the long-lost 1968 BBC radio dramatization.
In popular culture