Monday, 7 February 2011

The Professor's Fire Drake

First Edition of The Hobbit with J.R.R.Tolkien's illustration of Smaug of the cover.

In order to truly understand the Great Dragon of The Hobbit, we need to go back to the source -the text and Illustrations by J.R.R.Tolkien himself.

"There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a
thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps
of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath
him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and
about him on all sides stretching away across the
unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things,
gold wrought and un-wrought, gems and jewels, and
silver red-stained in the ruddy light.

Smaug lay, with wings folded like an immeasurable bat,
turned partly on one side, so that the hobbit could see
his underparts and his long pale belly crusted with
gems and fragments of gold from his long lying on his
costly bed. Behind him where the walls were nearest
could dimly be seen coats of mail, helms and axes,
swords and spears hanging; and there in rows stood
great jars and vessels filled with a wealth that could
not be guessed.”

JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit pg 205-20

Conversation with Smaug (c) J.R.R.Tolkien

The Death of Smaug (c)J.R.R.Tolkien

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