In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie, Azog features in many places whereas I do not recollect him being mentioned in the book apart from the fact that he was the one who killed Thror, Thorin's grandfather.

How does Azog feature in other Middle-Earth canon? Who did he show allegiance to and what were his motives?


As per the Tolkien Gateway Azog entry, he appears in the following places in canon:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag End, p. 787, note 38
  • I looked through those chapters in my copy of the hobbit..and as I mentioned in my question, Gandalf once mentions that Azog killed Thror in "An Unexpected Party" and Bolg, is mentioned as the son of Azog in "The Clouds Burst" and nothing else..But the gateway link has lots of info thanks – Dharini Chandrasekaran Jan 11 '13 at 17:09
  • @DhariniChandrasekaran - all the info is either from "Durin's Folk" (not too much of it aside from elaboration on how Azog wars went over Moria), or from the movie. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 11 '13 at 17:41
  • While I enjoyed watching the first installment of "The Hobbit and unexpected Journey" It does not come anywhere close to actually following the story as laid out in "The Hobbit" nor does Jackson claim it does. Many of the scenes and a lot of the dialogue comes right from the book but there is a lot of inserted and added info that is not there initially. Jackson did this in order to tie together other bits of Tolkein's writing so he had to take A LOT of creative license to make it work, have the darker drama he wanted, and be "action packed" enough for modern theater audiences. – balanced mama Jan 12 '13 at 17:43
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    To be fair to Jackson, the additions are largely slot-ins. You could edit them out of the film and the result would be very close to the book. In fact if you ignore the fact it's Azog, the only significant addition is Radagast helping them evade an extra wolf rider chase on the way to Rivendell. – Simon Hibbs Jan 22 '13 at 17:06

In the canon Azog is dead. He is killed by Dain in the battle at Moria. Azog's son Bolg is who leads the Gobins at the Battle of Five Armies.


From Appendices we can reconstruct this character. First fact: he is an orc chieftain. Such guys are always more capable fighters, stronger, faster, more agile, the elite of the orc race. Their ,,subjects" are fiercely loyal to them (wanting to avenge their deaths). There is not much details about his life, but at one point he took his people to Moria and which is surprising he deemed himself to be an independent king there! That's an ambition :), anyway he wasn't specifically keen on hunting down the line of Durin as movie states. It just happened that Thrór came there with one companion Nar acting proudly ,,as it's rightful heir returning". Azog shows some of his skill and traits in the fact he is literate, he is proud and knows value of money :) he spares Nar and mockingly throws pouch of small money as ,,payment" for him sending message to family of Thrór. This act of murder, desecrating corpse as a general insult to dwarven race initiated the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, so Azog must have been the leader of all orcish population in Misty Mountains with Moria as his seat of power! This implies he was very powerful among his kind.

In The Hobbit he serves as a justification of orc's pursuits and special hatred towards dwarves. His son Bolg wants to avenge him and additionally ,,gain dominion over whole North" other orc communities want to avenge the death of Great Goblin and of their comrades, also to claim the Erebor's tresure for their own. Bolg rallies the orcish tribes at his capital Mount Gundabad to fulfill these goals, his parentage was the reason he so easily assumed control over orcs, he inherited the role of a leader.

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    Not so surprising that he deemed himself an independent king - Azog was killed in 2799 but Sauron didn't declare himself openly until 2951 - it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that some Orc tribes may have considered themselves free agents before that date. – user8719 Mar 15 '13 at 20:47

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