The Arkenstone, a.k.a. The Heart of the Mountain was buried at the end of The Hobbit. Was it recovered at some later date?

After Thorin was killed, it was buried with him in his tomb.

It seems unlikely that something that valuable wouldn't have been dug up at some later date by goblins or orcs, or some other creature.

  • 20
    As a matter of fact, the Arkenstone can currently be found in the Tower of London under heavy guard.
    – Omegacron
    Oct 27 '14 at 15:21

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take the chronology of Tolkien's Middle-earth only as far as a couple of centuries after the end of The Lord of the Rings. This is the time which the Wise often call "The Dominion of Men":

The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning. The time of the Elves is over, but our time is at hand: the world of Men, which we must rule.

(Saruman, in The Lord of the Rings, Book II, Chapter 2, "The Council of Elrond")

One can guess, or could guess, that at some point during this time Erebor would be again deserted by the Dwarves, and the Arkenstone—if it were not taken by the last to leave the Mountain—would be left to be looted by later "explorers". But we are not told this in any of the published writings. The last we are told about the dwarves of Erebor is that

After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves.

It thus appears that the kingdom of Erebor persisted for at least a while after the end of the Third Age; the copy we have of the Red Book is that which was edited by Findegil, scribe of Gondor, in 175 of the Fourth Age, and it apparently contains no reference to the disappearance or decline of Erebor. There is no reference to what might have happened after that.

  • The Arkenstone was valued beyond the price of any other treasure by the Dwarves. I doubt that they would have ever abandoned it to be claimed later by someone else. Oct 23 '17 at 18:01
  • @maguirenumber6 I agree, which is why I said "if it were not taken by the last to leave the mountain". If it happened that the population decreased and then the remainder were killed, or died of a disease, there might not be a chance to send the stone to safekeeping - or there might not have been any other known dwarves around to send it to. Oct 24 '17 at 13:31
  • Why would the dwarves ever desert Erebor? It's not like they go west beyond the sea or anything like that. Even if the natural resources beneath the mountain, it's still prime trading location. I think it's a stretch to say Erebor would ever be deserted. Jan 8 '18 at 20:46
  • @themaestro73 They don't go west-over-Sea, but they do die - and during the Age of Men it's very likely that at some point they die out entirely. Even if dwarves don't die out completely, though, the dwarves of Erebor may, or may nearly enough that the Arkenstone is lost, and becomes only a memory. Jan 8 '18 at 23:05
  • @MattGutting, perhaps but it's pure speculation. I don't believe there's anything in Tolkien's writings that would support that. There's nothing to indicate that their population was dwindling, they may have been entering a renaissance after the re-capture of Erebor. Jan 9 '18 at 17:14

Tolkien doesn't say.

His latest writing on the fate of the Arkenstone is in Appendix A of Lord of the Rings, and that just amounts to a single sentence:

Thorin Oakenshield was mortally wounded; and he died and was laid in a tomb under the Mountain with the Arkenstone upon his breast.

However, following the Battle of Five Armies, we do know that the Dwarves (under Dain Ironfoot) reclaimed Erebor and set up a new kingship there, so any future bandits/etc would of course have a Dwarf kingdom to get through if they fancied some grave-robbing.

As to its eventual fate in the Fourth Age and beyond, after the dwindling of the Dwarves, Tolkien just didn't write those stories. In the end we just don't know.

  • FAO proposed editor: I rejected the edit because I'd really have to spoiler the entire answer otherwise. The cat's already out of the bag with @Matt's answer anyway. Also, I don't like linking to eBooks of dubious legality; better to link to Amazon where people can buy the book if they really need to see the text.
    – user8719
    Oct 27 '14 at 20:22
  • Sorry if I didn't spoiler things I should have. Gotta watch that. Oct 27 '14 at 21:23
  • Pfff - the whole question is a spoiler. What on earth point there is in protecting answers, I don't know... like what the point of protecting the quote, but not the paraphrase in the question! pffff.. Oct 28 '14 at 3:43

Presumably the tomb is located somewhere inside the Lonely Mountain. In that case it would be well protected from grave robbers, since

after the battle of Five Armies the mountain was once again a dwarvish city and fortress, inhabited by dwarves who migrated from the Iron Hills.

(I can't recall if there is any confirmation in the book that this is the case, but it would make sense.)


When Bilbo Baggins found it on Smaug's golden bed deep inside the Lonely Mountain, he pocketed it, having learned how much Thorin valued it. While the Dwarves with Thorin sorted the treasure, Thorin sought only the Arkenstone, unaware that Bilbo was hiding it in his pillow.[3] When the Dwarves refused to share any of the treasure with King Thranduil and Bard, who had killed Smaug the Magnificent, Bilbo crept out of the Dwarves' fort inside the Mountain, and gave them the Arkenstone; Bard, Thranduil, and Gandalf then tried to trade it for Bilbo's fourteenth share of Smaug's hoard. An evil army arriving from the Grey Mountains interrupted the dispute, the Battle of the Five Armies ensued, and Thorin was killed. The Arkenstone was placed upon Thorin's chest within his tomb deep under the Lonely Mountain, and so was returned to the earth at last.


  • 3
    You're not wrong, but copying and pasting in a bunch of text from the wikia (when there's already an answer that says exactly the same, except with primary sources) is pretty pointless.
    – Valorum
    Jan 31 '15 at 14:49

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