1. Elves
  2. Dwarves
  3. Men
  4. Orcs

Who was the 5th army in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies?

  • 1
    the eagles and others.
    – Himarm
    Dec 15, 2014 at 15:00
  • You can learn a lot about the battle here
    – Kreann
    Dec 15, 2014 at 15:21
  • 3
    It's the wargs. Whomever named the battle put away their speciesism, at least for the moment. :) Dec 16, 2014 at 5:00

9 Answers 9


In the book, it's the Wargs.

it was called the Battle of Five Armies, and it was very terrible. Upon one side were the Goblins and the wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.

So in the book the armies are as follows:

  1. Dwarves.
  2. Men.
  3. Elves.
  4. Goblins (orcs).
  5. Wargs (wolves).

The Eagles just turned up out of the blue. See also here.

In the ... did they really make three Hobbit films??!

Disclaimer: I know nothing about the film. The following list is copied from @Keen's answer.

In the film, the armies are as follows:

  1. Men from the Lake Town under Bard.
  2. Elves from Mirkwood under Thranduil.
  3. Dwarves from the Iron Hills under Dain.
  4. Orcs from Dol Guldur, under Azog.
  5. Orcs/goblins from Gundabad, under Bolg.

[stifles rant against Hollywood]

  • 22
    Wargs fall under the Orcs, Eagles are the 5th Dec 15, 2014 at 17:39
  • 15
    @BobTheJanitor - The Eagles are an air force, not an army! Seriously, do you have a quote to back this up?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:40
  • 11
    @BobTheJanitor - you should be aware that the LotR Wiki contains a lot of nonsense and misinformation. In some cases it even contradicts what's in the actual books. You shouldn't rely on it as a source of accurate information, because it's not. See e.g scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/73702/… for another example.
    – user8719
    Dec 15, 2014 at 18:43
  • 13
    @BobTheJanitor at least in the book, the wargs were an independent, sentient race complete with a language of their own. So they would count as the 5th army. Dec 15, 2014 at 19:02
  • 9
    I always thought the fifth army was the Eagles, but I looked it up in the book. The line from the book (mentioned in this answer) says it is Orcs, Wargs, Men, Elves, Dwarves.
    – Dennis_E
    Dec 16, 2014 at 10:35

From Chapter 17: The Clouds Burst:

“So began a battle that none had expected; and it was called the Battle of Five Armies, and it was very terrible. Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves. This is how it fell out."

  • 1
    yes, this canonically states Wargs are the 5th army. Unlike, say, the horses of Rohan the Wargs were a sentient and independent faction. Dec 15, 2014 at 19:18
  • 7
    I don't know how accurate to the film this will be though. In the films, Wargs are little more than evil horses; they lack the intelligence of the Wargs in the books.
    – user1027
    Dec 15, 2014 at 19:29
  • @Keen we'll see what Peter Jackson does. He might change the precise identities of the 5 listed armies. But wolves are the 5th in the book. Dec 15, 2014 at 19:51
  • 3
    Ouch, I was all set to go to bat for the Eagles, but that pretty much sets it in stone. Dec 15, 2014 at 22:37
  • @La-comadreja, after having seen the movie, I can tell you that there is no enumeration given. Multiple interpretations make sense, but I think the eagle make the most sense (in the movie). Dec 17, 2014 at 6:16

I'm guessing you haven't read the book, and are confused about the upcoming movie. In the books, the 5th army/faction is the Wargs, per the original text and NeuroBear's answer. However, the books are significantly different from the films in that the Wargs in the books are intelligent. The films changed them into being merely evil riding animals, essentially an Orc version of a horse. In the films, the Wargs are also not a significant presence on the battlefield. If anything, Trolls would be something of a substitute. The film went with the list below (in order of appearance):

  1. Men (i.e. plain ole' humans) from the Lake Town, under Bard.
  2. Elves from Mirkwood under Thranduil.
  3. Dwarves from the Iron Hills under Dain.
  4. Orcs from Dol Guldur, under Azog.
  5. Orcs/goblins from Gundabad, under Bolg. (explicitly referred to as an army by Bilbo, which is why this is my answer for the 5th army)

And also the Eagles and Beorn show up, who swiftly defeated that final army.

That the 5th army are a 2nd army of Orcs and goblins is a significant change from the book. In the book, all the Orcs/goblins come from Gundabad, as Azog was dead in the book at this point in time, having died in the battle where Thorin earned his title of Oakenshield. And also the Dol Guldur plot line was less significant. In the book, the one force of Orcs from Gundabad included Wargs and bats.


This color-coded map by PJ & co shows the troops movements in the battle using 5 different colors + a sixth color for Thorin's 13 and Beorn (neither of which are "armies"):

  • eagles (fuchsia)
  • goblins and wargs (pink)
  • elves (light blue)
  • dwarves (light green / yellow)
  • men (dark green)
  • Thorin's 13 + Beorn (not an army, orange)

This seems (to me, at least) a canonical source as far as the movie is concerned.

troops movements in the battle of the five armies

The image was originally published in this Entertainment Weekly article.

This quote from the article:

“Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly,” says the director. “So here they’re just part of the plan, not the saviors. [...]"

sounds (to me, at least) as a confirmation that the eagles are considered one of the armies, and not just a deus-ex-machina.

The article was talked about on theonering.net, where TORN staffer Greendragon commented (emphasis mine):

The map in EW’s article shows six different colour-coded groups – goblins and wargs are one colour, with eagles, elves, men and dwarves each having a different colour. This would seem to confirm what we at TORn have speculated in our panel presentations at various conventions – that Jackson’s five armies will in fact be men, dwarves, elves, orcs and eagles, with the wolves/wargs being a part of the orc army. The sixth colour on the diagram is for Beorn and Thorin – perhaps to highlight the key players of the battle (although Bard, though having his own spot on the schematic, does not share this orange colour – and it’s interesting to note that Dain, surely a key player, is not mentioned by name on this map; nor is Azog).

The EW article itself is still online, but I cannot see the images anymore.

I was able to retrieve the missing image thanks to google, who pointed me at this Collider article citing and quoting the EW one, together with the map.

This article on a french site has some translated passages from the EW article together with another battle map, depicting a previous moment.

An additional, "second-hand" (as it comes from the movie promotional campaign, instead of directly from the movie production team) evidence supporting this theory: Warner Bros Italy, using the official (italian) twitter account for the movie, held a contest asking twitter users to show their support to one of the five armies using specific hashtags:

(if you are curious, the elves won :-))

(I first talked about this twitter contest in a comment to Febby's answer, but then I thought it was better to write a complete answer)

Another secondary evidence supporting the eagle theory, this time coming from the "To Which Army Do You Belong?" test recently linked from the movie facebook page.

After answering six questions, users are redirected at one of these five pages:

(I concede that promotional sites do not necessarily represent the highest degree of movie canonicity, but I cannot believe that Warner did not ask the production team for an official confirmation concerning something both simple and important as the identity of the eponymous armies)


The book seems to say, before the start of the battle, that the 5 armies are the Goblins (same as Orcs?), wild Wolves, Elves, Men and Dwarves. If that’s what the book is saying, then the Eagles, who do not appear until the end of the battle, are not included in the 5 armies.

Also the book mentions only one Goblin (Orc) army, not two. Since the movie didn’t seem to have an army of Wolves/Wargs (it only showed a few of them), maybe the second Orc army under Azog was added to replace the wolf army in order to keep the number of armies at 5 and be consistent with the title. Then the 5 armies would be the Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orc army under Bolg, and Orc army under Azog.


In the movie they seem to be using 2 armies of Orcs. One from Moria which are the first Orc army to arrive on the battleground and the second, the Orcs from Gundabag, as the second army of Orcs attacking from the North.

  • The first army wasn't from Moria, it was from Dol Guldur, where Sauron was shacked up.
    – user1027
    Dec 21, 2014 at 3:04

The animals. Gandalf specifically tells Radagast to gather them, as they will be needed to fight the coming evil of Sauron's forces. It's made clear both in his directing Radagast to assemble them (and not just eagles and Beorn; there were more animals) and in them coming at the end to turn the tide. There is absolutely no focus on the wargs or wolves in the film. So it's the dwarves, elves, men, Sauron's forces of orcs, goblins, and other nasty creatures ... and the animals.


Most likely the Wargs as it was in other written media

  • This information is already in the existing answers; is there any information you feel the other answers are missing, that you could include here to differentiate yourself? Jan 26, 2016 at 23:56

If I'm not wrong, on this page the 5 armies are:

  1. The men (people of lake town)
  2. The elves
  3. The dwarves
  4. The Orcs or goblins from Dol Guldur and Mount Gundabad
  5. The Eagles
  • 2
    The LOTR wiki is often wrong! Mar 14, 2015 at 13:50
  • I have seen the eagles explicitly cited as the fifth army in a movie-related contest on the (italian) Warner site
    – lfurini
    Mar 14, 2015 at 13:54
  • A tweet from the (italian) movie twitter account citing "team eagles", after "team elves", "team dwarves", "team men" and "team orcs" (in the context of the same contest referred to in my previous comment).
    – lfurini
    Mar 14, 2015 at 14:11

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