Why is there a small bird knocking on Erebor (Lonely Mountain) at the end of movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey where Smaug is sitting inside the mountain.

Is that bird an informer for Smaug?
Why does he knock on Erebor?
Is there any specific explanation about this bird?

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    I must be going mad. I was sure this is a dupe! I remember reading a question asking if the bird is trying to awake the dragon or something. The answers had quotes of the movie producers etc... But for the life of me I cant find that question... Madness I say, madness! :D Edit- Found it, guess its not a dupe- but related Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 12:05
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    The bird is probably based on a Song Thrush which in real life knocks snails against rocks to break their shells. (To eat them, not because it's a jerk) youtube.com/watch?v=C4GcaQhRZ7w Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


The thrush is said to have belonged to an ancient breed known by Thorin's ancestors and they served the men of Dale as messengers. Bilbo is skeptical that any of the Lake-men still speak the thrush language, but is proven wrong when the bird tells Bard the Bowman of Smaug's only weak spot, thus enabling Bard to kill the dragon.

There is a verse featured in the book about how to get into Erebor (Translated by Elrond from the runes on Thror's map) that reads:

Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the key-hole.

So it is there in the film to symbolise that Durin's day is approaching and the overthrow of Smaug and retaking of Erebor would soon come.

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    beat me to it.. great canon reference.. +1 Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 11:36
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    I'm not quite sure but I recall that this verse is also referenced in the movie before the scene in question. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 13:47
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    "Knock, knock, knockin' on Erebor ..." Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 17:43
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    @AndréStannek This is the verse that Elrond translates from the hidden runes when he examines the map in Rivendell Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 5:01

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