- "Arrow! Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"
- —The Hobbit, "Fire and Water"
Bard, known also as Bard the Bowman, and also Bard I, was a Man of Lake-town, the slayer of the dragon Smaug, and the founder and first king of the new Kingdom of Dale. He was succeeded as King of Dale by his son, Bain.
In TA 2941, when Smaug emerged from the Lonely Mountain and attacked Lake-town, Bard, as captain of a company of town archers, was encouraging the archers and urging the town Master to order them to fight to the last arrow. Bard himself fired many arrows with his great yew bow. He was down to his last arrow when a thrush came and perched over his shoulder. Because Bard was of the race of Dale, he was able to understand the thrush's words. The bird told him of the weak spot in Smaug's armor that Bilbo Baggins had discovered. Bard fired his Black Arrow and struck the hollow by Smaug's left breast and the dragon fell from the sky, landing on Lake-town and destroying it.
Bard escaped into the lake and swam ashore. The people wanted him to be their King, but he said he would continue to serve the Master of Lake-town for the time being. Bard took charge of organizing shelter and aid for the refugees and sent messages to the Elvenking of Mirkwood asking for help. Then, Bard and the Elvenking led their forces to the Lonely Mountain, seeking a share of the treasure.
When they arrived at the Lonely Mountain, they were surprised to find Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves still alive. Bard sought reparations from Thorin on the grounds that it was he who had slain Smaug, that part of the Dragon’s treasure had once belonged to Dale, and that the people of Lake-town were suffering and needed aid. Thorin said that the destruction of Lake-town was not his responsibility and he refused to parley with armies camped outside the mountain. Bard sent a messenger several hours later asking for one-twelfth of the treasure, but again Thorin refused.
Bilbo Baggins thought that Bard's claims were reasonable, so one night he went secretly to the camp of the Lake-men and Elves. The Hobbit had found the Arkenstone - the treasure that Thorin most desired - and he offered it to Bard and Thranduil to use to negotiate. He also told them that an army of 500 Dwarves led by Dáin Ironfoot was coming from the Iron Hills.
The next day, Bard asked Thorin for a portion of the treasure in exchange for the Arkenstone. Thorin was enraged, but he reluctantly agreed to give up Bilbo's one-fourteenth share. Dáin's army arrived the next day, and Bard tried to prevent them from entering the Lonely Mountain until the exchange for the Arkenstone had been made. A battle seemed imminent, but then Gandalf told them that an army of goblins and Wargs were approaching. Bard, Thranduil, and Dáin took council together and they joined forces to fight their common enemy in the Battle of Five Armies. During the battle, Thorin emerged from the mountain and rallied Dwarves, Elves, and Men to the attack, but he was mortally wounded. Bard laid the Arkenstone upon Thorin's breast when he was buried under the mountain, and Dáin agreed to pay the one-fourteenth share of the treasure as promised. Bard gave the emeralds of Girion to Thranduil in gratitude for his assistance. Bard also contributed gold for the rebuilding of Lake-town, and although the Master of Lake-town absconded with much of it, Lake-town was rebuilt and its people became prosperous.
Bard went to his ancestral home of Dale at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. He rebuilt the ruined town and in TA 2944, he became King of Dale. Bard maintained good relations with the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and trade flowed freely up and down the River Running. People came to settle in Dale from miles around and the land that had been withered by Smaug became bountiful once more.
Portrayal in adaptations
Along with Bard, many characters of importance were omitted from the 1966 animated film of The Hobbit.
Rankin and Bass
The Hobbit film trilogy
Bard is portrayed by the Welsh actor Luke Evans in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He bears a striking resemblance to Legolas' actor Orlando Bloom. In the film he is referred to as "Bard the Bargeman" rather than captain of the town archers.
- "The Lord of Silver Fountains, the King of Carven Stone, the King Beneath the Mountain, shall come into his own. And the bells shall ring in gladness, at the Mountain King's return, But all shall fail in sadness, and the Lake will shine and burn."
- —Bard reciting prophecy
In the book, Bard first appears when, as captain of a company of town archers, is urging the town Master to order a fight to the last arrow, and was himself shooting arrows at the attacking dragon. In The Hobbit films, however, the character takes on a much greater role.
In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bard confronts the Dwarves upon finding them on the river bank. Balin persuades Bard to smuggle them into Lake-town, promising to pay him double his usual barge fare. Bard is hesitant at first, not wanting Thranduil to be angry at Lake-town, but eventually smuggles the Company into the town and leads them to his house where they stay for the night. When Bard realizes that Thorin is actually Thorin Oakenshield of the line of Durin, he goes out to a shop to find a tapestry of the House of Durinn before reciting a prophecy of the Mountain King's return. He returns to his house to find that the Dwarves have left to raid the armoury and goes to find them. By the time he does, the Dwarves have been caught and Thorin reveals his identity to the Master of Lake-town. Bard vocalizes his opposition to letting the Dwarves enter the Lonely Mountain, fearing that they will awaken Smaug, who will destroy Lake-town in retaliation, but by appealing to their hopes for the return of prosperity, Thorin is able to persuade the Master and the townspeople to support him.
Kíli becomes gravely ill from a poisoned arrow which had hit him previously during an Orc attack, and is left behind as Thorin and the others head to the Lonely Mountain. Fíli, Bofur, and Óin stay to tend him, taking refuge in Bard's home. Óin asks Bard if there is any Kingsfoil, and Bard says it's a weed they use to feed the pigs, so Bofur sets off to get some. Then, Bolg and his Orc troops, searching for Thorin, attack the Dwarves and Bard's family. Fortunately, Legolas and Tauriel arrive in time to rescue them. When Smaug is finally awakened, Bard takes out the Black Arrow and prepares to use it, but as he and Bain attempt to get to the Dwarvish wind lance to mount the Black Arrow, the town guard began searching for Bard at the orders of the Master. Passing Bain the Black Arrow and instructing him to hide it, Bard attempts to lead the guards away and is soon captured and imprisoned as Smaug flies towards Lake-town.
In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Bard escapes prison by wrapping a rope around the Master of Lake-town's neck, which as his boat goes forward the window to the prison breaks. Bard then steals a quiver of arrows and a longbow, climbs to the top of a large tower and proceeds to shoot Smaug, who is currently burning Lake-town. Bard eventually runs out of arrows and his son, Bain comes up with the Black Arrow. Bard's bow has now been broken, so he ties the bow string to the posts on the tower and rests the Black Arrow on Bain's shoulder. Bard nocks the arrow, pulls it back and fires; the arrow hitting Smaug right where his scale is missing. Smaug's corpse then falls in the lake and on the Master's boat, killing him, Braga, and two other guards.
Bard then leads the surviving people of Lake-town to Dale, not knowing that the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain have already taken control of the Lonely Mountain. The refugees from Lake-town stay in Dale for the night. The next morning Thranduil and the Elves of Mirkwood arrive and give the people of Lake-Town food. Bard and Thranduil form an alliance to take back their rightful treasure in Erebor. Thranduil explains to Bard that he came here to claim something of his, white gems. Bard explains to Thranduil that he want to speak to Thorin first, possibly to prevent conflict. Bard first speaks with Thorin, but returns with the news that Thorin will give them nothing. Thranduil thinks little of it and declares war on the Dwarves.
That night Bilbo sneaks out of the mountain for a meeting with Bard and Thranduil, and much to Bilbo's surprise Gandalf is present. He gives them the Arkenstone in hope it will make peace with the Dwarves. The next morning the Elves and Men march up to the Lonely Mountain where Bard offers Thorin the Arkenstone. Thorin refuses and almost kills Bilbo after he finds out from Bilbo what happened. However, just before Thorin can harm Bilbo Gandalf then arrives. Gandalf demands Thorin not to harm his "burglar" and demands Thorin to return Bilbo to him at once. Afterward Bard asks, "Are we resolved? The return of the Arkenstone for what was promised?" Thorin gives Bard one glance then looks to the Northwest seeing no sign of the raven that was sent to Dáin Ironfoot. Bard then says "Give us your answer. Will you have peace, or war?" Then the raven returns and marching is heard, Dáin Ironfoot and the army of Dwarves march down proudly to Thorin's aid, Thorin replies to Bard's question, "I will have war." When the Elves go to attack the Dwarves from the Iron Hills, Dáin Ironfoot arrives on the scene Gandalf tries to reason with Dain that Orcs are coming and he should stand down but Dáin refuses. After Dáin and King Thranduril have a bitter exchange of words, Dáin declares war.
However, before the Dwarves and Elves can even attack each other, the Orcs being led by Azog arrive, and the Battle of Five Armies begins. Gandalf realizing Azog's plan, knows the Lake-town, Mirkwood, and Iron Hills armies can't fight on two fronts. Bard leads his Men back to the city of Dale to defend the city for the remainder of the battle.
Voice dubbing actors
|Foreign Language||Voice dubbing artist|
|Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD)||Hércules Franco|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Mario Castañeda|
|Spanish (Spain)||Carlos Di Blasi|
|French (France)||Cédric Dumond|
|Italian (Italy)||Giorgio Borghetti|
- In The Hobbit (2003 video game), Bard sends Bilbo on a quest where thieves and goblins are causing mischief and plotting to take over Lake-town. Bard wants Bilbo to track their moves and eventually find the thieves hideout. In the Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo warns Bard of a goblin attack that is advancing on him from behind. Bard is also the bowman who strikes Smaug under his belly where there is a weak spot under his scales and glittering chest, causing Smaug to crash into the lake front.
- Bard is one of numerous The Hobbit characters to appear in the LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game and its associated toy-line as a minifigure. His role in the game is identical to that in the second film. However, the game does not cover the The Battle of the Five Armies.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
Աղեղնավոր Բարդ (Bard the Bowman)
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Бард (Bard)
Бард Лучнік (Bard the Bowman)
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Бард (Bard)
Бард Стрелеца (Bard the Bowman)
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||巴德 (Bard)
弓箭手巴德 (Bard the Bowman)
მშვილდოსანი ბარდი (Bard the Bowman)
|Greek||Βάρδος (Βάρδος ο Τοξότης)|
בַּרְד הַקַּשָת (Bard the Bowman)
|Kazakh||бард (Cyrillic) Bard (Latin)|
بارد کماندار (Bard the Bowman)
Бард Лучник (Bard the Bowman)
|Serbian||бард (Cyrillic) Bard (Latin)
Бард Луконосац (Cyrillic) Bard Lukonosac (Latin)
|Uzbek||Бард (Cyrillic) Bard (Latin)|
|King of Dale|
Girion (Old Kingdom, 174 years earlier)
|TA 2944 – TA 2977|
|Master of Lake-town|
|Bard I • Bain • Brand • Bard II|