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The Black Arrow was an heirloom of the house of Girion, Lord of Dale, passed down to Bard, his descendant.


The Black Arrow was Bard the Bowman's last remaining arrow when Smaug attacked Lake-town and, directed by a Thrush who had overheard a conversation between Bilbo Baggins and Smaug, he shot it with remarkable speed into the dragon's only weak spot; a small chink in the scales upon its left chest. Smaug was felled by the shot, and the Lonely Mountain, Dale, and Lake-town were freed.

The Black Arrow was forged by Thrór, who was the King under the Mountain before its fall, according to The Hobbit. It is not known if it had any magical properties, but Bard said that he had successfully retrieved it every time he used it (like Beleg's arrow Dailir).[1]

Portrayal in adaptations

The Hobbit film trilogy

The Black Arrow as depicted in The Hobbit films

In Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, the Black Arrow is not a single regular-sized arrow, but rather one in a series of large metal quarrels, designed to be fired by a "Wind lance" ballista for attacking dragons. The arrows themselves are roughly two metres in length with heavy twisted steel heads, combining elements of both spears and harpoons. The Black Arrows are the only known weapons with enough power to pierce the armoured hide of dragons.

As seen in the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and again in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, all but one of the Black Arrows are spent on Smaug as Girion, Lord of Dale attempted to shoot him down in defence of the city. One of his shots managed to break off an armoured scale protecting the left side of the dragon’s chest. However, Girion was himself killed by Smaug before taking a final shot. It is later revealed that the last Black Arrow was kept as an heirloom by Girion's descendants.

After Thorin and Company accidentally release Smaug upon Lake-town, Bard the Bowman, a direct descendent of Girion, retrieves the arrow from his home and attempts to reach Lake-town’s wind lance ballista, intent on slaying Smaug.  However he is arrested by the corrupt Master of Lake-town  before reaching the weapon, prompting his son Bain to instead hide the arrow in a boat, narrowly avoiding it being seized by the Master’s guards.

During The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Bain retrieves the arrow in the midst of Smaug’s assault upon Lake-town, bringing it to Bard whilst he is attempting to shoot down the dragon with regular arrows fired from a longbow.  During this exchange, Smaug attacks the bell tower they are standing on, shattering the limbs of Bard’s bow. Improvising, Bard attaches his bowstring to the ruined tower’s posts and, using his son as a stand, fires the arrow into the weak spot on the dragon’s chest, puncturing his exposed skin and piercing his heart. Enraged, Smaug soars into the sky before succumbing to the arrow’s wound, his corpse falling onto the town’s burning ruins, crushing the Master and sinking his boat.

The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest

In the Wii and PS3 versions of The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest, the player can obtain tips of Black Arrows to allow Aragorn to lock on to multiple enemies and shoot them all at once with his bow. This Artifact does come with one downside: it will deplete his ammunition quite quickly.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Swart Pyl
Albanian Shigjeta e Zezë
Amharic ጥቁር ቀስት
Armenian Բլածկ Արրու
Arabic السهم الأسود
Azerbaijani Ox Qara
Basque Gezi Beltza
Belarusian Cyrillic чорная стрэлка
Bengali কাল তীর
Bosnian Crna Strelica
Breton Bir Du
Bulgarian Cyrillic Черна стрела
Cambodian ព្រួញខ្មៅ
Catalan Fletxa negra
Cebuano Itom nga udyong
Chinese 黑箭
Cornish Seth Du
Croatian Crna Strelica
Czech Černý Šíp
Danish Sort Pil
Dutch Zwarte Pijl
Esperanto Nigra Sago
Estonian Must Nool
Faroese Svartur Pílur
Filipino Itim na Palaso
Finnish Musta Nuoli
French Flèche Noire
Georgian შავი ისარი
German Schwarzer Pfeil
Greek Μαύρο βέλος
Gujarati બ્લેક એરો
Haiti Creole Nwa Flèch
Hebrew חץ שחור
Hawaiian ʻeleʻele Pua
Hindi काले तीर
Hungarian Fekete Nyíl
Icelandic Svartur Ör
Italian Freccia Nera
Indonesian Panah Hitam
Irish Gaelic Saighead Dubh
Japanese 黒い矢
Kannada ಕಪ್ಪು ಬಾಣದ
Kazakh Қара көрсеткі (Cyrillic) Qara körsetki (Latin)
Konkani काळो बाण
Korean 검은색 화살
Kurdish Reş Tîr (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic кара жебе
Laotian ລູກສອນສີດໍາ
Latin Nigrum Sagittam
Latvian Melna Bulta
Lithuanian Juodoji Strėlė
Luxembourgish Schwaarz Pfeil
Macedonian Cyrillic црна стрелка
Maithili कारी तीर
Malayalam കറുത്ത അമ്പ്
Malaysian Anak panah hitam
Maltese Vleġġa Sewda
Manx Side Doo
Maori Pere Pango
Marathi काळा बाण
Mongolian Cyrillic хар сум
Nepalese कालो तीर
Norwegian Svarte Pilen
Pashto تور غشی
Persian تیر سیاه
Polish Czarna Strzała
Portuguese Seta Preta (Portugal)

Flecha Negra (Brazil)

Punjabi ਕਾਲਾ ਤੀਰ
Romanian Săgeată Neagră
Romansh Nair Frizza ?
Russian Чёрная стрела
Samoan Uliuli Aū
Scottish Gaelic Dubh Saighead
Serbian Црна стрелица (Cyrillic) Crna Strelica (Latin)
Sindhi ڪارو تير
Sinhalese කළු සරය
Slovak Čierna Šípka
Slovenian Črna Puščica
Somalian Falaar Madow
Spanish Flecha Negra
Sundanese Panah Hideung
Swahili Mshale Mweusi
Swedish Svart Pil
Tajik Cyrillic тирчаи сиёҳ
Tamil கருப்பு அம்புக்குறி
Tatar Кара ук
Telugu నలుపు బాణం
Thai ลูกศรสีดำ
Tigrinya ጸሊም ፍላጻ
Turkish Kara Ok
Turkmen Gara ok
Ukrainian Cyrillic Чорну стрілку
Urdu بلیک ایرو
Uzbek Қора ўқ (Cyrillic) Qora o'q (Latin)
Vietnamese Mũi tên màu đen
Welsh Saeth Ddu
Xhosa Abamnyama Utolo
Yiddish שוואַרץ פייַל
Yoruba Dudu ọfà
Zulu Umcibisholo Omnyama


  1. The Hobbit, Chapter X: "A Warm Welcome"