In The Hobbit, Bolg had succeeded Azog after the latter's death in the Battle of Azanulbizar (the last battle of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs) in TA 2799 by Dáin II Ironfoot, and had resettled in the old refuge of Mount Gundabad after the kingdom of Angmar was abandoned. There he would rule over the goblins of the Misty Mountains from their seat at Mount Gundabad.
After about 150 years, he led an army of goblins, wargs, and bats in the Battle of the Five Armies, into which he took his bodyguards with him as well. In that battle he was crushed by the mighty Beorn, who in the act avenged Thorin II Oakenshield, who had just been fatally wounded.
The meaning of the name Bolg is uncertain. As discussed in the book The History of The Hobbit , the word bolg is listed as meaning "strong" in the vocabulary list for Mágol, one of the languages constructed by Tolkien. Mágol seems to have been based on Hungarian, and Tolkien seems to have worked on it in the years he was writing The Hobbit, or even earlier. The History of The Hobbit also cites Bolg as being a word of unknown meaning in the language of the Iverni, a people of early Ireland mentioned in Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography. This would be supported by Celtic legends about the Fir Bolg; one of the enemies of the Tuatha de Danan.
Portrayals in adaptations
The Hobbit film trilogy
In Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Bolg was played by Lawrence Makoare in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and John Tui in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He is portrayed as a huge, pale Orc clad in armor and bones. Bolg's father Azog has a greatly expanded role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film of the trilogy.
Bolg appears extensively in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. he bears a strong resemblance to his father, Azog the Defiler (who survives the War of the Dwarves and Orcs in the films). Azog is summoned to Dol Guldur to become the commander of Sauron's orc armies. While there, Azog dispatches his son Bolg to take his place in hunting Thorin and his company. With his pack of Orcs, Bolg tracks Thorin and Company through Mirkwood, where he and his pack of Orcs attack the Wood-elves as the Dwarves escape in barrels. Bolg and his pack continued to track down the Dwarves, which eventually lead them to Lake-town.
Around nightfall, Bolg and his Orcs arrive at Lake-town where they attack Bard's family in search of the Dwarves, but they only found four. When they attack, they are in turn attacked by Legolas and Tauriel who were tracking the Orcs down. He goes after Legolas, and the two begin a duel (in which Legolas uses Orcrist, the weapon that Thorin held during his quest to Erebor). While Legolas is distracted by other Orcs, Bolg withdraws from the duel and rides away on his Warg down a dock. He is then pursued by Legolas, who was now on a horse and chased after him.
Bolg later reports to his father that he was attacked by Legolas and Azog yells at him because the Elf Prince survived and would now send an army after the Orcs. He then tells Bolg to travel to Mount Gundabad and prepare a second Orc army for war along with swarms of Bats. Legolas and Tauriel follow Bolg to Gundabad and leave to warn the others. Bolg later appears at Ravenhill with his second army to aid Azog. Bolg knocks Bilbo out with his mace before finding Tauriel and badly injuring her in combat. Before he can finish her, Kili arrives and briefly duels the Orc but Bolg proves to be stronger and he impales Kili through the chest with his mace's hilt resulting in the Dwarf's death. In anger, Tauriel throws Bolg off the mountain and is dragged down with him. He is then spotted by Legolas and the two engage in a fierce duel ending with Legolas killing Bolg by stabbing a dagger through his head. The giant Gundabad orc then falls down to a large rock below, and was crushed by a giant boulder.
Hardly any different from Azog, Bolg is a murderous, callous, idealistic, merciless and cruel warrior. He is extremely sadistic, showing no qualms about massacring the Men of the Lake-town and even relishing Kili's death. He is also psychopathic and remorseless, shown by how he pitilessly orders the attack on Laketown. But he is highly intelligent, an excellent leader and tactician. Bolg is enigmatic and powerful, possessing immense strength of will and superb tactical ability. He shows himself to be just as pitiless as his warrior father and is almost unimaginably determined and ferocious. Despite this, he has a strong relationship with Azog as Bolg displays fierce loyalty to his father and a great desire to make him proud.
Bolg is a skillful leader, which is likely why he was Azog's second-in-command of the Gundabad Orc pack. He is highly skillful in hand-to-hand combat and swordsmanship. His fighting style, (unlike Azog's preferred Warg-riding style that emphasized blows with heavy momentum) is emphasized with lightning speed and agility, as well as martial arts techniques and using the environment against his opponent. His skill as a fighter is later shown by how he is put in charge of the Orc packs whilst Azog stays to fight Gandalf. Bolg has an astonishingly high tolerance of pain, shown by the fact that he refuses to show pain or even bleed when Legolas plunges his knife into his hand nearing the end of their battle. Though his preferred fighting style is surely not Warg-riding, he is highly skilled at it.
Models and toys
A model of Bolg was done as a miniature by the Games Workshop, though the title became obsolete following the decision to change the identity of the character and create a new appearance for Bolg in The Desolation of Smaug.
Bolg appears as the final boss in The Hobbit GBA game.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||波格|
|Serbian||Болг (Cyrillic) Bolg (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Болг (Cyrillic) Bolg (Latin)|