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The Quest of Erebor, toward the end of the Third Age, was launched by Thorin II Oakenshield and Gandalf's decision to retake the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. It would be recounted from the perspective of Bilbo Baggins, and occupies the plot of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.



Gandalf knew that Smaug would pose a serious threat if used by Sauron in war, the Dark Lord then dwelling not that far from the dragon, in Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. He was thinking about the matter when he met Thorin Oakenshield at Bree. Thorin also was concerned about Smaug, but had the different motive of revenge and the reclaiming of the Dwarves' treasure in the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf agreed to help Thorin.

Gandalf thought Bilbo, an unlikely choice, to be a suitable companion of Thorin and his Dwarves for a number of reasons. First, he had observed that Bilbo took an interest in the world at large, and was thus adventurous. Another reason is that Smaug would not recognize the scent of a hobbit, advantageous to a stealthy operation. Thorin also did not think highly of hobbits, and putting Bilbo in the expedition might prevent the proud Thorin from rash actions, such as openly challenging Smaug.

It was Thorin's objections to Bilbo that Gandalf found most difficult to overcome. Thorin believed that Bilbo was incapable of helping their adventure and that Gandalf might be simply meddling in his affairs for his own reasons. After much debate, Gandalf convinced Thorin that Bilbo would be a worthy member.[1][2]

The Quest[]

The Company started from the Shire, crossing Eriador without incident until they reached the Trollshaws. Three Stone-trolls, Tom, Bert, and William caught them. Luckily, they were saved when Gandalf tricked the trolls into arguing all-night until sunrise, thus turning them to stone. Finding the Troll's horde, the Dwarves discovered the famous swords Orcrist and Glamdring, as well as the small dagger Sting. Then they passed into the Hidden Valley and arrived in Rivendell; eventually leaving to venture over the High Pass. After being captured by goblins, Gandalf saved saved them again in Goblin-town, they were hunted by wargs. They were saved by Gwaihir and the other Great Eagles. After having a night in Beorn's house, they went to Mirkwood. Thranduil caught them and locked them in his cells. Bilbo, who was wearing the Ring, broke the Dwarves out, then put them in Barrels which floated down the Forest River. After awhile they were found by Bard, who brought them to Lake-town. They encountered the Master of Lake-town and afterwards successfully reached the Lonely Mountain.


The Quest achieved its purpose, as Durin's Folk could consequently repopulate Erebor, and reclaim their gold. The company's arrival at the mountain, however, set in motion the events that led to the Battle of Five Armies. Additionally, by virtue of Bilbo's finding of the Ring, the quest indirectly caused the War of the Ring nearly eighty years later.

Behind the scenes[]

"The Quest of Erebor" was originally written in the 1950's to be a part of The Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien decided otherwise, and only a very abridged version of the tale is given in the Appendices. There are two manuscripts extant of the work. Both are written in the first person, from the perspective of Frodo Baggins. However, nearly all of the text consists of narration by Gandalf, telling the story at the request of Frodo in Minas Tirith after the coronation of King Aragorn II Elessar in The Lord of the Rings.

In adaptations[]

The quest is the subject of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, which depicts both the events described by J.R.R. Tolkien as well as those created by the filmmakers. In a flashback from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug adapted from a chapter in Unfinished Tales, Gandalf meets Thorin at The Prancing Pony and convinces Thorin to reclaim his homeland.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die soeke van Erebor
Albanian Kërkimi për Erebor
Arabic البحث عن إريبور
Armenian Էրեբորի որոնումը
Assamese এৰেবৰৰ অভিযান
Azerbaijani Erebor Axtarışı
Basque Ereborren bila
Belarusian Cyrillic Пошук для Эребора
Bengali এরেবরের কোয়েস্ট
Bosnian Potraga na Erebor
Bulgarian Cyrillic В търсене на Эрэбар
Catalan El Quest d'Erèbor
Cebuano Ang Pagpangita ni Erebor
Chinese 孤山任務
Corsican La ricerca di Erebor
Croatian Pohod na Erebor
Czech Výprava k Ereboru
Danish Rejsen til Det Ensomme Bjerg (Erebor)
Dutch De Queeste van Erebor
Esperanto La serĉo de Erebor
Estonian Erebori otsimine
Filipino Ang paghahanap ng Erebor
Finnish Ereborin-retki
French L'Expédition d’Erebor
Frisian De Syktocht fan Erebor (Western)
Galician A busca de Erebor
Georgian მოგზაურობა ერებორში
German Die Fahrt zum Erebor
Greek Η αποστολή του Έρεμπορ
Gujarati એરેબોરની ક્વેસ્ટ
Haitian Creole Rechèch pou Erebor
Hebrew ה מסע לארבור
Hindi एरेबोर की खोज
Hmong Kev Tshawb Nrhiav Erebor
Hungarian Az erebori kutatás
Icelandic Leitin að Erebor
Indonesian Pencarian untuk Erebor
Irish Gaelic An Cuardach de Erebor
Italian La cerca di Erebor
Japanese エレボールへの遠征
Kannada ಎರೆಬೋರ್ ಕ್ವೆಸ್ಟ್
Kazakh Ереборды үшін іздеу (Cyrillic) Erebordı üşin izdew (Latin)
Korean 에레보르 원정
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Эрэбор үчүн издөө
Latvian Erebora meklējumi
Lithuanian Erebor beieškant
Luxembourgish D'Sich vu Erebor
Macedonian Cyrillic Потрагата по Еребор
Malagasy Ny fikarohana ny Erebor
Malayalam എറെബോറിന്റെ അന്വേഷണം
Malaysian Cari bagi Erebor
Maltese It-tfittxija ta 'Erebor
Marathi इरेबोर साठी शोध
Mongolian Cyrillic Эреборын эрэлд
Nepalese क्वेस्ट अरेबर
Norwegian Ferden til Erebor
Persian جستجو برای اره بور
Polish Wyprawa do Ereboru
Portuguese A Busca de Erebor
Punjabi ਏਰਬਰ ਲਈ ਖੋਜ
Romanian În căutarea Ereborului
Russian Эреборский поход
Samoan Saili mo Erebor
Sardinian Sa chirca de Erebor
Scottish Gaelic An Rannsachadh airson Erebor
Serbian Потрага за Еребором (Cyrillic) Potraga za Ereborom (Latin)
Sicilian La ricerca di Erebor
Sinhalese එරෙබෝර් ගවේෂණය
Slovak Hľadanie Ereboru
Slovenian Iskanje Erebora
Spanish La búsqueda de Erebor
Sundanese Milarian keur Erebor
Swahili Jitihada ya Erebor
Swedish Jakten på Erebor
Tajik Cyrillic Ҷустуҷӯи барои Еребор
Tamil எரெபோர் குவெஸ்ட்
Tatar Эребор эзләү
Telugu ఎరేబోర్ యొక్క క్వెస్ట్
Thai ยุทธการแห่งเอเรบอร์
Turkish Erebor'un Görevi
Turkmen Erebor Gözleýşi
Ukrainian Cyrillic Похід до Еребора
Urdu اراباور کے لئے تلاش کریں
Uzbek Еребор учун қидириш (Cyrillic) Erebor uchun qidirish (Latin)
Vietnamese Nhiệm vụ của Erebor
Welsh Y Chwilio am Erebor
Xhosa Ukukhangela i-Erebor
Yiddish די קוועסט פון ערעבאָר
Yoruba Ibere ti Erebor


  1. Unfinished Tales, Part Three: The Third Age, Chapter III: "The Quest of Erebor"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter I: "An Unexpected Party"