AZOG (THE HOBBIT)
Azog the Defiler
Azog the Goblin
The Gundabad Orc
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Azog, known also as the Defiler and the Pale Orc, was an orc who lived in the Third Age. He commanded the tribes of Moria from TA 2790 until his death in TA 2799. He was responsible for the death of King Thror and for King Thrain’s madness.
Azog was a powerful orc who claimed rulership over the abandoned Dwarvish mines of Moriaduring the Third Age. He became the leader of the Goblins of Moria and initiated the War of the Dwarves and Orcs in TA 2790 by beheading King Thrór, who had come to revisit the ruins of the ancient dwarven kingdom of Moria. At some point he had a son named Bolg. In the following years, Azog was the common enemy of all dwarves, and the war he started had its climax in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he killed Náin, only to be himself slain by Náin’s son Dáin, who would later become King of Durin’s Folk. His son, Bolg, inherited the reign in Moria and continued it for decades until his death at the Battle of the Five Armies.
Azog entered history in the year TA 2790 due to King Thrór’s desire to revisit and perhaps restore the lost realm of Khazad-dûm. When Thrór was found in the armories of Khazad-dûm, he was brought before Azog, being accused of thieving. He tortured Thrór for two days until he was informed of a second dwarf outside of Moria. He decided to kill Thrór after he defied him with the words “These are the Halls of Durin!” He beheaded Thrór and carved his name in Thrór’s head, then threw Thrór’s body over the stairs. Azog then called out to Nar, the other dwarf, from the gate, demanding that he deliver a message back to Thrór’s people, warning that beggars who dared to enter Moria and attempted thievery would meet a similar fate.
Azog then called out that he had killed Thrór , and that he now ruled Moria as king. His name in runes was carved onto the brow of Thrór, forever branding it into the hearts of the Dwarves. Nár was barred from retrieving the head of Thrór, and the orcs threw him a small pouch of coins of little worth as a final gesture of scorn. Nár took the pouch, turned, and fled. When he looked back, orcs had emerged from the gate and were hacking apart Thrór’s body and flinging the pieces as carrion for the ravens.
When news of this reached Thrór’s heir Thráin, he was greatly angered and mustered a force of Dwarves from the House of Durin and others to seek revenge on Azog, though it took three years to muster their Dwarves. So began the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. The Dwarves hunted Azog, and many battles were fought beneath the earth. After nine years of war, before the gates of Moria itself, the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar was fought. In that battle, Azog was pursued through the Gates of Moria, killed, and beheaded by Dáin, son of Náin. His head was impaled on a stake, and the pouch of coins he had thrown to Nár was stuffed into his mouth.
Except for Thrain, the Dwarves made no attempt to press their advantage by pursuing the orcs into the mines, many of them having been slain. They warned Thrain against entering Moria. Dáin had glimpsed Durin’s Bane deep within and warned the Dwarves to not attempt entering Moria. Azog’s underground realm’s population had been greatly reduced in the war and his reign passed to his son Bolg for the next 150 years, until Bolg’s death in the Battle of the Five Armies.
Azog is depicted in the films as a huge, fearsome-looking and herculean orc, the most developed example of the orc species in all of Middle-earth. Unlike any other orcs seen in Peter Jackson’s films, Azog and his band speak using the Orkish language rather than in English. Azog is also a very large and extremely powerful orc, as tall if not taller than even the most advanced Uruk-hai, and far more bulky. His skin is bone-white, compared to other orcs whose skin color generally ranges from sickly green to a dark brown or lighter peachy colours. Further differentiating Azog from other orcs are his piercing blue eyes and smoother skin, with deep, tattoo-like incisions covering his face and torso.
He also looks arguably less barbaric than other orcs , save for the wicked-looking metal claw replacing his severed forearm; the aft end of the prosthetic ends in a spike protruding near his elbow, heavily suggesting that the limb was crudely implanted by driving the spike through Azog’s arm stump. The fact that Azog can sustain this prosthesis is an example of his immense ambitions to survive.
Azog’s body is a collage of battle-scars and combat-tattoos, and is possibly designed to intimidate his enemies on the battlefield. When riding a warg, he is forced into a combative stoop because of his detached arm. However, he still manages to fight quite savagely.
In the Battle of the Five Armies, Azog wore a chestplate and replaced his usual prosthetic arm with a double blade attached at the elbow. During his final battle with Thorin, he also abandoned his usual mace in favour of what appeared to be a large brick on a chain, perhaps salvaged from the decrepit towers of Ravenhill. He wielded this impromptu weapon much like a flail.
Azog is depicted in the Hobbit film trilogy as the wrathful, psychopathic, iron-fisted, malevolent, bloodthirsty, insidious, cynical, bitter, malicious, arrogant, and merciless chieftain of the orcs of Moria and leader of the warg riders. He is portrayed to be cunning, monomaniacal, and very, very ruthless, with a bitter and hateful obsession for vengeance against Thorin Oakenshield for cutting off his arm in battle.
Azog was also shown to have some fascist qualities, judging by his complete intolerance towards failure and his dictatorship over his orc pack. The one most surprising thing about Azog is even someone as powerful as Azog has a master, the incredibly powerful Necromancer: Sauron.
He is shown to be intensely sadistic, gleefully mocking Thorin in their second confrontation by saying that his father “reeked of the smell of fear” (which apparently made Thorin think that Azog killed his father) to goad him into attacking. He also seemed to enjoy watching the wargs attacking the dwarves.
Despite this, he has a close relationship with his son Bolg, as he expresses great pride in him. Yet Azog holds high expectations for him, and can become very angered if his expectations are not met. He is also more independent compared to most other orcs, as he inspires strong leadership and self-reliance that can only be matched by a hunter or a true-born warrior. Azog is enigmatic and powerful, and a superb ally for Sauron to have at his side.
Azog’s monomania is shown by his obsession with wiping out the line of Durin. He made good on his vow by murdering Thrór and also driving Thrain into hiding. However, he was too arrogant to think that Thorin could beat him, even though he managed to completely disarm the latter during their climatic duel at Azanbulbizar. After this, he became hell-bent on revenge, incredibly determined to kill Thorin Oakenshield for cutting off his arm.
This drove Azog not to care what the cost was, so long as it gave him a chance to get his own back on the dwarf prince. Although it isn’t clear why, when he actually manages to disable Thorin during their second brawl, he didn’t go and kill Thorin himself. His obsession is also clear in his disappointment that Sauron didn’t value Thorin’s death as enormously as Azog himself did.
His ruthlessness is displayed when he murders his own allies when they displease him. A vicious psychopath, Azog is easily frustrated, even by his Master and by his own followers. He is extremely fierce-tempered and has a serious impulse-control problem, capable of violent mood swings when he becomes too angry to control himself. He is also highly intelligent, displaying excellent hunting skills and experience in combat.
He is unfailingly loyal to Sauron, despite his obvious distrust in the Dark Lord. His loyalty to Sauron shows that, instead of leading his army against Thorin and the dwarves (which could have ended in complete success), Azog stays alongside Sauron to defend him against Gandalf. This almost led to his death. Azog was extremely aggressive, to allies and enemies alike.
Azog was impatient and repressive: he didn’t tolerate Yazneg’s mistake during the hunt for Thorin Oakenshield, and killed the orc out of anger. Also, he reacted furiously when the eagles rescued Thorin and Company. He also didn’t respond civilly when Sauron denied him Thorin Oakenshield’s head (which shows also how reckless he is; no-one would dare speak up to the Dark Lord in that manner). He is implied to understand English, as he answered a question Gandalf asked him in English, hinting that he can speak it, but simply chooses not to. He also seemingly knew a great deal about the line of Durin, as he knew that Fili had a brother, and that they were the heirs to the throne.
Azog, as depicted in the Hobbit film trilogy, is an incredibly proficient and skillful warrior, with a brutal fighting style that includes keeping his distance from his opponent and using psychological warfare to anger his enemy. He possesses superhuman strength, speed, and durability, able to overpower and demolish whole groups of opponents at a time. However, after he lost his arm against Thorin Oakenshield, he was forced to do less of the fighting and command his pack from a safe distance. He is a callous, ruthless, idealistic, and tenacious leader of the Warg cavalry of his battalion, being highly intelligent and showing tactical ability when he corners Thorin and Company in the trees in his second battle with Thorin.
Azog was even able to throw Gandalf with a swing of his mace in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (despite the fact that he was eventually paralyzed by Gandalf’s staff, allowing for the latter to temporarily escape from the Necromancer/Sauron). Azog is shown to be an expert warg rider, able to tirelessly pursue Thorin and Company during the first film, and briefly shadows them during the second film. He is an excellent hunter and has almost limitless determination.
In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Azog shows his military skills by commanding the orcs from atop a mountain, giving troop movements and commands to lethal effect. He also fights Thorin strategically: he sends a group of orcs to kill Thorin, or to exhaust him at the very least, then fights Thorin again. After Thorin overpowers him and apparently drowns him, Azog feigns death, and when Thorin is close enough, he takes the dwarf by surprise and stabs him. He had also anticipated Thorin would enter to rescue Kili, and easily managed to ambush him, taking him by surprise.