In J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” (1937), Erebor is both the ancient home of the dwarves, which has been conquered and is now occupied by the dragon Smaug, and the destination of the quest of thirteen dwarves and a hobbit, who aim at regaining Erebor from the claws of the dragon. On their way to the mountain, the dwarves constantly remember the old days in which their ancestors mined and crafted beautiful objects inside the walls of Erebor. Their thoughts are, however, frequently overshadowed by concerns about Smaug, who transformed the dwarf kingdom into a dragon hoard and is now sleeping on the gold.
Denise Burkhard delves into Tolkien’s children’s novel and Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy (2012–2014) and explores the depiction of Erebor. The analysis focuses on the dwarves’ reconstruction of the old kingdom, the ideas of home and belonging in the context of the dwarves’ diasporic situation as well as on the destruction and the reshaping(s) of the mountain. The adverse depictions of Erebor as dwarf kingdom and dragon hoard are examined by having a closer look at the dwarves, the sinister dragon and the enormous hoard in the novel as well as in Peter Jackson’s audio-visual interpretations.