Tales from the Wilderlands
The Heart of the Mountain
It was discovered beneath Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) by Thorin’s ancestor, Thráin the Old, and shaped by the Dwarves. The Arkenstone became the family heirloom of Durin’s line, but was lost to them in the Sack of Erebor by the dragon Smaug (T.A. 2770). The Arkenstone shone of its own inner light, but having been cut and fashioned by the dwarves, it also reflected and multiplied any light glancing upon its surface with marvellous beauty. It was also called the Heart of the Mountain, and as Thorin describes to Bilbo: “It shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like snow under the stars, like rain upon the moon…”
When Bilbo Baggins found it on Smaug’s golden bed deep inside the Lonely Mountain (T.A. 2941), he pocketed it, having learned how much Thorin valued it. While the Dwarves with Thorin sorted the treasure, Thorin sought only the Arkenstone, unaware that Bilbo was hiding it in his pillow. When the Dwarves refused to share any of the treasure with Bard (who had killed Smaug) and Thranduil Elvenking, Bilbo crept out of the Dwarves’ fort inside the Mountain and gave them the Arkenstone. Bard, Thranduil and Gandalf then tried to trade it for Bilbo’s fourteenth share of Smaug’s hoard. The dispute was interrupted by the Battle of Five Armies, in which Thorin was killed. When Thorin was buried deep under Erebor, Bard placed the Arkenstone on Thorin’s breast.