|Menu||About Guide to Tolkien's Middle-earth.|
Gem treasured by the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain. The Arkenstone was a great white stone. Thorin Oakenshield described is as "like a globe with a thousand facets; it shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like snow under the stars, like rain upon the Moon!" (Hobbit, p. 243) Thrain I had found it at the roots of the Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves cut and fashioned the gem, which reflected light in many sparkling colors and glowed with its own inner light.
The Arkenstone became part of Smaug the Dragon's hoard when he drove the Dwarves from the Mountain in 2770. When Thorin set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug in 2941, the Arkenstone was the treasure he most desired to reclaim. But when the company entered Smaug's lair, Bilbo Baggins saw the Arkenstone first and slipped it into his pocket without telling anyone. Bilbo justified his "burglary" by telling himself that the Dwarves had said he could pick his share of the treasure, but deep down he realized that the Arkenstone was exempt from this and that trouble would come of it.
Thorin later told the company to look for the Arkenstone, which he claimed for himself and said he would punish anyone who withheld it. Still Bilbo said nothing, because he had thought of a plan that involved the Arkenstone. By this time, the Men of Lake-town led by Bard and the Elves of Mirkwood led by King Thranduil had come to the Lonely Mountain seeking a share in the dragon hoard. Thorin refused to part with any treasure or listen to their claims while they camped outside the gates with their armies.