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John Howe - Thorin and Roac.jpg
"Thorin and Roac" by John Howe
Biographical Information
LocationRavenhill, Erebor
BirthT.A. 2788
Deathafter T.A. 2941
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Roäc

Roäc (b. T.A. 2788[1][note 1]) was the chief of the ravens of Ravenhill near Erebor.[1]


[edit] History

Roäc was the son of Carc, and as such "a descendant of those [ravens] that had remained on the hill even after Smaug had driven out their old allies, the Dwarves".[2]

While Thorin and Company and Bilbo Baggins were keeping watch on Erebor, an old thrush summoned Roäc. When he met Thorin and Company in Third Age 2941, Roäc was marked by age, being 153 years old.[1]

Being able to speak Westron, the raven delivered the news that Smaug had been killed. Roäc agreed to bring a message to Dáin II Ironfoot from Thorin, a call for help in guarding the treasures of Erebor in the wake of war.[1] However, Roäc also gave a piece of advice to Thorin, warning him that "the treasure is likely to be your death".[3]

[edit] Etymology

Roäc is likely an onomatopoeic name.[4]

[edit] Inspiration

See also: Ravens#Inspiration

In Celtic (especially Irish) mythology, ravens are often associated with warfare and the battleground. In Welsh mythology, ravens figure as the army of King Arthur's knight Owain.[5]

In The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, a raven and a finch speak five of the verses,[6] reminiscent of Roäc and the old thrush.

[edit] Genealogy

b. T.A. 2788

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Roäc in adaptations
Roäc the Raven in MECCG  

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

Roäc comes to the Dwarves after Smaug's death. He is voiced by John Wyse.

1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series):

Roäc informs the Dwarves of Smaug's demise. He is voiced by an uncredited Pat Franklyn.

1980: Der Hobbit (1980 German radio series):

Roäc is played by Friedrich W. Bauschulle.

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Roäc, a level 6 Raven, is given game statistics and a short description.[7]

1989: Hobit (1989 Slovak radio series):

The voice of Roäc is provided by Ivan Krivosudský.

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Roäc the Raven" is a Diplomat Ally, playable at any site in Northern Rhovanion.

2014: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

Roäc does not explicitly appear. However, just prior to the final confrontation with the Elven Army assembled before the gates, a raven is seen flying away from the gate of Erebor, then just before Dáin's Army of Dwarves arrives, the raven is seen flying back to Thorin at the gate. This visually implies that Thorin sent a message with this raven, though it is not explained in dialogue, and the raven itself does not talk.

[edit] See also


  1. When Thorin and Company met Roäc he told them that it was "a hundred years and three and fifty since I came out of the egg". Subtracting 153 from 2941 yields 2788


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  2. Mark Fisher, "Roäc: The old raven of Ravenhill", Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 9 December 2021)
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Thief in the Night"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 316
  5. Raven in mythology: Celtic mythology at Wikipedia (accessed 4 December 2010)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, pp. 116-117, 214-215
  7. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 26, 138