The Dwarves accomplished their goal! They traveled across Middle-Earth, combating Trolls, Goblins, Orcs, and even the fabled dragon known as "Smaug." They reclaimed their home of Erebor at the Lonely Mountain, and all seems right in the world. Now that they've done what they set out to do, what happens next?
When telling any massive story, there has to be some sort of end, but when a good story is told, audiences can't help but feel sad at the prospect. After all, they've spent so much time with these characters, it's difficult to see them go. We get so invested in these characters that we're lying awake at night wondering what they did after their journey was over.
In this case, what happened to Bilbo, Gandalf, the Dwarves, and the rest of Middle-Earth after the Battle of the Five Armies and the defeat of Smaug the Terrible? As it turns out, there's still a lot of interesting things that went on during this time period that went on to shape further events of Middle-Earth.
Are you still wondering about what happened after the events of The Hobbit? Read on to discover 15 things you didn't know took place. Of course, we'll be excluding anything that took place during The Lord of the Rings.
15 Aragorn Hunts Gollum
This is one of the biggest things that took place after The Hobbit. Gandalf knew that Bilbo came across a Ring in the caves of Moria, but he thought that it was one of the Dwarven Rings, considering that Thrain was the last person who had it. However, things started becoming different after The Hobbit ended, and Gandalf knew something was up.
He had to question the creature Gollum about the Ring, so he sent out Aragorn to hunt him. The Ranger tracked the beast across Middle-Earth before eventually finding and bringing him in for questioning. This formed a lot of the basic knowledge Gandalf had before the events of The Lord of the Rings. It was also why he chose to go to Minas Tirith.
14 Legolas and Aragorn Meet
Aragorn eventually found the creature Gollum and captured him. However, he wasn't about to travel thousands of miles just to get him interrogated. Instead, he took him to a closeby facility in Mirkwood: the Woodland Realm of the Elves.
It was there that Aragorn took Gollum to Thranduil, and he was questioned. While there, it's presumed that the Ranger met Prince Legolas for the first time and that the two became familiar with one another. This companionship would later serve them well as they would both become members of the Fellowship of the Ring and fight many battles during the War of the Ring.
13 Dain Becomes King Under the Mountain
Throughout The Hobbit, we're following Thorin Oakenshield and the rest of the Dwarves as they try to retake Erebor. Being the heir to the Lonely Mountain, Thorin was the one in place to become the King once again. As we know, Thorin, as well as his two cousins Fili and Kili, was killed during the Battle of the Five Armies.
This begged the question: who would rule Erebor and become King Under the Mountain? Well, it was none other than Dain Ironfoot, who was already a king in the Iron Hills. He decided to honor all of Thorin's promises to the people of Lake-Town and Mirkwood and stayed at the Lonely Mountain to rule in the stead of Thorin.
12 Thorin is Buried With the Arkenstone
The Arkenstone was a great symbol as well as a great problem. Being the "heart" of the Lonely Mountain, it was signified by the Dwarves as a divine right to rule. However, it also began to poison the minds of those who possessed it, leading to a mental sickness. This even happened to Thorin, who had good intentions before taking back Erebor.
That said, he was able to toss aside his greed and fight beside Elves and Men in the Battle of the Five Armies. He lost his life in the process, but that also changed how the Arkenstone was dealt with. Not wanting to be poisoned himself, King Dain placed it with Thorin's body and buried them both beneath the Lonely Mountain. This isn't shown in the theatrical version of Battle of the Five Armies but is present in the extended edition.
11 Balin Retakes Moria
A large aspect of The Hobbit films was a battle that took place in Moria between the Dwarves of Erebor and Azog the Defiler. The Dwarves won, but the orcs still lived in Moria. This would later pose a problem as the Dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo would later have to pass through and were attacked by all sorts of nasty foes.
Because of this, Balin decided that after the Battle of the Five Armies, he would return to Moria to try and re-colonize it in the name of the Dwarves. He actually succeeded and became the Lord of Moria for a time. However, the Goblins struck back with the help of the Balrog and ended up snuffing out all of the Dwarves that lived there.
10 Sauron Builds His Army
It was during The Hobbit that Sauron began to return. Instead of coming in his true form, he took the appearance of a dark Necromancer. By poisoning Mirkwood and unleashing the orcs into Middle-Earth, he began putting together a massive army of unsightly creatures to try and take the Lonely Mountain for himself (as well as try and persuade Smaug to join him).
He was cast out from Dol Guldur, though, and was never heard from again. However, for several decades, he was in the heart of Mordor, amassing armies of orcs and foul beasts to once again strike at Middle-Earth. All he had to do was wait for the right time. He also kept a lot of pressure on Gondor during those days.
9 Gondor Goes To War
Being so close to Mordor, Gondor has never had it easy. Anytime Sauron decided to send his forces out, it was the Gondorians who had to deal with them. However, they had a bit of a breather when Sauron was residing in Dol Guldur. Then, he returned to Mordor, and orcs started spilling into the land of Gondor.
Lord Denethor quickly began dispatching forces to that location, and it was around that time that Boromir and Faramir were leading the charge. They frequently battled the orcs at Osgiliath, never letting them get past the first line of defense. As it turns out, Sauron was just keeping the pressure on so that they would always be on their toes and weakened.
8 Gandalf Returned To the Shire
Gandalf the Grey's visit to the Shire in The Lord of the Rings for Bilbo's 111th birthday was not the first time we went there after the events of The Hobbit. Gandalf made it a personal mission to return to the Shire every so often to check on his old friend, as well as use it to investigate more about the ring that Bilbo had.
During his visits to the Shire, Gandalf became acquainted with the young Frodo Baggins as well as became known as a "Disturber of the Peace." Many of the Hobbits there knew that every time Gandalf the Grey was around, something crazy and unexpected was surely bound to happen. Nonetheless, the old wizard continued to visit the calm folk of the land.
7 The White Council Does Nothing
While Bilbo and the Dwarves were conquering Erebor, Gandalf and the rest of the White Council dealt with the Necromancer of Dol Guldur. After they all personally went there and faced Sauron, he fled to Mordor. After that, the Council felt that the Dark Lord was weakened enough that they wouldn't hear from him for a very long time.
Because of this, they didn't do anything after The Hobbit. As a matter of fact, they celebrated the peacetime that they found themselves in (most of them did). Once the Ringwraiths appeared once more and the orcs began moving out, the Council knew that it was unavoidable that Sauron would return and did everything they could to stop him again.
6 Bombur Enjoys Life
Bombur was the dwarf of Thorin's company who was known for being the fat one. This was both a big joke in the films and in the books, love it or hate it. Bombur, like many of the other dwarves, was a very one-dimensional character apart from this one trait, but he still contributed during battles.
After the Battle of the Five Armies, Bombur decided to stay at the Lonely Mountain with the majority of the company and King Dain. It was there that he peacefully enjoyed his life. However, he had a bit too much fun and gained so much weight that it took six Dwarves just to get him out of bed by the time The Lord of the Rings took place. You'd think he would've died sooner than that.
5 Most of the Dwarves Stayed Behind
Without their fearless leader, the remaining dwarves thought a lot about what they were going to do after Smaug was killed and the Lonely Mountain was retaken. Balin decided to go to Moria and fight to re-colonize it and took the scholar Ori with him. Most of the dwarves, however, decided to stay behind and be renowned citizens of Erebor.
Those who were in Thorin's company lived out the remainder of their days in great wealth. Being personally close to King Dain, they were not only widely recognized, but widely honored as well. Those who stayed in the Lonely Mountain died peacefully when it was their time. Nothing unnatural or dark ended up taking their lives -- they wanted calm experiences for the rest of their days.
4 Bard Rebuilt Dale
Bard the Bowman was the descendant of Lord Girion, the last Lord of Dale. When their town was desolated by the dragon known as "Smaug," he, too, was killed but left behind the only type of arrow that could kill the beast. Bard later used this in The Hobbit to rid Middle-Earth of the fire-breathing lizard and led his people to the Lonely Mountain to get help from Thorin.
After the Battle of the Five Armies, Bard got the amount of wealth he needed, and instead of trying to rebuild Lake Town, he rebuilt Dale instead. Giving all of the people a proper place to live, he was also made the king, thus bringing the line back to fruition. After he passed away, it was his son who took over his position.
3 Erebor Prospered
Thorin wanted nothing more than to see Erebor reborn and have wealth flowing out from its halls once again. Unfortunately, he would never live to see the day, as he was killed by the goblin known as Bolg (we're talking about the books here).
Dain Ironfoot took over the leadership of the Lonely Mountain and made it his own personal goal to restore Erebor in the original vision of Thorin Oakenshield. Couple that with the people of Lake-Town living nearby and good relations with the Mirkwood Elves, and Erebor became a prosperous city once again. The Dwarves themselves flourished there and completely rebuilt from the ground up.
2 Many Rings Were Lost
During The Hobbit, Bilbo came across one of the magical Rings of Power. However, it was discovered 60 years later that it was actually the One Ring that Sauron stored his life force in. Bilbo held onto it all that time after The Hobbit until Gandalf discovered what it was in The Lord of the Rings.
However, the One Ring isn't the only magical ring that had a place in that story. A little bit after The Hobbit, the various Rings of Power were slowly lost (we already had record of Thrain losing his during those events). Sauron was gaining the rings for himself. The only ones who still had their rings by The Lord of the Rings were the Elves. Not even the Nazgul had theirs.
1 Frodo's Parents Died
In The Lord of the Rings, we were introduced to Frodo Baggins, the nephew of Bilbo. While we got behind their relationship, there was a big question: where were Frodo's parents? The answer came a few years after The Hobbit.
When Frodo was only a boy of 12 years, both of his parents drowned in the Brandywine River due to a boating accident. He was by himself for a few years after that, but it was Bilbo who eventually took him in. The old Hobbit then educated Frodo on the Elvish language and the various locations of Middle-Earth. Another tidbit is that the two somehow shared the same birthday. During Bilbo's 111th party, it was Frodo's 33rd birthday.
Sources: TolkienGateway, The Hobbit