RingerSpy Bruta from The Netherlands shares with us his theory on the appearance of Smaug.

Just like everyone else I’ve been wondering what Peter Jackson’s version of Smaug will look like. There have been a couple of interesting articles by TORn  about the appearance and size of the dragon. In TORn’s article ‘Analysis: just how big is Jackson’s Smaug?‘, Demosthenes calculated the size of the drake and Smaug appears to be immense. This is a compelling fact few can deny. Further evidence can be found in the following image of the gate of Erebor .


In comparison with Smaug’s tail, the dwarves are about the size of ants. From this it isn’t surprising that in the movie the dwarves are being crushed when Smaug enters through the front gate. In the second TORn article; “Could this be Smaug?!”, Smaug’s head is shown, but to me this is definitely not Smaug, I’ll explain why below.

The Kite theory

In my kite theory, Smaug will have some basic attributes in common with the dragonkite we see the children of Dale flying in the Prologue .

  • First: the dragon will indeed be red, his eyes will be yellow, and he will have sharp large front teeth and smaller back teeth.
  • Second: the scales on his skin will also be of the same shape and size, as seen on the ‘skin’ of the kite.
  • Last and most interestingly: are the similarities that I believe will be shown in the shape of his nose and the number of horns on his head and chin.



The evidence

If we look at the image, where Smaug pulverizes the dwarves, you can clearly see Smaug’s head. Under the nose and on the sides of his head, you can see his horns. At least, I assume they are horns because that would be the most satisfying explanation for these ‘sticks’.  The stick on his nose could also be a tooth, or maybe the end of his kitedragon-like nose. But this isn’t the best picture in which we can see his horned head. When Smaug is swimming in Thror’s gold he dives up, at that moment, in a brief second, the other horns on the top of his head are visible.


According to my kite theory, Smaug will look something like the kite dragon.  When Smaug’s eye is shown we can see some small horns on his head. Based on the picture above we can estimate how many horns this magnificent dragon has. The number of big horns on his head could vary from 5 to 8 or something like that.  With this information I searched the web to get the most accurate and satisfying picture of Smaug’s head, as it would look in accordance with my kitedragon theory.

Peter Jackson’s first hint of the dragon?

I think there are similarities between the dragon and the kite, mainly because they came from the same people or group, with the same style, who are creating the look of this creature.  So, working on this theory, it can’t be a coincidence that the dragon and the kite would be similar. Alongside of this, the kite may have been made as some sort of illustration of the real dragon as a “visual backstory”, to show that its existence has been handed down in legend amongst the people of Dale and as such would be another reason why there are so many similarities between the two.


The kite can, in this way, serve as a hint for the viewer because they do not get to see the real dragon yet. The audience only gets quick glimpses of the dragon, small signs of the creature, like wings, claws, feet and then at the end of the movie a potentially large spoiler: Smaug’s eye.  From this perspective it isn’t unreasonable to surmise that Peter Jackson chose to show the kite in the Prologue of the movie as another type of teaser/spoiler. Because in the Prologue, we haven’t really seen anything of the dragon yet! It could be the first sign.

Of course, until the release of Desolation of Smaug, this will only be a theory, time will tell.  One thing is certain though, Smaug is going to be awesome!

Bruta is a psychology student from The Netherlands, who first discovered Tolkien in 2000 and has been hooked ever since.  The views in this article are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of TheOneRing.net or its staff.