The Obscenity of Smaug: On Mahal and Dwarven Sacred Space
Smaug is a problem. In the text he is a fascinating and even an appealing antagonist; on screen, he is captivating and more than a little terrifying. But in the context of Middle Earth, particularly within the world of the Dwarves, he is nothing short of an utter obscenity. Wiser heads than mine have explored the political, economic, and physical problems he poses. Here, I would like to consider Smaug’s occupation of Erebor and the possible religious implications.