Erebor Never Fell

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: No Smaug
Related: Canon Divergence AU (The Hobbit)
See Also: Canon Divergence AU, Fix-It
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Erebor Never Fell and No Smaug are somewhat common,[1] early[2][3] alternate universe fix-its for The Hobbit. These are not identical tropes (for example, sometimes Smaug appears but is defeated), but they involve many of the same elements.

In these works, the dwarves almost always still live in Erebor, though the action may take place elsewhere, such as the Shire,[4] Ered Luin,[5] or Dale. Usually the battle of Azanulbizar didn't happen, or happened differently, and most of the royal family is still alive. If Bilbo Baggins is involved, another excuse is given for him to meet various dwarves of Thorin's Company or the Durin Family

AO3 has separate canonical tags for Erebor Never Fell and No Smaug.

Erebor Reclaimed Early

Erebor Reclaimed Early is a somewhat rare related trope in fanworks for The Hobbit. In this trope, Erebor was reclaimed by Thrór or Thrain (or sometimes by Thorin Oakenshield or another dwarf of his generation) many decades before the Quest for Erebor would have begun. This variation is far less common than Erebor never falling in the first place.

Similar to Erebor Never Fell AUs, early reclamation AUs tend to include most of the royal family still living and a prosperous Dale (though that must usually be rebuilt[6]).

Common Tropes

Frequently used elements in Erebor Never Fell and No Smaug works include:

  • Thrór's gold sickness
  • Class divisions - The period of exile is often represented as having broken down many class divisions between dwarves, so this is why the dwarves of Thorin's Company can all travel together with relatively little distinction (or not enough for Bilbo to notice). Without the exile, creators often assume such distinctions would exist, sometimes even to the point of encouraging rebellion.
  • Durin Family - Many works set during this period focus on or heavily include the royal family, including members who are dead or never appear on-screen in canon.
  • Ri Family - For a non-noble perspective on Erebor, Dori, Nori, Ori and various original family members for them are often used to show the suffering of the more impoverished classes. Sometimes the Ur Family is similarly used to illustrate class divisions.

Example Fanworks

Erebor Never Fell/No Smaug:

  • Per Aspera by northerntrash - "Deep in the dungeons of the Kingdom of Erebor, in an old, unused storeroom, lived a Hobbit." Bilbo/Thorin
  • Free Orcs AU by Thorinsmut - "The arkenstone was never found and Erebor never fell, and there are free Orcs who rebelled against Mordor living in Gundabad. This changes many things, but some things will always be the same." Dwalin/Nori, Bilbo/Bofur, Thorin/Azog
  • A Most Sensible Idea by HildyJ - "Frodo is definitely too young to enter into an arranged marriage with a dwarven king called Thorin Oakenshield. It's a good thing that Bilbo is there to chaperone him through their courtship." Bilbo/Thorin
  • Anything for Family by sum_nemo - "Thirteen is the unlucky number for the criminal who can't learn, and Nori is all out of chances." Dwalin/Ori
  • Coats and Customs by imaginary_golux - "AU in which Smaug never happened: Thror arranges Thorin's marriage to a hobbit. Thorin isn't entirely sure what a hobbit is." Bilbo/Thorin
  • Clarity of Vision by mithen - "In a Middle-Earth where Erebor never fell, a shadow remains in the heart of the Lonely Mountain." Bilbo/Thorin
  • Apple of My Eye by orphan_account - in which Belladonna Took was instrumental in killing Smaug but left Bilbo an orphan, Bilbo/Thorin

Erebor reclaimed early:

  • Ghelekabad Books by icarus_chained - "In an Erebor recovered under Thrain and in the process of rebuilding under his son Thorin, a wandering bookseller named Bilbo Baggins falls in with a bad, or at least rather suspect, crowd, and somewhat accidentally starts an industrial revolution with the help of a young scribe and a brain-damaged toymaker." Gen

Erebor fell but some dwarves survived:

  • Remember the Alternatives by fandomlver - "You know, it seems to me that a dragon as big as Smaug wouldn't be able to get into all of the tunnels that make up Erebor. In fact, he couldn't get into most of them. What if most of the dwarves that everyone thought died when Erebor was invaded, didn't?" Gen

References

  1. Erebor Never Fell had 63 works on AO3 by March 20, 2015. No Smaug had 50. Both were undertagged.
  2. Little Footsteps by entropynchaos, posted January 12, 2013, was probably the first work to be posted to AO3 with a tag for No Smaug.
  3. Fili/Legolas arranged marriage, posted on December 17, 2012, appears to be the first hobbit_kink prompt to request an Erebor Never Fell scenario explicitly, using those words.
  4. Hobbit AU where Erebor never fell and the Shire is a land of Hobbit shape shifters. Prompt requesting the story take place in the Shire. Posted July 2014.
  5. Coats and Customs by imaginary_golux takes place mostly in Belegost.
  6. For example, Ghelekabad Books by icarus_chained has Dale mostly rebuilt by the time the story's action takes place.