Azog (also known as Azog the Defiler or The Pale Orc) is a posthumous antagonist of the novel The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, and is also the central antagonist of Peter Jackson's film trilogy adaptations.
He serves as the main antagonist of both An Unexpected Journey and The Battle of the Five Armies, and a supporting antagonist in The Desolation of Smaug.
He is portrayed by Manu Bennett, who also played Slade Wilson.
Azog is a posthumous antagonist in the novel.
Azog and his orcs took over the mines of Moria, having possibly been sent there by Sauron, and he became one of the most influential orcs in the northern lands. When the dwarf lord, Thror, visited Moria in the hopes of possibly rebuilding it, he was captured and brought to Azog. Declaring Thror a thief, the goblin had him tortured for two days, killing and beheading him upong hearing of more dwarves outside Moria. The orc proceeded to call out to the dwarf, Nar, from over the gates, that those who tried to steal from him would meet the same fate and that he was the king of Moria. Azog even refused to let Nar take Thror’s head back, throwing a sack of coins at him to scorn him, and ordered his goblins to hack up Thror’s body and feed it to ravens. This action would generate incredible hatred for Azog amongst the dwarves and Thrain, Thror’s son, would mass an army of dwarves in war against the goblins. After nine years, Azog’s forces in Moria met the dwarves in battle and he was finally killed in the fight by Dain Ironfoot, after killing his father, Nain.
In Sir Peter Jackson's films
At some point, Azog and his orcs took over the mines of Moria. When Thror led his people to try and take over Moria, the Pale Orc engaged them and slaughtered many of them. Azog himself engaged Thror, having become determined to wipe out Durin’s descendants. He succeeded in killing Thror, driving his son, Thrain, mad with grief and causing the dwarves to retreat. Azog then engaged Thorin Oakenshield, who struggled against the Pale Orc and was soon forced to replace his shield with an oak branch to defend himself against the orc's attacks. However, Thorin refused to fall, and eventually managed to slice off Azog’s left arm. Badly wounded and enraged, Azog was dragged back into Moria by his orcs, while the dwarves rallied and defeating what was left of his forces, though they were almost utterly wiped out. Thorin believed Azog dead, but he lived on and swore revenge on the dwarf, but would not be able to track him down for 60 years. When Azog and his forces came down from the North, they began fighting with the skin-changers. Eventually Azog turned this into a sport, capturing skin-changes to torture for his amusement, and managed to drive them into near extinction, leaving only Beorn.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
He is the main antagonist of the first film.
Eventually, Azog’s forces learned of Thorin’s expedition to reclaim Erebor and a group of them managed to corner the company, only to be driven off by the elves. The survivors, Yazneg and Fimbul, returned to Azog, who was angered by their failure and threw Yazneg to some of his Wargs to be devoured. He then ordered his forces to find the dwarves, offering a bounty to anyone who brought Thorin to him. Azog managed to track Thorin’s Company to the Misty Mountains after being informed that the Great Goblin had captured them. He came across them after they had just escaped from the mountains and managed to corner the group on a cliff, forcing them to climb into some trees. Azog ordered his Wargs to kill them all except Thorin and they eventually forced the company into one tree, hanging precariously over the cliff. Thorin came out to fight Azog, but he was unable to match the Pale Orc, who struck him repeatedly, sending him to the ground. He ordered one of his minions to take Thorin’s head for him, but Bilbo and the other dwarves suddenly leapt to his defense. Before Azog’s forces could overwhelm them, the Great Eagles suddenly came to the company’s aid, carrying them to safety and killing the orcs and Wargs, but Azog survived, though he was enraged that his prey had escaped them.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
He is a supporting antagonist in the 2nd film.
Azog continued to pursue the dwarves with his pack of orcs coming close to catching them. However the dwarves managed to take shelter in the home of Beorn and Azog found himself unable to attack, due to Beorn taking form of a giant bear guarding the house. Azog planned to attack them on the road again, but Bolg arrived, informing him he had been summoned to Dol Guldur at the behest of the Necromancer. Azog went to the fortress, where an army of orcs was being assembled and spoke to his master. The Necromancer told him their time would soon come and Azog would lead his armies forth. The Pale Orc asked about Thorin, reminding his master that he'd been promised the dwarve's head. The Necromancer simply replied that soon all would be slain, before withdrawing. Unwilling to give up the hunt, Azog sent Bolg to hunt Thorin and his company instead. Much later, when Gandalf arrived at Dol Guldur to investigate, removing the concealment spells the Necromancer had placed, Azog waited with his troops, before ambushing Gandalf and managing to disarm him. However Gandalf used his magic to escape Azog, fleeing into the fortress, and the orc sent his forces after him. But the Necromancer managed to subdue Gandalf personally. Afterwards, Azog led his master's army out of Dol Guldur, heading towards the Lonely Mountain.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Azog approaches Erebor with his vast orc army while learning from Bolg that an Elf army under Thranduil is also approaching. Azog tells Bolg to head to Gundabad and ready their other army. When the battle occurs, Azog commands the army from the north, using flags from atop Raven Hill. He sends part of his army to attack Dain's dwarves and sends the other half of his force to take Dale, splitting the allied armies and resulting in the death of several women and children.
Thorin, who was at first suffering with dragon-sickness inside Erebor, charges out into the battle and links up with Dain. He decides to kill Azog and send the army into chaos without a leader. He takes Fili, Kili, and Dwalin and they ride up to Ravenhill on mountain goats. Kili and Fili scout the ruins of the fortress there, but Fili is captured by Azog, who impales him through the chest before Thorin, Kili, Dwalin and Bilbo, the latter having just arrived to warn of the army led by Bolg. Kili attempts to avenge his brother, but is killed by Bolg who is slain by Legolas Greenleaf. Thorin then engages in an epic duel with Azog to avenge Fili's death. He manages to throw Azog down the hill but Azog gives a giant blow with his mace, knocking Thorin onto the frozen lake.
Azog holds back, sending several orcs to kill Thorin, who is assisted by Legolas firing arrows from a stone tower. Thorin is almost slain on the edge of a frozen waterfall, but Legolas aids him again by hurling his sword Orcrist at the orc threatening him, killing it and allowing Thorin to retrieve his blade. Azog then engages Thorin in a climactic fight to the death, this time using a massive flail instead of his mace. His blows crack and shatter the ice, allowing Thorin to dodge his opponent. He then picks up the heavy stone on the flail and tosses it back at Azog, causing him to sink into the water beneath the ice. As Thorin follows his apparently lifeless body floating beneath the ice, the orc's eyes close and he appears to have died.
However, Azog uses this as a deception, stabbing Thorin in the foot through the ice with the blade on his left arm. He then bursts through the ice and attempts to impale the dwarf with the same blade, but Thorin uses Orcrist to hold back Azog's weapon. Eventually his strength gives out and he is mortally wounded by the orc - but this also allows him to fatally stab Azog through his armor and right through his heart. As Azog collapses onto the ice, Thorin drives the sword through his body and right through the ice, leaving Azog pinned to the frozen surface of the river. Azog meets Thorin's gaze a final time before he dies of his wound.
▪Big Bad: He is the most active threat in the first film and then again in the third film, while Smaug is the Big Bad of the overall story.
▪The Heavy: He is the most frequent and direct threat to the group throughout the trilogy.