Balerion, The Black Dread, was a dragon of House Targaryen. He was the largest of all the dragons since Aegon’s Conquest, and he lived to be more than 200 years old. On the other hand, Smaug was the last great dragon of Middle-earth. He lived in the Third Age, and he was the King under the Mountain for 171 years. But, the question is, who is bigger and stronger – Balerion or Smaug?
Balerion is both bigger and stronger than Smaug. Balerion is the oldest, biggest, and strongest Targaryen dragon in recorded history- thus bigger and stronger than Smaug. Smaug’s true size was never explicitly said, but his wingspan couldn’t even throw a shadow over the whole Lake-town. But, if it came down to wits, Smaug would dominate Balerion.
This question isn’t so easy, because we are talking about two mighty dragons from two different universes and two different writers’ imaginations. There is a lot more information about The Black Dread and his size and strength, than when it comes to Smaug. Let’s say Tolkien focused more on his personality than raw power. There are a lot more interesting details about these magical creatures, you probably didn’t know- so keep reading!
Balerion Vs Smaug Size Comparison
Balerion, The Black Dread, was an absolute ruler of the sky. His scales and wing were black. But, what was the scariest was that his fire was also black. It was told, that his fire could melt steel and stone, and it can even make glass from sand. He was so big he made the day into night when he was flying over a city. It was told that his wingspan was so large it could cast a shadow over entire towns when he was passing- it was a whopping 453 feet or 138 m. His teeth were long as swords, and he could swallow a whole hairy mammoth in one bite.
The exact year of his birth is not known, but he was the last living creature to see Valyria in its glory. It is estimated he lived for 200 years, and only a year before his death he stopped growing. He was so legendary stories of his size are still being told almost 200 years after his death in the original Game of Thrones series.
Smaug, or so-called King under the Mountain, was a fire-drake of the Third Age. In this case, we have to work only by using comparisons, because Tolkien wasn’t famous for putting numbers in his works. Let’s get creative and thank you to all the internet discussions that came to these brilliant conclusions. The first assumption is that Smaug is built like a slim crocodile. The second assumption is that Smaug’s body is 18 times long as his head.
Now for facts we know, The Back Door on the side of the Lonely Mountain, leads to a secret passage we know is 5 feet by 3 feet and when Smaug tries to burn Bilbo in the passage, only his nostrils fit. So, his head is taller than 5 feet. And we said let’s imagine him as a slim crocodile, so his head could be 12 to 15 feet long. Now let’s factor in the second assumption we made, which will mean Smaug is anywhere between 216 and 270 feet long or 66 m and 83 m.
Balerion Vs Smaug Strength Comparison
When we compare Balerion and Smaug’s war accomplishments, Balerion is a clear winner. He fought many wars and battles, and he was very experienced in combat. His skull and skeleton are still kept at the Red Keep, as seen in The House of Dragon, to celebrate him for his might and for his triumphs. He was there when Aegon Targaryen’s succeeded to unite six of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. His fire forged the infamous Iron Throne. A true testament to his strength and might is that, after all those battles, he died of all age. In his old age, Balerion did become sluggish, and almost too big to “carry” his own weight.
Smaug wasn’t known for his strength, but for his greed and cunning. Of course, he was greatly feared, because he was a fire-breathing monster. But he spent the last 171 years of his life guarding a pile of gold, alone in Erebor. When he finally went out of the mountain, he was killed very easily as he had a weak spot on his belly. Bard the Bowman shot a perfect shot into that spot and took him down instantly.
But, before he died he managed to wreak havoc on the people of Lake-town. Even though he wasn’t as strong as Balerion, he was very sharp and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of his treasure hoard he noticed when Bildo took a single cup.