The Hobbit: Where Did Dragon-Sickness Originally Come From?

Smaug is probably the most iconic dragon of modern fantasy culture. He is the epitome of everything a dragon should be: fierce, intelligent, greedy and magnanimous. During Bilbo’s confrontation with him, the audience can see Smaug cleverly trying to prize information out of the hobbit, using every tactic in the book, from belittling the smaller creature, to making him doubt his expendability in Thorin’s eyes. But the key thing that the audience learns about Smaug in this interaction is that he is the literal embodiment of dragon-sickness. He is the dragon that has sat brooding over a pile of gold for so long that it has infected his mind, and he has infected the treasure in return.