Embed InfographicIf you are a regular of the Movoto Real Estate, you can probably imagine that here on the blog team, we are getting pretty excited about the upcoming release of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. After all, we are the folks who brought you that post about Hogwarts, the evaluation of Hyrule Castle, and of course, Bag End.
So we knew we needed to celebrate this next stage in Bilbo’s adventure with a home evaluation so big, so gigantic, so over the top, that Smaug himself probably wouldn’t even be able to afford it—though he did steal it once:
Yes, I’m talking about the Kingdom Under the Mountain—Smaug’s Lair!
Not even including Smaug’s veritable sea of treasure, which Forbes recently evaluated to be worth $8.6 billion, the Kingdom Under the Mountain would set you back a hefty $6,181,920,000.
Of course I didn’t just pull this number out from my Elvish cloak; I relied on facts, figures, and Saturday Night Science to come up with this price. But to find out more specifically how I did it, grab your mithril and gather your courage, and read on.
How I Did It
Aside from re-reading a good chunk of “The Hobbit”, watching the last movie, and brushing up on my Elvish (because, why not?), I relied on the good old-fashioned, Middle-Earth method of researching—the all-seeing, all-knowing… internet (What, did you think I was talking about Sauron’s eye?) With this most powerful tool at my disposal, I went about finding out a few things about The Kingdom Under the Mountain:
- Its location
- Comparable properties
The location and the size were pretty tough to find, but finding comparable properties was a veritable journey—an unexpected journey, at that. But I’ll get to comparable properties in a moment; for now, let’s start with the location.
Gwaem! (That’s Elvish for, “Let’s go!”)
The Loneliest Mountain of AllHere is some Tolkien information that could change your life—or at least give you a leg up at your next trivia outing. According to Tolkien himself, Middle-Earth is a part of our own Earth, but in a previous, mythical era. At the time of the events described in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”, Middle-Earth is moving toward the end of its Third Age, about 6,000 years ago.
Tolkien once wrote that “The Shire is based on rural England, and not any other country in the world,” which we confirmed/totally nailed in our post about the Shire. It’s Worcestershire, England, if you have to know.
But if the Shire is in Worcestershire, where then is The Kingdom Under the Mountain?
A Bit of Background
For those of you who haven’t read “The Hobbit”—or indeed, “The Silmarillion”, “The Hobbit”, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or any of the thousands of essays and books about these books—here is a brief, and very un-Tolkien-like glimpse at The Kingdom Under the Mountain.
The Kingdom Under the Mountain is located inside of The Lonely Mountain, which is just east of the Iron Hills and northwest of Mirkwood. The Kingdom lasted until 2770 when Smaug the Dragon invaded, killed the dwarves that had lived there for centuries, and destroyed the town of Dale, just on the south slope of the mountain.
According to those even nerdier than I, i.e., the Tolkien experts, all of these locations, and in fact, all of Middle-Earth, roughly correspond to various locations throughout Europe. But for the purposes of keeping this a little less lengthy than a Tolkien novel, I’ll just give you a few examples.
- The Sea of Rhun corresponds to the Black Sea
- Helm’s Deep is near the Franco-German-Swiss border, close to the city of Basel
- Mordor is located in Transylvania, with Mount Doom in Romania
- Mirkwood is north, and further east are Rhovanion and the wastes of Rhun, close to the Iron Mountains (which would be our Ural Mountains)
If the Iron Mountains are our Ural Mountains, Lonely Mountain would be just west of them. This places it in Russia, just north of Kirov. In fact, Kirov would make a fitting Dale, which sits just on the south slopes of the mountain, atop the Viatka River, or the Running River in Middle-Earth
Now we know the location of The Kingdom Under the Mountain—just outside of Kirov, Russia. The next questions is, how big is it?
A Kingdom Fit for a Dragon
The Lonely Mountain is described as being about 10 miles in diameter and high enough to be snowcapped during the spring with a peak that pierces the clouds—which means it must be at least 3,500 feet high.
If we assume that the mountain is approximately round, it would have an area of about 78.5 square miles.
Of course the mountain itself is no mere shell surrounding The Kingdom within. So after re-reading, re-watching, and with the power of estimation, I assumed that the Kingdom Under the Mountain would be more like 7.5 miles in diameter—which would make it about 44.2 square miles.
To put this into perspective for you, this is about the size of the city of San Francisco, CA, which is 46.9 square miles.
One square mile is 2,589,988 square meters, so 44.2 square miles would be about 114,477,470 square meters (something that my calculator almost couldn’t digest—much like Smaug and Bilbo—zing!)
Looking for a Kingdom to Buy
I don’t know what happened to the good old days when you could just buy a kingdom or lay claim to the mountain of your choice, but in this day and age, there are simply no listings for kingdoms, mountains, and particularly not kingdoms underneath mountains in Russia.
So I did the next best thing I could and looked for the price of land near Kirov, Russia. After looking at several undeveloped properties for sale, I came up with an average of about $54 per square meter (since they don’t use imperial units like square feet). This is about $54 for roughly 11 square feet, or close to $5 a square foot.
So How Much for the Kingdom?
With an average land price of $54 per square meter and a size of 114,477,470 square meters, Smaug’s Kingdom Under the Mountain would set you back a mere $6,181,783,380—the majority of Smaug’s stolen treasure.
And even though Smaug’s pad costs about 4,648 times more than Bag End, we all know that good will prevail, and Bilbo will win at the end of the day.
We just may not see it happen until the third movie.