At the beginning of Bilbo’s journey to the Misty Mountains, Gandalf warns the hobbit that he cannot promise that Bilbo will return to the Shire alive by the end, and that if he does, he will not be the same as he was. This could not be more true, because Bilbo is going through some of the most painful experiences of any of the characters in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. During the adventure, Bilbo was almost roasted alive by trolls, almost crushed to death by fighting stone giants, almost pierced by goblins, almost eaten by Gollum and almost killed in many battles in which he has to survive.
But perhaps one of the most difficult challenges he faces over this long year is watching Torin, a friend he greatly admires and cares about, succumb to dragon disease. Bilbo, more than anyone else in the company, worries about how Thorin gradually begins to go crazy with greed and thirst for gold. And the more paranoid Torin becomes, the more cruel he becomes towards others, his family and those whom they promised to help. It was then that the famous phrase “I will not part with a single coin. “None” enters, and Bilbo realizes that if he does nothing, it will be too late for Thorin to return from the abyss.
link: Why didn’t Iluvatar punish Aule for creating dwarves?
So Bilbo takes the Arkenstone and offers it to the Bard from Laketown and Thranduil from Mirkwood. And both of these characters have no love for Torin, if anything, they both despise him because he denied them something that belongs to them with honor. For Thranduil, these are the White Gems of Lasgalen, a precious necklace he made for his wife before her death, a reminder of his love for her and a very sentimental keepsake, locked under a mountain. And for the Bard, this is a share in gold, so that he can help rebuild his city, destroyed by the arrival of Smaug, and so that he can afford to feed his sick and starving people who were expelled from their homes. They agree to Bilbo’s truce when he offers the Arkenstone, but even then reluctantly after all the cruelty shown to them by Thorin. So why, then, are they going to pay homage to Thorin after his death in the Battle of the Five Armies?
“They buried Thorin deep under the mountain, and the Bard put the Arkenstone on his chest. “May he lie there until the Mountain falls,” he said, “may he bring good luck to all his people who will live here after that!” a good future not only for Thorin in his demise, but also for all descendants who may come later, which is more like the feelings that would be offered to a friend rather than an enemy.
Indeed, the same applies to Thranduil’s offering: “On his grave, the elf king laid orchrist, the elven sword that was taken from Thorin in captivity.” The songs say that he always glowed in the dark if enemies were approaching, and the dwarf fortress could not be caught by surprise.” By giving away the elven weapons he confiscated while Thorin and the other dwarves were in his captivity, Thranduil demonstrates the highest sign of respect and kinship to his fallen comrade, a sign to everyone that Thorin died with honor and earned the right to such a mighty sword. At the same time, Thranduil also helps protect the future generations of Erebor and maintains a strong connection with both them and the people of Lake City.
It’s hard to say why this happened, but perhaps it can be attributed to the fact that both the Bard and Thranduil realized their pride and their mistakes in Thorin’s stupidity and realized that under slightly different circumstances they would have been buried in the grave, and not his. Torin has recovered from his dragon disease and is fighting bravely and valiantly to protect all the people he has hurt with his cruelty, and thereby regained their respect.
The promises made to both the Bard and Thranduil are eventually fulfilled, as they receive what is rightfully theirs from Dane, who becomes king under the mountain, and this helps to soften the bitterness of the battle. Each of them has people they loved and cared about, for Thranduil it is a horror to see many of his beautiful elves fall, and for the Bard it was to watch many of his townspeople burn alive in the fire of Smaug. Thus, they only feel the grief of the dwarves more acutely because of the loss of Thorin, Fili and Kili and wish to participate in the restoration of a better world so that everyone can get away from the trauma of the battle.