Having won the kingdom of Erebor from the Dragon Smaug at the point of Bard’s arrow, Thorin Oakenshield sits upon the throne of his fathers, the crown of Thror upon his head. Yet all is not well in the mountain kingdom, for a new battle rages beneath the king’s brow: the battle for Thorin’s mind.
A terrible need gnaws at the soul of the King Under the Mountain. Dragon-sickness it is called by some: an insatiable void that compels Thorin to abandon compassion, honour, reason, and even the bonds of friendship and blood, for all he can think of is the gold. No appeal to his word by Bard can move him to shelter the needy people of Lake-town, no admonishment by his own kin can stir him from his jealous contemplation, nor the slaying of his cousins from the Iron Hills upon his very threshold compel the master of Erebor to join the fight outside. Only Thorin himself can wrestle through this madness and find within him the man he once was, and the king he was supposed to be.