A humble ferryman and father to three children, Bards grim demeanour and modest lifestyle hide a noble heritage, for Bard is descended in direct line from Girion Lord of Dale that was in the time before the Dragons coming, generations past.
When Thorin and his Company come to Lake-town, sodden and needy, Bard is persuaded to take in the Dwarves and assist them until the true object of their quest is revealed. Speaking against Thorin, Bard councils the people of Lake-town not to permit the Dwarves to return to the Mountain and risk unleashing the wrath of the Dragon Smaug.
The ferrymans words are trampled beneath promises of flowing gold, for Lake-town is wretchedly poor, and hope, once kindled, quickly takes hold and sweeps the crowd like wildfire.
Arrested, he is imprisoned as a trouble-maker by the Master of the town, but when his warnings prove prophetic and the Dragon falls from the sky to blanket Lake-town in a vengeful firestorm, Bard breaks free and mounts a desperate, one man defence. Leaping across the faltering rooftops and dancing between the flames he sends arrow after arrow at the beast as his family and the people of Lake-town are consumed or flee.