How does Bilbo get Smaug to reveal Smaug's weak spot?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Bilbo flatters Smaug the dragon, tricking him into rolling over so he can see the weak spot on his belly.

In chapter 12, “Inside Information,” Bilbo tricks Smaug into showing his weak belly.  Thorin reminds Bilbo that, “every worm has its weak spot” and Blibo tricks Smaug into showing his.  Bilbo faltters Smaug, calling him “Smaug the Impenetrable” and praising his “waistcoat of diamonds.”  Biblo had already noticed the “peculiar undercoating” and wanted a closer look.  By describing him as impenetrable and praising his waistcoat, he lures Smaug into a false sense of security and plays on his pride.  Bilbo thinks to himself,

“Old fool!  Why there is a large patch in the hollow shell of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!” (chapter 12)

Bilbo soon shares this information so the others can bring him down.


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