What dreams or legends do the lakemen have regarding the King under the Mountain and Smaug in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien?  

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the dwarves first appear to the lakemen of Lake Town, their bedraggled appearances from riding in the barrels down the river do not inspire the watchmen; however, as Thorin presents himself as the new King under the Mountain to the Master of the town, excitement begins to build among the townspeople, old and young alike. 

"Some of the songs were old ones; but some of them were quite new and spoke confidently of the sudden death of the dragon and the cargoes of rich presents coming down the river to Lake-town" (179).

The songs recorded by Tolkien for the readers tell of the "King beneath the mountains" who "shall come into his own" (178).  These legends hope for the return of the King under the Mountain, with the idea that trade will renew between the dwarves and the Lakemen, bringing prosperity back to the town.  Many of these newer versions of the lakemen's songs and hopes were no doubt fueled by their desire to ingratiate themselves with the dwarves, hoping for a handsome reward if all goes well and the dragon is overthrown.  Even the Master of the town slyly comments: "What help we can offer shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdom is regained" (180).