I've just started re-reading The Hobbit, and I noticed this in a section describing dragons: After that there were no dwarves left alive inside, and he took all their wealth for himself. Probably, for that is the dragons' way, he has piled it all up in a great heap far inside, and sleeps on it for a bed. Later he used to crawl out of the great gate and come by night to Dale, and carry away people, especially maidens, to eat, until Dale was ruined, and all the people dead or gone. Is this misogyny from Tolkien and/or Smaug or a reference to the myth of St. George. Googling I found two interesting views on this: 1. Ancient Symbology in Fantasy Literature: A Psychological Study By William Indick According to Indick, dragons represent rapacious greed. Dragons steal and horde gold and maidens even though they have no practical use for them. In fact elsewhere in chapter 1, we are told Smaug did not appreciate the value of his treasure: "they hardly know a good bit of work from a bad, though they usually have a good notion of the current market value". Wilde's "price of everything and value of nothing" is suggested. Rather Smaug covets these things simply because men (and dwarves?) crave them? 2. Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of the Hobbit By Joseph Pearce Pearce says Smaug is not just hungry but wicked. They defile the undefiled. The struggle against the dragon is not just a struggle against a physical monster, but wickedness itself: something we can encounter in our daily lives. Bilbo chooses to engage in this conflict rather than hide away in his comfortable hobbit hole.