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The Bow of Bard started its life out as an average longbow, owned by Bard of Esgaroth, who was a descendant of Girion, Lord of Dale.

However, Bard, and his bow, quickly gained fame and a legendary status amongst the Northmen when he slew the fire-breathing dragon Smaug using the weapon with a Black Arrow. Following this event, the Bow of Bard was passed down as an heirloom throughout the royal family of Dale.

It is believed that during coronations it was presented to the new ruler as a sign of accession to the throne. During the 4th Age, the Bow of Bard remained in the City of Dale, even when the House of Girion had disappeared. A hundred or so years later, it would fall into the possession of House Gilnea, the ruling family of Dale, and afterwards it became a symbol of authority given to new kings of Dale.

The Bow of Bard is currently held by King Hope II of Dale.

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