J.R.R. Tolkien’s books spawned blockbuster movies, rabid fandom, and improbably, the world’s richest fictional character.
Smaug, an ancient red-golden dragon featured in The Hobbit, is worth $62 billion, the most of any make-believe figure, according to Forbes magazine’s new list of the 15 richest fictional characters.
The magazine estimated Smaug’s net worth based on the current prices for his impressive collection of coins, jewels and antiques. Even better for the mythical beast, thanks to rising commodity prices his fortune jumped 16% from last year.
Rounding out the top 3 of the “Fictional 15″ are the wonderfully named Flintheart Glomgold (diamond magnate and nemesis of Disney’s Scrooge McDuck) and the vampire Carlisle Cullen, patriarch of Twilight’s Cullen family and the and beneficiary of 350 years of compound interest. Their net worth is estimated at $51.9 billion and $36.3 billion, respectively. Also making the list are industrialist and part-time superhero Tony Stark ($9.3 billion), Beverly hillbilly Jed Clampett ($9.8 billion) and Forrest Gump, whose early investment in Apple Computer has helped grow his fortune to $5.7 billion. The aggregate wealth of all the characters comes out to a whopping $209.5 billion.
(LIST: The 2012 TIME 100)
Just as in real life, earning a spot among the rich and famous is no easy task. To qualify, Forbes requires that candidates “be an authored fictional creation, a rule which excludes mythological and folkloric characters,” the website states. “They must star in a specific narrative work or series of works. And they must be known, both within their fictional universe and by their audience, for being rich.”
However, in this case at least, truth beats out fiction: Mexican industrialist Carlos Slim Helu, the world’s richest person in real life according to Forbes‘ other richest person list, boasts a whopping $69 billion fortune. That’s more than Smaug and Forrest Gump put together.
Click here to view the full list.