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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Tibboh eht: Noissucsid Eivom: Thranduil's wife and family....: Edit Log

Rowan Greene

Feb 1 2014, 1:40pm

Views: 8779
Thranduil's wife and family....

I actually feel they increase his complexity by not showing his wife or mother. Their sheer absence and the losses he endured are significant to his character evolution, IMO. He's alone for the most part and being alone has shaped his attitude towards the world. I think his complexity comes through in his words, actions, and mannerisms. That's all down to great acting by Lee Pace. (I do wish we had seen more of the father / son dynamic.)

Thranduil suffered a great loss during the Battle of the Last Alliance and that loss is what drives him. He then quite possibly lost his wife, either through death or an injury that resulted in her leaving for the undying lands. So he cherishes his son Legolas--quite possibly his only child--above all. And in doing so, he holds him at arm's length and protects him from the outside world, all to prevent yet more loss. He has insulated himself from the outside world and is alone with these memories that haunt him.

So I don't think they need to show him interacting with his wife or mother to give him a 'softer' side and in fact, I think such interaction would have been at odds with the Thranduil we saw on screen. It would have detracted from his character evolution because we need him to go from cold and haughty to kind and generous in TABA. It's the suffering of the Lake-town residents at Smaug's hand that initially awakens the feelings he has buried so deep. But I'd love for Bilbo to be the catalyst for the significant change of heart he later undergoes--his transformation if you will.

It's Bilbo, our titular hero, who reminds Thranduil what's important in life. And it's Thranduil's actions towards the Lake-towners and prior to the battle that inspire Bilbo to fight with the elves. Plus I like to think that Bilbo, like us, saw the King's true nature buried beneath the despair and fear during his stay in Thranduil's halls. (That's partially why I was so upset they failed to show more of him scampering around looking for an escape route, pilfering food, and observing the elves--namely the feast which is one example of Thranduil trying to do right by his people despite the darkness slowly enveloping their lands.) It's Bilbo's simple nature and honesty that brings this out in Thranduil. We need Thranduil to be perceived as a cold, arrogant, selfish King for this to come across; we need that sharp contrast. Think about it: this strange little creature brings the Arkenstone, this most coveted gem, and presents it to Bard and Thranduil to save Thorin from himself. It's such a selfless act. Bilbo cares nothing for treasure but instead is acting out of friendship and honor. That is epic! Thranduil, the great Elvenking, is taken aback at the integrity and heart in this seemingly insignificant creature. (His dialogue from the book is fitting.)

So in conclusion, I'll have no problem believing Thranduil's kindness towards the Lake-towners and Bilbo as genuine in TABA. Imagine you haven't left your home for many years and when you do, you're confronted with the horrors of a dragon attack and the suffering of many innocents. Imagine the inner turmoil that would cause and how it would impact you--the memories it would invoke. But then you witness such selflessness and kindness from an unlikely creature. That's essentially what happens to Thranduil. Heart

(This post was edited by Rowan Greene on Feb 1 2014, 1:45pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Rowan Greene (Neirol) on Feb 1 2014, 1:44pm
Post edited by Rowan Greene (Neirol) on Feb 1 2014, 1:45pm
Post edited by Rowan Greene (Neirol) on Feb 1 2014, 1:45pm

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