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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
So many Dwarves, so little time...


Mar 24 2010, 9:21am

Post #1 of 11 (1922 views)
So many Dwarves, so little time... Can't Post

Who would you spend screen time developing and why?
My picks:

Oin—Gimly/ Moria(Watcher) connection
Gloin—Gimli connection
Fili-Thorin’s nephew
Kili-same^ (?Maybe only one needs lines?)
Balin-Moria connection
Bombur-Comic relief—I hope he redeems himself at the Battle of 5 armies, if he becomes Chunk from the Goonies.Tongue

And how much development do they really need?

"Something, something, something Darkside. Something, something, something complete."

The Shire

Mar 24 2010, 3:56pm

Post #2 of 11 (421 views)
Balin is my favorite... [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember correctly, in the book there was a sort of contrast between Thorin and Balin, Thorin (although the recognized leader) being more boastful and selfish, and Balin having more heroic qualities. I hope that comes across in the movie. Oin and Gloin also seem pretty important.

Tear Maiden

"To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' "
-Gospel of Matthew, ch. 11 v. 16,17

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Mar 24 2010, 4:09pm

Post #3 of 11 (418 views)
I pretty much agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin goes without saying, (so why did I say it?), along with Gloin, Oin, Fili, Kili, Balin, and Bombur. The rest I'd hope would each get a moment to shine, and bring a distinctive dynamic to the group, but would be very much supporting players.


Mar 24 2010, 8:30pm

Post #4 of 11 (396 views)
By 'write' we should include Ori! [In reply to] Can't Post

Given it's suggested that Ori wrote the final entries in the Book of Marzabul (and, we could infer, that it's his corpse holding the book in the Moria scenes in FOTR) I'd include a small beat for him too to link things. It needn't be much and needn't even be dialogue - perhaps he takes an interest in the moon runes at Rivendell, or is keeping his own diary of the expedition?

I think of his part in the fall of Balin more than I do Oin and the Watcher, but that's just me I guess.

EDIT: Oh, and Fili and Kili defintiely need more than just one line as their deaths are highly significant. I'd tone down the Gloin/Gimli connection to give them more screen-time, to be honest.

(This post was edited by Mortimus on Mar 24 2010, 8:33pm)

Ælfwine Samylfin

Mar 25 2010, 4:03am

Post #5 of 11 (419 views)
I rather expect Fili and Kili to become the Merry and Pippin of The Hobbit films. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the words of Tom Shippey, "For instance, Merry and Pippin are much brattier in the films than they are in the book!" I do hope they don't go overboard on that, but I do expect that they will be shown as youthful (by Dwarf standards) and a bit in the way of bantering pranksters.

Bombur being tremendously fat is made the subject of an enormous (ha!) amount of jokes in the book, and I also don't expect them to ignore that.

Obviously the primary Dwarf that will be developed is Thorin (and the easiest, as he's the only Dwarf of the Company with significantly developed backstory), and next Balin, as likely the wisest and most friendly to Bilbo (and to give some weight to his tomb in Moria). After that, Glóin for the Gimli connection, at least enough to make him and his name memorable.

Óin is never mentioned in the Peter Jackson films, so I doubt they will make anything of the Watcher in the Water connection, as they can't very well prophecy his death by lake-squid. Dwalin, Ori, Nori, Dori, Bifur, and Bofur will all be plausibly fleshed out, I expect, but won't be especially delved into.

"The job of the English Linguistics Department at Oxford University is to fight the English Literature Department!"
-T. A. Shippey, PhD., "Rediscovering Middle-Earth: The Roots of Tolkien's Myth"


Mar 25 2010, 9:11pm

Post #6 of 11 (353 views)
Interesting to see how they'll adapt them... [In reply to] Can't Post

On one hand they are the youngest dwarfs so taking them in the same direction as Merry and Pippin with a closer relationship to Bilbo could be one way but on the other there Thorins cloest relatves who die protecting him. Also I'd say that Bilbo's own character is rather similar to Merry and Pippin, not as "bratty" but clearly much more comic than Frodo.

I suspect that the way they play the Dwaves will be very much based on there relationship to Bilbo. Thorin's lack of faith in him early on may well come across more strongly, espeically if the film ended at Laketown so his endorsing Bilbo became a big climax. Balin's friendliness could also be played up more, perhaps have him give a bit of the exposition of the history of the dwaves while on the quest aswell to prevent the Bagend meeting containing too much.


Mar 26 2010, 5:40am

Post #7 of 11 (697 views)
Heh Fili and Kili are my prime candidates to be the Only Female main characters in the movie! [In reply to] Can't Post

But you're right - Ori can definitely be distinguished by his love of the Scribe's arts - he can be the Nerd Dwarf! Wow, I like him better already! Wink

Come! Tra-la-la-lally!
Come back to the Valley!

Niniel Valinor

Aug 7 2011, 2:31pm

Post #8 of 11 (294 views)
Lets see.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin is obviously the main dwarf so he do go without saying lol.

And since I've had a weakspot for Fili and Kili all along it would break my heart if they're not given much of anything. Afterall considering what happens in the end - to make that more effective you'd need to develope those youngsters too.

Bofur too... because honestly? I love his design and simply by the look of the promo photo he looks more prankster like then Kili (who looks rather pissed lol). Of course it's just one photo so its too little to go by, but I love Bofur nontheless. He looks fun. Bombur is sooooo doomed to fat jokes. It's rather amusing in the book and there's so many of them too XD

Gee I like Ori too, but that's also simply because he looks cool. Munk-dwarf XD

But I hope all of them gets some meat. There's of course so many of them though Crazy

(This post was edited by Niniel Valinor on Aug 7 2011, 2:32pm)


Aug 7 2011, 2:39pm

Post #9 of 11 (313 views)
They'll have time for everybody [In reply to] Can't Post

We're getting two movies and at least four and possibly as much as six hours of screen time, I'm sure there will be time to establish personalities for everybody.

Thorin, Kili, Fili, and Balin might get more screen time than the others, and possibly Bofur simply because James Nesbitt is a pretty well known actor in the UK and I suspect he's going to be doing a lot with his role. But even if we don't get in-depth portrayals, we should at least become acquainted with the distinct personality of each dwarf. It's going to be crucial if PJ wants to keep the non-book readers from becoming completely confused with fifteen characters running around onscreen.


Aug 7 2011, 2:52pm

Post #10 of 11 (318 views)
I'm really hoping [In reply to] Can't Post

that PJ develops Kili and Fili, as there is a lot of potential there that Tolkien didn't realize in the book (which makes sense, because they were relatively minor characters and he had a lot to deal with!).

That they're young, fun-loving, kind to Bilbo, helpful, full of enthusiasm and wonder at life, makes them very appealing characters to audiences. That they disagree with Thorin about what to do with the treasure (they want to share it; Thorin wants to keep it all for the dwarves) suggests youthful rebellion which could be fun to develop over the movies. That they fight beside him anyway speaks about their intense family loyalty, and bravery (especially since early on, they're very clearly outnumbered). And of course, the fact that they both die defending Thorin is very tragic. That they're the ONLY dwarves to die besides Thorin is pretty significant too - sacrificial lambs, so to speak. I hope PJ resists the urge to have more dwarves die in the movie (Rankin Bass killed seven of them, although we don't know which ones die except for Bombur and Thorin. Why they killed Bombur, I have no clue!)

The amazing thing is that PJ has created such a great group of characters who will all have their parts to play in Bilbo's journey. Thorin will provide leadership; Dori, Dwalin, Bifur, Oin and Gloin will be the dwarf muscle, the fierce fighters who will hack their way through the enemy; Ori and Balin will be the 'nice-guy' dwarves who are friendly to Bilbo and helpful, and also the voices of reason when things get wacky; Nori, Bombur, and Bofur will provide much-needed comic relief; and Kili and Fili will be the young shining sort-of naifs who are just loving the journey and wanting to soak it all in (as Bilbo does after a while).

They're all great characters, and the wonderful thing is that when the scriptwriters want to get a certain point across they have the perfect palette of personalities to choose from to make that point. I'd like to see Kili and Fili used to both explain to Bilbo just how stubborn and prideful Thorin can be (and maybe clash with him sometimes), and give him the sort of friendship and support that's going to make their end that much more tragic. I think all of the dwarves will have great, fleshed-out personalities, but I'm guessing that next to Thorin, Kili and Fili will be the characters who get the most development. They have lots of fans already, and there's a lot to work with.


Aug 8 2011, 1:35am

Post #11 of 11 (1265 views)
Besides Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see any reason for the ones most developed in the book not to also be the ones in the film - after Thorin, I'd say Balin(the voice of reason), Fili and Kili(not only Thorin's nephews but also tending to be friendly towards Bilbo and they are with him when he discovers the gate into the mountain) and Dori(Dori was the one who was always carrying Bilbo).

Then Gloin simply because he's Gimli's dad and I can't imagine them not doing something with that and Bofur because he's played by James Nesbitt, I can't see hiring James Nesbitt just to shove in the background most of the time.

That would also I think give at least one "fleshed out" dwarf to each little dwarf grouping. After that I would expect and hope all the other dwarves to at least have a couple of "stand out" scenes and traits.

My personal hope is much the same as sarahb's - which is Fili and Kili in particular--they were always two of the characters I was most interested in the book-- and, in terms of the films, just because it's a potential emotional goldmine and I think they are characters whom, when fleshed out, a lot of people could probably identify with, on both sides of the equation, because it's all about the family dynamic between them and Thorin.

And they die - partly because of Thorin's pride and his unwillingness to bend or see reason(and I'm saying this as someone who only the other day described all the ways in which I think Thorin was not entirely wrong but in those ways he was:), they die defending him(I wonder, given Tolkien fought in WWI if he connected them that - I know back then with the whole "lost generation" and all there was the idea that the youth of Europe was slaughtered in massive numbers in an old men's war). We should know them well before that happens, imo, because it should mean something. We'll have gone through two whole films with them and then, young and full of life, they're going to die.

They weren't very fleshed out in the book(none of the dwarves except Thorin were) and they don't have a lot of dialogue in the book but they are mentioned fairly frequently, they are active characters and the things that are mentioned and described about them make them rather interesting - obviously their youth, because this means they have never been very far from home before, they tend to take many of the difficulties in stride(like the barrels), they seem to be fairly helpful, which is kind of a nice trait in terms of giving them interactions with Bilbo and they also seem to be somewhat open-minded(relatively speaking of course, they are still dwarves:)) and as mentioned before, the big thing is that before the BoFA they do disagree with Thorin's method of handling things even though they do remain by his side.


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