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plot hole?
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Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 4:33am

Post #26 of 71 (721 views)
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as a king [In reply to] Can't Post

could Thorin attitude be opossed to Aragornīs at least in the films?

yes he wants to come back

maybe the aprty is of that number because of the suicidal(after all Dain comes to Thorinīs aid once the dragon is dead) If it is for his stubbornness, who of you have never tried something looking for the aid of people and nobody understood you? you are riding a dead horse they said

the treasure is great enough not to share it part by part, but actually the dwarves stay on Erebor at the end of the quest, is not a mission to loot the mountain and evryone do with the treasure what they want, except Bilbo, that is a shire folk and is not expected to stay to live on Erebor

Lets talk of the right meaning of Proud here, the dwarves want to recover Erebor,as is honour and tradition are bad wounded by Smaug

And yes SPOILER HERE lets talk of the bad meaning of lust, Thorin at the end repents as Sir Dennis said, what to repent for if lust is portraied as a good thing?

It reminds me of Romeo and Juliet, excess of lust for honour can cost many lives, or somethingTongue


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 22 2012, 7:53am

Post #27 of 71 (721 views)
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I'm not so sure [In reply to] Can't Post

There are proud people who will forego all possibilities of wealth and bounty for the sake of principle. Pride does not, IMO, result from "greed." Think about it. Why are people greedy? Because they want expensive stuff, they want to be comfortable, and they want to outdo their neighbors. Only the last rationale is associated with "pride" and in this case, pride comes first, and greed follows.

Thorin is proud of being a dwarf Lord from Erebor. He is proud of his fathers, and the great works they created under the Mountain. He is proud of the company's success and reaquisition of his fathers' treasure. He is proud of reclaiming the title of King Under the Mountain. So proud is he, that when the men who aided the dwarves arrive to ask for their share of the treasure, he refuses. Is it because he wants expensive stuff, wants to be comfortable, or outdo his neighbors? No. It is because he loves the work of his people overmuch, and will not suffer it to be handled by upstarts and their armies.

That is pride. Greed results from that attitude, not vice versa. So proud, he becomes, that he finally claims all the gold for himself. In this sense, greed is only one sympton of being over-proud. Just as it was for Feanor.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 22 2012, 8:00am

Post #28 of 71 (733 views)
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I'm not bashing [In reply to] Can't Post

Simply clearly stating the far more explicit pagan nature worship vs. Christian theme of Narnia. Yes, Lewis shows an appreciation for nature (and writes about it rather beautifully) but Lewis makes little attempt to show much sympathy for the "old ways." The Christian symbolism is very stark, as is the depiction of the "non-believers."

And Lewis would not have necessarily objected to this characterization. Though he and Tolkien were friends, they had some very sharp disagreements, and Tolkien found Lewis' Narnia world to be far too ham-handed. I suspect Tolkien didn't take to its rather preachy tone, preferring, as he often said, at least the appearance of "history" and applicability to the purposed domination of the author.


dormouse
Half-elven

Jan 22 2012, 8:53am

Post #29 of 71 (746 views)
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No, I don't think so... [In reply to] Can't Post

... 'hoarding' speaks to a larger problem of greed, not pride (though I agree that Thorin is proud and pride is part of his downfall). OED definition of greed 'Intense or inordinate longing, esp. for wealth or food: avarice, covetous desire.' Traditionally this is part of the magic of the dragon's hoard - it fills the onlooker with a desire to possess it (as you brought in the subject of Lewis, think of Eustace and the dragon's hoard). Thorin's possessiveness - his greed - is such that he would rather fight a battle than share, even with the people who helped him when he had nothing. And against that Tolkien sets the Elven King - 'Long will I tarry ere I begin this war for gold' - and Bilbo, who is generous and shares what he has.

I don't think Thorin relates directly to Feanor because Thorin isn't a creator. Feanor delights in the work of his own hands and he knows he'll never repeat it. He's an artist and the Silmarils are his children - his creation. Thorin didn't make the Arkenstone or anything else in the hoard that we know of. He isn't an artist and doesn't have that same personal investment in the treasure; it's pride with him, as you say, and a fierce sense of who he is and what is due to him. The treasure belonged to his ancestors and he wants it back.

Greed may be a more simple theme but I think it does run through Tolkien's work, and not The Hobbit only - after all, wasn't Thingol's kingdom destroyed in a dispute over possession of a necklace? If you can delight in the beauty of your treasure and yet give it away you'll be OK - if you want only to possess your treasure, and hang on to it at all costs, you'll come to grief.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 22 2012, 11:15am

Post #30 of 71 (783 views)
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Dragon-sickness and the bewilderment of gold. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien wrote a poem called 'The Hoard', which is to be found in 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil', 'The Tolkien reader' etc. In this poem a dwarf takes possession of a hoard of elven gold. He grows old, guarding it while not doing anything useful with it, till he is killed by a young dragon 'His bones were ashes in the hot mire'. The dragon in turn ages on his hoard, in fear of thieves. He is ended by a young warrior, who becomes a great king, whose rule becomes unjust as he ages along with the hoard. His enemies kill him and destroy his kingdom; the hoard is lost. It's still there, 'In an old rock, behind doors that none can unlock'.

This poem was preceded by an earlier version published in the 30s, which was itself preceded by quite a different poem published in the 20s, called. 'Iuomonna Golde Galdre Bewunden', which can be found in Douglas Anderson's 'The Annotated Hobbit', pp.335-337. Shippey wrote an extremely illuminating paper on these versions of 'The Hoard', published in his anthology 'Roots and Branches - Selected papers on Tolkien'.

Shippey talks of Thorin's falling under what Tolkien calls 'the dragon sickness' - that is, the same desire for gold that afflicted Smaug, and also the Master of Lake-town. He also says 'Thorin also comes under the 'bewilderment' of the hoard, which betrays him into injustice and almost into treachery...'
(p.342)


(This post was edited by geordie on Jan 22 2012, 11:18am)


ShireHorse
Rohan

Jan 22 2012, 2:19pm

Post #31 of 71 (701 views)
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Actually, I do think of Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

as a "maker" and as a creator. After the Battle of Azanulbizar, his father asks him what he wants to do next and he says he will make his way in the world by going back to being a smith. My image of Thorin as a creator of beautiful things also rests on Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold where he sings with such intensity and admiration for the beautiful things the dwarves are famous for making. Here speaks one who is a "maker" himself. For a few moments, he even manages to get Bilbo going: "the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves." The word "jealous" may be mentioned, but Tolkien also repeats the word "love". Greed doesn't come into it. I think this is one of the best-written passages in the book and definitely the best song. Tolkien seems to be trying hard to explain the deep passion of the creator for beautiful things - and it really gets to Bilbo - and to me, come to that, LOL!

Now, Sir Dennis, was that a dig at me on page one of this thread? Yes, hands up, I am an Armitage fan - and a PJ fan and a Tolkien fan (whom I have loved passionately for 45 years, long before I came across Armitage). No, I don't want him to be made into a "good" person as Thorin; I want him to be complex and I don't want an unfair bias against him that will create a simple scenario that diminishes both Thorin and Tolkien's writing. Armitage is a character actor in a leading man's body, someone who has waited for years for an "elephant man" role where his acting could take priority over his looks. Some of his best roles so far have been of rather unpleasant people - paedophile, drug-dealer, murderer. He must really sigh when he sees yet another newspaper article referring to him as a "hunk" when they mention his part as Thorin. Observers on set have called his acting "multi-layered" so I'm living in hopes of a complex Thorin that will satisfy everyone, including his detractors.


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 3:12pm

Post #32 of 71 (697 views)
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lol [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue


dormouse
Half-elven

Jan 22 2012, 3:53pm

Post #33 of 71 (696 views)
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Well, yes, it's a good point... [In reply to] Can't Post

....the dwarves are certainly makers and artists, but Thorin particularly? I don't know. It isn't Thorin particularly who sings 'Far over the misty mountains' - in fact, we're not told specifically that Thorin is singing at all, though I daresay he is. But all Tolkien says is 'first one dwarf and then another' began to sing, so the 'fierce and jealous love' which Bilbo senses in the song is a dwarvish characteristic, I'd say, not something personal to Thorin - though I agree with you completely that that's a magical piece of writing and it gets to me too.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 5:20pm

Post #34 of 71 (688 views)
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Thorin did. [In reply to] Can't Post

At the end of the chapter, we are told Bilbo heard him singing this just before he fell asleep.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 5:33pm

Post #35 of 71 (729 views)
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Huh? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin is about to reclaim his kingdom, not steal a bit of treasure and head West. And what good of a kingdom would it be with twelve followers? Also, please notice that the first thing he did once Smaug was dead was to send to all dwarves around to come and join him (and as is clear in the impromptu song made by the Dwarves then, this was clearly his intention).

Also, both appendix A to The Lord of the Rings and (more forcefully) The Quest of Erebor say that Thorin did at first plan a militray campaign with a vast alliance involved, but was talked out of it by Gandalf (this is also implied in An Unexpected Party, when Gandalf speaks of himself as coming up with the idea of stealth).

Thorin is only said to be under the bewilderment of treasure after being for some time under siege, long after Bilbo himself falls to it. And he acts no more greedy than Bard or the Elvenking; after all, he defends his own rather than trying to rob others (note how deftly Bard avoids Thorin's question regarding his heirs, had Thorin been found dead).

I agree that in several places it appears that the expedition was a joint venture, with all the Dwarves sharing alike; but this really makes no sense - did any of the thorteen really believe that Thorin would only take the Arkenstone and a bit extra, leaving all the hoard to them?

Thorin's mode of thought is that of a king; and as such, the more followers he has the better. No king would think for a moment like you imply - even a truly greedy one.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 5:35pm

Post #36 of 71 (690 views)
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No. [In reply to] Can't Post

The most that is said is that the dwarves felt that if the Elvenking demands a large portion of it, their own will suffer.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 5:51pm

Post #37 of 71 (684 views)
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While your analysis is right [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien himself, in The Quest of Erebor, says that "pride and greed" got the better of Thorin in the end. We might interpret this as a retrospective oversimplification by Gandalf, I find it hard to think that he does not state the professor's own judgment.

It often happens, in works of art, that a character is written too well for the intentions of the author. I think that if we read the book without the presumption that Bilbo must always have been in the right, or if we bother to try and sympathise with Thorin, we can get to your way of reading; but Tolkien didn't.

Actually, as an excersize - try reading The Fellowship of the Ring without religiously beleiving that whatever Gandalf says is right, and you'll be surprised how much Boromir's character will be improved - how his objections to both Moria and Lorien are fully justified, and that his last going over the edge was a case of despair.
But the fact still remains, that like Boromir, most of Thorin's actions are interpreted in an unfavourable light; and they were seen so by the professor himself. Perhaps apart of their deaths - and while I am not a great fan of deathbed redemptions, there is much to compare the two; and in an odd way, I could somehow say that their deaths saved their people. But that is a matter for a different discussion.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 5:55pm

Post #38 of 71 (716 views)
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I strongly disagree [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I hope that casting heartthrob Armitage will not lead many to see Thorin as one of the good guys, especially against how Tolkien presented him. Realizing his folly on his deathbed is laudable, but it doesn't change the fact that he was a persnickety, greedy, self-centred and prideful codger bent on revenge and satisfying his own vanity for most of the tale. Add prepared to sacrifice others for his own selfish ends and we have quite an admirable character there.


But who knows, perhaps I am a latent Armitage fan, who was biased already three years ago, when we discussed The Hobbit the previous time...


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 22 2012, 6:00pm

Post #39 of 71 (685 views)
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But the question is: [In reply to] Can't Post

What characteristics lead to this greedy desire to hoard the gold? I would say, unequivocally, pride. Thorin is proud of having undertaken a perilous journey across Middle Earth to reclaim his birthright, he is proud of his new self-appointed title as King Under the Mountain, he is proud of having aquired the treasure of his fathers, and he is not about to give any of it up under threat by an army of upstart Lakemen and a gaggle of elves led by the man who sent him and his companions into solitary confinement! To do so – to share his birthright at the point of a sword, would be the ultimate in cowardice and shame, according to Thorin. He feels his very dignity is at stake, and the treasure, in this case, must be protected in order to protect his honor. This is partly why he accuses Bilbo of not understaning “honor.”
Yes, Thorin (and all dwarves) have a love for the work of their hands that often gets out of hand and into the territory of “greed.” But even then, that greed is born of being over-proud of either the crafting, or acquisition, of that treasure.
Greed is a symptom of pride. People want “stuff” because that stuff enhances their reputation among their peers. It enhances their pride, and decreases their shame. And if someone threatens to take it from them by force, their honor is tested. If they flee or give up, they are cowards. If they stand their ground and fight, they are heroes, and their glory will live on in Valhalla (or in this case, wherever it is that Aule stashes them).

Bilbo’s Baggins side represents an alternative to this tragic value system.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 6:03pm

Post #40 of 71 (738 views)
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If you call this a plothole [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you think of the fearful War of Dwarves and Goblins, to which the Dwarves of the Iron Hills came last, nine years after Thror Nain's uncle was killed and six years into the war?
Now that's what I call a plothole.

As I've written in my reply to SirDennis, Thorin did plan a massive alliance, and was talked out of it by Gandalf. Who knows, perhaps the wizard wanted an expedition just large enough to distract Smaug while not raising the Necromancer's alert? After all, that was not the only operation in the East of Wilderland theatre...


And if nothing else, just think of the logistics. A messenger to the Iron Hills would have to pass through the Grey Mountains, or Dol Guldur, of next to Smaug - not a very easy task to accomplish. And how and where would they plan their rendezvous?


Owain
Tol Eressea


Jan 22 2012, 8:51pm

Post #41 of 71 (663 views)
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The Hobbit is the ultimate heist movie. [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 22 2012, 9:17pm

Post #42 of 71 (664 views)
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It is rather [In reply to] Can't Post

Ocean's Fifteen, isn't it?

Honestly, though, PJ wouldn't be amiss if he looked to Steven Soderbergh for lessons on how to handle an ensemble on a mission. Highly differentiated characters helps keep it interesting, for sure, and it seems as if we will certainly get that!

Let's just hope Smaug's lair isn't protected by a web of lasers.


(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Jan 22 2012, 9:18pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 9:50pm

Post #43 of 71 (667 views)
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Disagree with which part? [In reply to] Can't Post

(In reply to Shirehorse as well.)

That I think the choice of Armitage for Thorin is "inspired" is a matter of record (here, repeated here). Therefore we can dispense with any notion that my comment was meant to disparage anyone, least of all him.

Now, if you strongly disagree with my description of Thorin, I shall have to defer to you and re-read The Hobbit: I must have missed or misread something the first few times through. In light of revelations shared in this thread -- about Thorin's pride and the simplicity of greed (as theme or motivation) -- I was planning to anyway.


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 10:03pm

Post #44 of 71 (652 views)
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Thorin and his greed for me-SPOILERS- [In reply to] Can't Post

SPOILER HERE

Perhaps we should hold on the hobbit as a childīs book, if you read it for the first time, you are able to catch the tone, and the final message, that i feel that is very clear in Thorinīs last lines in the book, simple as that(well not so simple)but thatīs it, for me at least, that doesnt give me a bad feeling about Thorin, not at all, his fate and how he finally face it make him such remarkable,his repentance, maybe is more important to give Bilboīs behaviour trough the adventure more value


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 10:09pm

Post #45 of 71 (677 views)
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Fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I did temper my original quick response (back when this thread was still on The Hobbit board) by agreeing the numbers weren't strictly a function of greed, further down the thread. Besides, I was simply responding to the idea that taking so few numbers was a "plot hole."

Thank you for bringing in additional referrences. I doubt Tolkien was concerned about comparative levels of greediness among the principle characters (though readers might be!) Of course this is an UUT beyond knowing he was Roman Catholic. I suspect that to him greed was greed and all majors were covered under Thorin's statement (provided by dormouse): 'If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.'

I like the idea that Thorin is a reflection of the other king that returns in Tolkien's other work.


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 10:18pm

Post #46 of 71 (630 views)
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i didnīt know Thorin did [In reply to] Can't Post

That makes more sense to me, if i put myself into Thorinīs shoes, i would search for all dwarf around to help me, but offering the possibility that if we win the treasure, all dwarves that help me on the mission would be able to live in my regained kingdom, Iīm not going to share the gold, for the gold has been gained not only with my own hand but with the works of generations of dwarves, BUT yes, i will be KING under the mountain, and i am the rightfull heir of the arkenstone, i feel that there is not discussion of that if you are a dwarf

i dont see dwarfs being so selfish among their own people


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 10:22pm

Post #47 of 71 (637 views)
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mission "impossible" [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue


Owain
Tol Eressea


Jan 22 2012, 10:23pm

Post #48 of 71 (621 views)
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Haha! Nice!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 10:27pm

Post #49 of 71 (639 views)
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Perhaps [In reply to] Can't Post

reducing "dragon sickness" to greed is over simplifying the matter after all?

Thank you for sharing your references geordie.


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 22 2012, 10:40pm

Post #50 of 71 (646 views)
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the problem of choose [In reply to] Can't Post

I have the feeling lately that in life we are not able to choose so often as we imagine

i think of Thorin being a wandering dwarf losing most of his folk, having contemplated the glory days he was meant to live as a king, losing it all, even his father,
well thatīs a hard time

Then what could you do? sometimes circumstances are stronger than us, and thatīs our fate (remember Aragorn?), iīm not saying that you canīt fight for leaving your past behind and all that, but once you had fought maybe there is a limit and thats the moment when you become what you meant to be

Thorin could have forgotten Erebor, but then his father dissapears, all his folk is spread around the world, and HE HAS the chance as the rightfull heir to recover it all

Well that reminds me Boromir, so i can read The Hobbit and understand what Tolkien tried to explain, but perhaps even for Tolkien, and behind the main theme of the book,Thorin is still being a good guy capeable of repentance and understanding about what would be better,

So i feel that Thorin like much of us didnīt have many options, perhaps w was meant to go to Erebor, and after all his greed turned out to good, it was the motor, the piece that has to be moved on the set to provoque Smaugīs downfall

But in the book i have no doubt greed is greed for good or bad, and greed, is bad, as i see it

wow pretty deep question


(This post was edited by isaac on Jan 22 2012, 10:46pm)

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