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plot hole?
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SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 3:45am

Post #51 of 71 (782 views)
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* (argh, what is it with chrome and linkies anyway?) [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: My liking Armitage as Thorin cred:

See here: Stott and Armitage

Repeated here: I love the choice of Armitage as Thorin

and for good measure also see this post: Prosthetics may not play


sador
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 8:15am

Post #52 of 71 (819 views)
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Three relevant quotes: [In reply to] Can't Post

From Inside Information - Bilbo sees the hoard for the first time:

Quote
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all. There are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. Bilbo had heard tell and sing of dragon-hoards before, but the splendour, the lust, the glory of such treasure had never yet come home to him. His heart was filled and pierced with enchantment and with the desire of dwarves; and he gazed motionless, almost forgetting the frightful guardian, at the gold beyond price and count.



From Not At Home - the Arkenstone:

Quote
...At last he looked down upon it and he caught his breath. The great jewel shone before he feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves, who had dug it from the heart of the mountain long ago, it took all light that fell upon it and-changes it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.
Suddenly Bilbo's arm went towards it drawn by it enchantment. His small hand would not close about it for it was a large and heavy gem; but he lifted it, shut his eyes, and put it in his deepest pocket.
"Now I am a burglar indeed!" thought he. "But I suppose I must tell the dwarves about it-some time. The did say I could pick and choose my own share; and I think I would choose this, if they took all the rest!" All the same he had an uncomfortable feeling that the picking and choosing had not really been meant to include this marvellous gem, and that trouble would yet come of it.


Of course he did not tell them anything.

From The Gathering of the Clouds - Thorin the Greedy:

Quote
...But also he did not reckon with the power that gold has upon which a dragon has long brooded, nor with dwarvish hearts. Long hours in the past days Thorin had spent in the treasury, and the lust of it was heavy on him. Though he had hunted chiefly for the Arkenstone, yet he had an eye for many another wonderful thing that was lying there, about which were wound old memories of the labours and the sorrows of his race.


As I mentioned in my response to ShireHorse, it is clear from several references that Tolkien did intend Thorin to become (at this point - and not before!) fallen because of his pride and his greed. But this is not quite what he had written - this happens after sevral days and not immediately; and is qualified by the curse of gold on which a dragon has brooded (Shippey discusses this theme as well); and by the memories of the labours and sorrows of his race.
And even so, Thorin's actions are still fair and measured. The only time Tolkien says that his judgment was actually clouded because of the 'bewilderment of treasure' is when after being betrayed and blackmailed into declaring he will ransome the Arkenstone for Bilbo's share, he still considers whether together with Dain's army he could recapture it without bargaining for it.

As a last thing, regarding The Hoard - as geordie noted, this poem originated in the 20s, at the time when the Dwarves were viewed by Tolkien as prounncedly evil (if politically often neutral). Even after The Hobbit was published, Tolkien's view of them was softened, but still quite ambivalent, as I've discussed here (questions 8-13, and 16-17).
The heroics of Azaghâl were inspired by Thorin, and not the other way round, if you understand what I mean.


ShireHorse
Rohan

Jan 23 2012, 11:30am

Post #53 of 71 (766 views)
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Thank you, Sir Dennis, [In reply to] Can't Post

for pointing out your opinions on those old threads. I was being a bit touchy - but in a good-natured way, LOL! The discussion here about Thorin/pride/greed has been very interesting and everyone seems to have made a valid point even when they disagree with each other.

The first time I read the book, I was so focussed on Bilbo and so irritated and unappreciative of the way in which the story climaxed with Smaug's death - and then didn't finish - that I came away with the feeling that Thorin was greedy, prideful and a bit of a pain. Then I had to read it with a class of 40 eleven-year-old boys and they were very upset when Thorin died. Those weren't my ideas about a sympathetic and misunderstood Thorin versus the greed and recalcitrance of the others that I posted above, but theirs. It was this group of lads who made me read those last chapters again and see things differently and that's how I've seen Thorin now for a pretty long time. And that's why I thought that Armitage was a good choice. Like Sean Bean with his Boromir, which I always found a bit more sympathetic than in the book, I think he will have to walk a fine line: if we don't sympathise with him to a certain extent then we won't be upset when he dies. I'm really looking forward to Thorin's portrayal - it's obviously going to be the most contentious one - and I shall try hard not to get upset/annoyed/irritated when these boards argue like billy-o about it when we've seen it on the screen.


ShireHorse
Rohan

Jan 23 2012, 5:13pm

Post #54 of 71 (745 views)
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Those are 3 important quotes, sador, [In reply to] Can't Post

and ones I tend to home in on myself. I think they explain a lot about the situation. And thank you for your thoughtful comments on them. It sometimes seems to me that the Arkenstone is like an Ur-Ring. It has the power to create an obsession in those that gaze on it and it affects the way that people behave. Blbo is initially persuaded to steal it and then finally manages to break free from its power, giving it away to Bard and Thranduil in a situation that he feels might prove helpful.


Curious
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 6:43pm

Post #55 of 71 (725 views)
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I do find it strange that we don't even hear about Dain [In reply to] Can't Post

until the end of the book. He seems tacked on in order to give Thorin some reinforcements. I can accept the explanation that a frontal assault would stand little chance against Smaug, but why wouldn't someone at least mention the dwarves who live in the neighborhood? And why wouldn't there be any communication with such dwarves?


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 7:23pm

Post #56 of 71 (766 views)
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Yes, I agree, though this line [In reply to] Can't Post

"His heart was filled and pierced with enchantment and with the desire of dwarves" seems to indicate that two forces were at work:

The first I'll grant might be what is called "the dragon sickness." Something, some sort of spell, that can afflict anyone who gazes upon a dragon's hoard.

The second, "the desire of dwarves" seems to be a pre-existing trait belonging to dwarves; not necessarily dependant on the existence of a dragon hoard. Given what else we know from the tale, the condition is likely pride, lust (for gold, though one wonders given that dwarf women are bearded...), and greed rolled into one.

So it would be fair to say that even if it was not Thorin's prime motivation for reclaiming the treasure, as a pre-existing condition, that pride, lust and greed likely played a part. Even before observing the treasure.

However, from sador's observations as well (unless I missed the context) Thorin had already spent time with at least part of the treasure. So either it carried a curse of its own (pre-Smaug), or the desire for it at any cost was endemic to dwarves (ie as any hoard would be)... or both. The fact that it was hoarded before Smaug appeared -- though was added to from neighbouring sources as he did -- is an important point here.

The predisposition towards being greedy may indeed be, as sador also points out, a throw back to Tolkien's earlier (pre-Hobbit) ideas about dwarves, but that he ultimately intended to discard. (A notion I was only just made aware of here, thank you sador.)

Still, I am reminded of the point dormouse has been making about the key descriptor "hoarded." The word does not simply imply the act of amassing a great treasure, but also implies that it is not shared or otherwise used to anyone's (including the hoarder's) benefit. Therefore greed, more so than pride even, is what Thorin laments in his final moments.

Be that as it may, despite his many faults, ultimately I do not see Thorin as someone who is beyond redemption. Nor do I believe that he is much different (except in the details) from any other of Tolkien's complex characters, all who exhibit faults of their own. I guess the extent to which their flaws lead to their downfall (or not!) is something to be kept in mind while reading Tolkien.

And yes, to your other recent post, this has been a robust discussion! I'm quite enjoying it and learning a lot in the process... thank you to isaac and all who have participated.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jan 23 2012, 7:26pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven

Jan 23 2012, 7:50pm

Post #57 of 71 (763 views)
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Anger against the Iron Hills colony? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
until the end of the book. He seems tacked on in order to give Thorin some reinforcements. I can accept the explanation that a frontal assault would stand little chance against Smaug, but why wouldn't someone at least mention the dwarves who live in the neighborhood? And why wouldn't there be any communication with such dwarves?



I imagine that communications broke down between the Blue Mountain Dwarves and the Iron Hills colony following Smaug's occupation of Erebor. The two groups are too far apart to send messages by raven-gram and the closest thing to regular mail would probably be to send letters, packages and freight by trader caravan. I wonder if there were also anger issues involved. The Lonely Mountain refugees might have resented the fact that the Iron Mountain Dwarves had not rallied together to attempt to slay Smaug and restore Thror to the throne. Perhaps this answers the question of why many of Thorin's folk migrated to the much more distant Blue Mountains following the Dragon's attack, and not to the Iron Hills.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 23 2012, 8:05pm

Post #58 of 71 (718 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

One wonders if there were a bit of bad blood between brothers Thrór and Grór over the kingship. Much like I suspect with Dain and Balin, I think one might have come to the other's aid if asked, but the other was just too stiff-necked to ask.

******************************************
"Oh, Gandalf, Gandalf, you fool! Can’t you see how I feel?"
"Yeah, I see. I see our troubles don’t amount to a hill of beans. You belong with Celeborn. And I need to go find the only one who can save us."



Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 23 2012, 10:03pm

Post #59 of 71 (713 views)
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thank you too Sir Dennis C and the rest [In reply to] Can't Post

I was about to put some where some kind of congratulation to you all of how i enjoy joining a discussion and when a post gets crazy of a lot and unexpected civilized discussion, i thank you all the amount of english i´m leargning and the good moments i spend here

thanks folks!Smile


Curious
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 11:05pm

Post #60 of 71 (720 views)
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Oh, it can be rationalized. [In reply to] Can't Post

But it's interesting to me that the subject of Dain and his dwarves doesn't even arise during any of the planning at Bilbo's house, Rivendell, Beorn's house, or Laketown. It's as if they don't exist until Smaug is dead and the Lonely Mountain is under siege. Then, "Oh yeah, Dain!"


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 23 2012, 11:29pm

Post #61 of 71 (715 views)
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Hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

so where does this idea that Gandalf talked Thorin out of taking larger numbers come from I wonder?

wait, I think someone covered that above...


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 23 2012, 11:33pm

Post #62 of 71 (682 views)
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i´m with you here [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds a little bit strange, but i am not saying that there isn´t a very good explanation


sador
Half-elven


Jan 24 2012, 8:42am

Post #63 of 71 (732 views)
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We do; but without a name, and it doesn't amount to much: [In reply to] Can't Post


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"We were on a journey to visit our relatives, our nephews and nieces, and first, second, and third cousins, and the other descendants of our grandfathers, who live on the East side of these truly hospitable mountains," said Thorin, not quite knowing what to say all at once in a moment, when obviously the exact truth would not do at all.

- Over Hill and Under Hill.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Jan 24 2012, 8:46am

Post #64 of 71 (694 views)
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I once made [In reply to] Can't Post

A perfectly innocent suggestion that in the movie they could replace the Arkenstone with the Durin Ring and I was totally blown out of the water. I couldn't find a single person to agree with me! PirateSmile Still to be fair, it probably wasn't such a good idea!


sador
Half-elven


Jan 24 2012, 8:51am

Post #65 of 71 (691 views)
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Yes! But a bit is missing [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Blbo is initially persuaded to steal it and then finally manages to break free from its power, giving it away to Bard and Thranduil in a situation that he feels might prove helpful.


Of course this is a tremendous moment, and one which makes him able to eventually renounce the Ring.
But in itself, it might be just a case of cold calculation - caught between two armies at war, far from home and help, with no idea how to return to either - it might be the logical thing for Bilbo to steal the Arkenstone, sneak out and use it to bargain with Bard.
Bilbo's finest moment, which reveals the true generous motive of his deed, is his returning back to the Mountain, out of a sense of responsibility and of loyalty to Bombur.


Curious
Half-elven


Jan 24 2012, 1:52pm

Post #66 of 71 (703 views)
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That doesn't even sound like the truth. [In reply to] Can't Post

The east side of the mountains sounds like the east side of the Misty Mountains, not a short march from the Lonely Mountain. And he is obviously lying about the hospitable mountains.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 24 2012, 3:09pm

Post #67 of 71 (680 views)
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Sure. [In reply to] Can't Post

We can also assume than Dain was Thorin's next-of-kin, which means that any nephews or first cousins of his are fictitious.
I was just pointing out the one case in which his second cousin east of the Misty Mountains was mentioned. Smile


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Jan 24 2012, 4:18pm

Post #68 of 71 (702 views)
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i feel that could replace the presence of TORN [In reply to] Can't Post

Many people would be confused about if the arkenstone has a similar power like the one ring, a feel the BIG diferene here is that the problem in LOTR was the jewel itself, in the hobbit is not the jewell it´s greed

Its not necessary to be a ring of power instead of arkenstone, because if that would be the case if the arkenstone would be a silmaril i would understood more the elves being there to reclaim it

this is a very intrincate debate, i feel the ring is what awakes greedy and dark side on the characters, and the arkenstone is just a jewell, the feelings on Bilbo when he sees the treasure, for me, are just lust for shynny things, but hobbits have no lo ve for things that shine but fot things that grow, dwarves do


TFP
Rivendell


Jan 31 2012, 1:19pm

Post #69 of 71 (640 views)
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Objectives of the quest [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But it's interesting to me that the subject of Dain and his dwarves doesn't even arise during any of the planning at Bilbo's house, Rivendell, Beorn's house, or Laketown. It's as if they don't exist until Smaug is dead and the Lonely Mountain is under siege. Then, "Oh yeah, Dain!"



Yeah, I mean it's a children's book, isn't it.

Nothing in the Hobbit is as implausible as the misty mountains goblins immediately recognising 'biter and beater' given how old [even if their full 6,000+ year age hadn't been fully plotted out at the time of writing] and largely unremarkable in appearance they are.

As a plot device, to tell you something about the history & characters of the dwarves, in a children's book, the dwarves' lack of concrete plan about what they'll do once they reach the mountain works very well. Whether it could be considered a 'plot hole' or not, well, it's a matter of opinion really.


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 2 2012, 12:45am

Post #70 of 71 (658 views)
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In re-reading Two Towers [In reply to] Can't Post

I noticed that the Three Hunters come across a 'heavy iron-shod shoe broken on the stones' or some such quote... and cast away by the orcs on their way to Isengard. It bothered me for some bizarre reason.(don't ask) I now have this vision of some poor orc unable to keep up because he only had one shoe. Not exactly a plot hole, but 'shoeless joe orc' could be a legendary character!


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Feb 2 2012, 11:32am

Post #71 of 71 (909 views)
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shoeless joe orc [In reply to] Can't Post

super agree with youTongue

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