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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Company and The Fellowship

The Shire

Jan 31 2013, 4:10pm

Post #1 of 24 (2043 views)
The Company and The Fellowship Can't Post

I enjoyed the Hobbit, though not quite as much as any of the other 3 LotR films and I find that my biggest issue was my lack of interest in Thorin's Company compared to the Fellowship.

I don't know if it's lack of character development or just because I'm basing my opinion of the Company on one movie. But even in 2001 when I saw the first Lord of the Rings I felt more captivated by the Fellowship and invested in their cause.

Anyone else have similar feelings? Or maybe you feel the other way around?


Jan 31 2013, 4:53pm

Post #2 of 24 (1316 views)
Legolas, Gimli and Boromir all get nice character moments at the Council of Elrond [In reply to] Can't Post

Boromir also getting the shards of Narsil scene. It's that kind of thing what makes us invest in the Fellowship more, I suppose.


Jan 31 2013, 5:06pm

Post #3 of 24 (1311 views)
Party at Bag End [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Boromir also getting the shards of Narsil scene. It's that kind of thing what makes us invest in the Fellowship more, I suppose.

That makes me wonder if having most of the dwarves arrive as a large group, detracted from our interest in the characters. Regardless, I suppose that it was still the best thing cinematically.

"Happy painting and God bless, my friend." - Bob Ross


Jan 31 2013, 5:18pm

Post #4 of 24 (1282 views)
Not sure it's a fair comparison... [In reply to] Can't Post

The characters in LotR get much more definition than the characters in the Hobbit get. In the books, most of the dwarves may as well have not even been there for as much time as Tolkien gives them. The same probably would have happened to the Fellowship had Tolkien not broken them up and sent them off on their own adventures. That never happens in the Hobbit, so we are continually focused on only the main characters. I would contend that in the movie FotR, the characters suffer from the same problem as the company in TH- the only difference is that we have seen/read the remaining story, and we get to know the characters much better on their own. It's hard to "unknow" that when you go back and rewatch the first film.

I do believe, however, that Peter Jackson does an excellent job of distinguishing each of them, and the actors do an excellent job of giving each a clear personality. The fact that they can easily be told apart is a huge feat in and of itself. I have a feeling the next two movies will provide some opportunities for the different dwarves to distinguish themselves further. This movie was more about Bilbo, and rightfully so...if the audience doesn't get to know him, then the whole story is sunk.

(This post was edited by bborchar on Jan 31 2013, 5:20pm)


Jan 31 2013, 5:21pm

Post #5 of 24 (1244 views)
I had expectations... [In reply to] Can't Post

of feeling that way, after the investment in LOTR. Its early days but I am finding more and more to love about the Company with each viewing. I don't think one or the other will be necessarily greater in the end. We know the Fellowship so intimately now its hard to imagine ending up that way with the Company, but I get the feeling I might.

I am even enjoying Goblintown more every time I see it because we get glimpses into everyone's fighting styles, in which personality comes through too. And I have always enjoyed PJs handling of reaction shots which is great with so many characters on screen.
If anything I think the Grey Havens will be an even MORE hammering scene because loving Bilbo even more gives it that much more power...and Elrond opening bis arms for his tiny friend after seeing them together in this film? It is already so potent.

So both trilogies will end with lots and lots of tissues in any case.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Jan 31 2013, 5:31pm

Post #6 of 24 (1216 views)
I don't necessarily agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the Hobbit has enough scenes that make me "like" members of the company; Thorin, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin and Bofur are all compelling to me. But you are on to something; part of what makes LOTR such a great trilogy is that you become emotionally attached to their whole gang, not just a handful of members. I think this has to do with "pacing" (maybe this is not the right word).

In LOTR, we are introduced to the Fellowship gradually. We get acquainted with Frodo, Gandalf, and then eventually Sam, Pippin and Merry. There is a decent amount of screen time between the introduction of various characters; Aragorn is introduced to us after we have already become somewhat familiar with the 4 Hobbits.

That's in contrast to the Hobbit, where 13 dwarves bust through Bilbo's door all at once (not literally, but in essence this is what happens). It's not necessarily a problem, and the movie is actually fairly decent at characterizing and developing some of the dwarves that I named above. But it does make it slightly harder to become as emotionally invested in the company when compared to the Fellowship.

For me, it doesn't detract from enjoyment, as I think the Hobbit film is quite good at making Bilbo likeable and relatable, which more than offsets not necessarily having a deep emotional connection to some of the secondary dwarves like Bombur or Nori.

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Jan 31 2013, 5:55pm

Post #7 of 24 (1218 views)
I actually feel closer to the Company than the Fellowship [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it's because I like the dwarves better than the members of the Fellowship, Frodo included. Well, too, we have 13 characters to present here, not just 9. I read that PJ intends to introduce them gradually, not all at once in the first film. So I think we will be getting more individual characteristics of other dwarves as the films progress. I feel very invested in Thorin, Fili, Kili, Bofur and Baliln at this point. Dwalin is pretty well drawn here too, but I just don't relate to the kick-a** type I guess. In the Fellowship there are only several major characters, and they each get their own screen time by way of introduction. That just wouldn't work for 13 dwarves, and the story itself would have had to have been changed radically from the book. So all in all, I don't feel a lack of character development at all here. (And like someone else stated earlier, I'd much rather hang with the dwarves than with the Fellowhip folk!)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

Tol Eressea

Jan 31 2013, 7:34pm

Post #8 of 24 (1152 views)
I think the focus was placed heavily upon... [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin, our main characters. They anchor the movies and will ultimately have the most integral parts to play throughout the entire story arc. So they naturally got the most screen time and are also - subsequently - getting the most praise.

But I think they've given us some fun introductions and hints as to what we can expect in the next 2 acts with the other dwarves... and sometimes not always directly from each characters own mouth.

If anything, I think we have to pay a little more attention to the rest of the dwarves characters... the details are there but a lot more subtle.

I thought Balin and Dwalin were defined pretty well because they are tied closely to Thorin, of whom we have the most back story and motivation of all the Dwarves. To me, the motivations or intentions of the other dwarves, are yet to be discovered. We know they want to go to the Mountain and reclaim the treasure, and that they were the only one's who answered Thorin's call; however, we don't know why.

Tinkers, miners, toymakers... they aren't soldiers/warriors... as Balin put it. I think as the journey continues to progress and they befall more hardships together (without Gandalf) we will see more of who these Dwarves are and what is going on in their individual heads.

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

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

Grey Havens

Jan 31 2013, 8:21pm

Post #9 of 24 (1130 views)
A bit premature still, methinks... [In reply to] Can't Post

as we had three movies to bond with the Fellowship but only have AUJ so far to get to know the Company. Plus, I'm presuming we've all read both books -- we bring our own familiarity with the characters with us when we watch the movies. Since the members of the Fellowship are much better characterized in book-LOTR than are the Company members in book-The Hobbit, we've already got that in our heads when we start to get to know them on screen.

I'll reserve final judgment til after TABA, but at the moment, I find the Company far more interesting and entertaining, on the whole. Maybe it's because we're still in the "getting to know you" phase (especially since there's so much to get to know, given the lack of characterization in the book), whereas with the Fellowship, we already knew them at the start.

I'd love to go on a journey with the Company. Those dwarves know how to throw an impromptu party; they'd always have your back in a fight; they love to eat, drink, and be merry when they have the chance but switch to badass-warrior-mode the second they need to; they're courageous and brave and understand what it's like to lose everything; they've collectively been through so much -- loss of Erebor and all that that entails, their homelessness and having to support themselves in any way they can, no matter how demeaning, the Battle of Azanulbizar, etc. -- that (as a whole) they have a depth of character lacking in the collective Fellowship; and they're all friends-and-relations, which gives them a camaraderie that's not there in the Fellowship. The Fellowship, on the other hand, never throws impromptu parties; half of them might have your back in a fight but the other half would be as likely to stab you accidentally as save you; most of them haven't been through all that much in their lives and so lack that depth that makes them really interesting; and they're all going on their journey with quite different motivations, and not as a (more or less) cohesive group all focused on the same goal. The camaraderie just isn't there in the same delicious degree as in the Company.

So, in short, I'd love to hang with the Dwarves and get to know them better, maybe even have a few Unexpected Adventures with them. The Fellowship? I wouldn't mind spending some time with a few of them, but I'd rather go adventuring with the dwarves any day.


Jan 31 2013, 8:34pm

Post #10 of 24 (1099 views)
whom to hang with.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sometimes I think all that perfection in Fellowship would make me feel like a toothless hobo.

Check out the new Thorin thread.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


Jan 31 2013, 8:44pm

Post #11 of 24 (1091 views)
Difficult to say... [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the Fellowship, all nine of them. They are great characters and the way they interact, form bonds etc. is very well played out. There is a lot of depth to those characters, but even after three movies I sometimes feel that I don't really know some of them that well. Legolas and Gimli are both somewhat more mysterious than some of the others, mainly because the movies do not contain that much information on where they are coming from and their cultures. I do enjoy their rivalry and the way they slowly form a very solid friendship.

With AUJ I actually feel that I am learning more about dwarves, and I find them more easily accessible as characters than some of the Fellowship. They are a fun-loving bunch, but they are also fierce and courageous and surprisingly interesting. I hope that there will be a lot more backstory for some of the now lesser-known dwarves in the two movies to come, because I want to know more about where they are coming from and what really motivates them.

As to the respective causes and aims of either group, the Fellowship's is clearer to me from a moral point-of-view. Theirs is a very clean-cut mission of Good versus Evil. The Company are a bit more ambiguous because, while they may be technically in the right, wanting to reclaim their home and their property, there is also a good bit of avarice in the mix, and their cause is essentially self-serving. My view in that regard may be tainted by what I know will happen in the end, of course, so I reserve my final verdict until after I have seen the thrid movie to see how the individuals play out.

Well, long story short, I love both the Fellowship and the Company, but for different reasons.


Jan 31 2013, 8:59pm

Post #12 of 24 (1091 views)
It could be simply no more... [In reply to] Can't Post

than in the Fellowship we had a company of individuals that had to help Frodo save the world...Legolas = Elvish Prince, Boromir = Captain of Gondor, Aragorn = the future King, Gimli = Dwarf Prince, Gandalf = wizard. All of these individuals were some sort of "great" or soon to be "great" individual of there race or origin. All these characters were proud, strong, and spelled leadership.

In the Hobbit, we have an individual and would be king that wanted what belonged to his family back and was fortunate enough to find a company of dwarves... some loyal, some not so loyal... responded to his plea to help him take back Erebor and a share of its wealth. I think Balin said it well.... We have two more movies to really get to know these dwarves....I feel in the end, each and everyone of them will have a place in our heart.....or in Bombur case our bellies...Wink


Jan 31 2013, 9:12pm

Post #13 of 24 (1084 views)
Right on. [In reply to] Can't Post

If PJ stuck to Tolkien like so many people wished he would, then about 9 of the dwarves would remain indentity-less for the whole trilogy.

So to the people who say "That's so unTolkien" about every minor change, I say "so is giving each Dwarf a personality." Tongue

Davy Jones could've been Bilbo...I mean he was a Brit with a sense for adventure, singing & dancing. And think of the costs it would've save with forced perspective: he was ACTUALLY 5'3. He also hung out with a grumpy tall dude in a hat (Mike Nesmith.) While we're at it let's just have Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as Merry & Pippin.


Jan 31 2013, 9:14pm

Post #14 of 24 (1081 views)
think we have to remember... [In reply to] Can't Post

That in LOTR we had a while of just four hobbits to get to know then during the council of elrond we got to know the other four as we knew gandalf already.after that we had situations where each individual was given a chance to shine and obviously after the breaking of the fellowship we spend more time with the smaller fragments.this is how Tolkien wrote it...in the hobbit the whole company comes together all at once and then its on the road.this is also how Tolkien wrote it.some of the dwarves don't get a great deal to do in the book so I think PJ has done a great job in giving most of them so far some screen time and bond time with the audience.I think they're tops.

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Jan 31 2013, 11:52pm

Post #15 of 24 (1047 views)
Screen Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's also a matter of shared screen time. The Fellowship was smaller and much more distinct. However, I think the way they started to give each dwarf a scene to shine in was nice, and this trend I expect will continue through the next two films. They might have Ori writing more things down; or Bombur's accident and dream dinners stuff; or Nori will do something interesting. It all depends on how much time the main characters take up. Luckily, they really only have Gandalf, Bilbo, and Thorin most of the time. When Gandalf leaves, that exposition time will give Balin or others more time in the journey plot.


Feb 1 2013, 1:31am

Post #16 of 24 (1069 views)
While Legolas is far more enchanting to behold, I found Balin and Bofur to be [In reply to] Can't Post

more endearing in their personalities than anyone in the Fellowship aside from Mckellen's Gandalf, Aragorn and Frodo when he is on Orodruin's side speaking to Sam. Gimli and Legolas are great, but Balin and Bofur have, in their way, more personality.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Feb 1 2013, 7:37am

Post #17 of 24 (963 views)
My feelings [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a strange reaction when I first saw The Hobbit. I totally enjoyed the movie, but something inside me was screaming "Wait... who are all these 13 new people and what are they doing in my Middle Earth!?" I was surprised at myself. After all, I had read the Hobbit. I knew the story. I knew what to expect. But the sudden presence of newcomers into the movie world felt almost like an intrusion.

However, it's not fair to compare. I tried thinking back to the first time I saw Fellowship, and I realized that at that time I felt pretty much the same way. I wasn't THAT connected to the Fellowship characters the first time I saw it. It's the repeated viewings over the years that made them seem like very old friends.

After seeing The Hobbit a couple of times, and having noticed now the little character moments, I have come to like the company more than the Fellowship. I mean, the Fellowship is grand and all, but they are in a way 'symbolic' -- each member is a representative of their race, uniting to fight the ultimate evil. The company is different -- they are something more intimate, and they give off a warm, connected, family feel, which is extremely heart-warming to watch.

The silence after the Dwarves left Bag End was so effective, because after only one evening with the Dwarves, we the audience feel like we want to be part of that lively family too.

I'm waiting for the EE to get more of these wonderful character moments. :)


Feb 1 2013, 11:43am

Post #18 of 24 (945 views)
well put.... [In reply to] Can't Post

And well said.agree with all of that Smile

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Feb 1 2013, 12:11pm

Post #19 of 24 (948 views)
The Fellowship will always resonate more with me [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure if this is because I was 11 when I saw FOTR (i'm 22 now), or if it was really executed better. At the moment, I believe those characters were much more developed than those in AUJ.

3 members of 9 were introduced in the middle of the film, yet I was instantly captivated by them. Every character has a great deal of depth, and they get the screen time to display it. In AUJ, I got the impression that PJ knew 4 characters that needed to be developed properly, and the rest were kind of bland.

If I were him, I would have picked 9 characters to get the audience fully invested in. He was successful at that task before, and I think he could have done it again. Kind of a missed opportunity if you ask me.

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Feb 1 2013, 1:43pm

Post #20 of 24 (957 views)
There are greater number of character moments [In reply to] Can't Post

In LOTR than in AUJ. There is fast paced action but it is balanced with slower more dialogue driven parts which leads one to have a feeling of getting to know them more.

So far we know barely anything about most of the dwarves.

I do think this will change though as the movies progress and some of the dwarves who didnt say or do much will get some time to shine.

I dont think it helps either that there are 15 in the company and 9 in fellowship - that is a big increase so it cant be expected that all would get lots of dialogue or screen time - would ruin the flow of the movie - saying that having a few more scenes like the one between Bilbo and Bofur would have been brilliant - but this is where i think the EE will come into its own as i think if anything was cut it would be the character scenes not the action scenes.


Feb 1 2013, 4:05pm

Post #21 of 24 (938 views)
The number is indeed huge [In reply to] Can't Post

Most people can't keep five or six characters straight. I had many friends that struggled with the number of characters introduced over three films in the LOTR trilogy. This is like 15 people all at once, plus White Council, and orcs and flashback dwarves...


Feb 1 2013, 4:25pm

Post #22 of 24 (910 views)
Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

After she saw AUJ, I asked my mother what she thought of the characters (she had only very recently seen LOTR for the first time), and she said it was somewhat difficult to remember all of the new names, but it helped that the characters were SO different from each other in terms of appearance, speech, and behavior. She liked that only a few were really fleshed out, because then the later films would develop the others.

She is definitely part of the mainstream, in the sense that she has no real knowledge of Middle Earth outside of seeing each film once. THIS is the demographic that PJ was trying to help out, while at the same time throwing little nuances at folks like ourselves here.


Feb 2 2013, 4:50pm

Post #23 of 24 (1063 views)
The Fellowship may be more immediately interesting, but the Company is sure interesting enough [In reply to] Can't Post

It's only to be expected that you should feel more invested in the cause of the Fellowship, given that their stakes are higher and the purpose of their mission is more universal, whereas the motivation of the dwarves is more self-serving. Like others have said, the different members of the Fellowship are also introduced gradually instead of all at once, which gives more time to know and emotionally connect to each member.

Still I felt that I did relate quite strongly to several members of the Company besides Thorin and Bilbo and the film did a good job fleshing out the personality of the various members. Fili and Kili are young, adventurous and more care-free; in several ways they have a similar position to Bilbo, except they are less afraid, perhaps recklessly so. Bofur seems like a wonderful mix of mischief, humour and empathy. Balin shows such strength of character just in his bearing and the way he speaks, I was captivated by him from the first moment and felt that he commanded great respect, but in a quiet way. Dwalin is not the type I like, too hard and tough, but I enjoyed how his attitude made him distinctive. And you have Dori, who clearly has an affinity for Gandalf, waiting on him and looking to him to sort out their troubles, from dragons to the weather, and who also has a younger and quite inexperienced brother in Ori to look after.

Lastly I think On and Bifur's roles are fascinating and I'm wondering what's in store for them in the next film. They both seem to be a little cut off from the rest of the company, especially Bifur. While On clearly commands respect as an old dwarf with some specific skills, I'm curious as to what kind of role Bifur will assume in the company and what kind of emotions we will see from him as their journey progresses and they are getting closer to their goal.

Durin's Folk
The Shire

Feb 4 2013, 5:22pm

Post #24 of 24 (1165 views)
Good Question. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was never a fan of Frodo either. I like Bilbo way better. in Fact I loved The Fellowship of the Ring and An Unexpected Journey. Here's how I rank the movies so far:

1- The Fellowship of the Ring.
2- The Return of the King.
3- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
4- The Two Towers.

Concerning the Fellowship and The Company here's how I rank it :
1- The ORIGINAL Fellowship (including Boromir and Gandalf the GREY)
2- The broken Fellowship of 3 (Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli)
3- Thorin's Company
4- Sam and Frodo

"But a small dark figure that none had observed sprang out of the shadows and gave a hoarse shout: 'Baruk Khazd! Khazd ai-mnu!' An axe swung and swept back. Two Orcs fell headless. The rest fled."


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