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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What did you think of the movie Thorin?
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bborchar
Rohan


Jan 31 2013, 6:57pm

Post #1 of 109 (2963 views)
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What did you think of the movie Thorin? Can't Post

Yes, I'm going to open the proverbial can of worms, and ask people what they thought of the depiction of Thorin in the movie. I know that this can be a touchy subject, but ALL opinions are welcome here, no matter what you thought.

1. Do you think he should have been older?
2. Do you think the character was done well?
3. Anything else you thought.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 31 2013, 7:33pm

Post #2 of 109 (1402 views)
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Surprise...I loved movie Thorin! [In reply to] Can't Post

(Well, is surprised me, as I did not particularly care about the book character).

1) No, I do not think he should have looked older. After all, Viggo Mortensen played an 87 year old within the same franchise... ;) More seriously, Thorin in the book is introduced as "haughty" and "very important", with little to mark him as old (I would guess grey hair or beard probably gets mentioned at some point, but not so prominently that I can recall *what* point). I can recall no mention of age-related physical frailty for this character anywhere in the book. Thus, it is my opinion that, aside from needing him to be a mature character with presence and authority, I do not see the importance of his being, or appearing to be, any particular age. In my opinion, Richard Armitage's portrayal fits the bill. In particular, from reading the book and meeting the characters that way, I did not get an impression he was older than Balin, and having Balin be a noticeably older Dwarf in the movie was not only not weird, but something I liked. It fit my pre-existing mental image of the character, he was always grandfatherly to me and partly for that reason, my favorite Dwarf (and Thorin...wasn't either).

2) Yes, I think he was done shockingly well. Regarding the characters in the film, I was really looking forward to more Gandalf the Grey with McKellan, more of Andy Serkis as Gollum, and really hoping Freeman could be a Bilbo I could fall for (I had never seen him in anything prior to this film). You know, the characters in the Hobbit that are really impoortant. ;) But for the first 24 hours after seeing this film I was walking around and reminiscing about all of my favorite Thorin scenes rather than being delighted that the movie gave me exactly what I had been hoping for in the characters I had been looking forward to seeing. What I think worked really well was some of the script changes. Specifically, the prologue that introduced him to us before we actually got to "meet" him at Bag End, as a young dwarf in his grandfather's kingdom, during Smaug's attack, and in its aftermath, gave us a succinct (and impactful, and sympathy-arousing) summary of who this character was and what his motivations are. One could retrospectively reconstruct something along these lines for oneself at some point while reading the book or after (but as I was a precocious 6 when I first did, I didn't...and first impressions do matter.) I also liked the way his conflicts with Gandalf and Bilbo were developed (and in the latter case, resolved, in one of my many favorite Thorin scenes.) Armitage was an actor I already liked (I had seen "North and South" on DVD), and he did a great job with this material. I am looking forward to seeing more!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 31 2013, 7:37pm

Post #3 of 109 (1397 views)
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I think the key to movie-Thorin is his voice. [In reply to] Can't Post

RA's choice to lower his register gives Thorin gravitas, pain and anger. I hear so much of Thorin's character in that voice that Thorin's look and actions come second in explaining who Thorin is.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Owain
Tol Eressea


Jan 31 2013, 7:52pm

Post #4 of 109 (1325 views)
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Mods up! And... [In reply to] Can't Post

he does lot with his eyes.

Dreamy as some may say... there's a lot going on in there. Methinks there are layers to this onion, Richard Armitage.

Smile

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

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


MasterOrc
Rivendell


Jan 31 2013, 8:07pm

Post #5 of 109 (1257 views)
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Simple to me... [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved him..he represented most everything I thought he should.....

honor
loyal
brave
determined
destined
courage
leader
King

Already preparing myself mentally for when he departs..Frown


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 31 2013, 8:21pm

Post #6 of 109 (1272 views)
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Its true. [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no text that demands that he be butt-ugly.
I have always believed that since Durin was the greatest Elf friend among the Dwarf Father's perhaps he was the closest shot by in the dark to Iluvatar's ideas for the Children. So maybe that's what PJ is going for in linking the heirs of Durin by way of fairer appearance. And look at the range in Middle Earth humans.....Grima to Eomer? We can allow for variability surely. That said I thought the role is masterfully handled both scriptually and by RA. I've posted before that the soft stuff is well done and adds tremendous depth but I love the essential defiance and stubborn pride they've captured.

Can o' worms for sure here.Smile

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 31 2013, 8:22pm)


Angharad73
Rohan

Jan 31 2013, 8:22pm

Post #7 of 109 (1239 views)
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A very pleasant suprise! [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie Thorin did surprise me in the best possible way. I knew RA can act, but I was not convinced that he could really play Thorin well. Too handsome and un-dwarvish. I thought he would be ok - well, when I saw the movie, I found that he was actually a lot more than ok. He really became Thorin to me. The movie-Thorin embodies everything he possibly should be - there are sadness, determination and courage, stubbornness and also a hint of a darker side. He also displays the proper dignity of an exiled prince and a great deal of pride. He doesn't need to have a long grey beard for that. So, for me, he turned out to be pretty perfect.


florian
The Shire

Jan 31 2013, 8:37pm

Post #8 of 109 (1219 views)
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I had no preconceived notions as to how he should be portrayed so: [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the character's age was fine with me. I mean, dwarves live a long time and age differently than we do so his looking to be in his forties didn't bother me any. I think RA did an excellent job portraying him and made movie-Thorin more sympathetic and relatable and that made the movie better than if they had followed the book and had Thorin be such a jerk.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Jan 31 2013, 8:38pm

Post #9 of 109 (1215 views)
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I liked him actually [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Although I felt that Thorin's character should have been older, I quite liked the fact that Balin was older in the film, as it gave the latter the chance to fill the classic mentor/second-in-command role.

2) I thought he was great: Just the right level of pride and haughtiness balanced with loyalty and sympathy-the hug with Bilbo at the end really helped to improve my sympathy for him. Unsurprisingly Richard Armitage gave a wonderful performance.

3) My only complaint was that I felt he didn't have enough screen time (I don't know why, but I just felt I didn't get to thoroughly know him in the way that I got with Bilbo and Gandalf, and, to a degree, Balin as well.) Hopefully my view will change when the EE comes out.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."



Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 31 2013, 8:51pm

Post #10 of 109 (1249 views)
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Mmmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

Someday I'd like an audio-recording of just his lines in all three movies, so I can close my eyes and listen to him without any other distractions.

Last night I read a really neat interview with him (from December, I think, and translated from French), where he talked about how he'd worked so hard on getting his Thorin-voice just right, but when they put on his prosthetic ears, he couldn't hear himself speak, and it drove him absolutely nuts. He said the make-up people worked really hard on fixing the problem and finally managed to get the fake ears lined up just right with his own ears so that he could hear himself again.


Kimtc
Rohan


Jan 31 2013, 8:56pm

Post #11 of 109 (1179 views)
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Was a bit different than what I imagined. [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought that he was actually too nice. I am sure that this is part of the overall movie character arc they are creating, so when he goes off the rails, it will be in spectacular fashion. But my impression of him when I read the book was that he was, well, a jerk. I also thought he wasn't the most effective leader--everything he did seemed to go wrong. Here he seems very capable (even though he does end up needing saving by others) and kind of gruffly avuncular with everyone. However, this makes him a more pleasant character for me to watch in this movie, so I can't say this is bad.

As for age/looks, no issues there. I may have seen him as older, but I have made it horrifyingly, embarrassingly clear in many other threads that I have absolutely no problem with RA and watching him in this role.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 31 2013, 9:01pm

Post #12 of 109 (1213 views)
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I had never considered those physical limitations [In reply to] Can't Post

and how they could affect a performance.


In Reply To
...when they put on his prosthetic ears, he couldn't hear himself speak, and it drove him absolutely nuts.



It makes sense, though. Thank goodness the makeup people got the ears sorted out so that RA could give the performance he had been working toward!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Macfeast
Rohan


Jan 31 2013, 9:04pm

Post #13 of 109 (1175 views)
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Great acting, great writing, disappointingly short beard. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Jan 31 2013, 9:05pm)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 31 2013, 9:23pm

Post #14 of 109 (1167 views)
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Frequently. [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't made any secret of it: he just blew me away, completely. Book-Thorin was mostly unsympathetic and not terribly interesting, at least until the very end. I had no idea they could do so much with the character on screen.

Taking Ataahua's suggestion a little further, I think the key to movie-Thorin's success is not just his amazing voice, but the entire presentation of the character. Yes, he's fantastic to look at too, but without the incredible acting job by RA, movie-Thorin would be just a bit of eye-candy. Instead, he's so much more. There's so much complexity, captured by RA with incredible subtlety in his facial expressions, body language, eyes, and voice.

I wouldn't have him any other way. His age seems just fine -- after all, dwarves aren't supposed to start looking old until they're around 250, right? He's in his prime, as he ought to be.

I'm really looking forward to seeing more character moments with him, especially between him and the princes. Can't wait for that, and to see how his character continues to develop, through having his meltdown and his ultimate redemption. So much to look forward to!


Old Toby
Gondor


Jan 31 2013, 10:30pm

Post #15 of 109 (1094 views)
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spectacular! [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course for me, RA's Thorin is absolutely marvelous! In the book I couldn't care less about Thorin. Good riddance, actually. But THIS Thorin, now there's another story altogether! From the moment I first saw him at Bilbo's door, I adored him. Not just for his long locks, his handsome face, his deep voice, and his great singing, but for his regal bearing, the expressions in his eyes, his leadership qualities (always looking out for his group, being the first into battle, the last to safety), and the overall sense of nobility I get from him. He's charismatic. He's got a lot of class, and for a fierce warrior, he isn't so macho that he won't admit his mistakes, and has enough intelligence that he sees the sense in what Gandalf says, even though it grates against him.

Why in the world would I want him older? Just because the book Thorin is older? How would being older have made his character better? and how much older? Would you want a dwarf like Balin to be the head of the Company, leading the troops to battle? And about the shorter beard, RA stated that Thorin kept his beard short in honor of those who had theirs singed off by the dragon, and that maybe if and when he became King, he would grow it out long (and tuck it into his belt). I think RA plays Thorin with a good balance of strength and courage mixed with enough stubbornness and vulnerability to make him more of an 'everyman',' rather than a heroic figure who is above reproach.

I guess part of the reason I love RA's Thorin so much is because he shows us a man so different from the jerk that is portrayed in the book. I didn't expect, going in to the movie for the first time, to even like Thorin, let alone adore him! Of course RA has stated that we will grow to hate Thorin. I hope not. I hope he doesn't go so low as to make his final redemption beyond anyone caring. RA also stated that he knows his portrayal won't please everyone, but that he could only be HIS Thorin, and for me, he hit it right on, giving his character all the dimension, depth, and gravitas he deserves.

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


andwise
Rivendell


Jan 31 2013, 10:33pm

Post #16 of 109 (1078 views)
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thorin the great. [In reply to] Can't Post

Genius!! Having RA as thorin was a stroke of the afformentioned! I commented on another post recently how I was bemused at his casting but he is just brilliant,stealing the show really and thats nothing against any of the other cast because they're all great,espesially freeman,mckellan,mctavish,stott and nesbitt. But RA does a job and a half.completely loved him.going to be difficult not crying at the end....

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


Macfeast
Rohan


Jan 31 2013, 10:37pm

Post #17 of 109 (1102 views)
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As for the age. [In reply to] Can't Post

That he was younger, was not something that I thought hurt the movie, or was essential to the story (well, you could make the case that an old Thorin risking so much to win a home for his people, even though he wouldn't live to rule it for long, would be pretty darn noble...but it's not something that makes-or-breaks the story).
To me, it was more of a missed opportunity than anything, a missed opportunity to do something really unique, visually, with the primary action hero of the trilogy (this applies to his shortened beard as well, if not more). How often do we see an elderly character, long white beard and all, being portrayed in film, not as a wise mentor-character (Balin), nor as an outright wizard (Gandalf), but as the primary action hero, the one whose quest pushes the plot forward? By making him younger (and shortbearded), I think they missed an opportunity to create something really unique and iconic, instead ending up reinforcing some common stigmas of cinematic storytelling.
Imagine Gandalf looking like a shortbearded man in his fourties, without a pointy hat; Sure, it wouldn't change the story, but it'd make him a little less iconic a character, visually. That's how I see Thorin, a much less visually unique character than he could have been.

That's my stance on movie-Thorin's age (and the short beard as well). It's not so much the change itself, as it is what the change represents, and the missed opportunity to do something unique and rarely seen in cinematic storytelling.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Jan 31 2013, 10:38pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 31 2013, 10:52pm

Post #18 of 109 (1089 views)
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Thorin was this movie's Boromir, for me [In reply to] Can't Post

in that the movie made the character so much more likeable than he is in the book. Richard Armitage absolutely nailed the character, and deserves a huge amount of credit, but credit also goes to the makeup and costume folks who put together the look, and credit to the screenwriters for creating such a great character.

Boromir was such a pleasant surprise, as was Thorin. I had no problems going in with the Hot Dwarves, but even so I didn't expect to like Thorin as much as I did. Cool


Kimtc
Rohan


Jan 31 2013, 11:05pm

Post #19 of 109 (1069 views)
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Based on the early PR shots, he didn't look hot. [In reply to] Can't Post

More like a Klingon, actually. So I too did not expect to be too interested in him, much less like him. I can say that movie Thorin is one of the primary reasons I keep going back to see it. Maybe the reason. Just like movie Boromir makes FOTR the more interesting of the original trilogy for me (as opposed to the books, where I found Faramir more compelling).

I can't wait to see if I have a similar reaction to other character in the next movies (i.e. Beorn).


In Reply To
Boromir was such a pleasant surprise, as was Thorin. I had no problems going in with the Hot Dwarves, but even so I didn't expect to like Thorin as much as I did. Cool



Old Toby
Gondor


Jan 31 2013, 11:36pm

Post #20 of 109 (1027 views)
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yeah in the earlier renditions [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
More like a Klingon, actually. So I too did not expect to be too interested in him, much less like him. I can say that movie Thorin is one of the primary reasons I keep going back to see it. Maybe the reason. Just like movie Boromir makes FOTR the more interesting of the original trilogy for me (as opposed to the books, where I found Faramir more compelling).

I can't wait to see if I have a similar reaction to other character in the next movies (i.e. Beorn).


In Reply To
Boromir was such a pleasant surprise, as was Thorin. I had no problems going in with the Hot Dwarves, but even so I didn't expect to like Thorin as much as I did. Cool




he had a much larger nose and a much more pronounced eyebrow...very neanderthal. Glad they canned that look!! Oh, and originally he didn't even start out with his own beard.

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


Eowyn3
Rivendell

Jan 31 2013, 11:42pm

Post #21 of 109 (1015 views)
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Love him as Thorin! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Rostron2
Gondor


Jan 31 2013, 11:48pm

Post #22 of 109 (988 views)
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Spot on!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Elizabeth
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 12:10am

Post #23 of 109 (1006 views)
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That nails it. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I think it's a brilliant approach. I'm sure we'll see his bad side as things develop. One reason I dislike the ending of AUJ is that it forced a "sweetness and light" reconciliation between Bilbo and Thorin, which just means they'll have to have a falling-out (and another reconciliation, maybe a couple more times) in future installments.








bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 12:12am

Post #24 of 109 (990 views)
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Guess I should answer my own questions... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I had not read the Hobbit since college, and I decided not to reread it before I saw the movie because I didn't want to form an opinion beforehand. I had forgotten the specifics of the characters (except for Bilbo and Gandalf, of course). Therefore, I had no problem with the way RA looked...even the beard didn't bother me at all. I reread the book the day after I watched it.

2. I think RA really gave a lot of depth to a character that really didn't have much depth in the books. In fact, on rereading the book, I was very much aware that I didn't care for the dwarves very much at all (actually, I was quite annoyed with them). I thought that I was be saddened that there was no Aragorn in this movie, but that was quickly remedied; I couldn't imagine Thorin any other way now.

3. I really look forward to his character arc...in the book, I really wasn't affected at all when he died. I know I will feel very differently watching the movie.


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Feb 1 2013, 12:49am

Post #25 of 109 (992 views)
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Very well said! [In reply to] Can't Post

"To me, it was more of a missed opportunity than anything, a missed opportunity to do something really unique, visually, with the primary action hero of the trilogy (this applies to his shortened beard as well, if not more). How often do we see an elderly character, long white beard and all, being portrayed in film, not as a wise mentor-character (Balin), nor as an outright wizard (Gandalf), but as the primary action hero, the one whose quest pushes the plot forward? By making him younger (and shortbearded), I think they missed an opportunity to create something really unique and iconic, instead ending up reinforcing some common stigmas of cinematic storytelling. "


I thought his performance was somewhat one noted. I was disappointed actually. I think Ian Mcshane, a more experienced and interesting actor, with a resumť that speaks for itself, could have done a much more iconic and unique portrayal of Thorin.

Missed oportunity indeed.


(This post was edited by Lusitano on Feb 1 2013, 12:50am)

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