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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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Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 12:57am

Post #26 of 109 (831 views)
Yeah, that's what I *meant* to say! [In reply to] Can't Post

I second everything you wrote. Charismatic, yes, that's exactly what Thorin is. He exudes charisma. He's a fierce warrior, the kind of leader that people trust and respect instinctively (though said trust and respect has been very well-earned), and yet he's vulnerable: he's got his soft moments, his affection for those close to him, he can admit he's wrong (okay, not easily, but he's capable of it), and has a fair bit of deeply hidden self-doubt. Love these complexities.

Okay, really, I've got to stop thinking about Thorin and go clean the chicken coop...

Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 1:07am

Post #27 of 109 (842 views)
But this younger Thorin has much more to lose... [In reply to] Can't Post

than if he were old and venerable when he falls in battle. This Thorin could be a wise and noble King Under the Mountain for many years to come; if he were old, he wouldn't have much of his life left ahead of him. Having him younger and in his prime adds more tragedy to his character arc, and will make his death all the more poignant. It's not so tragic when an old king dies in battle: think Theoden, who achieved a noble death and, as it were, went out with a bang. Thorin's death won't be so noble, nor a fitting end for a warrior his age -- it will just be tragic. And Fili's and Kili's deaths, even more so.

So, I think we're getting a much stronger emotional impact with this Thorin than we would have had with an old Thorin. And I think that will make this trilogy all the more compelling.


Feb 1 2013, 1:52am

Post #28 of 109 (797 views)
Alas! [In reply to] Can't Post

As much of a PJ cheerleader as I am, and as much as I get annoyed with people constantly asking PJ about "how much of GdT is left in your film?" I have to say this is the one area where I find my self wondering "What would GdT have done?"

I've no personal beefs with RA, but I'm getting too much 'Braveheart' from him. I'm not catching the nuances that everyone else is talking about.

And while true, Viggo played an 87 year old, he didn't have any others of his race to show context against. Thorin does. Within TH:AUJ Balin has aged considerably...Thorin, not so much. Makes me wonder if he's holding on to the ring of power.

And the prosthetics (lackthereof) annoys me. He looks like RA, with a Rasta wig and a prosthetic nose. I see Hollywood hotness every time he's on screen. Something for the teen mags. It's really distracting. Viggo at least looked rugged and weathered as Aragorn is described in the books; his smile de-aging him considerably (again, like in the books. On a side note I think the teen mags is why PJ ever thought to cast Stuart Townshend in the first place.)

Anyway, I don't hate the portrayal but it is the one that has me wanting...not more, but different. But we still have 2 films to go and I was actually impressed with his end scene in AUJ. It caught me off guard and that cliche worked for once, so there is still hope.

He's a good singer too.

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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:54am

Post #29 of 109 (822 views)
Then why did Balin age so much? [In reply to] Can't Post

But not Thorin?

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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:57am

Post #30 of 109 (836 views)
He's more than eye candy? [In reply to] Can't Post

Could've fooled me based on the posts around here. 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.


Feb 1 2013, 1:58am

Post #31 of 109 (803 views)
I was much more pleased with him than I initially expected after first seeing the younger look [In reply to] Can't Post

they gave him. He was properly noble, self-important, and bearing of gravity. I was generally pleased. He had a commanding presence, and stately bearing. He also came across as an authentic veteran of life.

In Reply To
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.

"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, 1:59am

Post #32 of 109 (816 views)
I thought Armitage was excellent. For me, it was all in the design. // [In reply to] Can't Post



Feb 1 2013, 2:00am

Post #33 of 109 (786 views)
Old Thorin could have lived out his last years in peace, but didn't. He went to reclaim the home of his people. [In reply to] Can't Post

That's quite a noble thing to do, really, and one I think audiences could sympathise with; There have been plenty of past characters who can be summed up as "sacrificed a lot for little personal gain" that audiences have responded well to. All things considered, I think "old king going on his last quest, reclaiming a kingdom that he won't get to rule for long" and "middle-aged king reclaiming a kingdom that he will rule for a long time" evens out quite well, each providing an equal amount of potential for gripping character arcs.
Also, keep in mind that the old Thorin has had 200 years during which to brood over the loss of Erebor, forging fruitless plans and cursing his inability to act. For him to actually succeed in something that he has dreamed of for a lifetime, only to die before actually seeing it...that's pretty darn tragic, any way you spin it.

I do not believe that a younger Thorin automatically becomes a more sympathic and tragic character than an old Thorin; Tragedy is not reserved only for the young.

(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 1 2013, 2:04am)


Feb 1 2013, 2:11am

Post #34 of 109 (798 views)
As much as I want to agree with you... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I think I'm just tired of the cliche. All the dwarves have quirks and idiosyncrasies, but the heir to the throne just happens to be the hot, noble, levelheaded, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I may be bemoaning this too much, but with stories as famous as these PJ and team had the ability to change the perception of characters and archetypes in mainstream entertainment.

The lack of age annoys me, because I think this generation NEEDS to see people of age do something worthwhile. Older people need to be seen as capable, full of wisdom, etc. I'm sorry to say but I think a young Thorin is just reinforcing negative stereotypes of older people. It's ageism. And I'm pretty tired of seeing it. I don't want the writer assuming I can't relate to an older character and that he needs to be the hot young quaterback of the Dwarven team for me to identify or care for his plight.

I will admit that PJ has made both Thorin and Boromir much more sympathetic than in the books, but then again why does every character need to be sympathetic? The Hobbits are sympathetic enough. I quite like the idea of bucking conventional Hollywood exceptions, and Tolkien's stories are ripe for this. Although he wrote some archetypal roles he wrote complex character dynamics. In a company of 14, it's rare that you'd sympathize with each and every individual. (I used to be in the Army, and lord knows, although we were all 'on the same side' and on the same mission doesn't mean we all liked each other.)

Anyway, as much as I hate to admit it, I think GdT was much braver in his casting decision and vision of Thorin. And I think this Thorin is too conventional and taking the easy, pop culture road.

Yes I know Gandalf is old and awesome.

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.

(This post was edited by hutch on Feb 1 2013, 2:12am)


Feb 1 2013, 2:15am

Post #35 of 109 (806 views)
I respectfully disagree. [In reply to] Can't Post


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.

The Shire

Feb 1 2013, 2:50am

Post #36 of 109 (796 views)
In the movie Balin is portrayed as being older. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the prolouge he is clearly considerably older than Thorin. Thorin had darker hair and Balin's was iron gray, not white. (I'm not sure where I read this but Thorin was supposed to be like 24 or something when Smaug took Erebor. Maybe in one of the movie books?) Now Thorin has streaks of gray and Balin has gone completely white. If I am not mistaken at least a 100 years has passed, if not more, since Erebor was lost. So for the purpose of the movie version they seem to me to have aged appropriately.


Feb 1 2013, 3:12am

Post #37 of 109 (781 views)
Movie Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I don't have any issues with his age. I'm not sure if he is supposed to be younger in the movie, or if they just made him look younger but intend for him to be the same age as he is in the book. He could be the same age as in the book (195), and that wouldn't really feel wrong to me. Unless I'm misremembering something, dwarves aren't considered old until they are around 240, and that's when they really start to show signs of aging. So I could see movie Thorin being 195.

Of course that would raise the question as to why Balin looks so old if he is supposed to be younger than Thorin. But it's sort of that way in the book too. Balin is described as being a very old looking dwarf, and I would think that if Thorin was supposed to look that old, it would also have been mentioned in the book. Maybe book Balin just hasn't aged well for one reason or another. We all know people who look much younger or much older than their age. (Maybe movie Balin is simply supposed to be older than Thorin - just the way he talks to Thorin makes it seem as though he is older.)

2. I think his character was done extremely well. I always liked him more in the book than most seem to. I disagreed with some of his decisions (certainly at the end), but never thought of him as a jerk. I liked him even more after reading the LotR appendix. I think movie Thorin really captures the feel of the appendix, and still maintains some of the characteristics from The Hobbit.

The Shire

Feb 1 2013, 3:27am

Post #38 of 109 (744 views)
I think PJ did tweak Balin's age for the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Balin was on the balcony of Erebor with Thorin--he asks something like, "What is it?" and Thorin tells him it's a dragon. Balin had gray hair while Thorin is clearly much younger. I think in one of the companion books it says Balin is older and is something of a statesman type which I took to mean he had been an advisor to Thror at one time. I could be wrong on this.

Tol Eressea

Feb 1 2013, 3:42am

Post #39 of 109 (780 views)
Anyway, as much as I hate to admit it, I think GdT was much braver in his casting decision and vision of Thorin. And I think this Thorin is too conventional and taking the easy, pop culture road [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed Unsure

Brian blessed as Thorin would have been so interesting! Or Ian Mcshane.

And i wholeheartedly agree with your point about old people and proeminent roles in movies. Smile These cliches just make me role my eyes and not to take some things as seriously as they should be taken.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

Tol Eressea

Feb 1 2013, 3:48am

Post #40 of 109 (771 views)
I didnt sadly [In reply to] Can't Post

all his performance did for me was : grave face, grave face, angry face, moody face etc...And i dont have the patience to analyze his subtleties on his performance revealed by the movements of his upper lips or brows, like some RA's fangirls seem to have.Wink

Seemed too onedimensional,too one noted, as if the actor doenst have a lot of range.

I dont know...Mctavish as Dwalin was more convincing and endearing as a character just after one minute of screen time than RA as Thorin with greater screen time. I dont find him very interesting. Some actors just pull you in, and make your interested in them and watching them. Despite RAs impressive singing voice, i am disappointed with the performance.

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

(This post was edited by Lusitano on Feb 1 2013, 3:51am)


Feb 1 2013, 3:58am

Post #41 of 109 (752 views)
practical and logical to go younger [In reply to] Can't Post

 I think the movie makers have to think of the age of their primary actors very carefully. These actors are being asked to do very physical stunts and carry large amounts of weight up and down mountains, etc. The filmmakers have to be sensible and cast someone young enough and fit enough to endure all the hardship. I understand the desire to have an older character being the noble hero but let's be practical here. Look what happened to Richard Harris in the Harry Potter movies. Even if he hadn't died, would he really have been up for the physical stuff in the later films?

Tol Eressea

Feb 1 2013, 4:08am

Post #42 of 109 (736 views)
Lets be practical then [In reply to] Can't Post

Doesnt Gandalf kick a** ?

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

(This post was edited by Lusitano on Feb 1 2013, 4:09am)


Feb 1 2013, 4:52am

Post #43 of 109 (724 views)
RE: Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought Thorin was portrayed well, and Armitage certainly did for him what Sean Bean did for Boromir (complicated him and made him simultaneously sympathetic and slightly more repugnant - it's always brutal when you like a guy and understand why he makes a bad choice). Although perhaps a comparison to Theoden would be more apt - Theoden-in-reverse. But when he barks orders, despite his noble lineage it's not like the easy experience you get from Viggo's Aragorn, who we all just trust and sense knows exactly where he is and what he's doing. Thorin doesn't have that confidence - he's defensive, uncertain and vulnerable, and worse still - susceptible. Susceptible to losing his temper, losing his stamina ("feeling defeated" at the hands of the elves next film) and losing his control over the gold-lust. Viggo portrayed the exact opposite of the tragic figure, he was the triumphant figure. Humble beginnings, gold that doesn't glitter, a rise, not a fall. Thorin's gold glitters, but he's got a heart mined up from the coal mines of Ered Luin. Proper compression could forge a gem, but he's hasty and that + dragon's fire will cause ignition. Don't be hasty.

Design-wise, I wish he had more beard. But my opinion on that gives way to the fact that Armitage had the wherewithall to grow his own, really real beard. I like that compromise. His costume itself is stellar, rich, luxurious, but worn and worked. And sky blue, just like the book said, with silver tassels. Rock on. And while it's not "him", it's part of his character - Orcrist is one of my favorite designs ever from Weta. Making the Goblin Cleaver an actual Cleaver (while still keeping the design traits of Glamdring) was brilliant.

I know the company isn't "dressed for war" so comparing his costume to Gimli's is like comparing an Armani suit to a modern Army set of BDUs. It's striking and I like how dark he is, dark clothes, dark hair - I think that's where the Aragorn comparisons mostly stem from. I'm eager to see what armor would befit him. Since he'll be in full-on "gold mode", I imagine it'll be a hell of a glittering affair. Good funeral garb, too, one would think - the Arkenstone set upon his chest and the light off of Orcrist should be insane looking.

I do think Armitage would've looked fine with lots of gray (or rather, salt & pepper) hair, and not just a token touch of gray. I can dig that dwarves age slowly and his great age is still many years away from frailty. But noble houses in Middle-earth are notoriously for eerily long lifes in the genetics. It's a small matter, but I'd have done more gray were it up to me.

He gets an A minus for design. 'Strictly' very accurate, and the very few cosmetic changes he did get help to think about his character differently and endear him to us.

(This post was edited by Retro315 on Feb 1 2013, 4:53am)

Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 4:53am

Post #44 of 109 (725 views)
He does not wear a costume weighing over 40 pounds.. (20-30 kg).// [In reply to] Can't Post



Feb 1 2013, 6:55am

Post #45 of 109 (697 views)
John Callen? [In reply to] Can't Post

Certainly it's fair to assume that he, as many of the dwarves, might have had stunt-doubles for much of the action, but I distinctly recall some behind-the-scenes-footage, or interview or the like, where someone talks about all the running the actors did for scene 88, basically going "it's a lot of work, but they're pulling through. We even have a 70-year old (John Callen is 67) out there running".

Billy Connoly is 70, but he has made references to his heavy armor, suggesting that he too will get involved in some hardship.

And let's not forget John-Rhys Davies, who was just below 60 during filming, I believe. One of the funniest bits of behind-the-scene-footage from LOTR comes when he tells a story of how something like eight people had to carry his gear up a hill, and how he himself was told to run up a similar cliff after putting on said gear.

The two were far from main characters, obviously, but they show that there are older actors capable of keeping up. Had PJ and team decided to go with someone above 50, then I'm sure there would have been actors out there capable for the task. They wouldn't really need to go over 60, much less closer to 70, either, considering that Ken Stott is 58, yet manages to look quite old as Balin.

Again, I don't think the story needs it, but I'd be interesting to see. I agree very much with hutch, in that we might be due for an old character who manages to be as capable as Thorin, and is not the standard wise mentor (Balin) or someone who relies on magic to pull of his most impressive feats (Gandalf).

(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 1 2013, 7:02am)


Feb 1 2013, 6:56am

Post #46 of 109 (721 views)
I love movie Thorin! [In reply to] Can't Post

1) No. I like it how they made Balin older (and Thrain's man). This adds another layer of dynamics to the relationship between Thorin and the dwarves. Balin's recounting of the battle and his decision to 'follow' this young prince also makes a good realistic bit of their personal history (for the lack of a better word).

I love how old Balin adds such warmth to the company. The conversation between him and Thorin at Bag End is very touching.

2) Yes. Since I have very little regard to book Thorin, anything remotely likeable about the movie Thorin is extremely welcome.
I don't agree how people say he is the Hobbit equivalent of Aragorn. Thorin is actually flawed, and we are going to see more and more of that as the story progresses. However, they have made it so that we are sympathetic to him and his cause. What I really like is how we can see that he is really struggling. He is proud, but he knows that given his current situation, he sometimes cannot afford to be so, and we can see this very subtle internal struggle between pride and reason all the time.
Since I didn't expect much characterization from the movie -- Thorin's portrayal totally blew me away!


Feb 1 2013, 7:21am

Post #47 of 109 (732 views)
prosthetic effects as well [In reply to] Can't Post

It can't be helped in a role of that sort but I think having a prosthetic head that came right down and included false eyebrows, nose and cheeks also meant we did not get as much facial expression as we could without it. Movement of eyebrows and cheek muscles play a big part in our expressions and they were definitely not as flexible as the real thing.

As someone who has seen RA in other things he has very flexible eyebrows and a forehead prone to expression wrinkles and they were almost non existent features with the prosthetics.

Fortunately, his eyes can express a lot without the accompanying facial movement.


Feb 1 2013, 7:31am

Post #48 of 109 (729 views)
good [In reply to] Can't Post

a good character, but hes not a dwarf.

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Feb 1 2013, 2:16pm

Post #49 of 109 (677 views)
Yes, he IS nice to look at [In reply to] Can't Post

and I doubt if Davy Jones would have as many followers if he didn't have a cute face. BUT, RA is more than a good-looking bloke and most people on the net seem to have enjoyed his performance and admired his acting skills. I've read a lot of reviews and even the critics who weren't too thrilled by the film, had a good word to say for his Thorin. The most often-made remark from those who have read the book is that RA's Thorin is better and more satisfying.

I guessed how he would present Thorin before the film came out and I was sort of right. The only difference is that he was better than I thought he would be. If you run through the 1,965 TORn reviews, the average for his performance is running at 4.86 which puts him third, just behind MF and AS and - remarkably - ahead of Sir Ian.

Guess an awful lot of Ringers, of both sexes, like what he is doing with Thorin.

Alassa Eruvande

Feb 1 2013, 2:25pm

Post #50 of 109 (675 views)
Surprise! I didn't like movie-Thorin much after the first viewing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Chalk it up to a movie that is so packed full of stuff, Little Eruvande said it was "over flowing". There was so much going on, I was unable to focus specifically on one character, try as I might. I wanted to pay particular attention to the details of Bag End and the Shire, Bilbo, the trolls, Rivendell, the Goblin King, and so many other things.


I was already smitten with RA and wanted to love Thorin, too. Getting together with you other fangrrls in the Thorin's hair threads, geeky observation threads, etc., helped me to see the nuances of RA's performance. For example, I never noticed the smile he gives Kili in Bag End until someone here mentioned it. That one tiny thing adds so much to the character. These observations plus a couple more viewings of the movie have made me the drooling fangirly mess I am today. It's all the fault of TORn and RA. Mostly RA. Laugh

I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!

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