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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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imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 2:29pm

Post #51 of 109 (480 views)
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I like him [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not that fussed his isnt older. I wouldnt be bothered either though if he did look maybe a decade older.

I thought the look of him was really good - would have preferred a longer beard but that is more a minor thing.

i think it is hard to compare him to the book as PJ is making this into a lotr size trilogy and because of that the amount of characterisation Thorin will get will be much more than in the book.

I dont view Thorin in the book to be a jerk as many here do though and i have always liked his character and felt really sad as a little boy when i read that he had died.

For me though the extra characterisation does help in getting one to know him better and i do feel by the time we get to TABA my feelings about what happens to him will be the same as in the book, but only heightened.

I knew he was a great actor and i think he acts very well, there are moments i dont like such as his cliched speech at the end but i dont think that is RA fault and i can see why they did it so the film could have a happy ending and set up the story for betrayal of thorin by bilbo later on.

As someone said on this thread - he is pretty much this movies Boromir. I also happen to think they are the two best actors - so far no one has been better than Sean Bean in my eyes but Richard Armitage is very close (as are a load of other actors/actresses).

Overall there are quite a few things i dont like about the film, but almost all of it is not to do with RA or his character.


Elessar
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 2:39pm

Post #52 of 109 (469 views)
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I liked him better [In reply to] Can't Post

1. No, I think he was fine age wise.
2. I do think RA did a fantastic job of playing the character and making him feel like he was kingly. He also felt like he was a warrior that was run down a bit by life but still also had some energy left in the tank.
3. I actually think movie Thorin is much nicer so far than book Thorin. Book Thorin I think is a bit of a jerk from start to finish and at least in the movie he shows he's not a total jerk.



Kimtc
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 3:03pm

Post #53 of 109 (485 views)
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This is a very interesting observation. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never really thought of it this way. I really loved the character and kept going back to see him. But I guess I never really did think "oh yeah, and he's a dwarf." Upon reflection, I think I saw him as something oddly in-between.


In Reply To
a good character, but hes not a dwarf.



imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 3:08pm

Post #54 of 109 (468 views)
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Me to [In reply to] Can't Post

Though i don't really know if that matters anymore.

Tolkien's elves especially first age elves were like humans, just better in almost all respects - though still close to human in they could do evil things/bad things, make stupid decisions etc.

With the film i think its ok to have him be basically a short human in look and personality as i always viewed the dwarves as stocky bearded short people as opposed to some weird looking humanoid creatures who were short.

Certain characters fit my mental image of what a dwarf looks like more than others - kili is a ranger and balin is a dwarf - but now i have seen the film i dont think it matters too much to me that i dont see some of them as dwarves.


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 3:41pm

Post #55 of 109 (472 views)
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one of the things I love about these dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Though i don't really know if that matters anymore.

Tolkien's elves especially first age elves were like humans, just better in almost all respects - though still close to human in they could do evil things/bad things, make stupid decisions etc.

With the film i think its ok to have him be basically a short human in look and personality as i always viewed the dwarves as stocky bearded short people as opposed to some weird looking humanoid creatures who were short.

Certain characters fit my mental image of what a dwarf looks like more than others - kili is a ranger and balin is a dwarf - but now i have seen the film i dont think it matters too much to me that i dont see some of them as dwarves.



is how PJ has broken them out of their "short, stocky, bearded, fat" stereotype. They are all individuals and are all of different builds and appearances, even though they are all of the same race. Just like people. Imagine that!

And seeing the movie for the last time it's playing here in 3D HFR (sigh), I was once again struck by how Thorin most often deferred to Gandalf, such as admitting Bilbo to the join the Company in the first place, to letting Gandalf lead them (even though he suspected they were being led to Rivendell), to giving Elrond the map, even against the protestations of his advisor Balin. He had some faith and trust in Gandalf from the outset, for reasons we don't particulary see in this movie.

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


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 3:47pm

Post #56 of 109 (461 views)
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They are all short and stocky [In reply to] Can't Post

Edit: apart from Ori's neck, lol and Kili who like i said looks like a ranger.

Just because they are all short - doesnt mean they all have to be the same height - the hobbits were roughly the same height and weight yet i didnt hear people saying how they looked identical or anything.


(This post was edited by imin on Feb 1 2013, 3:50pm)


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 3:58pm

Post #57 of 109 (437 views)
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yes you're right [In reply to] Can't Post

 But I think for a lot of the general public who may not be familiar with Tolkien's works, there is an image that dwarves are physically of a certain type, as reinforced by Gimli's appearance in the LOTR films. So I still applaud PJ for having the courage and the imagination to go against stereotype with dwarves like Thorin and Kili.

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


imin
Valinor


Feb 1 2013, 4:14pm

Post #58 of 109 (426 views)
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Yeah i would agree with that [In reply to] Can't Post

It was brave to do something different with them, knowing there would be people not happy about it.

To me the fact some look a little different (for me Kili's proportions make him look tall giving me the sense he is a full height human even though he isnt meant to be) but it was more a big deal when just the photos had been released.

When i watch the movie now i am not really bothered by it, though i wouldnt complain if he grew a beard throughout the film, lol.

I think PJ had to do something to make them different as there is 13 of them - i also think when the next two movies come out we will get to know the other dwarves a little more e.g. Bombur in Mirkwood.


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 4:49pm

Post #59 of 109 (414 views)
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atypical [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but I think for a lot of the general public who may not be familiar with Tolkien's works, there is an image that dwarves are physically of a certain type, as reinforced by Gimli's appearance in the LOTR films. So I still applaud PJ for having the courage and the imagination to go against stereotype with dwarves like Thorin and Kili.


i think we forget sometimes that tolkien basically invented the modern view of what these creatures look like. all the cliched dwarves wes see in films , games, comics etc are rip offs of the ones tolkine invented. the same with elves, even that word is a tolkien invention. you might say it was breaking sterotype, but infact its more in keeping to go with the typical look. because it was original when tolkien invented it.

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

(This post was edited by jimmyfenn on Feb 1 2013, 4:52pm)


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 4:51pm

Post #60 of 109 (407 views)
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Good point [In reply to] Can't Post

About young and pretty vs. aged and experienced.

However, we already have a sage in the group: Gandalf. He's not bad with a sword, either.


cartermoulton
Bree


Feb 1 2013, 4:53pm

Post #61 of 109 (407 views)
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on thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

he really needed to be older. look at him; look at balin. tolkien wanted him to be an older character. he looks way too much like aragorn. he looks like a man, not a dwarf. (as does kili, who i'll excuse because of his youth).

i really do not like his costume design (especially the fur hanging down his front). i understand that a younger thorin reduces the disbelief about the quest to reclaim erebor, but in tolkien's book, it really isn't about erebor. it's about gold. yes it's important to the dwarves, but most of the dialogue in the novel deals with the treasures in the mountain. when you add in his participation in the stretched azog subplot, i can say now, that without a doubt, thorin is the biggest character letdown in the film—a poorer execution than even, say, azog. a real let down.

cineaesthetic, a high-res media blog


(This post was edited by cartermoulton on Feb 1 2013, 4:53pm)


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 4:59pm

Post #62 of 109 (406 views)
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I think this is a good point... [In reply to] Can't Post

People want to talk about clichés, but I think it was a big risk for Jackson to take by making the dwarves unconventional. To me, it really shocked me into thinking "wow, dwarves can be individuals"...which I never really thought so before.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 4:59pm

Post #63 of 109 (404 views)
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Davy Jones' role in the entertainment industry [In reply to] Can't Post

was totally different than what Thorin's role is in these tales.
So let's not compare apples to oranges. And just for the record what Jones did far exceeded the expectation of him and his cute face.

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.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:03pm

Post #64 of 109 (399 views)
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You seem to be implying [In reply to] Can't Post

that because I'm in the minority of the RA lovefest that my take on the character is invalid. I stand behind my opinion fully. Some critics didn't love the film but loved RA's performance? Well, I loved the film but not RA's performance so much.

Pretty conventional take on an unconventional (in this modern day) character if you ask me and I don't like the 'Braveheart' after taste.

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.


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:04pm

Post #65 of 109 (394 views)
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snow white [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
People want to talk about clichés, but I think it was a big risk for Jackson to take by making the dwarves unconventional. To me, it really shocked me into thinking "wow, dwarves can be individuals"...which I never really thought so before.


have you ever seen snow white and the seven dwarves? there pretty individual ;)

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


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:11pm

Post #66 of 109 (404 views)
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I say they're setting him up as Isildur. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure I'm spelling that correctly. Anyway, I think he could avoid being "this movies' X' and being his own character if he were a little more: old, jerky, and selfish like in the book instead of another fallen nobleman. The antagonism between him and Bilbo plays a big part in why many people don't care for him in the books. And I didn't really get a sense of that in the film at all. And that's just the character Tolkien wrote, so any complaints should be addressed to the author or his heir.

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.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:12pm

Post #67 of 109 (377 views)
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I can't name all of snow whites 7 dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

but I can name all of Tolkien's.

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.


lindorian
The Shire

Feb 1 2013, 5:13pm

Post #68 of 109 (408 views)
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Better than the book [In reply to] Can't Post

I always found Thorin to be a pompous ass in the book, a foolish creature with an overinflated sense of his own ability to lead. I didn't shed a tear when he died. Rereading it recently only confirmed this view. Movie Thorin is already ripping my heart out. He has the arrogance of the book but by writing the exchange between him and Balin in Bagend, Boyens set up that this is a would-be king burdened by his heritage. His fear of not living up to what is expected of him shades the arrogance with vulnerablity. His hubris will ultimately bring about his end.

Armitage is able to use his eyes magnificently making this far from a cardboard character as he was in the book. I suspect as we see him go down a dark path far from his noble intentions, he will break our hearts.


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:17pm

Post #69 of 109 (386 views)
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better than the book? [In reply to] Can't Post

surely the pompus book thorin is better, sure you wont be swooning over him but it makes more sense being a king after lots of gold!! and all this adds up too his eventual downfall and final redemption through bilbo!. perfect! i think the books just fine.

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

(This post was edited by jimmyfenn on Feb 1 2013, 5:19pm)


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:18pm

Post #70 of 109 (379 views)
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In all honesty [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's the other way around: I applaud his willingness to make the other dwarves individuals and chuckle at his deferment to Philipa Boyens of making some hot dwarves-esp when the hot ones just happen to be 'the main three'. That's actually kind of a sellout.

But again, I'm not disgusted by it. Just disappointed because PJ showed what he was capable of with the other dwarves then when it comes to Thorin and Kili (I think Fili is fine) it just stands out as a concession for the teen mags. Just takes me out of the movie when I see them on scren, but as another poster noted I appear to be the only one on these boards that sees that, therefore it's invalid.

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.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:20pm

Post #71 of 109 (364 views)
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We can have more than one elder statesman [In reply to] Can't Post

heck isn't that what those silly 'Expendables' films are all about?

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.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:26pm

Post #72 of 109 (367 views)
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The other dwarves are unconventional [In reply to] Can't Post

Esp. Bifur with the axe in the head.
Thorin is standard hot, leadership teen mag fare who's company are all fawning over him in the film.

I think we have a different definition of conventional. Everyone's complaining about book Thorin. No one wants to admit that he was basically greedy. That doesn't fit the modern day, hero archetype. Tolkien wrote a deeply flawed (and realistic) character. The filmmakers have glossed over this (so far) and made it sugar coated and easier to swallow for today's audience. I lament that they had the chance to bring a thought provoking character to the mainstream but copped out.

However there are still 2 movies to go, so I'll reserve final judgement until then.

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, 5:27pm)


nycwine
Registered User

Feb 1 2013, 5:38pm

Post #73 of 109 (375 views)
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Better than the book? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Armitage is able to use his eyes magnificently making this far from a cardboard character as he was in the book. I suspect as we see him go down a dark path far from his noble intentions, he will break our hearts.


Yes! It's his eyes that pull you in. And his voice.

I love RA as Thorin, but I have to say that he unbalances the movie. The movie is supposed to be about BILBO not about Thorin. Why do we need so much story about Thorin?

How many people here keep saying they go back to see the movie for Thorin?! That just seems wrong to me.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 5:55pm

Post #74 of 109 (364 views)
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Thorin (book and movie) - jerk? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have found it interesting to consider the many remarks regarding book/movie Thorin being, or not being, a "jerk".(So while I am replying to your thoughtful post, I'm thinking more generally than just your remarks).

I went back and reread the first chapter of the Hobbit yesterday night, thinking about just this question. Simply in terms of the script and RA's performance in the Bag End scene, is Movie Thorin shown as more, or less, of a "jerk?"

Well, we meet Thorin in the book at as he extricates himself from the bottom of the Dwarf-pile that results when Bilbo opens his door. He does not greet Bilbo in the manner of the other Dwarves (he is at no one's service, thank you!) and is described immediately as "haughty". He also blames Bilbo for the pile-up and poor Bilbo must apologize to him many times before he finally stops frowning at him. RA's demeanor as Bilbo opens the door to him is very comparable, that look, and his immediately addressing himself to Gandalf to complain, rather than greeting his host, seems much in line with his presentation in the book (rather than, less "jerk-like"). The movie moment of him asking Bilbo what his preferred weapon is, does not exist in the book. His conclusion, that Bilbo looks more like a grocer and a burglar, is given to Thorin in the movie (but was book!Gloin's, from a later moment in the scene). Thorin in the book displays, at least in his surface behavior, an acceptance of Bilbo's suitability for the position of burglar.

I've not read further (yet), but I am fairly certain from my recollection of multiple previous readings (albeit some 20 years ago most recently) that there is no book moment comparable to his telling Bilbo "you have no place among us" in the aftermath of the Stone Giant scene (short of, obviously, events at the Lonely Mountain which will occur in Movie 3). From which I conclude that, objectively, if Book Thorin is a jerk, so is movie Thorin.

I find this an interesting phenomenon for understanding the difference a film makes. To me in considering this, it seems that Boromir is indeed the right LotR character to think about. By giving us these two characters in movies, played by two talented actors in Sean Bean and Richard Armstrong, we have less left to our imaginations. The added scene of Boromir providing Merry and Pippin with basic training in the use of a sword, for example - it's not in any way inconsistent with the book character that lives in my imagination. But it makes him human, and attractive, in ways which I could have imagined when reading, but didn't. (He was a successful warrior and leader of Men, he must have had charisma and taken care of those under his command to get there, but showing it, makes it harder to miss.) There is also a power to seeing and hearing Bean deliver Boromir's lines about Gondor's need. The book has the words (more or less, I'm too lazy to check) but not enough description to convey the utter sincerity and conviction with which Bean delivers those lines. In Thorin's case, he describes some of his own backstory to Bilbo in his long speech explaining the situation. On an intellectual level, if I had stopped to think about it, I could have deduced that Smaug's coming and the destruction he wrought were of course key, emotional moments in Thorin's life. But the book does not tell me so. Seeing young Thorin barely save himself and Balin from the flames, seeing him stand with the soldiers as the dragon broke in, and watching him flee with all the other Dwarves, makes it impossible to overlook it. And where I have some understanding of the pressure a character may be feeling, and some sympathy for his past and current problems, it makes behaviors I might otherwise view as negative, more understandable.

Personally, I did not find either book or movie Thorin a jerk (at this phase of the story). But I would attribute this to personal taste. As people we have varying levels of tolerance of gruffness/sharpness in characters, so of course we will disagree to some extent on who is, or is not, "a jerk". I find both the movie and book character to have likable features along with this trait. (I just find the movie version far more vivid). So I realize some of our differences are going to come from this. I can understand why someone would say both Thorin's are "jerks" but this has in no way prevented me from falling head over heels for the movie character.


Macfeast
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 5:59pm

Post #75 of 109 (358 views)
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I don't think they risked that much with the unconventional dwarven designs, really. [In reply to] Can't Post

While it's true that some of the dwarven designs are unconventional as far as fantasy goes, this is cinematic storytelling we're dealing with, a branch of storytelling that don't often feature characters with such designs. I believe the biggest risk lies in staying true to the dwarven guidelines, not diverging from them. Which audience is biggest, the one that knows conventional dwarven designs by heart and that would have been caught off-guard by their absence, or the audience that would have been caught off-guard by dwarven designs for characters of great importance in an big-league movie?

Take Thorin, for example. A middle-aged handsome man portraying the primary action hero, that's about one of the most common archetypes in cinematic storytelling. An elderly longbearded man in his last years playing that role? Much less common. Staying closer to the longbearded and elderly visage for a character like Thorin would have been a much bigger risk, because that is not really a proven approach to action heroes, as far as cinematic storytelling goes.
Kíli? Take away the costume, and he's the handsome guy in his early twenties that we've seen so many times before. No risk whatsoever. Portraying him with a decently sized beard would be much more risky, and would really push the limits of what audiences often considers an attractive character.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 1 2013, 6:03pm)

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