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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Thorin (book and movie) - jerk?

arithmancer
Gondor

Feb 1 2013, 5:55pm


Views: 291
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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.

Subject User Time
What did you think of the movie Thorin? bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jan 31 2013, 6:57pm
    Surprise...I loved movie Thorin! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jan 31 2013, 7:33pm
        Its true. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jan 31 2013, 8:21pm
    I think the key to movie-Thorin is his voice. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 31 2013, 7:37pm
        Mods up! And... Owain Send a private message to Owain Jan 31 2013, 7:52pm
        Mmmmm... Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Jan 31 2013, 8:51pm
            I had never considered those physical limitations Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jan 31 2013, 9:01pm
                prosthetic effects as well mefansmum Feb 1 2013, 7:21am
    Simple to me... MasterOrc Send a private message to MasterOrc Jan 31 2013, 8:07pm
    A very pleasant suprise! Angharad73 Send a private message to Angharad73 Jan 31 2013, 8:22pm
    I had no preconceived notions as to how he should be portrayed so: florian Send a private message to florian Jan 31 2013, 8:37pm
        Then why did Balin age so much? hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 1:54am
            In the movie Balin is portrayed as being older. florian Send a private message to florian Feb 1 2013, 2:50am
    I liked him actually Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Jan 31 2013, 8:38pm
        Funny Thing IdrilofGondolin Send a private message to IdrilofGondolin Feb 1 2013, 9:58pm
            I know what you mean Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Feb 1 2013, 10:02pm
    Was a bit different than what I imagined. Kimtc Send a private message to Kimtc Jan 31 2013, 8:56pm
    Great acting, great writing, disappointingly short beard. // Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Jan 31 2013, 9:04pm
        As for the age. Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Jan 31 2013, 10:37pm
            Very well said! Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Feb 1 2013, 12:49am
                I thought Armitage was excellent. For me, it was all in the design. // Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Feb 1 2013, 1:59am
                    I didnt sadly Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Feb 1 2013, 3:48am
            But this younger Thorin has much more to lose... Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Feb 1 2013, 1:07am
                Old Thorin could have lived out his last years in peace, but didn't. He went to reclaim the home of his people. Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Feb 1 2013, 2:00am
                I respectfully disagree. hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 2:15am
    Frequently. Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Jan 31 2013, 9:23pm
        He's more than eye candy? hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 1:57am
            Yes, he IS nice to look at ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Feb 1 2013, 2:16pm
                Davy Jones' role in the entertainment industry hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 4:59pm
                You seem to be implying hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:03pm
    spectacular! Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Jan 31 2013, 10:30pm
        Yeah, that's what I *meant* to say! Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Feb 1 2013, 12:57am
        As much as I want to agree with you... hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 2:11am
            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 Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Feb 1 2013, 3:42am
                practical and logical to go younger MistyMountain Send a private message to MistyMountain Feb 1 2013, 3:58am
                    Lets be practical then Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Feb 1 2013, 4:08am
                        He does not wear a costume weighing over 40 pounds.. (20-30 kg).// arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 1 2013, 4:53am
                    John Callen? Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Feb 1 2013, 6:55am
                        Theoden IdrilofGondolin Send a private message to IdrilofGondolin Feb 1 2013, 10:09pm
                Good point Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Feb 1 2013, 4:51pm
                    We can have more than one elder statesman hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:20pm
    thorin the great. andwise Send a private message to andwise Jan 31 2013, 10:33pm
    Thorin was this movie's Boromir, for me entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jan 31 2013, 10:52pm
        Based on the early PR shots, he didn't look hot. Kimtc Send a private message to Kimtc Jan 31 2013, 11:05pm
            yeah in the earlier renditions Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Jan 31 2013, 11:36pm
        That nails it. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Feb 1 2013, 12:10am
    Love him as Thorin! Eowyn3 Send a private message to Eowyn3 Jan 31 2013, 11:42pm
    Spot on!// Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jan 31 2013, 11:48pm
    Guess I should answer my own questions... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Feb 1 2013, 12:12am
    Alas! hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 1:52am
    I was much more pleased with him than I initially expected after first seeing the younger look AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Feb 1 2013, 1:58am
    Movie Thorin Gelir Send a private message to Gelir Feb 1 2013, 3:12am
        I think PJ did tweak Balin's age for the movie florian Send a private message to florian Feb 1 2013, 3:27am
    RE: Thorin Retro315 Send a private message to Retro315 Feb 1 2013, 4:52am
    I love movie Thorin! Súlimë Send a private message to Súlimë Feb 1 2013, 6:56am
    good jimmyfenn Send a private message to jimmyfenn Feb 1 2013, 7:31am
        This is a very interesting observation. Kimtc Send a private message to Kimtc Feb 1 2013, 3:03pm
            Me to imin Send a private message to imin Feb 1 2013, 3:08pm
                one of the things I love about these dwarves Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Feb 1 2013, 3:41pm
                    They are all short and stocky imin Send a private message to imin Feb 1 2013, 3:47pm
                        yes you're right Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Feb 1 2013, 3:58pm
                            Yeah i would agree with that imin Send a private message to imin Feb 1 2013, 4:14pm
                            atypical jimmyfenn Send a private message to jimmyfenn Feb 1 2013, 4:49pm
                                I think this is a good point... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Feb 1 2013, 4:59pm
                                    snow white jimmyfenn Send a private message to jimmyfenn Feb 1 2013, 5:04pm
                                        I can't name all of snow whites 7 dwarves hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:12pm
                                    The other dwarves are unconventional hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:26pm
                                    I don't think they risked that much with the unconventional dwarven designs, really. Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Feb 1 2013, 5:59pm
                                        Very true. hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 9:33pm
                                        agree but.. glor Send a private message to glor Feb 1 2013, 10:56pm
                            In all honesty hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:18pm
    Surprise! I didn't like movie-Thorin much after the first viewing. Alassëa Eruvande Send a private message to Alassëa Eruvande Feb 1 2013, 2:25pm
    I like him imin Send a private message to imin Feb 1 2013, 2:29pm
        I say they're setting him up as Isildur. hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 5:11pm
            Surprised to see you write that arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 1 2013, 6:31pm
                It felt superficial to me hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 9:26pm
                    Just Bilbo? (***Book Spoilers***) arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 2 2013, 3:04am
                        So the relationship in the book makes no sense? hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 2 2013, 5:10am
                            Not exactly arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 4 2013, 3:57pm
        Thorin (book and movie) - jerk? arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 1 2013, 5:55pm
            I think you're spot on with the Boromir-comparison, with added scenes and the like. Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Feb 1 2013, 6:49pm
                Gold was the dwarves' selfish folly hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 9:31pm
                    I wouldnt count out the gold lust moreorless Send a private message to moreorless Feb 2 2013, 6:35am
                        What I meant was hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 2 2013, 6:59am
                            Not sure I really see that... moreorless Send a private message to moreorless Feb 2 2013, 8:16am
                                Better than the book CathrineB Send a private message to CathrineB Feb 2 2013, 9:23am
                                    Wonder how can this be possible Marionette Send a private message to Marionette Feb 2 2013, 7:40pm
        Not alone :) Gelir Send a private message to Gelir Feb 1 2013, 10:13pm
            It´s sadder because he had flaws Marionette Send a private message to Marionette Feb 2 2013, 7:46pm
                I felt completely differently... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Feb 2 2013, 8:34pm
    I liked him better Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Feb 1 2013, 2:39pm
    on thorin cartermoulton Send a private message to cartermoulton Feb 1 2013, 4:53pm
    Better than the book lindorian Send a private message to lindorian Feb 1 2013, 5:13pm
        better than the book? jimmyfenn Send a private message to jimmyfenn Feb 1 2013, 5:17pm
        Better than the book? nycwine Send a private message to nycwine Feb 1 2013, 5:38pm
        Book Thorin was much more complex and realistic hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 9:38pm
            How is book-Thorin complex? bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Feb 1 2013, 10:15pm
                ok fair enough hutch Send a private message to hutch Feb 1 2013, 11:23pm
        Thanks for the no spoiler alert sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Feb 2 2013, 4:31am
    It's all about the eyes Bellerock Send a private message to Bellerock Feb 2 2013, 1:43am
    Thorin Ireth Send a private message to Ireth Feb 2 2013, 11:17am
    Being a fan of book Thorin before all this Marionette Send a private message to Marionette Feb 2 2013, 7:25pm
    I wasn't looking forward to the Hobbit Esmeralda Send a private message to Esmeralda Feb 2 2013, 11:24pm
    I'm in total agreement with Peter Jackson GloryBox Send a private message to GloryBox Feb 3 2013, 7:11am
    Just as Jackson's Boromir grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 3 2013, 8:31pm
        Yup, with ya all the way gramma Old Toby Send a private message to Old Toby Feb 3 2013, 11:14pm
            Me, too! kiwifan Send a private message to kiwifan Feb 4 2013, 7:10pm
                Nor do I think he would want to arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 4 2013, 7:39pm
        You're so right about Boromir and Thorin GloryBox Send a private message to GloryBox Feb 3 2013, 11:45pm

 
 
 

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