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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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arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 1 2013, 6:31pm

Post #76 of 109 (450 views)
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Surprised to see you write that [In reply to] Can't Post

You did not get a sense of antagonism towards Bilbo from movie Thorin? Movie Thorin says disparaging things about Movie Bilbo on at least four occasions I can think of, none of which he said in the books (by the point at which the movie leaves off, with the Company at the Carrock). And Movie Bilbo is sufficiently affected by this that he considers leaving (another movie addition). To me it seems that if anything the movie plays this up far more (but then resolves it in the end, a scene which also does not occur in that book at this point, but which was also not called for in the book owing to the lack of a build-up of antagonism).


Macfeast
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 6:49pm

Post #77 of 109 (439 views)
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I think you're spot on with the Boromir-comparison, with added scenes and the like. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think movie-Thorin is more sympathetic, not necessarily because he's less of a jerk (because he certainly has his jerk-moments in the film), but because he has a better balance between sympathetic moments and jerk-moments than in the book. The book does not go much into detail when it comes to Smaug's coming (it is brought up as a backdrop to the quest, but Thorin does not linger on it), it does not focus on Thorin wandering and homeless life, it does not depict the tragedy and sorrow of Azanulbizar, and it does not show Thorin's background as a great and heroic warrior. The film, on the other hand, it shows the tragedy of Erebor in great detail, it gives us great glimpses of what Thorin had to endure in exile, it gives us a first-hand look at the tragedy of Azanulbizar, and it vividly depicts Thorin making a name for himself (literally!) as a warrior, and as a king. For me, the increased sympathy for movie-Thorin comes more from an increased emphasis on the things that were there (mentioned in passing in the actual book, or hidden away in appendixes) to balance out his otherwise jerkish behaviour, more so than the changes to the character. PJ and team really hit the right spots with the writing, and found the right things to emphasise, in their efforts to make Thorin a sympathetic character.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 9:26pm

Post #78 of 109 (402 views)
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It felt superficial to me [In reply to] Can't Post

as if they threw a few comments here and there to humor any one that knows book Thorin. I get the sense that the filmmakers are just doing what they want with Thorin's character.

They did this with Faramir-but it made sense. They did have a bind in explaining the ring's effect on everyone and there was no room in the film to make the case for Faramir's exception. So they had to change him up.

That's not the case for Thorin. They really have no reason to make him 'nicer' or more 'relatable'. The one the audience is supposed to relate to is Bilbo.

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, 9:31pm

Post #79 of 109 (399 views)
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Gold was the dwarves' selfish folly [In reply to] Can't Post

which is why they are kind of unsympathetic in the books. As someone else pointed out it was more about the gold than retaking their home (that's more of a 'Braveheart' thing).

So yeah, they did a good job of making Thorin sympathetic. No doubt. My question is 'Is that really the right move? Why must every character be sympathetic? Is Bilbo not enough? Is this Bilbo or Thorin's film?'

There is still time to show that the dwarves' greed toward riches is their own folly. We'll see. But for now I'm not so enthused with 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.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 9:33pm

Post #80 of 109 (389 views)
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Very true. [In reply to] Can't Post

And wouldn't it have been a little more unconventional if the hot dwarf was another member of the company, not the 3 heirs to the throne? Imagine a pretty boy in the group always annoying the older more grizzled leader (Thorin). Ha!

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, 9:35pm)


hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 9:38pm

Post #81 of 109 (400 views)
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Book Thorin was much more complex and realistic [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not a book purist. but saying the pop-culture version of Thorin is better is pretty far out. Seriously.

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.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 9:58pm

Post #82 of 109 (422 views)
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Funny Thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I always pictured Balin as being older than Thorin. And I never pictured Thorin as being old. Their movie depictions were spot on for me.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 1 2013, 10:02pm

Post #83 of 109 (390 views)
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I know what you mean [In reply to] Can't Post

I always imagined Balin as being the oldest of the company too. My personal image of Thorin was a grey-haired balding Dwarf, older than most but younger than Balin (with my idea of Balin being uncannily similar to how he is portrayed in the film).

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

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



IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 10:09pm

Post #84 of 109 (382 views)
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Theoden [In reply to] Can't Post

was supposed to be old and look what we got. His description in TT includes long white braids and those were not a result of Saruman's meddling. I was pretty put out by the "younging up" of Theoden.

But I didn't feel that way about Thorin because, really, what exactly does a young dwarf look like compared to an old dwarf? Let's say, just for the sake of argument that Thorin is pushing 230. He could still have the Bruce WIllis boyish charm and not look his age.


Gelir
Bree

Feb 1 2013, 10:13pm

Post #85 of 109 (364 views)
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Not alone :) [In reply to] Can't Post


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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.

This was my experience exactly. Glad to read that I'm not the only one who felt that way.


Quote
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 think so too. Though I do suspect that Thorin may become more unlikable in the movie than I found him in the book. Even if they do, I can't imagine myself being less sad than I was at the book - I fully expect it will be at least equal, and more likely heightened.


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 10:15pm

Post #86 of 109 (386 views)
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How is book-Thorin complex? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not asking as a comparison between the two, but simply, on his own, the book version of Thorin. I see no complexity in the character, embodying the negative qualities of greed and prejudice to serve as a cautionary tale for children. Even in the book, he is very straightforward about his avarice by saying that the dwarves were now well off, but simply wanted to recover their gold. He, nor any of the other dwarves, are grateful or appreciative of Bilbo's service to them, and he only repents on his deathbed (ie: the book's way of screaming "HEY, MORAL OF THE STORY HERE" very loudly). Therefore, I do not find his character complex at all- his behavior is very predictable and his death unmoving.


glor
Rohan

Feb 1 2013, 10:56pm

Post #87 of 109 (351 views)
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agree but.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Before I start I will clarify my position on RA; It was AUJ that made me notice RA, as actor whom I had been watching on TV for almost a decade and, didn't realise that John Thornton, The Vicar of Dibley's other half and Lucas North amongst others were the same actor, which is a good thing. I though his Thorin was immense and intriguing and Thorin's age/experience came through in his voice, a voice that was able to sing Misty Mountains as Thorin, as if it rumbled out of the mountain itself.


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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.


I totally agree with your point. I think ageism in film, and TV needs to be challenged and there was the potential for The Hobbit to take up this challenge. However, RA was the youngest actor that PJ and co auditioned for the role of Thorin, nor is RA an actor this 45 year old female would consider Hollywood Handsome, his nose is too big and his face too narrow for the conventions of mainstream movie good looks, that doesn't make him unattractive but I would challenge your notion that he is conventionally handsome in a stereotypical Hollywood sense.

As for beards, well I would loved to have seen long elaborate beards,but perhaps because I sat through many a BBC childrens TV shows in the 70s and bad Shakespeare for schools films, long elaborate beards tend to look ridiculously waggly and comical when actors speak. I believe that they had issues with JRDs prosthetic beard (allergies aside) and with intial costume tests for TH, when it came to beards falling off when actors talked, looking daft when movement was involved etc. There may be a good reason why the main 'action' lead dwarves lack substantial beards in TH and it may be the same reason why substantial beards are often omitted from film and TV, they just don't work in a visual medium with actors giving quality performances, they just move in an odd and distracting fashion. It is worth noting that even Gandalf's beard is wispy to avoid this effect and Gandalf the White in ROTK, where Sir Ian gets more action and fighting sequences has a shorter almost Thorin like beard, perhaps to avoid the ridiculous waggle effect?


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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.



May I challenge a stereotype Wink. This woman, along with many others I know find beards attractive, the bigger the better.



hutch
Rohan


Feb 1 2013, 11:23pm

Post #88 of 109 (352 views)
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ok fair enough [In reply to] Can't Post

that's true. But what I meant was in regards to filmmakers needing to make characters within their films 'complex, relatable, etc. etc.' the sketch provided by Tolkien allows for complexity in movie Thorin. The whole quest for Erebor usurping the lust for gold thing takes away from the ability to introduce a new type of main-ish character to a mainstream film: someone on the 'good guy' team with less than noble intentions.

And again, it's too 'Braveheart' for me.

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, 11:27pm)


Bellerock
Rivendell

Feb 2 2013, 1:43am

Post #89 of 109 (348 views)
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It's all about the eyes [In reply to] Can't Post

Certainly RA has a compelling voice, but for me his Thorin is all about the eyes. They express such a range of emotions, from sorrow, to joy, to anger, that I can't help feel some of those things with him. That's much more interesting than book Thorin, who frankly, I find to be a bit of a jerk with no particular depth.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 2 2013, 3:04am

Post #90 of 109 (311 views)
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Just Bilbo? (***Book Spoilers***) [In reply to] Can't Post

In a three-movie series which will likely have a running time of 8 hours or so, why must there be only one relatable character? I don't get it.

Anyway, I think that making Thorin at least somewhat relatable is important for us to be able to fully relate to Bilbo. Where we are heading. I suppose, is this:

"Farewell, King Under the Mountain!" he (Bilbo) said. "This is a bitter adventure if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad I have shared in your perils - that has been more than any Baggins deserves."

Having watched the first movie, I can picture watching Martin Freeman say these lines (or some reasonable facsimile thereof) to Richard Armitage eighteen months from now, and I believe it will be a great moment.

I can't picture Bilbo saying this to the character you describe, it would make no sense.

(I likewise can't picture Bard and the Elven king doing their iconic bits in the funeral for a character that is lacking in any nobility, though that's more book than movie as we've barely seen the latter, and not even seen the former).


(This post was edited by dernwyn on Feb 2 2013, 2:25pm)


sphdle1
Gondor


Feb 2 2013, 4:31am

Post #91 of 109 (298 views)
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Thanks for the no spoiler alert [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never read the book, but now I know what happens to Thorin thanks to you ... did you just describe yourself?

Somtimes it sucks being on forums where people ASSume that everyone else has read the book, when in fact there are some people out there with a form of dislexia that prevents them from enjoying reading, so they look to movies for entertainment, hoping they will get to experience what happens for the first time on the big screen, only to have a Thorin in their side spoil things to come.

Guess there's no room for someone like me to participate in these forums anymore without having major plots points spoiled...


I think it would be great if they changed the plot completely now from the book and surprised us all! One can only dream and hope at this point.

sphdle1

"The last words Albus Dumbledore spoke to the pair of us?
Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him."

(This post was edited by sphdle1 on Feb 2 2013, 4:33am)


hutch
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 5:10am

Post #92 of 109 (295 views)
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So the relationship in the book makes no sense? [In reply to] Can't Post

That quote was from the book in which Bilbo said that to a much less relatable and likable Thorin. So implying that I'm making no sense doesn't make sense (doesn't that make sense?)

Anyway, sure, there should be other relatable characters. But none should eclipse, ya know, The Hobbit.

Anyway, I'm not for making Thorin a total jerk that no-one likes, but his softness should be used sparingly. Only glimpses and sprinkles , not a noble, swell king throughout the whole trilogy. But whatever. What's done is done and the masses seem happy with the movie Thorin.

PJ is concerned about changing the way we see cinema with HFR. But he could've also done that by presenting the masses with a new type of character in a mainstream film.

I still mostly love what he's done and would want no other director.

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 2 2013, 5:12am)


moreorless
Rohan

Feb 2 2013, 6:35am

Post #93 of 109 (272 views)
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I wouldnt count out the gold lust [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
which is why they are kind of unsympathetic in the books. As someone else pointed out it was more about the gold than retaking their home (that's more of a 'Braveheart' thing).

So yeah, they did a good job of making Thorin sympathetic. No doubt. My question is 'Is that really the right move? Why must every character be sympathetic? Is Bilbo not enough? Is this Bilbo or Thorin's film?'

There is still time to show that the dwarves' greed toward riches is their own folly. We'll see. But for now I'm not so enthused with Thorin.



Braveheart is hardly the only film that covers such a theme and really I'd argue Gibsons Wallace is the worst thing about the film, a boring faultless action hero.

I think you maybe a little premature in believing that the Dwaves gold lust won't be an issue, the way Thror's lust was focused on in the prolog suggested to me we may well see more of it in the future.

As far as it being Bilbo's story for me the problem Jackson was always going to have in a version of the Hobbit that covered everything in the book was that there simpley isnt much for the character of Bilbo to get his teeth into pre Mirkwood. He makes the choice to join the party and really besides Gollum he's little more than an observer until that point where as Thorin allows many of the scenes to carry a bit more emotional weight.


hutch
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 6:59am

Post #94 of 109 (272 views)
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What I meant was [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin himself feels much like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I'm seeing Mel in my Middle Earth and I don't like it.

'Lethal Weapon' is still pretty funny though.

Yeah, I'm positive we'll see some gold lust. Did you see Thorin's look in Erebor? Very much like Isildur when he became enthralled by the ring.

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 2 2013, 7:02am)


moreorless
Rohan

Feb 2 2013, 8:16am

Post #95 of 109 (244 views)
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Not sure I really see that... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thorin himself feels much like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I'm seeing Mel in my Middle Earth and I don't like it.

'Lethal Weapon' is still pretty funny though.

Yeah, I'm positive we'll see some gold lust. Did you see Thorin's look in Erebor? Very much like Isildur when he became enthralled by the ring.



The characters have a somewhat similar motivation and screen presense but in terms of depth and interest I find Thorin far superior.

Gibsons Wallace was far too much of a goody two shoes, a cliched(and historically inaccurate) moral peasant fighting the good fight who was never really given any difficult decisions.

Even in AUJ we see Thorin show a much spiker personality holding a grudge agenst the Elves and questioning both Bilbo and Gandalf. Perhaps most importantly though we see the entire basis of his quest questioned, he's not fighting oppression but rather giving up a comfortable life to seek a return to "days of glory".


CathrineB
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 9:23am

Post #96 of 109 (241 views)
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Better than the book [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the movie compliments the book very much in regard of the characters, like the dwarves actually personalities going with the names. In Thorin's case I like him better in the movie than in the book. In the book he wasn't likeable at all. Not to me anyway. I got his point of view, but he was really a douche bag. In the movie he was still harsh and all, but he was much easier to feel sympathy for.
And no I don't think he needed to be older. Also with him still young-ish he has still much left of his life. He's not taking Erebor back just for his men, but also for himself which is understandable enough.

So yes I thought the character was done well. Stern and intimidating, but squeezed in there you would see a soft and kind side often reserved for those of his family and his lifelong friends and that is what the book Thorin didn't give.



Ireth
The Shire


Feb 2 2013, 11:17am

Post #97 of 109 (289 views)
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Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I had thought he should have been older at first, but then I realized that dwarves have a different life-span so now I'm ok with his age. Besides, he doesnt look exactly young if you know what I mean. Not an old grey-bearded man, but not a youngster either. Just right.
The character was done amazingly in my opinion.
I think Thorin is awesome. I never thought I could like him so much. He's a bit different in the book, and I imagined him differently.
Reasons for liking him? He's noble, courageous, loyal, heroic...(and not perfect, which makes him so real). He's done brilliantly in the movie and I think that Armitage is a genius, he plays him so well.
(aaaaand I'm not one of those who are infected with the hot-dwarvish disease :P)
Anything else I thought? I thought Bilbo couldnt have acted otherwise, when he rushed out to save Thorin. I would have done the exact same thing.


Marionette
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 7:25pm

Post #98 of 109 (203 views)
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Being a fan of book Thorin before all this [In reply to] Can't Post

I was, surprisinly not disappointed at allSmile
So far I am not, and thatīs maybe the first time I say so about a movie adaptation of one of my favorite books.

Well, maybe it was because I was pretty much aware of all the changes, but overall, I find the movie pretty good after all the book is not that detailed and thatīs a good point when it comes to movie adaptations. Something LOTR donīt have.

Movie Thorin is just younger, but all the adding he has to me are what I had in mind about Thorin while reading the book as well, excluding the whole Azog thing.

So, yes, the character is well done.

About not being old as he should be, well, I guess I am used now, cuz I love the hot dwarf thing totallyHeart


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
Queen



Marionette
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 7:40pm

Post #99 of 109 (177 views)
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Wonder how can this be possible [In reply to] Can't Post

People saying book Thorin is a jerk, in the book he never reject Bilbo and all that as he do in film. It sounds to me Thorin is less nice in the film.

And actually in the book Bilbo even say Thorin was one of the few nice dwarves. Becuase Tolkien dwarves do have some character.

I never understood that perception of Thorin for some of the readers.

Funny, indeed. But well...


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
Queen



Marionette
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 7:46pm

Post #100 of 109 (177 views)
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Itīs sadder because he had flaws [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
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.

This was my experience exactly. Glad to read that I'm not the only one who felt that way



Thorinīs death is the saddest I have read in a book.

Why? I think itīs because he *had* his flaws. He was not the perfect flawless hero, and at the very end he recognize *his mistake*:: Precisely thatīs why itīs the saddest death ever.


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
Queen


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