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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A thread for the truly great Balin, son of Fundin
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Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 16 2013, 12:43am

Post #26 of 58 (493 views)
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Excellent idea [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for this thoughtful thread!

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


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 16 2013, 1:00am

Post #27 of 58 (493 views)
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Balin is [In reply to] Can't Post

...my second favourite Dwarf after Thorin. Ken Stott is a brilliant actor, and plays this role as well as he does any other.

And I love the Scottish accent!


Macfeast
Rohan


Feb 16 2013, 1:43am

Post #28 of 58 (492 views)
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Perfection. [In reply to] Can't Post

Everything, really; Design, writing, acting (a brilliant performance by Ken Stott), I can't overstate just how much I loved it all. It's funny, I spent a good deal of money, and time, on my Thorin-costume for the film, yet I'm honestly considering hanging it away in the back of my closet so that I may go as Balin for the rest of the trilogy. He's such an awesome character that I almost feel obliged to honor him somehow Laugh
I'm really looking forward to seeing how Balin and Bilbo's relationship, as well as Balin and Thorin's, will develop over the course of the following two films. Also, if there's time over for some more interaction between Balin and Dwalin after that, then I'll gladly take that as well; I would love to see a scene of the two brothers walking through the ruined Erebor, silently reminiscing about its past glory, and lamenting their great loss.

It's hard to name a favorite moment, but I have to mention his arrival at Bag End, and his subsequent interaction with Dwalin, which highlights that he is capable of cheer, even though he harbors doubt about the quest; The cheerful bow, the sly smile as he greets Dwalin, the brotherly teasing.
Also, the solemn head-butt (wow, that's a word I never thought I'd use to describe a head-butt) that he and Dwalin shares at Azanulbizar is particularly touching.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 16 2013, 1:52am)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 16 2013, 2:38am

Post #29 of 58 (499 views)
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Balin Bows [In reply to] Can't Post

From the moment Bilbo opens the door and that bright-faced, energetic, funny, quirky, and wise dwarf bowed deeply to Bilbo... he had me. He is absolutely wonderful :D

There's not a bad or awkward moment with him.



Second draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated list coming soon



sample

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 16 2013, 3:18am

Post #30 of 58 (572 views)
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Aye Laddie! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just love how Balin says Laddie all the time. It just perks up the scene. Also, now the whole Moria scene in FOTR has much more meaning when Gimli and the Fellowship find Balin's tomb. Now I really do cry at that scene along with Gimli.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 16 2013, 3:31am

Post #31 of 58 (462 views)
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Yea? ..you don't want to mess..With Santa Claus...with a sword! /// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


alienorchid
Lorien


Feb 16 2013, 7:38am

Post #32 of 58 (445 views)
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I loved that scene in Bag End, too [In reply to] Can't Post

I love when he points out that the life Thorin had built for them is worth more than any treasure... it's so awesome to see a more thoughtful side of the Dwarves, as so much of what we see is them being gruff and confrontational.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 16 2013, 10:23am

Post #33 of 58 (516 views)
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I'd never heard of Ken Stott **SPOILERS** [In reply to] Can't Post

before AUJ was cast, so I had no idea what to expect from him. (Actually, I really appreciate being totally unfamilar with the actors beforehand, because it's much easier to lose yourself in their performance when you're not also seeing them as some other character.)

His performance as Balin was brilliant, and my only complaint is that we don't get enough of those moving character moments. As others have said, his two biggest character-moment scenes (with Thorin, in Bag End, and his narration of Azanulbizar) are brilliant and easily as nuanced as RA's performance. His delivery of "He began by beheading the king" gives me goosebumps; it's clearly very painful for him to recount that particular memory. And his loyal support of Thorin ("We are with you, laddie") is so touching -- he may not agree with Thorin's choice, but he understands it -- and he fears the price of that choice, even then.

His grief as he embraces Dwalin at Azanulbizar (their father was amongst those slain) is palpable, and I can only imagine his grief will be similar at the end of the Bo5A. Presumably he feels fairly tenderly towards Fili and Kili too (if he's served as a fatherly advisor to Thorin, he's likely had something of a role in raising Fili and Kili too, right?). It's going to be hard enough to watch Fili and Kili die, followed by Thorin; but watching the reactions of the survivors who loved them is going to be even worse.


Angharad73
Rohan

Feb 16 2013, 11:01am

Post #34 of 58 (490 views)
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The two head-butts... [In reply to] Can't Post

are both rather poignant, I think. We have the funny one at Bag End, when the two brothers greet each other. That one always makes me wince - the crash! That must hurt! I suppose Dwarves are rather thick-skulled... In more than one way. Wink

But then, in contrast to that, you have the much gentler, so very sad head-bunk on the battlefield. To me, it conveys perfectly how the two are glad to find each other alive after the carnage, yet at the same time they grieve together for their fallen comrades. It's so sad and very touching.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 16 2013, 11:13am

Post #35 of 58 (440 views)
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Oh yes, the sword-mace thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Has to be one of the coolest weapons Weta has designed yet! I want one, if only they weren't so expensive! Laugh

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

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



Slim
Rivendell


Feb 16 2013, 11:20am

Post #36 of 58 (416 views)
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Me too! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I just love how Balin says Laddie all the time. It just perks up the scene.

:)


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 16 2013, 12:02pm

Post #37 of 58 (421 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

He even tops GImli in my list of favourite dwarves :)


glor
Rohan

Feb 16 2013, 3:44pm

Post #38 of 58 (424 views)
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Bit hard for this Brit to be unfamilar with this cast. [In reply to] Can't Post

Having watched many of the British and Irish dwarves and, a certain Hobbit on British TV for many years. With Stott However, I have also been lucky enough to see him perform on stage too. He was in Heroes, a poignant comedy in which Stott took the stage alongside Richard Griffiths and John Hurt, and translated by Tom Stoppard from a French play, Stott shone, managing to be poignant, melancholic and funny in a lovely nuanced performance. Stott can also be a very powerful actor too.

Don't just expect grief from Stott, expect some subtle funny moments too, he does exasperation too, I have a feeling we are in for a real treat with Balin.


BoromirOfWinterfell
Rohan


Feb 16 2013, 5:18pm

Post #39 of 58 (418 views)
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Nothing to dislike about him! * spoilers* [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...his most outstanding moment by far was the narration of Azanulbizar....I had chills, it was such a powerfully emotional scene, particularly the last part about Thorin being worthy to be called king.


That was one of the best parts of the movie.

He has such a grandfatherly demeanour, and by far the best beard.

I watched FOTR again. As someone said on a previous thread, it makes the scene with Balin's tomb so much worse after seeing him as the kind old dwarf in AUJ who was so full of love and wisdom.

I particularly liked the moment between him and Dwalin after the Battle of Azanulbizar.

s ofereode, isses swa mg - that has passed, so may this.

"Ten percent of nothin' is ... let me do the math here ... nothin' into nothin' ... carry the nothin' ... " - Jayne from Firefly

(This post was edited by BoromirOfWinterfell on Feb 16 2013, 5:22pm)


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 17 2013, 1:10am

Post #40 of 58 (347 views)
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A big Bravo to Ken Stott indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

His Balin is absolutely wonderful! I most love the scene between Balin and Thorin at Bag End; his quiet manner, giving his thoughts to Thorin regarding the quest, yet without reservation supporting him regardless - a true friend. I love his look at Bilbo when Bilbo hands him the signed contract. I love his description to the other dwarves of the events at Azanulbizar. His lines at the end, "Here is one who I could follow. Here is one I could call King" is delivered so well it still gives me goosebumps! Yeah, I think he's an amazing Balin.

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


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 17 2013, 1:30am

Post #41 of 58 (321 views)
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Oh... he's so real now [In reply to] Can't Post

and I cry for him right along with Gimli...and Gandalf's reaction is something I really study, too.

Laddie... it's so perfect when he says it :D



Second draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated list coming soon



sample

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)


MrCere
Sr. Staff


Feb 17 2013, 6:51am

Post #42 of 58 (310 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sure it has been noted but he hasn't been present AT ALL in the promotion of the film. Look deeper.

And, to play devil's advocate: Was it the performer or the writers that made that character great?

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

My blog




Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 17 2013, 8:53am

Post #43 of 58 (307 views)
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Actually the reason he hasn't been present [In reply to] Can't Post

Is due to other engagements. He has been interviewed on several occasions his role, there's a clip with him and Jimmy Nesbitt talking on YouTube, as well as an interview in Empire Magazine's Hobbit issue, among others. Of course it was a mixture of the performer and the writers who made Balin great: without a script, an actor can't really perform after all! A director can tell an actor how to play something but it's the actor's interpretation of that instruction that makes a performance unique and powerful. So a lot of the credit goes to Stott.

I know you're playing "devil's advocate" but I have to strongly disagree with where your post is going: I'm not saying any of this is true about Stott, but are actors obliged to promote? Is it really their duty? (After all it's the director's duty first and foremost, is it not?) What if they don't want to promote? (Remember Alec Guinness in Star Wars). Also don't forget that regardless of what somebody conveys on stage they may be very private or even shy in real life-most actors work for love of the profession and not for the perks or publicity. Not all actors are socially confident, after all, and I imagine press interviews are quite nerve-wracking.

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

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



emre43
Lorien

Feb 17 2013, 10:45am

Post #44 of 58 (303 views)
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I also liked Balin and I would like to mention something that I don't quite understand [In reply to] Can't Post

Why is Balin the one dwarf that seems most against the quest for Erebor ashe feels the dwarves are being too greedy. And yet it is he who leads the expedition to reclaim Moria. Doesn't make much sense to me.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 17 2013, 10:49am

Post #45 of 58 (295 views)
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I expect the success of the Quest of Erebor raised his spirits a little too highly [In reply to] Can't Post

Even wise Dwarves can be too optimistic from time to time.

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

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



TFP
Rivendell


Feb 17 2013, 2:00pm

Post #46 of 58 (313 views)
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My favourite Balin line [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't actually spoken by Balin.

It comes after he comments on the ragtag nature of the group of dwarves ["...tinkers, toymakers... hardly the stuff of legend"], & I think it's beautifully acted by Armitage who looks at Balin, & says "there are a few warriors amongst us", with an understated smile & raise of his eyebrow that really [imo] says a lot about how he feels about Balin.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 17 2013, 2:24pm

Post #47 of 58 (296 views)
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I love RA's facial expression there. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Isn't actually spoken by Balin.

It comes after he comments on the ragtag nature of the group of dwarves ["...tinkers, toymakers... hardly the stuff of legend"], & I think it's beautifully acted by Armitage who looks at Balin, & says "there are a few warriors amongst us", with an understated smile & raise of his eyebrow that really [imo] says a lot about how he feels about Balin.


I really like RA's facial expression during that scene. He's somewhat sad. You can hear it in his voice. Sad yet determined. And Stott's response as he shakes his head and says they will support him is just beautiful. One of my favorite parts of the Bag End scenes.


emre43
Lorien

Feb 17 2013, 2:46pm

Post #48 of 58 (274 views)
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He should have paid more attention to Thorin's fate [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Even wise Dwarves can be too optimistic from time to time.



Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 17 2013, 5:23pm

Post #49 of 58 (255 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is just one of my favorite moments at Bag End, this little exchange between Balin and Thorin. And RA's facial expression and tone of voice is just perfect, as you mentioned. Yeah, you can hear the sadness, and see it in his eyes. When he says quietly, "There is no choice, Balin. Not for me", his voice is of one who is bound out of duty, honor and love for his forefathers and his kin to follow a path already laid out for him. The key that Gandalf gave him really sealed it, and there's no going back. I got the impression that Balin wasn't trying to dissuade him from his quest, knowing his reasons all too well having survived the sacking of Erebor by Smaug and the battle of Azanulbizar with him. I think he was just giving Thorin what he thought was a different perspective. And yes, Balin's response was wonderfully played, as his trusted advisor, his loyal friend, and an almost fatherly figure.

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


TFP
Rivendell


Feb 17 2013, 10:31pm

Post #50 of 58 (222 views)
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Language [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that it's a great exchange.

A quibble is that I don't like the wording "you have a choice" - it seems like slightly too modern or something, not on a par with Return of The Sith's "you're a good person, don't do this!" but it did briefly remind me of that.

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