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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What if you were in Thorinīs situation (Spoilers)
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Marionette
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 5:49pm

Post #1 of 63 (1190 views)
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What if you were in Thorinīs situation (Spoilers) Can't Post

Itīs very easy to judge, but I am wondering so, what was the right thing to do being Thorin considering the whole background and everything affecting him..

1- What about Bilbo taking the Arkenstone for him, knowing that it was everything Thorin wanted in the first place. Wasnīt it a betrayal? Why people think it was not... it was.
2-Probably the only mistake from him was to not allow Bard to have part of his treasure. Some men were the rightful owners of the treasure as well.
3-He had the dragon illness and for me it doesnīt take reasons out of his behavior, that doesnīt make of him a jerk, all the people there had greed for the treasure, but suddenly everybody made him feel betrayed.

I would have been exactly like him, if you ask me. Everytime I read the book I think so.


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



utku
Rivendell


Feb 19 2013, 6:07pm

Post #2 of 63 (577 views)
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Yes, I think it's complicated [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo had his reasons for doing what he did, and they were of good intentions but I feel like he still betrayed Thorin's friendship and trust. I wouldn't be as violent as Thorin towards Bilbo but still would feel bitter towards him.


CathrineB
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 6:45pm

Post #3 of 63 (535 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

I understood why Thorin would feel betrayed so I def. felt sympathy for him, but his behavior really got out of hand.


little mouse
Rivendell

Feb 19 2013, 6:56pm

Post #4 of 63 (532 views)
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I would give Bard his part of the treasure [In reply to] Can't Post

and throw Bilbo to the rocks if he would betray me after that


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 7:12pm

Post #5 of 63 (534 views)
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This is what makes him interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

The triad of a hobbit, the wizard and a heroic dwarf is key to the whole plot, and he undergoes quite a story arc and development. However, he's also a tragic figure. Heroic, but ultimately not strong enough. He's unlike Aragorn in that he can't overcome his flaws.


Angharad73
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 7:42pm

Post #6 of 63 (514 views)
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I'd like to say... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that I would have acted differently in Thorin's place, but in all honesty, I cannot do so.

It is hard to tell where Thorin's 'normal' greed ends and the dragon sickness begins. And in any case, what exactly is dragon sickness? I take it to be some sort of mental illness, primarily, so anyone afflicted by it would not be in their right mind, which means that normal, rational behaviour might go out the window. This means that afflicted people cannot be expected to act like they would normally do. So we do not know for sure how Thorin would have behaved had he not had the dragon sickness.

If we were to take away the idea that Thorin was afflicted by dragon sickness and still acted as he did, he clearly would have been a complete, despicable jerk. But to me the fact that he did have dragon sickness does not make him so. Instead, I feel sympathy for him.

Bilbo did betray him. He did know that the Arkenstone was what Thorin wanted the most, and he still kept it from him. Even without the dragon sickness, Thorin would have been right to feel such a betrayal. The dragon sickness might have made the betrayal seem even bigger than it was. Hence the desire to throw Bilbo on the rocks. But Thorin was not so far gone that he did not hear Gandalf's voice of reason, and he did not kill Bilbo.

It must have also looked as if everyone was out to get him - or to get his treasure. I mean, there was an army at his gates, demanding money from him, all of a sudden. That, I think, was a big mistake on behalf of Bard and Thranduil (although Thranduil seems to have at least in part acknowledged this with his 'Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold.'). A bit more diplomacy might have been a good idea. But as it was, to Thorin, in his sick mind, it must have seemed as if the whole world was out to get him, and from there it was just a downward spiral.

So, after totally over-thinking this once again, I must come to the conclusion that in Thorin's exact position, I would have most likely acted exactly the same.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 7:49pm

Post #7 of 63 (541 views)
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Nope, he's a jerk [In reply to] Can't Post

1- What about Bilbo taking the Arkenstone for him, knowing that it was everything Thorin wanted in the first place. Wasnīt it a betrayal? Why people think it was not... it was.

He had the right to be angry. He didn't have the right to try and murder Bilbo. Also, he reveals that he has racist opinions towards hobbits. When people are angry they commonly announce things they think but would not say.

2-Probably the only mistake from him was to not allow Bard to have part of his treasure. Some men were the rightful owners of the treasure as well.

Both the elves and men had claim to part of the treasure. However, Thorin was willing to let his fellow dwarves die for his pride, even though some were not on board for this plan.

3-He had the dragon illness and for me it doesnīt take reasons out of his behavior, that doesnīt make of him a jerk, all the people there had greed for the treasure, but suddenly everybody made him feel betrayed.

He "had the dragon illness" is another way of saying "he was a big, greedy jerk". We might as well not fault Smaug either because he was a dragon, and therefore had this illness as well. We shouldn't fault the orcs either because they are bred to be evil. Whether it's his fault or not, he acts like a jerk through the whole book, and only repents when he's about to die. Most people got sucked into this with Bilbo but I did not.


Username4242
Bree

Feb 19 2013, 7:54pm

Post #8 of 63 (517 views)
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I actually wonder if part of the stone giants scene is foreshadowing... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin reaches down to grab Bilbo and keep him from falling onto the rocks below. Later, he will consider throwing him himself.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 19 2013, 8:02pm

Post #9 of 63 (500 views)
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I've said this before... [In reply to] Can't Post

Almost everyone in M-E is "racist" by our modern definitions. Elves are "racist" towards dwarves. Hobbits of Hobbiton are towards Bree-folk, singeling out Thorin as a "racist" in a world where these views are common is to my mind very, very unfair.

If you call Thorin a racist, then Thranduil is even worse by miles.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(This post was edited by macfalk on Feb 19 2013, 8:04pm)


ShireHorse
Rohan

Feb 19 2013, 8:04pm

Post #10 of 63 (474 views)
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I would have done the same too. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the book, Thorin has learned to like and appreciate Bilbo and has given him the mithril vest from the treasure - and we all know how valuable that is! In the film, I'm sure we will see their relationship reach a moving height at this point as Thorin thanks Bilbo for all he has done. It will be painful for us, the viewers, because we will know that Bilbo has the Arkenstone in his pocket and he has taken it because he wants it - not because he realises it might prove useful in settling disputes: after all, there is no sign of the two armies at this point. And he has taken it even though he knows how much it means to Thorin.

When Thorin finds out that he has been betrayed, I do wonder whose side we, the audience, will be on? You get the feeling that Thorin has never made many friends in his life and, here, he has given his friendship to Bilbo, and look what he has done. I really feel for Thorin at this point.

It is also Bilbo who makes Smaug lose his temper and attack Lake Town: perhaps Bilbo should admit responsibility and offer the men HIS share of the treasure and then that would resolve things.

Finally, a leader cannot be seen to back down in the face of threats. Bard and Thranduil threaten the dwarves with their armies; Thorin tells them to back off and THEN he will discuss the treasure. That shows a certain willingness to negotiate, IMO.

I don't know how they'll play it in the film but, as things stand, I find Thorin's behaviour acceptable and understandable.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 19 2013, 8:06pm

Post #11 of 63 (492 views)
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There is a dragon illness [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo semi-felt it when he stole the Arkenstone for himself. Almost like the ring, he was obsessed about it and was blinded by its beauty.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 8:26pm

Post #12 of 63 (480 views)
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So? [In reply to] Can't Post

If Bilbo then acted like a jerk from then on I would consider him one. The reasons on why Thorin is a jerk don't matter...he either is a jerk, or he isn't. Now, you can argue that him being a jerk is justified due to his horrible past, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a jerk. Book Thorin, that is. Note how different they made Thorin in the movie, likely because they want the audience to like him.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 19 2013, 8:39pm

Post #13 of 63 (454 views)
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Why? [In reply to] Can't Post

"he either is a jerk, or he isn't."

Why can't he be something in-between? I certainly think he is.




The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


ShireHorse
Rohan

Feb 19 2013, 8:49pm

Post #14 of 63 (478 views)
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Thorin is admittedly a much more attractive character in the film but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think that book Thorin is as much of a jerk as you're making him out to be. He has his heroic, selfless moments as when he attacks the trolls with only a flaming branch and when only he and Gandalf hold off the goblins to allow the others to escape. He also gives the mithril shirt to Bilbo as a gesture of friendship and decides to join the men and elves in the Bot5A when he could have remained safe behind his walls. He leads an incredibly heroic charge which is ultimately the cause of his death and then, upon meeting up with Bilbo again, apologises.

Thranduil, on the other hand, is willing to imprison the dwarves for a hundred years for no good reason and immediately begins to get together an army to claim part of the treasure (no diplomacy there, eh?) And the men of Lake Town, once they have killed Smaug, have no thought for the dwarves but immediately think about the treasure. Everyone, including our dear Bilbo, seems affected by dragon sickness.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 19 2013, 9:23pm

Post #15 of 63 (471 views)
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I think it's a bit more complex than that. [In reply to] Can't Post

I see shades of grey here, not black and white. Without trying to get into the semantics of what being a jerk entails by definition, I would argue that book-Thorin makes choices that I disagree with, and is occasionally unpleasant when he makes those choices. Does that make him a jerk? Maybe. But there's (at least) two sides to every story. There's always a "but". Yes, threatening to throw Bilbo to the rocks makes Thorin look like a jerk, BUT he is really, really angry at the betrayal, and Bilbo's original motivation for pocketing the Arkenstone wasn't exactly honorable either. Besides, acting like a jerk on a few occasions doesn't mean the person (dwarf?) can't be a good person overall. Everyone makes mistakes.

And the underlying motivations that inform a particular behavior are, I would argue, extremely important to understanding and interpreting that behavior. I could imagine the opposite scenario. Imagine that I am really, really nice and friendly and helpful towards my new friend Jane. Does that behavior make me a good person? Or do you need to know why I act that way? It could be that I really like Jane and want her world to be a better place for her. Or it could be that I really want her to adopt me as her heir and leave me as the sole inheritor of her multi-million dollar estate. The first motivation is selfless, the second, selfish. I don't think you could call me a good person if you understood my motivation as the latter, and I don't think you could label me as good or a jerk without knowing that motivation.

Okay, I'm not really trying to argue that book-Thorin is selfless. He clearly does have his own interests at heart, although not always. But mainly I want to make the point that I do think it's important to understand why a person does something before you can interpret the behavior (and thus stick a label on them).


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Feb 19 2013, 9:33pm

Post #16 of 63 (436 views)
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I see shades of grey here [In reply to] Can't Post

Really, you went there?WinkTongue

Vous commencez ā m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Marionette
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 9:57pm

Post #17 of 63 (421 views)
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Dwarves can turn violent [In reply to] Can't Post

Itīs said so.

Too bad Thorin became so mad to reach that level of violence. But he is dwarf.


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



macfalk
Valinor


Feb 19 2013, 9:59pm

Post #18 of 63 (400 views)
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Well said, everyone should read this post. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Marionette
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 10:04pm

Post #19 of 63 (404 views)
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Dwarves can turn violent, but what if you were him then? [In reply to] Can't Post

He is very angry, he feel betrayed and had an army of people he think are there to steal his legacy.

He might not be right to our eyes but he is certainly right to his eyes blinded in part by the spell and also by the anger. (I donīt see such greed yet)

I wasnīt suprised to see Thorin tryed to kill Bilbo, the situation became just insane, and as it was told dwarves can turn violent, they are that way, he was very angry and no body there was trying to calm him down in the right way.. yeah including Gandalf and the other dwarves.

At least that how I see it everytime I read the book.

Thorin is a dwarf, and usually dwarves are quite unpleasant and extremely protective with their treasures. So, I think he could help it.


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



Marionette
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 10:09pm

Post #20 of 63 (393 views)
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The situation is, oh gosh, complicated! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I think so.

It canīt be black or white, I feel confused as well.

Just canīt judge Pirate

Especially for Thorin, heīs there like alone against the world.

He was very angry, the situation can turn anyone that violent, but we donīt know if he was truly going to do it, to kill Bilbo.


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



Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 10:12pm

Post #21 of 63 (408 views)
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Yes book Thorin is certainly a misunderstood character [In reply to] Can't Post

Book Thorin is very similar to book Boromir in that aspect. His last words at the end of the book to Bilbo however really redeem his character, which is nice.

I see where you're coming from, in the moment Thorin was justifiably angry-Bilbo took the one single thing that Thorin really wanted away from him, knowing how much he wanted it and how much it meant to him-as you said it was a betrayal, even though it's a betrayal carried out for the right reasons.

Obviously PJ and Co. have taken the liberty of making him more sympathetic to the point that he gives Bilbo a hug at the end. It's not a big departure and frankly little bits like that need to be added in order for us to like him sufficiently by his death in TABA.

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

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



Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 19 2013, 10:30pm

Post #22 of 63 (404 views)
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*pffffffffftt* [In reply to] Can't Post

For once, I'm innocent of any innuendo intentions. Smile


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 19 2013, 10:42pm

Post #23 of 63 (394 views)
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Aragorn had flaws? [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL! Well, I guess if you consider his insecurity at being King, yeah. Aragorn I think was more a standard action hero type, so had little to overcome compared to Thorin. Thorin for me is for that very reason a much more interesting and complex character. And I won't even get into the hair comparison, as there is none! Wink

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

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Feb 19 2013, 10:45pm)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Feb 19 2013, 10:46pm

Post #24 of 63 (397 views)
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I can see why Thorin felt betrayed [In reply to] Can't Post

And i think it adds to the richness of the story how it plays out. Thorin not only wanted the Arkenstone. He wanted the whole Enchilada. There was treasure and items from Dale and the Elves among the treasure. He wanted to keep not only what was his but also what was everyone else's as well. Tolkien writes that even after the situation with the Arkenstone Thorin was considering how he could have both the Arkenstone and all the treasure. He is full-tilt dragon sickness at that point, although his feeling of betrayal given his mindset is understandable.

You have to remember, Bilbo's sense of "fairness" is huge for him as a character. In the UT Gandalf notes that not only did Bilbo not slay Gollum in Goblin Town because he pitied him, but also because from Bilbo's viewpoint it would have been patently unfair for him to slay him while Gollum could no see him. The sense of "fairness" runs throughout Bilbo's character. When Bilbo felt then that Thorin was "unfair" in not agreeing to consider the demands of Bard and Thranduil, he used the Arkenstone to rectify the situation. Even he in the end declared he "made a mess" of that situation although he felt he shouldn't be blamed (his intentions after all were ultimately good).

Also I find it interesting that Bilbo himself never loses hope in Thorin. He declares after he is summarily dismissed that he might one day be re-united with the dwarves as friends and indeed after he comes to after the BoT5A and is found, having taken off the ring, he identifies himself as "Bilbo, companion of Thorin". That to me is pretty amazing. The fact that Bilbo still believes in Thorin even at Thorin's worst is inspiring. It would have been easy for Bilbo not to go in and see Thorin at the end having been almost killed. yet he does and we have the most inspiring scene or one of the most inspiring scenes of the book.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 19 2013, 10:47pm

Post #25 of 63 (372 views)
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Being angry is not just cause for murder. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know why anyone is trying to justify it. In our current society, it surely isn't justifiable. I could understand if, say, Bilbo murdered Thorin's family, but giving away something (that contractually Bilbo was likely entitled to) is not just cause for murder.

Also, there is no ignoring Thorin's line about being a descendant of rats. It's out there now, that is what Thorin thinks of Hobbits.

I understand why he does the things he does, but it mainly revolves around him being a greedy, prideful jerk who is angry at the world. Did past events make him this way? Probably. Does it make the things he does justifiable? No.

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