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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Dwarves and personalities
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Tol Eressea

Feb 21 2013, 8:28am

Post #1 of 35 (1531 views)
Dwarves and personalities Can't Post

So, just a thought for ya all:

What do you like the best about the dwarves' personalities? Are there any particular traits that make you like some dwarves more than others?

I know in the first film that not all of the dwarves got treated equally in terms of characterization, mainly because PJ&co wanted the audience to get to know the dwarves as Bilbo got to know them, but if you watch closely there are many many times where the dwarves expand on their personalities through subtle and non verbal cues, especially in Bag End at the Unexpected Party.

I am just curious as to what the thoughts are, because I can definitely tell after 18 viewings that there was a ton of time spent by the wonderful actors in using every means they had to try and bring these characters to life, and I applaud each and every one of them Smile

I almost feel as though I know the company, and it isn't even DOS yet!

This next year will be a long wait methinks Wink

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm


Feb 21 2013, 8:43am

Post #2 of 35 (1064 views)
That they're so different [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what I love about the various personalities. They're so different, but they work and is the reason why I more or less love all of the damn dwarves in this company!
Bofur and his loveliness, Bifur and his slightly insanity (I mean come on, salad in the tankard!), Kili and his precious naivety and glee, Dori and his politeness, Thorin and his majesty, Balin and his good gran daddy feel, Dwalin the badass... just to mention some. I'm impressed how different they are and how well they work.
Not to mention such a lovely cast.

(This post was edited by CathrineB on Feb 21 2013, 8:44am)


Feb 21 2013, 9:26am

Post #3 of 35 (1065 views)
I hope the secondary Dwarves get more screentime in TDOS and TABA [In reply to] Can't Post

At the very least, Bifur, Nori and Bombur need more screentime. They couldn't have all received the same amount of attention in AUJ, so I hope the under-used Dwarves have a little more to say and do.

It's perhaps unsurprising that I like Balin, Dwalin, Thorin and Bofur the most out of the film characters.


Feb 21 2013, 9:56am

Post #4 of 35 (1010 views)
Just the fact that each of them has a personality [In reply to] Can't Post

... and that they don't morph into a blob of undistinguished dwarf mass is already very impressive!

I really love the fact that they are a lively, rowdy bunch, relatively down-to-earth and not the smartest, cleanest or the politest people of Middle-Earth.

Grey Havens

Feb 21 2013, 10:49am

Post #5 of 35 (1054 views)
I really, really like the fact that [In reply to] Can't Post

they are a down-to-earth, lively, funny, merry (as Gandalf would say), fiercely loyal, brave (mostly), tough (not Ori), and irreverent (generally) group of people, with the hidden solemnity and longing of a people displaced from their rightful homeland. The first four adjectives, of course, don't really apply to Thorin. Massive kudos to PJ and co for giving the dwarves so much more personality, individually and collectively, than they had in the book, and than I had ever imagined was possible.

The dwarves that we know better so far, I love. I figure I'll love the others more once we get to know them better too; they just haven't had their chance to shine yet. I love Bofur's disarming charm, his sharp wit ("think furnace, with wings" is probably my favorite line in the whole movie), the way he teases Bilbo early on but grows very protective towards him later and is clearly very fond of him. I love Balin's kind grandfatherliness, the incredible contrast between his tenderly advisorly moments with Thorin and his prowess and fierceness in battle. I love Dwalin for the way he's on almost-equal terms with Thorin (he doesn't bow!), the way he's always got Thorin's back in battle, and his incredible fierceness and generall bad*ssery. I absolutely adore Kili: he's so wide-eyed and enthusiastic about EVERYthing, and he tries so hard to impress Thorin (and takes it SO hard when he's chastised). Kili reminds me of a big, lovable, cuddle-able, lollopy puppy who takes on everything with massive enthusiasm and not much sense. But Kili's also brave and skilled enough to hold a warg pack at bay while the rest of the company escapes down the rock slide (only when Kili runs as per Thorin's orders does the warg pack move in). Love that dwarf.

And Thorin? Yeah, best for last. What's not to love there? I can go for the superficial drooly bits: he's majestic, he's got the Best Hair in Middle-earth, he's almost a king and looks it. But there is, of course, a lot more to it than that (which is why I think so many of us have fallen for him -- it's not *just* the hair!). Trying to be serious for half a moment, he's so much more than just the typical bad*ss hero type we get in a lot of movies. He's got the confidence that most women find attractive -- but slightly deeper, there's a huge amount of self-doubt. He's intelligent; he's vulnerable; he values loyalty, bravery, and a willing heart more than fierce fighting skills; he's conflicted. He follows his destiny. He inspires devotion in his followers by doing everything a true leader should, which in part means ALWAYS putting the safety of each member of his company ahead of his own safety. He's absolutely fearless in battle. He loves his nephews. He's extremely charismatic. All of this makes him very complex and fascinating to watch on screen. Yeah, we love him. Heart


Feb 21 2013, 11:12am

Post #6 of 35 (1022 views)
PJ is smart... [In reply to] Can't Post

5.. featured in movie 1

5.. more featured in movie 2

Finally. ..3 more in movie 3

Oin's parasite

Feb 21 2013, 12:10pm

Post #7 of 35 (1007 views)
I agree with all you said...b-but 18 times!? [In reply to] Can't Post


"I've got parasites as big as my arm!"


Feb 21 2013, 1:18pm

Post #8 of 35 (986 views)
I completely agree.. [In reply to] Can't Post

...with everything Ro said. Smile

And let's not forget Fili! A bit older, maybe a bit wiser than Kili, but they goof around and they are so very close, not just brothers but best friends as well. And Fili is another bad*ss fighter.

And Bifur! I like how he seems spaced out much of the time, but when it counts he suddenly just snaps out of it. And the fact that he had lettuce in his tankard at Bag End and was trying to roast some sort of leafy greens in Rivendell made me LOL. Didn't I read somewhere that he's a vegetarian? If so, that must be a first for a Dwarf.


Feb 21 2013, 3:01pm

Post #9 of 35 (969 views)
Other than Thorin... [In reply to] Can't Post

there all fun loving individuals that can turn dead serious in a drop of a hat.

Thorin on the other hand being in the mold of a king to be, needs to loosen up a little bit...Wink


Feb 21 2013, 3:18pm

Post #10 of 35 (928 views)
Me too [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel like they have done an amazing reveal so far considering how many personalities we have to get to know. I think its a great blend of the writing, PJ giving us little screen shots AND how creative the Company actors are. I have to say that I love how that creativity seems to flourish in the franchise, like Karl Urban discussing how he was allowed to develop his riding skills for the camera and "grow" Eomer onscreen, and that if an actor came up with an idea and could show that it works, in it went.

I know he's not popular now, but I must say in Ori's defense, he jumps in no matter what (then needs his butt saved) but keeps up. I also give him credit for being the first to dive for Bilbo's hand in the mountain pass. Not too bad for a knitted-mitten boy who's probably never been much further than the market.

Hoping to see more of Nori. Love how in Bag End he's sort of rooting about looking through all Bilbo's things for something good. And looking forward to Bombur having his scenes in Mirkwood. Love how at the table, when everyone is looking rapturously at the key, he is having a moment with what appears to be a piece of chicken.
Dwalin, the warrior with the heart of gold.
Our Balin....love reading his thread. All said there.
Thorin. Just keep doing what you do.

What a fun bunch. I would go along in a heartbeat!
(and if we are going, I call Imin for our team!)Wink

[side note: Cirashala that long post in Fili's Swords was a response to you...I hit a wrong button! Mea culpa!]

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on Feb 21 2013, 3:25pm)

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Feb 21 2013, 3:56pm

Post #11 of 35 (932 views)
Ditto! [In reply to] Can't Post

What Ro said!

And I like how Bifur, space case that he is, is a fierce fighter nonetheless; how Bombur can take care of himself despite his size and takes Bofur's teasing; how Ori, as goofy and silly-looking as he is, has the reckless courage of youth and is willing to follow everyone into battle. And I love Bofur's crazy hat...such a good reflection of his own personality (you know, I think he has the same hat-maker as Radagast).

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


Feb 21 2013, 4:10pm

Post #12 of 35 (902 views)
Also agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

You must work in the theater. In US Dollars 18 viewings here would be 189.00 at the cheapest 2D rate or up to 250 bucks in full glory


Feb 21 2013, 4:41pm

Post #13 of 35 (891 views)
Well I don't work at the theater [In reply to] Can't Post

and you have virtually thrown cold water on my face to wake me from my obsession. (Not at all a bad thing, I might add! Thanks!) Last night was the last time - #20 - and I figure I've spent between $250 and $300 on movie admission, mostly to see the HFR 3D that I LOVE and that I will not be able to enjoy at home.

I'm making myself available for extra shifts this week. I only need one.

Perhaps I should start a dedicated savings account in preparation for the next round! $15/week should do it.


Feb 21 2013, 4:52pm

Post #14 of 35 (925 views)
I was going to post to this thread but you took the words right out of my mouth! [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, you put everything much more eloquently than I could have, especially your description of Thorin. It is spot-on perfect. Strong yet vulnerable, confident yet self-doubting, fearless in battle to the point of rashness (thinking second Azog fight here), a leader whose Achilles heel is his pride and temper . . . and the best script in the world could not bring that character to life the way Richard Armitage has, with all the subtleties that have characterized his other performances I've seen.

Last night I made myself watch Thorin as much as possible and caught some things I'd missed before. I am looking forward to the DVD release so I can study him to my heart's content.

(What I'd really like to know is where is my Thorin in RL? I used to say that about Aragorn but I must confess my loyalties have changed with the release of this movie!)


Feb 21 2013, 5:01pm

Post #15 of 35 (910 views)
How long did it take? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very curious to know your experience - Before you felt the shift in your loyalties? Was it right away, with the very first view or after multiple views, with seeing more complexity?

I picked up President's day time and a half purposely to cover my nonsense. And I'm buying for two every time now as Tallest Dwarf Prince is coming to every showing with school out.

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


Feb 21 2013, 5:39pm

Post #16 of 35 (1007 views)
Tallest Dwarf Prince! Priceless! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it was fairly early on that I realized I loved Thorin more than Aragorn. Upon reflection I think it is not only that Thorin is prettier (!) but that movie Aragorn was substantially altered from the book character. I completely understand why that was necessary, as the book Aragorn would have been a comic book-type hero had he been portrayed as written - never a doubt, never a weakness, never a moment's hesitation (which totally works for the book, by the way) and always reminding everyone that he is Isildur's heir!!! - but I did not like that movie Aragorn resigned himself to being without Arwen. Their *surprise* reunion at the end was a tear jerker moment but book Aragorn would never have let go of the commitment he made to Arwen at Cerin Amroth, nor would he have believed that Arwen would ever put her immortality over her pledge to him. He would not have doubted her for a second, nor would he have faltered in his quest to fight the foe, claim the crown and wed Arwen.

In this case, the book Thorin is rather flat and has been fleshed out for the movie in ways that make me really CARE about him, which I did not in the book. I did not shed a tear while reading The Hobbit, but I know I will be crying buckets in the theater in another year or two. BUCKETS. Mr. Gandalf, can't you do something about this [impending] deluge? Such as changing a certain dwarf's character arc?

Or maybe it was just THE VOICE.
"How came you by this?"
"Very well."
"There are a few warriors among us."
"There is no choice. Not for me."
"Give him a pony."
"No, you didn't. You know nothing of the world."
"It is the legacy of my people."
"Can you read them?"
"I have never been so wrong in all my life."
"Our home." (Did I make that up? I know he said that at the end, but last night I was so busy being tearful about the fact it was my last time at the theater for this movie that it feels all jumbled up in my fuzzy brain.)


Feb 21 2013, 6:28pm

Post #17 of 35 (889 views)
Thanks so much [In reply to] Can't Post

for your wonderful answer! (Yes, the TDP is now 6 feet tall and still growing...!!!!!!!)

Your points about Aragorn are spot on. Every one.

Your story is similar to mine, in many ways. In LOTR (screen and text) I just adore Frodo and would have done anything to save him...but the only "where's MY guy" feeling I had was vaguely towards Faramir....which I know many people did not like, and like Aragorn a charactar very, very changed from the book. Like Aragorn his story needed to be changed a bit because he simply cannot stroll in and refute the Ring when NO ONE else can, except Bilbo (with Wise assistance) and be Perfect from scene one on. I am able to love both versions, (as with Aragorn) and just like you I see why changes were made from book to screen. The unloved but honorable to death persona drew me in. But it was never that well-formed. So the emotional focal point in LOTR for me was Frodo, and because of that, Sam.

Thorin's charactar onscreen offers so much to care about. I am a !SUCKER! for underdogs and those poor Dwarves have always gotten shafted, (haha Dwarven pun) literally from the day they were made. Have to say the sheer attractiveness factor of Thorin didn't hit me right away (except for a vague 'ello Sailor....! when he turns in the sunlight) and I'm not sure how much it mattered. I posted elsewhere that I went into the film nice and relaxed with NO JEOPARDY at ALL....because I was there for Bilbo!!!! (and Gandalf! Oh how he steals the screen...) so no worries, right? Then...in view three...Thorin walking down that burning tree, too proud and defiant to die by falling and choosing to fight instead...Left the theater thinking oh no. This is going to HURT!!!!
What the H&##!!!!!

And you are correct. He says "our home"....and smiles....
I know. I wish it could be different too. I know it can't.Frown

TDP and I watched ROTK again last night. Poor kid loses it. I fear for him in TABA, as he says he loves Thorin, Fili and Kili and Balin. Ouch. He won't finish the last chapter of the Hobbit yet. Deciding if we wants to read first or view first.
Oddly enough I didn't cry nearly as much, actually felt so happy for Frodo when his eyes light up. I think its because I know what's coming down the pike. Grey Havens seemed not so bad.

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

(This post was edited by Brethil on Feb 21 2013, 6:32pm)


Feb 21 2013, 6:32pm

Post #18 of 35 (905 views)
I love that they are so distinctly different from one another [In reply to] Can't Post

yet bonded to each other by family ties, and bonded as a group to their king-in-all-but-name Thorin.

Bofur - mischievous, witty, great sense of humor and a warm, kind heart

Bifur - honestly I just love the way he LOOKS! His hair and his beard are the best, but I also love his distant gaze or the way he looks as though he is frequently looking inside himself rather than at anything or anyone around him. I like the little incongruous gestures he makes. I like his fighting spirit, especially when Dori rouses the band by challenging Gandalf to tell them all how many dragons he's killed.

Bombur - so far Bombur is unremarkable other than his single-minded fixation on food. I do like the way he cares for Bifur in Bag End, though.

Dori - fussy, fussy, fussy, and the complainer in the bunch. "How many dragons have you killed? Go on, tell us!" Using a hobbit for a burglar was a terrible idea. "Whose idea was it, anyway?" "Mr. Gandalf, can't you do something about this deluge?" His elaborate braids speak volumes about his personality.

Ori - he is so adolescent, hoisting his tankard with two hands, wearing a baggy cardigan and wielding a slingshot against orcs and wargs. A little bitty slingshot! He's the baby that everyone else looks out for. I look forward to seeing him grow in the next two movies.

Nori - Quiet. Observant. Clips his eyebrows up into his hairdo!

Oin and Gloin - not much to say here. They stick together. I like the close family resemblance, including Gimli. Oin has a bit more of a sense of humor than Gloin - and a better hairdo as well!

Fili - What I like most about him is his connection to Kili. When the two of them are separated on the stone giant's knees they look as though they've been physically torn in two. I also love that he tucks his newly sharpened cutlery into his boots. Ouch.

Kili - Thorin is his hero. I love the way he's always looking to Thorin for his cues. And he's a skilled bowman. I also love the way he comes to Bilbo's rescue - one dwarf against 3 towering trolls. And his genuine delight when Bilbo rejoins the company on the mountain slope.

Balin - the stalwart warrior, the faithful counselor, older and far wiser than Thorin. He is grounded in the real treasures of peace, prosperity and a good life lived.

Dwalin - traded his Mohawk for tattoos! Traded his head-butts for big axes! Love the punk dwarf look with ear cuffs (except where the bit of ear is missing) and studded leather hand guards. Bodyguard to Thorin, as far as I can tell, and so in tune with him that they fight seamlessly together, coordinating their movements without a spoken word. Loved him from the moment he showed up at Bag End, accent and all. And he's pretty big for a dwarf, ain't he!

Thorin - see Roheryn's post. All that for me, too. Although I am VERY bugged by him STANDING on ORCRIST when he gets to his feet on the Carrock - inconceivable for a dwarf who crafted weapons himself, who immediately singled out Glamdring and Orcrist from other weaponry in the troll hoard, and who appreciated Orcrist's extraordinary quality enough to overcome his aversion to anything Elvish and make it his own. How could he be so oblivious to the fact that he is grinding his sword into the rock? Argggghhhhh!


Feb 21 2013, 6:40pm

Post #19 of 35 (870 views)
Edit: "There are a few warriors *amongst* us." [In reply to] Can't Post



Feb 21 2013, 6:51pm

Post #20 of 35 (870 views)
Gandalf steals the screen indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

My two favorite Gandalf moments are when he leans against the rafters at the door of Bag End and pants in relief that Thorin's first encounter with Bilbo went relatively well compared to disastrous confrontation that might have ensued, and most especially Gandalf re-sheathing Glamdring, tucking it into his arm and clearly claiming possession he turns with a look that positively screams "SCORE!"

I never cease to be enthralled with how McKellen uses subtle facial expressions and nuances in his tone of voice to convey volumes. He is a master actor and no mistake!


Feb 21 2013, 7:01pm

Post #21 of 35 (854 views)
know its wandering to drift into Gandalf territory.... [In reply to] Can't Post

but its so true!

I know we have had discussions on subservience in the White Council scene...but i saw last view and I LOOOOVE when Galadriel is takling about the Morgul blade and Angmar he sort of presides like the all-knowing, ever-wise Tutor watching his Pupil give an exposition. Sort of nods quietly in approval - which is his to give. But so, so subtle. Wonderful.

Incidentally as far as the Hair Contest goes the only runner up for Thorin's rockin' pony is Gandalf the White.

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


Feb 21 2013, 7:34pm

Post #22 of 35 (871 views)
I never noticed... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that Thorin steps on Orcrist as well. I noticed Kili stepping on it when he helps Thorin up, but not that Thorin just stands on it. Just goes to show how observant I am (I guess I was looking at Thorin's hair, or something...). Ah well, I learn something new every day... (Of course, I had to go and look for that scene on Youtube just now to check...)

Tol Eressea

Feb 21 2013, 9:05pm

Post #23 of 35 (829 views)
18 times [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually I don't work in the theater. My husband gets a decent amount of overtime during the Christmas season (he is a retail manager and works six days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas) and so for my (belated) Christmas present he not only watched our 3 year old and 10 month old while I went, but gave me the money to go see it Laugh

Whether it was because for the entire past year I was driving him nuts constantly talking about TORN topics or perusing clips on youtube or drooling over all the pics on arwen-undomiel.com or watching the trailers so many times I have them memorized or spending hours on the riddles on the website or having me read fanfiction to him or checking out deviantart.com for hobbit illustrations I don't know-maybe he was just trying to get a break from hobbit fever lol Wink

I didn't mind either way-more middle earth for me plus a sanity break plus me time (I am a stay at home mom so me time can be pretty rare sometimes) plus getting the chance to drool over all the dwarves and their funny and crazy and admirable and brave antics plus chuckling at Gandalf and Bilbo during the good morning scene and snorting when the trolls start debating with Bilbo on how to properly cook dwarf (and thinking that Kili sounds about twelve when he enters the "parasites" conversation lol!) and the dwarves PRICELESS reactions and being on the edge of my seat during all the action sequences- what could get better than that? Laugh

Only other movie I ever saw this much was The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and that was because work was full of bat*hit crazy people and I would have killed someone if I didn't have that two hours to unwind.


I doubt I will be able to watch TABA that much though-otherwise I will probably need to conveniently use the bathroom when Fili and Kili die, or else buy stock in Kleenex Unsure

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm


Feb 21 2013, 10:11pm

Post #24 of 35 (803 views)
Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
At the very least, Bifur, Nori and Bombur need more screentime. They couldn't have all received the same amount of attention in AUJ, so I hope the under-used Dwarves have a little more to say and do.

I'd like to hear Bifur speak more. I just love listening to him talk! ^_^ And I'd love to hear Bombur talk, period. I'm sure he will when he wakes up from his dream. I do love that he uses his weight to fight the goblins in the cave! ^_^

As for Nori. The way his hair is braided to his eyebrows gives him a really cunning look. I'd love to see a scene where he's using something he snatched from Bilbo's house or Rivendell. I also love that he uses the word "collared" when he mentions the goblins grabbing them. Gives an even more shady feel to his character. ^_^


Feb 22 2013, 1:45am

Post #25 of 35 (790 views)
What about Oin and Gloin? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd like to put in a word for Oin and Gloin. They are bearded and broad and extremely cantankerous. In short (yes that's a pun), they are almost stereotypical dwarves. But even they have distinct personalities.

I like the way that Oin fancies himself as a bit of a seer, even though he can't tell a thrush from a raven. It was fun to see all of the other dwarves roll their eyes when Gloin mentioned how Oin had "read the portents". Apparently Oin can be a bit boring on the subject.

And Gloin is possibly the most short-tempered of the group. He was very quick to take offense in Rivendell when he didn't understand what Elrond was saying. You can see where Gimli gets it from. I'm looking forward to perhaps seeing a softer side of Gloin and hearing a bit about his home life in the next movie.

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