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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
question about the dwarves aging in the movie


Apr 10 2013, 3:49am

Post #1 of 10 (937 views)
question about the dwarves aging in the movie Can't Post

I was watching AUJ for the third time last night since buying it on blu ray (and the fifth time in general), and had this observation: How come in the prologue Thorin and Balin both look young with dark hair, in the Moria flashback Thorin looks the same but Balin looks like he's getting older, and then in the present Balin has white hair and Thorin only has one or two gray hairs, even though they said at Bag End that nobody has seen Smaug in 40 years, so obviously a lot of time has passed? Shouldn't Thorin have aged more?

Tol Eressea

Apr 10 2013, 4:18am

Post #2 of 10 (562 views)
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

... I think Balin is actually older than Thorin in the prologue. Thorin is quite young, Balin more mature. He is certainly set up as an elder statesman.

The Tolkien Gateway
( http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Dwarves ) says this...

Dwarves on average live to be 250 years of age. A 30 year old Dwarf is very much considered a young stripling, having not yet reached full adulthood. Thus it was considered very remarkable when the young Dain Ironfoot slew Azog the Orc chieftain of Moria, at only 32 years old. Once a Dwarf has reached maturity, he will stop aging almost entirely, remaining in prime physical condition, or perhaps middle-aged at the most, for over two centuries. However, when Dwarves reach 240 years old, they will begin to age very rapidly and their physical condition drastically worsen, essentially condensing the aging process that Men experience from 40 to 80 years of age into only ten years. It is not, however, unheard of for an elderly Dwarf to live beyond 250 years. Once again Dain Ironfoot was renowned for his health in this matter as he died in the Battle of Dale at the age of 252 years, still wielding his battle-axe and cleaving dozens of enemies during a rearguard action. Even Gandalf the Wizard was astonished that Dain was still healthy and hale enough to lead troops into battle at an age when most Dwarves would be lucky to be on their deathbed, much less engaged in close-quarters combat.

Go outside and play...


Apr 10 2013, 5:12am

Post #3 of 10 (531 views)
The ages of the dwarves are different in the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

...than in the book. I think in the movie, Balin is supposed to be older than Thorin. Dwalin, who is Balin's younger brother, is also older than Thorin, but closer to him in age. So it makes sense that Balin looks older.

Plus, I suppose it can be assumed that Dwarves, like humans, age differently. I know people who have almost completely grey hair at the age 40, while others don't have a single grey hair at 55. Maybe Thorin just has lucky genes. Tongue

Grey Havens

Apr 10 2013, 8:10am

Post #4 of 10 (502 views)
I'd argue that Thorin has aged quite a bit. [In reply to] Can't Post

He's got a receding hairline, for starters. When Smaug attacks Erebor, Thorin's hair line is nearly straight across his forehead; at Azanulbizar, he's got a bit more of a widow's peak; and by the time he swaggers in to Bag End, he's got a pronounced widow's peak. Also, he's got a younger body shape in the prologue; the design team -- this is their terminology, not mine! -- raised his crotch line for the prologue to give him a younger appearance, and dropped it for the rest of the movie. And Thorin's hair in the prologue is definitely solid dark, whereas in the main part of the movie he's got a fair bit of grey streaking.

Balin's hair in the prologue is grey (in contrast to Thorin's dark locks) and long, and in the rest of the movie not only white but short -- I'm guessing he can't be bothered fussing with long hair any more!

Happy to have an excuse to discuss Thorin's hair. Cool


Apr 10 2013, 6:13pm

Post #5 of 10 (342 views)
As I'm actually doing my usual thing of tying in movie!canon with film!canon.. [In reply to] Can't Post

..I'm replacing Balin and Thorin with Fundin and Thrain, who just happen to look a lot like their sons. Ha. Problem solved. :3


Apr 10 2013, 9:20pm

Post #6 of 10 (306 views)
My question would rather be... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Shouldn't Thorin have aged more?

... Shouldn't Balin have aged less? ;) I've read that Dwarves went white around 240 years of age, and until then adult Dwarves look pretty much the same. So either Balin's hair turned white from experiencing a strong shock or torment (not too likely, as other Erebor refugees appear unaffected), or Balin's way older than Thorin in the movie canon (that's what I choose to believe).
So the addition of just a few grey hairs to show Thorin's age (well under 240, if they're going by the book) is okay with me. (The short beard, on the other hand... *grumble* Though the pro- argument about reverence towards those whose beards were singed off was a very good one, I'll give them that. But still - don't singed hair and beard grow back after a time?...

"A journalist once asked me what I would like my epitaph to be and I said I think I would like it to be 'He did very little harm'. And that's not easy. Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little, that would suit me." ~ Paul Eddington


Apr 11 2013, 2:21am

Post #7 of 10 (260 views)
You are excused! [In reply to] Can't Post

Me, I can slip it into any conversation ("Where is the nearest gas station?" "Two blocks away, and Thorin's hair.").

In Reply To
Happy to have an excuse to discuss Thorin's hair. Cool

Tol Eressea

Apr 11 2013, 5:20am

Post #8 of 10 (254 views)
hair length [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, Lady Roheryn, and the other Thorinites out there!

You seem to be forgetting something-in Erebor, Thorin's hair itself was also SHORTER than in AUJ Wink

I find this hilarious that I mentioned this first on the geeky observations list, when I am actually more inclined toward Fili and Kili (those two having been my favorites in the book and also because I personally find Thorin to be a bit "old" for me as I am only 26, and the Middle aged brooding type isn't my type lol-my husband is 29 and honestly looks a little like Kili-dark hair though buzzed short, thick dark eyebrows, and if work didn't make him shave a five o'clock shadow very much like Kili's when he skips shaving on his days off due to rambunctious 1 and almost 4 year old girls) and I am also a prankster with a sense of humor. I think Thorin would be far more of an uncle like figure to me too instead of the way you ladies view him which I know is DEFINITELY NOT uncle! Wink

So just rounding up your aging Thorin hair list for ya Smile

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm

Grey Havens

Apr 11 2013, 9:05am

Post #9 of 10 (224 views)
*gets out ruler* [In reply to] Can't Post

For measuring his hair, I swear -- nothing else! Angelic

So why haven't I noticed his hair is shorter in the prologue? You'd think I've spent enough time ogling it! LOL! Great observation.

And just for the record, I may be more vocal in my, erm, appreciation of Thorin, but Kili really is a close second. I could take him home too.

Grey Havens

Apr 11 2013, 9:09am

Post #10 of 10 (245 views)
That could get you into trouble, ya know. [In reply to] Can't Post

"What did you do today, Kim?"

"Oh, a bit of housework, and Thorin's hair."

Could raise some eyebrows. Cool



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