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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Balin, Lord of Moria?
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Syzygy
The Shire


Apr 17 2013, 3:36am

Post #1 of 30 (1417 views)
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Balin, Lord of Moria? Can't Post

I was having a hard time sleeping last night and for whatever reason I started thinking about the film's portrayal of Balin and how to reconcile that with the fact that he goes on to lead a company of dwarves to reclaim Moria some years after the BO5A. After his whole "You don't have to do this" speech to Thorin in Bag End I'm seriously wondering what his motivation would be, because it doesn't seem to fit with his characterization thus far. Unless something happens in the next two films that causes a drastic change in the old dwarf's personality I just can't see him spearheading something so dangerous, so obviously doomed to failure. It seems like he'd be satisfied with defeating Smaug and deeply saddened by the deaths of Thorin & his nephews (if they do indeed die in the final film, which I doubt even PJ would have the gall to alter) so why would he want to risk more lives at his age on such a desperate quest?

The only reason I can come up with is that some younger dwarf (or dwarves) gets the idea in his head and Balin goes along with it out of a sense of loyalty and a desire to protect him/them. Of course we'll probably never see any of that, so again I ask how does that fit with his portrayal in the film? It just doesn't make sense to me Crazy


Salmacis81
Grey Havens


Apr 17 2013, 4:21am

Post #2 of 30 (777 views)
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Someone else came up with a good motivation for Balin... [In reply to] Can't Post

The idea was that since Dain Ironfoot refuses to accompany the dwarves on their quest, Balin, being sort of a spiritual advisor to Thorin, feels resentment over the fact that Dain becomes King under the Mountain. This in turn creates a rift between him and Dain, and Balin, feeling confident over the success of the Erebor quest, decides to go try and re-take Moria. They could also try and find a way to crowbar in Dain's line about Durin's Bane waiting there, before Balin storms off with a company of dwarves (including Oin and Ori).

I can't take any credit for this idea, but I think it's a really good one. I just can't remember who came up with it Tongue


Patty
Immortal


Apr 17 2013, 4:33am

Post #3 of 30 (672 views)
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Was it Durin's Bane? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or just one of the dwarf rings?

Permanent address: Into the West






Dwarvenfury
Lorien

Apr 17 2013, 4:43am

Post #4 of 30 (641 views)
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This is indeed Puzzling [In reply to] Can't Post

The relation has crossed my mind as well, and I have not a clue, but I'll just play a game of connect the dots, considering what we've seen of Balin
thus far in AUJ.
Balin appears to be that stateman elder type of character who is steeped in Dwarven custom. A whitebeard is handy to have around for the any proceeding
in which to draw from history and experience. Balin seems to see a kingly substance to Thorin and admires his leadership qualities and consideration for the
legacy of his people. This is seen in Balin's recollection of the Battle of Azanulbizar. He saw a king to follow and had done such up to the point of the journey.

Balin's reasonable caution and logical reluctance to embark on this journey toward the mountain is tempered by
his esteem and trust in Thorin's convictions for reclaiming the homeland.

That elderly discretion ultimately fails to outweigh the noble aspiration behind the quest and i think these two notions wrestled eachother initially within the character
of Balin. I think by the end. In the end, I see it as sort of Thorin's bequest to Balin this notion of leadership against odds for the rightful reclamation of their kingdoms.
It worked for the Lonely Mountain, why not Khazad Dum? Alas, that expedition suffered a different fate. I like this sort of real history.
What you think about this?


Syzygy
The Shire


Apr 17 2013, 5:24am

Post #5 of 30 (601 views)
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Real history indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

A good theory, this... however I think in the context of the films it's too subtle. Thorin would practically have to state on his deathbed that Khazad Dum must be reclaimed in order for the film version of Balin to agree to it, at least from what we've seen of his character so far. What old warrior could refuse his dying King's last wish? And indeed, in the context of the defeat of Smaug it may have seemed wholly possible. The exact nature of Durin's bane was most likely not known to even the eldest and wisest of dwarves, and perhaps if Balin thought the worst they faced were Orcs he would have believed they could be easily driven out, especially after Bolg (and Azog...) were defeated.


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 17 2013, 5:59am

Post #6 of 30 (587 views)
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This should never happen!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Thorin would practically have to state on his deathbed that Khazad Dum must be reclaimed in order for the film version of Balin to agree to it, at least from what we've seen of his character so far. What old warrior could refuse his dying King's last wish?


Thorin had a change of heart on his death bed. He realized that now he understands that the value of a simple happy life was far too greater than reclaiming their kingdoms for treasuries.
So I would really pissed off if they make Thorin say something like that on his death-bed. That's practically going against Tolkien.

The Road goes Ever on and on.
Down from the door where it began.
How far ahead the Road has gone.
And I must follow if I can ...


Dwarvenfury
Lorien

Apr 17 2013, 6:08am

Post #7 of 30 (545 views)
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agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

Ya i wasn't thinking a literal, explicit bequest from thorin to Balin. I was thinking of bequest more along
the lines of something figuratively rubbing off on balin. that spark of ambition is rekindled from the reclamation of hte mountain.
haha i have myself have difficulties imagining thorin telling balin to reclaim moria. i really don't think the films will make any such
allusions to the future events beyond the main story for story telling purposes and i think last scenes of thorin
will probably be his farewells to the burglar. i think balin would assume the the moria mission on his own
initiative after the lonely mountain portents proved accurate. i see him a little overoptimistic afterwards and thinks moria is realistic. 2 cents.


Dwarvenfury
Lorien

Apr 17 2013, 6:47am

Post #8 of 30 (508 views)
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In addition [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you really think thorin, in the end, will bring up treasure hunting as if it was the bane of his fate?
I mean, that's just what dwarves do lol. they like shiny and sparkling stuff. whatever floats
their boat lol. i mean should thorin in his farewell really apologize for being a dwarf? hehehe
dragon sickness...bleh...it's the dwarves' treasure in the first place!
i see it as more regrettable words exchanged rather than outright guilt for hoarding the treasure.
hmmm, now i have run into my own conundrum of what dwarves are and are not meant to be and they are to be portrayed...
i'm stumped...
but who knows how the film will be Sly


(This post was edited by Dwarvenfury on Apr 17 2013, 6:52am)


dormouse
Half-elven


Apr 17 2013, 7:42am

Post #9 of 30 (537 views)
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At his age? [In reply to] Can't Post

Balin may have grey hair and a very long memory, but he's a dwarf, not a man, and we've also been shown that he's capable of fighting alongside the others and of taking the lead. He's every bit as strong physically as the younger dwarves and he knows a lot more - and the film hasn't strayed far from Tolkien's characterisation of him. In the book Balin is wiser and more perceptive than some, and a good friend to Bilbo - but between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring he still decides to return to Moria. According to Gloin in the Council of Elrond his decision is prompted by a growing feeling of uneasiness in the Lonely Mountain and talk of there being a greater kingdom to reclaim and more riches (given the way they've portrayed Erebor in the film this could be a mite difficult, but still...!!). And no one knew where the whispering began but it finally got to Balin and he listened and decided to go, even though Dain was uneasy about it.

So I don't think his age is the issue at all and as far as his character goes, I suppose the moral of the story is that anyone, no matter how wise, can go astray if they listen to the wrong voices. Balin was wise on Thorin's behalf, but when it came to it, not so wise on his own.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Apr 17 2013, 9:23am

Post #10 of 30 (486 views)
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Balin [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Balin may be so devastated by the loss of Thorin, to whom he is very close, that his motivation could change and he could well lead a company of Dwarves to reclaim Moria.


MomoftheShire
Rivendell

Apr 17 2013, 11:28am

Post #11 of 30 (481 views)
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Rings? [In reply to] Can't Post

All the dwarves' rings have been either destroyed or Sauron has them back by the time Balin goes to Moria. Thrain had the last one, and it is taken from him in Dol Guldur.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 17 2013, 11:30am

Post #12 of 30 (434 views)
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Welcome, Syzygy! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm never going to be able to spell your nick right! But welcome to TORn. Smile

I agree with Glorfindela: I'd guess Balin's heart is broken at losing his king (again! that's at least the third one he's lost!), and that he can't come to terms with Dain being the new king. He loved Thorin like a son, and I'd guess his grief at losing Thorin is fierce. He's a gentle soul, really, for a Dwarf. Erebor must lose much of its appeal for him without Thorin; it's a very bittersweet reclamation. "It's been saved, but not for me" comes to mind. So he may feel he needs to leave to escape the memories and the should-have-beens that haunt him there. And for whatever reason, he may simply not see Dain worthy of the same high praise he gave Thorin: Dain may not be one he could follow, nor call king. And at this point, I have to say I feel the same! Dain sure had better do something spectacular to win us over, or we're going to resent him just as much as I suspect Balin will. And Dwalin actually, too. I could see him following Balin to Moria for similar reasons.
,
One other point that might be relevant: Balin is next in line to the throne, after Dain (before Dain has children). So if Dain had also been slain in the Bo5A, Balin would have been the new King Under the Mountain. Could this have some bearing on his leaving? Maybe.


Brego93
The Shire


Apr 17 2013, 11:54am

Post #13 of 30 (465 views)
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"There was on I could follow. There was one I coud call king." [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know yet if PJ and Co will place Dain at Azanulbizar to provide a wee prologue for him rather than just jumping to him. However, these lines along with, "We were leaderless", alludes to the conclusion that Balin would only follow Thorin and only call him king. Even if Dain proved himself in BOFA. Balin is also proud and stubborn, like all dwarves. "Thorin, no!" (when Thorin gave the map to Elrond, therefore not listening to Gandalf's wisdom). I think it would be unlikely that he would change his allegiance to another to call king after Thorin's death, prompting him to leave Dain's kingdom and go and reclaim Moria. BTW welcome to TORN Smile

"I don't know half of you as half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you as well as you deserve"


easterlingchief1
Rivendell


Apr 17 2013, 1:25pm

Post #14 of 30 (426 views)
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RE: Durin's Bane [In reply to] Can't Post

Durin's Bane is the name the dwarves gave the Balrog of Moria. When it was awoken by their out of control mining, it wreaked havoc on them and slew their king, Durin VII.


Sinister71
Tol Eressea


Apr 17 2013, 1:28pm

Post #15 of 30 (394 views)
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Oh no... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Thorin would practically have to state on his deathbed that Khazad Dum must be reclaimed in order for the film version of Balin to agree to it,

God please don't give Jackson any ideas, shoehorning more and more made up material into these films is totally unnecessary. Unsure Let people have just a bit of imagination or let their own mind figure out what happens or why Balin goes to Moria. Since we can probably figure even if Jackson included something about the subject it wouldn't be anything like what Tolkien wrote anyways.



Bombadil
Half-elven


Apr 17 2013, 1:43pm

Post #16 of 30 (399 views)
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From the Book...the last pages... [In reply to] Can't Post

One autumn evening...

Ballin and Gandalf visit. No mention of Moria.
Bomby would perfer the Book ending.


Elessar
Valinor


Apr 17 2013, 3:17pm

Post #17 of 30 (369 views)
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Moria [In reply to] Can't Post

I want the Balrog and the reason the Dwarves cannot take back Moria mentioned. Its a large part of the Dwarven history and a couple of us have talked about it a lot that this has to come up before this trilogy is done. Balin wanting to take back Moria is something I'd like to see worked in if it can be done in a way that fits. You could have Balin mention the idea and being told why its a bad idea. Something simple like that could work at the end of There and Back Again.



nhui06
Rivendell

Apr 17 2013, 4:32pm

Post #18 of 30 (323 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

And I think this fits in perfectly with a prologue where Gandalf sees mad Thrain trying to sneak into Moria after the battle. They can get into both the exchange of the key and map, and Gandalf warning Thrain not to go in any further because of the Balrog.

PS, also Balin reminds me of Santa Claus


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Apr 17 2013, 9:00pm

Post #19 of 30 (299 views)
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I loved Balin's portrayal [In reply to] Can't Post

But a family member brought up the exact point you mention during a viewing of the film last week, just after the "you don't have to do this" line. However I think the first response with the talk about the relationship between Dain/Balin is a pretty good conclusion.

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Apr 17 2013, 10:20pm

Post #20 of 30 (280 views)
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A lot of water has flowed under the Bridge at Khazad Dum [In reply to] Can't Post

since Balin uttered his "you don't need to do this" line. The situation is now very different and any number of plausible (and not so plausible) reasons might bring Balin to Moria. Doesn't Gloin say in The Council of Elrond that it was in hopes of finding Thror's ring that Balin went to Moria? And then Gandalf tells his story about meeting Thrain in Dol Guldur.


Patty
Immortal


Apr 17 2013, 10:51pm

Post #21 of 30 (266 views)
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Whoops. I was thinking of Isildur's bane The one ring. Sorry. [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Permanent address: Into the West






Syzygy
The Shire


Apr 18 2013, 2:05am

Post #22 of 30 (240 views)
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Makes perfect sense, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

It would've made more sense if the entirely invented "You don't have to do this" speech had not been written. I agree with this assessment, though, as I can't empathize with Dain myself having never had a chance to learn anything of his character. And it seems a bit unfair that he just swoops in and becomes King Under the Mountain after all Thorin & company's hard work, not to mention their ultimate sacrifice - I can easily see book Balin saying (paraphrasing of course) "Screw this, I'm taking back Khazad Dum!"

But movie Balin has been portrayed as a bit softer (for lack of a better word) and more cautious, loathe to endanger the lives of those he loves for the sake of a seemingly impossible quest. And in regard to his age, he's the first one to protest when Thorin says "There are a few warriors amongst us" with the retort "Old warriors." It seems it would take a massive change of heart to persuade film Balin to undertake such an audacious endeavor, and that is where I wonder if PJ even remembered that it's his tomb the Fellowship encounters in FOTR, to say nothing of the fact that in Tolkien's original work it's the tomb of Balin, Lord of Moria - clearly marking him as an ambitious heir of Durin and leader of that quest.

BTW, thank you and everyone here for the warm welcome! I'm looking forward to many more interesting discussions I really can't have anywhere else. And you can call me Syz for short Wink


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Apr 18 2013, 4:17am

Post #23 of 30 (249 views)
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For over A Thousand years Moria had but one true lord. . . and, much as I love Balin, it wasn't Balin son of Fundin. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Balrog was the only master in Moria, and all things that lived there, even unto the likes of Azog, lived there on his limited mercy. Durin he slew, and Nain. . . Madness drove Thror to Moria. . . they will have to explain what drove Balin there, though I have some ideas.

In Reply To
I was having a hard time sleeping last night and for whatever reason I started thinking about the film's portrayal of Balin and how to reconcile that with the fact that he goes on to lead a company of dwarves to reclaim Moria some years after the BO5A. After his whole "You don't have to do this" speech to Thorin in Bag End I'm seriously wondering what his motivation would be, because it doesn't seem to fit with his characterization thus far. Unless something happens in the next two films that causes a drastic change in the old dwarf's personality I just can't see him spearheading something so dangerous, so obviously doomed to failure. It seems like he'd be satisfied with defeating Smaug and deeply saddened by the deaths of Thorin & his nephews (if they do indeed die in the final film, which I doubt even PJ would have the gall to alter) so why would he want to risk more lives at his age on such a desperate quest?

The only reason I can come up with is that some younger dwarf (or dwarves) gets the idea in his head and Balin goes along with it out of a sense of loyalty and a desire to protect him/them. Of course we'll probably never see any of that, so again I ask how does that fit with his portrayal in the film? It just doesn't make sense to me Crazy


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Apr 18 2013, 4:17am

Post #24 of 30 (217 views)
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Twas I [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool

In Reply To
The idea was that since Dain Ironfoot refuses to accompany the dwarves on their quest, Balin, being sort of a spiritual advisor to Thorin, feels resentment over the fact that Dain becomes King under the Mountain. This in turn creates a rift between him and Dain, and Balin, feeling confident over the success of the Erebor quest, decides to go try and re-take Moria. They could also try and find a way to crowbar in Dain's line about Durin's Bane waiting there, before Balin storms off with a company of dwarves (including Oin and Ori).

I can't take any credit for this idea, but I think it's a really good one. I just can't remember who came up with it Tongue


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Apr 18 2013, 4:19am

Post #25 of 30 (234 views)
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Though it is true that Balin went to Moria to find The Ring of Thror. The King's [In reply to] Can't Post

Kin believed, wrongly, that he had worn it to Moria. But as Gloin was told by Gandalf, "Balin will find no Ring in Moria. Thror gave it to Thrain, his son, but not Thrain to Thorin. It was taken with torment in the dungeouns of Dol Guldur. I came too late."

In Reply To
All the dwarves' rings have been either destroyed or Sauron has them back by the time Balin goes to Moria. Thrain had the last one, and it is taken from him in Dol Guldur.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

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