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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Balin - In the films

carrioncrow
Lorien

Dec 26 2007, 3:11pm

Post #1 of 10 (573 views)
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Balin - In the films Can't Post

The portrayal of Balin is going to be a key to these Films.

Aside from Gandalf and Bilbo, Balin is probably the main character who can bridges the two stories (Hobbit & LOTR). He's the most detailed dwarf character in JRRT's The Hobbit. I was rereading the book this weekend. Thorin, Balin, Dori, Fili, and Bombur are probably the members of the company that receive the most character detail. But:

Balin is introduced on the doorstep of Bag End is described as a "very odd looking dwarf". In the context of the day Bilbo is having I find this very intriguing. Hope the film production will run wild.

Balin, although quite old, is acknowledged as the best look-out in the company and takes this role seriously.

Balin has a white beard and scarlet hood and cloak, so basically Father Christmas + Chuck Norris = Balin. In fact, easy comparison between Balin and Santa Claus litter the pages of The Hobbit, was it a joke by JRRT or just coincidence?

Only Balin greets Bilbo with a hardy "Bravo!" when Bilbo finally joins the company at the Green Dragon.

Balin is the first to confront the trolls after Bilbo is captured.

Balin confesses admiration for Bilbo's skill (when Bilbo wearing the ring penetrates Balins defenses and enters the camp east of the Mountains.

Balin is the FIRST dwarf Bilbo frees from the Elfking prison...and the LAST dwarf to be loaded into the barrels out of bonds.

Balin walks with bilbo on the approach to Lonely Mountain.

Only Balin walks (part way) down the tunnel when Bilbo first enters Smaug's Lair.

Balin is the only Dwarf present in Bag End with Gandalf and Bilbo at the end of the story.

Balin is, by far, the most prominent member of Thorin's company in the events described in the LOTR appendices.

Balin's tomb is prominently featured in JRRT FOTR and PJ:FOTR,,,and the grief expressed by Gimli is profound (and sort of unjustified as the films stand now)

I have many concerns about the proposed 2-film project, but if they get Balin right, I think we'll be halfway there





(This post was edited by carrioncrow on Dec 26 2007, 3:21pm)


carrioncrow
Lorien

Dec 26 2007, 3:40pm

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oh so.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Balin is the first dwarf Smaug smells.

One potential change, I can see is having Balin set up as King under the Mountain after Battle of the Five Armies (or at least having the crown offered to him and then rejected before being offered to Dain). The late introduction of Dane is just the sort of thing an adaptation to the screen might toss aside.


(This post was edited by carrioncrow on Dec 26 2007, 3:42pm)


weaver
Half-elven

Dec 26 2007, 4:21pm

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Father Christmas plus Chuck Norris? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha! I loved that description from your post of the creative gene pool for Balin --

I had not realized how much development Balin gets relative to the other dwarves -- thanks for all those references.

You're right, in that they will probably develop a few of the dwarves over all 13 of them. Thorin's obvious, and you make a convincing argument as to why Balin is the most likely to get some focus as well.

Weaver



Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Dec 26 2007, 6:24pm

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One forgets these things... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for reminding us! Balin should indeed be developped, as he carries a lot of importance in the story, according to your references.

However, I do not see what you suggest about the King under the Mountain, carrioncrow. Dáin will be a key part of the movie. It will be the force of salvation Éomer represents in Helm's Deep (in the movie) and Théoden at Pelennor. That will be a cool sight: an army of dwarves to the rescue. Dáin will have to have a royal look to him.

Thanks again, one more way to bridge the pentalogy!

Let it be heard! We want Jackson for The Hobbit!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


fmaximus
Rivendell


Dec 26 2007, 6:31pm

Post #5 of 10 (336 views)
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Your'e right... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tomb of Balin scene in the FOTR definately would make more sense if they put more attention towards his character in the Hobbit Film. Thorin is still the main dude, but Balin should be a close second.


fmaximus
Rivendell


Dec 26 2007, 6:34pm

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As for Dain... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe he will get more attention in the second film, since the second film is supposed to bridge the Hobbit to LOTR.


carrioncrow
Lorien

Dec 27 2007, 4:41am

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dain [In reply to] Can't Post

No. I wouldn't want 'BO5A' with only 4 armies, but I think once Thorin falls, the audience might be confused as to why another member of the company is not next in line to the throne of the kingdom they just personally restored. Its just something that might be simplified in the adaptation process.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Dec 28 2007, 5:24am

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Balin in Moria [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with most of what's been said here. I would add this: while I generally dislike changes to the text, I have found some of them laudable.

One thing that I think would make Balin's failure in Moria more grand, and I've mentioned it before, is if he fell in the manner of Dain IV and Nain, rather than being shot by an orc from behind a stone. Especially since neither film will properly be able to address how Morgoth's lingering Demon Liutenant drove the dwarves from Moria and the silvan Elves from Lindon.

Nor will they likely be able to sqeeze in much about why Dain turned Thrain II away from returning to Moria after the dwarves won their war against the orcs. When Dain came down from the slaying of Azog, grey and aged as one who has beheld a great terror.

"If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it. . . We have bled for you, and will do so again. But we will not enter Khazad-Dum. YOU will not enter Khazad-Dum. Only I have been beyond the shadow of the gate. . . It waits for you still. Durin's Bane. The world must change, and some greater power than that of The Dwarves must pass through here before we will walk again in Moria."

It will allow a proper showing of The Balrog as a highly sentient and acutely malacious cousin of Sauron, as it is, rather than a bigger, flaming kindred of the cave troll.

"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."


carrioncrow
Lorien

Dec 28 2007, 4:18pm

Post #9 of 10 (277 views)
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more on Balin [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I agree with most of what's been said here. I would add this: while I generally dislike changes to the text, I have found some of them laudable.

One thing that I think would make Balin's failure in Moria more grand, and I've mentioned it before, is if he fell in the manner of Dain IV and Nain,

..

Another thing that makes Balin a key figure (even moreso if they choose to mine the appendices!) is that he is the only(?) veteran of both Smaug's attack on Erebor and the previous expedition to reclaim Erebor, a catastrophe that resulted (if memory serves) in Thorin's father's death, Sauron reclaiming the last of the dwarven rings and Balin 'misplacing' his fellow travelers and returning, humiliated, to life in exile...'a very odd looking dwarf' indeed!


Mortimus
Bree

Dec 29 2007, 4:32am

Post #10 of 10 (370 views)
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Thorin's natural heir/s [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
No. I wouldn't want 'BO5A' with only 4 armies, but I think once Thorin falls, the audience might be confused as to why another member of the company is not next in line to the throne of the kingdom they just personally restored. Its just something that might be simplified in the adaptation process.



I believe the main reason Fili and Kili also fell at the Battle was that they were the natural successors to Thorin, being his 'sister-sons' through Dis. Having them fall in battle reinforces the idea of an utter end to Thorin's line, and allowing Dain to claim the throne. Who knows whether that will be explained as well in the movie (I know some viewers of the movie trilogy thought Eowyn was Theoden's daughter - easy mistake to make)?

 
 

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