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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Braids and other costume design meanings

Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 1 2013, 6:04pm

Post #1 of 19 (610 views)
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Braids and other costume design meanings Can't Post

So, I was curious. I don't know if there has been any other thread about this, but as I cannot acquire the WETA chronicles until Christmas (it's on my wish list), I am wondering if anyone knows...


Are the way the braids are done on the dwarves supposed to have meanings?

I know I have heard that Dori's elaborate braiding is indicative of his fussy personality, for example.

But I have seen repeated ideas that braids have significance, meaning that perhaps a certain braid indicates King, Prince, Crown Prince, warrior (absence of a braid maybe with Dwalin and Balin?), or if it is possible the dwarf cultures could have such things as courting/marriage braids and if one of Gloin's braids might signify that he is the only one of the company who is married?

I am just curious if they were only going for distinctive looks or if their vast array of braids had different meanings...

Also with the costuming and weaponry. I know that swords aren't used really for anything other than battle, so those who have swords (as opposed to axes, mattocks, etc) are definitely considered warriors....I wonder if the weapon choices tell us non-verbally more about each dwarf and their trades or personalities?

As far as costuming, are Thorin and Fili and Kili the only ones who have a sigil (or crest, or whatever they call their Celtic knots)? And is that due to their royal heritage, or indicative of the fact that Thorin is Prince-in-exile, technically King Under the Mountain, Fili is Crown Prince, and Kili is Prince? Or do the others also have sigils and each dwarf's is unique?

Are their costumes as well supposed to reflect their trades or statuses? We do see some nicer things on certain dwarves and not as well taken care of things on others.

Let me know your thoughts/research/discoveries!!!

(and I will be continually reminding my husband what I want for Christmas!!!) Cool

Tauriel (as her hair catches during BO5A)- Ah, now I understand why you keep your beard so short, master Kili!
Kili: Um, because it grows slowly? (glares at her for perceived insult)
Tauriel: Because your arrows don't get tangled in your *^%*(^$%* beard every time you shoot! (more curses as it gets further tangled)
Kili: Um, YEAH! That's it! That's why I keep my beard short! (strides off triumphantly with a huge grin on his face, still shooting arrows as the cursing and tangles continues behind him)

Tauriel keeps fighting the tangles on the battlefield long after Dain takes the throne and Dale is rebuilt. Frodo takes the ring to Morder and once Sauron is defeated she FINALLY gets the last arrow out.


jkm7
Bree

Sep 2 2013, 7:18pm

Post #2 of 19 (225 views)
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Replying to: Braids and other costume design meanings [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the braids have a special meaning, at least I never heard such a thing. It's an interesting thought though, where have you seen these ideas that they have significance?
As for the Celtic knots, I think every dwarf has his own crest. I've seen design of rings with everyones individual sigil. You can see them here for example: http://www.eigenart-online.de/schmuckunduhren/de/Schmuck/Hobbit-Schmuck/Hobbit-Siegelringe (if the link doesn't work, just type "the hobbit siegelringe" into the Google image search.) These rings look so amazing, the designs were done by Weta I believe.


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 2 2013, 7:38pm

Post #3 of 19 (207 views)
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braids [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen such ideas regarding braids and meanings come across on (gasp!) fanfiction.net and I was just curious if that was simply authorial ideas or if it was based on anything mentioned in/about the movie....

Those rings are so neat!

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


jkm7
Bree


Sep 2 2013, 8:01pm

Post #4 of 19 (197 views)
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braids [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah okay, fanfiction.net. Sounds a lot like authorial ideas only then. Wink

Yes, the rings are definitely neat. I want the Fili and Kili rings so bad. They also have awesome dwarven beads on that site. Smile




DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 2 2013, 9:06pm

Post #5 of 19 (188 views)
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Your best bet is wait until you get the books! [In reply to] Can't Post

They're both 200 odd pages long, so it's rather difficult to summarise some of the questions you've asked.

From what I remember, there weren't any particular meanings behind the hairstyles and braiding etc. But there was *a lot* of work that went into them - everything from designing to application. The book, for instance, suggests that Dori cut Ori's hair, but perhaps got bored at the back, hence why his haircut looks unfinished.

On a number of occasions, it says that whatever Peter Jackson preferred most was chosen. Therefore, other than personal preference, I don't think there were any specific "meanings". I think the important thing to take away is that the elaborate designs were to make each Dwarf distinguishable. They're certainly achieved that.

I hope you can get your hands on the books soon. They are by far the best tie-in books to purchase.



Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 2 2013, 9:11pm

Post #6 of 19 (175 views)
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books [In reply to] Can't Post

I really, really, really want them! But that would be 70 bucks at a pop, so that's why I have to wait til Christmas. My husband is a retail manager and works six days a week, so we get a handsome amount of overtime then.


That's why I was able to see AUJ 20 times in the theater- because my husband's gift to me was allowing me to use some of his overtime to do so and watch the kiddos too! Did I mention I love my husband Sly

I sure hope that his schedule allows for me to see DOS frequently this year too Wink

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


Noria
Rohan

Sep 3 2013, 2:27pm

Post #7 of 19 (140 views)
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I have to agree with Daniel. [In reply to] Can't Post

But it would be nice to think that the various elements had some meaning beyond that PJ liked them. I'll have to look more closely next time I watch the movie for more than similarities in hairstyle and dress between family members.

I have both AUJ Chronicles books but it's been a while since I read them. They are beautiful books and well worth having IMO.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design" will be on my Christmas list.


ByThorinsBeard
Rohan


Sep 3 2013, 6:41pm

Post #8 of 19 (120 views)
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those Chronicles books are worth having [In reply to] Can't Post

The Chronicles books are beautiful and a boon to costumers in terms of costumes, make up, hair and accessories.

The AUJ Chronicles character book (Volume II) shows more of the designs of the dwarven make ups and hair, but I cannot recall if the hair braiding had any significance beyond Dori's prissy, fastideous nature and to delineate between characters.

Given that Dori and Nori are related, perhaps Nori is just trying outdo his older brother as far as how intricate (and crazy) the hair braiding gets?

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.



flameofudun
Lorien

Sep 3 2013, 11:13pm

Post #9 of 19 (102 views)
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Well I posted this before [In reply to] Can't Post

And I will post this again. I really do think that certain braids symbolize royalty, and I also think that more ornately decorated beards or hair show the wealth and relative importance of the dwarf, at least in erebors culture. I love how they paid attention to those details so that the fans could notice them, and speculate on them.

''We are very dangerous over short distances''

-Gimli


marillaraina
Rohan


Sep 3 2013, 11:40pm

Post #10 of 19 (106 views)
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hair hair long beautiful hair [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I will post this again. I really do think that certain braids symbolize royalty, and I also think that more ornately decorated beards or hair show the wealth and relative importance of the dwarf, at least in erebors culture. I love how they paid attention to those details so that the fans could notice them, and speculate on them.


But Thorin, Fili and Kili all have relatively simple hair. Kili's is as simple as it comes, just pulled back and not braided and Thorin and Fili only have a few simple braids. It's the other dwarves who have more elaborate hair and beards.

Maybe back in Erebor but even there while Thror had that amazing beard bling, Thrain's didn't seem all that complicated, his hair was pulled back and his long mustache had some golden or brass holders on it. He may have had a braid or two somewhere in there but I couldn't find any looking at the pictures online.

I tend to think it has more to do with their own personal styles and maybe a little peer pressure(I imagine the middle class and "new money" are more into being fancy than the ACTUAL nobility, much like in real life)


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 4 2013, 2:25am

Post #11 of 19 (98 views)
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Could it also be... [In reply to] Can't Post

That Thorin, Fili, and Kili's lack of hair adornment (or for that matter, beards- although I could claim that Fili and Kili's were short because they were young) could be respective of the singed hair that Thror and Thrain had after Erebor's ruin?

I know it wasn't really shown in the movie, but didn't RA say something about Thorin refusing to grow his beard out until after Erebor was reclaimed due to that reason?

Maybe the lack of hair adornment is part of that.

Or it could also be that Gloin is a well to do merchant who financed the quest, whereas Thorin, though a King in exile, was a blacksmith? I would think with the culture that merchants made significantly more money than blacksmiths did. Maybe they just simply could not afford the adornments.....

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


marillaraina
Rohan


Sep 4 2013, 3:01am

Post #12 of 19 (93 views)
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True artists [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That Thorin, Fili, and Kili's lack of hair adornment (or for that matter, beards- although I could claim that Fili and Kili's were short because they were young) could be respective of the singed hair that Thror and Thrain had after Erebor's ruin?

I know it wasn't really shown in the movie, but didn't RA say something about Thorin refusing to grow his beard out until after Erebor was reclaimed due to that reason?

Maybe the lack of hair adornment is part of that.

Or it could also be that Gloin is a well to do merchant who financed the quest, whereas Thorin, though a King in exile, was a blacksmith? I would think with the culture that merchants made significantly more money than blacksmiths did. Maybe they just simply could not afford the adornments.....


But as I pointed out Thorin's father also did not have much adornment in his hair. He had plenty of hair and plenty of beard but only a few adornments, and no obvious braids. Thorin himself only had a simple braid in his slightly longer beard, pre Smaug.

It really does seem to be entirely up to personal preference. Thror liked his beard bling, it appears Thrain and Thorin weren't much bothered about it and went with minimal ornamentation. Thorin yes wears a short beard now, but his hair always was relatively simple and there wasn't that much ornamentation. A few small beads. Kili and Fili have their hair clips and Fili has a couple beads on his mustache(aww...much like the grandad he never knew),

While I think individual pieces of jewelry may have special personal meaning, it appears that beards, hairstyles and jewelry are up to individual preference mostly. Nothing in the books, the film or the film tie material really suggests there is anything significant about the braids or types of braids or how many braids or about the beards, clips and jewelry they choose to wear beyond the fact that dwarves in general seem to have a great appreciation for their hair, whether of head or face.

Which I like, it suggests that as much as the dwarves seem to have a lot of cultural pride and things that bind them together, they also seem to have an ability to express themselves as individuals. Much like human artists have often been individualistic in their personal styles.


(This post was edited by marillaraina on Sep 4 2013, 3:02am)


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 4 2013, 3:13am

Post #13 of 19 (89 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

Thror's decked out beard was supposed to indicate his gold sickness and love for shiny things and wasn't the norm?

I definitely thought it was the best beard in the entire movie! But....

Can you imagine how stinking heavy that sucker was???????

I would imagine a bad neckache by the end of the day......

It could also be indicative of their royal duties. Thrain was the crown prince, so his adornments wouldn't be as much as the king, and isn't a crown prince's job typically to run the armies and Royal guard? I can imagine a lot of bling getting in the way of defense.

As for Thorin, at the time he was the spare, like Kili. He was a future crown prince, but still third in line. I would also be willing to bet that he wasn't much older than Fili (in movie verse- in book verse he was just a young lad of human equivalent 12 or so) at the time of the Sack of Erebor.

We definitely get indications that Thorin was also responsible for some of Erebor's defenses considering Balin went to him in the prologue when they began to notice something strange (note- even Balin doesn't realize it is a dragon, but Thorin does).

Of course, Thrain and Thorin leading the defense charge could be both their jobs as princes and their jobs as defenders, since we know that Thror was FREAKING INSANE to actually run TOWARD the massive dragon!

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Sep 4 2013, 3:34am

Post #14 of 19 (91 views)
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Kili doesn't have a beard at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a few days growth. It's shameful, really. And, how does he keep it so well trimmed out in the wild?


marillaraina
Rohan


Sep 4 2013, 1:39pm

Post #15 of 19 (76 views)
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stubble [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Just a few days growth. It's shameful, really. And, how does he keep it so well trimmed out in the wild?


Maybe he doesn't. It's possible, given the length of their lives, etc that perhaps beards grow slowly, that just may be as far as he's been able to get.

Besides which, they have sharp knives. that's enough to trim it


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Sep 4 2013, 1:43pm

Post #16 of 19 (68 views)
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I was fine with this idea until they said Ori was the youngest // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 4 2013, 1:46pm

Post #17 of 19 (70 views)
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beard length [In reply to] Can't Post

While I definitely don't think it is a long beard, it is more than a few days growth.

My husband has very thick whiskers just like Kili (in fact, he looks fairly similar to Kili). He has to be clean shaven for work, and by the time he is off, he definitely has a serious 5 o'clock shadow, even though he shaved that morning.

The longest he has ever been able to grow his beard out is 9 days, and it was still just a tiny bit shorter than Kili's. I would say Kili looks like he has about 2 weeks worth of growth.

That being said, I agree with marillaraina. I think personally that it is very likely their beards grow very slowly, otherwise they would be rapunzel beards after just a few months in the wild! And since we know dwarves don't cut their beards (though I am not sure if they are trimmed for maintenance or not) by the time they are 250 they would be miles long!

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


marillaraina
Rohan


Sep 4 2013, 5:13pm

Post #18 of 19 (59 views)
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Lucky girl [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
While I definitely don't think it is a long beard, it is more than a few days growth.

My husband has very thick whiskers just like Kili (in fact, he looks fairly similar to Kili). He has to be clean shaven for work, and by the time he is off, he definitely has a serious 5 o'clock shadow, even though he shaved that morning.

The longest he has ever been able to grow his beard out is 9 days, and it was still just a tiny bit shorter than Kili's. I would say Kili looks like he has about 2 weeks worth of growth.

That being said, I agree with marillaraina. I think personally that it is very likely their beards grow very slowly, otherwise they would be rapunzel beards after just a few months in the wild! And since we know dwarves don't cut their beards (though I am not sure if they are trimmed for maintenance or not) by the time they are 250 they would be miles long!


Wait, your husband looks similar to Kili?!? Not bad(hopefully a little taller though;)

But yeah, even if Ori is younger, it's not by much surely(and he doesn't look younger) and individuals can vary. It's not like Ori has a great beard, it's sort of wispy and patchy. Kili may just have 'long stubble" at this point but it was obviously heading towards a full coverage beard right out of the gate. :)


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 4 2013, 9:00pm

Post #19 of 19 (56 views)
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husband [In reply to] Can't Post

My husband's lower face isn't quite like Kili's, but his upper face sure is Blush

His jaw is narrower and shorter, he has a dimple in his chin, and his lips are thinner. But he could pull off a Kili costume quite well if he went without shaving for a couple weeks and put a wig on or somehow grew his hair out-though he absolutely refuses to do soSmile

And yes he is 6 foot, so he is taller....although according to WETA I am barely taller than Kili is (I think he's supposed to be 5 foot and I am five foot and change-not quite an inch I think maybe 3/4 inch and shorter than Thorin and Dwalin as a result), so in theory the only reason I needed a tall husband was to reach the top shelf of the cupboards in my kitchen Tongue

But, hey, whatever works- I'm happy Cool

As far as Ori, whether the crew intended him to be younger or not, I still prefer to think that Fili and Kili are the youngest, and that the Great Goblin was just an idiot Wink

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.

(This post was edited by Cirashala on Sep 4 2013, 9:01pm)

 
 

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