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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Your wonderful avatar is almost back in season Macfeast!

Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 26 2013, 1:03am


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Your wonderful avatar is almost back in season Macfeast! [In reply to] Can't Post


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What do you think of Gandalf's choice not to give the answer "yes" - the answer that would have served his own immediate and weighty need?
"No. And if you do... you will not be the same."
"I do not ask for pardon, Master Elrond (read: for speaking in Black Speech at the Council of Elrond)."
"There never was much hope (read: for Frodo and Sam). Just a fool's hope."

When push comes to shove, Gandalf does not hide the truth, does not hold back, and does not sugarcoat things so that people (even those he cares for greatly) won't get upset. When push comes to shove, he is an honest man, and says what needs to be said, regardless if it serves his immediate needs or not, and regardless if it may upset those he speaks to.
I would actually point to the Unfinished Tales here, and a conversation held between Gandalf and Thorin. Thorin questions Gandalf's intents, suggesting that "I am sure that you (read: Gandalf) have other purposes than helping me". To that, Gandalf answers "You are quite right. If I had no other purposes, I should not be helping you at all." He could have rebuked Thorin's claim, and suggested that he is as devoted to this quest as Thorin (sure, it would look suspicious when he would have to leave them at Mirkwood, but that's a later problem), so as to get Thorin off his back, but he doesn't. Gandalf does not fool people into doing his bidding; Instead, true to his purpose, he motivates them, but always making sure that the stakes and circumstances are known.
...ok, so maybe he would fiddle a little behind the scenes every now and then, like how he took advantage of the confusion during the warg-chase and led the dwarves to the hidden way into Rivendell. Still, it's always with the best of intentions.


I love the tie-ins here Macfeast, to Gandalf's character as a whole. I see it that way too: never will he use guile and 'devices' to influence the choices of others when life is at stake (though he certainly knows how to have a bit of fun) as the enemy and opposite of Sauron. He trusts in the choices of those whom he chooses to aid - its such a deep wisdom revealed.

Does it seem to finally settle the shadow of conflict between Balin and Thorin at the table earlier, as to whether Balin can accept the Quest and stand by Thorin once and for all? Or do you think Balin still has doubts?
Oh, Balin still has doubts, no question about that. This, however, is when he ultimately decides to give the Quest his all, recognizing that there is no talking Thorin out of it. Now, he is as involved, and determined to see it through, as the rest of the Company. The odds haven't changed, and Balin knows it; He threw his chips into the pot, anyway, out of loyalty towards Thorin. I think we get the sense here that among all the Dwarves, Balin has the most sense of what is at stake.

Is this a unique and trusting relationship between Thorin and Balin, or is this a window into the soul of Dwarven culture: intense loyalty and private pain?
I think the latter. Loyalty and secretiveness, those are key ingredients to the dwarven race, as Tolkien penned them. Take note, for example, of Bofur's response to Bilbo's "You're used to not belonging anywhere"; You can see how deeply it hurt Bofur, but he is loyal to Bilbo, forgives him, and wishes him the best. The pain, he keeps inside.
Dwarves may very well weep openly at times, no doubt about that. Even then, during the act of grieving in public, I think they manage to make it into a private matter, if that makes sense. They don't cry for sympathy. They cry for themselves, everyone around them be damned; "I am grieving, and I will let no one but those close to me get in the way of it, or share in it with me." Remember Gimli crying at the Chamber of Mazarbul, and Boromir putting his hand on Gimli's shoulder (a wonderful moment, and I am saddened that it had to be pointed out to me years later for me to notice it)? The way I picture it, the hand on the shoulder was as far as Gimli would go; I don't picture Gimli accepting Boromir embracing him in an attempt to comfort him. No, the grief was Gimli's, and he would grieve as long as he wanted, leaving the others out of it.
Another great tie-in to the larger consistency here. What I like about them choosing this private talk is that I feel that NEVER would they reveal this kind of vulnerability and doubt in front of non-Dwarves (even trusted ones) and nor necessarily have even Dwarves not in their own circle be party to this kind of softer side. Grief at the battle, for example?, or Gimli at the Tomb? That's about honor, so that's OK. But the softer things: no, that's kept hidden.


As for the song, I'm not sure I have something to say about each and every one of the dwarves, but I will share a few random observations I've had.
I do like that Balin takes part in the singing, and elaborating on the above (and as I also mentioned in the relevant Character of the Week-thread), though he may harbor doubt, he is no Negative Nancy; He, too, can get caught up in the excitement of the quest. At the time of the song, he had ultimately decided to give the Quest his all ("Then we are with you, laddie"), and is as involved in it as the rest of the Company.
I also do like the closeup of Glóin, and I am reminded of the look Gimli had upon his face as the Fellowship of the Ring departed Lothlorien, and he told Legolas of Galadriel's gift to him. Despite all the prosthetics, the two were capable of being expressive, of being taken seriously, and I can quite clearly read them; These were emotional moments, for Glóin, and Gimli alike, and their walls of hair and noses of rubber did not get in the way of making that point clear.
The link between Gimli and Gloin was well thought out. He is quite expressive here, one of the most touching expressions in the scene.

Not much to say about the closing shot, beyond how wonderful it is. Agreed. Evocative.


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!




Subject User Time
CHOWS Chapter: Bilbo's Choice Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 25 2013, 4:58pm
    "The Misty Mountains Cold": a turning point? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 25 2013, 5:20pm
        Heh, heh- yes, another favourite moment indeed! elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 25 2013, 6:49pm
            Politics behind the emotion Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 12:10am
        Since you asked... Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 25 2013, 9:23pm
            Congrats on making it to Rivendell! Kim Send a private message to Kim Oct 25 2013, 11:36pm
            Congrats on your 100th post!!!! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 12:22am
        Wonderful scenes, all three of them. The song, in particular, ranks as one of my favorite Middle-earth moments. Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Oct 26 2013, 12:28am
            Your wonderful avatar is almost back in season Macfeast! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 1:03am
                Jingle beards, jingle beards, jingle all the way! // Macfeast Send a private message to Macfeast Oct 26 2013, 1:29am
                    This *needs* to be a Holiday song!!!! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 5:02pm
        Where Bilbo's choice really occurs Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Oct 26 2013, 12:09pm
        The Misty Mountains song is possibly my favourite moment in AUJ. Noria Send a private message to Noria Oct 26 2013, 1:42pm
            The Dwarves and the song... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 5:01pm
        The sparks Nunilo Send a private message to Nunilo Oct 31 2013, 11:28pm
            Nice take on the spark shot Nunilo! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Nov 1 2013, 12:52am
    Well..... elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 25 2013, 6:32pm
        Ok: to start with... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 12:01am
    One of my favorite sequences :-) Kim Send a private message to Kim Oct 25 2013, 11:28pm
        Such a great scene - how did I know you'd love it??? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 12:37am
    * Rubs hands* Now for Thorin (...oh and Balin too) Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 25 2013, 11:32pm
        Wonderful post Dame Ioreth! Kim Send a private message to Kim Oct 25 2013, 11:43pm
            Well, garsh.... Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 26 2013, 1:21am
                Again, I have to agree with you Kim Send a private message to Kim Oct 26 2013, 2:05am
                    I so agree with you Kim & Ioreth + spoilers+ elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 26 2013, 8:09am
                        Not all who wander are lost...some OT is just fine!!! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 5:03pm
    Thanks Brethil Noria Send a private message to Noria Oct 25 2013, 11:55pm
        Speaking of Golf! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 12:49am
    My choice too (for best chapter, that is!) Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Oct 26 2013, 11:41am
        The Bullroarer: what a good catch R-D Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 26 2013, 4:47pm
    Really beautiful moments! Silwen_Peredhil Send a private message to Silwen_Peredhil Oct 28 2013, 8:44pm
        Wow Silwen, what a wonderful post! Kim Send a private message to Kim Oct 28 2013, 9:40pm
            Oh, thank you Kim! Silwen_Peredhil Send a private message to Silwen_Peredhil Oct 30 2013, 4:39pm
        Thanks to YOU Silwen! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 29 2013, 12:45am
            Thank you. :) Silwen_Peredhil Send a private message to Silwen_Peredhil Oct 30 2013, 4:51pm
                Yes, I see you in Rivendell!!!! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 30 2013, 8:27pm
    Another one of my all-time favourite scenes from The Hobbit (I think we all know why) FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Send a private message to FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Oct 29 2013, 6:35pm
        Great responses Morningstar! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 30 2013, 12:44am
            Aww, thank you, Brethil. FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Send a private message to FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Oct 30 2013, 9:46pm
                I agree.. and feel lucky to enjoy it all! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 31 2013, 12:27am
                    Agree 100% with you there. FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Send a private message to FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Oct 31 2013, 5:54pm
    All I really have to add is ... DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Oct 30 2013, 8:32pm
        Great summary Daniel... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 30 2013, 9:05pm

 
 
 

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