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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
Who is more likable?
Poll: Who is more likable?
JRR Tolkien's Thorin Oakenshield
Peter Jacksons' Thorin Oakenshield
View Results (77 votes)


Nov 24 2013, 3:00pm

Post #1 of 14 (595 views)
Who is more likable? Can't Post



Nov 25 2013, 4:04am

Post #2 of 14 (362 views)
Hands down [In reply to] Can't Post


Tolkiens was prouder and grumpier.

Dame Ioreth
Tol Eressea

Nov 25 2013, 2:30pm

Post #3 of 14 (332 views)
RA's Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

is more 3 dimensional and therefore to me, more likeable. He and SPJ took the simply wrought children's book Thorin and gave it breadth and depth for an older audience. He's still going to do awful things and turn into a real nasty piece of work for a time, but I think that will make his redemption that much more powerful.

I have said this in other places but I plan on bringing a *box* of tissues, lots of chocolate, my favorite stuffed animal and possibly some scotch to the theater to get me through TABA. And if they let me, I will bring blankets and build a blanket fort to defend against my need to jump into the river of denial at the end. (Not my phrase but hilarious!) Laugh


Nov 25 2013, 3:37pm

Post #4 of 14 (321 views)
Neither, really [In reply to] Can't Post

I find both to be incredibly vain, selfish and almost completely unlikable. RA gives an admirable stab at the role, but he is hampered by the poor script/source material. I will say that what we have seen of DOS looks much more promising for the evolution of the character.

Werde Spinner

Nov 25 2013, 4:44pm

Post #5 of 14 (310 views)
PJ's version [In reply to] Can't Post

I accidentally clicked J. R. R. Tolkien's version. Oops! Sorry, Professor. I love everything you wrote but RA's Thorin is what motivated me to start caring beans about the character.


Nov 25 2013, 5:27pm

Post #6 of 14 (306 views)
RA [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry Tolkien, but I never really cared about the outcome of Thorin much before.


Nov 25 2013, 5:32pm

Post #7 of 14 (313 views)
Peter's - no contest. [In reply to] Can't Post

I could not relate to Thorin at all in J.R.R.Tolkein's book - he was always grumpy and stubborn.

In the movie, I found him to be very grumpy and stubborn but I could see why he wanted to take back his homeland, and why and how he had suffered [although I thought they should have included some more about his brother Frerin because it was written somewhere that he died in the Battle of Azanulbizar and I found that quite heartbreaking].

Okay, overdoing it (again).


Nov 25 2013, 6:59pm

Post #8 of 14 (300 views)
My word, thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't stand either Thorin. Never liked Tolkien's version and also didn't warm to Jackson's.


Nov 26 2013, 3:23am

Post #9 of 14 (275 views)
Neither one is really "likeable." [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's Thorin is that grumpy old man who is always yelling at you to get off his lawn.

Jackson's Thorin is a moody, broody, angsty pile of bad temper just waiting for someone to cross him.

Queen of Erebor

Nov 26 2013, 3:38am

Post #10 of 14 (299 views)
Peter Jackson's, definately... [In reply to] Can't Post

since I don't remember getting all emotional when I read about Thorin's death in the original novel. I might have been a bit concerned, but it won't be the same emotional response I'll have during viewing the same scene in the movie version (perhaps I should take a whole box of tissues instead of a couple of travel packs like I was originally planning).

I think what PJ and company have done with the movie version is show us why Thorin is the way that he is, and in this way we can relate to him more than we could in the book. The only downside to this is that every time we re-read The Hobbit, the same scene will trigger the same emotional response because most of us will be picturing the movie version other than the version we had in our mind when we first read the book.Smile

Superuser / Moderator

Nov 26 2013, 9:12pm

Post #11 of 14 (253 views)
PJ's, because we get to see Thorin smile. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's rare (in Bilbo's home), but it exists.


Nov 27 2013, 10:21pm

Post #12 of 14 (271 views)
I don't know likable is the word... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but I do not think Thorin is a very well written character in the book. Sorry, beloved Professor.


Dec 2 2013, 11:58am

Post #13 of 14 (283 views)
Tolkien's Thorin. [In reply to] Can't Post

But only by a narrow margin, neither are amonsgt my favourites, and I don't really think it's fair to compare a stock character in a children's film, to an action hero in a epic film trilogy.

Thorin is an arrogant bad tempered (for the most part) old fart (though his status as a dwarven pensioner is open to debate) in the book-but that is precisely why I liked him!, I liked that he did and thought whatever he wanted, bending to knowone else and showing his authority as much as he could, for me personally I found a greater empathy with him that the flawless Aragorn or Faramir-Thorin was a heavily flawed individual and the opposite of many of Tolkien's heroic archtypes yes, but to my mind was a much more imposing royal and forceful, interesting character, he somehow seemed more real for being less developed.

I also liked that he was a man of advanced years with the air of a politician and wounded lion, not a warrior in the prime of his years-he wasn't the heroic mold of a leader you'd expect from the other books, but had an unconventional personality and very clear views on what he wanted. And frankly I think he's always been a bit misunderstood, this essay on Heirs of Durin explains my views better than I could:


Thorin's history and character was all there is the books, just not pushed to the forefront like in the films or in the same context, I sometimes think people just empahsised with them more in the films, because such things were pushed to the forefront makiing it easier to understand his flaws-some people have commented above that they found greater empathy with Jackson's Thorin becuase he was developed in the film, fair enough, but I think that's the issue-people expect certain things of Tolkien because of LOTR, and The Hobbit isn't in the same level.

Of course it is easier to empathise with a face, than a bunch of hidden subtext-although we know what Thorin must be feeling in the book when reading it, we never do see it-the book, unlike the film is Bilbo's story front and centre.

In the film I found Armitage's portrayal too conventional personally, though it was an excellent performance, I could never truly see him as a king (his prior appearances on Robin Hood didn't help), and personally since they aged him down and muted his outward aggression in the film, I found his arrogrance amplified and less understandable- almost like he's getting angry at Bilbo to compesate for the changes made to him. In the book I got the impression that he was an old man grown bitter by a lifetime of bloodshed and his royal blood-it's a stock characterization but exactly what you'd expect a dwarve to do in the circumstances, unlike in the film it's not being blurred by heroic's or all out agression (Thorin hating Elrond and leaving Gandalf in Rivendell wreaked of screenwriting 101 attempts to create more needless tension in a part of the story that didn't need it-I only ended up getting annoyed with Thorin in the film because much of his vainess and grumpyness seemed to have no in the present basis-at least in the book it was part of his character clearly) , in the film it just came across as a mere 'thing' about the character they weren't sure how to handle.

The hammering home of Thorin's backstory came across as a little cheesy (though of course it was necessary for cinematic reasons-show not tell)-'Empathise with Me! Now!!!' and Armitage's similiarity in build/age to Viggo Mortensen I couldn't really shake off-it felt like I was being ordered to empathise with Thorin not choose it. I had always envishioned Ian Mcshane as Thorin (still do-though Billy Connoly and Armitage ironically are rather close to how I pictured Thorin and Dain in the book), and if adding a face and expanding the character arc of a arguably limited character in the book, dosen't make me empathise more in the filn, then I guess I never will (The whole nonense with the Albino fork monster didn't help, Azog is probably the reason I haven't watched AUJ in eight months).

All that said I can see why Armitage was cast, and he is certainly convincing as a leader and screen prescence though not at
how I pictured Thorin, and not how I believe Tolkien envisioned him.


Dec 24 2013, 2:11am

Post #14 of 14 (158 views)
PJ's version [In reply to] Can't Post

And not just because I'm an RA fan. I find the movie version is more fleshed out. You can see that he's a good Dwarf, though overly proud. I like that you can slowly see the sickness taking over in the second movie. Can't wait to see how far he goes in the final movie!


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