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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter of the Week: Bard the Bowman

DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Aug 29 2014, 6:13pm

Post #1 of 14 (1010 views)
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Chapter of the Week: Bard the Bowman Can't Post

Welcome everyone to this week's chapter! This is my very first CHOW so bear with me if I make any mistakes, I'm learning!



In our first image Bard has just taken the Dwarves unaware. He aims his bow at them as if to shoot.
Questions:
1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?
2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?
3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?




In our next image we get a look at Thorin's reaction.
Questions:
1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?
2 Does Thorin's face show any other emotions?



The other dwarves become frightened and Kili reaches for a knife to throw. He throws and Bard deflects it and loses an arrow.
Questions:
1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness?



Meanwhile Balin does not move to take action.
Questions:
1 What do you think Balin is thinking?



After Bard lowers his weapons they go over to his boat. It is now Balin strikes a conversation with him.
Questions:
1 Why does Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?
2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?






At this point in the dwarves story Bard remarks on the barrels.
Questions:
1 How does Bard know these barrels are from Mirkwood?
2 Would Bard as a barge man often see barrels like these?





Finally what do you think makes Bard help the dwarves? His decision seems to weigh heavily on his previous conversation with Balin.
Questions:
1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?
2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?

Any other additional thoughts?




"And so they stood on the walls of the city of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air."

(This post was edited by Altaira on Aug 29 2014, 9:03pm)


Retro315
Rivendell

Aug 29 2014, 10:24pm

Post #2 of 14 (598 views)
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re: [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, with the free-for-all nature of the barrel sequence, and then some flitting around here and there to deal with swirling events that aren't specifically from Bilbo & The Company's POV, we get to the dwarves washing ashore.

While less charming and bedraggled than the proud "take me to your leader" Thorin pulls in the book, the mood is certainly still very bedraggled and washed out. I like it quite a bit, and think Bard's use as "the lake-town guy", barging us in, showing us around, is well used. So here we go!

1. I'm uncertain of that. He was certainly lurking, he sort of snuck up on them. I didn't find it unbelievable but hadn't put much thought into it - perhaps he was hunting, and just reacting to their sudden spin, or perhaps the Desolation is just a paranoid place to live, and riff-raff passing through tend to be unsavory sorts. They're certainly not Elves, and I imagine the only people the Lake-men deal with (up that river) are Elves.

2. No. While Tolkien explores shades of grey and his heroes are typically quite human in their foibles, Bard's got "good man" written into his heroic DNA. No harm in self-defense though - it's the same sort of reaction the Riders of Rohan give to Aragorn and the Hunters later - Men of the time, especially an outrunner or ranger or huntsman - are going to find out who you are from a position of safety before welcoming you in.

3. Suspicious maybe, you get the sense later that his position as a bit of a smuggler, folk hero and Robin Hood type, and his antagonism with The Master, could increase his suspicious nature. Or if he was already smuggling, he certainly didn't need witnesses.

4. The exhaustion is palpable! Thorin keeps calm the whole time, but we see later that a lot of that is keeping a low profile - it's sensible to let Balin do the talking - this close to the mountain we need no wagging tongues, or word getting back to the Elvenking.

5. The dwarves have only just lost the orcs! (and elves!) so their surprise and reaction makes sense. It's not a bad route to take as it builds toward the Lake-Town suspense (overdone or not).

6. Balin is a shrewd guy. You realize very quickly that through the journey, kind old counselor or not, this is sort of his niche, his area of expertise.

7. No Balin's pretty shrewd, and just making conversation. He probably has no way to know just how dire and impoverished Lake-Town has become. A hardscrabble boatman or not, a lot of it is just the conversation of meeting strangers and a little bit of luck.

8. Yes, Bard would see barrels like these all the time. His barge frankly with its cutaway sides and width looks like its tailor made for barrels! This jives very well with the descriptions we read as Bilbo goes down the river past settlements and sees rafters and rivermen.

9. For the money, to be sure. His slightly mercenary nature here will add to his bargaining style (or lack thereof) when it comes to the Huge Parlay. He's a down-on-his-luck guy.

Beyond that, it's a nice bright daylight scene, although this is where some of the transition material gets weird, as suddenly they arrive on the Lake and it's far deeper winter than it was here, and further up the river.


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Aug 29 2014, 11:14pm

Post #3 of 14 (608 views)
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AKA Bard the Bargeman, [In reply to] Can't Post

Bard the Smuggler, Bard the Revolutionary, Bard the Daddy--not to mention Bard the Dragon-slayer, and Bard the King! Bard has quite a number of roles to play, doesn't he?


1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?
2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?
3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?


1-3. No, I don't think Bard thinks the Dwarves are Orcs, but there are a lot of them, and they're near his boat and in the barrels he's in charge of, so he probably thinks he ought to try to gain the advantage over them until he finds out what their intentions are...and how armed they are. Elros or Galleon had remarked in an earlier scene that the barrels should have been sent out to the bargeman long ago, so maybe he's been waiting for a day or two and is getting anxious. Or maybe he's seen evidence of Orcs in the area.

I think he is rightfully wary of the unknown, out there by the river where anything could happen...just as he's wary in Laketown, where any trumped-up charge could have him arrested at any time, apparently.


1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?
2 Does Thorin's face show any other emotions?


Thorin does seem to think this is typical for his poor company, doesn't he? Laugh Poor guy. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, time after time. But at least his hair is gorgeous.Angelic


1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness

Actually Kili has a rock--none of the Dwarves had weapons to start with (unless Kili did have something down his trousers...but we won't go there), and they seem to have used any others they acquired from the Orcs on the Orcs. It doesn't seem to me that Kili is any more reckless than Dwalin was when he picked up a big stick and had it shot by Bard.


1 What do you think Balin is thinking?

Balin seems to have spent these moments wondering where Bard came from...and finds his answer down the bend at the barge...


1 Why does Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?
2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?


Balin is using the old chat-'em-up routine any good salesperson or bargainer knows. Get them talking about themselves, make them feel less defensive, get on their good side. Bard is savvy enough to know what Balin is up to, I think, but plays the game because he too wants something from the Dwarves. ($$$) To me it seems clear he doesn't entirely believe Balin's transparently false story but is content not to ask too many questions.


1 How does Bard know these barrels are from Mirkwood?
2 Would Bard as a barge man often see barrels like these?


Again, it seems that Bard has been waiting for these particular barrels, because it seems that he is "the" bargeman--perhaps the only one in Laketown? So he knows what he's looking for and where the barrels came from.


1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?
2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?


I think Balin was spot-on that Bard's poverty and his hungry children tempt him.

Bard's motives...a good question! I think Bard's primary motivation is money. But it's clear he's a good father, and a good man with a sense of right and wrong...so maybe he sees something more in these Dwarves? Or simply is willing to think he's helping them somehow? He keeps his bargain of secrecy at risk to himself and his family, until he realizes that they are going to go to the mountain and probably wake the dragon.


Any other additional thoughts?

I hate to admit this, but Balin actually kind of starts to annoy me here. In the Elven dungeons he tells them to stop trying to get out, and here he's being negative about getting across the Lake to the Mountain, without offering an alternative plan. He is negative again at the secret door when they can't get in, and he says they'll never make it to the mines from the western guardroom. I realize he's the company's Dwarven Voice of Reason, but still... At least in this scene he redeems himself with his adorable puppy-dog eyes routine. Wink

The beginning of this scene has a number of "brother" moments that I didn't catch until I watched it on DVD with subtitles. First, as the barrels are heading toward the shore, Oin says, "Gloin, help me, my brother!" Then Bofur says to Bombur as they are trying to haul him out of the barrel, "Come on, you big lump, you!" Of course, Fili says, "Kili's wounded. His leg needs binding." Finally we have one of my favorite lines in the movie, with Dwalin interrupting Balin with "Come on, enough with the niceties!"


Hey, you're doing fine, DoL! Thanks for taking on this chapter. Smile


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”



Cirashala
Grey Havens


Aug 30 2014, 6:14am

Post #4 of 14 (569 views)
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my thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1-3. Unless Bard normally sees orcs around there, I'm guessing he didn't think them orcs. He's a bargeman, whom we also find out engages in illegal weapons manufacture. Even if it's for a good reason, it does tell us that he's used to dealing with shady people. So I think that he's naturally cautious, if not suspicious. And plus, if he knew about the orc pursuers, I doubt he would have helped them (not wanting the orcs to follow them into Laketown and endanger his people). So no, I doubt he thought them orcs.

Plus, he's not expecting any company besides barrels, AND he's alone with few (if any) people around. I would say that he's more wary than anything else, especially if something's out of the ordinary.

As to shooting- I doubt he had any intention of actually shooting them unless he were acting in self defense. Given that his bow was not raised (as we see initially- I can verify this as I'm an archer myself- he had his arrow "at the ready" but his bow was not drawn yet) until Dwalin grabs a branch and moves to rush toward him, I would say that it was definitely a case of self defense against someone clearly attempting to attack him. And even then, he does a warning shot first- so no, he's not a ruthless murderer at all. Just a wary person in the wild reacting very wisely to an unexpected situation.

Thorin questions

1. Thorin mentions later on that he knew Esgaroth back in the days of Erebor's greatness, so I have no doubt that he knows at least something about the trading between Esgaroth and Mirkwood (remember, up til just before the dragon's attack Mirkwood and Erebor were considered "friends"). I am sure he didn't know exactly how the barrels ended up down at the river mouth (though this might explain that he guessed Bilbo's plan right away and that's why he told the dwarves to comply so quickly) but he's definitely not shocked that a man of Laketown would be on the shores of the lake his city rested on. And he's a smart cookie- he probably put two and two together very quickly Wink

2. I think his expression is also wary- you can see it in his eyes. He's desperate, but he's not ready to admit as such (even if one look at the bedraggled crew would no doubt give that impression to Bard that they're a bit....screwed at this point Tongue).

Kili question:

1. It wasn't a knife- it was a rock Wink And he threw it after the arrow went into Dwalin's branch. Clearly he perceived a threat and was just reacting in a way that MAY not have been that beneficial to HIM but could have distracted the archer long enough for Dwalin or one of the more able bodied (due to his wound) dwarves to get to Bard. Being that HE just got shot by an arrow, and that they were dodging orc arrows not a few hours (I'm guessing) before, I would say that his reaction is justified. He perceived that they were under attack, and he reacted in the only way he could to defend himself and his kin- by grabbing the nearest object and hurling it at the other person.

Btw, referencing this part: I LOVED the utter shock on Kili's face and the gaping mouth as his wide eyes darted toward his empty hand- he's an archer himself, and it tells me just HOW skilled Bard is that a fellow archer is completely and utterly stunned at how quickly he shot that rock out of his hand (and it sounds to me as though there were three shots- one at Dwalin's branch, one at the rock in Kili's hand, and a third (haven't seen the arrow but I heard it fired) which indicates that Bard's draw speed equals that of Legolas, an extremely impressive feat for a mortal human!) Shocked Good acting by Turner here- that was genuine disbelief that the rock was actually shot right out of his hand so fast!

Balin question:

1. Balin is very calculating, and the type to assess a situation before taking action (a complete opposite of his act first, speak...never brother lol Tongue). He sees that this is an extremely skilled archer, he's aware that the only person among them still in possession of a weapon at ALL is Bilbo, who's half drowned at this point (and the worst warrior of the bunch too), and he knows any sudden moves will find himself with an arrow in the chest.

He warily approaches Bard, sending out verbal "feelers" to see how he reacts and gauges his reaction. He guesses immediately that Bard is from Laketown, likely due to his geographical knowledge of the area (and possibly Bard's accent too- one Balin would have no doubt heard from before when he resided in Erebor). He notices the barge before anyone else- keen observation (in fact, I would argue that Balin is the most observant of all the company- a nice nod to his book counterpart).

And he gets to the point- he doesn't start with the small talk until he gauges who Bard is and whether or not he's in charge of the barge. If he isn't, then that would make any further words on Balin's part pointless. So he first finds out WHO Bard is, then he finds out WHY he's there, and he then gauges whether or not Bard could be of some help to them.

In my opinion, this was the absolute BEST way to handle the unexpected crisis, and furthers my belief that Balin has been acting as a formal advisor for a good many years prior to the quest. Let's put it this way- if I were ever in a hostage situation (heaven forbid), I'd want Balin as my negotiator hands down Cool

Balin/Bard conversation questions:

1. Balin can tell that Bard is suspicious and wary. He also understands how small talk can help put someone at ease and help them open up more (he's a skilled people person). Plus, his observational skills are put to use once more- he sees the armpit holes and frayed edges of Bard's coat. He also notices the worn boots, and he gauges (correctly) that Bard is not well off financially (if he were, his coat and boots wouldn't need repair). He sees a strategy in referencing the condition, and also understands that Bard may well be putting the needs of children ahead of his own because most people wouldn't approach winter with such a dismal coat and boots unless they're trying to provide for someone else they love (hungry mouths to feed is an excellent motivation for wanting to earn some extra cash, and it's clear Balin knows this- he may have even seen it amongst the Erebor refugees many a time).

What he's doing here is using small talk to both engage Bard and also to find out his current financial status in order to see if he's someone whom they could, for all intents and purposes, bribe to help them. And polite but "probing" questions that are skillfully presented can encourage even the most tight lipped person to open up. I have every inkling that, at this point, they aren't really expecting anyone to help them without a price- and I can't say I blame them, after their stint in the Mirkwood Correctional Facility Crazy So he needs to know if Bard is desperate enough to help them if they can pay him to do so.

2. I think Bard was offended at the wife question, not because it was rude, but because she's obviously dead. It's like someone coming up to you on the street whom you haven't seen in forever asking about a loved one's health and not knowing they passed. I think Bard understood that it was well meant, which is why he didn't "jump" on Balin, but he cleverly indicated that she was gone by saying, "Aye, she was." Right there, Bard put up a boundary- he was basically saying, "I appreciate the attempt at being civil, but I'm done with the questions." It hurts, but he is also aware that he couldn't fault Balin as Balin didn't know.


Bard questions:

1. I would assume he knows because it's obviously his job (you're licensed as a bargeman). Thranduil has a very good trade system with Laketown, and Bard has obviously been doing this for a while (born and bred on these waters). Why would he be there to retrieve the barrels if he didn't know where they came from? He also remarks on Thranduil and the Master's relationship (All his wealth comes from trade with King Thranduil), indicating that he not only knows where they're from but why they're there. And since there's no other settlement except Mirkwood in that area anymore, it wouldn't take much for the people of Esgaroth to figure out where they came from.

2. I have no doubt he would- barrels in that time period were the main mode of transporting goods long distances (other than personal effects- those were transported in packs or trunks, and sometimes wooden crates were used though those typically housed poultry or breakable items packed in sawdust). In fact, barrels have been used throughout history up until plastic/cardboard was invented in the 20th century, so it's quite likely that Bard knew what they were generally used for (as to what was specifically transported in these particular ones, that's anyone's guess as the barrels could have been in Mirkwood for months before being emptied).


Last questions:

1. I think it comes down to a simple matter of money (and possibly a very slight sympathy with the dwarves being stuck out in the middle of nowhere obviously without dry clothes, food, blankets, supplies, etc). But I think it mostly boils down to money- he needs funds to help oust the Master so that the people can be removed from tyranny. And he needs to take care of his family. Bard is pragmatic- he has mouths to feed, he has a people in exile to take care of (much like Thorin- in fact, they're both in the same position of caring for their people in exile- his from Dale and Thorin's from Erebor) and he's trying to start a revolution. Can't really do all that with no money.

1. I think Balin at this point is hoping he will, because they know the orcs would be upon them before they could blink. Bard is the ONLY person in the position to help them at this point, and Balin's trying to figure out any motivation to get him to do it (also Thorin- hence "offer him more"). And Kili's injured too- and they have no supplies to tend the wound (even if it weren't poisoned- infection is serious business in a world where antibiotics weren't invented yet).

2. I think ultimately Bard is a decent and good guy. This is especially evident when he takes Kili in later despite being very angry at the company and Thorin in particular. I think his main motivation was for monetary gain, but that part of him that desires to do what is right, the laws be darned, is also at play here. But if money weren't offered, I am not sure he would have helped them as much as he did. He certainly took a great risk to do so, plus the clothing and such be bequeathed them would have been very valuable to a poverty stricken folk such as his. And to lose all his homemade weapons? Again- bad idea if you have no coin to replace them when you're trying to start a revolution.

I liked this scene, and I think it showcased Balin and Bard quite well- by furthering Balin's characterization, and how dwarves were in general, and introducing Bard and his backstory in few but well done words.




(This post was edited by Cirashala on Aug 30 2014, 6:15am)


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Aug 30 2014, 9:48am

Post #5 of 14 (546 views)
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The whole scene reminded me to the Moss Iisley cantina where they met Han Solo [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true

Survivor to the battle for the fifth trailer



Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Aug 30 2014, 11:45am

Post #6 of 14 (530 views)
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"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sly
If only they had met Bard in Laketown tavern, it would have been perfect! Wink


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”



Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Aug 30 2014, 11:58am

Post #7 of 14 (522 views)
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hahaha Ii thought Balin was gonna say 23 dwarves a hobbit and no questions to be answered... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true

Survivor to the battle for the fifth trailer



Noria
Rohan

Aug 30 2014, 12:50pm

Post #8 of 14 (529 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

In our first image Bard has just taken the Dwarves unaware. He aims his bow at them as if to shoot.

Questions:
1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?

--Presumably the barrels would usually drift ashore, or nearly, at this spot and Bard the licensed Bargeman would arrive to pick them up. This time, he finds a bunch of strangers there so IMO Bard is being cautious. He is one and the others are fourteen and Bard needs to get the upper hand right away, at least until he finds out what is going on. The Dwarves are not in a very good state but I doubt that Bard thinks they are Orcs. As soon as Balin mentions hiring the boat, a whole different dynamic develops.


2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?

--Probably Bard would have shot the Dwarves had they attacked him but again, he was just being careful until the situation was more clear.


3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?

--I would think one would have to be cautious and willing to fight and kill when out in the wilds of a world which contains Orcs and giant spiders and such. Bard probably could and would kill someone if he thought they were a real threat but he doesn't seem overly aggressive to me.


In our next image we get a look at Thorin's reaction.

Questions:
1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?

--I suspect Thorin is just being stoic and not giving anything away to this stranger. Bard and the Dwarves are feeling each other out in this scene.


2 Does Thorin's face show any other emotions?

--Not that I see but I will leave it to those who have made Thorin their study to answer definitively.Wink


The other dwarves become frightened and Kili reaches for a knife to throw. He throws and Bard deflects it and loses an arrow.

Questions:
1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness?

--Well I thought Kili tried to fling a rock, but I could be wrong. Only he and Dwalin reacted to Bard aggressively (that we saw) so I suppose that it is an example of his recklessness. My favourite here is Dwalin who puts himself between Bard and Ori, with a branch as a weapon.


Meanwhile Balin does not move to take action.

1 What do you think Balin is thinking?

-- I expect that Balin (like Thorin and probably several of the other Dwarves except Kili and Dwalin) is assessing the situation before deciding what to do. After all this is a Man, not an Orc or even an Elf. It looks to me like Balin sees the bargeman from Laketown and his barge and immediately perceives an opportunity. Violence may not be called for.


After Bard lowers his weapons they go over to his boat. It is now Balin strikes a conversation with him.

Questions:
1 Why do Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?

--Yes. The Dwarves need help, a lot of help, if their quest is to continue. Here is a Man with a boat. Balin is a counselor and I suspect a negotiator, so he is negotiating. He sizes Bard up and starts up a little small talk to warm Bard up and create a rapport before they get to what Balin wants.


2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?

--I think that Bard knows exactly what is going on and is playing along. But Balin’s words also remind Bard that money is tight and he has a family to feed.


At this point in the dwarves story Bard remarks on the barrels.

Questions:
1 How does Bard know these barrels are from Mirkwood?

--Bard has probably picked barrels up from this spot many times and knows where they come from. Though the barrels probably don’t usually have arrow holes in them.


2 Would Bard as a barge man often see barrels like these?

--Yes. It’s his job to transport the barrels. He may even recognize these particular barrels.


Finally what do you think makes Bard help the dwarves? His decision seems to weigh heavily on his previous conversation with Balin.

Questions:
1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?

--I think that Balin recognizes that Bard is listening and is not uninterested in a deal. The latter’s poverty would make it more likely. When Bard says “For that you would need a smuggler”, Balin knows that he has him and Bard knows he has the Dwarves.

--I love how Bard and Balin play off each other here, with Thorin egging Balin on from the sidelines and Dwalin losing his patience. Balin’s expression of faux innocence as he ends his “We are simple merchants from the Blue Mountians speech” is priceless.

2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?

--I think that Bard smuggles the Dwarves into Laketown primarily for the money. But the man he appears to be would probably not have left them to starve in the wilderness, though he might have just turned them over to the Master.

Comments:
--Mostly I think the meeting of Bard and the Dwarves is just another of PJ’s dramatic introductions of a major character. IIRC, Bard’s first appearance was supposed to end the first of the two films, was it not? It would have been a cliffhanger.

--This is a big character scene for Bard, the first of several. We meet the expert bowman who is cautious with unknown strangers but not in the least aggressive. We learn that he’s a widower with a family to support and that he’s smart and worldly enough to bargain successfully with the wily Balin. We understand that even a working bargeman is still poor in Laketown and that Bard is not unwilling to be bribed to do something which on the surface seems to be completely harmless: help the Dwarves on their way.

--I have to be admit that of all the hot males in these movies, Bard is my favourite. Thranduil and Thorin are extremely beautiful, engaging, interesting bad boys, with the elegance and the hair, but I am way past the bad boy thing. Kili and Fili are lovely young lads but they are lads. I am quite impressed by Luke Evans performance as well.

--Very nice, DaughterofLaketown


Aranaes
Rivendell


Aug 30 2014, 6:33pm

Post #9 of 14 (496 views)
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Oh no!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Very nice post!
Unfortunately, I dont have time to answer the questions, however these screencaps have just drawn my attention to a small continuity error, that I will now notice every time I watch this scene! Shocked
So if you don't want this scene to be possibly spoiled for you then don't read this next bit.

It's Balin. In the time it takes Bard to say "Do it again and your dead" Balin has moved about 15-20 feet, from the back of the company to the front. (Or as we know from the production vids, he moved from location shooting to the back-lot) In the 3rd and 4th pics, check the positioning of Gloin and Nori, and even Fili is suddenly behind Balin seconds after the rock is shot from Kili's hand.
Oh well maybe Dwarves can spring out of the ground as Gimli says, and back into it!Crazy

'And I name you elf-friend and blessed. May your shadow never grow less (or stealing would be too easy)!'

(This post was edited by Aranaes on Aug 30 2014, 6:41pm)


Kim
Valinor


Aug 30 2014, 7:32pm

Post #10 of 14 (486 views)
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Bard [In reply to] Can't Post

1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?
I don’t think he thought they were orcs, but they were unknown, so he was automatically on his guard. I imagine strangers in this part of Middle-earth were ones to be cautious of.

2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?
Well, he was on his guard, if they’d acted hostile, I imagine he might have shot them. He did show with his warning shots just how good of an archer he was.


3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?
I’d say he’s naturally cautious, especially as he travels back and forth between Lake-town and the Woodland Realm on a regular basis. Who know what kinds of ruffians he’s encountered in the past, especially given the fact that the area is not prosperous. He’d probably do what he need to do to defend himself, and at this point, we don’t really know what his character is - he does come across as dangerous. The lighting is also interesting as Bard is mostly in shadow initially, so comes across even more dangerous.

**Thanks for that lovely photo of Thorin!**
1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?
Yes, he’s probably exhausted, and still on edge expecting orcs to appear. This might be a case of “what now?” as in, “here’s yet another obstacle in our way, why am I not surprised?”

2 Does Thorin's face show any other emotions?
He’s on edge and wants to keep moving. He’s keeping himself tightly under control.

1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness?
Well, we see Dwalin jump in front of Ori first, preparing to defend him, so Kili’s responses seems more in line with immediately going on the offensive in the face of danger (and he actually picks up a rock, since he doesn’t have a knife, as we learned back in the dungeons). Could be a little bit of recklessness coming through. Plus, he’s also in a lot of pain, and probably on edge about the possibility of further injury for himself or any of the other dwarves.

1 What do you think Balin is thinking?
It appears that Balin has spotted the barge, and immediately jumps into councilor/negotiator mode as a way to get them away from the orcs and on their way to the mountain.

1 Why does Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?
Get ‘em talking and he’s less likely to shoot, right? Strike up a conversation, find some common ground and it’s easier to get a dialog going. And yes, definitely trying to seem approachable, and not a threat. And I absolutely love the delivery of “we are simple merchants from the Blue Mountains, journeying to see our kin in the Iron Hills.” That was so great, and didn’t fool Bard for a minute.

2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?
He’s cautious, but perhaps realizing that this group isn’t immediately dangerous, and not just a mindless group of “unsavory characters”, so to speak.

1 How does Bard know these barrels are from Mirkwood?
2 Would Bard as a barge man often see barrels like these?

I imagine he’s seen these barrels quite frequently if he’s the one who always goes to pick up the empty barrels. He would notice the damage and realize what caused it, and that they were not on good terms with the elves.

Finally what do you think makes Bard help the dwarves? His decision seems to weigh heavily on his previous conversation with Balin.
Questions:
1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?

Yes, I imagine that’s a big factor since Balin notices the condition of Bard’s clothes, and now knows he has “mouths to feed.”

2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?

I imagine it’s mostly the money at this point, although he’s probably assessed that the dwarves aren’t a big threat.


Thorin’s hair: Gah! Where do I start? The epitome of the wet look! Sleek, silky, lustrous - river water is obviously a very good treatment.


Thanks DaughterofLaketown, great job on your first CHOW – love all the pics!

“Will you follow me, one last time?”


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Aug 30 2014, 10:36pm

Post #11 of 14 (472 views)
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Thanks for the great feedback guys! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.




"And so they stood on the walls of the city of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air."


MirielCelebel
Rivendell


Sep 1 2014, 4:22am

Post #12 of 14 (452 views)
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fun topic, great character [In reply to] Can't Post

In our first image Bard has just taken the Dwarves unaware. He aims his bow at them as if to shoot.
Questions:
1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?
He certainly did not think they were orcs, I believe Bard to be more astute than that. But I do think he is slightly paranoid. Bain, Bard’s son, seemed normal in reporting to him that people were watching their house. If they are used to someone watching their house, he is probably on guard most of the time. Bard in the book was the commander of an archery troupe, but the film Bard most certainly had not been militarily trained so the archery skill was probably self-taught. This gives the aura of a rebel hero.

2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?
Obviously, he did not shoot them, and he would never have without first figuring them out. Bard is not a shoot-now-ask-questions-later type.

3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?
I think he has to be protective of his family and that puts him on alert all the time. Especially when he is out in the wild, alone, on the banks of a moving river, he should have weapons for protection.



In our next image we get a look at Thorin's reaction.
Questions:
1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?
Thorin is exhausted, dirty, and ticked off, and here is Bard, yet another hindrance on their ever longer cross-country vacation. The emotions are almost nonexistent at this point because it just doesn’t surprise him any more.



The other dwarves become frightened and Kili reaches for a knife to throw. He throws and Bard deflects it and loses an arrow.
Questions:
1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness?
I think Kili’s immaturity has come out on several occasions now but after he risks himself to open the lever at the Woodland Realm, I think we can all agree that he is trying really hard to earn his ticket on this trip and for his uncle’s approval. This is him taking action for the second time in one day.


Meanwhile Balin does not move to take action.
Questions:
1 What do you think Balin is thinking?
Balin is evaluating the situation. Balin, unlike his brother, likes to think before he acts. He examines Bard and his environment and then uses it to exploit his weaknesses. Balin is supposed to be playing the part of political advisor to Thorin so he always looking for business outlets.


After Bard lowers his weapons they go over to his boat. It is now Balin strikes a conversation with him.
Questions:
1 Why does Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?
2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?
Bard is smart. He might not have been around as long as Balin but he is shrewd and astute. Balin and Bard have what I would consider a very rewarding conversation. Balin successfully employs Bard to safely bring them into Laketown, and Bard earns some much needed cash to tie his family over for the week. I think when Bard realized Balin felt bad for saying something about a wife when she was dead, and it was that which earned him sympathy from Bard.



Any other thoughts: I have to admit that in the book Bard was a bland character, though he was never intended to play the hero. The Bard portrayed by Luke Evans has made Bard the Bowman one of my favorite characters in the film. This first meeting says a lot about him and we get a lot of background information in a short amount of time. I think this interaction is cleverly executed by the film teams and the actors and I commend you for bringing these images out for us to chatter on about.

Cheers!

"The Road goes ever on..."

Writing Bliss


cats16
Valinor


Sep 5 2014, 1:03am

Post #13 of 14 (391 views)
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Working backwards on catching up! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Questions:
1 Why do you think Bard would almost have shot them? Did he think they were orcs?
Maybe not Orcs, but fellows whom he did *not* know. But he easily could have been concerned that they were Orcs before hearing them/seeing them up close.
2 What Bard have actually shot them seeing they are not orcs? Was his intention to shoot or just to frighten them?
I don't think he would have shot. It was mostly for self-defense, as I see it. He didn't know what they were up to; if they were good guys, or in alliance with evil.
3 Is Bard just naturally suspicious? Is it in his character to kill people? Has Bard become hardened or ruthless living in Laketown?
In the book, he's described as 'grim' by the narrator. I think his behavior here reflects that moniker quite well. He will kill if he has to do so. Undoubtedly hardened, here having three children to protect and provide for.
Questions:
1 Thorin's looks only slightly surprised. Why is this? Is he just so weary that he is too exhausted to feel any emotion?
Even as bad sometimes as Thorin is in the films with geography, I think he knew that coming across a Man there shouldn't be a surprise. Better him than Orcs!
2 Does Thorin's face show any other emotions?
Apprehension, I think. He has been away from this area for decades; there is no way of telling what kind of men now live near the Lake, or whether they are to be trusted.
Questions:
1 Why does Kili go straight for the knife? Does this eagerness to fight come from an impulsiveness that we have seen in Kili before? Is this a further sign of his recklessness?
I'm sure there is a big adrenaline kick still underway from the previous scenes. Plus, he's injured, and might act a little against logical thinking under so much pain. Sure, he's impulsive. I think seeing Legolas do what he did to the Orcs could have made him a little taken back, and envious to prove his worth to the others. Hence why he claims to be 'fine' when clearly injured.



Meanwhile Balin does not move to take action.
Questions:
1 What do you think Balin is thinking?
I'm sorry, but this moment in the film always makes me laugh for some reason. I think the look of his beard here contributes to it! And Stott's facial expressions. There's a kind of innocence to it that makes me chuckle for a moment. I think Balin is eyeing-up Bard, trying to see how he should approach his offer to request help. He's a bit of a detective here.
Questions:
1 Why does Balin engage Bard? Why do you think he asked about his family? Do you think Balin does this to seem approachable and sympathetic?
Oops, I jumped the gun on the last one. Hitting home first will humanize Bard. It makes him think less about any sense of duty, and draws out his sympathy for those in need of aid. Yes, he probably does it also to elicit these emotions from Bard.
2 How does Bard react to this? Does he feel that Balin is violating his privacy or is he touched by his concern?
The latter, if anything. He seems quite stone-cold, not wanting to let his emotions overtake him. His words hint at more, though. The grimness of his character is pretty constant, throughout.
Questions:
1 How does Bard know these barrels are from Mirkwood?
In his business, he should know what barrels from other realms should look like. If he didn't he wouldn't still have that job!
2 Would Bard as a barge man often see barrels like these?
Even if not for his own trade, he would have come across barrels of this sort at some point.
Finally what do you think makes Bard help the dwarves?
Both sympathy, and the potential for profit. Hey, his kids have to eat as well.
Questions:
1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?
In short, yes. He needs the money.
2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?
Mostly the former, but glimmers of the latter, too. Nothing consciously so, but I feel a sense of higher purpose in his actions that is beyond simple monetary gain.
Any other additional thoughts?
You did great, DoL! No indication that this was your first time hosting CHOW. Great job, and we look forward to seeing you host again very soon. Smile




cats16
Valinor


Sep 5 2014, 1:04am

Post #14 of 14 (409 views)
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Well said! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
1 Why Does Balin think he will help them? Does he think Bard's poverty will tempt him?
2 Does Bard ultimately decide to help for hope of monetary gain or do his actions have a more noble motive?


I think Balin was spot-on that Bard's poverty and his hungry children tempt him.

Bard's motives...a good question! I think Bard's primary motivation is money. But it's clear he's a good father, and a good man with a sense of right and wrong...so maybe he sees something more in these Dwarves? Or simply is willing to think he's helping them somehow? He keeps his bargain of secrecy at risk to himself and his family, until he realizes that they are going to go to the mountain and probably wake the dragon.



I felt that something was there, but you summed it up nicely.


 
 

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