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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why Was Kili Focused On More Than Fili?
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KingTurgon
Rohan


Mar 6 2015, 5:36pm

Post #1 of 200 (5012 views)
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     Why Was Kili Focused On More Than Fili?  

Kili and his sub-plot is one of the most controversial inclusions in the films. Why did they even give him this screen time though - Fili is the heir of Thorin, but he got considerably less focus than Kili. Why?

This is not a rant/criticism of Aidan Turner (who is a very good actor), this is a genuine question on my part - I'm not criticizing at all in this post, just curious as to why Kili got so much focus.


Never_Underestimate_A_Dwarf
Rivendell

Mar 6 2015, 6:01pm

Post #2 of 200 (4489 views)
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     I wish I knew [In reply to]  

 
Doesn't make much sense to me. They should have gotten equal focus. Which is how it seemed to start off in AUJ.

But then the "love" plot happened and it ruined Kili's character for me. And it resulted in a anticlimactic ending that should have instead been about the relationship between brothers (and uncle-nephew relationship as well).

Kili is cute and all, but he shouldn't have been pushed up front and center at the expense of a more interesting character, in my opinion.


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Mar 6 2015, 6:46pm

Post #3 of 200 (4459 views)
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     Why not? [In reply to]  

There is no reason I can see why there has to be equal focus on both of these characters. I do see reasons why both, as a pair, should have more focus than some other characters (the end...). But this can be achieved by showing them often as a pair, but giving one of them more time, dialogue, actions that are front and center, etc. In fact, such an approach probably saves screen time. The audience gets to know A better than B, but B still stands out from the crowd, but as "A's brother/partner/friend".

Certainly, I find little merit in the idea that a story must focus on the individuals of highest social status (the "heir" rather than the "spare", in this case).



BlackFox
Half-elven


Mar 6 2015, 6:54pm

Post #4 of 200 (4443 views)
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     It's a common fairy tale trope [In reply to]  

The younger brother being the 'hero' of the story, that is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youngest_son



Lindele
Gondor

Mar 6 2015, 7:11pm

Post #5 of 200 (4426 views)
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     plain and simple...cuz he's [In reply to]  

HOT!!!!!


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 6 2015, 7:24pm

Post #6 of 200 (4417 views)
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     As arithmancer says, why not? [In reply to]  

There's no rule that says character A should have more screen time than character B. They started off about equal, as they are in the book. Gradually Kili came forward.

There are lots of possible reasons for this. One is that they found a storyline for Kili that they wanted to develop - and it was a storyline they couldn't have given Fili. Bit rebellious, attracted to his people's traditional enemies - that really wouldn't have worked for the responsible elder brother.

Focus on the younger one does work, in the real world and in fairy tales. In the real world the younger brother has more freedom and more possibilities open to him than the heir. He doesn't have to be responsible. Here in the UK, for example, the press treats Prince Harry very differently from his brother. And in fairy tales, as BlackFox points out, focus on the younger brother is traditional.


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Mar 6 2015, 7:38pm

Post #7 of 200 (4400 views)
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     So many reasons given for this [In reply to]  

And one possible reason is the late casting of Dean O'Gorman, although I don't know how valid it was. I do think Fili was short-changed, though not as badly as some of the other dwarves, particularly in BOTFA. I've said it before, but I blame alot of that on the insistence of a 144 minute runtime. Hopefully the EE will fix some of that; only have to wait 8 more months, LOL!

Why yes, I DO look like Anna Friel!


Riven Delve
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2015, 7:47pm

Post #8 of 200 (4395 views)
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     I don't object to Kili getting more focus than Fili per se [In reply to]  

--the choice to do the Kili-Tauriel thing dictated that--but I do object to not giving Fili enough screen time to make a general audience even care about his death.


Lots of us did care about Fili, but only because we're far more invested in the story than the average movie-goer.


“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.”



sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2015, 8:37pm

Post #9 of 200 (4364 views)
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     Whatever the reason-- [In reply to]  

and i'd guess there were many (desire for the writers to include a romance, hot dwarf syndrome, Rob Kazinsky's late replacement)-- it was not for the betterment of the films to my mind. The focus should have been on the two young, inexperienced brothers and their relationship to each other and their uncle, and possibly even the older one's looming responsibility, not some dumb romance.


Elarie
Grey Havens

Mar 6 2015, 9:11pm

Post #10 of 200 (4350 views)
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     I honestly think it was just "movie" reasons [In reply to]  

Love story, young attractive actors, and sticking to traditional movie ideas about what the general audience wants. Covering all the bases, so to speak. I didn't mind it, but like a lot of other people I wish the other dwarves had gotten more screen time.

__________________

Gold is the strife of kinsmen,
and fire of the flood-tide,
and the path of the serpent.

(Old Icelandic Fe rune poem)


Eleniel
Tol Eressea


Mar 6 2015, 9:14pm

Post #11 of 200 (4344 views)
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     Although the change of actors undoubtedly made a difference... [In reply to]  

I would venture to say that Aiden Turner was always going to have a more prominent role, simply because he's a higher profile actor than either Rob or Dean... same with James Nesbitt - he got more speaking lines than the other Dwarves apart from the Heirs and Dwalin and Balin as befits an actor with his level of public recognition and experience.




"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort


(This post was edited by Eleniel on Mar 6 2015, 9:15pm)


Bishop
Gondor


Mar 6 2015, 10:20pm

Post #12 of 200 (4272 views)
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     Isn't it because there was a love interest? [In reply to]  

I think the filmmakers decided there needed to be a priority of focus on certain characters, and only a limited number of them. One unspoken rule in film I've heard is once you start focusing on more than 7 characters, the audience can really start losing track and/or interest. I can't say why it was Kili instead of Fili, but I can understand why they would feature one more than the other.


marillaraina
Rohan


Mar 7 2015, 12:15am

Post #13 of 200 (4193 views)
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     Same [In reply to]  


In Reply To
There is no reason I can see why there has to be equal focus on both of these characters. I do see reasons why both, as a pair, should have more focus than some other characters (the end...). But this can be achieved by showing them often as a pair, but giving one of them more time, dialogue, actions that are front and center, etc. In fact, such an approach probably saves screen time. The audience gets to know A better than B, but B still stands out from the crowd, but as "A's brother/partner/friend".

Certainly, I find little merit in the idea that a story must focus on the individuals of highest social status (the "heir" rather than the "spare", in this case).


Same so elitist imo the idea that just because Fili is the heir that somehow automatically gains him the right to more "story" importance, but that's the nice thing about stories, they can focus on whoever they want, not necessarily those of higher social status. They focused on Kili IMO largely because he was the youngest, they could focus on something different story with him, in a bunch of films with an abundance of "heirs" and kings already.


marillaraina
Rohan


Mar 7 2015, 12:16am

Post #14 of 200 (4188 views)
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     :) [In reply to]  


In Reply To
The younger brother being the 'hero' of the story, that is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youngest_son


This too :) I tried to say this once, I should have checked wikipedia, it actually makes sense there. LOL


Arveldis
Rivendell


Mar 7 2015, 3:51am

Post #15 of 200 (4144 views)
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     I don't think the idea that [In reply to]  

"Fili is the direct heir and as such deserves more screen time than Kili" is necessarily shared by every person who has lamented over the lack of Fili. It's certainly not why I am upset by his lack of screen time. Why I'm upset is because they took a character who was going to die and therefore needed some amount of "connectability" with the audience, reduced his screen time (compared to the previous two movies, in my opinion), and made him -- almost -- a forgettable character. If it weren't for his death, many casual fans probably wouldn't have given him much thought after the movie was over, if they even did.


That said, there was a possible route they could have gone using Fili's status as heir. Several of us on the boards speculated that there might have been some subplot involving "Fili stepping up to the plate," so to speak, due to Thorin's mental incapacitation. For example: There could have been a small scene showing Fili taking some measure of control over the happenings in the Mountain. Or they could have just limited it to him confiding his worries in someone that he might have to act as king if Thorin spiraled downwards any further. It didn't have to be a big thing, just something to show how he'd grown. (Of course, you could argue that Fili's "I'm going over the wall! Who's with me?" fulfills this purpose.) It wouldn't elevate Fili's status or detract from Kili, I think.


But I believe that one of the biggest reasons that Fili needed more screen time was so that some scene could be shown (though this would be redundant in light of the Kili and Dwalin scenes) of Fili confronting Thorin and trying to get him to see reason. I find it hard to believe that the Dwarf who had no qualms about defying Thorin in Lake-town to stay with his brother would stand by and watch his uncle degenerate into an unrecognizable monster. That seems like inconsistent characterization to me, and a lost chance on the part of the directors to flesh out his character a little more before he died.


Anyways, just my two cents. Smile Maybe some other Fili fans do feel that his status should have guaranteed him more screen time. I can only speak for myself.


(This post was edited by Arveldis on Mar 7 2015, 3:54am)


Pandallo
Rivendell

Mar 7 2015, 4:02am

Post #16 of 200 (4134 views)
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     The Extended Edition [In reply to]  

Dean O'Gorman did mention that he filmed a scene with Martin Freeman that didn't make it into the final cut, which I imagine was likely regarding Thorin. Will it be in the EE? Possibly.


banaili
Bree


Mar 7 2015, 4:38am

Post #17 of 200 (4120 views)
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     I think it all goes back to the first film. [In reply to]  

 
Remember, they had a different actor as Fili in the first film originally. Dean O`Gorman was cast later on, when the first actor dropped out. The problem with that was, they had already filmed quite a few scenes with the first actor, and they probably didn`t want to film them again with Dean and/or didn`t have the chance. (If you watch AUJ carefully, there are moments where you can see the other actor playing Fili, most noticeable, in my opinion, in the Goblin Town scene. If the other actor did any fighting during that scene, it was cut out later on, and we basically don`t really see Fili fighting in that scene at all. ><)

I always got the sense that that is why Dean got so little screentime, and why Fili`s story was less developed. They were forced to show him less in the first film because of the actor change during filming, so perhaps they figured people had gotten so used to Kili alone, they decided to run with that theme for the rest of the films, so it wouldn`t seem like an error of some sort.

Of course, this is just my speculation, but it`s what I`ve assumed, as the subject is one that really bothers me. I ADORE Fili and I adore Dean as Fili--I wish he had been given more of a chance... :(


Avandel
Half-elven


Mar 7 2015, 6:07am

Post #18 of 200 (4107 views)
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     Speculating [In reply to]  

A tough topic for me - but I think, unfortunately, I believe the decision had little go do with a nod back to traditional fairy tales and/or Dean being hired later. From the Appendices it's obvious Dean was around quite a lot, and we know scenes were shot to accommodate the actor change.

We know PJ planned for a "short and snappy" movie. And IMO from a narrative standpoint, the Hobbit movies had a lot going on. So PJ and company focused on what THEY considered important, and re Kili and Tauriel felt it would be of interest to young girls years from now - a kind of prince and princess theme. And PJ had said point-blank he was going to make the kind of movie he wanted to make.

Ultimately, it wasn't just Fili's presence in the films that was affected - it was was every dwarf (except Kili), and Beorn. The one thing no-one has mentioned is good old-fashioned human favoritism - PJ's team seems to love a little romance, loves Legolas, loves LOTR, loves big battles, loves Alfrid, and so on - so just like no Glorfindel years ago vs lots of Arwen, that is the BOFA we got.

Trouble is, for me, I feel like the rug was jerked out from underneath re BOFA.
I wonder tho, even tho it's hard to argue in that BOFA is a success, if PJ will EVER bother to address the unhappiness of fans like myself who really loved the brother bond, or the online comments about the missing dwarves or missing Fili.

There is a lot I love about BOFA, and Aidan Turner IMO does a wonderful job. But so do the other dwarves. I think for BOFA, PJ just didn't consider them that important.
Unsure


CathrineB
Rohan


Mar 7 2015, 7:35am

Post #19 of 200 (4083 views)
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     Ugh [In reply to]  


In Reply To

Trouble is, for me, I feel like the rug was jerked out from underneath re BOFA.
I wonder tho, even tho it's hard to argue in that BOFA is a success, if PJ will EVER bother to address the unhappiness of fans like myself who really loved the brother bond, or the online comments about the missing dwarves or missing Fili.

There is a lot I love about BOFA, and Aidan Turner IMO does a wonderful job. But so do the other dwarves. I think for BOFA, PJ just didn't consider them that important.
Unsure


That is a perfect way to describe it. I had actually expected some more focus on Fili in the last movie for obvious reasons, but instead it was cut down to something so small it makes his role in AUJ look massive Crazy That was a slap in the face. And then to leave him downright ignored after his death when the others aren't is a bit... that rubs me the wrong way every single time I see the movie.
Makes me wonder if there is more to the story of Kazinsky leaving than just 'personal stuff' or whatever it was.

It's just that BotfA had so much potential not just with Fili, but they threw it away by focusing on the wrong characters and forcing in a love story that was absolutely terribly written. I adore Kili - I love the fact that it was 'Fili and Kili' in the first movie, a little less in the second and totally thrown out the window in the last. It does neither him or Tauriel any favors. Having Kili die with the elves rather than his family is just... wow.


lionoferebor
Rohan

Mar 7 2015, 3:29pm

Post #20 of 200 (3982 views)
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     A poor use of time [In reply to]  


Quote
And one possible reason is the late casting of Dean O'Gorman, although I don't know how valid it was. I do think Fili was short-changed, though not as badly as some of the other dwarves, particularly in BOTFA. I've said it before, but I blame alot of that on the insistence of a 144 minute runtime. Hopefully the EE will fix some of that; only have to wait 8 more months, LOL!


If you count both principle photography and pick ups Dean O'Gorman was present for the majority of filming. Peter Jackson had said that when they made the switch in actors it could not have come at a better time because - aside from Bag End - they had not yet started to film Fili's storyline. Dean also said they filmed a scene in Laketwon between Fili and Kili, and a scene in Erebor between Fili and Bilbo. On top of this, he also said that Fili was very supportive of Thorin's mission to reclaim Erebor and that it would play an important role. Sadly, none of this we've seen.

But what I don't understand is why Fili and Kili could not have had equal - or close to equal - screen time. Many have explained why Kili had more screen time (though some of the reasoning I don't agree with) but no one has really explained why they failed to develop Fili's character more. Isn't Fili just as important as Kili? I'm not saying Kili should not have had the time he did, all I'm saying is it could've been more balanced. And part of this may be the 144 hours of screen time, but some of that time - IMO - was not used wisely. For example Alfrid. The time they used on Alfrid could have been given to Fili and the other Dwarves.


lionoferebor
Rohan

Mar 7 2015, 3:31pm

Post #21 of 200 (3979 views)
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     I agree.... [In reply to]  


Quote
--the choice to do the Kili-Tauriel thing dictated that--but I do object to not giving Fili enough screen time to make a general audience even care about his death.


Lots of us did care about Fili, but only because we're far more invested in the story than the average movie-goer.



Never_Underestimate_A_Dwarf
Rivendell

Mar 7 2015, 3:36pm

Post #22 of 200 (3990 views)
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     Just what I was about to say... [In reply to]  


In Reply To

Anyways, just my two cents. Smile Maybe some other Fili fans do feel that his status should have guaranteed him more screen time. I can only speak for myself.


The reason I wanted more Fili had nothing to do with him being an heir.

As you said, most casual viewers didn't care when he died because they weren't given the chance to connect. He had, what, two lines in that movie? It was such a missed opportunity for an emotional scene but instead you get almost zero reaction (Kili just looks slightly peeved when he sees Fili's body, I thought.) It's such an afterthought. I have been asked why Fili is my favorite character when "he's not even a main character and doesn't do anything."

I think ultimately it comes down to the plate being too full with all the other characters and sub plots and sacrifices had to be made. Unfortunately it was a character that I and many others got attached to.


lionoferebor
Rohan

Mar 7 2015, 3:52pm

Post #23 of 200 (3975 views)
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     Thank you... [In reply to]  

for putting into words what I could not. And you're right it did not have to big anything big. Just something to show he had grown. I will never understand why they found it more important to focus on a scene about Alfrid's slip rather than a scene that would develop Fili's character a little more.


Avandel
Half-elven


Mar 7 2015, 6:36pm

Post #24 of 200 (3925 views)
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     This! [In reply to]  


Quote
I had actually expected some more focus on Fili in the last movie for obvious reasons, but instead it was cut down to something so small it makes his role in AUJ look massive Crazy That was a slap in the face. And then to leave him downright ignored after his death when the others aren't is a bit... that rubs me the wrong way every single time I see the movie.
Makes me wonder if there is more to the story of Kazinsky leaving than just 'personal stuff' or whatever it was.



Quote

It's just that BotfA had so much potential not just with Fili, but they threw it away by focusing on the wrong characters and forcing in a love story that was absolutely terribly written. I adore Kili - I love the fact that it was 'Fili and Kili' in the first movie, a little less in the second and totally thrown out the window in the last. It does neither him or Tauriel any favors. Having Kili die with the elves rather than his family is just... wow.


And I know some of this has been discussed before, but BOFA has been out....I know PJ is busy, ostensibly editing the EE, but as far as I know, after the fact, there's been no real commentary from him (except there was that response to TORn, re "since there were no nominations he/they weren't coming to LA" but IMO, it's been said PJ has lots of money, so I don't think anything would stop him from going where he wanted to. And I DO NOT mean that in any churlish way. If I put out a product, and people buy a product, or not, it's an open question of how much "commentary" I "owe" anyone. And I don't have an answer for thatUnsure, because on the other hand the ME world, like Star Wars and Marvel, are heavily intertwined with the fan community).

And now a lot of us are going to, or already have, bought BOFA. For myself, have to agree with your post, in that I expected based on the interactions of uncle and nephews in DOS that in some fashion, we'd really see Fili come to the fore, as "one day you will be king". To a SMALL degree in BOFA, I think it's clear Fili is leading the dwarf group, and certainly charges down through Erebor at Bilbo's words.

But then, that's pretty much it, reallyFrown, except for jerking away from Thorin over Bilbo. And while Aidan Turner did a beautiful job with ThorinHeart re the "sons of Durin scene", heck, Dwalin is close by (non-verbally expressing that constant loyalty, in spite of Thorin's bout of madness) but it would have taken minimal effort, I think, to have had Fili walk up behind Kili and then have Thorin do some *manly* grasp of arms, or exchange of looks, or SOMETHINGUnsure, and fall in behind Thorin with Dwalin and Kili. Why not? Fili obviously cares about Thorin...

Quote

It does neither him or Tauriel any favors. Having Kili die with the elves rather than his family is just... wow.


Very, very on point IMO, tho I don't think PJ & co. look at things that way, obviously. Maybe a top director just can't, because you can't make a movie, in the end, by trying to constantly accommodate fan input. But if - and this reminds me of Tom Cruise "stubbornly" playing the fair-haired, 6'5" 250 lb. Jack Reacher of the those series books (Tom Cruise is 5'7"). E.g., you can "shove" something at an audience, that is really off-canon. Of course you can, if you are making the movieUnsure.

But IMO, if you are going to do that, you had better do it really, really wellUnimpressed. So we have a Hobbit and a Thorin I think who ARE wildly successful, thanks to chemistry, actor ability, script, and so on.

But no, IMO the forcing of what a critic called a "perfunctory" relationship did not do Kili or Tauriel any favors. Had Kili and Fili fallen together, since the audience believes in, and is invested in, their relationship, I think it would have been scenes that would have been as haunting as Bilbo and Thorin, at the last. Certainly the actors were capable of such a scene.
Even EL herself, an actress I am not fond of, seemed surprised at the lack of fighting she did - and for me, having Tauriel stay put, and get involved in the main battle would have been a far more compelling scenario for her (as opposed to distracting Kili by screaming for him, and so onMad - what happened to that ninja-elf stealth?)

Having Kili die with the elves rather than his family is just... wow...... Ouch. I hadn't looked at it that way before. Yep. I suppose the case could be made that "Tauriel made Kili feel alive and he was obviously taken with her" - but. That's the thing - we don't even see any of the closeness of the brothers, really, in BOFA - there was no reason, even if we accept that Kili has fallen in love, that the brothers wouldn't be as close as before. Maybe even more so, after everything they are going through. And I might have cared, at the last.Unimpressed

I have a VERY slim, tiny, hope, that since PJ never saw the true cut of the final film until the London premiere, as he justifiably "wanted to experience like other fans" that he unavoidably, as director, seeing the final package, and having gotten some sleep, took a critical eye to some of these imbalances, and maybe even has heard the fan muttering.
That since so much footage was shot, that he might do some improving of a few of the imbalances. But it is a very tiny hope *sigh*. I just hope Dean O'Gorman and the rest of the dwarves know that to many of the fans, at least, they MATTEREDUnimpressed.

And I see plenty of new fan art around - about the Durins. ALL of them.









Avandel
Half-elven


Mar 7 2015, 7:00pm

Post #25 of 200 (3923 views)
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     BWAAAAAAAAA!!! [In reply to]  


Quote
As you said, most casual viewers didn't care when he died because they weren't given the chance to connect. He had, what, two lines in that movie? It was such a missed opportunity for an emotional scene but instead you get almost zero reaction (Kili just looks slightly peeved when he sees Fili's body, I thought.) It's such an afterthought. I have been asked why Fili is my favorite character when "he's not even a main character and doesn't do anything."


And I'd answer - yes, Fili is a main character - at least in 2 other films - and just goes to show it doesn't take screen time, or lines, to make an impact. Look at how much GOT's

Jaqen H'ghar was embraced by the audience in that series - a character in the HBO series that came and went (so far). I noticed Hilda Bianca in DOS, and was happy her part was expanded a bit in BOFA, as was Percy's. 'Coz they're cool, IMOCool. For that matter, I really enjoy Alfrid, even tho re BOFA it got excessive.


Quote
(Kili just looks slightly peeved when he sees Fili's body, I thought.)


ROFLOLLaughLaugh!!! Um - well, for me, all things considered (and we know what a capable actor Aidan Turner is) - well - er, yep. Quite a lot could have been done thereUnsure, but I guess AT was directed to move things along and charge up the stairs and so on, to get ready for the big Tauriel/Bolg thing. And I don't know what it is - maybe the pacing - but I don't feel much of anything through that whole bit. Kudos to EL for letting herself get choked - that looked real enough. But the rest of it - meh - and I don't even buy Bolg and Kili, any more than I believe Fili would have gone into battle not loaded up with all kinds of daggers and so on.Unimpressed




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