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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What did you think of the movie Thorin?
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Feb 2 2013, 8:34pm

Post #101 of 109 (676 views)
I felt completely differently... [In reply to] Can't Post

...book-Thorin had his flaws, but he didn't have any saving-graces to me. A character has to have both to be interesting.


Feb 2 2013, 11:24pm

Post #102 of 109 (691 views)
I wasn't looking forward to the Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

at all. I did like the book, but I thought it was a simple little story compared to LotR, with rather silly dwarves, 'hoods bobbing, beards wagging' and a Hobbit who squeaked and fainted.

But then I saw one of the early trailers. I saw a regal Thorin wheel his pony around, backlit by sunlight. I heard him sing of his home, and the coming of the dragon in a voice that rose from the deep places of the earth.

This was the Thorin who had watched his people killed and driven from their home. Here was the young prince who had fought beside his father at Azanulbizar, and seen the hopes of the dwarves turn to ash for a second time. This was the dwarf, brought low, but still undefeated, who would return to the anvil to provide for his people and keep his arm strong until he could put a sword in it again and reclaim what had been lost.

Tolkien wrote this. It's all there, but passed over quickly or hidden in the appendices - much like Aragorn and Arwen's exquisite romance. Peter, Fran and Philippa excavated the character of Thorin. Richard Armitage provided a performance that revealed the sharp edges of his pride, and the brilliant facets of his desire.

So yeah, gorgeous job. I can't wait to see the rest.

(This post was edited by Esmeralda on Feb 2 2013, 11:31pm)


Feb 3 2013, 7:11am

Post #103 of 109 (665 views)
I'm in total agreement with Peter Jackson [In reply to] Can't Post

At a December press conference in Japan, Jackson called Bilbo the heart and Thorin the soul of The Hobbit. I can't think of a better description of these two characters (in terms of the film), and AUJ has convinced me that Freeman and Armitage inhabit their roles perfectly. As Bilbo becomes the willing heart and sensible center of the quest, I'm now able to see Thorin, despite all his admirable qualities, gradually buckling under the weight of bitterness, pride, and dragon sickness. I was sold on the journey his character would take when I saw the Bag End hallway scene between Balin and Thorin. A leader so driven by a self-imposed quest that he cannot accept that he has any other choice - even when his old friend Balin tells him very clearly that he does. That's a soul carrying a pretty heavy burden. I've always known what happens to Thorin; now I care what happens to him. Armitage has seen to that.

Frankly, I had no expectations at all (pro or con, high or low) for Thorin's role in The Hobbit -- and zero exposure to Armitage's work. (Fixing that pronto!) My hopes were all pinned on Freeman's Bilbo, and I was longing to see Gandalf the Grey again. Then on first viewing, I had my own personal version of a "Figwit moment" -- Freeman is great, who is THAT?! -- and the film immediately gained so much more depth as I watched Bilbo and Thorin work their way toward an honest appraisal of one another by the time they reached The Carrock.

BTW, the "Hobbit Japanese Press Conference" parts 1-5 is available on YouTube. It's well worth watching if you haven't seen it. Jackson is on stage with Serkis, Freeman, Armitage, and Wood. There are long pauses for translation, but the questions are very well constructed, the answers are detailed, and the whole thing is a lovely exercise in patience and politeness. Jackson's heart/soul comments begin at the end of part 3, I think. And part 4 contains a nice bit between Freeman and Armitage.

...one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green... The Hobbit


Feb 3 2013, 8:31pm

Post #104 of 109 (628 views)
Just as Jackson's Boromir [In reply to] Can't Post

was so much better in the film version than the book's Boromir (totally imho), Jackson's Thorin is TONS better than the book Thorin. I am always a bit detatched from the Book Thorin (BT), so his exploits and outcome add to the story, but I'm not personally or emotionally invested in him.

This Film Thorin (FT) has be completely captivated. His voice, his subdued yet emotion expression, his presence, his passion is fantastic. I can't wait to see more of him; but I'm so scared for film 3. I know this is "NOT THE BOOK", but Peter has diverted from the text often enough (Haldir/Elves/Helm's Deep; Faramir) that I find myself wishing that the outcome of the story for the 3 (no spoiler) could be different. The anticipation is beginning to distract me from completely losing myself in these characters. I know... I know... don't flame me for wishing. I do "know" what will happen... but still...

First draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated list coming soon


I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

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TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Feb 3 2013, 11:14pm

Post #105 of 109 (614 views)
Yup, with ya all the way gramma [In reply to] Can't Post

I, too, am scared of film 3. Although I know what happens in the book, I hope PJ doesn't change it. And I really don't think he would. That would be passing up the chance, of all three of the films, to really bring a major emotional moment to the audience. And PJ does that so well. Damn him!

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Feb 3 2013, 11:45pm

Post #106 of 109 (608 views)
You're so right about Boromir and Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for pointing that out. In the books I also found their fates to be touching, but not emotionally devastating. I was never invested in these characters til the films came out. And considering what Sean Bean did for Boromir in just one film, I'm already bracing myself for RA's character arc in three. TABA will be wrenching. And like Toby, I have no doubt that Peter, Fran, and Philippa will handle it well.

BTW Toby, I love your sig line.

...one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green... The Hobbit

Grey Havens

Feb 4 2013, 3:57pm

Post #107 of 109 (526 views)
Not exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a hard question for me to answer, as I read the book for the first time both a long time ago (over 35 years) and when I was quite young (6, to be precise). Certainly I don't recall that at the time this was a point that bothered me, but at the time, I knew grownups are weird, and that would have sufficed for me as an explanation if I had actively disliked Thorin. I did not, though, I simply found him not very interesting.

It is my feeling though that if as a more mature reader I had found Thorin despicable (again, not the case), yes, the book quote above would have baffled me, as would have the actions of Thranduil and Bard in the denouement. I plan to reread the book sometime soon, but it is not possible to do with completely "fresh" eyes. That things about how the character is written are appropriate for a heroic figure is knowledge I can't erase.

Because I tend to think of myself as a careful reader, and of Tolkien as a careful writer, it is my guess that I would not find Thorin despicable, and that in the early going of the book I would find those things that might make someone admire Thorin (other posters on the thread have indicated they did like the character in the book). A quick glance at the first adventure (Roast Mutton) shows a Thorin that expresses a willingness to help Bilbo out if he gets into trouble with the Trolls, and one who is marginally more ready than the rest of the characters to deal with trouble, but I'll be thinking more about this when I do re-read.

It is of course possible that I would not find anything to like about the character at all, but in that case I would find both the book quote and the other details that follow it, jarring. Assuming I liked the book, I would probably look back to see what it is about Bilbo and Thorin's relationship that I had missed. I take it as a reasonably clear statement by the author that he expected me to find things about Thorin I could admire.

Which is why giving me a movie Thorin I do find has admirable qualities (along with, as I have said, being someone that could be called a "jerk"), seems a good job of adaptation to me.


Feb 4 2013, 7:10pm

Post #108 of 109 (510 views)
Me, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Scared of TABA, that is. Will be making a complete ass of myself in the cinema, with a huge box of tissues on my lap and clutching my best friend's hand for comfort...

I agree with you that it's extremely unlikely that PJ and his team will change the ending --- much as I'd like it, it would be a major betrayal of the book's spirit and the purists would come down on him like a ton of bricks.

'Goodness gracious, you really are a messie!' 'Oh no, I'm not, these are all just mathoms...'

Grey Havens

Feb 4 2013, 7:39pm

Post #109 of 109 (876 views)
Nor do I think he would want to [In reply to] Can't Post

I think he's a fan of the books as we are. I think he would want to do that part of the book justice in his film.

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