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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Character of the Week: Thorin Oakenshield

Old Pilgrim
Rivendell


Oct 8 2013, 3:58pm

Post #1 of 21 (2901 views)
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Character of the Week: Thorin Oakenshield Can't Post

I have decided to create a new discussion thread, similar to that of Chapter of the Weak, but here we won't discuss about a single scene from an Unexpected Journey but instead about characters seeing in that movie. If there will be interest, I (or whoever wish) will create a new thread each week with different character and we will discuss about him.

The first character will be non other then the leader of our Dwarven company Thorin Oakenshield.


Now let us begin. He is the last of the Dwarves that enters Bag End and upon his arrival the air is somehow tense. In the Erebor prologue and later in the battle of Azanulbizar he is shown as a proud and fearless leader who will do anything is his power to defend his people and revenge anyone who brings injustices to them. He is very sceptical about Bilbo and doesn't believe in his abilites of a burglar and he seems quite annoyed that they took Bilbo with them. From the beginning till the end he doesn't trust Elves and will do anything to avoid them though that is not possible in the case of Rivendell. From his conversation with Balin we can learn that he is almost obsessed with him task to regain his grandfather's kingdom of Erebor and has a very high opinion of those Dwarves that answer his call.

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

Every character has his most memorable moment that we won't forget for a long time. It was so in the Lord of the Rings and it is the same in an Unexpected Journey. It is not necessary a battle scene, but it has to be so important that you find it most important for him. For example my most memorable moment of Thorin was at the end when he decide to fight Azog by himself despite knowing that this will be his undoing. Of course that was not a wise move, but who is talking about wisdom here? His walking, his stance was just marvelous in that scene for me.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

Let's us talk now about a personality a little bit. Despite that Middle Earth is knowing for it's good and bad characters which doesn't seem very real in our world, there were still many gray characters with both good and bad traits. Thorin is definitely one of those. I like him because he is very dedicated to his people and will honour their help. He is not some cowardly slug who will hide when things become dangereous, but will face danger straight ahead. What I don't like by him is his proudness, downlooking to others and his obsession with Erebor. That was my answer.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I have already talk about relationships a little bit but now we can say something more about them. As I already stated Thorin appreciated his dwarven companions as we can cleary see in his speech to Balin: "I would take each and every one of these Dwarves over an army from the Iron Hills. For when I called upon them, they answered. Loyalty. Honor. A willing heart... I can ask no more than that." But surely his relationship with every dwarf wasn't on the same level and what about Gandalf, Bilbo and the others that they meet on ther journey? There is hate, respect and despice but in what orded?

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

Preferable style. We can write many things here but I am pointing towards his way of dressing, fighting and thinking.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

There are still two movies before us and despite many of us have already wrote the book, we haven't seen the movies yet and there would be certainly some differences. At the end of an Unexpected Journey his relation with Bilbo very much improved and he regrets his previous critics about him. Gandalf and Balin have a big influence on him while he has a big influence on other Dwarves, especially on youngest ones, Fili and Kili. Things can quickly change and with Gandalf's departure Billbo will stay alone amongs the Dwarves and there won't be anyone who will dare so openly opposed Thorin as Gandalf did.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

And now for the end we can talk about your own opinions regarding that character.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?




Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 4:14pm

Post #2 of 21 (2359 views)
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In a hurry, cos I'm supposed to be working but keep being diverted here. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
t]1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

FOR MYSELF, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HIS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. HE DOESN'T CHANGE THAT MUCH FROM BEGINNING TO END, ALTHOUGH HE DOES REVEAL DIFFERENT FACETS OF HIS PERSONALITY.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

SO MANY: ENTRANCE TO BAG END AND HIS WHOLE PERFORMANCE THERE, AND HIS FINAL SCENE WITH BILBO.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I LOVE MOST OF IT, BUT BEST OF ALL IS HIS LOYALTY AND SENSE OF HONOUR.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

I THINK THE CLOTHES SEEM LESS SCRUFFY THAN THOSE OF THE OTHER DWARVES. HIS BRAIDS AND THE WAY THE HAIR WAS DONE PERHAPS MAKE HIM LOOK MORE REGAL. MOST OF ALL IT IS HIS PRESENCE, THOUGH, THAT MAKES HIS LEADERSHIP QUALITIES STAND OUT.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

LOVE IT – AND LIKE IT WHEN HE USES BOTH WEAPONS TOGETHER.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

TO DIFFICULT FOR ME TO TELL FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN – BUT HE IS CERTAINLY A GOOD WARRIOR.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

I LOVED HIS PORTRAYAL AND WOULD NOT CHANGE IT FOR ANYTHING OR ANYONE. IT WAS A BRILLIANT CASTING CHOICE.


P.S. Sorry about the excessive use of caps but not sure how to make bold and italic characters here.


Old Toby
Gondor


Oct 8 2013, 5:12pm

Post #3 of 21 (2341 views)
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Oh my gosh, my favorite character [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll have to get back to you on this, since I don't have the time at the moment, but am looking forward to it. Laters!

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


Avandel
Valinor

Oct 8 2013, 8:15pm

Post #4 of 21 (2312 views)
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Could write pages about why I love Thorin in movie - favorite [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll just share that tho a fantasy/mythology lover, was late coming to Hobbit fandom. Pre AUJ had been a tough time personally, and hadn't been paying a lot of attention to movies tho also love film. I'll never forget tripping over some article about the "casting controversy" which happened to have a link to the first released picture of Thorin. Curious, I clicked. It's not often I'm blown away by an image but my jaw hit the floor. It was like a being from the Mabinogion had been brought to life - THAT was what some people were complaining about? Yes, I understand the "classic" depiction of Thorin some wish for, but just can't share it. To this day if someone were in front of me insisting Thorin should be an old, tough dwarf with a sky-blue cloak, long beard, and a harp I'd just stare at them in bewilderment. I know the book, but would NOT give this movie Thorin up, so to speak.
Particularly when THIS Thorin is backed by such a stunning performance by an actor I had only vaguely heard of at the time. This thread isn't really about book Thorin vs. movie Thorin, but since for me it was like getting hit in the head with a brick. In any event, I got interested in the Hobbit really fast and one of the first things I would ever tell Sir Peter is thank you, thank you, thank you, for having the cajones and vision to do a Thorin "your way", and ALL the dwarves - love them all. AUJ is more than I could have dreamed of or imagined, same as LOTR. And most of all to Richard Armitage for completely bringing it - majestically, and magnificently. Kept thinking after that Bag End speech I'd crawl over broken glass to Erebor for THIS king.
That said, could probably keep this real short and just say I never take my eyes off Thorin when he's on screen, but:
1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?
Think he develops, in that in Bag End, his vulnerability and sorrow are shown, but ultimately he is going to take on this chance, so he is facing fear, and possible failure, and has to stuff all that waaay down and function as leader and king. He's made the choice and will commit to it, for his family, and his people. Also, later, he crosses an enormous mental chasm where Bilbo is concerned.
2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?
Several. The scene with Balin breaks my heart, because of the sorrow, vulnerability, and even after all his suffering, a capacity for humor. Azanzulibar, because he's seen his grandfather killed in front of him and stands anyway. Dragging his father from Erebor and leading his people - even tho the official dwarf leaders are still alive at that point, it's Thorin who takes the weight on. Handing the map to Elrond. Facing off Azog. The end scene with Bilbo.
3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?
For me this would take several pages! Overall, for me, this is someone who has suffered greatly yet takes on the weight of his family and people. There is no time for him to grieve, he needs to take care of things. He can still care, puts his "men" first, will sacrifice himself. Risks himself to save Bilbo even tho he has little use for him. He is not so hardened he doesn't search for other answers (he's listening to Gandalf even while angry, hands map to Elrond, listens to Balin). Love Thorin's character and think it's a realistic personality, in human terms similar to someone who has suffered devastation and is re-victimized as society turns its back as well and still has to lead and function. Has little to no reason at this point to trust other races. There's nothing I dislike or hate as feel he has every reason to function as he does - and he's a dwarf, so is thinking along dwarf lines as well. Personally not fond of saintly characters and if Thorin was saintly, he wouldn't be the fierce, magnificent Thorin.
4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.
Great relationship with other in his company, looks after them. Strained but good relationship with Gandalf, understandably. A little hard on Bilbo but *shrugs*. Azog etc. the more heads he takes, the better. Azog is a nasty piece of work that needs to be excised from Middle Earth. Think it was a horrific moment for Thorin to see Azog alive but he rallies to kill him head-on - so dwarf to get in there and charge someone a foot taller than you on a warg that is also a foot taller than you at the shoulder.
5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?
Yes, tho I know they were designed that way. Elaborate armor shirt and striking detailed vambraces catch my eye the most, also velvet patterned tunic. Rich clothes but showing effects of use - absolutely love the clothes and boots and will feel bad when they are taken in DOS. (Boromir had similar effect in that he wore rich clothes, but travel-worn).
6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?
Think he is excellent with a sword, love watching him wield Orcrist *majestic whirlwind* which is not an easy sword to deal with re weight and length (hate, hate, Legolas having it *bleep*) Guessing he can use an axe at need but suspect all dwarves can use an axe from babyhood. Think Gloin and especially Dwalin are the axe experts tho.
7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.
He's too compelling a leader to not be a commander - re rallying dwarfs during battle, and fearless. Whether he is a good strategist - hard to say at this point, dwarves are all about raw power so not sure they operate with a lot of strategy, usually. Certainly it wasn't a strategic move to charge Azog surrounded by wargs at the end, but so very dwarf and since in theory they were all going to fall with the tree anyway, love that Thorin was going to go down fighting, no matter what.
8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?
Think the strain and additional dangers are going to ratchet up in DOS - closer he gets to goal the more "feverish" Thorin will become. Weight of everything will be enormous and DOS will show that. At least early on a far more comfortable relationship with Bilbo. Think he will spend a lot of time in DOS being angry for good reason with little relief. TABA no comment for now and too soon for me, and haven't seen DOS yet.
9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?
Love Thorin as played in the movie, multi-dimensional, richly layered character, believable, charismatic, compelling, not flawless but like him the more for that. Stunning appearance - Celtic warrior/king. Fierce. Powerful haunting performance by Richard Armitage - agree with PJ that RA has a "capacity for stillness that draws the eye." Thought of someone else playing Thorin at this point makes me nauseous.


Kim
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 8:47pm

Post #5 of 21 (2266 views)
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Thanks Old Pilgrim [In reply to] Can't Post

for starting this new Character of the Week post and for starting with my favorite character! Nic pics too Wink

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?
Well, he does seem pretty hardened by life when we meet him at Bag End, except perhaps for his discussion with Balin in the hallway. However, he is willing to listen to Gandalf regarding such things as taking Bilbo along and seeking help from the elves in Rivendell. Certainly, by the end, when Bilbo gives his speech about helping them take back their home, he seems to have softened up a bit. And I for one loved the final scene where he admits his mistake about his views towards Bilbo. So I’d say that he has grown in a positive way during the course of this movie.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?
Sorry, can’t pick just one here! There are so many moments that grabbed me, starting with his entrance in Bag End (see my avatar), speaking with Balin, singing Misty Mountains Cold, the shot of him after the Battle of Azanulbizar, the scene in the troll cave when he finds Orcrist, the warg chase and using Orcrist for the first time, discovering the moon runes, fighting the stone giants, standing up to the Goblin King, fighting the goblins, listening to Bilbo’s speech, fighting Azog, apologizing to Bilbo at the end, the look on his face when he sees Erebor and smiles when he says “home”. Thorin just grabbed me from the beginning and kept hold throughout the whole movie.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?
Like you, I like that’s he’s not a black or white character. He’s very charismatic and pulls you in, even when he displays traits like arrogance. Definitely a leader, and by the time we meet him in Bag End, used to having the dwarves follow him.

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.
I love the dynamics between Thorin, Gandalf and Bilbo. A bit of leadership push and pull with Gandalf, but at least Thorin does take Gandalf’s comments into consideration. Definitely dismissive of Bilbo until he proves himself at the end. As far as the dwarves go, he’s certainly closest with Balin and Dwalin, then Kili and Fili, but not so much with the rest of the dwarves (at least he knows everybody’s names). His attitude towards elves is understandable given how they offered no help with Smaug attacked (or afterwards), but he still managed to treat Elrond somewhat civilly after their first encounter. As for Azog, well, Thorin thought he was done with him until that final confrontation, and I imagine the reason he charged off the tree was that he figured he bested Azog during their last confrontation, and saw no reason why he couldn’t do it again.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?
The materials seemed to be of high quality, as was his belt. I think the fur also seemed to indicate a higher status, Dwalin and Kili both wore similar.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?
I’m not really that knowledgeable about fighting styles or weapons, but he certainly seemed very commanding with his original sword, and with Orcrist.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.
Hmmm, again, not my area of expertise, but he does seem to be a combination of both—he can fight well, but we was also the one to rally the troops in Azalnubizar. So a warrior who has grown into the role of commander as well.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?
This will be really interesting to see how his leadership style grows once Gandalf leaves. I wonder if he will now include Bilbo in his inner circle of councilors with Balin and Dwalin. However, I did hear in an interview with Richard Armitage that Thorin will “continue to make mistakes”, so I’m curious to see how that will play out, especially in Mirkwood.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?
Absolutely love it! I think Richard Armitage was an inspired choice for this role. I have seen others’ opinions of other actors they think would have been better suited for the role, and while I can see how those may have been closer to the Thorin of the book, they just wouldn’t have drawn me in the way Richard did. Granted, I had recently become of fan of his a few months before AUJ came out, and was already prepared to like his portrayal, but I’ve found that he does really well with these types of complicated hero roles. Honestly, I didn’t really like Thorin in the book, but he’s blown me away in the movie. I expect DOS will be awesome, and am not quite sure how I’m going to make it through TABA.

Smile


Kim
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 8:54pm

Post #6 of 21 (2249 views)
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awesome response Avandel! [In reply to] Can't Post

and welcome to the forums! I'm with you all the way re Thorin and Richard! Smile


Kilidoescartwheels
Gondor

Oct 8 2013, 9:52pm

Post #7 of 21 (2269 views)
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On Thorin [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't know if I can remember all of the questions, but here goes:

Thorin's most memorable scene - probably the one where he stands on the rock outside the cavern, waiting for ALL of his men to get to safety before jumping down himself. I think that scene says alot about the kind of man he is.

Things I like & don't like - see above for things I like, he puts his men first and isn't afraid to put himself in danger for them, example saving Bilbo on the mountain & nearly falling himself. Things I don't like - the way he treats Bilbo after that scene, he is a bit pompous at times. Then again, he's also not afraid to admit when he's "never been so wrong."

His clothes - can't really say "regal" so much as "warrior." He wears armour and covers on his forearms at all times. Dwalin also has a fur trim on his clothes.

Axe or sword - seems to me he uses Orchrist more than anything - quite effective at it.

Does he change? - only where Bilbo is concerned, he's all about the mission.

Good acting choice - YOU BET!Heart I made the mistake of watching RA's Robin Hood & Spooks shows on Netflix, to see what he looked like without the hair and beard, and DAMN, he's attractive!!!EvilHeart


Queen of Erebor
Lorien


Oct 8 2013, 9:53pm

Post #8 of 21 (2225 views)
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I'm also a little short on time at the moment... [In reply to] Can't Post

but expect my response within a day or so, when I do have a little more time, since when a thread is devoted to a favorite character and/or actor, it may take me a while to complete it (I might even have to split it in half, which might happen when this Chapter of the Week comes up in a few weeks).Wink

Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To find our long-forgotten gold.





Avandel
Valinor

Oct 8 2013, 10:50pm

Post #9 of 21 (2201 views)
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Thanks for the welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

*Grins* thought if I was going to keep lurking like a *burglar* it was long past time to join this amazing site - which has been a lifeline for this now-mad-fan-of-the-Hobbit. Hope Sir Peter has checked in and knows about the enthusiasm for the new trailer. I looked a lot like Bilbo when he picked up the ring in the trailer, was so gobsmacked watching the trailer.

One reason being, I had really missed "my" dwarves. Can you miss movie characters like people? I missed Thorin, even if there is a big framed poster on my wall + all-dwarve posters. Had consoled myself this summer by getting curious about RA's other work *mistake* and ended up watching all of North and South at one sitting - loved it. Happy for RA who seems to be a complete class act.

Will add I can't comprehend anyone but Martin Freeman playing Bilbo, either - these movies have an incredible cast.


Kim
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 11:31pm

Post #10 of 21 (2186 views)
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Yeah, it was the same for me [In reply to] Can't Post

started lurking after the movie was out of theatres and waiting for the DVD to come out cause I missed the movie and characters so much! I had originally planned to only buy the EE, but that plan went out the window after I saw the movie--no way I could wait that long. It's been even more fun since I de-lurked this summer and joined in the fun!

Never a mistake to watch RA's other work! I did that after I discovered him in North and South a year ago (and also had to watch N&S in one sitting staying up til 1am), so I managed to take in most of his work by the time AUJ came out. There are also lots of interviews on youtube that he did while promoting AUJ (and some of his other work), and like you say, seems to be a complete class act, really intelligent and thoughtful with his answers.

The trifecta of Sir Ian, Richard and Martin is just perfect, can't wait to see them, all the dwarves, and yes, even some of those pesky elves in DOS!

Smile


Elskidor
Rohan

Oct 9 2013, 12:23am

Post #11 of 21 (2190 views)
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Thorin is awesome [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not on long tonight, so I may write more on this later, but I am very impressed with how Thorin's character has been handled in the movie. My opinion on Thorin has actually gotten a lot better than my previous one from how I use to see him from the book and 1977 animation film. Sorry if that is blasphemy :(, but everything about Thorin from his introduction, to his flashbacks, to his loyalty and courageous stand against Azog at the end of the film was done wonderful, and the actor has blown me a way!

Does he look more regal than the other Dwarves? I don't know really. I think his actions express more of this look than his actual code of dress, but who knows.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Oct 9 2013, 12:50am

Post #12 of 21 (2196 views)
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Thorin is the Man! [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

I would certainly say that Thorin has grown. In the beginning he was very doubtful of Bilbo, even saying the famous line, "He looks more like a grocer than a burglar." But near the end, after Bilbo saved his life, Thorin realized he was wrong. Even giving Bilbo a rare hug. While he is still haughty, his trust in Bilbo has grown.


2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

When he starts singing. He has a great bass voice. Of course, as a musician, I'm partial to anything related to music.


3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I like that Thorin is strong, and that he is serious and has some amount of ambition. I don't know how he can be disliked or hated, but he does have aspects of his personality that are negative, such as greed.


4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

Thorin has a leader and follower relationship with the Dwarves. Even if they disagree with him, because they are loyal, they stick with him. Gandalf I'd say while you can call them friends, there seems to be a power struggle between the two. Gandalf is smarter and wiser, often having to talk sense into Thorin, who doesn't want to listen because, being the leader, he dones't want to be told what to do. With Bilbo I'd say it was dynamic: it changes. At first Thorin sees Bilbo as beneath him, and to some extent disrespects him. But after the lfe-saving, he respects Bilbo more. Thorin obviously distrusts elves, and is quite cold toward Elrond. As for Azog and orcs, he clearly hates them. Goblins, he sees more or less as a great nuisance.


5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

Yes, at least to me, his clothes are more royal. The fur cloak/vest(whatever that fur thing is) and his dark royal blue outfit (which I pictured in the novel.)

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

He seems to be good at both sword and axe.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

Thorin is a good warrior, and as long as he is not blind by ambition he could be a good commander


8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

Huh. Well, if the film doesn't focus on "others", I'd say he should develop really well. And I sure hope so.


9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

I liked Thorin as portrayed in the movie. I wouldn't change his personality, but I might add a longer beard, just a bit longer, but it would stay black, as that's how I pictured him in the book. I wouldn't change actors, Richard Armitage played a good Thorin.


Esmeralda
Bree


Oct 9 2013, 5:23am

Post #13 of 21 (2170 views)
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There is one I could follow... [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

I think the key thing about AUJ is how much we learn about Thorin and what those revelations mean as the quest progresses. He fought to protect his home and failed, but he still led his people and did everything he could to help them survive, including swallowing his pride to work for others. He followed his father and grandfather to war, and saw them fall, but he charged forward rather than fleeing. He kept fighting instead of accepting defeat, and managed to turn the battle from a devastating loss to a victory, albeit a bitter one. He has known so much loss, and yet he continues to fight, because he is strong, he is stubborn, and he refuses to give up.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

So many…but I would have to say Thorin pounding on the red-hot iron bar in the forge as he works for his people, and to keep his arm strong in the hope that it may once again wield a sword to reclaim the glory and the gold they had lost.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I like that he aways runs towards danger, and holds his ground, no matter what the odds. No matter the obstacles, he's always looking for a way forward. He is so strong and courageous, and clearly has great love for his people and their way of life. He'll do anything to preserve it and them.

I'm also amused that he seems to have no sense of direction. He often doesn't know where he is, or how to get where they're going - and I think this is reflected in his quest. He doesn't know how they're going to get there and take on that dragon, but he's going to charge full-force at it anyway - it seems to have worked for him so far…

There's nothing I seriously dislike. He's incredibly grouchy and short-tempered, but that just seems to be part of who he is and a reflection of the burdens he's taken on. If it were me, I'd be grumpy, too.

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

I'm very interested in his relationships with the other dwarves. We don't see him directly interacting with more than a handful of them, and yet, in bag end, he speaks those wonderful words about them being worth more than an army, because of their willingness to go on this quest with him. And we see, after Balin speaks of the Battle of Azinulbizar, how they all look on him as their King, and with a nod, he accepts both their fealty, and the burden it represents. Dwalin is his Sergeant at arms, Balin is his trusted counselor. He looks after Fili and Kili, and they're the only ones he chastises for teasing Bilbo - though they were simply following his lead. I can understand why they were reluctant to tell him they lost the ponies :).

Clearly he trusts Gandalf, and generally defers to his judgement, if grudgingly. I think he suspects Gandalf of having a separate agenda, and manipulating circumstances to his own ends, but having a wizard along is awfully useful. By my count, Gandalf saves them four times in the first movie.

Bilbo is a problem. As much as he claims no responsibility for the Hobbit, as part of the company, Thorin can't help but feel responsible. And that haunts him. As shown with the trolls, and the storm in the mountains, Thorin puts himself and the whole party in jeopardy to rescue Bilbo. No wonder he wants to see him gone.

Azog is nearly as much Thorin's nightmare as Smaug. To see him alive, and be at his mercy once again was a terrible shock. And yet, as usual, Thorin's response is to face his fear and charge it head on. I don't think he could ever do any different.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

His mail shirt shows his warrior status - though Dwalin is more obviously a fighter. The velvet coat looks rather rich, though not all that much more than some of the others. I think the fur pelt gives him a barbaric, leonine look. I heard someone refer to it as warg fur, so I like to think that Thorin, Dwalin and Fili killed their own coats. But honestly, I think it's his attitude and bearing that makes him stand out. It's how everyone else responds to him that leaves no doubt as to his status.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

I don't remember seeing him use his axe. He seemed to use his dwarf sword as a heavy bludgeon with a sharp edge, putting all the weight and force of his fury behind every blow. Orcrist is like a blaze of light that nothing can stop, and he dances with it. Beautiful.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

He's clearly a brilliant fighter, willing to take on terrible foes. But we also see him rallying troops, shouting orders and leading them against the enemy. He is incredibly noble and charismatic. People *will* fight for him. Even Bilbo risked his life trying to save him. So yes, he is a leader. Whether he's a *wise* one remains to be seen.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

In the book, when Gandalf abandons them at the entrance to Mirkwood, he says he leaves Bilbo in his stead. It will be interesting to see if Thorin is willing to consult with Bilbo, and defer to his judgment, or if he still feels the responsibility for the quest resides with him alone, and he must make the decisions. I expect there will be a bit of everything, and many of Thorin's choices will not turn out well - resulting in being captured by spiders and then by elves. Bilbo is the only one who can help them escape in both instances, so Thorin's urge to lead and command will be rather knocked about.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

Even though I was a big fan of LotR, I wasn't particularly interested in seeing The Hobbit. I didn't think a movie full of Tolkien/PJ dwarves would be particularly interesting. Then I saw a trailer with a dark-haired barbarian warrior-prince wheeling his horse about in a flash of sunlight. A moment later I heard him singing a deep-voiced song of loss and longing. That's when I knew I *had* to see this movie. So yeah, RA pretty much sold me on the movie and I've become something of a fan (yes, I now own a copy of North & South and I love it). I'm still not sure what to think of his acting. I think McKellan and Freeman have more of the qualities I associate with great acting, but Armitage catches the eye and *holds* it. The way he stands, the way he moves, the way he doesn't move. His *voice*. I think he embodies the role of Thorin in a way no one else possibly could, and he's still selling me on this movie, and on Thorin, all the way to the end.


Old Toby
Gondor


Oct 9 2013, 6:33am

Post #14 of 21 (2139 views)
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Finally got here again, and here are my answers [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm intentionally not going to read the other posters' comments until after I'm done. I know some things will probably have been said before, but I don't want to be influenced by other answers while I make my own. So here you go!

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

I like his character arc in this one. I see him in the beginning as proud but not arrogant, stubborn but not pig-headed, honorable but not uncorruptable. He is courageous, self-sacrificing, and loyal to those who he trusts. And here's the thing: one must earn his trust, for he doesn't give it freely. He has the weight of his ancestors' history to carry as well as the burden of being the exiled king who must bring his people home again, which makes him both determined and bitter. He is quick to judge, and is in serious need of anger management, yet he has the humility and decency to admit his mistakes. I see him as still capable of learning things about himself as well as about others. In this case, his forgiveness and reassessment of Bilbo after Bilbo saves his life. He sees that someone he judged prematurely to be weak, with no fighting skills, could display tremendous courage under the worst odds. And I know this is just the beginning of Thorin's character arc! The pendulum will swing....

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

I actually enjoyed the very beginning, when he enters Bag End and does his assessment of Bilbo. I think this scene tells us a lot about his character. It's the little things he did from then on that I relished...in a twisted way, I know, but there you go. Like the way he slaps the contract into Bilbo's hands, the "Get him a pony" line. And his singing. Oh my, his singing! Oh, yeah, and I did like the hug at the end!

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

Rather than listing all the things I like about Thorin, which would take up way too much space anyway, I'll just say that I really like his multidimensional character. He's not entirely good nor entirely bad. He has good reasons to do what he does, and think the things he does. And he isn't a static character, but a character in flux, constantly on the edge of changing for better or for worse, which makes him exciting. And don't get me started on his hair! Oh, okay, just one sentence I'll allow myself about his hair: Thorin's Hair deserves a fan club of its own!

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

Seems to me that Thorin isn't a relationship kind of guy. By that I mean he doesn't get close to anyone. His closest friends are Balin and Dwalin, both who fought along side him at Azanulbizar and experienced the horror. These two he trusts enough to confide in, but Balin I think more than Dwalin. Gandalf he trusts only as far as his knowledge about things is concerned. Gandalf's recommendation of Bilbo as the burglar and his insistence of showing Elrond the map, Thorin went along with not so much because he truly trusted Gandalf as a person, but he trusted his judgment. His relationship with Bilbo changes the most in this film, and will continue to change, as we know. The rest - the elves, Azog, goblins, orcs - all are firmly in the enemy camp.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

Oh yes, his clothes were fantastic! Not the usual robes of royalty we would see if he were living comforably in Erebor, but the style, the designs, the colors, all signify someone who is more than just your ordinary street-fighting dwarf. And there's his ring of course. I personally love his fur collar on the coat he wears. Pity he'll lose it to you-know-who soon.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

I don't think this can be answered just by what we've seen. He's obviously good with a sword even at Azanulbizar, and his style seems more developed as we see him later at Goblintown. I think his fighting skill evolves a bit, as RA has stated in some interviews. He wanted to show a different fighter from when Thorin was younger to the Thorin he shows us at Goblintown. I'm not a swordsman...or swordswoman...or swordsperson, so wouldn't really be able to judge.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

Well, just off hand, I'd be a little skeptical of a strategist who got himself lost twice in Hobbiton and had trouble keeping his own nephews' names straight. Yeah, a warrior or commander, absolutely! I'd follow him into battle anywhere! His courage, skill and charisma as a leader are unquestionable.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

He will fall into darkness...he will become his own worst enemy....and at the end, I'll need a case or two of kleenex tissues.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

Thorin was the one character who took me completely by surprise. I detested book Thorin. I was stunned by RA's portrayal of a character who I had no interest in whatsoever. He made Thorin real for me, one who I could admire and fault, love and hate (to come)...much like his John Thornton character in North & South. No, I would not change him one bit, nor would I want any other actor to play him now. For me, Richard Armitage IS Thorin Oakenshield, just like Ian McKellen IS Gandalf.



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

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Oct 9 2013, 6:35am)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Oct 9 2013, 8:17am

Post #15 of 21 (2110 views)
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Ah, another Robin Hood fan! [In reply to] Can't Post

You're not the only one. Smile If I have to go for two days without a dose of Robin Hood I feel some serious withdrawals! And I expect Brethil to chime in here with similar sentiments.

I heard somewhere that his portrayal of Sir Guy had a large influence on PJ and company casting him as Thorin. I sure see a lot of similarities between the way the two characters are played (and of course I think RA is brilliant in both cases).


Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 9 2013, 10:29am

Post #16 of 21 (2093 views)
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Forgot to say, re. favourite moments [In reply to] Can't Post

That I really loved Thorin at the Battle of Azanzulibar, with the narration by Balin. I loved the way he looked against that inky-blue sky. Also at Erebor, right to the end bit: 'And he never forgave…never forgot' (whichever way round that is supposed to be). There's so much passion in the way he hammers that anvil…


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Oct 9 2013, 1:04pm

Post #17 of 21 (2125 views)
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Ah, Thorin! [In reply to] Can't Post

Fun idea, Old Pilgrim. Thanks!

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

Here I must applaud PJ & Co. for making the Thorin I disliked from the book into half the reason I love the movie. I love the way Thorin has been given a backstory that makes us sympathetic with him and his people's plight. We see how far he has fallen from the prince of a very rich and powerful kingdom to the all but powerless leader of a displaced people. We see the burden he carries almost singlehandedly, and how that burden, along with his family's own weakness (as we'll see in future movies), drives him.

His personal character arc makes its sharpest turn at the end of the movie when he hugs the burglar. Though it's not as clear, I think he also learns that he must depend on others to some degree if the quest is to be a success. Not only does he need Bilbo, but he needs Gandalf, Elrond, the help of his company, and even the mark on the door. Wink

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

Well, I remember all of them Evil, but the top five most memorable for me are 5) the smile to Balin at Bag End when he says, "There are a few warriors amongst us." There is a soft side to Thorin, and that's where he got to me first. 4) Thorin rushing down from the tree through the flames to Azog. That was filmed to be memorable, and it worked! Here we get a real sense of Thorin's frustration and hopelessness, and a glimpse into the kind of berzerker do-or-die in his character. 3) "Can you read it?" Thorin is so vulnerable here. Unsure How humiliating to be dependent on an Elf. 2) "He never forgave, and he never forgot," while taking out his frustrations at the anvil. I like this because it summarizes his character, and the image is straight from the book. 1) Singing in front of the fire with his hand over his heart. We do, in fact, get a glimpse not only of his heart here, but of what this journey means to all the company--a semi-sacred quest to reclaim their home.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I like that Thorin's character is a mixture of good and bad qualities. He's got a lot of complex motivations going on. On the one hand he is brave, honorable, self-sacrificing, and has great hair (did I type that out loud? Wink), but on the other he's arrogant, stubborn, rude, and short. (Angelic). I personally can forgive him the bad qualities because I know how much he has been through, and the good qualities won me over from the start!

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

He does not really have a relationship with some of the "lesser" Dwarves of the company, other than as their leader. I love his friendship with Dwalin--there is utter trust there, because Dwalin never questions him, and Thorin never needs to question Dwalin. Balin is not afraid to disagree with Thorin, but Thorin always hears him out with respect, even if he doesn't do what he advises. (So far, anyway.) He doesn't quite trust Gandalf 100%, because he knews Gandalf has plots up his sleeve (some involving Elves!), but he's willing to go along with his judgment for now, since Gandalf's plots seem to coincide with his. Of course he despises Bilbo at first, but as we know it all culminates in hugging in the end. (We will see how that continues--or doesn't--in the next movies!)

I also find his relationship with his nephews very intriguing. I wonder if in the movie universe there is a specific reason we haven't officially been informed they're kin to him. In any case, I hope Kili finally gets the affirmation from Thorin that he wants so badly! And someday maybe Thorin will be able to tell them apart. Evil

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

His clothes definitely say "majestic." The armored shirt, the coat, and the magnificent fur all help. That, and the absence of homely knitted stuff. Smile

It's too bad he's going to lose his original outfit...no doubt the Elves will sell it on eBay and fund their entire BOTFA campaign with the profits. The new threads look equally majestic, however. I have no complaints there. Wink

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

As much as I honor Thorin, he's not really a strategist as far as I can tell. Obviously he's not that great with maps and directions. There doesn't appear to be much of a plan to retake the mountain beyond what Gandalf has come up with. His one-on-one battles with Azog (both times) seemed to be more about emotion than any kind of tactics.

But as for being a warrior and showing leadership--I don't think after the flashback of Azanulbizar, and the escape from Goblintown, there can be any doubt about that.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

Well, he may rely more on Bilbo for a time, if Bilbo is allowed his moments to shine with the spiders, but apparently Thorin's dragon sickness is going to send him into a character decline pretty fast. I hope he will get a shining redemption in the end. *sob*

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

Well, yes, I do kind of like Thorin as portrayed in the movie. I may have been too subtle about it up to this point for anyone to notice. LaughHeart




"Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again." --G. K. Chesterton



The Tenth Walker
The Shire


Oct 9 2013, 8:56pm

Post #18 of 21 (2028 views)
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Great idea Old Pilgrim [In reply to] Can't Post

Well to get straight to business.

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

I think Thorin has become a little more humble. He has learnt that hobbits have their uses too, and he has learnt to apologise. Despite that he still has a LOT of pride , as we will see in the continuing films.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

Probably the scene when he rally’s the dwarves at the Battle of Azanulbizar. That was an inspiring moment when he turns the fleeing dwarves and changed a disaster into a victory, however slight.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I like Thorins sense of responsibility towards his people. I don’t like his overbearing pride and greed.

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

He does not bow to anyone! Wherever he is he is the one in charge.
He is very fond of his dwarves, though sometimes they exasperate him!
He doesn’t have any time for Bilbo – at the start. And while he is more than happy to have Gandalfs help, he is annoyed that Gandalf insisted on brining Bilbo.
He likes elves only slightly more than goblins!

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

I thought so, His royal blue coat with the fur seems more befitting a king than let’s say Ori’s knitted wool jumper.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

I like him with a sword, after all if you have a sword as good as Orcrist you might as well use it. I love his whirl wind tactics with the sword – literally sweeping everything from his path.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

He has shown what a great leader he is in the Battle of Azanulbizar. He seems very fit for the role of a commander in battle.

8) How will his character develop in the next two films in your opinion?

You will see him succumb to dragon sickness. You will see his pride and greed overcome him. You will also see his friendship with Bilbo destroyed.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

I really love what they have done with Thorin. They have made him a more likable and a more interesting character. Richard Armatige has done a fantastic job I wouldn’t change him for anything.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." J.R.R Tolkien


Queen of Erebor
Lorien


Oct 9 2013, 10:41pm

Post #19 of 21 (2038 views)
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Thorin will always be my King... [In reply to] Can't Post

Now that I have a little more time, less see how far I get (like I mentioned earlier, I may have to split this is half)...

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning? I love his development over the course of AUJ. From being mistrustful of Bilbo at the beginning to finally accepting him as part of the company. It takes a big man to admit that you're wrong about someone. I also like that even though he doesn't fully accept Bilbo at the beginning, he's willing to go along with him and even save his life on occasion, even though he may not particularily like him at the moment.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

There are so many; his arrival at Bag End (I always get a bit nervous before that scene, even though it's not his first

appearance); facing Azog during the flashback scene to the Battle of Analbizar and again at the end (even though I dread the latter every time I see it), saving Bilbo's life even though he may not fully accept him or even like him, the Misty Mountain song in Bag End (LOVE that scene), saving Ori's life during the scene with the Goblin King. I might as well mention every scene he was in, since most of them are memorable.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate? I like his bravery to face down any ememy regardless of their size, and his loyalty to his people. One of my favorite scenes (I forgot to mention this in my answer to the previous question) is when he talking to Balin about why he's doing this in the first place. Balin almost looks like this is a fool's errand. I don't hate anything about him, even his flaws. After all, we all have flaws that we can work on.

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs. I love the character arc between Thorin, Gandalf and Bilbo. With Gandalf it seems to be more of a power struggle as to who might be more on the up and up, and like Gandalf says to Elrond during the events leading up to the White Council: "Thorin Oakenshield doesn't think he's answerable to anyone, nor am I." or something like that, since I can't remember the exact dialogue at the moment. With Bilbo, I think it's more if he finds him worthy enough. Bilbo's a little on the soft side, so until he proves himself worthy by saving Thorin's life at the end, I don't think that Thorin finds that Bilbo is the right person for this particular quest. As Dwalin says: "The world is not for those that are too soft and fend for themselves." (I seem to be using a lot of quotes I can't remember the dialogue of for some reason). The only dwarves he seems to value the opinion of (though he may not always agree with) are Balin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili (probably more Kili, since he's the youngest and seems to need the most looking after). Azog and the Orcs are probably more of a nuisance (especially Azog, whom he thought died of his wounds long ago. There's one dialogue I actually remembered. I guess if it's another character other than my favorite, I just don't pay that much attention).

.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins? Definately, especially the coat with the fur (if Thranduil stole it in the upcoming DoS, I will not be a happy camper), since Dwalin also wears a similar coat, so perhaps the fur is more for royalty than those of the lower class of dwarves. The hair braids also seem to be of more royal origins (but don't get me started about Thorin's hair, or this will take a lot longer than I expected).

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe? We haven't seen him wielding an axe much, except to lean on it a bit during the soujourn to Rivendell (I wonder if that a throwback to LotR when Gimli often used his axe as some kind of walking stick). I think his sword wielding skills are excellent. My favorites are the whirlwhind and when he uses Orcrist to stop one of the Wargs from attacking when Gandalf leads them to the hidden path to Rivendell.

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle. Definately a better warrior as we can see in the flashback to the battle of Analbizar (sp?). He didn't seem to be afraid to face down Azog, even though the pale orc is much bigger than he is (though I still think he should have sliced off his head instead of his arm, but unfortunately, dwarves can't reach up that high). Same with the end scene when he felt it was his duty to face down Azog alone, even though it was a hopeless fight. Thank goodness Bilbo stepped in when he did.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion? Well see him succumb to the dragon sickness and have to deal with Bilbo's betrayal. I don't think Thorin is the type of person you want to betray, since he can take it a little personally. Even in the book, I didn't like Bilbo taking the Arkenstone. If it was me, I would have given it to Thorin. There's also what happens during the Battle of Five Armies (I'm dreading that part, since unlike the scene in the book, when I was just a little concerned, this Thorin's death is going to be hard to watch. I better stop now before I start crying like a baby).

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)? Another actor? Are you mad? I don't think anyone else could pull it off as well as Armitage. Even though I've only been a fan since the Hobbit, I've seen his fall into darkness before (mostly in North& South), so I'm glad we finally get to see the darker side of Thorin.



Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To find our long-forgotten gold.





Avandel
Valinor

Oct 10 2013, 4:20pm

Post #20 of 21 (1965 views)
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I also forgot to add to my own post [In reply to] Can't Post

Favorite moments? How could I? There are movie moments that I think are so striking or beautiful I will always remember them. (One of these, for instance, is the shot near the end of the "Color Purple" with Celie's sister and grown children that have come home, their brilliant clothing blowing in the wind, very still against the golden field and blue sky.) Was surprised to read an article with RA saying that he wanted to keep working with Misty Mountains. I'd tell him, no, let it go, it is a beautiful, beautiful scene, it's perfect, haunting, between the voices, the firelight, the expressions, Bilbo sitting so troubled on the bed, the wafting smoke, there is nothing that could be done better. Except add another verse, maybe. I still watch the AUJ trailers and get chills.

And oh, when Thorin is staring at Azog and that epic, iconic, moment when he stands. Often think, as Thorin rises from a deep crouch as gracefully and powerfully as a lynx, 1) RA's skiing has paid off big time when it came to filming the Hobbit e.g strong and flexible; and 2) It's scenes like the pine tree and saving-Bilbo scene, the warg-grasslands scene, where I feel PJ was just SO RIGHT in the decision he made to NOT make the dwarves in "classic" canon fashion. I've pictured a "classic" by-the-book Thorin charging through the grasslands - or even one that kind of was like Theoden, say, but short - and I just start giggling to myself. Just no - you could never have had the "garden gnome" type dwarves, especially the leader, in these films. It'd have to be another film entirely, and then you are back to the whimsical - child movie issue. I picture a "classic dwarf" trying to stand up on the tree, stiffening, and then just falling over - just no.

Don't know how much PJ & co. can tell about how a person will film during the audition process, but often think when the filming began PJ & co. picked up really fast that the camera LOVES this Thorin - and happily PJ seems to be making shameless use of that. If I had been PJ, I would have been popping the champagne when the first footage was viewed, as casting Thorin was so critical.


Macfeast
Rohan


Oct 11 2013, 3:27pm

Post #21 of 21 (1957 views)
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Short version: Excellence in all but design. Also, SPOILERS [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What do you think of his development during the movie? Has his character grow from the beginning (by learning something new) in any way or he is the same on the end as he was in the beginning?

I'd say that he's very much the same as he was from the start - haughty and grumpy, yet proud - the major difference of course being his acceptance of Bilbo, which I'm not sure how much I'd attribute to Thorin having a change of heart, respectively Bilbo proving his worth; How much of it is "this hobbit is not so useless after all", and how much of it is "I should not be so dismissive towards new people"? In any case, apart from taking place chronologically too early, brought by going with three films rather than two, it feels very much as per the book.

2) So what was Thorin's most memorable moment for you in An Unexpected Journey?

Though I see it as more of a memorable dwarf-moment than a memorable Thorin-moment, I will say the singing of "Over the Misty Mountains cold". It almost brought me to tears when I heard it in the very first trailer, and it still holds plenty of power in the finished film.

3) What do you like in Thorin's character and what you don't like or even hate?

I like most, if not all, of his character traits, and how they are utilized, and I like the approach towards Thorin's character taken by the writers. There were no dramatic changes from the book (as with, say, Aragorn) beyond further emphasis upon his desire to reclaim Erebor (which is there in the book, though oft dwarfed by the goldlust), and the essence of book-Thorin - grumpiness and haughtiness, pompousness and pride - is very much there. No, the essence, the core, is there, and then there are additions to it, and expansion upon the bits that were less emphasized in the book. We've got heroism (which there were traces of in the book even before the Battle of Five Armies, indeed as early as the troll-sequence), tragedy (again, present in the book, but not as emphasized), and strong leadership, which helps balance out other traits that alone would make him a rather unsympathetic hero.

4) Tell us your opinion about his relationship with other characters? Dwarves in common or invidual, Gandalf and Bilbo, elves and do not forget on Azog with goblins and orcs.

Now that I think about it, there is little direct, meaningful interaction between him and his fellow dwarves, Balin, Dwalin, and Fíli and Kíli aside; They are more often referred to in group. Personally, I think his relationship with Balin and Dwalin felt right, but I would have liked a little more interaction between him and his nephews, and I do think it a great shame that they didn't ever introduce Fíli and Kíli as Thorin's nephews, and thus heirs to the throne. With the approach the writers are taking towards the film, expanding upon so much, it strikes me as weird not expanding upon that point. At the very least, a mention would have been nice.
His relationship with Gandalf, a more antagonistic one, I think work very well, and it is a nice contrast towards the LOTR-trilogy, where the leading heroes usually welcomed Gandalf, if not outright cheered at his arrival.
With Bilbo, as mentioned above, very much as per the book, if forced to progress a little faster.
Not much to say about his feelings towards the orcs; No surprises there, really. As for his feelings towards the elves, a little more antagonistic than I expected.

5) Was his clothes more royal then that of other Dwarves? Was there something on them that indicates his royal origins?

Hard to say; A few dwarves sport clothes almost as decorated and ornate as Thorin's. I think the fur-trimmed coat makes for a more regal look, though.

6) What is his style of fighting in your opinion? He is using sword but is he a good swordsmen or perhaps better at wielding an axe?

Hard to tell how good he is with the axe; I can't recall seeing him use it. During the troll-sequence, he's wielding Deathless (his pre-Orcrist sword), and during the warg-chase, though he wields the axe, Orcrist delivers all the blows. I think it only really sees direct use as a walking stick during select sequences.
Good swordsman? Definitely, though I'd rather he'd be more direct with it; I could do without the pirouettes (which, to be fair, were few).

7) Is he a better strategist, tactics? Would he be a better warrior or commander? Here I am talking mostly about his role in battle.

Certainly he is a good warrior. I haven't seen enough of his strategical side to really say if he is a good commander; Truth be told, I saw little strategy in any of the battles he fought in, beyond rare occurrences such as "cut the ropes". No, he leads by example, not by command. The counter-charge at Azanulbizar, for example, is a prime example; He did not lead that charge with strategy and tactics, he led it with raw emotion, and authority won by besting Azog.

8) How will his character develope in the next two films in your opinion?

I expect we will see him start putting a little more trust in Bilbo, now having accepted him, before slowly turning more antagonistic towards him. I am really looking forward to what is to come.

9) Did you like Thorin as portrayed in the movie or would you change his character in any way (appearance, character or maybe even another actor)?

The design (well, the facial design, the costume is excellent) has been a sore point for me ever since I first saw it, and time has done little but make it worse; Were I in the position to change it, I would, increasing the length of his beard, and maybe making him look a little more aged, if possible. Certainly the idea of a longbearded and perhaps more visually aged Thorin does not at all strike me as incompatible with Armitage's Thorin, as written and acted in AUJ, and I seriously doubt that it would change the character in any dramatic way; The writers, and Armitage, are simply too good for it to have a detrimental effect.
Truth be told, though it may sound melodramatic, Thorin's design isn't just something that clashed with the image I had in my head, it represents a great many things that I do not like about not only adaptions, but cinematic storytelling as a whole, and it feels like it promotes a narrow-minded and non-creative approach to storytelling and its heroes.
For the sake of brevity, I will limit myself to one thing, though, and say that I think Thorin's design takes away from the fantastical feel of the setting; Here we have this fantastical, non-human race with a very clear and distinct visual aesthetic, yet Thorin sports a dramatically different, more human design simply on account of being a leading character? It is such a meta-concept, so convenient and artificial, that it hurts my belief in the world. If they wanted to sell me on their diverse approach to dwarven designs, then they should not have limited the shortbearded, more human-looking designs to important characters; As it is, it feels too isolated for me to think of it as genuine diversity.
Had relatively unimportant dwarves like Óin, and Bifur, as well as some of the unnamed dwarves in the background, been designed with a similar approach as that towards Thorin in mind, I would have been more forgiving towards Thorin's design. As it is, it really feels like there is this distinction in design between "dwarves who are supposed to die tragically to our mourning, and other important dwarves" (Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli in the former group, Bofur, Balin, and Dwalin, in the latter; Balin and Dwalin comes across as token dwarves among the important dwarves, strangely), and their unimportant kin, and that's just too artificial and convenient for my taste. To me, it's the equivalent of Frodo being tall and wearing shoes, just to make him stand out from Sam, Merry, and Pippin, or Gandalf being played by a bare-chinned 20-30 year old while Saruman stays the same.

Lastly, I will add, that I am not a "this is the only way to do it"-kind of guy, I'm not one for definitive claims when it comes to storytelling; To me, going down that path takes you to the death of storytelling. Armitage was indeed great in the role. I reckon other actors also could have been great, though we may never know it; Different, perhaps, but still great. Not that I mean to say a change in actors was in order - Armitage was brilliant - merely a personal anecdote. Armitage being great does not prove that any actor would have failed miserably.

 
 

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