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Will Thorin Survive the Battle of the Five Armies?

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News from the Peter Jackson camp claims that more literary “alterations” will take place in the final installment of The Hobbit, in theaters this December.  Among ideas powering the rumor mill is that Thorin Oakenshield will remain alive in Jackson’s film. In Tolkien’s text, Oakenshield dies while attempting to regain control over Erebor (Lonely Mountain) once ruled by the Dwarves (didn’t Tolkien prefer the word “Dwarfs”?)

What are your thoughts? Should Jackson follow Tolkien’s original plot or should he change it to please the audience??

Or, as some have suggested, is this Jackson letting a rumor “slip” to get our reaction to the possibility?

Dr. Crystal Hurd

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Crystal is a writer, poet, reader, and public school educator from Virginia. She is happily married with three beautiful Terriers (adopted from local shelters). Her dissertation explored the leadership of C.S Lewis with postdoctoral work focusing on the leadership roles of artists. An unapologetic book nerd, Crystal loves to read and research works involving faith, literature, art, and leadership. She also possesses a deep, unrelenting interest in all things European, especially Doctor Who. You can read her weekly thoughts on her webpage/blog www.crystalhurd.com, friend her on Facebook, (Crystal Sullivan Hurd) and follow her on Twitter: @DoctorHurd and @hurdofficial.

About Niklas Anderson

4 comments

  1. If it is him letting a rumor slip, it’s likely something he’s at odds with the studio over, more then likely they are wanting a ‘happy ending’ for the series and he wants the fans to make it clear to the studio that such a choice would be wrong. Such would indeed be wrong, even unforgivable. This isn’t like omitting something from the story like Tom Bombadil, which while a nice bit of the story has very little to do with the primary narrative. Nor is it like inserting artificial constructs, like the love triangle from desolation, which while mostly unneeded padding and distraction doesn’t alter the principle focus. This is ultimately removing the emotional lynch pin of the story. It would be like if Disney decided Bambi’s mother didn’t die, true you could still ultimately tell the rest of the story without changing that much, but it’s become barren of proper pathos, lacking a memorable kick that allows us to connect better to the characters and their struggles. With the case of Thorin, the dramatic choices of Jackson and co. render even greater relevance to this. Throughout the two first films, especially with the extended editions, they have built up and piled upon Thorin’s character, his fears and flaws, and his family’s legacy. They have also built up the inevitable falling out between him and Bilbo over the Arkenstone, an act that only finds its redemption upon Thorin’s deathbed. To be perfectly blunt, if Thorin doesn’t die, all of that build up is pointless! This story is a tragedy, it is meant to end in failure for Thorin’s line, but at the same time it is also meant to be a final triumph for Thorin himself. The fact that he, before passing on, is able to see his failure and make amends to the one who really suffered most by his madness; both in how it changes him, losing the quiet simplicity of before, and leading him to the yet unknown doom of the ring; is the last great triumph that saves Thorin in the end. If Thorin lives and becomes king under the mountain, then this meaning is lost, there is no tragedy of his lineage, and the triumph of his realization and redemption with Bilbo loses its luster. I still have enough respect for Jackson and co. to believe they are not so foolish as to change this, it has to be some insanity from the studio, that they too recognize it, and are trying to prevent it. Much of what has failed with these films has had the heavy hand of the studio firmly behind them, I’m hoping better powers triumph.

    • Hit the nail right on the head, Kinni. This is not a Disney fairytale, this is Tolkien. There has never really been a truly “Happy Ending” in any of his works. Anyone who thought the Lord of the Rings had a “happy ending” were not paying attention – Frodo is left with such severe PTSD that he chooses to leave his loved ones behind and sail to Valinor with the elves. . . Tolkien doesn’t do happy endings . . . he gives us endings were good triumphs, but at great cost. The endings are bittersweet, but also wholesome. He gives us something meaningful to contemplate about, even as we turn the last page and close the book.

    • Thorin suffered the most from his madness. In Fact Thorin has suffered since the dragon came to Erebor. I never saw Bilbo’s home and family ripped away from him or his whole way of life destroyed.

  2. Great reply Kinni! All my thoughts on the same track. PJ pushes his limits on his changes and for the most part with LOTR, I have grudgingly accepted those changes and basically made excuses for them simply because no one else so far has brought Middle-earth to us as much as he has…but, if this rumour is indeed true, I won’t go see it. I seen Hobbit 1 & 2 multiple times and already have several different copies of the dvd’s, but I will stop dead in throwing any more money to him if Thorin does not die. It sounds awful when put like that, but that is the way of things.

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