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Old 11-02-2019, 12:33 AM
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The Hobbit (Movies and/or Book): Questions...


My questions stem primarily from the trilogy movies, as it's been a very long time since I've read the book. If any of the answers are in the book, feel free to share.

1. Bilbo's Choice: If Bilbo had simply given Thorin the Arkenstone (as he'd been hired/retained to do), would Thorin have been so paranoid and, well, dick-ish? Or did his "Gold Fever" (Greed) run so deep that he'd have been a dick anyway?
I realize that this may be IMHO or wild-assed guess territory.

2. The White Gems of...something or other. The white gems that Thranduil/Elvenking was so hot for during the opening prologue...did Thror screw the Elves over somehow, promising them the gems (even for an agreed upon price or service) then reneging?

3. If those white gems were so damned precious to the Elves, how did the Dwarves get ahold of them? Did someone steal them from the Elves, and they somehow made their way to the Dwarves?
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ExTank View Post
1. Bilbo's Choice: If Bilbo had simply given Thorin the Arkenstone (as he'd been hired/retained to do), would Thorin have been so paranoid and, well, dick-ish? Or did his "Gold Fever" (Greed) run so deep that he'd have been a dick anyway?
I realize that this may be IMHO or wild-assed guess territory.
I think he (and the other dwarves) would likely have still been pretty dickish.

I didn't see the final movie of the trilogy (I'd had enough disappointment from the first two), but if anything, the dwarves were even more motivated by gold and treasure in the book. In the movie, I think that Jackson tried to make their cause a bit more noble, and stress that they were hoping to reclaim their homeland (and, yes, get the gold, and get revenge); in the book, it's really about the gold. And, once they'd gotten it, they weren't going to give up a single coin willingly.

Balin's probably the exception to that, in both the books and the movies; he's much more level-headed, and is the dwarf who sees Bilbo as a companion and partner to the dwarven party, and not just as a hireling or tool.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 11-02-2019 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I think he (and the other dwarves) would likely have still been pretty dickish.

I didn't see the final movie of the trilogy (I'd had enough disappointment from the first two), but if anything, the dwarves were even more motivated by gold and treasure in the book. In the movie, I think that Jackson tried to make their cause a bit more noble, and stress that they were hoping to reclaim their homeland (and, yes, get the gold, and get revenge); in the book, it's really about the gold. And, once they'd gotten it, they weren't going to give up a single coin willingly.

Balin's probably the exception to that, in both the books and the movies; he's much more level-headed, and is the dwarf who sees Bilbo as a companion and partner to the dwarven party, and not just as a hireling or tool.
In the movie, they invented a "gold madness" or sickness that overwhelmed Thorin as it had his grandfather and father. It also explains why Smaug was so protective of the gold as well.

"There is a curse over that treasure....." says Balin at one point.

In the end, Thorin comes to his senses, gets killed, and Dane becomes King under the Mountain....still keeping all the gold that apparently has a curse.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:32 PM
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I don't think it's that that particular pile of treasure has a curse on it. I think that that sort of curse is inherent to any sufficiently-vast wealth. And it's a curse to which dwarves are even more succeptable than humans.

It's also quite possible that the close proximity of the One Ring exacerbated that curse even more. That was the primary effect that the Seven had on the Dwarf-Lords, after all.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ExTank View Post
2. The White Gems of...something or other. The white gems that Thranduil/Elvenking was so hot for during the opening prologue...did Thror screw the Elves over somehow, promising them the gems (even for an agreed upon price or service) then reneging?

3. If those white gems were so damned precious to the Elves, how did the Dwarves get ahold of them? Did someone steal them from the Elves, and they somehow made their way to the Dwarves?

Quote:
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thranduil:

The extended edition also explains that the rift between the elves and the dwarves was caused when Thrór refused to hand over the White Gems of Lasgalen, which the Elvenking desired. Rewording Tolkien's explanation in the novel, Bilbo explains that the dwarves tell a different story: that Thranduil refused to pay them their full due, so they took what he had originally promised. Thranduil shows up with an Elven army on the day the dragon Smaug destroyed Dale and Erebor, but leaves the surviving dwarves to fend for themselves on seeing the might of the dragon and knowing what it could do to his army.
It's a {ripoff of?} {homage to?} the tale of the Nauglamir, from the Silmarillion. Short version: Elf king hires dwarves to make some jewelry. Dwarves want more than elf is willing to pay. They end up fighting. Each side claims that the other committed the first act of treachery. Both of them were #%&holes.

The "gold madness" is probably an allusion to the influence of the Rings of Power, as described in Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. Durin's Folk had one of the "seven for dwarf-lords in their halls of stone". They could not be enslaved like the Nazgul, but they did become greedier than normal. In the books, Thrain died in the dungeons of the Necromancer, who repossessed the ring.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mbh View Post
It's a {ripoff of?} {homage to?} the tale of the Nauglamir, from the Silmarillion. Short version: Elf king hires dwarves to make some jewelry. Dwarves want more than elf is willing to pay. They end up fighting. Each side claims that the other committed the first act of treachery. Both of them were #%&holes.

The "gold madness" is probably an allusion to the influence of the Rings of Power, as described in Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. Durin's Folk had one of the "seven for dwarf-lords in their halls of stone". They could not be enslaved like the Nazgul, but they did become greedier than normal. In the books, Thrain died in the dungeons of the Necromancer, who repossessed the ring.
Sure, but in the movie (I know different sources might have a different take on what's what), Thranduil says something to the effect that the white gems belonged to the Elves, in general, and his late wife (Legolas' mom) in particular. The inference here is that, at some point, the gems were in the Elves possession, before somehow winding up with the Dwarves.

Is this a case of "unreliable narrator/selective memory" on Thranduil's part? Or maybe "conflicting canon?"

As for the Rings of Power, I often overlook their presence and influence on the various people/players, so thanks for reminding me.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:52 PM
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The Silmarillion story is, basically, that originally, the Elves had one of the Silmarils, the three most beautiful gems in all of Creation. The Dwarves made a really nice necklace, not as beautiful as the Silmarils, but about as beautiful as any non-Silmaril jewelry could possibly be. The Elves made a deal with the Dwarves to set the Silmaril in the necklace, but then once it was done, each claimed the other broke the deal (in particular, the deal didn't seem to specify who would own the new, combined piece of jewelry, and so both claimed ownership).

When Thranduil says that the Dwarves stole it, he was doubtless speaking what he believed to be true. And likewise the Dwarves, when they said they didn't.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ExTank View Post
My questions stem primarily from the trilogy movies, as it's been a very long time since I've read the book. If any of the answers are in the book, feel free to share.

1. Bilbo's Choice: If Bilbo had simply given Thorin the Arkenstone (as he'd been hired/retained to do), would Thorin have been so paranoid and, well, dick-ish? Or did his "Gold Fever" (Greed) run so deep that he'd have been a dick anyway?
In the book, as I recall, Thorin is already being a jerk before Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to Bard and the elves; I don't think that Thorin would have been any less of a jerk if he had gotten the Stone in addition to the rest of the treasure. Remember, the dwarves woke the dragon who then devastated Bard's village, and Bard was the one that killed the dragon. By some reckonings, Bard should have gotten all the treasure (as recompense for the damage that the dwarves incited, and as reward for killing Smaug).

Last edited by Andy L; 11-02-2019 at 10:23 PM.
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