I’ve no background in Norse mythology (aside from a brief reading of the dwarf names), so this suggestion by Susan Messer Chan of possible motivations for the screen version of Thorin is very helpful.
I’m still not sure how the revised version of the Thror>Thrain>Thorin vs. Azog>Bolg vendetta is going to resolve itself, but at the moment, I’m bemoaning the missing details on Thrain. Thrain was quite a force to be reckoned with in the Appendices, unwilling to stop at the Battle of Azanulbizar when injured, even after his son Frerin dies, and after he’s lost half his people. In many ways he is the ultimate dwarf, and really fulfills the role of the Norse warrior as described in Susan’s post. He takes the fight to the orcs for seven years straight until he gets his revenge. But like his son became later, he is quite stiff-necked, and would have pushed on to take Moria (Balrog or no Balrog) if there had been anyone left who would follow him. Wiser and wearier, Dain deterred him from taking action that day, but Thrain’s spirit of desire and determination (amplified by having a Ring of Power no doubt) would not die, and drove him to his fate with the Necromancer.
I think that understanding Thorin’s relatives is important in understanding him, and I do hope they give us a more insightful look at Thrain in the next film.
I recently returned from seeing “The Hobbit” for the third time. Being a Tolkien scholar, there is obviously no shortage of themes which this film delves into which would fail to inspire me. This evening, however, I happened upon one quite by chance. As my daughter, husband, and I were making our way out of the auditorium, I heard a man speaking with his friends. He seemed to be in rather a muddled state. He asked the lady to his right why in the world would that dwarf leader have leapt off of the tree and rushed straight into a nest of bloodthirsty orcs and wargs all alone? It seemed suicidal and thoroughly dim-witted. All those in his group agreed.
Naturally, I couldn’t let this simply pass. It dawned on me that so many people out there seeing “The Hobbit” for the first time have no background in Norse mythology. Although the majority…
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