Thread: The Dwarves
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Anyways, here are the names of all 13 dwarves:
Now, of course, they must focus on Thorin. He's the main character. And Bombur will stick out in people's minds because he's the really fat one. I think the moviemakers should also focus on Balin, since he is mentioned in LOTR ("My cousin Balin would give us a royal welcome." Then, they must also focus on Gloin, since he's Gimli's father. And, for me, when I read the books, Fili and Kili always seemed like Merry and Pippin to me. So that right there is six: almost half. I say that's pretty decent. If six can be individualized just from descriptions in the book, then the moviemakers could give quirks or unique looks to some others, so, in the end, people remember maybe 10 out of the 13. That's a pretty good showing.
I said 12 in my original post based on the assumption that Thorin will be a well rounded character. Seeing as he is the leader.
Balin I see as a kind of aged wise one, I seem to remember him being the "smart one".
My concern is not so much viewers not knowing all 13, but instead showing them as more than Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful and Doc. Or perhaps maybe it should be a little closer to the Seven Dwarfs? It would certainly lend itself to the childrens story ideal.
I understand that having such a large cast for many of the scenes is going to seem confusing, but I don't feel any of the roles should be cut.
Thorin needs a commanding actor to play him that can at least match the amazing acting done by John Rhys-Davies, so I suggest Brian Cox.
I've wondered if they might get John Rhys Davies to play Gloin, although he swore he would never play a dwarf again because of his unpleasant makeup/costume experiences. Still, it would be cool to see him play GImli's father.
Does this mean I'm crazy?
What they can do, is setting the accent on a couple of them, and leave the rest as background-characters.
I'm really worrying about the how-to-perceive them from each other. You know, all of them are small with beards. I really think this will become a problem facing the big-public...
He also mentions that it will "probably" be the same 5 or 6 Tolkien himself expanded on.
(This months Empire mag)
Kili and Fili would be overly loyal to their uncle and to give their deaths more impact, they would need to be amongst the more important characters.
Gloin and Bombur would get more screen time for reasons mentioned already.
The rest of the dwarves could be identified by their armor, or weapons or hair color or maybe one has an eye patch or whatever. Some would be identified, or even have meaningful dialogue
The dwarves really didnt have very complex characterizations in the book either, though. I mean, sure, there were those that stood out at one time or another, but it seemed like Tolkien was just randomly pulling a name a lot of the time. That is, when he even bothered too. There are several scenes when its just everyone thats talking.
It also seems that a lot of the time, the dwarves act as one single whole as if theyre one character and Bilbo's another. For example when theyre in the forest and they talk about the moods in one. Or how they all grumble at first, and then they all sweep off theyre hats to Bilbo. I think theyll do that for a lot of the movie, and just pull out a different character every now and then. I would call them comic relief, but the whole story is just so comic.
Its kinda sucks, because I hated how they reduced Gimli to pure comic relief in the trilogy.
Oh, yeah. And I do recognize that there are very distinct dwarves and that theyll have to be touched upon besides Thorin. I agree with others who say Balin, Bombur, and Fili. For the rest, they can just make an imitation of differences like the different colored caps. The thing is, they all have those hooded caps -_-
Though like i started out, this whole debate is problematic. The Hobbit is such a cute story, an archetypal fable epitomize the mythopoeic hero's journey, that to actually make it a film, one would have to decide upon an angle not clearly given in the book.
(btw, Sorry for my absence!!!! Classes have kept me busy, LOVE YOU ALL)
Oh there you are, Joseph! Took your time getting here. Not chatting up young lasses on the way? Never mind....
Now I hope you don't think the dwarves should be buffoons as was Gimli's tendency in LotR. I hope they are treated as a race that takes themelves seriously. I imagine them as little bearded Scots but that might because movie-Gimli is imprinted in my poor brain now! I really don't mind if Thorin gets a bit crabbity now and then.
I agree that not ALL the Dwarves should be portrayed as ridiculous ALL the time, but you must admit that throughout The Hobbit a majority of them WERE rather buffoonish much of the time . Indeed, I dare say they were often more silly than Gimli was portrayed in the films (wherein he really was portrayed more as having a good sense of humour than buffoonish).
There are a lot of silly things in The Hobbit, including how characters act. There are not, however:
Dwarf-pinned-under-corpses during a battle jokes
Dwarf-outshined-by-Elf in battle jokes
Blustering-dwarf lags behind in pursuit
Sorry, but every one of Jackson's jokes fits right into the (general) image of Dwarves established in The Hobbit. That is to say they are persons of Stout Heart, Mirth Making, Grumbling, Feasting and Imbibing, occasionally Bumbling and Tumbling, and being outshone by Elves.
There's a difference between being lost and starving while captured and being in the middle of a battle where you do nothing but talk big and get pinned to the ground. Same deal with the Elves: the dwarves in The Hobbit were hardly in a position to resist capture (and it was in fact preferable to staying out in the forest), whereas Gimli in RotK was supposed to be a great warrior. The dwarves were not particularly bumbling in their greed in TH either: they were able to secure the Lonely Mountain, wall up the front entrance, and withstand a siege while coordinating the arrival of reinforcements.
[quote:nhxbwrcy]Sorry, but every one of Jackson's jokes fits right into the (general) image of Dwarves established in The Hobbit. That is to say they are persons of Stout Heart, Mirth Making, Grumbling, Feasting and Imbibing, occasionally Bumbling and Tumbling, and being outshone by Elves. [/quote:nhxbwrcy]
I must have missed the part where Tolkien mocks dwarves by slipping in references to the genuinely offensive "game" of dwarf-tossing. Or where he made dwarves blustering blowhards who couldn't really measure up to others ("we dwarves are natural sprinters!" while huffing and puffing behind Legolas, and "may the best dwarf win" followed by a complete upstaging by - surprise surprise - Legolas). Or where he made them crude barbarians (yelling "raaah!" in the Council of Elrond, burping noisily while Theoden tries to determine what to do in the face of war, sprawling in the Stewards chair in Minas Tirith, getting absolutely plastered in Edoras, etc.).
And by the way, I don't think the Dwarves who freely and willingly participate in the "sport" of Dwarf Tossing find it offensive (though apparently those who DON"T participate might).
[b:9i93yvgo]Moria[/b:9i93yvgo]: Fights along with the rest of the Fellowship, doesn't really stand out except that he gets knocked on his butt a fair deal. Not terribly buffoonish, but not instrumental in winning either.
[b:9i93yvgo]Parth Galen[/b:9i93yvgo]: Stays in the background most of the time while Aragorn takes on dozens of orcs at a time (plus Lurtz) and Legolas showcases his rapid-fire bow skills, his ability to stab orcs with arrows before shooting them, etc.
[b:9i93yvgo]Warg Battle[/b:9i93yvgo]: Gimli is trapped underneath a warg early on. He shows impressive strength in lifting the growing pile of carcasses, but doesn't really do anything and is clearly the source of comic relief, complete with the indignant "that one counts as mine!"
[b:9i93yvgo]Helm's Deep[/b:9i93yvgo]: He is [i:9i93yvgo]said[/i:9i93yvgo] to have beaten Legolas' count, but what we are [i:9i93yvgo]shown[/i:9i93yvgo] is Gimli "humorously" unable to see over the parapet, spluttering as he falls into pools of water, and needing to be tossed, whereas the others (Legolas especially) outshine him. This is still probably his best battle though.
[b:9i93yvgo]The Paths of the Dead[/b:9i93yvgo]: Not really a battle, but he's constantly wincing and whining and making pained facial expressions. He's obviously terrified and unable to conceal it.
[b:9i93yvgo]The Pelennor Fields[/b:9i93yvgo]: Is completely outshone by Legolas and reduced to a disgruntled "that still only counts as one". Helps Aragorn take out the already wounded Gothmog, then rudely suggests that Aragorn break his word to the Army of the Dead (for which he is ignored; rightly, but reflecting his nature in the movie).
[b:9i93yvgo]The Black Gate[/b:9i93yvgo]: Not much memorable there for Gimli, but then again, not much memorable for anyone in terms of combat.
Gimli is able to fight on occasion, but he is very often used for mere comic relief (and not just in battle scenes; that was only one part of my previous post). Compared to the other heroes he's bumbling and fairly incapable, needing to be helped or saved.
The dwarves in The Hobbit were NOT buffoons!
And if you want brightly colored beards, Mr Tyrant, by all means have them! They can be blue or yellow or pink or green, as long as it is real hair nonetheless. You don't expect fake looking beards do you? They only have to be 'absurd' colored if the film makers insist on it! Send them a line if you insist they insist on this! Yes, ask for 'absurd' colored beards if you must! I never thought their beards absurd! I even liked their detachable party hoods!
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The lot of you!
Seeking a Genuine Edition Society
The truth is Tolkien gives very little in the way of personality to most of the dwarves, even Bomburs entire references would not fill a whole page collected together. Only Thorin gets the full treatment of a rounded character.
This might actually give the film makers an opportunity to build on the slight character traits Tolkien does give and give more of the dwarves fuller parts. Adapting say the barrel escape scene would require, for a blockbuster film, more dialogue and more action than the book offers I think, and its in places like this there is a chance to develop the side characters more.
p.s. anyone else noticed the spell check on here accepts either dwarfs or dwarves without a complaint- is that a triumph for Tolkien?
Btw Mr Tyrant, I've thought about the dwarf characters too, and I think the actual text offers a means of giving the dwarves something to say. What I mean is, Bilbo's[i:3evn2swp] thinkings [/i:3evn2swp]and Tolkien's intrusive [i:3evn2swp]narrative voice [/i:3evn2swp] could be easily morphed into actual words for the dwarves to utter. This could be done so long as they don't use it as an opportunity to dumb-down this serious race with silliness and jokes.
I think the dwarves have distinct personalities and these can be tapped into: Balin is generous of heart (and the first dwarf to support Bilbo), while Dori is a [i:3evn2swp]decent [/i:3evn2swp]chap and quite brave. Thorin, of course, is a bit aloof - takes himself very seriously, you know. And so he should! He's a potential King of Dwarves! I find Bombur to be a bit weak of character, and fat, and lazy (just me?) Gloin seems a cynic, and someone very insular who looks down his nose at people - especially other races (just me again?) Anyhow, need I go on?
My point is, Mr Tyrant, I think giving them a little more to say would not hurt, nor be difficult to do. But there would not have have be all that much. Only Thorin and Balin would need to have anything like major speaking roles. To me they are the prominent dwarves (and leaders). Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and Balin are our main characters, the rest are extras really. And we don't want to get buried in developing the extras too much. Too distracting. Make the movies too long. Make you late for dinner.
Still don't get flagged for dwarves. I'm using Chrome for those who know about technical things and might know why.
Hey! Perhaps this should go on the Elves Thread?