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My question regarding the 12 dwarves is how can that big of a cast be made into individuals without resorting to making them all one dimensional characters like something out of Snow White?
I think that will be difficult Show. They will only be able to focus on about 4 of the Dwarves. The rest will indeed be reduced to basic archetypes. So the real question is which 4 Dwarves get the star treatment ? I 'll have some more thoughts on that later.

[b:3fnatt12]Gandalfs Beard[/b:3fnatt12]
Why only 4? I can see your point about not being able to focus on everyone, but how did you come up with 4? Why not 3 or 5?
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."Wink Smilie 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.
Fili and Kili seemed like an easy way to make 2 into one. they don't need separate personas, as twins they are much the same person, just two bodies.

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.
Beren,Show- I think you're right. they can only have so many - some will probably stand out as more comical and some more serious. Thorin will be the big cheese. In LOTR, they cut some of the minor characters (Radaghast, Glorfindel, Bombadil and Goldberry, the kid that befriends Pippin in Minas Tirith, etc.) and minimized others and I would assume they will really minimize some of the dwarves. Fortunately we'll be able to tell them apart due to their hood color. Maybe they'll have a wall chart. Elbereth
I just picked 4 out of thin air, but I think about 6 is the most people will be able to keep straight. Many of my friends who hadn't read the books couldn't keep the characters in LOTR straight. They kept mixing up the Rohanians (Rohanites?) with Gondorians. Balin, Thorin, Gloin and Bombur are sure to have the most developed characters (I think thats why I said 4 as the most developed), otherwise I agree with Beren and Show about the way the rest are likely to be handled.

[b:1togydsy]Gandalfs Beard[/b:1togydsy]
I'm reading The Hobbit right now and notice a few things so far--that they make an issue out of their hood colors when they show up on Bilbo's doorstep. And the names that sound similar to each other also have the same hood colors and they show up in like-hooded,like named pairs, like the twin thing. The trolls even mention the sock color...But yeah, they could cut the number straining the brain just by twinning some of them up. And what, Kili and Fili are good at making fires ouf of nothing and finding shelter? or they're the ones who pick the cave that seems good but then has goblins in it. They seem like the good boy scouts who don't complain. And one of them who isn't Thorin--don't remember which--is the one who says, "Burglar? He's looks more like a grocer to me" and he says something about him flopping around on the mat, and Bilbo gets really offended by that and the memory of it goads him on later because he has "professional pride." So one can be the Skeptic dwarf. And Bombur or some B-name is the fat one who brings up the rear when they're all running from the goblins and he carries Bilbo and they make an issue out of his weight and that he never thought he'd be carrying a hobbit when he started the adventure (and Bilbo never thought he'd be carried whilst running away from goblins. So we figure we know we can remember 7 because of Snow White, as long as they make them look different enough and give each one (or pair) an obvious recognizable personality, flaw, or skill. I guess all of these points have pretty much already been, yeah. Hooray for the group. :mrgreen:
I'd like to see some one like Jorge Gargia (he's from ABC's 'Lost') in the role of Bombur. As I recall Bombur is the more friendly of the Dwarfs or at least to Bilbo, and they both shared a love of food. I'm not that interested in star power for any role, yet I am more interested in having great actors meet the description of the characters.
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 don't think it's going to be a really big problem. To tell the story on film and as a book, doesn't require each of the thirteen to really stand out. The key roles and personalities will stand out and the others will just be part of the group. It always felt that way to me in the book. Also, does anyone remember the movie the 13th Warrior?

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.
I also think that none of the roles should be cut. They pulled it off in the animated movie who says they can't in the film version. Jorge Gargia would be a good choice for Bombur! Good suggestion I probably wouldn't have thought of that. lol
I love Jorge. Don't know if he could pull off a dwarf, though.
They really cannot cut any dwarf. Part of the reasoning Gandalf gives to add another person (The Hobbit) to the quest is to avoid having a company of 13. A number of dark omen that is recognized across much of the world.
Very true. Personally I would be extremely angry if they cut any of the dwarves! Like it was mentioned earlier most of them don't really stand out that even with a main cast that large they pulled it off in the animated and anything they did in the animated film they should be able to do in the new movie. Also wasn't the main cast of LOTR really big? And they were separated all over Middle Earth throughout most of the series and in The Hobbit they are all together the whole time. Well most of the time... hee hee except when Bilbo has to rescue them!
Will Smith as Bilbo
I, Hobbit
I would actually like to see that!

Does this mean I'm crazy?
Well if you guys are crazy, then count me in the nuthouse :lol: . It would be a cool spoof.

[b:2qfgb42z]Gandalf's Beard[/b:2qfgb42z]
THey should cut none of the Dwarves.

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...
Well in the book and the animated movie alike they all had different colored hats and capes and really each character has their own personality even if they look alike they aren't the same character and if I know DT he will figure out a way to make them all seem unique even if he has to keep a couple in the background. I can see where people who haven't read the book could get confused but the whole different colored capes and hats thing should help.
GDT and PJ have said that they want to focus on six dwarves ([url=]source[/url:13dmawns]) out of the mix and develop them. I'd like for all 13 to get a bit of development each, but I can see why they would want to focus on a few in particular. I just hope none are reduced to comic relief as much as Gimli was, though I'm not holding my breath in the case of Bombur. Actually, Bombur would probably be the best choice for comic relief, as long as it's not too over the top.
If they stick with the tone of the book up through the death of Smaug (which Del Toro and Jackson have indicated they probably will do), then they should all be comic relief (including Bilbo) :lol: . I re-read The Hobbit a few months ago and was reminded just how funny it was.

[b:1l8vr75k]Gandalf's Beard[/b:1l8vr75k]
When asked how they are hoping to handle the Dwarves Jackson says they plan to choose 5 or 6 to develop ’interesting’ relationships with Bilbo and they want to avoid simply having Thorin and 12 sidekicks.

He also mentions that it will "probably" be the same 5 or 6 Tolkien himself expanded on.

(This months Empire mag)
[b:10g25nit]Gandalf's Beard[/b:10g25nit] - that's a good point, but I still hope that they don't reduce them to utter ridiculousness, though I suppose that point is approached sometimes in the books. :mrgreen:
Well, I've been wondering if they will cut any... I hope not! But there's no way they'll be able to make all 13 dwarves individualized... they probably will just expand on a few of them. I know in the book they never all stayed separate in my head. Mostly Ori, Dori, Oin, Bofur, etc. were the ones I forgot.
The way I remember the book had most of the dwarves introduced in pairs. Kind of making a quick way of cutting the development of characters nearly in half. The only ones I remember not really having an equal would be Thorin and Bumfor (Bofur? Bum da bum ba da? I forget his name, the fat one). Granted, Gloin will need some focus because of Gimli, Balin because of Moria, and Fili/Kili because they die. There is 5 characterations, add in a general tone for the rest and you have a 6 personality company.
i do think the fat one's name is Bombur(think being the key word just in case i'm wrong lol) ... That seems a very logical way for things to go Show!
Thorin could be considered the second main character of the story, along side Bilbo, it's his quest after all. Balin was always nicest to Bilbo, and became friends with him after time. I see Balin as Thorin's adviser/second in command.

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
This whole predicament just goes back to my original problem with making The Hobbit. Its such a ridiculous story. GB is SOOOOOO right. Its an absolutely hilarious story and i love it, but you just dont see movies like that. Remember how the first reviewer of the hobbit was like a six year old? The writing style and tone of the hobbit is so drastically different from that of the Silmarillion and the trilogy that they almost seem part of another universe. No, scratch that, they all seem like different tellers from one world. Bilbo is supposed to write the hobbit and the lotrs, but theyre just soo different. But anyway- back to dwarves.

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)
...hi ho hi ho, ho ho, hah hah..."

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.
Good of you to resurrect this thread Odo <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> .

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 :roll: . 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).

[quote="Gandalfs Beard":1rpmi4ag]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).[/quote:1rpmi4ag]

There are a lot of silly things in The Hobbit, including how characters act. There are not, however:

Dwarf-tossing jokes
Dwarf-falling-from-horse jokes
Dwarf-pinned-under-corpses during a battle jokes
Dwarf-outshined-by-Elf in battle jokes
Blustering-dwarf lags behind in pursuit

How about bumbling Dwarves get captured by Spiders jokes, bumbling Dwarves get captured (and outshone <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ) by Elves jokes, or bumbling Dwarves get greedy jokes :roll: .

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. :P :lol:

[quote="Gandalfs Beard":nhxbwrcy]How about bumbling Dwarves get captured by Spiders jokes, bumbling Dwarves get captured (and outshone <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ) by Elves jokes, or bumbling Dwarves get greedy jokes :roll: .[/quote:nhxbwrcy]

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. :P :lol: [/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.). :roll:
Well, Gimli WAS portrayed as an excellent warrior in Jackson's films. An Exceptional Warrior, who also just happened to have a lot of humourous traits. Not unlike the Dwarves in The Hobbit.

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).

Not really. Let's look at the battles he fought in (from memory):

[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.
You guys are all stark raving mad.

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!



[size=200:6uqv9ms5]RAVING RED-HOT MAD!
The lot of you!

Odo Banks
Grand Master
Seeking a Genuine Edition Society
(or SAGES)
I just finished reading TH again, but for the first time I tried to look at as if I were attempting to adapt it. And one of the things which stands out about the book in general and the dwarves in particular, is that there is surprisingly little written dialogue. A film would require much more than what the book gives in most of the major scenes, partly this is because much of the book is written from what Bilbo is thinking or is told by Tolkien in the role of narrator.
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?
Dwarves...nope, Spell check definitely flagged it. It might depend on which browser you're using.

Same here, GB! :?

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.
Sounds about right to me Odo 8-) .

I agree on giving them more to say, in fact, as I mentioned, for film its essential they have more to say than on the page. The fact Odo you are not certain in your descriptions of the characteristics of even the dwarves you mention shows just how little Tolkien himself bothered with some of the dwarves, for large parts most of them are merely wallpaper. This does present a few technical problems when it comes to filming, thirteen is a lot to get on screen at once and difficult when shooting group dialogue scenes- but that's prob more suited being in the directors thread. My point is there are plenty places where more dialogue could help paint clearer characters than those Tolkien often left as little more than blank canvases.
Still don't get flagged for dwarves. I'm using Chrome for those who know about technical things and might know why.
I am suspicious of technical things - and of Scots bearing technical things. Anyhow, you now talk above my head. I am lost... :?
Google Chrome Odo! It's the browser Petty must be using. Weird thing am I :? .

Guess my pc just likes dwarves, or dwarfs. Is weird though. Seems the spell check knows what dwarves are but not what a Tolkien is!
The spell-check seems to flag all names that aren't typically "English" :roll: .

I wonder if dwarves even have P-Cees? (Or dwarfs, for that matter! :? )
My Google Chrome dictionary didn't recognize Dwarves, though I added it. 8-) It recognized Tolkien though.
Does this mean P-Cees don't know everything? :shock: It's good, though, that they are wise enough to receive advice from our Eldorionics Expert! And I now wonder if 'dwarves' is actually[i:2vhg0suq] Eldorionic[/i:2vhg0suq]?
Eldorionic English fully supports the Tolkienian spelling. :mrgreen: We use Elven, not Elfin, too. :P
Hmmm! I always use Elven as a modifier (i.e. Elven Clothes, Elven Blades), but Elfin as an adjective describing someone or something diminutive and dainty. Though if someone had pointy ears and actually looked like an Elf I would use Elven (i.e. elven features).

Should that be 'Elfin' or 'elfin' then?

Hey! Perhaps this should go on the Elves Thread?
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