1. dmdutcher says:

    The dwarves aren’t good people though. It’s Thorin’s pride that causes him to be imprisoned, because he refuses to tell why they are in the elf-king’s domain. In fact, Dwarf pride and greed are the forces behind everything that happens. The barrels are the last attempt to hammer home to Thorin that he shouldn’t have pride at all; Gandalf knew that without Bilbo they’d die horribly, and Thorin should have taken the hint then.

    This is why it’s a little dangerous for the movie to keep trying to make the dwarves cool or alter the parts of the book where their pride or greed does them in. The book is establishing that Thorin is not a nice person, and his reactions aren’t due to byronic heroism, for when he winds up trying to become Smaug at the end of the book, replacing one dragon with a dwarf army. Buttering him up endangers this.

    • Oh, I’m certain that Thorin will quickly become an even more conflicted character. Dwarves can be cool in general, but Thorin’s greed is fortunately being shown as a staple of his motives and journey. It’s starkly revealed in the part 2 trailers.

    • bainespal says:

      The dwarves aren’t good people though.

      Perhaps not, but I disagree with Tolkien’s assertion that the Wood-elves were genuinely “good people.” Tolkien evidently didn’t have the cynicism that I carry, which is mingled with my Christian beliefs about sin and depravity. And I’m guessing that Tolkien would have called the dwarves “good people” too, despite their greed. Thorin’s greed is a mortal flaw, but the mythologies that Tolkien drew from were filled with mortally flawed heroes.

      Thorin was more in the wrong in this specific case than the Wood-elves were, but the elves have a long history of greed and pride, too. So, it’s pretty clear that Tolkien’s use of the term “good people” does not mean “sinless people” or even “basically well-intentioned people.” I guess it more-or-less means “flawed people who are fundamentally on the side of good.”

  2. Julie D says:

    True, the invisible and dark scenes of that chapter would be difficult to film.

What do you think?