Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thorin Awakens

The Movie: Gandalf rushes over to Thorin, who is still unconscious. The wizard places his hand over Thorin's face, closes his eyes, and mumbles a few magic words. Thorin's eyes snap open, and he immediately asks about Bilbo. When Gandalf assures him that the hobbit is safe, Thorin gets on his feet, and begins to scold Bilbo Baggins for getting into danger. He repeats his earlier sentiments that the hobbit did not belong with them, then says "never have I been more wrong" and embraces Bilbo.

"You know you don't have to insult people before saying nice things, right? You could've just said the nice things without the insults."

After Thorin's Company watches the eagles fly away, Thorin sees, in the distance, a lone mountain - Erebor is finally in their sight. Oin notices a bird flying to the mountain, and mistakes it for a raven (in accordance with the portents). Gandalf corrects him; it is a thrush. Either way, Thorin takes it as a good omen. Bilbo agrees: the worst is finally behind them.

Except for the dragon. You remember, the whole fucking point of the adventure?

The Book: No such scene occurs.

What difference does it make? Very little. The events of this scene have little impact on the rest of the plot. 

My Opinion: Thorin's conversation with Bilbo is thematically superfluous. We just had a scene where Bilbo won the dwarves' respect - when he gave that speech about helping them retake their home. Then the hobbit actually puts actions to his words and proves his loyalty, honor, and bravery, by attacking Azog to protect Thorin. The "fakeout" bit of the conversation was just silly. This whole conversation should have been axed. It was nothing but a bad rehash of themes that have already been resolved.

Also: since when Gandalf do that kind of healing? I don't exactly want to get into the quagmire that is "Tolkien's inconsistent descriptions of magic," but, I'm pretty sure he can't do that. Gandalf's healing powers have been referred to on two occasions: with Gwaihir, and with Theoden. Gwaihir once mentioned how Gandalf had pulled an arrow out of him, and Gandalf helped lift Theoden's dark spirits... but those are different. As with several of Peter Jackson's changes, I'm not sure why it was included at all. What purpose do these new powers serve? Why invent powers them at all? Just have Thorin wake up.

Those nit-picks aside, this is a fine scene. The movie needs an ending; rolling credits after the eagles picked the dwarves up would have been awful. Showing the Company gazing wistfully at Erebor in the distance is a good, satisfying end to the movie. 

And an excuse for Thorin to stare nobly into the distance one last time.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I found it just a bit superfluous as well, though I imagine it is a symptom of, as you said, needing to end the movie with something and leave you liking the characters, so as an ending it works well, though I know - what was with Gandalf? Is this something they're planning to use again later? I admit I hope not.