Sometimes you want to slow things down. The first time I read The Hobbit, I wondered how long the Misty Mountains song would go on in the chapter. I also remembered thinking Thorin as a jerk. Not just any jerk, but a bonafide, numero uno, block-headed, stubborn, and curmudgeonly as Tolkien described him as older than Bilbo.
Fast forward to the initial casting as I even felt surprised Richard Armitage, the youngest actor they saw for the role, won the part. Dwarves, like Elves, aged slowly and the producers needed someone to be an elder statesman and still be warrior. Mission accomplished. Thorin also needed to be a Class-A jerk. Armitage has experience in playing jerk-y characters. Mission also accomplished.
I watched the final movie over the weekend. Unlike the other Blu-ray releases, I didn’t tear off the package right away. Things go to hell as soon as the company reached the Lonely Mountain. Thorin refused to move from his gold, blind to the fact he did turn out just like his grandfather until the last moment. You can hear the guilt in his voice as he asked the company to follow him one last time. People grumbled it took a while, and he seemed too ‘likable’, but to see how much a person falls, and how they pick back up, you need the arc. It runs parallel to Bilbo as the timid hobbit taps into the adventurous side of himself to take on the journey.
Today’s Music Monday reminds people of the dwarf at bag end. The character without a crown somehow carving a life for his people after Smaug destroys their home, and Dale as well. When I first heard the song, it reminded me of Gregorian chants as voices blend, each taking a place to sing about longing and home. Another tidbit, and it didn’t surprise me, Richard Armitage listened to Russian prayer chants to prepare for the piece. That, my dears, is why he’s my kind of nerd.