I have 2 words to describe Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: nostalgically enthralling.
Okay, so I’m pretty biased.
For me the focuses in this first installment are the origins of Bilbo Baggin’s great adventure as well as a showcase of the character Thorin. One of the challenges for the film was perhaps the depiction of Thorin worthy of kingship with only 12 dwarves under his leadership. Of course, the character we instinctively compare him to is Aragorn. Now that’s some tough competition.
Yet I think that the film has achieved at least that much. By the end of the film, I myself could see a king in Thorin. Albeit a haughty one. And rather short (though he is supposedly taller than most dwarves).
Here are 3 reasons why Thorin is a “king”.
1. He stood his ground in the midst of trauma
The recounting of the fight for Moria in The Hobbit fully explains Thorin’s hatred of orcs and also his sorrowful level-headedness. Basically he became a leader during a traumatic experience.
Instead of crumbling in the face of the circumstances, Thorin rose to the occasion and assumed leadership. That in itself was quite enough to gain Balin’s respect.
2. He knew his inheritance and he was absolutely driven to reclaiming it.
The key, the map and the memories. These were all he needed to fulfill his goal. He knew where he wanted to go and the means to get there. I guess the word here is purpose. He had a purpose to live and fight, and a destiny to lead his people to.
It’s not enough to be a leader just for the sake of being a leader. The leader has to lead the people somewhere or towards something.
3. He recognizes his faults (to an extent)
After seeing Bilbo defend him against the orc Azog, he acknowledged his mistake publicly. I suppose a good leader is one who is willing to admit that he was in the wrong. Someone who is humble enough.
4. He puts his men’s safety before his own
When pushing them down the hole while being hunted, Thorin made sure all his followers were safe before jumping in himself. Even doubting Bilbo was probably due to his priority of keeping his own men as safe as he could.
So taking all four of these reasons, Peter’s Jackson’s An Unexpected Journey has successfully portrayed the king in Thorin.
Well, that’s about it for now. I don’t know what happens to Thorin later on, though now I am extremely tempted to read The Hobbit.