|Aliases|| King under the Mountain |
King of Durin's Folk
|Book(s)|| The Hobbit (1937)|
Unfinished Tales (1980)
Thorin Oakenshield is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit . Thorin is the leader of the Company of Dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. He is the son of Thráin II, grandson of Thrór, and becomes King of Durin's Folk during their exile from Erebor. Thorin's background is further elaborated in Appendix A of Tolkien's 1955 novel The Return of the King , and in Unfinished Tales .
Commentators have noted that Thorin is Old Norse both in name and character, being surly, illiberal, independent, proud, aristocratic, and like all Dwarves greedy for gold. From a Christian perspective, Thorin exemplifies the deadly sin of avarice, but is able to free himself from it at the time of his death. This deathbed conversion has been compared to the moral transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol .
Thorin appears in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film series, in the Rankin/Bass animated version, and in the 1982 game of the same name.
Thorin describes his background to Bilbo in ch. 1 "An Unexpected Party"
In The Hobbit, Thorin, a Dwarf-King in exile and twelve other Dwarves visited Bilbo Baggins in his home in the Shire. This was on the wizard Gandalf's advice to hire Bilbo as a burglar, to help them steal their treasure back from the dragon Smaug. Smaug had attacked the Dwarves's mountain, Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) about 150 years before, and had taken both the Dwarves' mountain and their treasure. Thorin was determined to get the treasure back, and especially wanted the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain, an heirloom of his Kingdom.
The people of Lake-town welcome Thorin in ch. 10 "A Warm Welcome"
On the journey, the company encountered a band of trolls; Thorin was the only Dwarf not to be taken unawares. When Gandalf had rescued the company, letting dawn turn the trolls to stone, they opened the trolls' lair. Thorin found the Elven blade Orcrist in the trolls' cache,and used the sword fighting goblins in the tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains. At the same time, Bilbo found a magic ring, using it to escape from the tunnels past the goblin guards.
When the Dwarves were captured by the wood-elves of Mirkwood, Thorin insisted that the others not disclose their quest to their captors.Bilbo, invisible with his magic ring, evaded capture, and organised the company's escape, floating in barrels out of the wood-elves' fastness. Thorin was the first to emerge from the barrels at Lake-town, marching up to the leaders of the town, declaring himself as King Under the Mountain.
Thorin responds angrily to Bilbo's taking of the Arkenstone in ch. 17 "The Clouds Burst"
With provisions from Lake-town, Thorin led the company to Erebor.Seeing that Smaug was not there, the Dwarves reclaimed some of the treasure; Thorin gave Bilbo "a small coat of mail" made of mithril as the first instalment of his payment. The Dwarves then learnt from the ancient raven Roäc that Smaug had been killed: Bard the Bowman had managed to shoot Smaug as, furious at the Dwarves' theft of some of his treasure, the dragon set about destroying Lake-town.
Faced with demands from Thranduil the Elvenking and Bard for a fair share of the treasure to be distributed to the wood-elves and the men of Lake-town, Thorin refused to acknowledge their right to any of the hoard. He fortified the Mountain against his new rivals and sent to his cousin Dáin Ironfoot for reinforcements.Thorin was furious when he discovered that Bilbo had stolen the Arkenstone to use as a bargaining counter, and sent him from the Mountain. Conflict amongst the Dwarves, men, and elves was averted only by an invasion of goblins and wargs, whereupon the Dwarves joined forces with the wood-elves, the men of Lake-town, and the great eagles in the Battle of Five Armies.
Thorin repents on his deathbed, accepting Bilbo in ch. 18 "The Return Journey"
During the battle, Thorin was mortally wounded, but he made his peace with Bilbo before he died. When Thorin died, he was buried with the Arkenstone, and Orcrist was returned and laid upon his tomb. The blade would glow blue should Orcs approach, and they could thus not take the Mountain by surprise. Thorin was succeeded as leader of Durin's Folk by his cousin Dáin.
Part III of Appendix A in The Return of the King gives an overview of the history of Durin's Folk and more of Thorin's background. When Thorin was 53 (young for a Dwarf), he marched with a mighty dwarf-army against the orcs of Moria. After the battle he led his people to establish a foothold in the Blue Mountains west of the Shire.
Unfinished Tales elaborates on Thorin's reasons for accepting Bilbo into his company. As depicted in the story "The Quest of Erebor", Thorin met with Gandalf in Bree shortly before the quest began. Gandalf persuaded him that stealth, rather than force, was needed to infiltrate Erebor; they would therefore need a burglar. Gandalf feared that Sauron could use Smaug as a weapon, and was concerned that Thorin's pride and quick temper would ruin the mission to destroy the dragon. He thought that Bilbo would be a calming influence on Thorin, as well as a genuinely valuable addition to the company. Thorin, who did not think much of Hobbits, reluctantly agreed, calculating that Bilbo's presence would be a small price to pay for Gandalf's help.
Tolkien adopted Thorin's names from the Dvergatal, the list of Dwarves, in the Old Norse poem "Völuspá", which is part of the Poetic Edda .The name "Thorin" (Þorinn) appears in stanza 12, where it is used for a dwarf, and the name "Oakenshield" (Eikinskjaldi) in stanza 13. The name "Thorin" ultimately derives from that of the Norse god Thor; it means darer or bold one. The names also appear in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda .
The Dwarves of Norse and Germanic legend are skilled in metalwork, including making weapons, ships, rings and jewellery; they are knowledgeable, strong, and turn to stone in sunlight. They are characterised as having a strong association with gold, mining, wealth, living underneath mountains, and being long-lived, ungrateful, and getting into arguments about payment. The Tolkien critic Tom Shippey suggests that Tolkien's "master-text" for his Dwarves was the Hjaðningavíg . In that legend, the Dwarves are characterised by revenge, as in "the long and painful vengeance of [Thorin's father] Thráin for [Thorin's grandfather] Thrór", and Shippey argues that Tolkien chose these qualities for his Dwarves.
Shippey writes that in chapters 6–8 of The Hobbit, Tolkien explores "with delight that surly, illiberal independence often the distinguishing mark of Old Norse heroes".The philosophers Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson contrast the way Tolkien introduces hobbits, as "plain, quiet folks who never do anything unexpected", with how Thorin would have "introduce[d] himself, with aristocratic titles and songs of ancient lineage. We do not open the book to read of the wrath of Thorin the way we learn of the wrath of Achilles in the opening lines of The Iliad ."
The Tolkien scholar Paul H. Kocher writes that Tolkien characterises Dwarves as having the "cardinal sin of 'possessiveness'",seen sharply when Bard the Bowman makes what Bilbo feels is a fair offer for a share of Smaug's treasure, and Thorin flatly refuses, his "dwarfish lust for gold fevered by brooding on the dragon's hoard".
The Jesuit John L. Treloar, writing in Mythlore , suggests that Tolkien, a Catholic, explores the seven deadly sins in his Middle-earth writings. He states that in The Hobbit, both Smaug and Thorin exemplify avarice, but respond to it differently. In his view, Smaug is evil and lets avarice destroy him, whereas Thorin, sharing the general weakness of Dwarves for this particular vice, nevertheless has sufficient good will to free himself of it at the time of his death.
Bassham and Bronson compare Thorin's deathbed "conversion" from his greed and pride, as he reconciles himself with Bilbo, to Ebenezer Scrooge's "big moral transformation" from grumpy miserliness to generosity and cheerfulness in Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol .
In the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, Thorin is voiced by Hans Conried.
In Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Hobbit (2012–2014), Thorin is portrayed by Richard Armitage.The film adaptation adds to Thorin's quest an arch-enemy in the form of the villainous orc leader Azog.
In the 1982 game The Hobbit Thorin appears as an AI controlled character and one of his seemingly random actions ("Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold", which occurs when the player does nothing for a while) became quite famous.In the 2003 video game, Thorin is voiced by Clive Revill.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.
Gandalf is a protagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is a wizard, one of the Istari order, and the leader and mentor of the Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien took the name "Gandalf" from the Old Norse "Catalogue of Dwarves" (Dvergatal) in the Völuspá.
Bard the Bowman is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. A Man of Laketown and a descendant of the ancient Lords of Dale, Bard manages to kill Smaug, the dragon, after which he becomes king of Dale. Tolkien created the character specifically to kill Smaug, since none of the other protagonists of the story were able to fulfill this role. Bard the Bowman could have been inspired by the brave warrior Wiglaf in the Old English poem Beowulf.
Smaug is a dragon and the main antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, his treasure and the mountain he lives in being the goal of the quest. Powerful and fearsome, he invaded the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor 150 years prior to the events described in the novel. A group of thirteen dwarves mounted a quest to take the kingdom back, aided by the wizard Gandalf and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. In The Hobbit, Thorin describes Smaug as "a most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm".
Beorn is a fictional character created by J. R. R. Tolkien, and part of his Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Hobbit as a "skin-changer", a man who could assume the form of a great black bear.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, the Lonely Mountain is a mountain in the north of Wilderland. It is the location of the Dwarvish Kingdom under the Mountain. The town of Dale lies in a vale on its southern slopes. In The Lord of the Rings, the mountain is called by the Sindarin name Erebor. The Lonely Mountain is the goal of the protagonists in The Hobbit, and the scene of the climax.
Bilbo Baggins is the title character and protagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, a supporting character in The Lord of the Rings, and the fictional narrator of all Tolkien's Middle-earth writings. The Hobbit is selected by the wizard Gandalf to help Thorin and his party of Dwarves to reclaim their ancestral home and treasure, which has been taken over by the dragon Smaug. Bilbo sets out in The Hobbit timid and comfort-loving, and through his adventures grows to become a useful and resourceful member of the quest.
In the fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Dwarves are a race inhabiting Middle-earth, the central continent of Earth in an imagined mythological past. They are based on the dwarfs of Germanic myths: small humanoids that dwell in mountains, associated with mining, metallurgy, blacksmithing and jewellery.
"The Quest of Erebor" is a work of fantasy fiction by J. R. R. Tolkien, posthumously published by his son Christopher Tolkien in Unfinished Tales (1980). This work explains how and why Gandalf arranged for the retaking of the Lonely Mountain, an adventure recounted from the perspective of the eponymous Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, many years before, in Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Balin is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is an important supporting character in The Hobbit, and is mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring.
The fictional peoples and races that appear in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth include the seven listed in Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs and Trolls, as well as various spirits, the Valar and Maiar. Other beings of Middle-earth are of unclear nature such as Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry.
The Hobbit is a 1968 BBC Radio adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 children's fantasy novel of the same name.
Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin, a character from Tolkien's earlier novel, The Hobbit.
Mirkwood is a name used for a great dark fictional forest in novels by Sir Walter Scott and William Morris in the 19th century, and by J. R. R. Tolkien in the 20th century. The critic Tom Shippey explains that the name evoked the excitement of the wildness of Europe's ancient North.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 epic high-fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson and produced by WingNut Films in collaboration with New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is the second installment in the three-part film series based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. The film was preceded by An Unexpected Journey (2012) and followed by The Battle of the Five Armies (2014); together they operate as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a 2012 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson. It is the first installment in a three-part film adaptation based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit. It is followed by The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), and together, they act as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The film's screenplay was written by Jackson, his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct the film before leaving the project in 2010.
The music of The Hobbit film series is composed and produced by Howard Shore, who scored all three The Lord of the Rings films, to which The Hobbit trilogy is a prequel. The score continues the style of The Lord of the Rings score, and utilizes a vast ensemble, multiple musical forms and styles, a large number of leitmotives and various unusual instruments, adding to Shore's overarching music of the Middle-earth films.