At this point, I’ve seen the second Hobbit movie twice. I kind of like it a lot.
(This post is going to be spoilerish. I’m not going to try to be subtle. If you care, now you know.)
Now, this movie wasn’t quite as strictly accurate to the book as the first one (though admittedly, that would be hard to do, as the first one was very impressive in this area). And yes, there are things that I’m disappointed that they left out. But there are other things they included quite beautifully. And there was one thing they included that… I can’t exactly say it surprised me. I’ll say it pleased and impressed me. That would be Thorin’s attitude.
After Bilbo, Thorin is probably the main character. He is the leader of the company, and the one who wants so badly to take back his homeland (and is fairly easy on the eyes to boot). But near the end of the book, he’s not a very noble character. To put it simply, he gets greedy. At some point, he’s nasty to pretty much everyone, nearly causing a war (which ends up happening for other reasons).
Now, he redeems himself at the very end, so that’s nice (as he’s dying, which is not necessarily so nice). But it really wouldn’t have surprised me if they had toned down his attitude problems for the movie. Having one character everybody loves start being mean to many other characters everybody loves doesn’t exactly sound like a method for popularity to me. But they didn’t shirk it at all; in fact, I think I would say it was even more obvious than in the book.
He leaves the injured Kili behind, saying, “I will not risk this quest for the sake of one dwarf, even my own kin,” and tries to convince Fili to come with him instead of staying with his brother. (Which Fili refuses to do, making me possibly THE most proud of any movie character I’ve ever been. Fili is wonderful. He might need his own post one of these days.) He says the same thing about Bilbo when Bilbo is in danger from Smaug (though Balin convinces him to help Bilbo anyway). For much of this movie, he really needs a wake up call. Or slap. Or something along those lines.
And maybe it’s strange, but I’m glad that’s the case. Because that way he can learn his lesson. In the book, just before he dies, Thorin tells Bilbo, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” The Hobbit may be a lighthearted book, but that’s a pretty serious message that reflects a lot of Biblical teachings. And we couldn’t have it without Thorin’s greed.