Upon the good suggestion of commenter Ella, in the coming days, I shall be giving a very quick overview of each of the dwarves in ‘The Hobbit’ – briefly describing their characteristics as found in both the novel and the new film adaptation; drawing out a few parallels and touching upon certain issues that emerge from either of the two mediums.
I’ll be as spoiler-free as possible, don’t worry.
Before starting, however, ask yourself two questions …
– Can you name all of the dwarves by heart?
– Can you do so aloud (and clearly) in less than five seconds?
I’ll be honest and proclaim that I find myself capable of tackling the first question with relative ease. It’s all about ‘pairing up’ the names into categories depending on the rhyming final letters (and based also on the relations).
There are three sets of two brothers (Balin/Dwalin, Oin/Gloin and Kili/Fili), two sets of three brothers (Nori/Dori/Ori and Bifur*/Bofur/Bombur) and naturally the leader himself – Thorin.
See? Simple enough.
(*Bifur -as far as Tolkien canon is concerned – doesn’t count as a brother, but since his name rhymes well with Bofur and Bombur, you can categorize them as a set together).
The second question, however, has proved a really tough challenge to me. Too many tongue-twisting complexities arise at such a fast rate of pronunciation.
Nevertheless, I’m still trying to break my own record which currently stands at approx. 6 seconds. Once I manage to control the fluidity of my speech at that pace, I’m hoping I’ll be able to do it within a shorter time-frame. Naturally, the challenge lies in pronouncing each of the names aloud and clearly.
Even I am able to name all of the characters in three or four seconds, but by making most of the names sound more like breath intakes rather than actual words. So, can you manage to say out loud the thirteen characters under five seconds?
I’m still trying …
Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Balin, Dwalin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori, Thorin – 6.1 seconds
Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Balin, Dwalin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori, Thorin – 5.4 seconds (ah! so close!)
Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin …
(First Character Profile will be Bombur – check it out soon)