Northern Courage, Ofermōde and Thorin Oakenshield’s last stand

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Northern Courage

Tolkien was fascinated by the concept he called “the theory of courage”, which exemplified one of the highest qualities in the literary Northern hero: that of unflinching courage, steadfast resolve and sheer determination of will in the face of impossible odds. Continue reading “Northern Courage, Ofermōde and Thorin Oakenshield’s last stand”

The Gaffer’s Elite: Characters

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Last week we discussed some of the most remarkable sets and locations from the Middle-earth saga. This week, we’ll be looking at the characters.

This was naturally tricky, so I’ve decided not to rank these in the usual way. Rather than assigning numbers, I decided to select 3 characters from each trilogy and briefly explain the reasons why I find them appealing

As with the other posts, it does not mean that those unmentioned characters are not my favourite; but to keep this post brief and maintain the sanity of you the readers, I’ve limited by list to a total of 6.

I’ve made one exception and omitted Gandalf from both trilogies. Let’s face it. These films wouldn’t be the same without the contribution of Ian Mckellan’s stellar performance. Considering he’s in all 6 films, I’ve decided to leave him out. Nothing against Gandalf, at all. Again, it’s all about brevity (… and sanity). Continue reading “The Gaffer’s Elite: Characters”

Travelling to New Zealand? Here’s a map and key…

New Zealand travel map

Don’t step onto the road without knowing where you might be swept off to…

I feel I’m playing the part of Gandalf here: advising all Thorin-like followers, who are embarking on an adventure to New Zealand, to utilise a most essential map on your travels.

Why you would be going to the Southern Hemisphere is anyone’s guess; but if you’re reading this particular post on this particular blog, chances are you’re doing your own Middle-earth pilgrimage. Continue reading “Travelling to New Zealand? Here’s a map and key…”

Character Profile: Thorin

Thorin 1

– Proud dwarf King, stubborn warrior, loyal friend … heartthrob 

Finally, after our 12 dwarves, we get to the one character who is actually fleshed out to the full in ‘The Hobbit’; the dwarf who, more so than Gimli, goes through a transformation of Thorin 2character and through whom we are actually introduced to one of the fundamental motifs in the novel – greed.

Continue reading “Character Profile: Thorin”

Character Profiles: Balin and Dwalin

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– Balin: Father Christmas (in a good way)

Balin, along with Thorin, is the only dwarf (in both book and ‘An Unexpected Journey’) to be given a proper background history that serves well for a secondary character of his stature. In Tolkien’s novel, it clearly emergesb2 how a special relationship is formed between the dwarf and Bilbo – the former often providing encouraging remarks in otherwise gloomy situations. Indeed, Balin is one of the first in the Company to start respecting and admiring the hobbit’s abilities during the Quest.
Continue reading “Character Profiles: Balin and Dwalin”

‘The Hobbit’ – Character Profiles

Thorin's Company

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.
Continue reading “‘The Hobbit’ – Character Profiles”