Written by JRR Tolkien, “The Hobbit” was first published on September 21st, 1937, 80 years ago today.
Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.
But have you considered: Thorin might be nearsighted?
Case in point:
“It cannot be.”aka Doesn’t actually recognize Azog until he starts talking…
This needs no explanation:
Not subtitled, but Thorin shouts for Kili when actually Fili is the one who was almost crushed >.<
Not pictured because I couldn’t find a gif, but Thorin prompting Balin to lead them out of Rivendell because he “can see knows these paths”
Cut off Azog’s arm, was probably aiming for something slightly more fatal, couldn’t tell he was alive when dragged back inside Moria…
(”I have no idea because I can’t see for shit.”)
Since wearing glass in front of your eyes is slightly more of a liability for a fighter than people’s faces being slightly blurry, I’m just gonna throw this out there as a possible explanation for fandom to run with ;)
Ok but I think this is my favorite post of mine that’s done well because
1) it give a humorous explanation for Thorin’s random moments of fail that’s cracky and funny
2) it actually kinda makes sense and it gives Thorin a minor (or not so minor for his life and world) disability that he works around and actually kinda explains said moments of fail realistically and honestly guys the more I think about it and replay the movies in my head the fewer contradictions I can find for this headcanon???
There is a fanfic in here somewhere
Thorin has suddenly become more human and more pleasant (short-sighted person speaking here)
You are not wrong OP, Thorin IS nearsighted. In the book, it was even canon:
“How far away do you think it is?” asked Thorin, for by now they knew Bilbo had the sharpest eyes among them. “Not far at all. I shouldn’t think above twelve yards.” “Twelve yards! I should have thought it was thirty at least, but my eyes don’t see as well as they used a hundred years ago-” (From the chapter, ‘Flies and Spiders’
of The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien
Thorin isn’t just slightly nearsighted either, he thought a large object at across-the-street distance was three-quarters of the length of a football field away. By modern standards he would be legally, coke-bottle-glasses-or-we-don’t-let-you-drive, blind.
In the movie Thorin’s nearsightedness is never actually stated, but I love the clever ways in which they worked it into the acting (as avelera highlighted very well), and also into the costume and set design (implying that Dwarves tend to be nearsighted in general): Dwarven ornamentation is always three-dimensional, be it stamped leather, cut runes, thickly-embroidered brocade, or cast-metal beads. There are no purely painted or smooth-inlaid designs anywhere that would require sight, let alone 20/20 vision.
Dwarven cities too, are violently three-dimensional and ornamented with a lot of straight-lined geometry and gigantic statues. Perhaps most telling of all, the terrifyingly high stone bridges found in both Erebor AND Moria are treated as perfectly ordinary sidewalks… which would make sense for a race that couldn’t even SEE the ground below.
My 5-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.
The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.)
But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way? I hesitated. I imagined Tolkien spinning in his grave. I imagined mean letters from his testy estate. I imagined the story getting as lost in gender distinctions as dwarves in the Mirkwood.
Then I thought: What the hell, it’s just a pronoun. My daughter wants Bilbo to be a girl, so a girl she will be. And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.