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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    (1) If the men specifically asked for Dale gold stolen by Smaug, Thorin would have dealt with them reasonably. Because a treatise between businessmen is "fair and safe" (quotes because, relatively speaking). But when you march onto someone's home with an army and make vague demands to their wealth, anything can ensue if the "gates to the city" are just opened willy-nilly. See what happened to Constantinople during the Crusades. Thorin isn't naive.

    (2) Room and board does not cost 1/12 of an entire city's treasury.

    (3/4/5/6/7/8) Again, the dragon is not a product of the dwarven kingdom. Where it decides to fly is really none of the dwarves' business, as long as the dwarves didn't somehow magically direct it. None of the dwarves knew that Bilbo caused the dragon to think of Dale; even Bilbo didn't know.

    Again, if Bard went alone or with a small party, and reasoned with Thorin like a civilized businessman would, you can't say Thorin would not have listened. One look at Dale coins/items and he'd know they're not of dwarven make. And he could also repay Bard for room and board. And he could also offer financial assistance to the town, after all that. But march onto a dwarf's ancestral home with an army (and your friend's army who also wants a share just because), and then start making vague demands on divvying up his treasury?

    Bilbo and ravens are not dwarves (not a compliment), and obviously way too trusting of elves and men.
    Last edited by MLai; 2012-08-26 at 12:53 PM.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    The Men were perfectly reasonable, and had fair claim to a portion. The Elves had none whatsoever. It would be reasonable for the Men to pay them for aid, but that should have come out of whatever the Men got, not a share of their own. Besides this, showing up at the gates armed for war was not a good negotiating tactic. They should have said "Oh, cool, you're alive. We think some of that treasure was stolen from us by the dragon, maybe we could arrange to have that returned."

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    The end result is that the men receive about 1/14th of the gold--Bilbo's share.

    Anyway, Bilbo and the ravens thought Bard's request was reasonable.
    And that was all they deserved as Bilbo caused thre dragon to attack Dale.
    The town got greedy expecting more.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Hah, Thorin wasn't going to give them a single gold piece. Reasonable or not, there was no way he was going to part with even a single piece of that treasure.

    It was inevitable.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    The Men were perfectly reasonable, and had fair claim to a portion. The Elves had none whatsoever. It would be reasonable for the Men to pay them for aid, but that should have come out of whatever the Men got, not a share of their own. Besides this, showing up at the gates armed for war was not a good negotiating tactic. They should have said "Oh, cool, you're alive. We think some of that treasure was stolen from us by the dragon, maybe we could arrange to have that returned."
    They didn't show up to negotiate though. They thought the dwarves had been wiped out by the dragon.

    They came armed because a reasonable adventuring party (as discussed extensively upthread) does not venture unarmed into the wastelands.

    I almost think we could do a read-along of the book in this thread.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    And that was all they deserved as Bilbo caused thre dragon to attack Dale.
    The town got greedy expecting more.
    not that much more, really.. they asked for a 12th part instead of a 14th part.. big sums, but the principle of the thing was broadly the same. they asked recompensation for help freely granted, for the part of the hoard that had been plundered from Dale rather than from the Dwarves, for damages caused by the rousing of the dragon, which was undoubtedly a direct consequence of the actions of the Dwarves... Smaug had been quiet for decades..to the point that the younger generation wondered if stories about him were true. some form of reparation was probably due.
    the trouble lay in the manner in which they put their requests down, and in the magically induced negative influence the dragon's hoard had on Thorin's disposition...
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
    They didn't show up to negotiate though. They thought the dwarves had been wiped out by the dragon.

    They came armed because a reasonable adventuring party (as discussed extensively upthread) does not venture unarmed into the wastelands.

    I almost think we could do a read-along of the book in this thread.
    If you reread what I said, I know that. Upon realizing the dwarves were alive, they should have acknowledged that they had thought the dwarves slain, retreated their armies, and attempted to barter. Instead, they used bluster and threats.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Honestly if the Dwarves ever expected to make use of their wealth they should have been willing to deal with the men of Dale.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    The men of dale were owed a portion of the wealth. What size portion is open to negotiation, as the actual size of the dragon hoard is unknown to the men, and uncounted by the dwarves. The elves needed to gtfo. All they did was make a bad situation worse. Seriously, they imprisoned thorin for the crime of starving to death, and the rest of the dwarves? Meh, being dwarves in mirkwood was enough of a crime. Then they show up at this powder keg of a situation and act like they deserve a single clipped copper coin?

    That being said, thorin was unreasonable. A more likely to get a reasonable response would have been something like. "The men of dale speak truly, a portion of this treasure WAS taken from dale. However, we ask that you approach us as friends, and not with an army at your back. Leave a delegation here to come to terms, and disband your army to show your peaceful intentions, and we will act accordingly. The elves however, have done nothing but earn out ire. They imprisoned us for daring to be caught starving and lost in their lands. They are not welcome on dwarven lands, and deserve nothing of this treasure."
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    If you reread what I said, I know that. Upon realizing the dwarves were alive, they should have acknowledged that they had thought the dwarves slain, retreated their armies, and attempted to barter. Instead, they used bluster and threats.
    Whoops, my apologies Gnoman, I indeed did not read your post closely enough.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    "The men of dale speak truly, a portion of this treasure WAS taken from dale. However, we ask that you approach us as friends, and not with an army at your back. Leave a delegation here to come to terms, and disband your army to show your peaceful intentions, and we will act accordingly. The elves however, have done nothing but earn our ire. They imprisoned us for daring to be caught starving and lost in their lands. They are not welcome on dwarven lands, and deserve nothing of this treasure."
    Thorin should have taken you along.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post
    Thorin should have taken you along.
    Heh, in all honesty, I never really understood the whole percentage thing. Bard and crew were asking for 1/12th of the treasure there (or whatever the exact terms were) without having any way of knowing exactly how much that WAS! It could have worked out to being 20x more money than it would take to rebuild all of laketown, and hire enough mail order brides and broodmares to replace the entire population! A better way to approach things on their side would have been to just say, "A portion of the treasure, to cover our losses and damages taken in slaying the dragon."

    Although it wouldnt have made a difference, as far as I can remember, the only real problem thorin had was them showing up with an army, and walking together with the elves that had imprisoned him. He never outright denied that they had a reasonable claim, he just didnt like how they went about trying to get it. It was stupid, and stubborn, and really, the fault lay on thorin for being such an ass about things.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    I agree with you on certain things, disagree on others:

    (1) The exact details of the claim is too vague.
    Agree. That's a big problem when large sums of wealth are discussed; I'm not just saying that to be a miser. Vagueness in terms can easily lead to disagreements. And when a disagreement is raised by a party with an itchy army at its back, things can quickly get out of hand. S'why I raised a historical example.

    (2) Thorin is an ass.
    Disagree. Ppl assume he'd deny Bard no matter what, but we don't know that. Has Thorin shown anywhere in the story or the appendicies or Lost Tales whatever, that he is unreasonable to allies whenever gold is involved? What we do know is that he accepted Bard's hospitality, and he promised to repay Bard for that. Are we going to say he would have reneged on his promise even if Bard came peacefully and without an elven army?

    I read Hobbit long ago... I don't remember any "dragon's gold curse" affecting Thorin's judgement. His only obsession was the Arkenstone, which is irrelevant to Bard's demand, except when it involves the danger I described in #1. At any rate, I don't accept handwaves like "dragon's curse" anyways.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post
    (2) Thorin is an ass.
    Disagree. Ppl assume he'd deny Bard no matter what, but we don't know that.
    he is a bit of an ass.. all through the book, with precious few exceptions, he's been acting as if he was due everything and needn't worry on how to actually get it or about doing his bit.
    we know for a fact (word of god) that as soon as he heard his cousin was marching towards him, he was plotting to go back on his freshly crafted agreement to pay for the Arkenstone with Bilbo's share...
    in other words, he'd get the Arkenstone and pay for it with money that wasn't his to begin with, as it belonged by rights (and written contract) to Bilbo... yet that wasn't enough because he wanted to use force of arms to keep even that share and still get the stone. (this is specifically stated, if not in so many words, by Tolkien in the book).
    Has Thorin shown anywhere in the story or the appendicies or Lost Tales whatever, that he is unreasonable to allies whenever gold is involved?
    see above.. also, when Bilbo revealed he'd given the stone to Bard, he would have killed the Hobbit were it not for Gandalf's intervention... despite owing him his life, freedom and the success of his endeavour..many times over.

    What we do know is that he accepted Bard's hospitality, and he promised to repay Bard for that. Are we going to say he would have reneged on his promise even if Bard came peacefully and without an elven army?
    no..because it never came to that. So we don't know.

    I read Hobbit long ago... I don't remember any "dragon's gold curse" affecting Thorin's judgement. His only obsession was the Arkenstone, which is irrelevant to Bard's demand, except when it involves the danger I described in #1. At any rate, I don't accept handwaves like "dragon's curse" anyways.
    I re-read it over the weekend and if you call dragon's curse a handwave and take the liberty of not accepting it..you might want to read the book again. it's not really a handwave when it's stated directly and several times over, that
    1) Gold and treasure, but specifically gold and "what is wrongfully taken from them" is what the Dwarves are all about and can become an obsession to them.
    2) Gold that has been part of a Dragon's hoard for decades has a dweomer/charme that is unique and a bit mind-addling.. more so with Dwarves, even more so if the gold was originally theirs.
    3) Thorin was rather bitter about having to work for his keep for most of his life and having to run for his life from Smaug. More than once his behaviour was arrogant and steeped in a sense of entitlement... once he was under the charm of his newfound riches, even the other dwarves didn't agree with his conduct but didn't dare speak up against him for fear of his reaction.
    Last edited by dehro; 2012-08-27 at 04:32 AM.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    he is a bit of an ass.. all through the book, with precious few exceptions, he's been acting as if he was due everything and needn't worry on how to actually get it or about doing his bit.
    This is true. But being haughty about his lineage is different from going back on his word to cheat an ally.

    we know for a fact (word of god) that as soon as he heard his cousin was marching towards him, he was plotting to go back on his freshly crafted agreement to pay for the Arkenstone with Bilbo's share...
    in other words, he'd get the Arkenstone and pay for it with money that wasn't his to begin with, as it belonged by rights (and written contract) to Bilbo... yet that wasn't enough because he wanted to use force of arms to keep even that share and still get the stone.
    You're taking this segment of plot completely out of context. I remember this part, at least.
    (1) Bilbo stole the Arkenstone and betrayed Thorin, giving it to his enemies. Doesn't matter what Bilbo's reasoning was, that was what happened.
    (2) As such, ofc Thorin tied him up and the contract between him and Bilbo instantly became null and void.
    (3) As such, Thorin can do whatever he wants with what was Bilbo's share.

    I agree that Bilbo was trying to do the right thing, etc etc. But you made it sound like Thorin was being a backstabbing schemer without scruples, when in fact he only treated Bilbo that way because Bilbo betrayed him.

    Bard & friends came up to the gate and tried to intimidate Thorin into handing over a vague amount of gold. That had already understandably set Thorin onto a single-track dwarven frame of mind: "No one browbeats a dwarf! My honour shall not permit this!" That was bad enough, and then his friend betrays him by handing over the national treasure to be ransomed against him. Do you think he'd "see reason" after that?

    There's the correct way to deal with a royal dwarf's sensibilities that would have seen Thorin voluntarily give a portion of gold to Bard. Bard started off on the wrong foot, and then the subsequent developments just made things worse and worse (until the Battle).

    I re-read it over the weekend and if you call dragon's curse a handwave and take the liberty of not accepting it..you might want to read the book again. it's not really a handwave when it's stated directly and several times over,
    I'll take your word for it about the dragon curse part; I don't remember it.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post
    This is true. But being haughty about his lineage is different from going back on his word to cheat an ally.


    You're taking this segment of plot completely out of context. I remember this part, at least.
    (1) Bilbo stole the Arkenstone and betrayed Thorin, giving it to his enemies. Doesn't matter what Bilbo's reasoning was, that was what happened.
    (2) As such, ofc Thorin tied him up and the contract between him and Bilbo instantly became null and void.
    (3) As such, Thorin can do whatever he wants with what was Bilbo's share.

    I agree that Bilbo was trying to do the right thing, etc etc. But you made it sound like Thorin was being a backstabbing schemer without scruples, when in fact he only treated Bilbo that way because Bilbo betrayed him.
    that may be, but it still doesn't change the fact that Tolkien explicitly states that Thorin was thinking to use his cousin's forces to firstly go through with the deal with Bard and then, once the Arkenstone was safely recovered, force Bard to relinquish the share of loot.
    however you look at it, this is not a conduct becoming to a king and an honourable person, which is what Thorin sees himself as.
    As a matter of fact, when he's on his deadbed, the grasp the gold has on his hearth is gone, and his right frame of mind restored.. which is when he acknowledges that Bilbo did the right thing and regrets his actions and words.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by VanBuren View Post
    Hah, Thorin wasn't going to give them a single gold piece. Reasonable or not, there was no way he was going to part with even a single piece of that treasure.

    It was inevitable.
    Again, the attitude of Mim the Petty-Dwarf in the "Tale of the Children of Hurin" is instructive. "I do not love to be parted even with a shoelace by force of the wicked".

    There are a couple of factors at work here:

    1) Thorin and Company are the ones who went into the dragon's lair and stirred him after decades or centuries of inactivity. They therefore must bear some share of the blame for Laketown's destruction.

    2) They wouldn't have a thing if Bard hadn't killed the dragon for them. They owe him personally for that.

    3) Thorin is much more likely to deal kindly with humble men. But when an army shows up at his door like so many thieves or vultures around the carcass, it gets his Mim-the-petty-dwarf back up. He won't give a single copper under threat of force. And nothing at all to the elves, whom he owes nothing and has small reason to remember with kindness.

    The men don't care. As they calculate it, 13 dwarves can't hold the mountain against them forever, and they have no food. They'll wait 'em out. While Bard would deal fairly, other men such as the master of laketown might take it all and push the dwarves out to starve. So it's quite reasonable to bar his doors to them.

    4) There is a heavy dragon-spell on the entire treasure , and Thorin is not the most generous of dwarves under the best of conditions. Centuries of dragonish presence in the cave is affecting Thorin, making him more inclined to greed than he normally is.

    And so between the greed of the men, the greed of the elves, and the greed of the dwarves Smaug comes very close to having the last laugh as they all kill each other over the mountains' gold. Good thing Tolkien brought in goblin ex machina to give these three a common foe, and then Eagle Ex Machina to save the day when things looked bleak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    that may be, but it still doesn't change the fact that Tolkien explicitly states that Thorin was thinking to use his cousin's forces to firstly go through with the deal with Bard and then, once the Arkenstone was safely recovered, force Bard to relinquish the share of loot.
    however you look at it, this is not a conduct becoming to a king and an honourable person, which is what Thorin sees himself as.
    Why is it unbecoming? In this case Bard and his friends are trying to ransom gold out of Thorin with the Arkenstone which they clearly have no claim over. An honourable dwarf does not need to deal honourably with thieves and criminals.

    If Bard approached Thorin legitimately (peacefully, treat Thorin as a king and rightful owner of the mountain), he has a strong case for receiving a portion of the spoils, as has been discussed. By using the Arkenstone as ransom, he has forfeited all legal claim or appeal to honour.

    Technically Thorin is not wrong. But ofc acting the way he did is not wise. So there is cause for his deathbed regret.

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    Basically, it was a cocked-up situation and mistakes were made all around. Sorta like life.

    'Cept with a dragon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muz View Post
    Basically, it was a cocked-up situation and mistakes were made all around. Sorta like life.

    'Cept with a dragon.
    Pretty much this. Thorin was a bossy ass acting as if he was in a position of strength when he wasnt, and Bard should have realized that his army was only exacerbating the situation, which the elves were making a whole other magnitude worse. The elves were idiots. Once they realized who the dwarves were, they really should have just backed off. "Hey Bard, me and my homies are heading back to laketown to start work on rebuilding. Let us know what happens up here." Nobody was willing to be reasonable, nobody was willing to back down, everyone was being stubborn and stupid, and the gobbos are the only reason this didnt turn into a general war between elves dwarves and men.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post

    (2) Thorin is an ass.
    for me this is the crux of the entire novel
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLai View Post
    If Bard approached Thorin legitimately (peacefully, treat Thorin as a king and rightful owner of the mountain), he has a strong case for receiving a portion of the spoils, as has been discussed.
    he did.. trouble is he got there followed by scores of people who wanted to take a looksie.. and who were perceived by Thorin, whose mind already was a bit addled by the dragon-dweomer, as an armed force out to steal everything from him again..
    basically the lake people acted rashly, the elves poked their noses where it didn't belong, and Thoring took it in the worst possible way..and then some.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    I wonder what the goblins' endgame was.

    Gold, after all, isn't useful by itself--at least at the technology levels of Middle Earth. Thus, it must be traded for useful materials such as food, weapons, etc. So, the goblins would need a trading partner.

    The goblins weren't on friendly terms with the elves, nor were they friendly with the men who lived in the forest south of Beorn (in fact, they were planning to kill them). They haven't encountered hobbits since Bullroarer Took invented golf. The men of Rohan are to the south and the men/hobbits of Bree are to the far west. Neither of whom would want to trade with goblins.

    So, what would the goblins do with the gold? One possibility is trade with the Dunlanders, who live in the hills between Bree and Rohan. Another option is with some of the more "evil" dwarves. Tolkien mentioned that some dwarves traded with goblins in the past but memories of the goblin-dwarf war are likely still strong. So, dwarves are probably out for the short-term.

    Mordor seems a bit far, and there are too many free peoples between that land and the Misty Mountains. The necromancer (Sauron, of course) controlled lands in the south of Mirkwood but it is questionable whether or not he had contact with those goblins (and he was just recently driven out by the White Council). The final option would be trolls, such as the estimable William Huggins, who live in the northern mountains. While they may be amiable to trade, who would the trolls unload the gold on?

    Obviously, we're not supposed to analyze things this far, but how do you think the goblins would unload the gold?

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    Obviously, we're not supposed to analyze things this far, but how do you think the goblins would unload the gold?
    Rationally, I am aware that this is the incorrect answer. But my gut tells me as Bling. Goblins with gold teeth, sovreign rings and disco medalions.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    I wonder what the goblins' endgame was.

    Gold, after all, isn't useful by itself--at least at the technology levels of Middle Earth. Thus, it must be traded for useful materials such as food, weapons, etc. So, the goblins would need a trading partner.

    The goblins weren't on friendly terms with the elves, nor were they friendly with the men who lived in the forest south of Beorn (in fact, they were planning to kill them). They haven't encountered hobbits since Bullroarer Took invented golf. The men of Rohan are to the south and the men/hobbits of Bree are to the far west. Neither of whom would want to trade with goblins.

    So, what would the goblins do with the gold? One possibility is trade with the Dunlanders, who live in the hills between Bree and Rohan. Another option is with some of the more "evil" dwarves. Tolkien mentioned that some dwarves traded with goblins in the past but memories of the goblin-dwarf war are likely still strong. So, dwarves are probably out for the short-term.

    Mordor seems a bit far, and there are too many free peoples between that land and the Misty Mountains. The necromancer (Sauron, of course) controlled lands in the south of Mirkwood but it is questionable whether or not he had contact with those goblins (and he was just recently driven out by the White Council). The final option would be trolls, such as the estimable William Huggins, who live in the northern mountains. While they may be amiable to trade, who would the trolls unload the gold on?

    Obviously, we're not supposed to analyze things this far, but how do you think the goblins would unload the gold?
    First, the gold was a secondary concern. The orcs of the Misty Mountains wanted revenge for the slaughter that Thorin & Company had dealt them, while their champion had fought with Thorin's people at the gates of Moria, where Thorin killed his father.

    Second, the hoard held far more than mere gold. The mithril shirt gifted to Bilbo was but one of the many fine suits of armor that dwelt there. The armor Gimli wore as part of the Fellowship was superior to any that could have been found in the armories of Rohan or Gondor, and was either part of the hoard, or was made afterward by lesser smiths. Orc eqipment was always described as somewhat crude, however deadly. Being able to fit out a warband in dwarven gear would make the orcs formidable indeed.

    Third, Sauron had still his lesser fortress in Mirkwood, under the guise of the Necromancer, and would have been quite pleased with the fall of the Mountain to forces that would later flock to him.. a victory there would not only gain him a strong fortress, but enough elves might have been destroyed in the battle that the ancient wood-elven fortress might be ripe to fall. Whatever slaves or goods that the orcs hoped to buy with the gold, he would have sold them eagerly.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    This goblin-gold question raises another question in my mind... Assuming we look at the map during Bilbo's time and think of it in realistic terms, are the goblin populations self-sufficient enough to survive while being surrounded by hostile factions who are, if not allied with each other, at least neutral to each other and would unite to turn on the goblins on a dime?

    My memory of the map in the book kind of shows small centers of goblin power, surrounded all around by elves, men, and dwarves. How do they survive??? Or am I remembering it wrong?

    I tend to call them goblins instead of orcs, after watching the PJ movie. I also ascribe to that depiction that they're a stuntier variety of orcs, dwarf-sized rather than human-sized.

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    The thing is, the great alliance of men and elves is gone. Each race has fallen back into their own strongholds, kept their own council, and only worried over their own affairs. The goblins and orcs are in decently fortified, highly dangerous defensive positions. Its HARD to commit genocide on a underground race. You dont know where all the tunnels lead, you cant surround the enemy, but they can ambush the hell out of you. Theoretically any of the races could move enmasse into the mountains to wipe out the goblins, but they would take crippling losses themselves. In general I think it was accepted as better to basically keep a strong defense to avoid goblin armies forming, and to deal with raids when they happened. Think of it as a fantasy world version of MAD. if either side moved too strongly against another, their enemies would finish them off while they were weakened.

    The whole situation with the battle of the 5 armies was the goblins and such taking a big risk to attack everyone while they were away from their respective territories. The elves were out of mirkwood, the dwarves where out of their hills, the men had nowhere to go. Had any part of the good guys efforts not been done, like linking up and working together, of beorn showing up, or the eagles, then the goblins would have crushed a significant force and gained a huge victory.

    Now, let me include this. I havent read the similarion, or any of the other stuff, so I may be wrong, and tolkein may have explained things differently, but thats my working theory on events.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    more to the point..there was very little to gain from taking the battle to the orcs/goblins.
    the only thing these had that was of interest to (only) the Dwarves, was access and control over Khazad Dum.. and to get that back, especially being on their own, the Dwarves needed to build up their numbers and equipment again.. which they did once they recovered their primary objective.. the Kingdom under the Mountain and it's treasuries.
    Of course we all know just how badly they underestimated the challenge, but that's a story for later in the middle-earth calendar.

    P.S. I just realized that Billy Connolly is going to play Dain Ironfoot..
    I really can't wait to see that.
    Last edited by dehro; 2012-08-28 at 06:49 AM.
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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    I wonder what the goblins' endgame was.

    Gold, after all, isn't useful by itself--at least at the technology levels of Middle Earth. Thus, it must be traded for useful materials such as food, weapons, etc. So, the goblins would need a trading partner.
    Yeah, but this question applies just as equally to pretty much every gaming world out there - with the possible odd exception like OotS world, and even then only for some of the humanoid races. Even the legendary hordes of dragons follow the same lack of logic - if the dragon's horde is never used for anything, it has no inherent (monetary) value to the dragon; it's just shiny rocks, at the end of the day. So the goblins wanting the gold makes no more or less sense than Smaug himself, come to that. Presumably, it basically boils down to what amounts to shiny things and bragging rights, rather than any meaningful economic wotsits. Plus, for the goblins, the slim chance of any usable magical (or mithril) gear.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2012-08-28 at 06:17 AM.

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    Default Re: The Hobbit Film... trilogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    I wonder what the goblins' endgame was.

    Gold, after all, isn't useful by itself--at least at the technology levels of Middle Earth. Thus, it must be traded for useful materials such as food, weapons, etc. So, the goblins would need a trading partner.
    They have one. Mordor/Dol Guldur. Also the human nations to the east and south, the Haradrim and the Easterlings. There are plenty of humans willing to ally with goblins and presumably trade with them. That's mentioned in the Return of the King -- most of the Hobbits' adventures deal with the "teeth" of the armies of evil, so they mostly encounter soldiers. But there's an entire economy of plunder and tribute and slavery and wealth which are only touched on in the books.

    The goblins of the hobbit are not barbarians. They make cunning and dreadful weapons, they employ slaves because they don't believe in doing any more work than they have to. They are a civilization with currency and ironworking and all the rest of it. Naturally they have use for gold just as the Spanish conquistadores did in our world. Even without partners, they can still use gold in their own economy.

    ETA: It's also mentioned in the Hobbit that in some parts of the world wicked dwarves, of a different sort entirely from Thorin and co., allied with goblins. There's another venue for trade relations. Naturally gold would come in useful for purchasing smithcraft and so forth from these dwarves.

    ETA: WRT isolated goblins, remember that they have tunnels and tunnels and tunnels all through the misty mountains and the iron mountains to the north. There are whole highways and kingdoms under the mountains that don't show up on the map. So what we see of the goblins is only the tip of the iceberg -- they are a powerful force and a viable civilization until the war of the Ring.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2012-08-28 at 08:01 AM.
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