This has been a long time coming. This is basically Dáin: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Except I’m here to argue that there’s a lot of good, very little bad, and, lbr, even less ugly.
Look at that face.
Everyone should read this. It’s a very detailed, and well-thought out thesis on book!Dain and his movie avatar. I have nothing to add except to draw attention to this bit:
Most of the negative opinions of Dáin seem to revolve around the idea that he refused Thorin and company aid when they most needed it, but
then was eager to come cash in on the reward when the dragon was dead and the
mountain retaken. I’d argue that this idea is a very misguided one. I think it’s
very reasonable that Dáin, Lord of a prosperous and happy people in the Iron
Hills, would decline to help on a quest that honestly seems ridiculous. When
the dragon came to Erebor, even an army of Ereborean Dwarves (as depicted in
the movie) couldn’t stop or kill the dragon, and countless Dwarves were killed
in the process. If the dragon were still alive and woken up, the Iron Hills are
close enough to possibly get paid a visit from Smaug. The chance of success is
very low, and the risk extremely high.
As a Tolkien reader, I find this litany highly applicable to all the interesting canon characters that the movies have taken and turned up the inherent or implied qualities of the characters picked to provide foil and counter-foil to the Company of Thorin, in that
“Most of the negative opinions of CHARACTER seem to revolve around the idea… I’d argue that this idea is a very misguided one. I think it’s very reasonable that CHARACTER, reasonreasonreason, would decline to help on a quest that honestly seems ridiculous.”
I am of course, thinking in particular about my personal canon!love, Thranduil the Elvenking. I have dome my share of movie feels and griping, but someday, hopefully soonish, I will put up a proper thesis for Thranduil that does him jusitce, just like bilbosoaktree‘s magnum opus for Dain. For now I will enjoy this piece and thank universityofarda for bringing both blog and post to my attention.