Saturday, October 17, 2015

Thorin and Heroism

In the process of doing research for my multimedia project, I have stumbled upon a lot of information on whether or not Thorin is a heroic character in The Hobbit.  Thorin seems like a hero out of legend, who is willing to face insurmountable odds to reclaim his rightful glory.  He courageously faces danger whenever it arises and leads the company through all kinds of perilous situations (even if he doesn't always do it particularly well).  However, Thorin is not always a particularly likable character, and his final failing as a hero occurs within the triumph of his quest.  Thorin does not actually do anything to defeat Smaug, yet he selfishly claims the rewards of Smaug's demise.  Not only does he fail as a warrior hero, but he fails as a ruler, for his greed and desire keep him from sharing the inheritance he did not reclaim himself.

This brought to my mind the character of Frodo.  Although Frodo does not possess the same greatness as Thorin, he becomes the most crucial figure in a dangerous quest, yet ultimately allows greed to get the best of him.  Tolkien obviously enjoys writing characters who try to become heroes, but possess fatal flaws that thwart their efforts.

What do you guys think?  Is Thorin a hero?  Or do his failings nullify his greatness?

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