I’m utterly baffled at why people think Fili and Kili are immature, idiotic children who can’t do anything right. Like, did we watch the same movie? Did we? Because this is what I saw:
1. Fili and Kili traveled from Ered Luin to Hobbiton, by themselves, with no problems–and if this is their first time traveling any distance away from home, then they did REALLY WELL, because (a) they were on time, (b) they had no discernable injuries, and © that is, at the least, a distance of approximately 160 miles (sorta depending on which map you’re looking at), and that’s if you’re traveling as the crow flies, to the closest mountain to Hobbiton.
Think about that–two young men, who’ve never traveled away from home, are able to travel at least 160 miles, by themselves, and they are fine. That isn’t the mark of immaturity or stupidity–that’s the mark of resourceful young men who know how to work together, and how to survive on their own.
2. Kili (barely) messes up Bilbo’s surname. Now, considering that dwarves, elves, and men don’t seem to have surnames, it’s pretty damn nice and considerate of Kili to use Bilbo’s surname when addressing Bilbo. I mean, Kili is literally using cultural sensitivity of a culture that is not his own to address someone. And yes, he gets Bilbo’s name wrong (by one vowel, guys–I have people slaughter my name on a daily basis, and it’s not by one vowel), but he calls Bilbo by name. Kili’s the first dwarf to do so. Dwalin didn’t call Bilbo by name, and neither did Balin.
What happens with Fili and Kili is that they knock on a door. A hobbit answers. Fili and Kili politely introduce themselves and bow; the hobbit does nothing, so Kili diffuses the tense and impolite situation, which the hobbit is creating, by saying, “You must be Mister Boggins.” He’s giving Bilbo an out; either Bilbo is Mister Boggins, and he can say, “Yes, yes, come in,” or he can say, “No, sorry, you’ve got the wrong house.“
Kili is being fucking politic. He’s an heir to the a throne, and he’s been trained to be culturally sensitive and polite. And yes, he fucks up Bilbo’s name once, but at least he had the sensitivity and wits to use Bilbo’s name.
3. The boys tease Bilbo about orcs. And this is definitely a two-man endeavor. Kili just says that the screaming sounds are orcs; it’s Fili who begins the teasing, by talking about how many orcs there must be out in the lowlands. Then Kili picks it up, and talks about orcs slaughtering people. And yes, it’s not a very good joke–but remember that we’re talking about dwarves. Fili and Kili have doubtlessly been raised on stories about wars with every race, but especially with orcs. And Fili and Kili shouldn’t be laughing at Bilbo’s fear, but Fili and Kili are also cautioning Bilbo, in their own way. There’s a reason there’s always someone awake to keep watch.
Also, this is the only time Thorin reprimands his nephews in the film, and he doesn’t get mad at them for talking about orcs. He gets mad at them for laughing. He’s angry because they’re giggling over something that could very easily kill them (and did very easily kill most of their relatives). Fili and Kili are young, and they still think that they’re invincible, and that is what concerns Thorin, and is what prompts Thorin’s reprimand.
4. Losing the ponies. Okay, I really want to know how Fili and Kili missed the first two ponies getting snatched by trolls, but can we look at how competent Fili and Kili are in the situation? First, look at what Fili’s wearing, or rather, not wearing. It’s nighttime, which means it’s cooler and it’s darker, and Fili’s coat, while warm, is also a light fawn color, which would stick out like a sore thumb. Buthe’s not wearing his coat; he shucked off his coat, and he’s moving around in just his shirt, which is a darker color, easier to blend in. Is that on purpose? I dunno, but I like to think it is.
And Fili and Kili realize that the ponies have been snatched by trolls very quickly. Like, a broken tree and some suspicious noises fast. And they really should have alerted Thorin and not sent Bilbo into harm’s way (though he is supposed to be a burglar, so their expectations aren’t completely out of line). But they mostly keep their promise to Bilbo. They stay close by, and while Bilbo isn’t perfectly safe (in truth, he’s in more than a fair share of danger), they do rush in (Kili) and fetch the others (Fili) to save Bilbo.
And if you considering the amount of time Bilbo spends trying to free the ponies, and the distance between the dwarves’ and trolls’ campsites, Fili and Kili aren’t sitting around eating their stew, snickering into their fists. Fili’s fetching Thorin & Co., and Kili’s keeping an eye on the trolls’ campsite. They both react in time to get Bilbo out of the trouble in which they first embroiled him.
5. All the fighting. Fili and Kili show themselves to be as capable as the other dwarves when it comes to battle, and most importantly, they follow Thorin’s orders. Kili shows frustration and anger when Thorin lays down his sword in the Trollshaws, but he follows Thorin’s lead. When Thorin nods at Kili’s bow, Kili moves out of the relative safety of the rock, exposing himself, in order to shoot the warg and orc. When Thorin tells Kili to shoot the wargs and orcs, Kili does so; when Thorin tells everyone to stand their ground, Fili stands his ground (though he was already standing it).
Fili and Kili don’t act any more reckless in battle than any of the other dwarves, and they continually and reliably listen to Thorin’s commands. They’re literally the perfect soldiers–even when they’reangry and scared, they do what Thorin says, with little to no hesitation.
Also, Kili isn’t failtastic with the sword. I mean, let’s just tally about weapon usage, shall we? Trollshaws: sword; the moorlands: bow; Goblin Town: sword; the burning trees of doom: sword. You guys, the sword is winning hands down, and he’s doing fine with it. He has nearly as many artistic sword-twirls as Balin and Thorin.
And beyond that, Fili and Kili both think on their feet. Fili cuts the ropes of the bridge without being prompted, and Kili uses a ladder to create a make-shift ram&shield. They are adept at fighting, which isn’t surprising, because this is literally what they were raised from birth to do. They’re meant to be kings, and it is kings who ride out to war. They know how to fight, they know how to protect themselves, they know how to think on their feet, and they know how to follow commands of their elders and betters.
6. They’re generally kind to everyone else, though it’s certainly not without an amount of teasing. But let’s run a quick recap: Fili takes Ori’s plate, beginning the clean-up of Bilbo’s dishes; also, Fili is the one who’s fetching everyone more beer. Fili and Kili are constantly teasing Bilbo, but their teasings are also interspersed with kindnesses: they help him onto his pony, they express genuine concern when Bilbo is missing, and they express even more relief when Bilbo shows up again. Fili helps Bombur up after the thunderbattle, and Kili shows confused interest in all the stuff Bifur is digging through outside the troll cave. Also, Kili’s not the derp who nearly falls off the burning tree–that was (the utterly flawless) Dori. Dori throws up his arms, waaaay too excited about scaring the wargs away with fire, and when Dori loses his balance and begins to fall, Kili lunges forward and catches him.
You guys, these aren’t the actions of heartless and/or hopeless children. These are (young) grown-ass dwarves who genuinely care about their companions, and who take care of their companions, to the same degree that their companions take care of them. They help, support, and protect–and, most of all, they trust each other, and they are trustworthy themselves.
7. And they have undying loyalty for their uncle, though perhaps I should call that dying loyalty? In their world, everything is Thorin and nothing hurts (though their deaths might). In all seriousness, they’re pretty damn stuck on their uncle, and it’s more than a little bit wonderful and heartbreaking, all at once. They want to please him, and they want to see him safe and whole. But for all that, they also give him some pretty grumpy looks from time to time, especially Kili. And I think that shows the complexity of their grown-ass selves more than anything else.
They’re loyal, and they will listen to their uncle, but they will also quietly disagree; they’ll grow angry and frustrated, and they’ll throw down their sword, but they will still follow him. The level of maturity they have, to follow their uncle and their king, even when they disagree–the degree of self-control–is not something to scoff at.
Are they perfect? God, no. And if they were perfect, they’d be really fucking boring. But they’re not idiots, they’re not utterly immature, and they’re not hopeless. They are complex characters. They’re really nice, but they’re also little shits. They make mistakes, just like everyone else. But their successes far outweigh their mistakes. They’re cocky and self-assured and also scared to death, they love their uncle with their whole hearts, but they also disagree with him at times. They tease and poke and prod, but they’ll also lunge out of a fucking burning tree to save their companions. They’re young, but they’re also trustworthy and competent, and when you consider all their complexities, their faults and their triumphs, they are utterly perfect.
WELL MA’AM IT WENT A LITTLE SOMETHING LIKE THIS
So I mentioned being a sensitive child?
Well my dad saw FOTR in theaters when it came out. The next day he’s telling me in the car ‘oh you wouldn’t like it, it’s very scary and it’s got all these monsters’
So naturally when he bought the dvd he put it on during dinner.
Now Fellowship is a kickass movie right? 10 year old me was very intrigued. I got to about the Nazgul before I was like NOPE. And I went to the bathroom first which is on the same side of the house as my dad’s legendary tv and sound system that can make the house shake(And he loves blasting it) So I’m taking a moment in the bathroom when the wizard fight happens. Now…imagine your 10, and hearing just the audio of that scene with no context. Here’s a link to refresh your memory
So I nope-d all the way to my dads office since my room was too close to that noise and the office was on the other side of the house. My dad was on the phone at this point with his girlfriend when I came in there to hide and he asked me”What’s the problem, THE GIANT SPIDERS AREN’T UNTIL THE NEXT MOVIE” at which point I nope-d myself into eternity and watched Disney for 3 hours in my dads office.
The next day when it was nice and bright out and my dad was too busy to walk in and crank the volume up on the tv I asked my sister to finish the movie with me because I was and have always been a curious little shit. I asked her to tell me when to shut my eyes and also told her she was not allowed to leave the room until the movie was over. We got to the end and I was hooked. It took many rewatchings before I could get through that movie with my eyes open and the dead marshes scene in Two Towers was a struggle when I saw it in theaters but thats how I first experienced Lord of the Rings and found a lifelong obsession
Aww, that’s adorable!
I always think people whose age I don’t know are older than me. I was 16 when Fellowship was in theatres, I’d read the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and LotR several times prior to watching the films, and was mainly concerned with whether or not one Hugo Weaving would make a good Elrond (answer: he made the best Elrond) and how much screen time Liv Tyler had managed to grab from whoever would have been playing Glorfindel (answer: all the screen time. All of his scenes that were in the film, she grabbed, except the one she was always going to be in as well).
I’m not quite sure LotR would have scared 10 year old me, who studied historical torture techniques out of curiosity in her spare time because why not, might be useful in a pub quiz some 20 years down the road.
And I assume everybody on tumblr is younger than me unless otherwise indicated so lol. Hugo Weaving was the best tho. And were you said at the lack of Glorfindel? because in retrospect I am just pleased theres more screentime for ladies in such a male dominated film.
But yeah, I think the extent of my horror was a bit of an outlier, as I said I was a sensitive kid who got freaked out by the penguin in Wallace and Gromit
I’m not big on horror, but I do like psychological thrillers and stuff, and I really liked the Alien films when I first saw them (Ripley FTW).
Hugo Weaving was the best. I still maintain Elrond’s eyebrows could take on Thranduíl’s eyebrows and quirk them into submission any day (potentially with the aid of some elfy magic or potions, Thrandy doesn’t have too much of that, and we know Elrond does).
I wasn’t sad at there not being loads of Glorfindel as such, nor do I mind the other expanded Arwen scenes. I would have been pleased as punch if all Glorfindel did was turn up to get Frodo to Rivendell (or at least go with Arwen to fight off any approaching ringwraiths, that would have worked perfectly), and then, once in Rivendell, sit/stand near Elrond, looking all blond and majestic and stuff (which he only does at the end of RotK, he’s probably the blond elf next to Elrond when Arwen’s doing her “surprise bf, it is I, gf, soon to be wife” thing).
I think having Arwen do every single thing involved in getting Frodo to Rivendell mainly bugs me because they could so easily have both shown Arwen being capable of action, and shown Glorfindel being his superelf self. In the books, he’s the one Elrond sends to get Frodo safely to Rivendell because he’s the strongest warrior Elrond has (probably the strongest elven warrior in Middle Earth), he’s confronted the Witch-King of Angmar (aka the leader of the ringwraiths), who fled when faced with potential battle with Glorfindel, and he’s single-handedly killed a balrog. You know Chuck Norris jokes? Elves probably have Glorfindel jokes.
I really like that they expanded Arwen from “Elrond’s daughter who marries Aragorn, but we don’t know anything about her other than she’s super pretty”, and I know the whole thing probably reads a lot differently if you don’t know all sorts of random bollocks about blond elves, but Elrond sending Glorfindel shows how deadly serious the situation is, and how lethal the task of retreiving one injured hobbit actually is when that hobbit is being chased by ringwraiths.
It’s a bit like how in the MCU, Peggy Carter can hold her own in a fight, is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I love that we got more Peggy Carter in the MCU than just First Avenger. But if the first you see of Peggy Carter is that she can take on Johann Schmidt on her own, yes, she seems like a good fighter, but Schmidt seems like less of a formidable opponent than he actually is (the Worf effect, basically).
If Johann Schmidt is on his way, you’re not going to send Peggy Carter out alone, and risk her being swiftly and brutally killed, if you can send post-serum Steve Rogers with her.
Yes I have a lot of feels when it comes to Elrond and Glorfindel.
I think Elrond can use his eyebrows more majestically, but Thranduil would win if it came down to size(Thranduil in the films makes me sad because the Hobbit movies are awful and I love Lee Pace)
As for Glorfindel I have read the books but it’s been awhile. I remember him taking Frodo to Rivendell and not much else so HUH I will remember that Glorfindel is Chuck Norris and thank you for putting that image in my head its a funny one.
I think, eyebrow wise, Thranduil values thickness and bushiness over quirkability, while Elrond values sleekness and quirkability over thickness. And I suspect neither would ever concede that it’s a case of personal taste, it’d be all “well my eyebrows are clearly superior what are you talking about you know nothing Thorin Oakenshield”. Because they’re both elves.
I’ve actually still not seen Battle of Five Armies (I was really ill when it came out, then my friend who I’ve always watched them with was even more ill, and then it wasn’t in cinemas anymore), just the trailers and that, but yeah. I still like the first two, but I do feel they could have been handled better. The acting’s still good though, I was worried about Martin Freeman as Bilbo, but it’s not nearly as bad as I feared. And everyone who could reprise roles from LotR did, which I also liked.
Americans have Chuck Norris jokes, the Aussies have Steve Irwin jokes, the Norwegians have Lars Monsen jokes, the elves have Glorfindel jokes. They vary slightly in how they’re focused, but they’re basically the same type of joke.
“Chuck Norris never wears steel toe boots, they make his roundhouse kicks softer”
“Steve Irwin once defeated Chuck Norris by smacking him in the face with a baby crocodile”
“Lars Monsen was once woken up by a bear that got into his tent and ate all his food. This really pissed Lars Monsen off, so he ate the bear”
“Glorfindel is the only elf to have killed a balrog. He used three of his fancy hair clips and his hair still looked immaculate afterwards”
Well I forgot I queued this wHOOPS.
So…I hated The Hobbit movies with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. A big part of that is probably because discovering the LOTR movies was like a religious experience for me as a kid. It changed the way I view media and it was my first fandom. Im pretty sure LOTR was a big reason I was inspired to study film. And the flaws of the film have nothing to do with the actors (Although they reduced Richard Armitage to bland, moody, and beardy when I know he’s capable of more) The problems with the film are all the writing and directing.
Fun fact, Jackson and co had a lot of fights with the studios and producers and there was lots of pushbacks and compromises and honestly after watching the hobbit I suspect all that collaboration is what made the movies better. With The Hobbit Jackson did a George Lucas in that I suspect based on his previous success everybody around him became yes men. “What if we had 30 MINUTES OF MOUNTAINS HITTING EACH OTHER” “Yes that sounds great,” “WHAT IF WE MADE THE GOBLIN KINGS FACE LOOK LIKE BALLS” “Awesome idea Mr. Jackson.” Now part of it is the new studios (MGM made The Hobbit happen when LOTR was with New Line Cinema I believe) and the studios were the major force behind 3 movies. Even 2 would have been more bearable but I suspect a lot of is still Jacksons fault because 3 90 minute movies could have worked like 2, 2 hour movies could have worked but instead we got 3, 3 hour movies and thats ridiculous because the hobbit never had enough story for more than one tidy movie and busting it out to three made them plodding and terrible.
You can feel the writers grasping at straws trying to make all these Lord of the Rings equivalent conflicts with the gold sickness thats a lot like being fucked with by The Ring or that one orc thats important because reasons or actually pulling out Suaron and shit? The Hobbit was never about that like LOTR was and the fact that they tried while simultaneously trying to pull more slapsticky humor ‘for the kids’ made the movies a tonal wreck. (Very reminiscent of Phantom Menace, no? The parallels are endless) And by the time they got to wasting Evangeline Lilly on a romantic sub plot with The Hot Dwarf ™ making Legolas her creepy jealous stalker I was so over these movies. I dont blame the actors for any of it though. Martin Freeman turns out a great performance and so does Ian McKellan but they are buried beneath a terrible
I think the worst part is how over 3 movies LOTR managed to make a main cast of 9 and it’s many side characters interesting unique and likable whereas the drawfs in this movie could be interchangeable with Snow White. They mostly can be described with single adjectives like The Cute One, The Hot One, The Friendly One, The Moody One, The Wise One, The Deaf One, etc…I mean by the time we get to The Hot One’s Cousin I don’t care and when I don’t care it renders all of the stakes in the film inert because I wouldn’t care if 75% of the cast fell off a cliff 5 minutes into the movie (I like one who ‘hates green food’ the one with the funny hat and Bilbo and Gandalf. And it speaks volumes that despite reading the book I can’t remember the names of half the characters but I can rattle off every character from Lord of the Rings with ease)
As to the rest I agree with the eyebrows and your thesis about Chuck Norris and his equivalents is amazing