A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #691
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    Default Re: Rater Reads The Hobbit

    I think the goblins and wargs count as a single army, so the five armies are: the dwarves, the Lake-men, the elves, the goblins, and the eagles. As far as the motives are concerned, the idea is that *everyone* here is being affected by lust for the dragon's hoard, Thorin, Bard, and the Elf-king included!

  2. - Top - End - #692
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    The Goblin's and Wargs were listed separately.

    The term "battle of fives armies" was explained: The Men, elves, and dWarves on one side and the Goblin's and Wargs on the other.

    The bats went unmentioned in that paragraph which I guess means that either they count as war beasts or that they were just there.
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  3. - Top - End - #693
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    Incorrect.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies


    The five armies ARE

    Dwarves (divided into two set, our 13 originals and the arriving backup)
    Men
    Elves
    Goblins (and Wargs)
    Eagles.

    Wargs, Bats are sub divisions of the greater Goblin army.

    It helps to divide them up by who each unit is ultimately fighting for. The wargs and bats are ultimately fighting for the goblins. The eagles aren't fighting for ANY of the other four armies, but for Gandalf (if anybody), so that's why they are divided into a fifth army.

  4. - Top - End - #694
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Incorrect.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies


    The five armies ARE

    Dwarves (divided into two set, our 13 originals and the arriving backup)
    Men
    Elves
    Goblins (and Wargs)
    In the 1977 movie, not the book.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies

    Portrayal in adaptations

    The Hobbit (1977 film):


    The "Five Armies" are the Elves, the Men, the Dwarves, the Goblins (and Wargs) and the Eagles.
    Earlier, in the"book-centric" section:

    The Battle of Five Armies was an important battle waged in T.A. 2941.[5] The five warring parties were the Goblins and the Wargs against Men, Elves and Dwarves on and near the Lonely Mountain.
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  5. - Top - End - #695
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Incorrect.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies


    The five armies ARE

    Dwarves (divided into two set, our 13 originals and the arriving backup)
    Men
    Elves
    Goblins (and Wargs)
    Eagles.

    Wargs, Bats are sub divisions of the greater Goblin army.

    It helps to divide them up by who each unit is ultimately fighting for. The wargs and bats are ultimately fighting for the goblins. The eagles aren't fighting for ANY of the other four armies, but for Gandalf (if anybody), so that's why they are divided into a fifth army.
    ...

    Literally the first paragraph of the page you linked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolkien Gateway
    The five warring parties were the Goblins and the Wargs against Men, Elves and Dwarves on and near the Lonely Mountain.
    Yes, the Eagles should have counted as a sixth army but the text explicitly lists the Men, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Wargs as "the Five Armies".
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  6. - Top - End - #696
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Incorrect.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies


    The five armies ARE

    Dwarves (divided into two set, our 13 originals and the arriving backup)
    Men
    Elves
    Goblins (and Wargs)
    Eagles.

    Wargs, Bats are sub divisions of the greater Goblin army.

    It helps to divide them up by who each unit is ultimately fighting for. The wargs and bats are ultimately fighting for the goblins. The eagles aren't fighting for ANY of the other four armies, but for Gandalf (if anybody), so that's why they are divided into a fifth army.
    Look, the book says "it became known as the battle of five armies" and then listed out men, elves, dwarves, goblins, and wargs separately and divided by which siede they were on.

    That's what's in the book, that;s what I'm going with.
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  7. - Top - End - #697
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    Thorin reacts appropriately to someone taking his property and giving it to someone else and curses Gandalf for recommending Bilbo.

    Gandalf then reveals himself as a member of Bard's party.

    Bilbo argues that he's taken the Arkenstone as his fourteenth share(despite the earlier chapter where he first picks it up flat out stating that he knows full well that the tone probably wasn't on the table for that) and Thorin curses him, wishes to never see him again, and reluctantly agrees to trade 14th the total value of the hoard in gold and silver to the Lakemen in exchange for the Arkenstone with the understanding that that counts as bilbo's share of the profits of the venture.

    Gandalf then says that Thorin makes a poor king... For being pissed off that someone he trusted stole an object of significant sentimental value to him, gave it to an asshat, and e was forced to pay a significant ransom to get it back?

    I'm just going to assume that Toien has never had anything of value taken from him by someone he trusts or otherwise lost due to the actions of another...
    Pr. Tolkien fought throught a World War and lived to see a Second one. I think his assesment of the wisdom of king ready to war over material wealth is spot-on.

    I mean if ownership means so much to you that you are willing to kill, die and lead those who entrusted their lives to your leadership to their deaths over it. Then, your priorities are in thr wrong order.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2021-11-30 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Rater Reads The Hobbit

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Pr. Tolkien fought throught a World War and lived to see a Second one. I think his assesment of the wisdom of king ready to war over material wealth is spot-on.

    I mean if ownership means so much to you that you are willing to kill, die and lead those who entrusted their lives to your leadership to their deaths over it. Then, your priorities are in thr wrong order.
    Aye. If you read the book and think "man, Gandalf and Bilbo are wrong", you may not be taking away the message it's conveying.
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  9. - Top - End - #699
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    Back in medieval times if someone was trying to rob or extort you killing them was a valid response.
    I think that is incorrect for pretty much every civilized country, but to say any more might break the rules on Real World politics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermoot View Post
    Incorrect.

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Battle_of_Five_Armies


    The five armies ARE

    Dwarves (divided into two set, our 13 originals and the arriving backup)
    Men
    Elves
    Goblins (and Wargs)
    Eagles.

    Wargs, Bats are sub divisions of the greater Goblin army.

    It helps to divide them up by who each unit is ultimately fighting for. The wargs and bats are ultimately fighting for the goblins. The eagles aren't fighting for ANY of the other four armies, but for Gandalf (if anybody), so that's why they are divided into a fifth army.
    Gotta agree with Rater on this one. Tolkien gateway may list it that way, but the words in the text itself tell us the five armies are elves, dwarves, and humans versus orcs and wargs on the other. The eagles don't count as an army on this list. I don't think it's fair to say that they are on Gandalf's side. It might be fairer to say that Gandalf is on theirs -- they both serve the Valar oversea. But they don't work for Gandalf or take orders from him.

    It's extremely convenient that an army of goblins should show up right at this moment. Otherwise, there would have been a battle of three armies only, and we wouldn't have had any escape from the tragedy which would otherwise occur.

    I get what Rater is saying. Nonetheless, I'm saying that insisting too strongly on your own property rights, even if it is legally accurate, is still not always the best course. A wise king would have used some share of the mountain's wealth to make friends with his surrounding neighbors. The mountain can't feed itself. However much store Dain's army is packing in, that gold is going to be uncomfortable if your neighbors embargo the mountain and close the roads.

    That would be the case even if the dwarves had done it all themselves , as opposed to provoking a dragon which had to be killed by someone else. If it weren't for Bard's bravery and skill with a bow they'd still be hiding in the mountain from a live dragon. They owe him, morally if not legally. And so far the only gratitude they've shown is to offer to pay the cost of their lodgings and the ponies, as if they were at a pub settling up their tab.

    All three factions have a certain amount of right and wrong on their side. All three have just claims, and all three have underlying greed which is poisoning any attempt at a fair solution. Bilbo proposes a solution, which Thorin first agrees to but then is prepared to break his word, taking the arkenstone back with armed force. That's oathbreaking that is, and it is not to Thorin's credit that he is thinking this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrec
    I think that is incorrect for pretty much every civilized country, but to say any more might break the rules on Real World politics.
    I can speak to this. The laws throughout much of the medieval world were based on the Lex Talionis , a feature of law which goes back to Hammurabi. To wit, if someone stole property from you they had to recompense you with property. You weren't allowed to take someone's life unless they were attempting to rob you with lethal force. In which case, you could kill your assailant in self-defense. But you couldn't chase someone down after the fact and kill them in cold blood.

    Ironically, the time period where people could be hung for stealing a loaf of bread belongs to a later epoch -- To the Eighteenth century . I suggest this is a consequence of urbanization and the industrial revolution. In cities, there are many strangers, unlike some place like the Shire where everyone knows everyone and thieves are quickly found out. The greater prevalence of crime (brought on by urbanization) and the increased difficulty of detecting the thieves (again, urbanization) , meant the punishments for crime became ever more draconian. But that's a feature of the early modern period, not the middle ages.

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    Last edited by pendell; 2021-11-30 at 02:15 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #701
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    Default Re: Rater Reads The Hobbit

    I think a useful starting point is that Smaug is a bad guy, in that he kills a load of people, takes all their stuff and does absolutely nothing with it. He is material lust manifested in lizard form.

    The point of everything building up to the battle is that the same lust for treasure has functionality turned everyone into Smaug. Thorn has more money than he could possibly ever spend (and shut up in a mountain nothing to spend it on anyway), and refuses to give the lake men anything because, at the most charitable reading, they didn't come begging just right. Bard has actual need of the treasure, and at least as good a claim on part of it as Thorin (since some of it from Dale, and Bard killed the dragon, something the perrenially useless Thorin was completely incapable of doing) and is still willing to start a war for. The Elf king is slightly less willing to start bloodshed, but is totally willing to throw the second punch.

    Basically the treasure turns everybody except Gandalf and Bilbo into raging jerks. Just like Smaug they're willing to kill so they can get a pile of pretty stuff. The Arkenstone is a perfect example of this, its literally just a really pretty shiny rock.

    I think it's best to read this section of the book as essentially the first draft of the ideas of possession by desire for power Tolkien explores much further in Lord of the Rings. Most importantly, the idea that if you become irrationally attached to material goods, you are in essence owned and controlled by them, and have lost all day in the matter. Hence the ultimate tragedy of Gollum, consumed to the last by the all-consuming desire for the Precious beyond the scope of reason or moral restraint. I think this idea of needing to be willing to let go of things we want, to not be willing to do terrible things in the service of those desires, is a pretty challenging one to live up to, particularly in a society as materialistic as ours, but that hardly makes it wrong.
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  12. - Top - End - #702
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Ironically, the time period where people could be hung for stealing a loaf of bread belongs to a later epoch -- To the Eighteenth century . I suggest this is a consequence of urbanization and the industrial revolution. In cities, there are many strangers, unlike some place like the Shire where everyone knows everyone and thieves are quickly found out. The greater prevalence of crime (brought on by urbanization) and the increased difficulty of detecting the thieves (again, urbanization) , meant the punishments for crime became ever more draconian.
    Draco himself was an Ancient Greek though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_(lawgiver)
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2021-11-30 at 02:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Draco himself was an Ancient Greek though.
    An exception to the rule. Yes, Draco proposed laws for Athens which were so brutal they repealed his laws and exiled him. It would be centuries before similarly severe laws were enacted in modern Europe; they were not common in the middle ages, which is the time period under discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Basically the treasure turns everybody except Gandalf and Bilbo into raging jerks. Just like Smaug they're willing to kill so they can get a pile of pretty stuff. The Arkenstone is a perfect example of this, its literally just a really pretty shiny rock.
    Even Bilbo, to a degree (witness his taking of the Arkenstone). The big difference is that Bilbo recognises it almost immediately, and is very quick to throw it off.
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  15. - Top - End - #705
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    IIRC, part of the reason Bilbo hadn't already handed the stone over was because he was afraid of Thorin's wrath for taking it in the first place. I may be remembering that wrong.

    The other thing is that the reason Bard was so willing to fight is that he expected more Dwarves to come. Before too long, either the Dwarves would be able to counter-siege and force battle, or the Man/Elf alliance would be unable to keep them from pushing through to the Mountain without a pitched battle - at which point they'd have the dwarfpower to reopen other entrances and break the siege. Once that happened, Thorin would end negotiations.

    The ability of Thorin and Company to meaningfully affect the battle isn't all that strange. There were only 13 of them, but they were equipped with the treasures of the Mountain (which included such grand weapons and armor that Bilbo's mithril shirt was little more than a trifle) and were attacking an undefended flank heading straight for the commander.

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    Bard and Elvenking know they are in a position of power, they don't want the playing field levelled. They don't trust Thorin to keep his word.

    Thorin also does not trust them to keep their word, he knows if he lets them into the mountain, they will loot it of all they can and leave him with only what they can't carry away (possibly also arranging an accident for the dwarves)

    Both of them are correct.

    Of the three of them, Thorin has the most reasonable position. If the rest had any intention of playing fairly, they would have allowed Dain into the mountain.

    Honestly, I don't think there's any indication to think that Thorin would not keep his word, if Bard sent a delegation instead of an army. (Of course, then the goblins would show up)
    Last edited by Sapphire Guard; 2021-11-30 at 07:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Pr. Tolkien fought throught a World War and lived to see a Second one. I think his assesment of the wisdom of king ready to war over material wealth is spot-on.

    I mean if ownership means so much to you that you are willing to kill, die and lead those who entrusted their lives to your leadership to their deaths over it. Then, your priorities are in thr wrong order.
    1: This was before the idea of warring over it came up.

    2:Bard was willing to war over material wealth first. Otherwise, he'd have sent the elf host away, laid down his arm,s, and negotiated in good faith when Thorin asked him to.

    Thorin is simply responding in kind.

    "someone else is employing theft and violence to take what beyond to me and my people" is a completly valid reason to employ violence against that person, even ignoring the cultural and sentimental value of the Arkenstone.

    Also, an eye for an eye... Robbery inherently involves violence or the threat thereof. Robbery is what Bard and his party are there for, they are a group of armed people who came to Lonley mountain with the intent to steal everything of value from it and refused to dismiss violence when questioned on it.

    Nobody here is acting consistently with being cursed, by the way. Everyone's actions can be traced back to mundane causes.

    We are told outright that the wood elves see all dwarves as enemies due to the Elven king's bad dealing with a group of dwarves in the past.

    We are likewise told that the Elvenking is motivated by his love of wealth and shiny things.

    BArd meanwhile is motivated by feelings fo entitlement to the treasure due to being the one who killed Smaug and due to being a descendent of the ings of Dale. The Lake-Men likewise feel entitled to the treasure as descendants of Dale, and are also incredibly desperate becuase this is their best bet for being able to rebuild.

    The actions of the Elves and Lakemen thus can be attributed to perfectly mundane greed, desperation, and in the case of the elves, racism.

    Thorin's actions likewise are a perfectly reasonable reaction to 1: Finding out that an armed group of men and elves are marching towards his people's ancestral home with the intent to steal everything that isn't nailed down. 2: Those same people presenting a claim to part of his wealth. 3: Those same people actively refusing to lay down their arms and negotiate the legitimate parts of their claim in good faith when asked while also dodging the question of how much of Thorin and his people's property would have been returned to their heirs 4: Those people making an outright demand rather than negotiate and laying siege on the mountain and 5: someone he trusted stealing an object of immense material, cultural, and personal value to himself and his people in order to assist the attempted thieves and robbers.

    Especially in the context of "literally just got his ancestral home and rightful property back and already has to defend it."

    There's no need to invoke a supernatural curse on the treasure from Smaug laying on it for o long, everybody's actions are consistent with their mundane motivations
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    Default Re: Rater Reads The Hobbit

    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    Nobody here is acting consistently with being cursed, by the way. Everyone's actions can be traced back to mundane causes.....

    There's no need to invoke a supernatural curse on the treasure from Smaug laying on it for o long, everybody's actions are consistent with their mundane motivations
    Yes, it's almost as if "dragon-sickness/the curse of the hoarde is allegorical and clearly represents greed" is the exact thing you're supposed to take away.

    The dwarves, elves, and men are all trying to find arguments so they appear reasonable. All of those arguments fall apart in the text, showing that the primary driver behind their actions is greed. Not one of them do anything at all to de-escalate the situation, which leads to war. They would all choose a phyrric victory over compromise.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2021-11-30 at 08:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post

    The whole battle is basically a deus ex machina and I have to question how in Hell they made a whole movie out of barely five pages.
    Well, it's 2 and a half hours of fighting, and maybe a half hour of actual movie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Well, it's 2 and a half hours of fighting, and maybe a half hour of actual movie.
    When they announced it, my first thought was, "they're making an entire movie out of the part the main character was unconscious for?"
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    Okay, the curse is an allegory for greed.

    Except it is only Thorin who is being referenced as having fallen under it: A passage mentioning that he sent a great deal of time in the treasure room is given to suggest he's fallen under some spell just before he... Refuses to deal with armed thieves, but agrees to repay his debts and negotiate Bard's claim if he stops threatening violence first.

    Thorin is so far the only person who has so much as offered to negotiate. Bard has done nothing but make demands and refuse to bend.

    So far, Thorin is the only one the curse is mentioned with, and from where I'm sitting Thorin is the one who is acting most reasonable.
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    redface Re: Rater Reads The Hobbit

    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    Okay, the curse is an allegory for greed.

    Except it is only Thorin who is being referenced as having fallen under it: A passage mentioning that he sent a great deal of time in the treasure room is given to suggest he's fallen under some spell just before he... Refuses to deal with armed thieves, but agrees to repay his debts and negotiate Bard's claim if he stops threatening violence first.

    Thorin is so far the only person who has so much as offered to negotiate. Bard has done nothing but make demands and refuse to bend.

    So far, Thorin is the only one the curse is mentioned with, and from where I'm sitting Thorin is the one who is acting most reasonable.
    Dude, you keep on about the "not negotiating with armed thugs" thing, but that doesn't matter.

    What possible negative outcome could have happened if Thorin dealt with Bard as is? Worst-case scenario, Bard doesn't like the deal and does.... absolutely nothing different. Currently, he's getting no deal. He's getting nothing. Getting something, even something he doesn't like, is infinitely better. He would not act any worse if he had gotten any better deal, which again, would be literally anything.

    The only reason for Thorin to refuse to negotiate would be if Thorin was not going to give him anything to start with (which, let's not forget, Thorin all but says). The entire "I don't want to do it right now, you're asking the wrong way" is nothing but a sham to try to get himself into a better position. He does this to the detriment of all the refugees of Lake Town, who lost everything because of Thorin's actions. They have no food, no money, no shelter, at the onset of winter. But hey, Bard is being a big meanie so it's totally cool to stall until they die, because this enormous pile of gold which is more than anyone would ever need might be a slightly smaller enormous pile of gold which is more than anyone would ever need, and how dare they try to do that?

    You feel some kinship to Thorin, that's fine. But you've literally argued that Bard is lucky Thorin didn't commit genocide against him. Imean... c'mon, dude, you have to recognize that you're radically biased here.
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  23. - Top - End - #713
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    The worst-case scenario is that either he 1: He let's Bard's party in to negotiate face to face and they steal everything not nailed down and/or leverage their greater numbers and the lack of a wall between them for the lion's share of the treasure or 2: Thorin and/or some of his party comes out to negotiate face to face with Bard and is captured and held hostage to ransom the lion's share of the treasure.

    In both cases "vastly outnumbered by a large number of armed people who literally showed up in the first place to steal everything ov value from your home" is not a time to be playing nice.

    There is not a world that exists were refusing to negotiate when the other side is armed and outnumbers you is an unreasonable action.
    Last edited by Rater202; 2021-11-30 at 08:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    The worst-case scenario is that either he 1: He let's Bard's party in to negotiate face to face and they steal everything not nailed down and/or leverage their greater numbers and the lack of a wall between them for the lion's share of the treasure or 2: Thorin and/or some of his party comes out to negotiate face to face with Bard and is captured and held hostage to ransom the lion's share of the treasure.

    In both cases "vastly outnumbered by a large number of armed people who literally showed up in the first place to steal everything ov value from your home" is not a time to be playing nice.

    There is not a world that exists were refusing to negotiate when the other side is armed and outnumbers you is an unreasonable action.
    Why would they need to negotiate face-to-face? Nothing prevents Thorin from negotiating exactly as he refuses to. Again, there is no downside whatsoever. Thorin is refusing under a guise to buy time until reinforcements come, at which point he will refuse without any guise. And, again, he all but openly says as much.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2021-11-30 at 08:59 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #715
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Why would they need to negotiate face-to-face? Nothing prevents Thorin from negotiating exactly as he refuses to. Again, there is no downside whatsoever. Thorin is refusing under a guise to buy time until reinforcements come, at which point he will refuse without any guise. And, again, he all but openly says as much.
    At somepoint either the dwarves have to come out or the men have to go in, that's the only way any gold can change hands.

    Opening the door, metaphorically speaking, while surrounded by people who have weapons and, who as I feel the need to keep pointing out, came to Lonely Mountain to steal everything that wasn't nailed down.

    And Thorin was told about this. "The Lake-Men killed Smaug, now they're heading to your ancestral home to take everything of value." He's going to be biased against them becuase their actions are naturally inclined to bias people against them.

    Thorin only transparently started stalling for reinforcements after the BArd refused his request to not negotiate under gunpoint and doubled down on it after the Arkenstone was stolen and held for ransom.
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    Im (unsurprisingly) with Rater here. Dragon sickness aside, Thorin has been given no reason to even think he could negotiate in good faith here. The lake men and especially elves came to steal his treasure and assumed nobody was alive to protect it. They only open negotiations in the first place because they couldnt just take what they wanted, and when Thorin tells them to stop overtly besieging his rightful home before he'll talk to them about any treasure they might have claim to (which is an entirely reasonable position for him to have) they outright refuse. And all this is before the enter into a conspiracy to steal his stuff and hold it for ransom.

    Why SHOULD Thorin be even entertaining the idea of negotiating with Bard at this point, when Bard has demonstrated himself to be a bad actor time and time again?
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  27. - Top - End - #717
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    At somepoint either the dwarves have to come out or the men have to go in, that's the only way any gold can change hands.

    Opening the door, metaphorically speaking, while surrounded by people who have weapons and, who as I feel the need to keep pointing out, came to Lonely Mountain to steal everything that wasn't nailed down.

    And Thorin was told about this. "The Lake-Men killed Smaug, now they're heading to your ancestral home to take everything of value." He's going to be biased against them becuase their actions are naturally inclined to bias people against them.

    Thorin only transparently started stalling for reinforcements after the BArd refused his request to not negotiate under gunpoint and doubled down on it after the Arkenstone was stolen and held for ransom.
    And when the deal is made and the gold is ready to change hands, Thorin could argue for the militia to leave then, which would be reasonable. But. again, that only assumes Thorin would give up any of his gold. He won't, which is why he refuses to start with.

    I'm not defending Bard et al. You keep trying to cast them in a negative light. This should hardly be surprising at this point, but I agree with that. I'm not saying they're the heroes and Thorin is the villain. I'm saying they're villains and Thorin is also a villain. You keep deflecting to "but Lake men bad!" Yeah dude, nobody is arguing they're not. But you keep avoiding the fact that Thorin clearly isn't going to deal with them and resorting to near-whataboutism about the Lake men. That's not working, because this isn't about them. This is about Thorin. Who, again, refuses to let his enormous pile of gold too big for anyone to spend become a slightly smaller pile of gold too big for anyone to spend, because it's his. Nevermind, of course, that he never did a damn thing to deserve it other than be born lucky. Nevermind that he made himself a life, just as all the men of Lake Town did, and knows exactly what that life is like. Nevermind that he himself was cast out of his home and made a refugee by Smaug, and should be the most sympathetic to Bard's people. No, forget all that, because that gold is his. His his his his his his his. Even the parts that Smaug stole from Lake town, that's his too. Sucks for them, they shouldn't have been born poor, or had a dragon burn down their village, or helped the very dwarves who are refusing to help them now.
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  28. - Top - End - #718
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    And when the deal is made and the gold is ready to change hands, Thorin could argue for the militia to leave then, which would be reasonable. But. again, that only assumes Thorin would give up any of his gold. He won't, which is why he refuses to start with.

    I'm not defending Bard et al. You keep trying to cast them in a negative light. This should hardly be surprising at this point, but I agree with that. I'm not saying they're the heroes and Thorin is the villain. I'm saying they're villains and Thorin is also a villain. You keep deflecting to "but Lake men bad!" Yeah dude, nobody is arguing they're not. But you keep avoiding the fact that Thorin clearly isn't going to deal with them and resorting to near-whataboutism about the Lake men. That's not working, because this isn't about them. This is about Thorin. Who, again, refuses to let his enormous pile of gold too big for anyone to spend become a slightly smaller pile of gold too big for anyone to spend, because it's his. Nevermind, of course, that he never did a damn thing to deserve it other than be born lucky. Nevermind that he made himself a life, just as all the men of Lake Town did, and knows exactly what that life is like. Nevermind that he himself was cast out of his home and made a refugee by Smaug, and should be the most sympathetic to Bard's people. No, forget all that, because that gold is his. His his his his his his his. Even the parts that Smaug stole from Lake town, that's his too. Sucks for them, they shouldn't have been born poor, or had a dragon burn down their village, or helped the very dwarves who are refusing to help them now.
    Ok, lets try this. What is the Actual Bad Thing that Thorin has done at this juncture to make him a villain? If the only thing you can think of in response is that he refuses to negotiate, then i will simply redirect your attention to the previous list of reasons to not do that with Bard. Theres a reason we keep bringing up Bard's behavior here, and that reason is because not negotiating with him is the logical, rational correct thing to do in this circumstance.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2021-11-30 at 09:20 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #719
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    Yes. The Narrative presents Thorin as a villain, but I disagree: He's only a villain if you completly ignore the context of Bard's own villainy.

    If you're surrounded by armed thugs, some of whom are loyal to the king who was a colossal jackass to you when you need help, and you know for a fact that they are there to rob you, it is 100% reasonable for you to lock your doors and wait for help to show up.

    The fact that Thorin was so much as willing to make the token effort to say "hey, send the army of people who are bigoted against my species home and stop threatening me and I'll be willing to talk" is an act of incredibly reason. Thorin would have entirely been within his rights to refuse Bard's claims outright the second bard got there.

    He knew exactly what Bard and his people were there for and he still gave them a chance to be reasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Ok, lets try this. What is the Actual Bad Thing that Thorin has done at this juncture to make him a villain? If the only thing you can think of in response is that he refuses to negotiate, then i will simply redirect your attention to the previous list of reasons to not do that with Bard. Theres a reason we keep bringing up Bard's behavior here, and that reason is because not negotiating with him is the logical, rational correct thing to do in this circumstance.
    Again, negotiating with Bard would have no negative repurcussions at all. He could negotiate, and when it was time to put it into action, could then demand to do it without armed guards. Refusing to negotiate at all is not as you characterize it, not unless he doesn't want to give anything at all. Which, yet again, he pretty much says. As long as he stalls, he can wait until his cousin arrives with his army. Hell, he could even negotiate and then say that he'll give the goods when the army arrives. But then he'd have to follow through, since a king going back on his word would be a big deal here.

    He's a villain because he's consumed by greed and is turning his back on the very people who helped him at the very moment that they are in their most dire need, which he is in a unique position to understand and empathize with exactly.

    Tell you what, let's look at it with hard numbers (Inasmuch as we can). Forbes estimated the horde was $14,000,000,000. Thorin only gets 1/14 of that, which is 4.4 billion, but let's round down - after all, what's a half billion dollars here? There's a saying, the difference between a million dollars and a billion dollars is about a billion dollars. And Thorin doesn't have one billion, he has four billion. He could give a hundred million, and it would barely impact his bottom line. That's not even one fourteenth of his fourteenth! That takes him down from 4 billion to 3.9 billion. Oh, the horror. Why, he may as well be in the poorhouse after that!

    Thorin is being overtaken by greed. The text explicitly says so. The character that represents innocence recognizes it and even moves to give up his entire share to get them to come to a reasonable accord - an accord which, I have to note wouldn't even touch Thorin's actual share! If they agreed to a full fourteenth share for the Arkenstone, then Thorin wouldn't even be down to a measly 3.9 billion, he'd still be at the full 4! It would, quite literally, not cost him one dime. But if they don't, if they instead wait until an allied army comes in and try to take the Arkenstone, then Thorin gets his 4b plus the Arkenstone!

    Thorin is being consumed by greed. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. Bard is being consumed by greed. The elves are being consumed by greed. I have no qualms about saying that. Neither does Tolkien. But Thorin is not acting saintly here. He is "cursed" by the treasure - he is being blinded by greed. The book is quite explicit here.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2021-11-30 at 09:44 PM.
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