5 Dec 2009

'The Hobbit' to cast a major female role

So this comes as a bit of a surprise to be honest, but maybe a very good one. According the TheOneRing.net (Exclusive: ‘Hobbit’ casting 1 female role) casting for 'The Hobbit' is well under way, which does give hope after Peter Jackson's revelation that filming was maybe going to be delayed. Indeed this is great news but what is even more intriguing is that a female actress will be cast for a major role. Surely not a dwarf...right? I mean, I know Tolkien never really said specifically the dwarfs were all males, but that is the assumption you get from reading the book, all are sons or brothers, some have very elaborate backstories. Fili and Kili (the two youngest dwarfs) are somehow less known, but always portrayed as 'males'. So I went through the list of the major character in 'The Hobbit', trying to understand how and where a female role would fit. Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum and Thorin Oakenshield, together with the dragon Smaug, are indeed the major characters. Somehow minor characters are:

  • Dwalin: son of Fundin and younger brother of Balin, Dwalin was the first Dwarf to arrive at Bag End.

  • Balin: son of Fundin and elder brother of Dwalin.Whenever Thorin is not present, he makes the decisions.

  • Kili: with his brother Fíli were the sons of Dís, Thorin's sister. He had a blue cloak and a yellow beard, and could always be found next to his brother Fili.

  • Fili: (see Kili) Fili has the best sight of all the dwarves. He is the one who throws the hook at the end of the rope when they must cross the stream in Mirkwood.

  • Dori:he was the brother of Nori and Ori. It fell to Dori to carry Bilbo in the tunnels of the Misty Mountains, but Dori dropped Bilbo and the other dwarves blamed him for "losing their burglar."

  • Nori: brother of Ori and Dori.

  • Ori: brother of Dori and Nori. He was also one of the Dwarves who entered Moria with Balin.

  • Oin: brother of Gloin,

  • Gloin: Father of Gimli, and a descendant of Durin the Deathless, and brother of Óin. Glóin and his son Gimli were sent to Rivendell as an embassy from Dáin II to bring news of Erebor, Moria, and what they knew of Sauron's plans; they arrived in time to attend the Council of Elrond.

  • Bifur: Cousin of Bofur and Bombur, he was not descended from Durin. He was fond of raspberry jam and apple-tart, wore a yellow hood and played the clarinet

  • Bofur: Bofur liked mince-pies and cheese at tea, and like his cousin Bifur, played the clarinet and sported a yellow hood.

  • Bombur: Cousin of Bifur and brother of Bofur, he was not descended from Durin. Bombur is the fat dwarf who is often messing things up. In Mirkwood, he falls into the stream of forgetfulness and falls to sleep for many days. His companions must carry him. When he wakes, he has forgotten everything since they left the home of Bilbo. He is almost caught by the dragon when it bursts from the mountain.

  • Dain: Thorin's cousin who leads an army of dwarves from a week's march away to help the other dwarves. His entrance changes Bard's thoughts on the state of the conflict. Without the dwarves, the goblins may have overcome everyone else. Dain becomes king after Thorin dies, and is a very gracious leader. He gives a portion of the treasure to the men and elves

  • William the Troll: William is the leader of the trolls that the company encounter early on in the story. Bilbo tries to steal from them and is caught. Unlike the other trolls, William wants to release Bilbo. He becomes of stone and die when the dawn comes early.

  • Elrond: Elf Lord of Rivendell. In this tale he always plays the part of a gracious host. Elrond reads the moon letter on the map that no one detected previously. These instructions make it possible for the dwarves to enter the mountain.

  • Great Goblin: Great Goblin is the leader on the goblins in the Misty Mountains. He allegedly imprisoned and killed Thorin's father. Gandalf kills the goblins king and helps the company to escape from an almost certain doom. It is this killing that causes the goblins to gather and plan to pursue the company.
  • Beorn: The skin-changing man who lives near the edge of Mirkwood. He gives the company shelter and supplies when they show up at his home. He investigates their story and when he finds out that it is true, he offers them more help. He appears at the end of the story and bursts into the battle to kill Bolg, the leading goblin. Bilbo and Gandalf travel east with him at the end of the tale.

  • Elvenking: He is the king of the wood-elves. He has a natural distrust of dwarves and refuses to release the company until they tell him exactly why they are travelling through Mirkwood. At the end of the story, he helps the lake-men after Smaug has destroyed their city, and he leads an army to Lonely Mountain to claim a part of the treasure. He wants to delay the battle when Bard wants to begin. In the end, he wants Bilbo and Gandalf to come and stay at his home, but Bilbo does not want to re-enter Mirkwood.

  • Master of the town: He is the leader of Esgaroth. When the dragon has destroyed the town, he tries to shift the blame onto the dwarves. He ends up dying with a great amount of treasure that he had stolen from the Lake-men.

  • Bard: Bard is a descendant of the royal line of Dale. He does not appear until Smaug attacks the town, but he makes a brave stand with a small group of townspeople. He understands the words of the thrush, and slays the dragon . Afterwards, the people want to make him king, but Bard does not want to start trouble, so he stays quiet. He leads an army of men with the Elvenking to Lonely Mountain.

  • Roac: The old Raven who carries the message to Thorin that Smaug has died. For the rest of the tale, Roac serves as a messenger for the dwarves, even though he vocally disagrees with their plans. He is the chief of many messenger Ravens.(could suit a female casting [?])

  • The Old Thrush: The bird that fulfils a part of the omen read by Elrond. It is with his knocking that Bilbo realizes it is the time to find the keyhole and open the tunnel door. He also observes Bilbo telling the dwarves about the dragon's weak spot. He carries this information to Bard in Esgaroth. Alter on he tells Roac that Smaug is dead and Roac tells the dwarves.

  • Lord of the Eagles: The leader of the eagles who helps the company escape from the Wargs. He also brings them as far as the Carrock. At the end of the tale, he appears with an army of eagles to help them fight the goblins.

  • Bolg: The son of the Great Goblin, he seeks revenge against Bilbo and party, who killed his father. He comes with an army of goblins seeking treasure and revenge. Despite being grossly outnumbered, the party is saved at the last minute by Beorn, the skin-changing man who lives near the edge of Mirkwood.

I highlighted the character that, ( in my humble opinion) could suit a female role. I do find hard to reconcile myself with the idea of a female member of The Company (a dwarf?) as I truly believe professor Tolkien meant ALL the dwarfs to be males. Casting is under way, only time will tell, in hobbit Peter I trust to keep the story as close as possible as Tolkien originally intended.