4

Braids of a Prince

The Dwarves start out looking their best, and then lose all their riches and we gradually lose items of clothing and weapons, until eventually we get to Lake-town as soppy wrecks. We’ve lost everything to basically our underwear. We have to wear second-hand clothes that don’t even fit us. Getting back to the Lonely Mountain means not just a chance to reclaim our gold and glory, but to rebuild and reclaim our identity. It’s a resurrection from the ashes.

Dean O'Gorman, Hobbit Chronicles :  Desolation of Smaug Cloaks and Daggers

The personal journey of Prince Fili can be also told by the way he wears his hair. 

At the beginning of his journey he adorns the braids in his hair and his braided moustache with tiny, carven, tubular silver clasps, which match Thorin’s.

Then, after the barrel ride, his hair (and moustache)  is all dishevelled: he has lost everything and he has to beg for poor men’s clothes. But once he cleans himself, he braids his hair and moustache again: this time he uses nothing but a piece of plain black string to clasp them. And there is such a dignity in its neatness and in its simplicity that never fails to move me: the Crown Prince is humbled, but not bent.

At last, in Erebor, as they don the noble clothes and armours of the Durin Royalty, Fili chooses big squared bronze clasps to adorn his golden mane, and even bigger clasps for his back braids, because the dignity of a Prince is also shown through these tiny details.

Dean’s ever-changing eyes add a bonus to this portrait of a future King..

Missed opportunities and lack of faith

PJ spent a lot of time with the Weta designer team to create the best look for each and every Dwarf (a nightmare turned into joy).

He also spent a lot of time on set filming many different kind of scenes, taken directly from the original story or… not.

Fili does use a rope in Mirkwood and it’s a nice piece of story-telling.

But we got to see nothing of this. As we did not see many other things, and were presented with plenty of other completely made-up story lines (apart from the material taken from the Appendices, such as the Dol Guldur subplot): some good (Bard and his children), some average (Azog turned into the big villain of the story), some.. bad (the excessive importance given to Tauriel and Legolas in the final film).

I am under the impression that they did not trust the potential of the Dwarves.

They did not imagine that people could actually fall for Dwarves, these 13 Dwarves at least. And they added something else, just in case. But many people did fall in love. I did.

More fighting  Durins, less flying Elves.