Over the last few months there has been quite a bit of speculation over the interwebs about how many of the Dwarves will die in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Ringer Haladin has sent us this little tit-bit in from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicle, Cloak & Daggers in the Cartography and Calligraphy section (Pg 32 – 33), image #16. The image is a letter to Bilbo on the occasion of his 111th birthday.
Spoiler warning, for those who haven’t read The Hobbit book, don’t read on.
Greetings from under the mountain! Many years have passed since we have enjoyed the company of our honest burglar, but we send our best wishes from afar on the occasion of your Eleventy-first birthday. Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Gloin at your service!
Most of us are too old to attempt the journey to The Shire, indeed Bombur is now almost immovable, and it takes six young Dwarves to lift him from couch to table.
But the roads are good (the Beornings keep open the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock, but their tolls are high), so if you ever pass this way we welcome you with open arms.
At your service as always,
Haladin points out that “I miss there Thorin (we all know what happened to him), Balin (died in 2994 in Moria), Ori (the same as Balin), Oin (died in 2994 LOTR ROTK appendix A), Fili and Kili.
I think they will die in the Battle of Five Armies movie, because that letter was used in the third movie.”
So, it looks like further proof that Thorin, Fili and Kili do die in BoTFA and only those three of the Dwarves, the rest go on to live their lives as listed in the ROTK Appendices and The Fellowship of The Ring.
There are two dates of importance here: when Balin and co leave for Moria, and the date of Bilbo’s farewell feast. The former occurs in TA 2989 and the latter in TA 3001.
So, if the movie follows canon, then… why would Balin, Ori, and Oin not sign?
The only reasons that spring to mind are that either they’re holding a grudge against Bilbo (inconceivable), or they’re all dead.
But we know that Balin at least must travel to Moria. His tomb is there in the Fellowship of the Ring movie. Because Jackson at least wants to follow his own internal movie canon (he persistently talks about how he wants all six films “of a piece”), I think this is immovable. Balin must and will survive.
The shock value of knocking off an extra two dwarves when no-one expects it would be pretty amazing.
However, I don’t feel it automatically follows that the other two perish at the Battle of Five Armies. It could instead mean that the trio have already left for Moria. Occam’s Razor ‘n all that.