20 The Dwarves’ Lament

The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney

SFX - - Greatest middle-earth moments -

The Hob­bit is, of course, a chil­dren’s book, and Tolkien filled it with songs, some of them rather silly. Which is why, after the Dwarves who have just gate­crashed Bilbo’s peace­ful Hob­bit hole sing a merry song about wash­ing dishes, it’s a wel­come re­lief to hear them sing “Misty Moun­tains” – a dark, brood­ing lament for their lost home. It turns them from car­toon char­ac­ters to liv­ing, breath­ing pro­tag­o­nists, and thus is a hugely im­por­tant mo­ment. Thorin’s voice ( be­cause yes, Richard Ar­mitage did sing it) is filled with just the right amount of yearn­ing to make Bilbo, in the next room, think twice about stay­ing home...

Bilbo has no hat and no beard. Bilbo is sad. “Chaps, I think we need to have a word with Bo­fur about his hat.”

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