20 The Dwarves’ Lament
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
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.”