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Old 12-18-2013, 02:57 AM   #1
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
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Thorin's Heir

Hello everyone,
Last night after some of our discussion about The Hobbit I was thinking about the Line of the Durin's Folk, and it occurred to me that Thorin II Oakenshield was the first King of Durin's Folk since at least the reign of Durin VI to not have a son of his own to inherit the kingship.

It seems that his oldest nephew, Fíli, was his natural heir to succeed him upon his death. Along with lacking children, Thorin was unmarried.

So why was Thorin the first in his line in about a thousand years to have neither wife nor progeny of his own?

Here are a couple of suggestions which occur:
"As for the men, very many also do not desire marriage, being engrossed in their crafts."
Regarding Thorin: "a great anger without hope burned him as he smote the red iron on the anvil."
Thorin was "an heir without hope."

Did his desire for vengeance on Smaug, one which apparently also occupied his thoughts while he was "engrossed in his crafts" preclude him from having an heir? Was he too focused on his stolen birthright to take an interest in marriage? Fíli was born in 2859, when Thorin was 113 years old. Christopher Tolkien observes (although frustratingly without a direct quote) his father writing in draft material for Appendix A that "Dwarves marry late, seldom before they are ninety or more." When Thorin was of marrying age, he now had a male nephew to be his heir - would this have made him feel less obliged to have a son of his own, as his fathers had done before him? If the odds of Dwarves reproducing are as low as they are purported to be (only one-third of the population women, and neither all women nor all men willing to marry), would the birth of a nephew have been fortuitous for a Dwarf King like Thorin, brooding on the wrongs done to his House?

What are your thoughts on this rather unique situation for an otherwise unbroken line of descent for ten generations of the House of Durin? Was, perhaps, the loss of Erebor, followed by the inglorious murder of Thrór and his father's disappearance too much for Thorin, at which time he abandoned much hope for the future of his people, only to be rekindled upon meeting Gandalf at Bree significantly later in his life?
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Last edited by Zigûr; 12-18-2013 at 03:04 AM.
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