Thranduil’s Gems and Scar | Middle-earth Lore


One of the commenters on my channel, CD, said
“Maybe we can see some videos on Thranduil. His relationship with the dwarves and his
gems of lasgalen. Actually I was wondering what he was referring to when talking about
the serpents of the north?” Thanks for the question.
So today’s video is something in which we learn from the behind the scenes commentary
of the Hobbit films. Everything that happened to Thranduil, his wife, the gems, the scar
on his face, that was all purely made up by Peter Jackson and his crew and is not in the
books at all. Therefore it is not canon. The thing they drew inspiration from that is in
the books, is the Elvenking that was of course in it and Thingol, Luthien’s father who was
the woodland King. They felt they needed to make this character who they were bringing
to life have more dimensions to him and thus they needed to essentially amalgamate characters
and add on a whole story arch, which I thought was one of the best things about the films
and unfortunately, some of the best parts to do with his story were cut out.
Now, like Thranduil, Thingol was very arrogant. He was also someone who had a certain taste
for jewels and in the Elvenking’s case it was “especially for silver and white gems”.
And so, they decided to deepen the story a bit by given a reason as to why Thranduil
was so adamant on getting his white gems from the mountain and they wanted to give him a
reason to go to the mountain “without it feeling greedy” as writer and co-producer, Philippa
Boyens, put it. And the reason he wanted to retrieve them so desperately was because they
once belonged to his deceased wife. And according to this film, it’s one of the
reasons why the elves and the dwarves have a rivalry in the first place. Because when
the dwarves crafted it and offered it to the elves, either the elves did not give them
the rightful pay or the dwarves stole it from them. This was a concept that was inspired
by one of the reasons that these races have bad blood and this scene was one of the ones
(as mentioned earlier) that were deleted. Which in my opinion would have added to the
recurring theme and foreshadowing of “how friendships of people can be lost” as seen
within Thorin and Bilbo later on in the trilogy (for example).
The other great scene that directly relates to this that was cut out was the scene were
Gandalf tells Thranduil “those gems were not all your wife left you my friend… She left
you a Son. Tell me, which would she have you value more?” Those 15 seconds would’ve helped
the audience understand Thranduil’s true motivation and he would have been a fully developed character
by that point who finally has a resolve at the end when he talks to his son, Legolas
Greenleaf. Moving on to the question “I was wondering
what he was referring to when talking about the serpents of the north?” Well again this
was something that was added to the backstory. In short what this scene implies is that Thranduil
has been through a great deal of pain and trauma and those serpents of the north are
firedrakes that he has faced (no pun intended). And the reason that it’s so painful (at
least what we can assume) is because not only does he remember the pain of the scar itself
but also he is constantly reminded of the loss of his wife.
Thank you all so much for watching! If you enjoyed this video, please leave a ‘like’.
Let me know in the comments down below what you think of Thranduil as a character and
until next time, I bid you farewell!

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