Is Thorin a Heoric Leader

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Is Thorin a Heroic Leader?
What is a heroic leader? A heroic leader is one that remains focused on the cause. Heroic leaders will die for what they believe in. Heroic leaders possess virtues of honor, loyalty, altruism, and selflessness. Heroic leaders will remain faithful to the mission. In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, is Thorin a heroic leader? Thorin is the leader of a group of 12 dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf who desire to steal back their long lost treasure from the evil dragon Smaug. The group convinces the coach potato Bilbo, a hobbit, to join them in their crusade. Overconfident and stubborn Thorin lacks the characteristics and virtues of a heroic leader as the group stumbles upon many obstacles and dangers throughout their mission. But, is Thorin, in any sense, a heroic leader? Do his actions make him deserving of his death at the end?

Right from the beginning, Thorin lacked the authority and respect of the group. He showed no signs of a heroic leader in one of his first encounters with danger. When the group ran into a ruthless thunderstorm in the Misty Mountains, Gandalf found a primitive shelter under a hanging rock. Lacking the courage to go out and seek a better shelter himself, Thorin instead complained that "this won't do at all" (Tolkien 57). The group proceeded to argue over who will go out and find a better shelter. Thorin was unwise, squabbled, and lacked courage in the face of a thunderstorm. This is not what a heroic leader does. No, Thorin is not a heroic leader.

Throughout the entire journey, Thorin himself, complained, got depressed, his group argued regularly, and they got captured several times. While being held captive in the Elvinking's dungeon, Thorin "was too wretched to be angry any longer" (Tolkien 175) and was even thinking about spilling the beans to the enemy about the treasure. Thorin lost all hope in the cause. A heroic leader doesn't give up even in the face of a hopeless situation....
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