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Riddles in the Dark 2.02: Where’s Poppa?

It’s All About Thrain on Riddles in the Dark!

Professor Corey Olsen, Dave Kale, and Trish Lambert wonder what happened to Thrain and what we will learn about him in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Trish and Corey have a throwdown about “dragon sickness.” Plus Corey brings in a real twist ending, so be sure to listen before you vote!

Download: .mp3 (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)


RIDDLE 2.02: Where is Thrain now (i.e. in “real time” in the movie)?

A. Dead (book answer).
B. Alive and imprisoned in Dol Guldur.
C. Alive and imprisoned elsewhere.
D. Alive and not a prisoner.
E. This will not be answered on-screen.

Many thanks to the Lonely Mountain Band for allowing our use of their wonderful music to accompany the episodes. Season 2 sees excerpts from their new album “Songs of the Dwarves.” Intro: Battle of Azanulbizar; Outro: The Sevenfold Meeting.


  1. Mr. Underhill January 30, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    {A.} Dead.

  2. Tony Meade January 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    A. He’s dead.

    Gandalf says that he got the map and key from Thrain, which means that he met Thrain and knows his fate. If Thrain were now alive, and Gandalf knew that, it would prevent Thorin from being able to inherit the throne of King Under The Mountain. That’s kind of a big piece of information that Gandalf would need to tell Thorin. Since he doesn’t, then there’s nothing, in terms of inheritance, standing between Thorin and becoming King.

    There is that dragon, though…

  3. Falling January 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    B) Alive and imprisoned

    I would say at the very least Dol Guldor- imprisoned or wandering B.5/ B.D

    Here’s my guess on how it will play out. Radagast’s info got shutdown by Saruman and Elrond and that basically nixes any Dol Guldor foray as things currently stands. The book reason for Gandalf leaving doesn’t stand. (Planned all along to leave before Mirkwood.) Gandalf needs an urgent reason to leave the group.

    I suspect then, that the state of Mirkwood is what is going to send Gandalf down south. Either as soon as they hit Mirkwood or else after travelling for a certain amount of time. Gandalf then goes hurrying south to Dol Guldor, runs into Thrain either a wandering mad-dwarf or imprisoned. I don’t know what exactly Thrain will impart to Gandalf, but I think then Gandalf will be truly alarmed at what he finds there and the White Council will regather.

    If the dragon is not killed in the Second, then the White Council battle will be the climatic battle. If the dragon is killed in the Second, then the it they will probably inter-cut it like Helm’s Deep and the Ents.

  4. Feorhund February 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    This may have helped guide some of the speculation.

  5. Murray February 5, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Alive but not a prisoner. Once the Ring was taken from him, the Necromancer no longer cared about him. As for how Thrain’s being alive is learned, Radagast would seem a more likely candidate than Beorn to have become aware of him wandering near Dol Goldur and alert Gandalf.

  6. Hamfast March 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    (A) Dead, having previously been a prisoner in Dol Guldur.

    At no point during the film does Gandalf imply he hasn’t been to Dol Guldur in the past. I think he met Thrain there, prior to the unexpected party, for the following reasons:

    – Gandalf talks about the woodsmen telling him about the Necromancer, an idea he dismissed prior to Radagast showing him the Morgul blade. This implies he’s had some interest in Dol Guldur for a while.
    – Boyens has said that scene with Gandalf getting the key from Thrain were cut from the first film, that we’ll be seeing them in DoS and that they will involve torture.
    – Bolg is described as ‘the chief torturer in Dol Guldur.’

    I think Gandalf went to Dol Guldur to investigate in the past but the Necromancer has hidden from him through fear that being detected will lead to a White Council attack before he’s regained his strength. However, in hiding he overlooked Thrain who escaped and encountered Gandalf there.

    Gandalf falling to mention this in the unexpected party could be explained by the fact he doesn’t want Thorin to be distracted from the quest and the dragon by Dol Guldur.

  7. Michael Lucero March 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Hmm…Look at these two images together, and tell me what you think. Considering the similar nose, prominent eyebrow ridge, deep-set eyes, and prominent cheeks, I think this first image (Gandalf’s attacker in Dol Guldor from the trailer) could easily be the same actor, and therefore almost certainly the same character, as the second image, which is a production image of Thrain and some other dwarves.

    Am I the only one seeing the resemblance?

  8. Halstein October 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I would like to have A, here. However, with what have been mention above, I will have to go with B (Alive and imprisoned in Dol Guldur). Too many hints pointing to B. There will be strange, if all this would be flashbacks.



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