Thoughts on Thorin


I was watching The Two Towers this afternoon–the second film in the LOTR trilogy–and naturally, I was thinking about the world’s tallest dwarf.

Richard Armitage channeling his inner Thorin. It always amazes me how wide he can open that expressive mouth of his.

I found myself paying particular attention to Gimli the dwarf, played by John Rhys-Davies. Davies has said the makeup process for the three films was less than enjoyable.  Since it was only his voice that particularly resembled him once he was out of the makeup chair, I can see why.

If  ladies world-wide were chasing John after the first LOTR film, imagine what they will do to Richard. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t imagine.

John Rhys-Davies as Gimli in LOTR.



English: British actor John Rhys-Davies at the...

English: British actor John Rhys-Davies at the Lord of the Rings-Convention Ring*Con 2003 in Bonn, Germany. Deutsch: Der britische Schauspieler John Rhys-Davies auf der Ring*Con 2003 in Bonn, Deutschland. Français : L’acteur britannique John Rhys-Davies à la Ring*Con 2003 à Bonn, en Allemagne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wonder how long Richard has to spend each day getting his Thorin hair, makeup and prosthetics into place (and then getting out of it all)? We know he’s a guy who doesn’t like to fuss about his appearance in RL. But he is also a professional who wants to get all the details right, so I am sure he undergoes the process with grace and good humor. And considering what some of the other actors playing dwarves in TH have to undergo for their comical looks, he may very well count himself lucky.

Richard from one of the earlier video blogs, getting his fierce on in rehearsals.

His look has evolved somewhat from the earliest glimpses we had of Thorin.  The hooked nose seems to have been modified; we know adjustments were made to allow his mouth and jaw greater mobility. I am very glad of this because Mr. A has a marvelously expressive face. He also has a very regal-looking countenance  to go with that regal bearing. His character is, after all, the uncrowned King Under the Mountain.

They opted for Richard’s own facial hair rather than a long false beard, a change which disturbs certain purists. However, I am sure Richard’s magnificent mane of hair is enough to contend with (I will be interested to see what sort of hair acting he will bring to the role).

In the end, it is not the beard that makes the dwarf; it’s the actor inhabiting the role.  And I would say Thorin is in safe hands with Richard.

There’s that wonderful rawr Mr. A does so well. Hooray for a mobile face not saddled with too much makeup and prosthetics.

One of the things I anticipate about Comic-Con next month in San Diego is getting to see more of Thorin in a sneak peek. Apparently the largest conference room at Comic-Con is equipped to show films in 3D.  I can’t wait to drink it all in!!

And speaking of Comic-Con, donations are being taken to help fund my dream trip. Use the donate button on the right to contribute through PayPal or contact me if you want to go a different route. Asilomar is also offering her beautiful sterling silver jewelry as part of this fundraising effort. The winged heart reminds me of Mr. A, and how he makes our hearts and spirits soar. “Do you want to give your heart wings? And fedoralady wings?” The necklaces are $35 including the cost of shipping and are made to order in the length you specify.



19 responses »

  1. “Hair acting”, I love it. I know you are going to have a great time at Comic-Con. I wanted to go so bad this year, so I’m glad someone I know is and that you’re going to be sharing what you encounter!!!!!

  2. I love that picture of Richard with his mouth open in a roar.

    I am so glad that I took the time to read The Hobbit on Sunday. Now I understand that scene with everyone in the barrels. Richard sure looks sexy in that water. I actually find Richard the most sexy wearing clothes instead of when he is bare chested. He is sexy as heck in a shirt, jacket and cravat.

    I bet Richard was very good natured about the daily makeup process.

    I am kind of a purist too. I like movies based on books to be as close to the book as possible. However, in the case of The Hobbit I can understand how such long beards would hamper filming. In the book the beards are really super long which is not practically for the filming of a movie.

  3. Hi Angie, I’ve been trying to leave comments from my laptop but they all disappeared without a trace straight after I pressed the “post comment” button. 😦 A case for Sherlock? I’m writing this comment from my old PC hoping it’ll get through! I agree with you regarding the prosthetics and beard on Thorin, glad they decided to go with the look we’ve seen in the vlogs. He’s not only the world’s tallest dwarf, but also the handsomest, hands down!

  4. I love the pictures, especially the roaring ones!! Richard is going to be wonderful as Thorin. And, I sure hope that the Hobbit turns out to be a big hit. For some reason, I have been thinking that the changes they’re making (examples: new characters; bringing back ones from LOTR who are not suppose to be in TH; and having Kili have a crush on Tauriel the elf who is another character NOT in TH, etc.), will ruin it. ;( I just keep hearing little things like the above examples that make me somewhat worried. However, I’m sure hoping that I’m 100% wrong and that this nagging feeling is just RA protective Mode at work! I am definitely waiting until it comes out to judge it. I just want it to be wonderful for Richard’s sake.

    • We have to also remember that there were departures taken from the books in the making of LOTR trilogy. Some of those changes people argued over and complained about– but in the end, the films were still critical and commercial successes. The core, the heart of The Hobbit (book) appears to be intact.

      • I know! I love the Trilogy even though some things were of course changed from the books. But I’m reading Hobbit stuff and Richard stuff which is all swirling around and that little tiny thought in the back of my head keeps poking me. But it’s all centered around Richard! Like I said, trying to protect someone who I don’t even know and who doesn’t need protecting by the likes of me! I know, crazy, but there it is! Armitage Protection Mode!! 😉

    • I’m convinced that PJ is very shrewd and that the reasons for the changes they made are at least partially commercial, not artistic. It is not so much about his vision of the Hobbit, but about a version that appeals to the broadest possible audience and is likely to make the most money. And having RA play Thorin and look like he does, and not like a geriatric version of Gimli, is definetely part of the plan. However so far I don’t object to any of the changes we have learned about. Why not make it looks as good and as spectacular as possible and expand the story within what makes sense. On the other hand I feel slightly uncomfortable about the motives.

        • Purists may be angry that PJ included a warrior chick and some hot dwarves, and feel THEY don’t need them to enjoy the story, but hopefully, if the characters are well-drawn and fit into the story, they will add to the appeal for many. I like a female character among a bunch of hairy guys, I also like that female character to be pretty and “modern” and get a little romance.

  5. Just knowing just a little about the process, my guess is three hours to get everything on and maybe two to get it off. These days the prosthetics are fairly comfortable, and the adhesive doesn’t wreck your skin. Modern makeup blends them into one’s skin tone. You can do almost anything except scratch at them. It’s the hair extensions that take time (and pain), even if there are sneaky little braids to which they can be anchored in groups. Then all that hair has to be styled. I’ve heard of actors showing up for an early makeup call and sleeping through most of the process.

  6. I feel that Peter Jackson’s reputation as a genius filmmaker will be the cause of huge audiences in the theaters watching The Hobbit. A lot of people love the book as well, so their curiosity will make them go to see it. Peter’s choice to play Bilbo Bagins is a very good one. I thoroughly saw him in my mind’s eye as I was reading the book. Thorin Oakenshield in the book did not remind me of RA in the movie, but of course, I LOVE him in it anyway.

    I am very interested in knowing after everything is wrapped up how much it cost to make this movie.

    • I think, as with LOTR, there will be far more people who will enjoy the movie and be quite satisfied with Sir Peter’s vision than otherwise. You will always have a few sour grapes in the bunch. And yes, I expect the audiences to turn out in droves. I am sure the costs will likely run over their estimates, but I do know the two movies are slated to be the most expensive of all time.

      • “the most expensive of all time” is rather imprecise because it doesn’t tell you how the comparison was made. It doesn’t tell you what currency or what year, adjusted for inflation or year-of-expenditure (YOE) money. Yet I feel certain it will do much more than break even.

        • True. They had figures but I cannot recall the exact amount, it’s been a long time since I read it. That’s why GWTW is still the box office champ. It didn’t take in the hundreds of millions of dollars of contemporary films, but when you take into account inflation, it sold a huge number of tickets and put more audience members in the seats.

      • When they did start filming, I read something about $550m, but that is for both films, so one film won’t exactly be the most expensive ever, but still close to the top. A LOT of people will have to watch this movie to make it a financial success. And I think the purists that are alienated by any changes are only a small part of the intended audience, most of them won’t be passionate about Tolkien at all.

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