Richard smouldering into the camera during the shooting of the scene where he confronts the very-much-not-dead Pale Orc.
I’ve been reading the comments left over at DJ’s blog, Heirs of Durin, on a guest post by Anjy Roemelt celebrating the brotherhood and spirit of Thorin and his company of dwarves. I admit I especially enjoy the comments that pay homage to Thorin and to his Creator, Richard Armitage (yes, I know you are totally surprised at that).
I continue to be delighted over the impact this ChaRActer, and ultimately, the Creator, is having on people of all ages around the world. Richard’s majestic presence, his use of body language and those mesmerizing eyes through which he is able to express so much about his character, not to mention that amazing, deep, rich voice–which simply cannot be replicated by dubbing actors, sorry.
Here’s what a German-speaking fan and mother of young children had to say. These comments are as written; I have italicized some passages.
(Melian commenting at Heirs of Durin on post “What’s So Special About These Dwarves?)
“I was in fear about the changing of Thorins character in part 3 when I started to deal with his character deeper but now I am not. To come closer to Thorins character made my understanding of his deeds and the reasons for as big that I cant imagine now to turn away from him because of his acts in the last part. I will feel with him and will be sorry and sad but I will not judge him, I am very sure of it
. What you told about perfection is the same I also think. Aragorn is perfect to adore him but too perfect to identify with him, he is a hero almost without faults and thats impossible to be. Another character in another movie told once a quote fitting well to that fact: “There are no perfect human beeings…only perfect intensions” (Azeem out of “Robin Hood, King of Thieves” Thats why we love Thorin: He is not as perfect, he has the same fault like we have, he does the same mistakes we do, he makes the same wrong decisions we make sometimes…and thats why he is our hero , a character so close to ours that we can see us in him…
I had to smile reading about your sons obsession….I have a son of now 8 and a daughter of 5…and both are infected with her mothers Hobbit-obsession, to the eyerolling amusement of my husband too. My son get read the book when he was 5 and he felt the end is sad and unfair…now he is reading the Hobbit himself…as the first book he will read ever….other children learn to reads with a fairy-tale maybe…..my son with Tolkien….lol….and he never forgot about the end!
After more than 2 years he remembered and brought up that subject again….and so his little sister realized about too…she was also crying then and telling thats terrible sad and unfair. I have to say both saw the movie (except the war-scenes I wiped out of course) and both loved it…they know most of the english scenes and the whole movie in German…although they cant speak english they understand all scenes and can speak in German what is happen in english…every evening they want to see some scenes…and want to speak about it.
Both of them love Thorin…my daughter likes another figure every week but Thorin stays on the top…..and often she ask me about that end…WHY??? Knowing nothing about psychology, seeing a grumpy and harsh Thorin in the movie they even understand his essence…only by feeling… ..I found your part about the translation very good…they may use the right words but it is not the same!
First is that no German speaker is able to copy the deepth and expression of Richards voice…its not his fault because its simply impossible to reach….but some scenes have a totally changed atmosphere in German compared with the original, as Thorin and the Goblinking, the scene with the map and Elrond in Rivendell or even the Carrock-scene.
Since I saw it first time in english I adore Richard even more…his voice for acting is extraordinary like Freddy Mercury`s was for singing…nearly nobody could reach that score…It makes the beautiful parts even more beautiful …but the sad parts more sad too…”
A portion of Misty’s comment:
” . . . This is not the little story I expected, but something stunning, mesmerizing,
Except that at the beginning, when Thorin entered at Bag End,
I thought, my goodness, this is a KING, with capital letters and with all what
it means, but then the way he talked to Bilbo looking down on him, disappointed
me for a few minutes and I thought that the much he looks awesome the arrogant
he is and if I have to be watching this guy for almost three hours I would go
And then came the scene when he says “I would take each and every one of
these dwarves over an army from the Iron Hills” and that he had no choice, only
to make me realize that I have never been so wrong in all my life, and to be
angry with myself for judging by first impression.
And of course by the end of the film I was obsessed. And still I am.
As much as I have never been with any
character in all my life and as much as I myself would have never expected. And
as you say, no sign of cooling down.
And this obsession is not only due to a handsome face (though it would of course
be foolish to deny that it adds a good deal). It is more due to Thorin’s character.
We do not fall in love with Aragorn
(or at least I never did – though of course liked him). Because he is so
‘perfect’, judging by human standards.
We fall in love with Thorin. Because he is not so ‘perfect’ by Aragorn’s standards.
But he is perfect for us. Because he is more HUMAN.
With all the nobility and flaws going with it. And HUMAN also
means having flaws, making mistakes sometimes, reacting to situations not always
in the best manner or as others would expect us… That is why he is so close to
us. And I think he can be loved even more for those.
He can be loved because he proved himself to deserve and be worth to be loved.
So let me put it this way: I
would risk to take it even this far (and I have made a similar comment elsewhere
on the site): ‘king’ is a title, in the sense of ranks.
But primarily he is a person, just like you or me.
And are there any persons who never make mistakes?
And if your answer is no (I guess it is), then why criticize Thorin for making
I would not dare to quote what my husband says about all this,
especially now that my six-year-old (OK, almost seven) son has also become a
He himself has seen the film at least three times (and me… I do not
even know now, how many times) and is still begging me to see it even more. And
he also asked me to read out the book for him. And he often comes up to me
saying: ‘Mom, let us talk about The Hobbit.’ And I try my best to explain him
things and he remembers them the next day, in three days time, in a week’s
Of course after the film I could not wait to purchase the book and read
it both in the original and on my mother tongue. Imagine me, I did not know
before the film made me dig deep into the issue what the end of the story would
be, and I was totally shocked when I found out.
And imagine my son, when he
found out that they would die, he cried for like twenty minutes. And sometimes
he still asks me whether I was sure that it has to be this way, whether the film
could end differently…
After having seen the film in my mother tongue (of
course it was in Hungarian in the cinema) I could not wait either to watch in
the original, to hear the original voices (Richard’s is just mesmerizing), and
also to find out about the original words used, as sometimes they are not
properly translated or even if they are, I mean the words used in the
translation are correct, still they cannot reflect the same feeling (and I did
My son, who does not speak English (yet – only a few words),
watched the film in Hungarian, but then he also watched it with me in English as
well, just to be part of the original.”
There are many more interesting comments at the blog, which is linked here:http://thorinoakenshield.net/2013/05/13/whats-so-special-about-these-dwarves/
I look at the growth in the fan base, seen through comments such as these, along with new FB pages, blogs and other social media devoted to Thorin Oakenshield, and I know that Richard’s dream of bringing this character to life on screen has been resoundingly successful. I hope the newly obsessed will also go on to discover his work in earlier roles, to study Porter and North, Thornton and Gisborne, and outstanding turns in supporting roles such as John Standring in Sparkhouse, Ricky Deeming in George Gently and Percy Courtney in Marie Lloyd. Oh, such wealth there is to discover, my friends!
- More Thorin Thursday: The CReAtor beneath the dwarven exterior (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- ‘I would definitely go to the mountain.’ RA answers fan questions for WB (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- A ‘handy’ post: RA talks dealing with prosthetic digits in ‘Chronicles’ (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- Where do you sign up to be Thorin’s hair wrangler? (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- A Fan’s First-Hand Experience at RA’s Sydney Q&A: A Must-Read! (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)