Category Archives: films

So, I’ve ordered the book.



IMG_2129-632x290Top photo courtesy of and bottom photo courtesy of

I always seem to read any books on which RA’s projects are based (although I did not make it all the way through the novel Strike Back, I confess), so it’s no big surprise that I ordered a used paperback of the Bernard Hare book on which RA’s upcoming film Urban and the Shed Crew is based.  Published in 2005, the book was both a critical and commercial success. I think I will actually finish this one. It’s coming from the U.K. so it will take a month or so.

RA’s character “Chop” is based on author Hare’s own experiences as a disillusioned man trying to clean up his life and help an illiterate runaway nicknamed Urban and others of his ilk on Leed’s poorest streets back in the 1990s.


Hare, a native of the Yorkshire mining town, had himself left his job and turned to drugs and drink by the time he encountered Urban. Just judging from what I have read in synopses and reviews, this role sounds as if it offers elements of John Porter ( a man fallen on hard times and seeking a sort of redemption) and the soldier character leading a band of children to safety that he was slated to play in the “Charlie” film.  Bernard “Chop” Hare is described as an “unlikely savior,” and as I’ve said, I suspect the role is just the sort of thing RA relishes sinking those rather lovely teeth right into.

Blenheim Films, is a well-regarded production company in the UK “dedicated to producing films with integrity.” I like the sound of that, personally.  A small film, not a blockbuster with a huge budget and elaborate special effects. A film about people, struggle, tragedy, transformation and the resilience of the human spirit.

Here’s the real-life Chop and Urban engaged in a chess game, courtesy of the “Urban and the Shed” Crew Facebook Page.


So–are you planning to read the book? And what do you think about this project for RA?

Thorin Therapy: All Hail the HAIR!


With the recent photos of RA’s growing Mullet of Magnificence, thoughts turn to Thorin’s long and flowing tresses, the sort of hair many a female would envy (and many long to run their dainty little fingers through, to braid and unbraid . . . *sigh*) Yes, ’tis a wig, but RA works that marvelous mane, baby and makes it, like the character, his own.

There’s nothing like Thorin and his . . . HAIR. Hallelujah, I adore it!

(all photo edits are by fedoralady. Please credit if posting elsewhere. Thank you!)








Richard and I, wondering what’s next?


Production on The Hobbit trilogy, in terms of filming, is steadily winding down; in recent days, many of the actors have tweeted and posted messages announcing they have wrapped on the project. Peter Jackson posted these photos and message today.


Tonight Martin Freeman finished his last shot as Bilbo Baggins. The end of an incredible two and a half years. I cannot imagine anyone else in this role – a character that Martin has nurtured and crafted with love and great skill.
We have… said goodbye to our elves, humans, wizards and now the hobbit. We now enter our final 2 weeks of pick-ups, and it’s wall to wall dwarves. These pick-ups have been gruelling and intense, but I’m so happy with what we’ve been shooting. These next two movies are going to be pretty great!
Benedict “Smaug” Cumberbatch checking out Martin’s Bilbo feet.
I look ahead to the day when the dwarves wrap and Richard, perhaps, makes a little speech on their behalf, and I feel myself getting all choked up. What an amazing journey it has been for these folks, cast and crew alike, and I can only imagine what an emotional moment that will be.
Richard in Thorin gear, posing with his favorite makeup artist, the talented Tami Lane. I think those two have established a firm friendship.
There’s got to be euphoric feelings; that sense of accomplishment, great pride in what you’ve created together, many wonderful memories of experiences shared. Mixed with those must be a certain sadness that it’s  largely over for the actors. (Plenty of post-production work to come, I am sure, by those busy beavers at the studio . . )
Yes, there will be the publicity juggernauts before the remaining films’ premieres and prior to the release of the DVDs, gatherings at Comic-Con and various fan events; still, it won’t be the same. It never is. Life moves on. Richard Armitage moves on.
What’s next? We know from Tweets today by Todd Garner and other involved with Black Sky, the film RA shot last summer in Michigan, that the film was screened last night. No release date yet, but it’s surely looking a lot more promising now.  Don’t know about you, but it can’t happen fast enough for me.

I am in a state of flux myself; still working to get the video production company established, trying to do my best to raise the profile and raise funds for our humane society and all the good it does in our county, maintaining my presence in Armitage World and attending to my pets and husband(who still hasn’t gone to the doctor, and the fever is BACK) and occasionally to this house, which looks like it was hit by the Black Sky tornado.  I now maintain/assist with four FB pages, a business website and blog, personal blog, have Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest accounts, and am about to start rehabbing the Humane Society website.  If I kept up with all this properly, it would be a full-time job, I do believe. But (most of it) doesn’t pay too well. 😉

Now I have been invited to return on a part-time basis to my old newspaper to write a bi-monthly column and do some stringer reporting along the way as I am out and about. They want my name and face and words to be a presence there again; I don’t mind admitting I have missed it. And readers have told me I have been missed. And I will get paid.

I have also been trying to take better care of myself.


And this is true. I am done with diets. Been there, done there, lost lots of weight, gained it all back and a lot more. The extra pounds I am carrying are detrimental to my general health and wellbeing and they exacerbate my FMS, not to mention issues with blood pressure and my heart. I don’t need a quick fix or to follow some crash diet I cannot possibly maintain. I need to make sensible, permanent changes.

I’ve been following the DASH plan, which is designed to help lower blood pressure. I eat a lot less processed stuff, more fresh fruits and veggies, whole wheat breads, low-fat dairy, lean meats, watch the sugar, salt and fat consumption . . . nothing complicated. DASH isn’t a diet as such, yet I have already lost several pounds. I’ve been walking when the weather would allow it and doing some isometric exercises indoors. Overall, I feel better. I am in it for the long haul.

I don’t know exactly what is around the corner for me; good things, I hope. Better days ahead, I like to think.

I certainly don’t know what is to come for Richard Armitage. Another role in a blockbuster film, work in a smaller, more intimate indie, a return to television, to the stage, more voice-over work . . . only he knows. And he’s not telling.  But I don’t expect him to rest on his laurels for too long, that beautiful and talented workaholic.


Whatever paths he chooses on his journey, I wish him well. God bless you, RA. looking forward to seeing you in Black Sky whenever it does happen and to your return as the majestic Thorin in December.  Live your dreams and continue going from strength to strength, my dear fellow. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

Elves with the giggles: oh, Sir Peter, you sweetie



Sir Peter is being his usual loveable, mischievous self again and posting things like the video (see link above) featuring Evangeline, Orlando and Lee in costume reacting with great merriment to watching a video of two excited fans reacting to . . . watching a vid. It’s delightful!  Lots of great cheekbones and smile to enjoy here, too. 😉 Thanks, Sir Peter and the gang.

Just had to share these for Thorin Thursday.




More charming and saucy Thorin/RA inspired fanart from Facebook via Tumblr.  Oh, Cbeebies Thorin and the lads!  Please note the careful addition of Orcrist to the portrait of Naked Calendar Thorin. *ahem*

379723_364553726979124_761345974_n  And from Tanni Tani’s Hobbit Cats project–these handsome pair of alluring felines. 😉

And this gorgeous piece of fanart by Kimberly from Facebook of Thorin and his grandfather.



And my own Thorin photo edit. Happy Thorin Thursday, y’all!

Somewhere over the rainbow . . . you’ll find RA and the gang



The lovely Graham McTavish shared this photo on Twitter tonight, saying, “This is a view from our base camp on one of our locations for The Hobbit. This is really what NZ looks like!”

A beautiful country. A gigantic film trilogy that feels like the world’s “biggest home movie,” the first film a worldwide success with fans counting down the days until the next installment. A small city of people putting their skills and talents to work in what appears to be a labor of love.

I am certain there are squabbles and flares of temper and days when people are so tired they can hardly see straight.  In spite of the varied creatures they play, they are, after all, only human.

Still, to do something you really love, something that captivates you and motivates you–that is a joyous experience.


And to do it all in a place that looks like that. Your brain would have to be feeling pretty joyous!

And the friendships they’ve developed must be so special. Not surprised to hear Graham say he was worn out from all the hugging they did upon their reunion in New Zealand.  I’ve become incredibly fond of the gang, as I think of them; the feeling amongst them seems to be the same.

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Richard Armitage in his Thorin guise giving makeup and prosthetic artist Tami Lane a hug. Of course, we are NOT envious.


Have a wonderful time, Richard, in that glorious land called New Zealand.  Goodness knows, you deserve every minute of it.

The Power of a Character: Thorin conquers the world



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… 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,
amazing, awesome.

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
massive fan.


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
detect some).

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:

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!

‘Black Sky’ is ‘back on track.’Sounds good to me!

Hooray! This tweet showed up on Twitter last night from Black Sky producer Todd Garner. It seems post-production is “back on track” after being derailed by the bankruptcy woes of Rhythm and Hues, the SFX company handling the film’s special effects.  Good news indeed!

Todd Garner     Todd Garner@Todd_Garner                            12h

Getting back on track. #BlackSky

Methinks I spy Richard Armitage as Gary Morris in this clip seen on the monitor, described by co-star Nathan Kress as one of the “most intense shots” of the upcoming tornado disaster flick.

I knew I woke up before dawn for a reason. Read. this. now. *squee*


PT: It’s remarkable. And the female response to your character and obviously yourself, which I find fundamentally puzzling. I mean, you’re a nice looking bloke, I’m sure you can act a bit.

RA: I can string a sentence together and walk and talk without bumping into the furniture. But that’s about it.

PT: Why?

RA: You know what? You need to point the microphone into the audience. Actually, don’t do that. I don’t know. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve got a really loyal little fan base of very well-educated, well-read ladies. Well I don’t think they’re all ladies. God, you know. But they’re incredibly supportive. I often do a lot of research. I didn’t know I was doing a Q & A screening until I read it on one of the websites and they were booking tickets. I was like, ‘Oh, that’ll be nice. I better brush my hair then’. No, they’re great. They’re really supportive. I try to look after them.

A fantastic  pre Q&A interview by Popcorn Taxi with Richard Armitage has appeared at their site! This one is really a goodie IMHO. Lots of info about the process of getting into his characters mentally and physically, which I always find fascinating.

RA’s relaxed, thoughtful, witty, silly and thoroughly delightful and the interviewer does manage to ask new questions! And not a word about that bloody circus! WIN. Click on the link to read it all:


Have a happy Monday, everyone!

‘I would definitely go to the mountain.’ RA answers fan questions for WB


Here is Warner Brothers Q&A based on fan questions submitted via Twitter. Thanks to Ali at RANet for the heads-up.

Richard. Thank you so much for taking the time. Thank you for having me.

So we have a few questions from the fans if you do mind. Go right ahead.

Dave Cooper asks: Were you envious of any of the other dwarf’s beards? Um. Yes. I have to say that Jed Brophy’s… because it was just this crazy kind of series of platted snakes and it looked fantastic when it was undone. So yes. Jed’s beard. Nori…. He also runs a sushi shop in Erebor.

Really? <Laughs>

Patricia Ryan asks: Did you agree with Peter Jackson’s decision for your character to leave the burning tree and try to fight the goblins, rather than stay up the tree, like in the book? {Thinks}. Yes. I think it was important to show Thorin, at that point in the story, taking control of the situation and rising to his heroic prowess.You know, this is how the king under the mountain… or the potential king under the mountain… would have behaved so yeah I was in agreement.


Peter Stroud asks: How do you cope with fans obsession with your character and associating your person with that character? I think the fans’ obsession with the character is why the fans turn out to see the movie so… you know… it is every character in the story, um, has their own group of fans and it is when you construct a character based on a beloved book that you have that interest so… I don’t mind the association with myself and the character though I don’t feel I am particularly like him in real life.

Merilyn Wigley wants to know: Thorin is a leader by birth so leadership seemingly comes naturally to him, do you consider yourself a natural born leader or is it something you work at? I am more a natural born listener so I have to work at that kind of leadership but, I think, when you are given the sort of goal that the dwarves have it is unachievable without someone who steps up to the plate. Thorin is that guy.


Blaise Terek asks: How long does it take to get all the make-up etc on each day & did you do your own stunts? It takes about three hours from sitting in the chair to walking on set. That prosthetics for an hour and forty five and then the hair takes about forty five and a bit of beard adjustment. I did most of my own stunts. The only things I can’t really do myself are the big falls which we haven’t seen yet but all the wire work I did myself and the fights I did myself, with the help of the stunt double of course.

Janette Hardy has asked: Did you feel nervous stepping into The Hobbit after the huge success of its movie predecessor The Lord of the Rings? Yes I was nervous, but at the same time it was nervous excitement because I love that world, I love the Lord of the Rings movies and walking into Bag End for the first time was both exciting and exhilarating.

Siobhan Lamerton asks if you could have seven people dead or alive over for dinner who would you pick? Wow. Okay. Um. Well if we stick on a movie theme how about Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Alfred Hitcock, Orson Welles and Buster Keaton. I think they would have a good discussion about film. Or an argument.

Alaya Yu said Hi Richard,My question is: if you were Thorin Oakenshield,  would you go to the lonely mountain as in the books and the films or stay in blue mountain creating better life with your people? I would definitely go to the mountain. I think it is very much unfinished business, and I like to think I would set out on the journey with the intention of writing the wrongs of my ancestors… but, I would hope I could resist succumbing to the dragon’s sickness.


Danni Roberts asked: You are such an amazing actor, what was the hardest part of preparing for your role as Thorin? Um, The hardest part of preparing for Thorin was finding the voice for the character and also trying to find his sense of humour. When we meet Thorin he does not really have a lot to laugh about but so addressing that part of his character was very difficult.

Judith  Worrall asks – Richard, playing the part of Thorin Oakenshield has obviously been a wonderful experience for you, no doubt there were good days and other days. Can you tell us a little about this experience, in particular what was your best experience and what was the hardest thing you had to do whilst filming? The first thing that jumps out as the best experience was the day we were taken to the top of a mountain and dumped in the wilderness whilst Andy Serkis flew around us taking aerial shots from a helicopter. That was one of the best days. Most challenging… I think the day we shot the escape from the Goblin tunnels because it was so incredibly hot. We were on the sound stage in the middle of summer, in hot and heavy costumes, there were live flames everywhere and an awful lot of heavy fight work to do so that was a difficult day.

Nat Hart asked:  Mr Armitage,   Of all your acting roles to date, which one have you found the most challenging as an actor? Also which the most rewarding, the most enjoyable? And lastly, of what performance are you proudest? Thank you! Thank you Nat. Um, it sounds like an easy answer but playing Thorin has been the most challenging, if anything just because of the logistics of the shoot, working on the green screen, the weight of the costumes. Then there was the extent of the fight sequences and the fact that it was also different voice and a different face. And it was also the most rewarding. Partly because overcoming all those challenges but also when I sat in the movie house and saw what Peter Jackson had done with the movie, viewing Thorin and not recognizing myself in the role, that was very satisfying.


Catherine Witteveen asked – Which scene was the most difficult to rehearse and then shoot in Unexpected Journey? Why? Well I mentioned the escape from the Goblin caves already but also one of the most difficult scenes was in the prologue when Thorin is fighting at the battle of Azanulbizar, try spelling that one. We had a stunt double and a scale double fighting in the same fight, I had to fight seven orcs at the same time and I hit myself in the face with the shield and put my tooth through my lip but there was not time to stop so we had to keep going and so I did it with a bloody, bleeding lip and that was pretty difficult. Ouch Ouch.

Jenny Lambert wrote in to ask – What ongoing strategies in terms of physical training do you have in place to ensure you protect yourself from injury given the physicality of the role of Thorin? One thing I would do a lot was strap up my ankles with tape, which I think a lot of hikers or runners do. When you are running over uneven ground you can turn an ankle and we were doing that in boots that were very heavy so I did that a lot. We were also in the gym training from January right the way through the shoot and we did a lot of strengthening exercises on our back, lets and arms…


That was for carrying the suit? The was for carrying the costume and also all the fight work. Orcrist is a very heavy sword and I had to have my back and arms working properly to wield it.

Marisa Tintaputra asked – have you ever received any impressive gifts from fans? Um. Its actually not related to The Hobbit but I did receive a pair of boxer shorts with my character’s face on the butt once… which was kind of impressive…, but the most impressive gift I received was not from a fan but from Peter Jackson that was Orcrist… The sword? Really? Yeah.  It’s in a bank vault. Really? No. But it should be. Is it the real thing? I mean metal rather than a plastic replica Yes. It is the full sword. It is dwarf scaled as well so it is massive.  Huge. Wow. That is impressive.

Oya Yseilada asks: How have you been preparing for part 2 & 3, as your characters role evolves with the story? I made quite a lot of notes before we started so in preparation for two and three I have gone back to the biography that I wrote for the character. We have lots of fight work still to cover as well so I have also stayed with the training regime. Hopefully I will be able to start on day one with pickups with some decent fight moves.

Shelly O’donnell asks What is it that attracts him to film/tv/etc. projects? What sort of projects would he like to be involved with in the future? I like piecing together a character slowly and making adjustments as you go along so projects and crews that allow me a chance to do that are obviously exciting. Great directors make a huge difference, Peter Jackson had such a vision… For future projects… who knows, perhaps a change from such a high tech movie, perhaps something a bit more intimate… something from literature maybe?

Sarah Lees asked which band or artist do you most enjoying listening to? Right now I am really enjoying Gotye. I got to present him with the Aria which was great. I like Radiohead. On set my playlist was mainly Killers and Kings of Leon.

Well Richard, we have loads more questions for you but sadly we are out of time. Thank you for taking the time and we hope you enjoy the rest of your stay. Thank you.


New Pic of RA Showing Beardy Goodness. You’re Welcome.

Richard Armitage with Alice Tynan in a photo she tweeted a short time ago.

Richard Armitage with Alice Tynan in a photo she tweeted a short time ago.

Oh, those poor AAAs who are attending the encore Hobbit screening and preceding Q&A session with Richard in NSW this week. This is what they will have to look at, the vision above and of course, the awesomeness of Thorin Oakenshield. Don’t you pity them? 😉 Yeah, riiiiiight . . .


Thorin Thursday arrives early!: oh, those inappropriate dwarfy thoughts . . .




Last night I watched “Snow White and the Huntsman.” What can I say, I liked the villain of the piece best of all–Charlize Theron as the mad evil Queen lusting after the heart of her stepdaughter to provide her with the immortal beauty and youth she craves. Snow White was OK, but I certainly am glad Bilbo beat her out for Best Hero. She just didn’t–inspire me.  I wasn’t particularly rooting for her.

As for Snow’s dwarves, well, they were a rather crotchety, crafty bunch, played by a cast of familiar Brit character actors given human dwarf bodies through the magic of CGI. Good performances, but they just weren’t Bilbo’s dwarves.  And not a Thorin amongst them to put inappropriate thoughts in a girl’s head.  They didn’t have his romantic mane of hair, his noble profile, his soulful, beautiful eyes, his deafening roar, his majesty. *sigh*


So, as more and more folks get their TH DVDs, the continued thudding, squeeing, drooling and sighing over  a certain vertically-challenged hottie takes place around the world. Wonder how many DVDs/Blu-rays have almost been paused and rewound and slo-moed to death already?

Did we ever think we’d feel this way about a sweaty, hairy, almost 200-year-old dwarf?  No, we didn’t. But we DO.

I found a few GIFs on Twitter I thought I would also share with you.  Oh, the joys of Thorin smiling!!



Someone suggested RA was doing his John the Baptist imitation here with his attire. Whoa–a bit wobbly, are we?? From PJ’s sneak peek of the second film.


Bilbo, that’s just what so many of us want to do–leap into Thorin’s strong arms! 😉




Fun Facts & Quotes from The Hobbit ‘Chronicles’


It’s been a few days since I shared anything from the latest in the series of ‘Chronicles’ books from Weta Workshop. Thought these tidbits about various aspects of the production might make a fun read for Sunday, along with a few more images in glorious HD (thanks to Heirs of Durin) from the film.

And don’t forget if you do have a Twitter account you can vote for Bilbo as “Best Hero” at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards through tonight when the broadcast takes place.  As I write this on Saturday near midnight Bilbo is still in the lead by several thousand, but that could always change . . .


The Eyes Have It

 Jeffrey Thomas, who plays King Under the Mountain Thror, actually wore colored contact lenses to increase his resemblance to the actors playing his son and grandson, Mike Mizrahi and Richard Armitage, respectively.  All three men have blue eyes, but unlike his light-eyed co-stars, Thomas’s are a very dark blue that resembled black when photographed.  A pale blue contact lens color not only tied him to his son and grandson but also served to “age him as well as give him a hint of the crazy eye, which fits considering his obsession with the gold.” (Tami Lane, prosthetics supervisor)

Cate Blanchett also wore contact lenses for the role of Galadriel. Rather than completely recolor them, these lenses were designed to lighten and enhance Cate’s own pale blue eyes, “making them feel even more remarkable and beautiful, but still based on her natural coloring,” said hair and makeup designer Peter King.

Peter Hambleton, who played the dwarf Gloin, the father of Gimli of LOTR, also wore lenses to change his eye color. “I have blue eyes and we wanted to make a connection with Gimli, whose eyes are brown,” said Hambleton. The actor didn’t require the dark lenses for distant shots, just more close-up ones, and a licensed optician on set would pop them in and out for him (remember, he was wearing those clumsy prosthetic hands). “I hope the brown eyes sing out,” Hambleton said.

Thoughts on Fili and Kili (Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner)


“With no sons of his own, Fili and Kili are his family. Thorin is tough on Fili and overly protective of Kili. He sees their hope and their ambition, their youth. It’s a great driving force for him, to seek out something to bequeath for their future.”    Richard Armitage~Thorin

“Dwarves are a proud and noble people who were at  one time very wealthy. They carry jewelry and ornate plaiting in their beards to show their pride and a way of holding on to their lineage. . . they begin looking very ornate and proud, but their journey humbles and batters them . . . but it isn’t the same for each of them.

‘Fili and Kili don’t have the big, ornate, blinged-out beards of their fathers. They have a different attitude and aren’t as burdened down by the loss that gnaws at Thorin and Gloin and the other Dwarves who are obsessed with the gold. They haven’t decorated themselves as heavily, like kids who can’t see the reason for wearing shoes in a restaurant. They’re not holding onto an old grudge. They’re freer spirits.” Peter King~Hair and Makeup Designer



“Beards are already in at the moment, but I have to wonder after these films come out whether there might not be a sudden rise in braiding and beard decoration?”  Dean O’Gorman~Fili

“On one level, we’re funny little guys, and on another, we’ve won wars and are actually pretty dangerous  . . . don’t laugh at the Dwarves because they will mess you up.”  DoG


“It’s tough being a dwarf in Middle-earth. It’s exhausting  . . . they get chased around and for all the times they get caught, they really aren’t wanted anywhere.” ~Aidan Turner-Kili

‘First Impressions’ of the Leader of the Company: More from ‘Chronicles II’


More fascinating tidbits from the latest Weta Workshop book, this time from Peter King, makeup and hair designer:

First impressions are often lasting . . . when you are designing a character for the screen it is vital you get their look absolutely right for the first shots in which they appear . . . so that we impart a message about the character we want them to understand instantly when he walks on screen. Consequently, we put a lot of thought into Thorin, and his arrival in the movie is built up by the other Dwarves as they await his arrival at Bag End.

thehobbit-p1_1274Thorin, as he appears at Bilbo’s door. Our first glimpse of the majestic dwarf in present day.

There is an awe and a reverence that surrounds him. He is very strong and slightly scary, but also hypnotic and charismatic. Thorin is the leader, a king among his people and the Dwarf upon whose shoulders the future and hopes of his people rests.


I have to say that I was “wowed” by the first impression of Thorin when Gandalf opened that door to him.  Charismatic? Absolutely. Hypnotic? Hmmmmm–was I saying . . . oh, yes. Definitely.

I was truly awed.  (Not that I expected anything less than awesome with Mr. A involved.)

King discusses how Thorin’s look evolved:

We went through a number of iterations before we settled upon his final makeup, which consisted of a thin forehead and nose, wig and ear. Thorin’s nose was Romanesque, which imparted a sense of nobility. His wig was also composed entirely of human hair, without any yak, which was used to add body to some of the other dwarves. That allowed it to flow and move more romantically.


*sigh* Works for me, Mr. King. Works for me.

As for Thorin’s beard, King has this to say:

For the same reason, Thorin’s beard ended up clipped quite close to preserve his more refined appearance and to not hide the actor under a full face of hair. It was important for people to understand and relate to Thorin so we didn’t want to build a wall of hair in front of him that would impede that in any way.

Very wise decision, sir. That face is much too expressive to hide it all under heavy prosthetics and excess facial hair.

And here are some thoughts from Mr. Armitage himself:

Early on in the shaping of Thorin’s look, we had some quite extreme prosthetics and elaborate beard designs. I was very pleased with the effort, which was such a transformation.  I looked like another being–older, and very much like a Dwarf.  As the design began to change, with resculpting, reshaping and stripping back, I realized that is was a process we were going through, to find a point at which Thorin and the actor inside him were both visible.  Of course, that feels like a great compliment, although Richard Taylor did tell me fairly near to the end of filming that they straightened my nose, which is apparently off-center . . . I didn’t know that!

Gosh, I thought his real nose was darned near perfect. Perfect in its imperfection. And truly noble.

And I do love that romantic hair . . .  I think it’s time for my “Thorin: King Under the Hair” fanvid!

Nimue’s HobbitCon Memories: ‘Waves of Affection and Goosebump Moments’


Nimue kindly shared some of her HobbitCon experiences with us in the comment section of a previous post, and I enjoyed them so much, I felt they deserved a post of their own here on Thorin Thursday.  It certainly sounds like it was a fabulous event for fans of the film and has whetted my appetite even more to see the next installment in December! Thanks again, Nimue, for sharing highlights of this fab experience with us here at TAE. I have used some of DarkJackal’s screencaps from the film and from the Best Buy doc to add some more Hobbit-y dwarfy goodness. 😀

I was at the HobbitCon -it really was such an amazing and unforgettable experience! I’m still over the moon! The actors were so nice and approachable-they mixed with the normal people, often sat amongst us in the audience during each other’s panels, listening and sometimes intervening ,-). It could happen that you found yourself next to one of them in the lift or at the breakfast buffet, which I found kind of surreal sometimes, but great nevertheless!

They even were at the parties and told us beforehand that we could ask them questions. Really and truly very fine guys- each and every one of them! In their behaviour to each other you could see and feel, that they are not only colleagues but have become close friends.

Most of the time they needn’t to be asked about Richard, but mentioned him on their own. And their great admiration, respect and friendship for him was so sincere and really palpable I sometimes was nearly moved to tears. You could virtually feel the waves of affection all over the place! Goosebumps moments! My impression was that Richard was especially close with Graham (who mentioned that he auditioned for the role of Thorin as well) – a true gentleman like Richard himself.






BTW- as to one of your quotes above, concerning the mail exchange between RA and Adam ( so funny and cute- the poor guy was kind of shaky at the opening ceremony)- Richard wrote that he couldn’t answer him right now, as he was “on top of a mountain” . Mount Everest/Machu Picchu – mountaineering or skiing ;-) ?

Anyway, we got such a great amount of information, I’m still processing! According to their behaviour and their tweets, all of the actors enjoyed the experience as well ( the Gameshow they did- ” Tossing the dwarves”- was a hoot, I think for them and the audience, we nearly died with laughter). They said they’d like to come back- maybe persuading Richard as well ;-)

I really grew very fond of (the actors). Liked them all before, but having met them in person is something completely different. The word “fellowship” comes to mind when you see them in each other’s company. It was e.g. really cute seeing Dean and Adam walking around the lobby, Dean having his arm over Adam’s shoulders. Sylvester McCoy also is one of a kind- very charming and extremely hilarious- I was in stitches. A bundle of energy like Jedi (Jed Brophy)- always on the go. He also is a very good-smelling wizard. I know now the eau de parfum he uses- and it is not ” Eau de dwarf” ;-) .


Graham said that Richard took great care that they all were very well looked after on set (enough time in the cooling tents etc.) like a good leader would. He told us about the rings they all had made- each one has a special, individual engraving and a picture on the inside to remind them of the bond they formed. At one point I even saw him wearing the ring. He said that in a way their role in the movie corresponded to their real-life position in the group- Adam being the “baby/youngster”, Richard the leader who inspired utter loyalty. etc.

There really were a lot of highlights. The boys seemingly all like dancing- I remember Adam doing some Beyonce dance moves and allegedly some (funny) dancing was sometimes going on behind the scenes on set as well ;-)  Jed and Mark did some dancing on stage. For PJ’s birthday calendar, Aidan and Dean did the Tango together, with Aidan dipping Dean, who had a rose in his mouth. Sir Peter is said to keep the “naughty calendar” in his bathroom. The guys are all starting or ramping up their training again. Jed in particular is very athletic, always doing cartwheels, splits etc. Mark was full of praise for Richard’s fighting and riding skills.


When asked what was especially funny, they mentioned the barrel scene. They weren’t allowed to talk about it yet, but we are in for a treat when we can watch the behind-the-scenes special on one of the next DVDs. I wonder if it has got something to do with Richard’s fish throwing ;-) .
Probably we will also see more of the dwarven underwear in the next two films :-) . “The Adam Thing” is also one of the mysteries that only will be solved when we’ll get to see the material for the next movie.

It was my first Con experience and I was surprised how lovely and kind of intimate the atmosphere was. I’ve been told by more experienced RingCon visitors, that the HobbitCon really was very special in that regard.