Tag Archives: Aragorn

The Power of a Character: Thorin conquers the world

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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.

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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
mad.

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.

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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.

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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
mistakes?
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.

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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
time….

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: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!

The critics have spoken: “Epically cool” Armitage “impressive” in role

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‘Thorin’s hero back-story is marvellously fleshed out. Little wonder
there’s already major buzz around Armitage – his Thorin is to The Hobbit
what Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn was to The Lord of the Rings.”

An excerpt from Neala Johnson’s review of The Hobbit. See full review at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/movies/neala-johnsons-review-of-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/story-e6frf9h6-1226529768368?sv=a30a351fc8e8a3bfbd44b95748ac4819#.UL2PEZYgUKM.twitter

Dean O'Gorman as Fili and RA as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Dean O’Gorman as Fili and RA as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Armitage is positively heroic in the role and Jackson gives him plenty of camera time to shine . . .(he) brings gravitas and solemnity to the role of Thorin, especially when surrounded by the clownish Dwarves in his company.’

Read more of the Collider review here http://collider.com/hobbit-movie-review/215612/

‘But in the end the hobbit’s curiosity wins and he joins dwarf-leader Thorin Oakenshield (an impressive Richard Armitage) and his company.

When casting the dwarfs, Jackson picked a mixture of domestic and international actors, some veterans and some fresh faces. In the 18 months they filmed, they certainly have developed great chemistry, and their distinctive characters and costumes show a lot of craftsmanship and love of details.”

Excerpt from review at Stuff.co. NZ  http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/film-reviews/8034659/Review-The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected-Journey

“It’s a role likely to launch Armitage, blessed with an already-fervent
 fanbase, masculine good looks, and ample ability, into the stratosphere.
The character is deeply scarred and tragic. Thorin gives the children’s
tale a Shakespearean disaster angle and the film makes the most of it
 in in ways that may not surprise viewers but will nevertheless delight
them.”

Excerpt from MrCere’s review of the film for TORn (which promises only spoiler-free reviews, BTW)

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/12/04/66514-mrcere-reviews-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/

The embargo, as you can see, has been lifted and reviews are now flooding the internet of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I have read a few, and am sharing some quotes specific to Mr. Armitage’s performance as well as the Company itself.  I think it’s safe to say Richard Armitage is impressing the critics–but then, was there ever any real doubt?

Thorin of the "flowing locks and steely gaze."

Thorin of the “flowing locks and steely gaze.”

 “Armitage really comes into his own in the ‘hero shot’ stakes: with flowing locks and a steely gaze, he gives us Braveheart by way of 300 – epically cool.”

Alice Tynan’s words re Richard’s performance as Thorin in her review for The Vine http://www.thevine.com.au/entertainment/movie-reviews/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-movie-review/

Mr. Armitage, I am so very proud of you and happy for you.  You were already my hero; now the world is discovering you as theirs, too.

A screenshot of Richard from the Marilyn Denis Show. All screencaps courtesy of RANet.

A screenshot of Richard from the Marilyn Denis Show. All screencaps courtesy of RANet.

“No Shortage of Smolder”: A tribute mag’s view of sexy dwarves

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My ever-helpful husband found a copy of a mag titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Prequel to The Lord of the Rings while we were browsing at Books-A-Million Saturday night. Naturally, I had to take this periodical, which bills itself as “TheOneRingnet’s Collector’s Edition” by Topix Media Lab.

I wanted to share some of the contents with you with a few editorial comments thrown in.

“There’s something to be said for a short man with a hot temper . . . Gimli didn’t stand up to the rugged allure of Aragorn or the ethereal good looks of Legolas, but this new crop of dwarves manages to stay true to the brawling, bearded dwarf aesthetic of the books while showing off a bit more of what the dwarven race has going for it.

Each dwarf has a very unique look, but they all have one thing in common: really awesome facial hair . . . from Bifur’s black braids to Thorin’s well-groomed goatee, the variety of scruff proves without a doubt that beards are back in a big way.”

(naturally, I love this following quote and thoroughly agree with opinion expressed)

“No Shortage of Smolder . . . it takes only one look at the leader of the Company to see these dwarves are not your average brawlers. Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield is the breakout heart throb of the series, with his baritone singing voice and his piercing gaze throwing female audiences into a tizzy. It’s safe to say this dwarf would have no trouble finding someone to join him on an adventure.”

(Yeah, where do we sign up for this adventure?)

The writer adds that Thorin’s nephews Fili and Kili are “arguably the easiest on the eyes  . . . looking more like elves or humans than the typical dwarf , with manicured beards and flowing locks that frame their chiseled features. However, they still stay true to Tolkien’s vision, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is complaining about watching these two trek through three movies.”

(Personally, I am not complaining about watching Uncle Heart Throb and his Hottie Sister-Sons through it all and beyond.)