My first Richard Armitage film experience was The Hobbit: an unexpected journey. I was sitting in a darkened theater, happily immersing myself once again in the world of Middle Earth. Hearing the familiar music and seeing the gorgeous scenery felt like a reunion between old friends…except this time, they brought someone with them to the party.
Things were going along nicely. I was inside Bag End, coveting that massive round door with all of it’s lovely iron work. Gandalf was there, Frodo stopped in for a bit, and Bilbo was there too. Ah, Bilbo! He infused that dark hole in the ground with warmth, light, and laughter, with seemingly little effort. Martin Freeman met and exceeded my expectations as Bilbo; such an excellent choice for such a beloved hero.
As the dwarves started to show up, I was amazed at how each of them appeared entirely realistic, yet endearingly whimsical at the same time. This made me insanely curious about their leader. We caught a glimpse of him in the opening back-story, but what would he be like? The knock came, the door opened and
HELLO, Mr. Smolder!
Thorin Oakenshield commanded attention immediately. His regalness and bravery filled up that small space completely, while it was clear that a heavy responsibility weighed on those seasoned shoulders (even after he removed that massive cloak!). From that point forward, my eyes were drawn to Thorin. The story moved along and I got caught up in it: becoming familiar with each of the dwarves, questioning Gandalf’s motives, rooting for my favorite little hobbit; but always those haunting eyes kept stealing my attention.
This Thorin was wholly unfamiliar to me. This dwarf had depth! The pride of book Thorin was still there, but now in a completely understandable context. Grumpy Dwarf still reared his head from time to time, but those expressive eyes never left me guessing as to why he did and said the things that he did.
Time flew by, as it sadly always does with a great storyteller, and soon we were in the pines facing down the menacing foe.
This was Thorin’s moment of truth! What reckless need for revenge was his pride about to unleash? The eyes were about to take center stage again…
*scrambles to find correct slide*
The King would let nothing stand in his way! But wait! There seems to be a slight complication…He’s not invincible.
Luckily Bilbo Baggins, secret gamer extraordinaire, attacks with the viciousness and blood-lust that only the greatest of virtual warriors can!
Then Thorin’s a jerk. they hug,
and Presto! The slapstick stylings of Martin & Armitage are born!
In what ways did Richard’s Thorin surprise you?