An Unexpected Visitor

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.

           I don’t believe we’ve met?

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.

                                                        these eyes?

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.

               say that to my face!

Time flew by, as it sadly always does with a great storyteller, and soon we were in the pines facing down the menacing foe.

                          hold me!

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.

                                       what trickery is this?

Luckily Bilbo Baggins, secret gamer extraordinaire, attacks with the viciousness and blood-lust that only the greatest of virtual warriors can!

and my Xrocker Pro Series gaming chair, complete with surround sound


and my Xbox 360


…theater system, complete with HDTV!


with my Razer Ona TE game controller…or a sword. whatever works.

Then Thorin’s a jerk. they hug,

                      I love you, man!

and Presto! The slapstick stylings of Martin & Armitage are born!

                                                 move over Martin & Lewis!


 In what ways did Richard’s Thorin surprise you?

                   oh ye of little faith!



11 thoughts on “An Unexpected Visitor

  1. HA HA HA! All I can say is I agree with everything you just said! 🙂 Except I went *THUD* just before entering the cinema when I saw a giant Thorin poster at the entrance (and as we were queuing up I got to stand there for a full 15 minutes staring at it as I fell deeper and deeper under his spell. By the time he arrived at Bag End I was hyperventilating into my popcorn carton.


      1. I remember it as if it were yesterday…. *insert slow music* I actually didnt really concentrate on the film because I was just overwhelemed by Thorin (the eyes…) I had to go see it again to actually watch the movie.

        Thats a lie. I went to see it again to watch Thorin. Id read the book, I knew the story 😉


  2. i realise i risk being run out of town for this statement but the main thing that surprised me was that i enjoyed the whole film. I always knew RA would turn in a stellar performance (and win over those whingers who objected to his casting – gggrrr ) but as I dislike Tolkien and loathed the LOTR trilogy (not to mention what PJ did to my favorite book – The Lovely Bones – for which i thought i would never forgive him) i didn’t expect to go and see the film three times and buy the DVD the day it was released.

    But i have to admit, it was all very good.

    The life sized cardboard Thorin at the till of my local supermarket keeps surprising me too. 😉


    1. I never particularly liked Thorin in the books (or the cartoon) so I went in expecting to see the same grumpy, arrogant character that I was used to; needless to say I was pleasantly surprised! I’m also very glad to hear that this film has given you a better “Middle Earth” experience.


    2. I always wonder “How can anyone not like Tolkien?” but then I’ll never read Elizabeth Gaskell or Jane Austen or any of the 19th century romantic bollocks, and I don’t care for mysteries. However, liking Richard Armitage has made me watch all kinds of things. I’m even reading the Strikeback novels (more bollocks), so he has had a very positive effect in broadening the horizons of his fans.


      1. that’s one of the most enjoyable things of fandom: broadening your horizons. I read books I wouldn’t normally read because an actor has mentioned reading them, I listen to music I’ve never heard of because other fans are talking about it, etc. it makes us very well-rounded individuals; that is not a bad thing!

        as for Tolkien, my friend is reading the Hobbit/LOTR & she hates all of the walking they do; it’s really annoying her and yet, that’s what I like about them, the journey(both physical & metaphorical) to each their own.


  3. This is very interesting to me. I discovered Richard Armitage in N&S and found myself smitten with Mr.Thornton. I then had a chance to see him in some of his other tv roles before The Hobbit was out on dvd (I failed to see it in the theater because I actually didn’t even realize that he was in it, can you believe it?) Long story short, somehow I can’t really see a Thorin, I keep looking for Richard Armitage in there. I just don’t get that “swept away by Thorin” kind of a thing out of it, which is a shame. Maybe I should try watching it again? Or is it only the first-ever exposure that produces such an overwhelming response?


    1. now that I’m more familiar with Richard, I do see a lot more of him in the character of Thorin (when we first hear his voice in Bag End when he’s taking off his cloak, I hear John Porter from “strike back”, for instance) but it’s up to me to shut that part of my brain off and focus on the story/character for what it is. so it might take some effort for you, instead of it just happening. kind of like those “magic eye” images, remember those? where you basically had to cross your eyes to see the 3-D image pop out at you! once you mastered the skill though, it was so worth it


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s