There has been a lot of talk in RA universe about the significance of Richard Armitage’s character to the Hobbit movies. Would he be as major a character as many hoped? I’ve witnessed countless discussions and yes, debates about this subject, and now it seems that someone a bit on the inside has given an answer:
‘The Hobbit’ Countdown, Character Guide: Who Is Thorin Oakenshield? (And We Don’t Just Mean Richard Armitage)
By Larry D. Curtis Jan 10, 2012
Larry D. Curtis, as part of the team at TheOneRing.net, has been comprehensively covering the works and adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien for more than a decade, making the not-for-profit site the leading source about The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings for fans and film makers world wide. Curtis is one of the lead content producers for the site and represents it at conventions and press functions. You can read his The Hobbit Countdown here at Movies.com every other week. You can reach him at MrCere@TheOneRing.net.
One crazy thing about the two Hobbit movies coming out the next two Decembers: it has one giant cast. Sure Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films had a Fellowship of nine to deal with, but they were different races (elves, dwarves, men, wizards and hobbits), and there were fewer of them while these new films are stuffed with mostly dwarves! And, the Fellowship splintered near the end of the first film, allowing us to cut from one group to another. (And to be honest, some viewers confessed to being occasionally confused between Merry and Pippin.)
So when we see Thorin in Bilbo’s house, he carries with him the physical remnant of his family’s legacy: a map showing the secret entrance back into The Lonely Mountain. He also carries with him the failure of his fathers and the hope of his people. Like his father before him, he is taking his kinsmen and heading back — with a burglar and a wizard — to reclaim his kingdom. He will drive the dwarves, and the film, with this desire that may at times boarder on obsession. But hey, if a dragon burned and ate your family, lived in your underground castle (not the one that a balrog lives in during The Lord of the Rings) and slept on your pile of gold and jewels, you might obsess a little as well.
Audiences for the newest Middle-earth films will have 13 of these bearded dwarven fellows to keep track of and they will nearly always be together. Making each a distinct character is a big challenge for Jackson and company and the images released so far make it clear that the design team went to great lengths to help the audience tell at a glance which of the revenge-minded adventurers is which.
That doesn’t mean readers will need to wait for the films though because Movies.com has you, and the collection of characters, completely covered. We know the difference between Bifur and Bofur and Fili and Kili and if you stick with us, so will you. But the dwarf who is most likely to become a household name is the more fully titled Thorin Oakenshield and we think not only will we have an unforgettable character on the first Hobbit day (Dec. 14, 2012, the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) but also the actor Richard Armitage will become a household name. While there are many who know and love the English actor, that day and the films, will change his career forever.
Read all of it here.