THORIN! or Who’s that Klingon?

Sir Peter and his gang launched a brilliant PR campaign to unveil the Hobbit dwarves over the past week.  The big question became when would Thorin (aka Richard Armitage) be revealed.  I’m not a Tolkien fan. I never read any of the books but did see all the LotR films as seasonal blockbuster entertainment.  The whole suspense of “how will Thorin look?” swept me up in spite of myself.  But truthfully the question for my shallow self was “what will they do to Richard?” This was an extension of the debate raging since he was cast: why cast a younger good looking man to play an older dwarf leader if they are going to obliterate those looks in make-up and prosthetics? (Keep in mind I know nothing about the books and hence can happily wallow in my shallowness.)  Well, he burst upon the scene yesterday.  Everybody and their sisters and brothers rushed to judge.

Thorin shows off his knife. Courtesy of


I felt a bit let down. For one, he is hardly recognizable.  After examining his blurry image from the hobbit reveal a few weeks back, I concluded in relief that RA was prosthetics-free.  But this shows he has enhancements to his nose, brow and fingers.  Something else bothered me too but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  Otherwise, I loved the costume and long flowing grey streaked hair complete with braid.

Throughout the day I read mostly positive reactions, that RA looked awesome, that they could see RA in there, that Thorin was fierce and perfectly realized.  Okay, if they said so.  Then I fell over a reference on Twitter which caused me to laugh out loud.

You've got to admit Worf was hot stuff. Courtesy Cine TextAllStar


Thorin looks like a Klingon without ridges. There. I said it.  C’mon, you have to notice a similarity. Look at the wide noses, very prominent brows, long hair, facial hair, and reputation for uber maleness and fierceness.  I couldn’t help making the Klingon comparison because it was the only thing to which I could relate.  Well, this amused me most of the day while I remained ambivalent about Thorin’s look.  I perused to see how real Tolkien fans handled it.  The positive reactions gave way to scathing reviews from purists who exclaimed that Thorin and all the other dwarves looked nothing like described in the book and that Sir Peter was leading their literary masterpiece to rack and ruin.  Others retorted there was wiggle room in the book’s descriptions for interpretation and besides the films were adaptions, not literal translations intended to target both fans and larger audiences.  This sounded reasonable and fair.  I wasn’t perturbed by some of the overly hostile reactions and chuckled as I imagined Thorin as Worf’s long lost older brother.

However this morning I came across a tweet that said in essence: “Yes, that Klingon is Richard Armitage.  This is promising to be the unsexiest blockbuster of next year, what a waste. (my italics)”  What a waste?  I thought that harsh and went about my business.  As I showered (don’t we think our deepest thoughts in the shower?), it dawned on me.  What on earth was that tweeter expecting? What was I expecting, an older, shorter, stubbier S3 Guy of Gisborne? Actually, if S3 Guy had shown up, I would have been thrilled to the tips of my toenails.  But Thorin is a dwarf not a man; any other depiction would harm the integrity of the book.  A Tolkien dwarf is not meant to make fans swoon in lust, except maybe Fili, but he’s young.

So I look at Thorin with new eyes.  He has the nose, brow and fingers befitting a dwarf.  The eyeliner, and long black mane and leather suggest S3 Guy which is fine with me. His gray streaks and lines denote an older but still vital leader.  The picture is dark but I’m sure we will be able to see RA’s lovely expressive eyes with no problem.  So yes, they toned down the pretty boy aspect but RA is still there underneath.  And who knows, through RA’s acting, we may find him sexy indeed.  I have no doubt RA will do this character justice.

Thorin will be awesome.


25 thoughts on “THORIN! or Who’s that Klingon?

    • Suppose I need to read the book, right? Then I might have something substantive to add instead of the usual shallowness… Naaaaah! 😀

  1. Oh Guy S3…if only… Fangurl aside, I agree it’s a good thing we don’t see our gorgeous fav actor but Thorin (who does remind me of a Klingon, I guess the prosthetics on nose and brows do it), I’m sure he’s made his the character, this pic is a taste of what is to come and it promises so much more.

    OML 🙂

    • Yes, the more I think about it, it would be absurd some sort of centerfold Thorin (BccMee WHY did you put that in my head?) and not a fierce dwarven leader as befits the story. I would love to hear RA talk in depth about the preparation for this role.

  2. I too noticed the comparisons on the ‘net to a Klingon. I’m glad you posted that picture because the similarity is less than I thought from memory. 🙂

    Richard Armitage is totally going to *own* this role. I think the movie should be renamed “Thorin.”

    • LOL! Yes, there is simply a passing resemblance. They actually don’t look alike at all. (BTW, read my above comment. Can’t get the the Thorin Playgirl centerfold image out of my mind. BAD BCCMEE, BAD!) 🙂

  3. Hi Judiang,
    quickly switching over from twitter. As I already mentioned there: excellent post! I totally agree with you as “Klingon” was the first thought that came to my mind when I saw the photo yesterday. I am not a Tolkien afficionado. It’s taken me years to finally read LOTR and I haven’t managed to finish the Hobbit yet (but I think I will manage before the first movie is being released). So I am not really interested in wether PJ’s / WETA’s version of Thorin is “right”. I think it is definitely right for the movie, which doesn’t aim at Tolkien nerds (sorry folks) but at the much larger general “movie going public”. To me Thorin / RA does indeed look most impressive and I could immediately see him as the proud and defiant leader of the dwarves. I just could not swoon over the photo and I still don’t see why I should. I prefer men to dwarces anytime :). Apart from anything else the photo is surely photoshopped / cgi-enhanced (I’m not a techie) and I think RA / Thorin will be even more impressive once we can see him in action.

    • Looking between the famous blurry shot and this photo, I suspect the nose and brow are not all THAT pronounced. Plus it really doesn’t matter because RA’s performance will be the deciding the factor.

  4. A distant relative of Worf, yup, still my initial thought. LOL Cpt. Picard still wants the shields up. 😀

    My other thought was “Phew! They did not prettify Thorin.” I’m glad they didn’t, for that is not his role and I was quite happy to not immediately recognise RA in the picture.

    And c’mon people*, the book has been around a lot longer than most of us, it has given countless of people, young and old, a lot of reading pleasure. The least I would have expected from the makers was a good portrayal of Thorin. And that does not mean a HOT Thorin, whatever that may mean and despite the actor’s real life looks.

    * the complainers on how PJ is wasting RA’s looks I mean!

    • Exactly, what would hotness look like on a dwarf? This may very well be it. I’m actually looking for to the premiere and seeing how RA brings Thorin to life.

  5. Thank you very much for your post, Judiang. I already stated on Calexora’s blog, that I am really happy, that we got the Project Magazine pictures before Thorin, to bear the changes. The only part he can’t disguise, are his eyes, the rest I most likely would not have recognized, if I had not know it was him beneath all the makeup and prosthetics.
    But that in my opinion is exactly as it should be. He will be a wonderful leader of the dwarves and is impressive and fierce as his role requires. I read the book long time ago, but RA immediately conquered the place in my imagination, he IS Thorin for me now.

    • The beardy photos did cushion the shock for me. By the time they revealed Thorin, I felt shell-shocked by the beard-loving horde but that’s another post. 😀

  6. Congratulations Judi on getting the kinks out of your site.
    I don’t care what’s in the book (bear with me, not as bad as it sounds), I am going to be fully engaged in the fantasy apartment in my mind with notions of Thorin’s earlier loves, probably a tragic lost true love in there somewhere too, ala Obi Wan Kenobi Don’t be fooled by the older Obi Wan living like a monk in a cave watching over young Luke. Those robes and his guru clamness were just his professional persona. All that inner peace and wisdom doesn’t just arrive without great self control and sacrifice. There are published works that delve into Obi Wan’s early life including his passions and tragic love losses that are touching (O.K, although maybe not great literature). I’ve got Thorin up there with Obi Wan and Boromir and Aragorn – and I don’t care if there is a note that supports my fantasy in one of Tolkien’s appendices or not! (sorry canon) RA’s Thorin is a hot blooded man with a passionate past and no one will change my mind.

    • I was never a Star Wars fan and don’t remember much about any of the films (except that the last one disappointed) but I’m not surprised to hear fans like yourself have fleshed out the lives of those characters. No doubt Thorin and company will inspire volumes of fanfic, and the fun thing about fanfic is it doesn’t have to be canon.

  7. As I said in Twitter, I think once RA gets to acting in the role, the RA fans will have little to worry about. 🙂 I suspect he will be swoon-worthy in the flick (or as swoon-worthy as a fantasy dwarf can be).

    Now if the LOTR/Hobbit dwarves were like Pratchett dwarves, there’s a good chance some of those (incl. Thorin) could be female. 🙂

    “Richard Armitage plays Cheery Littlebottom in The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett!” I’d pay to see it…

    • In all his roles, RA manages to exude some type of sexiness and we all know different things can be sexy. It will be interesting to see what Thorin’s is.

      (I never cease to be amazed how you manage to work your passions into comments. LOL! Carry on. ) 😀

  8. I HOPE RA does talk about his prep for the role; I’m sure he will, after the first Hobbit is released! No doubt at all that he will bring Sir PJ’s, and his vision to the screen. After all, N&S wasn’t a word-for-word rendition of Gaskell – but it had the essence of the book.

    btw, I really don’t the think the nose is prostheticised (is that a verb? T’is now…) There are photos of Gisborne with flared nostrils, which look wider than the nose usually is.

    So glad your blog is back to health, Judiang!

    • If RA could talk at length about a small role like Heinz Kruger in Captain America, imagine what he will say about Thorin. I wonder if any of the actors are doing video blogs for the DVD extras.

      Not sure about the nose. Looking at the beardy photos, RA’s nose is slimmer and sharper. He may have a big nose, but I don’t think it’s that big or bulbous at the tip.

  9. Yes, I kept (and still do) looking at it, wondering if there was a bit of silly putty around the nostrils. It’s a narrow-bridged nose, but those Gisborne photos… I hear that servetus might be doing a close examination.

  10. I came here hoping to see a controversial post from you on Thorin! You disappoint me so!! 😀

  11. Pingback: Armitage barbatus, or: beard as costume, part 1 « Me + Richard Armitage

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