I went to see the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the movie theatre last night. As I’ve previously mentioned, Hubby and I have long been fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films, and haven’t missed an opening night on any one of them. However, with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we waited until all three films were out then bought all three at once with a boxed set of extended editions, and have been waiting for several years now to do likewise with The Hobbit trilogy. All this to say, I haven’t ever seen the AUJ extended version, and though I’ve watched bits and pieces on television when it aired, I haven’t actually watched it all the way through since December of 2012.
What struck me last night, with my newfound “preoccupation” with Richard Armitage, was how in hell I didn’t “discover” Richard back then? I do recall thinking the actor who played Thorin Oakenshield did a damn fine job, and was unusually hot for a dwarf (along with Kili and Fili) to boot… after all, my experience with dwarves to that point rested mainly with the not-so-stirring Gimli from the earlier trilogy.
No offense, Gimli! I liked you well enough to consider getting a pug and naming it “Gimli”… But really, there was the end of it. We loved the movie and were well-satisfied to return to Middle Earth. I vaguely remember asking Hubby if he knew the actor who played Thorin, and when he didn’t, I IMDB’d the guy, notified Hubby that he didn’t look anything like Thorin in real life, and was some British actor I’d never heard of. I even scrolled through his credits to confirm I’d never seen any of his previous works, and I believe I concluded that he was an “unknown”… LOL! Sorry, Richard! Little did I know that you already had a fervent following!
While we were avid enough fans of Peter Jackson to brave opening night, long lines and all that jazz at the cinemas, and we were aware that the Hobbit movies were being filmed, we weren’t nearly so avid as to be actually following who was cast, so we were blithely unaware that there had been controversy and disputes within the Middle Earth fandom surrounding the casting of a young, handsome “unknown” actor for the role that many believed should have gone to someone older, someone “fantasy cast” for years by Tolkien lovers. I can only hope that the naysayers were for the most part proven wrong (you can’t please everyone, so 100% conversion is not to be expected!) All I know is that I was, at the time, NOT familiar with Armitage, and I was very much impressed with everyone’s performance. I don’t believe I bothered to IMDB any of the other cast, though, so that tells you something- Thorin stood out for me even back then.
However, from my new perspective, it’s hard to believe that I didn’t overcome my apparently inherent prejudice against short hairy dwarves and fall irretrievably in love with Armitage back when. After seeing the film again last night, I appreciated him even more. Thorin’s voice! That noble visage! What was wrong with my eyes and my ears in 2012? I could just smack myself when I look back on it.
I’ll never understand it. Looking forward to Desolation of Smaug tonight, though! Extended Edition Richarding… it’s a beautiful thing. =)