“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (right) has fittingly had its World Premiere debut in Wellington, New Zealand last night–the films’ and filmmakers’ birthplace of unrivaled scenic beauty, artistic creativity, and people with huge hearts. And the reverence with which the filmmakers, cast, and crew approached their film project extended to the nation they called home and the peoples they embraced as new friends for 18 months. Perhaps the March 2011 Powhiri Welcoming Ceremony was one indication that this film in place and time would be very special, as shown in a video by bccmee2 titled “Richard Armitage opens the Powhiri Welcoming Ceremony”:
For fans of Richard Armitage–like myself–having watched the steady progression of RA’s career over the years to ever expanding roles and artistic endeavors–his lead role as Thorin Oakenshield in THAUJ is the culmination of his sacrifice (18 + months of his life away from family and friends) and dedication in bringing to life one of Tolkien’s most complex characters. Having seen enough footage of Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield in video clips of the film, I can’t envision any other actor but Mr. Armitage portraying Thorin. Here is my favorite of film trailers featuring Thorin, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Official Trailer 2 [HD]” by Warner Brothers Pictures:
And I had created a triptych signature that I shared earlier here on my blog. It is based on Thorin’s admonition about his requirements for his Dwarf comrades: “Loyalty, honor, a willing heart”. When Richard Armitage says these lines in the video above it always sends chills through me.
And as with all of Richard Armitage’s characters, when he is telling a story, Mr. Armitage so transforms himself into that character–in this case, Thorin Oakenshield (below left) that I only see the person he brings to life, not the actor behind the mask (below middle, Richard Armitage at the February 2011 Hobbit Press Conference; and below right, Richard Armitage at the Wellington Hobbit Premiere November 28, 2012).
It was amazing watching “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” World Premiere Red Carpet in Wellington, NZ on NowLive. To hear the cast and Director Sir Peter Jackson speak about their experiences in making the film was a delight! And the ever poised and professional Richard Armitage gave very thoughtful and insightful responses in his interviews. Here are links to the two Red Carpet interviews Richard Armitage gave on The Hobbit Premiere in Wellington, New Zealand in videos by Richard Armitage Central:
Interview #1–“Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) at the Hobbit World Premiere November 28, 2012”
Interview #2– “Richard Armitage Interview #2 at Hobbit World Premiere”
And “The Hobbit” trilogy films are only the beginning for Richard Armitage. This is Richard Armitage’s shining moment as he leaps onto the world’s artistic stage and into the wider consciousness of new fans around the globe! I am more thrilled for Mr. Armitage than I can say! He so deserves this recognition of his exquisite acting and storytelling talents! And even more so because Mr. Armitage will no doubt have more artistic projects to choose from, that will allow we, his fans, to enjoy his acting and storytelling for decades to come.
Others will catalogue this pivotal moment in Richard Armitage’s career to painstakingly meticulous perfection–see www.RichardArmitageNet.com, www.RichardArmitageCentral.co.uk, and www.RichardArmitageonline.com among others. These sites are wonderful resources for the uninitiated and the avid fan alike to Richard Armitage’s career. My kudos to their respective Administrators.
But for me, this moment in Richard Armitage’s life–with his new “role of a lifetime” portraying Thorin Oakenshield–is distilled into one simple thought. That the artistic storytelling talents of Richard Armitage can now finally be shared with the world for everyone to enjoy. Richard Armitage may be British, but he belongs to the world now.
So here is one final portrait of Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield (right)–mysterious, majestic, and magnificent–the bitter Warrior Dwarf King tortured by the past, hoping to reclaim his people’s birthright for their present, and certain to become a legend in the future:
I know that when I have the chance to view “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” for the first time in the U.S. on December 14th, I will be mesmerized by the magical world of JRR Tolkien that Director Sir Peter Jackson, and lead actors Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), and their colleagues will share with us.
And Richard Armitage will bring Thorin Oakenshield to vivid life for all of us with the first of three films in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”–thereby defining Thorin for us for all time. Shock and awe, people! Shock and awe!
References (some are also hyperlinked above)
1) The initial image was created via the www.thehobbit.com wallpaper generator which is found at http://apps.warnerbros.com/thehobbit/wallpapergenerator/ ; the characters in the wallpaper are Gandalf portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen, Bilbo Baggins portrayed by Martin Freeman, and Thorin Oakenshield portrayed by Richard Armitage.
2) “Richard Armitage opens Powhiri Welcoming Ceremony” by bccmee2 was found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RSoA73SaI0
3) Richard Armitage Career Page on RANet is found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/career.html
4) “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Official Trailer 2 [HD]” in a video by Warner Brothers Pictures was found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDnYMbYB-nU&feature=relmfu
5) Signature: “Loyalty, Honor, A Willing Heart” a Thorin Triptych by Gratiana Lovelace, 10/24/12 (Post #295) https://gratianads90.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/thehobbittrailer2thorintriptychloyaltyhonorheartoct2412gratianalovelace.jpg
6) “The Hobbit’s Amazing Transformations”, November 26, 2012,The New Zealand Herald, Richard Armitage as himself in February 2011 http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/infographics/195/Richard1.jpg ; and Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield in 2012 http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/infographics/195/Richard2.jpg ; and a Richard Armitage Centra cap of Richard Armitage on the Wellington NZ Hobbit Red Carpet was found at http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=323945& (selected by Brooke, well done)
7) I watched The Hobbit Wellington Premiere Red Carpet on NowLive at http://www.nowlive.com/TheHobbitUSA
8) Richard Armitage Central had both Richard Armitage interviews posted on You Tube last night: Interview #1– “Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) at the Hobbit World Premiere November 28, 2012”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAVcCLjiXTk&feature=youtu.be ; and Interview #2 “Richard Armitage
Interview #2 at Hobbit World Premiere” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9XmS3K4jJM&feature=youtu.be
9) Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield portrait was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitStills/album/61-Thorin3-OfficialHobbitMovieGuide.jpg