21/12/2011

RA-NDOM THOUGHTS : ... AND THE LEADER OF OUR COMPANY, THORIN OAKENSHIELD.


I haven't written much about "The Hobbit" on Fly High!, have I? I haven't written much about Richard Armitage recently, either.  Who knows me pretty well also knows nothing has changed in my interests and Mr Armitage can still count on my complete,  loyal support for what it counts. As I promised, to myself more than to others, I only wanted to write about "my one weakness" when I actually had something to say. So here I am, at last. And on a very special day. His Thorin Oakenshield has been  introduced to the world, in action and in an official presentation of the movie: the first trailer of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has been released today.


I've read a great deal  of enthusiastic comments all over the Net, facebook is overcrowded with links to the Utube video,  and  twitter has gone trending #hobbittrailer all day long. Many Hobbit fans - and lots of RA fans among them- woke up in the middle of the  night to wait and see the longed-for Christmas gift from Peter Jackson as soon as it was online. What I want to contribute is only my personal reaction to today's news. Nothing special, I mean.

When yesterday I read it would be 4 a.m. in Italy by the time the trailer was up, I decided I would  "have it for breakfast". I usually get up at 6.30 to have a shower, breakfast and some time to answer mail before being at school at 8.00 ready for my first lesson at 8.10. But this morning something strange and unexpected - like the hobbit's and his company of dwarves' journey - happened to me (someone must be plotting against my interest for "The Hobbit" ... Gollum?):  my alarm-clock didn't go off. 

OMG! I woke up just half an hour before my first lesson started !!! Can you imagine? As funny as Bilbo Baggins hurrying all over, I tried to have a shower and get dressed in record time. No breakfast, of course. Nor the dreamt for trailer, nor my usual cappuccino.

Did I get to school in time? Perfectly on time, actually, thanks for your concern, but ... I don't know why I was really distracted most of  the time. I saw dwarves everywhere: while reading Gaskell's "Mary Barton" in one  class, introducing the Victorian Compromise and British Imperialism in another one, teaching conditionals in the last one. Mmm ... I don't particularly like dwarves and fantasy stories, but my curiosity to see a certain dwarf leader in action was growing minute by minute.  I'm sure my students noticed a certain anxiety and absent - mindedness this morning 'cause they were particularly distracted themselves. Or was it the almost-Christmas atmosphere in the air?

Fact is, I had a hard time to get to the end,  but held on and made it. Last working day before the holidays: "Good-bye! Enjoy your holidays! Hugs and kisses. Yes, I'm a bit in a hurry and ..." 
At last, I was at home and I could  turn on my lap ... look for the trailer ... and ... "have it for lunch"!


Favourite moments 

1. Gandalf introduces the company of dwarves to Bilbo : " ... and this is our leader, Thorin Oakenshield".

2. Thorin sings with an intense expression, a  melancholic look and a hypnotizing voice : "Far over the misty mountains cold, to dungeons deep and caverns old" . All the dwarves join him in the chant...

3. Thorin whispers to Gandalf in a vibrating voice:  "I cannot guarantee his safety..." 
Gandalf answers: "Understood"
Thorin  goes on:  "... nor will I be responsible for his fate"

Sharing the joy

I swear I tried to,  but  I wasn't that successful. I started with my elder son, who is fond of The Lord of the Rings  films,  so I wanted to surprise him with this trailer. 
"Too late, Mum. Already seen it on facebook".  He almost shouts,  nodding at the rhythm of the music he goes on listening in his headphones. Has he really understood what I said? How could he hear me?

My husband, my only hope. He always asks me: "What news?" when he is back home from work and usually listens to anything I've got to say

This evening he did the same,  while we worked together in the kitchen to make dinner ready for the four of us. I was particularly proud to announce him the release of the Hobbit trailer. He tried to show some genuine interest - actually, I don't think he pretended, he must have been really curious - and asked me to show it to him. 
He watched carefully and silently till RA/Thorin makes his appearance: Then he starts shaking his head. 
"What?" , I ask, "What's the matter?" 
And he: "His make-up"
And I: "Thorin's make-up"?
And he: "Yes, Richard's"
And I, expecting a joke, "Go on. Say it!"
And he: "He's got the worst make-up among the dwarves"
And I: "But why?"
And he, seriously, "He is still too handsome!" 

Well, maybe he is right.

Watch the trailer


  The pictures in this post are my caps from the Trailer

21 comments:

Prue Batten said...

Funny about RA's make-up, it did occur to me that he looked less dwarf-like facially than all the others.
LOVED the trailer. My daughter (32) did too. Yet to share with OH for his reaction as he's away...

Wonderful post MG... because it was less of the fan-dom and more of the analytic. Love it.

Risa said...

And who says dwarves can't be handsome! :D.... anyway, that was something I didn't really notice. But I suspect Armitage is the handsomest actor among the actors they selected for the dwarves. In fact, I can't remember if it was Kili or Fili, but one of them is very good-looking too -- the dark-haired one. I love how they've done the dwarves! It disturbed me a bit that the whole feel was very much like that of The Lord of the Rings, since The Hobbit is a very light-hearted adventure story. But I'm incredibly to watch it. Sadly, they didn't give us a glimpse of Smaug. :(

Yay, to The Hobbit! My husband's already promised to take me as soon as it's out. He's rather amused at my reaction. I was so restlessly excited when the trailer came out!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Prue @Risa
So, it seems we all agree that there is no make-up which works with Mr Armitage. I mean, no make-up can hide his charm which, I've always thought, does not exactly or only lie in his handsome features.
I have already said this somewhere: handsome or not, he will be a great Thorin, he will become Thorin and we all will forget "Mr Armitage the Handsome" while watching The Hobbit.
By the way, Prue, are you sure I don't sound "the fannish middle-aged girl I feel like" while writing about RA? You are too kind to me! Be warned: my husband doesn't agree with you in this. He says I'm totally biased when it comes to Richard (as he usually calls RA). But he is so patient with me!
Kili is the other handsome dwarf you mention, Risa, and he's one of Thorin's nephews, if I'm not wrong. He's played by a good-looking - but talented as well - Irish actor: Aidan Turner. Have you seen him in "Desperate Romantics"? You know, I collect period dramas and he was the protagonist in that BBC2 production, as Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was brilliant.
Many thanks to both for reading and leaving your comments.

OneMoreLurker said...

Well, I guess it was better that you had The Hobbit trailer for lunch and not for breakfast, if you were a bit distracted during lesson not having watch it, you probably must have been distracted *and* humming the song if you had!

I can imagine your face at your son's dismissal (yes we do hear through music and headphones but I agree is not healthy for our ears :/ ), even if he could hear half what you said your excited expression must have given you away ;)

I didn't see him as too handsome either but I guess we are biased, when I saw Kili (he's the third to appear I think) I thought he looked handsome too...to be a dwarf.
Nahh, it just runs in Thorin's family.

Actually Prue is right, either you were to analytical or you contained yourself, you haven't gushed about his singing nor how it melts you or how many times you have re-watched it! (at least his part) Hehehe

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

OML :D

Alessia Carmicino said...

your husband is right...Richard is still Sexy and beautiful as a Dwarf!and when he sings...I'M SPEECHLESS.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Antonio, although can't forgive the TH makeup staff for ruining Richard's NT!
But I'm glad (and relieved!) they have kept all the magic of his chocolatey voice: can't stop listening to 'the song'... no, as much as I like it, I won't use it as a ringtone :)
xx K/V

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@onemorelurker1
Dear C., you made me smile. You seem to know me very well! I must have had an enthusiastic, blissed smile when I entered my son's room, and I did see the trailer "more than once" enchanted by Richard's singing voice and royal look. I didn't melt ;-) but shivered all over ;-)
@Alessia
You were speechless ... I tend to become very talkative instead when something new comes with RA in it! My family and friends know that very well! I'd be speechless, totally dumb, only if I ever stumble in the man himself (which I don't wish to happen, being too embarassing an event)
@K/V
I didn't notice the fake NT on Richard's face in the trailer as much as in the promo pics we have seen so far.
And, I'm not as good as you at singing the dwarves' song yet. But I'll rehearse and improve so that we can sing it together when we meet next year (in a few days!) :D

bccmee said...

Great quote by your husband. Richard Armitage does make a spectacularly handsome dwarf. ♥

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@bccmee
Well said! a spectacularly handsome king of the dwarves!
Thanks for passing by and commenting.

Gratiana Lovelace said...

Hi Maria Grazia,
Thanks for your musings about The Hobbit Trailer. It has been a whirlwind few days. I, too, was stirred by the Misty Mountains song and the whole production looks lush and painterly.

And the perhaps "younger" Thorin visage we see in the trailer is aged later as we have seen in other production stills from the 4th production video. Quests are wearying. Ha!

Now as to your husband thinking Thorin is too handsome, you might remind him that Thorin is a Dwarf, not a Troll. Ha!

Holiday Cheers! Grati

Summer said...

Great post Maria! Being an avid Tolkien reader and a Richard Armitage admirer, I had great expectations for this trailer ; and I'm happy to say it was more than I expected. Peter Jackson manages once more to recreate Middle Earth. So nice to be back in beautiful Hobbiton and have a glimpse of Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo.
But I wasn't prepared for what I felt as Gandalf introduces Thorin to Bilbo, seen Richard as the regal deposed King brought so many emotions in me; seeing him finally in a leading role in such an important and expected film. He's such a talented actor, and now the time has come for us to share him with the world.
I was also very glad Peter Jackon included a dwarf song -there are many in the book- and listening to Richard's velvety deep voice singing and the rest of the dwarfs joining him brought shills to my skin.
Made me wonder how much I had missed that beautiful voice.
It was a magical night for this Richard Armitage and Tolkien fan.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Gratiana Lovelace
Thanks for your visit and comment, Gratiana! Not a troll, indeed. But all the other dwarves are rather funny and quite ugly (except for Kili), so maybe my husband was not wrong noticing the difference.
But we don't mind a handsome king of dwarves, do we? Especially with that voice and that bearing.
@Summer
Thanks for your beautiful contribution, Summer! As I've already said somewhere else, this is another miracle by Mr Armitage. I've recently seen TLOTR trilogy for the first time in my life and I'm reading The Hobbit. Many of my former students would be very proud of me now. I've had many Tolkien's fans in the past.
Happy Christmas time to both of you!

Summer said...

The things we do for Mr Armitage! Lol He certainly has broaden our horizons. In my case because of him read and watched Strike Back, a genre I always had avoided.
And what to say about Audio books, I had always been reluctant, wasn't interested probably because no other reader had captivated me the way Richard has done. Nothing like listening to his mesmerizing voice after a difficult day :)
I better not mention my presence in twitter or FB
because of him LOL
Have a Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year! xx

alfie said...

LOL. - I had the same thought. Not that his make up were bad, but that maybe he was a bit too handsome next to the other dwarfs :-)
But I dont think that any makeup assistent could make RA NOT handsome AND I really think that PJ KNOWS what he is doing. Maybe "the others" are first discovering Richard now, but PJ knows what Richard is doing for (to) us ;-)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Alfie
I think PJ appreciates Richard's attitude to be such a detailed, intense actor and that is what I have always loved in him. That's the same reason why I love listenting to him speaking about his characters. He really works hard at becoming who he is playing each time and he tries to give them life contributing to the script with his own incredible sensibility. Then he sounds a hardworking and reliable person. I'm sure that is what took him as far as New Zealand working with PJ. Again, beautiful or not, he will convince anybody that HE IS THORIN OAKENSHIELD. Don't you think so?

Anonymous said...

Thorin, under the makeup and slight prosthetics and hair, was recognizable. Anyway, the voice nailed it. Speaking or singing. An excellent trailer, far more artisticly and properly presented than are most trailers. And nicely presently Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. And leading figure.

fitzg

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@fitzg
It is a magical trailer!
As for Thorin introduced as a leading figure (at last! the press gave us the impression Orlando Bloom was the protagonist! where is he in the trailer?), I particularly appreciate Peter Jackson's decision to give him less of the lightness of "The Hobbit" and more of the gravitas of The Trilogy.
Thanks for your comment and ... Happy Christmas Time!

Judy said...

Just saw the trailer today, after my son found it online - he is very excited about The Hobbit as he loved LOTR. Must agree that Richard Armitage makes a very handsome dwarf.:)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Judy
Well, my son, after playing the snobbish in the first moment told me he really finds this trailer magical. He expects the movie to be wonderful. He's seen the Trilogy infinite times!
I think he's jealous, I'm sort of invading his field, interfering with his world. And all because of ... a British actor?!?
Thanks for your comment, Judy :-)

Trudy said...

I was surprised that the usual action-packed trailer flow stopped for several long moments to focus on one low, wistful voice singing a longing for a homeland lost. That it was the Velvet Voice singing solo was all the more incredible to me. I think PJ is showing us that it is Thorin's determination and ambition to reclaim his realm that will drive all the action of this story. I loved how Thorin said 'fate' with an emphasis on the last consonant. Just uttering that would reminds us that 'fate' can be final, coming to an abrupt end, like the word itself. He's going to nail the role perfectly, as we kne he would.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Wow! What a great comment, Trudy! You wrote a wonderful review of the trailer, especially, of Thorin's appearance in it.
Thanks for contributed your impressions. Happy Holidays!