Richard Armitage wowed me with his portrayal as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It wasn’t his acting. It wasn’t his bearing or his costuming. No, it was his voice.
Thorin is a king, specifically King Under the Mountain, Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór. Those titles are thrown around the movie and much is made of them at moments when there’s nothing else to lose. Nothing said king better than Richard Armitage’s gravely rumble.
Yes, I’m a sucker for a man with a sexy voice.
All shallowness aside, Thorin impressed me as a character who can admit he’s wrong. Even as real human beings this isn’t an easy thing to do. For a haughty and officious dwarf who doesn’t realize his people are dying out it’s down right impressive.
Not that Bilbo is one hard to doubt; he even doubts himself. Thorin is an excellent leader in that he constantly pushes the weakest individuals to greatness yet knows when to put those same individuals on the sidelines for the greater mission.
I also love a leader who says no when yes would plain be easier.
Thranduil the Elvenking is not an easy elf to say no to, especially since he has time on his side. Nevertheless Thorin sticks to his beliefs willing to fail in his mission to keep from rewarding someone who betrayed him. Such preservation of one’s beliefs is hard to come by today.
Not to be outdone though Thorin is cunning warrior and capable of holding his own despite his stature, especially compared to the orcs and trolls.
And how can a man, a dwarf even, make all that hair seem so manly? (I know, I know we put all shallowness behind us…Still!)
If you’ve read the book you know the end of Thorin’s journey. A dwarf is not a sum of his life. It is the journey that matters. The choices one makes, the battles one chooses to fight.
Is Thorin a leader of all leaders? No, he’s but a dwarf who felt moved to right a wrong and gathered the kinsmen necessary to attempt to do so. Full of greed and the traditions of his fathers he falls, but that doesn’t make him any less a dwarf king among men.
This month I’m participating in a writing challenge to post everyday in April (except Sundays) called the A to Z Challenge. I’m exploring my love of characters, find the full list here. Read some of my other writing posts here. What characters do you love?