Latest ‘Hobbit’ Image: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

Published 4 years ago by

the hobbit thorin oakenshield Latest Hobbit Image: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

Early images of the dwarf characters in Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation of The Hobbit have varied (slightly) in shape and size, ranging from the almost elf-ish Kili (Aidan Turner) to the Santa Claus-like Balin (Ken Stott).

Now an image of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, a mighty and fearless dwarf warrior, has been unveiled – and his appearance is likewise noticeably different than his peers, including Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Armitage has a long history as a TV actor, with a resume that includes recurring stints on series like MI-5 and Robin Hood, as well as a well-regarded mini-series adaptation of North & South. U.S. moviegoers will be familiar with the man once they see Captain America, which features Armitage as the villainous Heinz Kruger.

Here is an official description of Thorin Oakenshield, followed by the full image of the character (via

As a young Dwarf prince, Thorin witnessed the destruction and terror wrought when a great fire-breathing Dragon attacked the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. After slaughtering many of Thorin’s kin, the great serpent, Smaug, entered The Lonely Mountain and took possession of its vast store of gold and jewels. No-one came to the aid of the surviving Dwarves, and thus, a once proud and noble race was forced into exile. Through long years of hardship, Thorin grew to be a strong and fearless fighter and revered leader. In his heart, a fierce desire grew; a desire to reclaim his homeland and destroy the beast that had brought such misery upon his people. So when fate offers him an unusual ally, he seizes the chance for revenge.

richard armitage thorin oakenshield the hobbit 570x427 Latest Hobbit Image: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

Jackson’s Hobbit movies will (among other things) explore the rich history of dwarf culture, which will allow audiences to see a side of Middle-Earth only briefly glimpsed onscreen in the Rings trilogy. Judging by the costumes and weaponry boasted by the Hobbit dwarf characters shown so far, that sounds like an appealing prospect.

The variation in appearances and personality between the various Hobbit characters will also allow Jackson’s new adaptation(s) to be a bit more humorous and light-hearted an adventure than the Rings movies. It’s all the more fitting, given the difference in scale and tone between the respective source material by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In case you missed the others, here’s a full rundown of characters who join Thorin on his quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the villainous dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch):

We could add Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to that list, though, as the ancient wizard told Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) in Fellowship of the Ring, all he really did was give young Bilbo “a little nudge out of the door.” icon wink Latest Hobbit Image: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits U.S. theaters on December 14th, 2012.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again arrives in theaters a year later on December 13th, 2013.


TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. I’d like to see a single image with all the characters together, or a photoshop composite image combining all the characters shown in the images released so far.
    I think they all look great, though not as I imagined when I read the book.

  2. I must admit I was first disappointed by the look of the dwarfs, but after re reading The Hobbit the style and look fits the light hearted book.

    Though I do think Thorin does look a bit like chancellor gowron from star trek TNG.

    I just hope that The Hobbit hasn’t become to light-hearted with the Gollum section being the dark point

    • I found him COMPLETELY disappointing.
      Too human in appearance.
      Imagined him in a white beard, for one.
      This characterisation of his is more like what Aragorn should have been.

    • My dear fellow, “The Hobbit” has infinitely less darkness than “The Lord of the Rings”. It is a grim, albeit down-to-earth adventure where horrible things CAN happen, but the attitude is of practical courage with a twist of humour.

  3. Not bad at all. Out of all the dwarfs I think that Thorin best fits the description I had in my mind. Looking at his face I can see pride and arrogance. I can see the possibility for greed and anger. I can also see a great warrior and leader. Overall, I think it was an excellent casting choice and an excellent make-up/costume transformation. Looking forward to more tidbits from Jackson and co.

  4. Loved him on Robin Hood. Can’t wait. Each image that comes out makes me more excited! Even if I feel like I’ll be waiting forever.

  5. Does anyone else think that he looks to be holding an elven blade there?

    • That’s Orcrist, his elvish blade from the book.

    • I believe that is Orcrist.

      • Oh yeah, totally forgot. Haven’t read the book for years. =)

  6. Not the Thorin I envisioned at all. I expected Thorin to be dwarf incarnate. Unfortunately, this portrayal falls way short of that mark – in fact, he looks like any regular man. I’ve liked a lot of the dwarves so far, but I’m sort of badly disappointed by this one.

    It’s just cosmetic stuff, but it does make a difference.

    • Thorin looking different than what you believe a dwarf should look like doesn’t mean he’s falling short of any mark. Maybe he’s falling short of YOUR expectations but that doesn’t make the look bad or wrong. What we each want it to be is a totally separate thing from whether Jackson’s visual interpretation is successful or accurate.

      I see this a lot, people think anything different than what they wished for is wrong or a failure or whatever, but in reality we should be reminding ourselves that what works and what we want can (and usually are) be two different things.

      • I’m not the only one disappointed. A lot of people had it in their heads that Thorin was supposed to be older (in the books, he’s older than Balin, look at how old Balin seems), and generally more gruff. Plus he’s the king of the dwarves, so that’s why I expected him to look like dwarf incarnate.

        I just generally don’t like his look. Sue me. Doesn’t mean I won’t watch the movies though, I surely will.

        • Phil, I completely agree, as do most of the people I know who’ve seen the pictures. Thorin was I believe the second oldest of all the dwarves, and his beard was long enough that it dipped into the river when he drank, causing the elves to poke fun at him (read the chapter where they come to Rivendell). I can let go of the age element to an extent, as long as they don’t make him TOO young, which it seems they haven’t. But the would-be king of the dwarves needs a good dwarvish beard. Isn’t his line called the Longbeards, after all? A dwarvish toddler would have more beard than this fellow.

          And let’s not even talk about Kili, who looks more like the half-elven love-child of Aragorn and Legolas than any sort of dwarf.

          That said, I like Aidan Turner and feel sure he’ll do well, and that goes double for both Armitage and Jackson.

          Honestly, I don’t understand why any critical comments on these things inspire such hostile and acrimonious reactions from posters, as if we were blaspheming against the Holiest of Holies. Just expressing our opinions here, folks, same as you.

    • BOOOHOO! It’s not what YOU envisioned. I must have missed the part wher Peter Jackson was making this film for you. What I love is how soooooooo many people complain about stuff like this, but they still go see the films. Don’t like the “look”? Don’t go see it.

      • Such hostility! All I was doing was write my opinion. That’s it. You have a problem with people writing about their opinions? Then don’t come to this site.

        • Hostile? Hardly. I just don’t understand the reason for whining if you’re just gonna go see the movie anyways.

          • If you define “whining” as talking about the parts that you don’t like of a movie as well as the parts you liked about a movie, I guess I am guilty of “whining.”

            …As well as every single movie reviewer and commentator who ever lived.

            • I have to agree with Phil. Thorin should just look more Dwarf-like. But I could probably get past his appearance if he just looked a bit older. I always pictured him with a grey beard (though I don’t remember if he was described that way in the book or not).

              Now, a lot of the dwarves are definitely NOT what I envisioned, but with the exception of Fili and especially Kili, I’m okay with them, including Thorin. I realize that for pragmatic’s sake, the dwarves have to read differently on camera. We need to be able to tell all 13 apart at a glance, so obviously they can’t all have huge Gimli-ish beards, even if that IS a dwarf’s defining characteristic, next to their size.

              Personally, I think Oin looks the most like how I pictured Thorin, and Dwalin is my favorite. Something about a bald dwarf amuses me.

          • Whining and an opinion are different. Peter Jackson is making this film for him, and me, and you.
            Some people have different pictures in their heads of the characters. I don’t mind Thorin at all, I am not to keen on Fili though.

          • Nah, you’re being hostile. Buck up and learn to deal with dissenting opinions. =)

    • If people have read my other comments you would know I agree with Phil, he does NOT look like Thorin much less even a freakin’ DWARF. If you put this guy in a line up, probably the only thing that would hint this was a Dwarf would be his height (the one thing we cannot see in any of the pics because there is no sense of scale)

      I expected to at LEAST see Thorin looking more like one of these fellows:

      and Here is Gloin from the Fellowship of the Ring:

      As Jordan above mentioned, he looks more like a short Klingon without cranial ridges than he does a Dwarf. Hardly what I expected or envisioned.

      I just don’t get it…..Jackson seemed to “get” what a Dwarf was all about during the LotR. All of the Dwarves from the trilogy looked like Dwarves. He either lost or gained something that made him lose that concept with the Hobbit imho. So yes, I am sorely disappointed with about half the looks of the Dwarf company.

      This is how I feel about the group:

      Thorin Oakenshield – disappointed (see above)
      Fili – looks a bit thin but, ok
      Kili – looks more like a short “emo” elf than a Dwarf plus BOTH should be blonde. the book states he had a yellow beard, long nose, wore a cloak with a blue hood and played the fiddle. Huge miss.
      Oin – one of the most “Dwarfy”, excellent.
      Gloin – one of the most “Dwarfy”, excellent.
      Balin – ok
      Dwalin – not a fan of the bald look but that’s just me so, ok.
      Nori – ok
      Ori – might be the youngest of the brothers but he is STILL a full adult and older than Kili/Fili so should have a full beard and not those weird wispy side chin things. Hardly Dwarfy so fail.
      Dori – like the look in general but the short beard is out of place. Marginal but still looks like a Dwarf.
      Bifur(the one with the mattock) – hate the hat but, ok.
      Bofur(one with the spear) – a more classic look. Hair is a bit wild but, ok.
      Bombur – looks more like a fat, 19th century English aristocrat than a Dwarf. No hair on the chin is just wrong and the hair necklace is plain weird.

  7. Gotta unsubscribe from yet another Screen Rant thread notification because it’s turned into “DERP DERP DERP derpderperp!”

    • +1

  8. I am so ready for the Hobbit! I know it will be spectacular! I believe the character images we are seeing so far are brilliant. I am waiting to see the Dragon Smaug!

  9. I too, pictured Thorin as an older, grayer,dwarf. Still he looks pretty cool. Cant wait for the movie.

    • ya I thought he should be older

    • You are correct. He should be 195 years old at the time of The Hobbit. Considering a Dwarves lifespan is roughly 250 years, yeah he is definitely on the “old” side so that is just another sign of missing (or disregarding) the details.

  10. I think he looks freaking awesome. Along with all the other dwarves. Since when do all dwarves have to have big bushy beards and all look alike. Peter and company are once again doing fantastic job. Can’t wait to see the rest of the characters.

    • They totally are!

    • There’s a difference between someone saying “All dwarves have to have big bushy beards and look alike”, and someone saying “Thorin, king of the dwarves, scion of the Longbeard clan — described in the book as having a beard that fell down into the water when he bent over the river — should at least have a mid-sized beard.”

      You’re making a straw man.

  11. Not disappointed but I can understand how some people might be..especially when it is not even close to how you pictured it in your mind… I look at the sword he is holding and the detail and craftsmanship put into that one goes a long way into showing the love that the effort the technical and creative teams are putting into these movies..They won’t disappoint IMO..they will be as successful if not more than the LOTR Trilogy..

    • To counter your point……it’s hardly “how we pictured it in our minds”. Jackson himself laid the groundwork for what a Dwarf looked like with the 7 Dwarf Lords, Dwarves at the Council of the Ring (including Gloin) and then of course Gimli. Jackson had the “Dwarfy” look down but he intentionally chose to disregard both that and the fact he should be the oldest Dwarf of the group.

      So we dissenters expected the same type of regal and classic look for at LEAST the current King of the Dwarves. Instead we get a Human/Klingon hybrid. I looked at the picture of him sitting at the head of the table and he just looks like some guy with long hair, hardly Dwarf-like even at a glance.

  12. I always had a problem with the fact that the animated Hobbit (from the 70′s) made the dwarfs look more like something from Snow White then the fearsome warriors written about in the Tolkien legends. Part of that is the tone in which the Hobbit is written (versus LOTR, The Silmarillion, etc.). My thought is that, to a degree, Peter Jackson’s version of the Hobbit has to take a darker tone to match with the universe he created for LOTR.

  13. I do not understand the obdurate fixation, displayed here and elsewhere, concerning the physical appearance of Thorin in particular and the dwarves in general. I’d be very surprised and disappointed to see them all sporting an assortment of prissy little multi-coloured hoods and a very nasty entanglement of facial hair, atop their big bellies. Thorin, especially, must look as if he has a fire in his and could kill a dragon – and means to, especially as he’s only 4′ tall. The dwarves were meant to be fierce warriors and here we have convincing depictions. What is the point of a mummified, weak and wrinkly old thespian wielding the Orcrist just because the character is supposed to be getting on a tad in dwarven terms? Thorin must look as though he can lift the blessed thing! If it’s any consolation to the ‘purists’, Richard Armitage – who was always beardless – was last night seen at the premiere of “Captain America” wearing a very thick, dark brown growth of his own making which will have expanded prodigiously by the time he returns to New Zealand in September. I suspect the beards will grow as time progresses and filming is far from over.

    It’s interesting that so many people have a fixed idea in their minds as to how the dwarves should look but disallow of the fact that everyone’s vision is different and cannot possibly be accommodated. Peter Jackson has given us all a wonderful interpretation of Tolkien’s work so far and I’m sure he will not disappoint with this. If Tolkien fans have a strong affiliation to the characters in “The Hobbit”, then Thorin is safe in the hands of this man because he is of their number. This important little children’s book, (and all the stories that followed), is THE work that fired his imagination, launched his love of books as a child and, ultimately, sparked his desire to be an actor. If all of you who have a particular ‘vision’ of the dwarves, especially as to character, then, be assured, so has he – and doubtless we’ll certainly see it. I think they’ll all prove to be magnificent and will far exceed all expectations.

    Good luck to this particular ‘ship’ and all who sail in her. It should be wonderful.

    • spot on Amelia.

      Great post. Thorin is my favorite character in the book and still is some 30 years on. I’m thrilled Richard is portraying Oakenshield.

      I’m all for the look Jackson gave Thorin and know that Richard will handle him with the exact selfish intensity and deep kindness Tolkien wrote him with.

      If his beard grows a bit longer I sure won’t complain but for me, he IS Thorin so I’m already game.

      As far as the looks that PJ and co. established for LoTR, I love that they are expanding upon that look and pillaging various warrior cultures to give the dwarven race a very fearsome and fun cast.

    • Yes, this “obdurate fixation” on having the adaptation of a book be similar to the book itself… how silly!

      Tolkien himself made repeated and special note of the “prissy little multi-coloured hoods” you speak of, so if you don’t care for that, your issue seems to be more with Tolkien than with those who would like to see his creations accurately depicted visually. Seems to me that they could all have hoods in various colors as a simple quick easy nod to the source material, and there’s no need for the hoods to be made to look “prissy”.

      You, like many others who seem so deeply offended that anyone could possibly find anything objectionable in anything the good Mr. Jackson does, rely upon a straw man. I can agree with you that Thorin needn’t be mummified, weak, or wrinkly. No one has suggested that he should. There are many examples of robust, vital older men fully capable of wielding an elvish blade to slay a goblin king. Do we need to make him seem younger to make it believeable? And would a beard more than a half-inch long somehow cripple him?

      I, and many others who are commenting here, are less concerned with their personal vision of how dwarves or anyone else should look, and more concerned with Tolkien’s vision of how they should look. Read his words, it’s there. Tolkien’s artwork, showing full-bearded dwarves, is even available now. We have the right to speak out in support of the creator’s descriptions when they are being discarded or ignored, especially when the motive seems to be selling more tickets or pandering to potential female viewers.

      If the eagles that carry them from the pines to the carrock get turned into pigeons because some executive thinks it will work better with some demographic, should we all hold silent for fear of angering the surly defenders of Anything Jackson Does?

  14. I love the fierce look in Richard’s eyes as Thorin Oakenshield.He does absolutely comes across as a leader and defender. PJackson got the look right.

  15. I can accept 12 of these dwarves, even Fili & Kili. I didn’t expect, that they look exactly like I imagined them.
    But this Thorin Oakenshield is an absolute failure. Thinking of the trailer I have to say, that he looks more like a dwarfish Aragorn.
    Maybe they want to give women somebody they can romanticize about. Normally, 13 dwarves, a hobbit and gandalf don’t suit for that role, but with this …

    I mean, Thorin should be an old dwarfen king with a “very long beard”. In the picture above he looks like a Klingon, in the trailer he looks like a human.
    I am so disppointed about that, I just have to write it on every site, I can find even though I suck at writing in english.