Remember earlier this year, when Lionsgate kept its adaptation of The Hunger Games making daily headlines for nearly a month by announcing casting updates, one-by-one? Well, Warner Bros. has clearly recognized what an ingeniously effective strategy that was, and is following suit by unveiling images of the thirteen dwarfs in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, a couple or so at a time.
Today brings another image of two dwarfs, clad in black armor and with thick curly beards, to boot: The warrior Balin (Ken Stott) and his brother Dwalin (Graham McTavish).
Those of you only familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth through Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy should still recognize the name Balin, a.k.a the Lord of Moria, whose tomb was discovered by the Fellowship upon their arrival at the devastated mines of Moria in Fellowship of the Ring.
Here is how Warner Bros. describes this particular pair of dwarf siblings:
Dwarf Lords in their own right, Balin and Dwalin are close relatives of Thorin [Oakenshield]. Beyond this, these brothers are two of his most loyal and trusted friends. An old warrior, Balin has live through hard times and fought many battles, yet he harbors doubts about the wisdom of the Quest to retake the Lonely Mountain.
Dwalin has no such forebodings - his belief in Thorin's leadership is unshakeable. A powerful and bruising fighter, with a natural tendency to distrust anyone who is not a Dwarf, particularly anyone who might be an Elf, Dwalin is not someone to cross lightly.
Check out an image of the two (via TIME) below:
So, to summarize, so far the dwarf characters from The Hobbit we've seen include:
- The famous warriors Balin (Ken Stott) and Dwalin (Graham McTavish)
- Fortune-seekers Bofur (James Nesbitt), Bombur (Stephen Hunter), and Bifur (William Kircher)
- Northerners Oin (John Callen) and Gloin (Peter Hambleton), father of Gimli (John Rhys-Davies in Lord of the Rings)
- Thorin Oakenshield's younger relatives, Fili (Dean O'Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner)
- Siblings Nori (Jed Brophy), Ori (Adam Brown), and Dori (Mark Hadlow)
That just leaves Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the leader of the expedition to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) - which young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) unexpectedly finds himself being a part of.
In Warner Bros.' defense, by releasing the dwarf images one at a time, it does make the task of telling one apart from another a bit easier (though it remains a savvy marketing tactic, all the same).
Given how stylish the costumes, weaponry, hair and makeup on the Hobbit's dwarf characters look so far, it also makes it easier to appreciate the craftsmanship behind their designs. Right now, chances are good that the same amount of care and effort is being put towards making this new cinematic trip to Middle-Earth an imaginative and memorable one.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in U.S. theaters on December 14th, 2012.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again will follow a year later on December 13th, 2013.