Random Armitage Thorin jaw beard shoulders vlog thoughts

Angie calls it the rawr. There have been a few other posts about this moment of vlog #7. It’s my favorite picture:

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in a screencap from preproduction vlog #7 for The Hobbit. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

I’ve talked about his capacity to open his mouth and his own self-recognition of how important his jaw is before. Obviously, a manifestation of that is clear in this photo. I also think (and I think someone has already said this, but I can’t remember where I read it, so apologies — let me know and I will link to you) that it’s clear at the very latest from this photo that we’re going to see plenty of Armitage’s actual jaw and face in this production. The makeup enhances, rather than hides, its particularities. If clarity of expression draws us to Armitage’s work, we’re going to see that here. The architecture of his nose and forehead are built up rather than hidden by Thorin’s prosthetics.

The lip position in these caps is also somehow compelling.

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield; same as above. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

There’s something about the way he holds his lips in relationship to his teeth that makes his cruelty, crueler; his rage, ragy-er.

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) expresses his resentment to the returned Robin Hood in Robin Hood 3.1. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

I’m sure he learned back in school during his speech examinations that the lips have to be moved decisively in order to create good consonant sounds for speech clarity, especially for plosives, and he seems to take that requirement very seriously; but the way he holds his lips when he’s articulating in order to be loud or angry adds another note of tension to his appearance. It may be partially that we see his teeth more fully in such situations, and that they work visually like the sclera do, enhancing emotion by providing us a contrasting background against which to view something else, or alerting us to something we should watch.

John Porter (Richard Armitage) argues with Felix Masuku (Shaun Parkes) about their obligations to the denizens of the orphanage, in Strike Back 1.4. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Something about those shoulders and their sideways rotation makes these caps magnetic, too. I can’t completely put my finger on it, and I’m sure, although we’ve speculated that Mr. Armitage is slightly round-shouldered by inclination, that there’s padding here to intensify their effect. But something about the implied twisting motion of his body makes him look really powerful and athletic despite all the dwarfy bulk.

And one final thought. OK, we didn’t get any remarks from Armitage in this vlog — its theme was the activities and the tremendous effort put in by the crew to create the effects we expect. In that sense, Armitage’s appearance in it was absolutely of a piece with the theme of the vlog. Because look at the effort involved here. Man. You’d have to love your job absolutely to put up with getting up early to be glued into all this makeup and padded and dressed, then put in a barrel in water, which you’re not that thrilled about personally, and finally have the stuff soaked to saturation and unrecognizability while you were working in it, actually act through all of it, which is the job, after all, and then get out of the barrel and shiver patiently while you were waiting to have it removed so it could be used again the next day. Honestly, if that were my job, I’d have to go home every night and snuggle up in my jammies and blankie.

Mr. Armitage, I’m grateful that you love this work enough to make this kind of effort for us. And I’m amazed by the effect. Thank you.

~ by Servetus on June 10, 2012.

9 Responses to “Random Armitage Thorin jaw beard shoulders vlog thoughts”

  1. Another reason I never would fantasize about Richard Armitage is that he looks so much like my dad at times. those pictures above as case in point and especially the John Porter and Guy pics. My mother has freaked a little over some of his pictures. The resemblance at times is eerie.


    • luckily, you’re not required to fantasize about him! 🙂 you can still be a fan anyway!


      • No, my mother gets too. 😆


      • I mean she gets “to”. Damn keyboard. I’m not quite that poor a typist or speller. Seriously, I have a new system, and I HATE the keyboard. May need to replace it. Other than that, I love this laptop. I’ve even fantasized about it. 😉


        • My magic carpet has a dock for this laptop, which is equipped with fantasy sat-nav. When I finally change computers, I just know I’ll have to upgrade the dock to handle the new ports.


  2. Re. “Honestly, if that were my job, I’d have to go home every night and snuggle up in my jammies and blankie.”, from quotes I’ve read and heard, I suspect that that is exactly what he does, or that he does his Alexander technique exercises and is sound asleep before he has finished.


    • well, I’d be doing it because I’d be dreading going to work tomorrow. Presumably he does it because he’s tired. Honestly — if I had to go through all that to write or teach, there’s no way I’d do it.


      • You can get so exhausted that you’re too tired to feel dread. All you know is that it has to be done. I’ve been there. A lot.

        Even so, Richard was very open about crying in his trailer one day when he just could not do it again for another take. And the man is in no way a wuss.


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