Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield: Earnestly insistent or insistently earnest?

I really need something to go according to plan for a change, so I can follow my own plans. Just one of those weeks where I’m trying to deal sanely with family members and so, the two Hobbit movies on TNT tonight come just right for me to indulge in six hours of Richarding.

My attention tonight falls on one of my favorite Thorin Oakenshield expressions — it is a kind of intense earnestness. It comes at moments where Thorin is touching on topics of deep emotional significance and is concerned that someone he is trying to convince, someone who has some kind of status superiority (either formal or moral), may not believe what he is saying. It occurs in a mood of single-mindedness, something to which he does not want to brook dissent.

Two examples that always strike me:

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Screencap.

Here, Thorin has just said, “I am sorry that I doubted you.” (about 1:35 or so below):

It’s an addition to the more emotional statement that he’s never been so wrong in all his life, but also an amplifying followup and an attempt to convince and insist, as if he is concerned he will not have been believed.

And a second one:

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Screencap.

or the same expression shows up here from about 2:26 to 2:29:

After Thorin reveals he’s been looking for his father, Gandalf responds that nothing concrete has been heart of Thrain in a long time. But Thorin expresses his dogged insistence that his father “still lives. I am sure of it.” It’s a rejoinder and an assertion and the prosecution of a case, all in one, this expression, and yet there’s something uncompromising, even stubborn about it.

Both moments from from awareness of deep emotion and perhaps a little bit out of fear — fear that he won’t be believed? fear that his seriousness of purpose is seen by others as implausible or wasted? The tenacious pursuit of a point by a dwarf who has been exiled so long?

~ by Servetus on May 5, 2017.

4 Responses to “Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield: Earnestly insistent or insistently earnest?”

  1. This intense earnestness also always strikes me as very deliberate, with vehemence. I am wondering whether there is also an element of Selbstüberzeugung in it – a subconscious nudge to convince himself of what he is thinking/saying?

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