Can't say much for the original rendering of Thorin:
He looks like something out of some video game. Or graphic novel. Are you enchanted? I sure as hell was not! He is one ugly, nasty, evil-looking dude. Meh, meh, and triple meh! He is the stuff of male role-playing adolescent dreams about power (and looks a whole lot like a Klingon).
People, you lied!!!!!!
Here is the real Thorin as rendered in the film:
And compared to all sparkly:
It's all a matter of light. Thorin was lit like a divinity. Vampires? Not so much. They are rather bestial and drink human blood. Thorin? He wants to go home and is willing to sacrifice his life to reclaim it. No contest, eh?
Thorin has to have the dewiest complexion ever! I know it's a weird thing to say, but the fact is, I was mesmerised by The Armitage's skin which was highlighted to great effect. You'll have to take my word for it till the DVD comes out. It glowed.
I have so hated The Armitage's beard. Hate, hate, hate. And then I noticed Thorin's soul patch. Normally, beards are rather common. But in the film the soul patch stands front and centre and it rules! Thorin is all about the soul patch!
There is nothing but the soul patch. And the eyes. Oh! The eyes!
The Armitage was a ghost in this film. Only his eyes were visible; they did all the talking (with soul patch emphasis, of course!). First shot of him. I lost my breath. Could he look more gorgeous. From the outset, Peter Jackson rendered the character divine. And the image was all that-- divine.
I am sure everyone has waxed eloquent about The Armitage's performance. About his beauty and everything in between. I can only speak of what moved me, what blew me away.
I will have to wait for the DVD to capture the moments, and even now, I am wondering if I will buy the DVD but I probably will because of The Armitage's performance. Apart from Thorin's introduction, that image so breathtaking and setting the tone, I remember when his story was being told. I remember Thorin reduced to labour, at the forge, and the look on his face. Multi-layered, a mixture of pride, determination, dismay and anguish. Stark. If it had not been RA, I wonder if I would have missed that look.
I noticed the way Thorin holds himself, tilts his head. His passionate physical presence. His rage, his nobility, his determination, his sadness, grief and anguish, his impulsiveness, his recklessness, his loyalty, his inwardness. Always colouring the face. Sometimes in the body. Always with that divine glow.
And then there was home, Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. Thorin stands before the sight of it:
And emotions ripple, billow and break under his skin. They crest and curl, they flow and flutter. Several, all there, one after another, in a nanosecond. That moment is worth everything. This is the actor Richard Armitage that I know and adore. Writ large. For me, it's worth all. More than beauty, more than divinity, more than nobility, this leaves me breathless. I am rapt in the glow.
Shine on, Sparkles.
*Yes, I actually just saw The Hobbit, two months after the opening.