I See Fire – The Hobbit Fan Event Recap

As promised, a quick and dirty report of  the New York City Hobbit Fan Event  which concluded about 15 minutes from when I started writing this. There might be more typos than usual, but I’ll come in and pretty it up later.

Where to begin? With Richard Armitage, of course. There was no chance to meet him or speak with him, so I never had to face the ultimate decision of what I would do. Once fans were seated in the theater, Anderson Cooper came on stage, entering from the back of the theater and walking down the aisle.

He killed some time getting miked up, having fans who came in costume stand up (there was a really good Gandalf – I mean really.) After checking in with the other locations, first Orlando Bloom, and then directly after, Richard Armitage were announced and both walked down the aisle to  take their seats.

Oooh, or maybe Ooof. Yikes would be good. Dressed casually, as most of you saw, in a brown mocha leather jacket- I think it was leather, but so buttery soft that it looked almost suede, favorite black jeans a black T shirt, what looked like some sort of black wingtips. He kept his shoes on. ( Not like some- Peter Jackson, hello- Anderson Cooper)  You probably all saw that on your screens.

And I watched and I watched and I watched. I watched him get miked up, I watched him sit down, I watched him watching the monitor and turning around to see the huge screen. I watched him when I should have been watching the screen. (A few more tidbits below).

He is, indeed, very good looking in person, but from what I saw, and I was sitting about 6 rows from the front, I can’t say he was better looking from my viewpoint than in some of his roles or in beauty shots. That was in person, but on the giant screen – even though he was sitting right beneath it – he is to die for. Maybe it was the angle, maybe it was the lighting, I don’t know. Make no mistake, either way he is gorgeous – the best looking man, in my opinion, among Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Jed Brophy, Anderson Cooper and Peter Jackson. And maybe any other man in the world. But the Richard Armitage on the giant screen was the one I recognized more than the guy sitting in the chair. But just by a hair. Maybe I wasn’t close enough.

He was attentive to what was going on. He laughed, he poked Orlando Bloom, they shared some secrets at times – remembering some of the incidents Peter Jackson was talking about, laughing at Lee Pace’s antics. Now and then he made a hand gesture if he thought something was funny -holding his index finger up, as though to say ” note this,” or ” see?”

From what Anderson Cooper said, unless I misheard, the three of them, and maybe some Warner Brothers people, watched the sneak peek just before the event.  So, and this was really disappointing, they left shortly after the online feed was turned off and the sneak peek was ready to begin.

They just up and left. Anderson stayed on to introduce it, but then he was gone when the lights went up.

If you watched the Q & A – you know that Richard Armitage was asked only one question ( fair enough – not too many cast got more) – but it was a good one – what was his favorite line from the film? His answer was a good one, too. I think I have it right, ” If we burn tonight then we will all burn together.” Twitter and Orlando thought it was a sexy line. Images of burning with him – or anyway, heat, went coast to coast, across the Atlantic, over the Rio Grande and down under to the other side of the world. Just ask Twitter.

Richard Armitage looked amused when he saw, on the bottom of the screen, a tweet that  said something like, “Richard Armitage has the sexiest line.”

His voice, live, was – G-d, it was so familiar.  Hearing him answer that question might have been the best part, or one of the best parts of the experience.

As to the rest of the event, it was less  disappointing than the star interactions.

I was so sorry that those watching on line didn’t get to see any of the sneak peek. Peter Jackson spoke earnestly and beseechingly urging people, not only to refrain from taping it and putting it on the internet, but also, he asked bloggers not to give too much away, because it would ruin it for others and might mean the end to this sort of event.

So, I’m going to abide by that and just tell you what scenes were shown – there are no spoilers and I’m not giving anything away. We saw more of the Mirkwood scene than ever before – though some of what was shown was in the trailer. We saw a  scene with Thanruil, Legolas and Tauriel that has never been seen – and man, if you’ve heard that Tauriel is a bad-ass, wait until you meet Thranduil.

We saw more of  the barrel scene than we’ve seen before, a look at the Dwarves’ trip to Lakedown with Bard and a longer bit than we’ve seen before of Bilbo discovering Smaug, or vice-versa. There was plenty of Thorin in what we saw. No skimping here.

And the song. We heard ( sorry, didn’t get his name) whoever wrote the song to be played during the ending credits – he sang it. It’s a lovely, moving ballad, and even without having seen the film, I was really moved to tears.  I think it’s called  I See Fire, or maybe Smoke and Fire,  anyway ” I see fire” is the refrain. There’s a beautiful line in it, “keep watching over Thorin’s sons.” ( Thorin has sons?) , and another, ” If we die tonight, we die together.”

I really loved this song.

What more to say right now?

I was excited to be there, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more interaction with Richard Armitage, or really with any of the cast. But it’ s Peter Jackson’s thing, so he led it. And it was a gift. No question.

So, if you wanted to look at Richard Armitage and not much more, this was the event.

And, sorry Richard Armitage, but this is why I would not want you to know I blog  about you, As attentive as he was, and he didn’t look bored at all ( it was really too short to be bored) he looked at his watch once ( just before the video blog) . He moved his sleeve up so he could see it, and he looked at his watch.

And he  picked at his cuticles. He likes to be in motion, I think. He was almost always in some sort of motion. He tried to clasp his hands and sit still, but no dice. But he seemed relaxed. As I said, he laughed and smiled a lot.

I didn’t meet any fans whose names I knew. I met some people who go to a lot of screenings and thought they were seeing the entire film. They were disappointed.

I met a group of younger people, college students, who were mildly ringers, and one was mad about Richard Armitage. She was maybe 21, which is a good thing for him. She had a painting of him that she hoped to be able to give him. Nice painting, nice young girl,  but it didn’t look anything like him.

Wewere offered popcorn and soft drinks. We were given T-shirts and a poster. About 8″ x 36″ ( our NY Subway art is the same size). It’s the poster with all the characters – the one with Thorin, Kili and Fili in the right corner.

So, not everything I hoped it would be, only because Richard Armitage did not stay longer and he only answered one question – but it was a great question and an equally rewarding answer – and- they didn’t turn the lights out completely, so I could at him all the time, and I did.

I swear he looked right at me once.

[ETA] I know now that I got a few things wrong – his exact  line, a missed word in the song and the color of his jeans. Also, didn’t know that he and the others went to the back of the theater to watch the clip. 

85 thoughts on “I See Fire – The Hobbit Fan Event Recap

  1. Thanks so much for sharing so quickly, Perry. I have the same tendency to fidget, to talk with my hands, pick at my nails. I find that quality so human and endearing in him. I wish you had all gotten more of RA, but hey, what you did get re that question and response was “cherce.” (choice) 😀 And they didn’t turn the lights out, whoo-hoo!

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  2. I suspected that there wouldn’t be a whole lot of time for actual questions but one for each actor?! so basically, it was a quick peek in-say a few words-and dash out again. (I’d be looking at my watch too, if I were him) oh well, if we only get one answer, it was a very worthwhile one 😉 I’m glad you got to stare to your heart’s content and breathe the same air as him *laughs* 🙂

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  3. Thanks very much Perry for this quick report! I wondered whether you there in the actual theatre had more chances to ask further questions. But obviously not. Which is a pity, as the actors had been on stage, which doesn’t happen too often. At least you were able to watch him a bit more and longer, as we, sitting in front of our smaller screens, mainly seing only Mr. Cooper… and not the most gorgeous man in attendance. Anyway doubtlessly it must’ve been kind of a really special experience.

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  4. Thank you for sharing! Teuchter and I were on Skype together, except her feed was several seconds ahead of mine so it was a bit disjointed, but it was lovely to share it with her.
    It was frustrating waiting for Richard to answer a question but boy, he was worth it when he finally did so. I loved that when he was off screen I could hear him laughing.
    I’m not surprised you watched him instead of other things. As on the screen, he draws your eyes. It’s a…magnetism…that I’ve felt in no other actor.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Perry. I missed the live feed, but your account, along with the caps and video clips that have been posted so quickly has made up for it. The internet still continues to amaze me.

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  6. This is what I was hoping for and far sooner than expected. You are a trooper! Thank you so very much! You are not alone in the…um…disappointment in the time allotted with Richard department. 😦 So glad you folks had/are having a wonderful time!

    Technology was not my friend today, I’m afraid, so no posts from me. Fail.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, and so fast. Loved your succinct impressions. I would have focused on him the whole time as well. And my personal obsession: How tall did he seem to you? Pick a number between 6’1′ and 6’4″.

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    • He didn’t look as big or as tall as I was expecting. I think Orlando is not small – so that may be a reason, and he wasn’t that close to Anderson. And if you’ve followed some of the other blogs just out, he is thinner than he’s been in a while. So, I would say he looked 6’1″or 6’2″, although I know he is almost 6’3″

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      • Thanks ,Perry. Orlando is 5’11.according to IMDB, so that computes for me. He looked thinner than usual to me. Of course, in my experience, New Yorkers are generally thin from all the walking, among other things.

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        • Yes- I saw the photos of the event and could see that Orlando was considerably shorter, but somehow it didn’t look that way- but they didn’t really stand straight during the event. RA was stooped getting miked. Anyway- long story short, I know he is bigger than he looked.

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  8. Thanks for this, it was interesting to read from someone who was at a different event (I was at the Wellington one).
    It’s odd that your stars left you, Peter Jackson and Jed Brophy came back after the sneak peak for more questions.
    Just a note: I think the line was ““keep watching over Durins’ sons.” not “keep watching over Thorin’s sons.”

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  9. I read some comments about Richard looking thin in some of today’s pictures. On looking closer, (*such* a hardship) I had to agree! 😦 Sooo . . . I just looked at IMDb and the description of the plot for original Poldark series and it says “British officer Ross returns to his native Cornwall after the Revolutionary War after escaping as a prisoner of war.” Do we dare hope that once again, like in Spooks/MI-5, he has to look malnourished after being in prison, hence the loss of weight and the heavy stubble? Fingers crossed!!! 😉

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          • Yes, so had I. Part and parcel was that he was *the* Poldark of the day – and make no mistake, Ross is a character to totally fall in love with. But with Richard in the role….

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            • I hadn’t thought of it in terms of marketing. It’s a well-known (and loved) book series in England . . . I’m just imagining him in period clothes, strong thighs gripping the flanks of his horse, riding across the Cornish landscape, cape flapping in the wind . . .

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          • I misspoke. I thought Poldark was going to be a movie, then I found out it is to be a BBC series. My bad, since the primary market they are targeting is familiar with the material. No marketing problems there. I was thinking internationally. It sounds lovely. Sorry, had to reply ahead of my comment.

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    • YES!! As soon as Perry said “thinner” Poldark immediately sprung to mind. Please, please, PLEASE, nice BBC, let it be Richard! I recently persuaded another RAPerson to start reading: she confirms that Richard *is* Ross. Not just me saying it.
      Poldark was *massive* in the 70s – one of the most popular series the Beeb has ever produced – and still has a healthy following (books too); there’s even a Poldark Society – which also favours Richard as Ross – so if it comes about it will be IMHO far bigger than N&S.

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    • I’m now into the second book of the Poldark series (as well as watching it). I can’t get Richard as Ross out of my head as I read.

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  10. Great job organizing all of this, great job getting in there, great, detailed report that tells me everything I want to know! This is the perfect compliment to being able to watch it on screen.

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  11. So nice to meet so many wonderful people tonight and to be in such good company. I too would have liked more q/a opportunity but the 20 minutes of film footage was quite a treat. Was heading out a back exit and got a quick pic with Mr. Armitage who obliged even when security tried to wave me off…he heard my little “Just a quick pic?” and turned right around to come over…so yeah, I took a pic with him and it was lovely and he said it was nice to meet me and I said “likewise love”…and yeah… the whole night was great and yeah…I’m so tired I could cry…xo all

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    • What an awesome experience for them! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought how the very idea of “breathing the same air” as anyone would be so exciting. Richard has changed all that and although I doubt if I will *ever8 get the chance to experience that for myself, I’m really thrilled for anyone who has!! Many thanks to those who have shared that with us. 🙂

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  12. Thanks Perry. Reading your report was a nice consolation for those of us who couldn’t be there. I can’t wait to hear the song!

    Has anyone heard from someone who attended a satellite event like Toronto or Paris?

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  13. Had to go to bed last night before you blogged but couldn’t wait to go on-line this morning to read your report. Thank you, Perry, a real treat.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your experience. It was really lovely even if it too bad they only asked one question to Richard. But you got the chance to see him and to hear him in person and that, that’s gold!
    I think he is so shy that being in such great event makes him nervous, reason why he can’t stop moving. It’s me or he seems really tired?
    I couldn’t see any of the live but I could imagine how great it was by your telling. So, thank you!

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    • Welcome to my blog, my friend, and thank you. You see that this Fan Event took over- but sit tight. Sorry you didn’t get to see it live, but I think it’s on line now.

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  15. I have to confess I was really looking forward to reading your impressions of yesterday Perry, and you didn’t disappoint!
    I’ve heard it mentioned before how strange it is to see the man in person, hear his voice live and it be somewhat familiar but surreal, then you see him on screen and you know that image so well it’s immediately recognisable. It’s like we’re confronted by real vs. screen Richard.

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  16. it’s a little baffling, really, and I think I’m in the minority with my opinion – I wasn’t as close as MarieAstra, but not that far behind her either, and almost the same line of sight. Maybe it was the lighting – but the same image on the big screen that I kept looking at as I was also looking at the real thing below – just looked a bit more familiar.
    The voice though- there was no mistaking the voice.

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  17. Thanks for sharing sorry the night not quite as interactive as you would have hoped. Having met the man in close up at the red carpet Wellington premier I can say that yes he is absolutely gorgeous and the effect he has is very disconcerting . I found myself very unusually bashful when he spoke to me. He has the effect of taking your breath away and rendering me ga ga. So perhaps best to observe from a distance and admire from afar!!!

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  18. Thanks for sharing your on the spot experiences, Perry.
    I’m so glad that you got to go! I wish they had more at each site after the online for the audience, too. But it sounds like you had great seats and a gReAt view!
    However, I did see the Sneak Peak as an online viewer–and I capped a good portion of it that I’ll post tomorrow, with some annotations on specific lines voiced by the characters (yes, that line. Ha!). I was too tired after capping and posting the first part last night to do the second part. Ha!
    Cheers! Grati;->

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  19. I was there at 7am traveling from philadelphia. I was one of the ones they twitted the picture of when they bought us all coffee and hot cocoa for waiting so long and so early in the cold. We must have been close because I was in the 7th row with my husband. I had so much fun! It was definitely worth the wait. If you would have waited near the restrooms you would have saw Orlando Bloom and Richard Armitage. My husband had to go to the bathroom before we left for the bus station and Orlando and Richard walk right by me, waved and entered. They both came back out around the same time my guy did and we got a few pictures. Orlando wasn’t interested in photographs but Richard was very kind and willing.

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  20. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 104: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

  21. Pingback: Who Would Have Thunk It? | Armitage Agonistes

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