Side Dish: Conventional Dwarves

Richard Armitage   Comic Con July, 2012

Richard Armitage Comic Con July, 2012

To acknowledge our Hobbit actors out and about at conventions today, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis at Wonder Con, and ten dwarf actors at HobbitCon, here’s a retrospective of some of their previous convention appearances. This is a follow up to A Gathering of Dwarves. Neither Richard nor Andy will be promoting The Hobbit on this occasion, but it’s fair to say, it’s their roles in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies for which they are both best known, at an event such as this.

Richard Armitage made his first ever convention appearance at Comic Con in San Diego in July 2012, only a week or so after finishing principal photography for The Hobbit. What a baptism of fire- Hall H, the biggest stage there is, with the biggest audience reach. Armitage was in good company for the wild ride- Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Elijah Wood, shared the panel, as well as Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens.

Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman Comic Con July, 2012

Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman Comic Con July, 2012

The other Hobbit actors began making convention appearances in early 2013, with two Armageddon events being held in early March in New Zealand- Dunedin and Christchurch. These were attended by Dean O’Gorman, Jed Brophy, Peter Hambleton and William Kircher. Fans were tentative in these first Q&A sessions, unsure of what to ask, and how their questions would be received. The actors too, were finding their way in these early fan encounters. Dean won over fans with his down-to-earth personality and laconic sense of humour.

Dean O'Gorman Armageddon Christchurch March, 2013

Dean O’Gorman Armageddon Christchurch March, 2013

William Kircher, Dean O'Gorman, Peter Hambleton and Jed Brophy  Dunedin  March 2013

William Kircher, Dean O’Gorman, Peter Hambleton and Jed Brophy Armageddon Dunedin March 2013

HobbitCon was held at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, between 30th March and 1st April, 2013, and was the first convention experience for a number of the actors who attended. All embraced the event wholeheartedly, and reportedly enjoyed the festive atmosphere. Peter Hambleton told TheOneRing’s Greendragon how events like HobbitCon really opened his eyes to the passion of the fans. All up, eight of the thirteen dwarf actors attended. Here’s an excellent first-hand report of all the events.

Jed, Stephen, Dean, Graham and Adam in Bonn, Germany  March, 2013

Jed, Stephen, Dean, Graham and Adam in Bonn, Germany March, 2013

Adam and Jed quiz Graham about his horse riding skills

Adam and Jed quiz Graham about his horse riding skills

Graham with Dwalin's arm

Graham with Dwalin’s arm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean and Mark

Dean and Mark

Rendition of Misty Mountains

The actors close HobbitCon with a rendition of Misty Mountains

Supanova Melbourne was held in mid-April, with Graham McTavish, Stephen Hunter and Dean O’Gorman making the trip to Australia.

Stephen Hunter, Graham McTavish, Dean O'Gorman   Supanova Melbourne April, 2013

Stephen Hunter, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman Supanova Melbourne April, 2013

The cast all headed back to New Zealand in late May to film pickups for The Hobbit. On 2nd June, Armageddon Wellington played host to a whole line up of dwarves, with only Armitage and Ken Stott not taking part. The actors appeared tired, but happy to greet the fans en masse.

Hobbit cast on stage at Armageddon Wellington June, 2013

Hobbit cast on stage at Armageddon Wellington June, 2013

Hobbit cast at Armageddon Wellington

Hobbit cast at Armageddon Wellington

During the filming period, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy and Aidan Turner flew to Sydney to attend the Supanova convention, on 22nd and 23rd of June.

Aidan Turner at Sydney Supanova  June, 2013

Aidan Turner at Sydney Supanova June, 2013

Not long after Hobbit filming was completed, Dean and Aidan attended Boston Comic Con on 3rd and 4th August, the first time the two had exclusively shared a Q&A panel. They proved to be very popular with the fans, who enjoyed their close, brotherly bond,  and amusing anecdotes.

Dean and Aidan Boston Comic Con  August, 2012

Dean and Aidan Boston Comic Con August, 2013

If the current enthusiasm amongst the cast for pop culture conventions continues, fans can look forward to many more years of interactions with their favourite dwarves. It’s a great excuse for cast members and Hobbit fans alike to reconnect.

12 thoughts on “Side Dish: Conventional Dwarves

  1. Thanks Katharine for you very detailed post! New pics from HobbitCon are arriving! All cast looks so happy to be in Bonn, they are really a bunch of precious human beings. I hope interest in Middle-earth, Hobbit and Dwarves will continue, and that most of them go on showing at the several Conventions. They attract and share love. The most important thing 🙂

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    • Thanks- I hope that’s not a euphemism for long and boring! There’s always so much material I could include- it’s hard to know when to stop sometimes. I can’t see any of the actors getting tired of all this any time soon- they’re having way too much fun.

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      • Of course it’s NOT boring! You’re never boring 😉
        I agree, they seem genuinely happy to gather and meet fans. If people interest in Middle-earth and TH will go on I’m sure they will show here and there, as LOTR cast still does after all these years. Another PJ’s magic.

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        • I tried to find out how many of the LOTR cast did cons back in the day, and as far as I could discover, most of the prominent cast didn’t do them- too busy, not keen, I don’t know, but some like Billy Boyd, Karl Urban and John Rhys Davies have been to lots of cons over the years, and are continuing to do so.

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          • I recently saw a video of Karl Urban at a convention (Vancouver fan expo I think) and he still gets asked about LOTR. He had this lovely long story for the fans there about filming and reminiscing despite it being about Star Trek (I think).

            By the way Katharine, excellent post. I hope these guys continue going to such cons for years to come as well.

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            • Found the video if anyone is interested. Edmonton not Vancouver 😛

              LOL. He must have been the guest speaker because it was a free for all kinda Q&A.

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            • Thanks for commenting. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a panel with Karl Urban last June in Sydney when I also saw Aidan, Jed and Adam. Karl’s great- he lived in Sydney for some time when he was an up and coming actor, and he likes to tease Aussies. He gives PJ a great deal of upfront credit for helping launch his international career, and like the other Kiwis, he’s still very down-to-earth and easy going. Just a really great, fun guy.

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              • Karl has some great stories to tell- the ‘neutron cream’ anecdote, and his payback to Viggo are absolute classics. He had us all in stitches with both those.

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  2. Great report as always, Katharine! I’m sure fans will stay interested – not just thanks to PJ but Tolkien himself. So I hope there’ll be a few more opportunities to see the gang in the years to come and hear them speak about the great Middle Earth adventure!

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    • The way they all speak of the experience, it’s a hard one to let go of, which is perfectly understandable. Every opportunity they have to tell anecdotes, and answer questions from fans helps keep it all fresh in their mind, and since they are always invited to these events in twos and threes, ensures they have a fun weekend with one or two good buddies. I’m sure Tolkien gets a mention somewhere along the line in amongst all the hilarity!

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