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