OT : More fun questions (from Oscura)

I’m hoping you’ll get some new year post from me; a lot to say but not sure how much I’ll manage depending on how kitchen labours go tomorrow  😉 At least shopping was done today at -7C midday as I really want to avoid slipping and sliding on ice at -13C tomorrow! Picture me now at -20C at night with only fingers showing under the covers typing. Which is why maybe a lot of my answers will wear towards things that keep me warm 😀

Thanks Oscura for the fun questions and here go my answers:

  1. As an homage to my home state: What is your favorite dairy product (or non dairy version for the lactose intolerant/vegan)

Sooo many cheeses to chose from… I love hard ones, like manchego or cheddar, or blue ones as long as they don’t have things moving around in them, if you know what I mean (not planning to have a particular Sicilian variety EVER!). But what I miss most as it’s less frequent in the Uk is sweet, fresh cheese. So if I have to choose only 1 cheese of all the gazillion I tried and love than it has to be mozzarella di bufala! Heaven in a mouthful!

  1. Richard Armitage: Beard, Stubble, Freshly Shaven???

Anyhow, anytime, anywhere!.. erm.. wait, that was maybe not exactly the question 😉 Probably beard as this is how I got to know him, though maybe the more contemporary version, don’t mind long like the Proctor one, but I like to see more of that throat 😉

I wonder about the clean shaven look, maybe I’ll see it one day. Stubble looks good, but I bet he already has some at the end of a day he’s shaven in the morning and I wouldn’t go near that, whereas the beard is intriguing 😉

  1. For the writers and readers…how do you take your fan fiction? Sweet and fluffy, hot and spicy or all points in between?

Plotty, with healthy doses of spice 😉 I like a bit of suspense and not knowing what will come next and then the spicy bits are more enjoyable too.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world (supporting yourself being a given) where would you choose? Why?

Edinburgh if it had London theatres 😉 But since it doesn’t, London is actually my dream place and every day I live there it becomes more so. But I wouldn’t mind if I should become filthy rich to have second homes in Edinburgh and Barcelona, they come in as close 2nds 🙂

  1. What is your favorite artistic genre (medium?)…Favorite piece therein?

Music with human voice, with a preference probably to male voices of the darker variety (see for more music choice previous post

  1. What film remake would you really love to see Richard Armitage star in?

Hmmm… Casablanca and Rebecca come to mind, and a new filmed version of Proust’s’ À la recherche du temps perdu’….

Any would be fascinating I think, but sitting through Tristan and Isolde recently I couldn’t help thinking that I would love to see a contemporary film version of it with Richard as Tristan!

  1. What’s your favorite way to spend an unexpected free day?

Sitting through a Royal Opera House opera rehearsal and then seeing an opera/theatre in the evening 🙂 It’s what I tend to take days off for if I can or, if nothing booked or tempting, in bed with a good book, since just being lazy seems to be a luxury we are no longer abler to afford these days.

  1. Richard Armitage recently tweeted that eating (cheesy potato dish I can’t remember the name of at the moment) will change your life. What is your life changing food?

I love all food and the more varied the better, I often feel so spoiled and privileged to be able to try different cuisines. I think the one food i would have never thought I’d get to eat and the one which has surprised me from the get go in terms of just how much I enjoy it is really good sushi. I grew up eating hardly any fish at all and the sweet water fish I tried I didn’t much like, so discovering I adore raw fish was quite something. And it is the one food type I love which doesn’t make me feel guilty when I eat it, added bonus 🙂

  1. Beer, wine or “I never touch the stuff” ?

Don’t drink much, essentially only when I go out for a meal and I tend to stick to 1 glass most of the times, so it sort of matters what I drink. I used to only like wine but then I worked for a brewery and learned about beer! And there is nothing quite like a strong rich Belgian beer 🙂

But a good fruity wine can be just as heavenly, and so is a cup of really good cider. And everyone should try some really good single malt Scottish whisky! As said, it’s not about the alcohol, which is why it is never about quantity, it is all about the taste 🙂

  1. What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure (outside of fandom…I’m not sure I want to classify that as a *guilty* pleasure 🙂 )

You mean besides cream and alcohol laden Austrian cakes, preferably with chocolate and sour cherries or coffee? Or very dark chocolate pralines filled with cherries and cherry liqueur?Or Mozartkugeln? But I don’t feel nearly as guilty about those as I should, as I don’t get to have them nearly enough to do much sinning…

Of the non-edible kind, well it would have to be musical and his name as mentioned in the previous post linked above is David Bustamante 😀 Having said that, the judgement would be more in the minds of the people around me maybe, you’re not really supposed to like classical music AND fun pop! And definitely not pop if it comes looking like that 😉 But I know differently:-D Still, he won’t be gracing my screen wallpaper at work anytime soon 😉

  1. What musical instruments do you play? (Kazoo *is* an instrument!)

Well I used to play accordion when I was small and I had a bit of a bash at the piano, I still remember basics but I’m afraid my love of music does not extend to any talents other than singing in choir in school. But I’m happy to let others do the doing as long as I can do the listening 🙂

Homework done!

SpReAd The Love Gives Back: Sixth Week

Spread some love #OneLastTime  for 2014 that is 😉

SpReAd The Love

And we’re back! How was your Christmas? Are you back to work yet or do you have off till after the New Year? As for us here at STL, we have one more goody to give away. Back in August Servetus went to see The Crucible and brought back a few posters and has graciously offered one to us to give away. It isn’t signed but if you wanted one here’s your chance to win one from us. All you have to do is let us know about a kindness that you’ve done, or one that’s been done for you, in the comments of this post and that’s it, your name is entered into our drawing. If you’re too shy to comment you can let us know via the Contact Form on the About page. Drawing will be at 5PM ET on Friday January 2. Ready? Go!

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OT Musical indulgence (‘Liebster blog’ nomination)

There was this kind nomination from Suzy at the Silverbluelining blog for the ‘Liebster blog’ (thanks Suzy! Sorry it took me so long!).

Apologies in advance as I won’t be nominating other blogs, most everyone I know has participated one way or another, but I’ll happily share my answers to the questions (and dig out some skeletons from my closet in the process 🙂 )

1. What does music mean to you?

It’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember! My first memories are of classical music, particularly opera, when I was 3. The performances on stage were like the fairy tales I used to love reading and I loved the singing and the melodies. I’ve never had to live without it and I hope I’ll never have to, it doesn’t have to be live on stage although that is certainly best, but even opera on the radio will do. It’s also been a great way to learn a bit of Italian 😉 But as you’ll see it’s not the only music I like. But I do think I am very partial to sung music, it’s the human voice that fascinates me and I am always more likely to listen to music which includes singing. And music has been my gateway to languages in general.

2. Keyword “romantic” – which three songs come to your mind?

Oh boy … watch out for tooth decay setting in when listening to these 😉

Somos novios in various versions/singers , this one is sung by Luis Miguel 

Bed of roses – Bon Jovi

And sniif sniiiff sniff.. Traviata/Verdi – ‘Parigi o cara’ here with Jonas Kaufmann and Christine Schafer

3. Your favourite video?

I’ve never been one to watch videos much and I still prefer concert versions or live performance ones, but the first one that came to mind and which I always liked is

Queen – I want to break free!

4. One, two, three favourite artists (music)?

This is like picking your favourite child! I caaaaan’t….. but there are those which always excite me, make me happy, make me emotional and I’ll always go back to :

Anything by Giuseppe Verdi, there isn’t an opera of his I don’t like! My first musical longing always goes to him.

The Beatles 🙂

And Jonas Kaufmann – my favourite version of the Flowersong from Carmen is sadly no longer online but here is one he sang later on. 

5. Your personal 2014 Top-3 ?

Hard to say as I’m not up to date with pop music these days, so my 3 highlights of the year in no particular order of preference are all classical, and they are these:

  • Tristan and Isolde/Wagner at Royal Opera House with the amazing Nina Stemme and conducted by my favourite conductor, Antonio Pappano;
  • Verdi’s Requiem with the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia who are based in Rome and visited London this year, again with Sir Tony (Antonio Pappano);
  • Donizetti’s l’Elisir d’amore at the Royal Opera House with the lovely and fun Vittorio Grigolo and Bryn Terfel

6. Favourite ever video?

See above 😉 but generally live performances or recordings of concerts, like Queen at Wembley

Or Bon Jovi in the old Wembley in 1995

  1. Your top 80s hits?

Uh-oh…. Too many to count I think but here are a few, again in no particular order of preference as I can’t really rank them 😉

Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a prayer  as well as It’s my life, Wanted dead or alive, Always.. etc, you get the idea 😉

Queen – Somebody to love and a whole bunch more 🙂

Brian Adams Summer of 69 😉 remember that???

Abba – well anything of them since they were still around 😉

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA 

George Michael Freedom

Scorpions Wind of change 

Eurythmics Love is a stranger 

And this is early 90’s but nevertheless AHA Crying in the rain

And isn’t this a wonderful trip down memory lane? Ahhhhh… it’s been too long since I listened to this stuff, go on, have a go, you know you want to 🙂

But all throughout the 80’s I was also listening to this (different casts maybe but these are among my all time – desert island favourites ):

Verdi/Rigoletto – Bella figlia dell’ amore

Donizetti/ Lucia – Chi mi frena 

Gounod/ Romeo et Juliette “Nuit d’hyménée… il faut partir ,hélas!”

Massenet/ Werther – Un autre est son époux

Verdi/Don Carlo  – Dio che nel alma infondere

Verdi/ Un Ballo in Maschera- Eri tu che

Mozart/Nozze – Hai già vinta la causa 

And because i can’t resist it another bit of Donizetti/Lucia – act 2 duet between the siblings in the French version of the opera

And I’ll stop here as I can go on for a long long while 😉

8. Last song you bought or downloaded…?

Carmen Consoli Eva contro Eva

And also recently this Roberto Alagna and Lila Downs Historia de un Amor

9. Your first favourite band?

Holograf! Here a sample Romeo & Julieta 🙂

My longest standing musical pleasure probably 🙂 loved their music since they’ve been singing in the early 90.

Ochii tai (your eyes) , Sa nu-mi iei niciodata dragostea (don’t take away your love)

You could use this page which lists the text for machine translation from Romanian 🙂

10. If you could choose freely, which concert would you definitely go to?

Oh, there would be too many to choose from, but… given the trip down memory lane and truth be told I haven’t danced and sung as madly and had as much wicked fun as I did in the concerts of David Bustamante 🙂

Here David Bustamante –  Devuelveme la vida  :-p Don’t even dream I’m fibbing, I’ve got witnesses! 🙂

I’d love to go to a Juanes concert sometimes too (Juanes/ A dios le pido love this video too by the way) and an Alejandro Sanz one or La Oreja de Van Gogh  – La Playa (the beach).

And if I could just travel back in time I’d be at a concert of Maria Callas (soprano) and one of Franco Corelli (tenor)!

11. Film score/soundtrack you love most?

I’m not that big on film scores unfortunately, I notice them but don’t really separate them out from the original movie. There is one singer however which I liked a lot and I heard her on telly for the first time singing the sound track of a series, it’s a lot of popular Columbian songs:  Margarita Rosa De Francisco –  A Mi Pesar

But then again opera like Wagner, Verdi, Donizetti, Bellini make ravishing soundtrack music 🙂 or Giordano/Chenier.. remember Philadelphia?

Here were the rules for the Award (translated by Guylty J) Sorry for not nominating anyone, I do hope you’ve enjoyed some of the above 🙂 and have survived the more shocking bits 😀

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog into your post.
  2. Answer 11 questions which you have been asked by the nominating blogger.
  3. Nominate 5 to 11 other bloggers who have less than 1.000 followers.
  4. Add a new list of 11 questions for the nominated bloggers.
  5. Paste these rules into your post.
  6. Make sure your nominees know about your post and their nomination.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Dear readers 🙂 (and everyone i am thinking of right now),

Christmas has been upon me all to soon this year and others are so much better at saying truly meaningful things at this time of year than me! For the lovely Armitage Xmas message, see Guylty’s warm Xmas post

I wish you all peaceful times this Christmas with loved ones, hope you all get to enjoy these days in your own special ways.

Instead of the usual seasonal music there is this song i’ve always liked and which has been playing in my head all these past weeks and which i have decided to share with you. I hope you will like it, it is about ‘hope’ itself 🙂

English translation from the internet below the video

The colour of hope

I know what’s in your eyes with just looking at you
(I know) you’re tired of walking and walking
and walking, always in circles in the same place

I know that windows can be opened
to change the atmosphere depends on you
it’ll help you, it’s worth it once more

To know it’s possible, to want it to happen
to get rid of our fears, to expel them
to paint our faces with the colour of hope
to tempt the future with our hearts

It’s better to get lost than never having boarded
better to fall in temptation than giving up trying
even though you see it’s not that easy to start
I know that impossible can be achieved
that sadness will go one day
and it’ll be like that, life will change and change

You’ll feel your soul flying
for singing one more time

To know it’s possible, to want it to happen
to get rid of our fears, to expel them
to paint our faces with the colour of hope
to tempt the future with our hearts

To know it’s possible, to want it to happen
to get rid of our fears, to expel them
to paint our faces with the colour of hope
to tempt the future with our hearts

It’s better being able to shine
than just trying to look at the sun

To paint our faces with the colour of hope
to tempt the future with our hearts

To know it’s possible
to want it to happen
to paint our faces with the colour of hope
to tempt the future with our
hearts

(Source of translation here ) For the Spanish version this Unplugged Video version has the subtitles and also a verse in Portuguese, both versions inspire me 🙂 (Feel free to listen to the whole album there, it’s one of my favourites :-))

Hobbit BOTFA (impressions with spoilers)

BOTFA2-26

Do you know what the price of stupidity is? Exactly £9! Well, that and a lot of embarrassment 😉

A couple of weeks ago when the Empire edition edited by PJ came out I went to the shops and bought 2, one for a friend and I thought another maybe for me. Turns out the 2nd one I bought I picked up the Thranduil cover, which then found a happy owner with a bigger elf-fan than myself. Scroll forward 2 weeks and I have seen BOTFA… erm, a few times 😉 and of course I have reconsidered my initial indifference and now badly wanted to own that magazine with the Durins cover! (yes, I know, duh!). I’ve search out all newsstands in vicinity, book shops and any other place that could sell it and no luck! I managed to find another Thranduil cover, which I nearly picked up (same BOTFA effect), but then decided since I’d still want the dwarves one to not buy it. All the other ones available were the Gandalf versions and 1 Bard. Not even a shadow of Thorin. Admitting defeat I turned to the internet for any online sellers of individual copies of the magazine, no luck, the only one who did sell individual copies had also run out of that cover! Only one solution left, yes I turned to eBay! To buy a silly magazine, that I have mostly read and just for the 1 cover. I still can’t believe I did actually pay slightly more than 3x the original price just for the one coveted cover. But there is a first for everything I guess 😀 (To  balance out the most embarrassing purchase I donated a bit more to charity just so that a more sensible cause benefited from my impulses ;-))

In any case that is really just the tip of the iceberg since I went to see BOTFA several times already, which is also something that I’ve never done before. I have seen a few films a couple of times, but they are extremely few and never before have I seen anything more than once in a cinema. (The only other films that come to mind which I have seen every single time I’ve come across them on Tv are probably the Gladiator and very few old ones like Casablanca or Kiss me Kate ;-)) Strange, as I have certainly done repeats of live shows (among which a notorious 9x Don Carlo/Verdi – which was the entire run plus the general rehearsal), but although I like films few have made impressions over the years. But to be truthful to the end the addiction is only in part spurred on by the film itself 😉 In the last couple of weeks I’ve been back in the cinemas for several repeats of the Crucible too! More on that on some other occasion as, in spite of the high number of hours spent in front of a screen, I’m still trying to keep thing organised in my head.

So, what drew me to repeat viewings of BOTFA and what did I think of it? The following are my own impressions as I’ve made an effort to not read any reviews of any kind, not even those of fellow fans, yet 😉 as I wanted to consolidate by own thoughts through the viewings. I’ve only read the Forbes review which was totally spoiler free and talked interestingly for me a lot about how the success of PJ’s movies measure in terms of box office and about some of the technical aspects of the films.

To start of I just want to say I am finally a total convert to 3D, but only in HFR!! DOS last year was my only viewing so far of any movie in 3D in a cinema and although i found some effects fun, it didn’t feel as if the 3D aspect added all that much. I’ve seen this in HFR and it makes a world of difference and not only in the fight scenes! Overall the HFR gives such definition and clarity to the picture that you can see details which definitely add to the characterisation, tiny things like a vein throbbing underneath an eye, a subtle change in colour,etc. There is also much more 3D going on, landscape becomes truly impressive in scale, dives into abysses become frighteningly real and what I enjoyed more characters and animals pass by your shoulder or you feel as if you are literally part of a discussion and physically inside a scene. The first are obvious candidates for 3D but it’s the ongoing –normal scenes- impact in 3D that makes it feel immersive. I have seen it in 2D and I really missed the impact of 3D+HFR, I don’t want to go back to it! 🙂 And it is done for the cinema screen, I think PJ’s argument in favour of seeing something in a cinema rather than on your home TV definitely convinced me, no TV in your home can repeat this experience. And the HFR only made me appreciate even more the amazing make up work, the details in the costumes, props, wigs, what craftsmanship! The Durin hair deserves a prize all on its own! 😀 And it plays no small role in this film! (how shallow of me, I know!)

The other technical aspect which I enjoyed very much was the sound! And I don’t mean just the score/music. I mean the sound overall. Unlike a lot of movies these days which throw decibels at my ears relentlessly and which often keep me out of cinemas this is like the imagery full of subtlety. There is so much silence! Silence allowing you to hear breaths (be they excited , tired, frightened, tense), footsteps, ice crushing under soles, the tingling of a single coin, the flutter of a dragon’s wings behind your back 🙂 It creates atmosphere and really lets you enjoy the character’s voices and accents, which let’s face it is one of the strong points of the actors cast in this trilogy.

Speaking of trilogy, having now seen it back to back this is without a shadow of a doubt the story of Thorin Oakenshield (and of course the beginning of quite a few plot lines for LOTR). Yes, it is the story of Bilbo too, but Thorin is the major catalyst in the changes about to happen and his choices, his character touches and changes all other characters around him irrevocably. The initially reluctant friendship with Thorin and the company of dwarves changes Bilbo and in his adventure he finds courage, I do believe inspired by the courage he sees in Thorin. Bard also becomes a reluctant hero through the calamities provoked by the released dragon and in his interactions with Thorin, the ‘temporarily mad king under the mountain’ also becomes quite the leader of his people. Even Thranduil is touched by this effect I believe, although I did miss one final scene between the two kings. I didn’t expect friendship to develop but I do believe the way they see each other would have changed in battle.

I also feel the trilogy is a lot about friendships that develop between very different people, or the quest to understand and live with each other in spite of differences that separate the various races. In the end they all unite in front of the evil that affects them all. It’s obvious throughout as well that not one way of life is the right one and that it is only the sickness of power/wealth that endangers peaceful living alongside each other. The themes of the movie are what draws me to it and what makes me like it a lot, it basically pushes a lot of my buttons 😉 Living with diversity, flawed heroes, evolution and change from the common experience, fatherhood and letting go of one’s children, letting them explore and be different, etc. All complex themes one can feel for and well woven through characters one can sympathise with.

I am also quite partial to good action sequences as long as then don’t involve boring CGI armies knocking at each other. But unlike what one could expect, what this movie delivers is less war en masse and much more one on one fighting which totally let’s you root for your favourites and hold your breath for their destiny. And who can help falling for the brave, self-sacrificing, outnumbered heroes who fight bigger, meaner opponents?

Legolas fight sequences are fun, they are outlandish and unreal but so well done, I’m ok with that, it is what the character is good at. Even if I wish he may one day become half as interesting as his father 😉 Speaking of whom, I’m glad this third movie gave us a chance to understand some of Thranduil’s motivations better. There is almost a point where his isolationist and protectionist views find a slight mirroring in Thorin’s mad views and it is good to see Thranduil moving to action but at the same time the outcome and death toll of the battle makes one more sympathetic to his views of the world, he’s lived trough war before and knows nothing good comes of it. It’s beautiful to see him on his elk and the skewering of orks and chopping heads off in one movement is really clever and dark fun 😉 But most of all I have to say how impressed I am with the wealth of emotions and expressions Pace managed to bring to this apparently icy character and being encumbered by contact lenses, which rob one of an important acting tool, the eyes. As said, one would wish Legolas would be half as interesting 😉

I like the kind of human and practical hero Bard makes, no less inspiring in his simple quest for decent life rather than power and I quite enjoyed a bit of comic relief from Gage’s excellent Alfrid 😉 Reminds me of how Shakespeare brings some lightness to even the darkest of subjects from time to time.

The wizards fight scene was quite impressive CGI, but I have to say overall in the trilogy it’s not them who hold my interest most. But it’s normal I think to be more connected to weaker characters and will them to win their battles, military or psychological ones.

I didn’t feel we had less Bilbo in this last film, because he was there in all crucial moments playing his part and I find him (please don’t take offence fans of the books) much more interesting a character than Frodo, there is more ambiguity in him, he has to evolve to become what he is at the end, it’s thankfully not a linear character. And you need somebody down to earth, without grandeur but decent to balance out the huge egos of dwarves and elves 🙂

Speaking of dwarves I did miss more interaction with Kili and Fili and Thorin, I don’t know if more will be in the EE, I understand why this film was shorter but it did feel like something was missing there, it doesn’t feel quite right for Thorin not to know what happened to both of them although I recognise that it wouldn’t be all that relevant in terms of final outcome. It’s just one aspect of the characters I would have enjoyed seeing more of. Because to me although there was a lot of battle in the film it felt very much about characters rather than the fighting itself. And we had a very good cast overall supporting the character definition and making this much more than an adventure movie. The whole movie is so touching because we care so much for the characters, and we care because they are excellently played and we are allowed to enjoyed small scenes with hardly any words but enough acting to tell a million words. The first scene that made me tear up was Bilbo finding Balin alone crying over Thorin’s worsening madness… And there are many more like this, not least Dwaling speaking to Thorin or Thranduil letting go of Legolas.

And talk of touching performances, none more so than our king under the mountain. I am so grateful to PJ that he brought all that out of Armitage! And to Fran Walsh for really good script for Thorin. Between the scrip and the acting I didn’t know sometimes if I was coming and going! My brain was telling me the logic behind Thorin’s actions is flawed, sick, twisted and still sometimes you got taken in by his arguments. That’s what made it even scarier, as he seem to have moments of lucidity, logic and pride before the whole thing tipped over into insane. Also having spent 2 films building Thorin into a hero, even if a grumpy and isolated one, you hope against hope at every step of the way that he will make a come back. Until you loose that hope completely when he speaks to Dwalin of thousands of deaths so easily.

I think the descent beyond all hope and much further down the insanity than one would expect makes then the scene when he makes a comeback and comes running out of the mountain followed by all the dwarves so uplifting, that is one of those ‘movie-moments’!

I probably enjoyed the spiralling into insanity as much as I did the fighting in the end, it is certainly that spiralling which kept me going back for more. It’s so complex and riddled with so many emotions it’s impossible to take in in a single viewing! Because we’ve had the chance to see Thorin being majestic, haughty, even violent before the moments i particularly relished where his vulnerable ones. Such display of emotion is sadly only more evidence of sickness in case of Thorin, because he would normally never be so open with his feelings. But I cherish them also because Armitage doesn’t get the chance to play these very often and so much on display and at the same time he’s so good at it! There are 2 particularily in BOTFA which take my breath away, first when he sees the acorn in Bilbo’s hand and this brings him to tears and secondly when he understands Bilbo has betrayed him, following the revelation up on the ramparts. The hurt in those eyes is just overwhelming! Thorin may wield a sword with incredible impact, but his two truly deadly weapons are his eyes and his voice! All I could see for days after watching the movie were those eyes and all I could heard were those whispers…

I would like to know so much more about what depths of emotion Armitage plundered to shine them through like this on screen… but then again, maybe this capacity of his should remain somewhat secret and magical 🙂 Ultimately maybe I should just enjoy its incredible impact without seeking to understand it.

I love the whole idea of the dragon’s spirit somehow transitioning to Thorin after Smaug’s death, it’s a brilliant instrument in creating the sickness for the film but ultimately I believe the reason the sickness feels so convincing is because Armitage plays is so emotionally truthfully! It’s both intimate and scary in its intensity and completely overwhelming coming from a character the viewer has come to trust and reply upon.

The fight scene with Azog is both impressive and beautifully choreographed. Thorin comes across not just valiant, but skilful and almost elegant in his movements and also intelligent. It’s not a fight of brute force, it’s skill and determination. I like the fact that it is more about movement than force and blood and gore. The final decision on Thorin’s part is predictable due to size of opponent, we know he needs to be close to strike, but the fact that we know his decision before he makes the moves does not diminish the way the thoughts show on Thorin’s face in any way. He’s truly majestic then 🙂 I also love that fact that it’s not a voiceless fight, usually heroes seem to fight with no effort audible or visible. I think the way we hear Thorin sigh, grunt, take in breath, gasp in effort is beautiful because it makes it real, it makes you feel what he feels, it makes you understand what the fighting takes put of him.

It is also what makes the death scene very emotional for me, the fact that it feels and sounds so real. Thorin is more beautiful in his death scene than in any other moment through of the trilogy. His eyes are clear and almost serene, peaceful and bright and the blood on his lips draws unexpected attention to their beautiful lines. The emotional transformation and ultimate redemption I think is visible on his features and it is filmed beautifully so that we may see his face from all angles. It’s all a hero needs to break your heart and make you go through a box of tissues, a perfect death scene. And it comes rather sudden and short and natural, almost plain, so that you are not really prepared for it and the grief sets in only gradually and goes on till the end of the film, which I think is only natural and what we feel is not the impact of a fight itself but the much longer lasting and deep loss of a character we’ve come to love.

And that’s what a good movie and a brilliant actor create for me, they tell me the story of a character, make him real, make me believe and like him, suffer with him and feel his loss acutely when it is all over.

I will probably go on this journey again while it’s still available in the cinemas as I don’t really want to let Thorin go just yet.