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To Be Hot or Not? That is the Dwarf Question

December 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm by maegwen  - 

The “Hobbit” cast is looking good. Really good. Oooooooh yeah, realllllly good.

Maybe too good?

When rumors began to swirl almost immediately after “Return of the King” left the theaters that a “Hobbit” film was inevitable, I made a prediction: There is no way they can sell a film with 13 Gimli-faced dwarves.

Mark my words,” I grumbled, “you are going to see HOT DWARVES in this movie. Think of the fan girls!!!

And it seems I may be right.

When you look at the success of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, a good portion of it can definitely be attributed to die-hard Tolkien fans who unreservedly embraced Peter Jackson’s vision.

But an even more significant part of the audience was made up of people – let’s face it, women – who really liked the eye-candy. From Legolas to Aragorn to the adorable hobbits to the nameless elf who became an internet sensation: Figwit.

And let’s not forget Boromir, Faramir and Eomer fans.

But… not too many Gimli fans, are there? You won’t find a lot of Gimli websites or fan-fiction out there. There’s just not any ‘hotness’ quotient in our short lumpy bearded friend.

Sooooooooo… let’s take a close look at “The Hobbit,” shall we?

The primary characters in the book are… dwarves. A baker’s dozen of short, lumpy, bearded dwarves.

Sure, there’s Bilbo. And yes, Beorn and Bard have promise. But the ratio of Hot to Not isn’t great.

Now, there were loads of issues and drama that came with getting the film off the ground. It seemed as if it would never happen. But one of the key things the project had to recommend it was the insane success of the LOTR trilogy… which just had to guarantee similar audience appeal for “The Hobbit.” Right?

Except for those pesky dwarves.

If you’re a Hollywood studio honcho and are salivating at the chance to take a ride on the Tolkien juggernaut, I’ll bet you and your marketing and merchandising teams are taking a look at the character list and thinking…

“We need hot dwarves.”

“Lose the beards, lose the lumps. Hot dwarves, the hotter the better. We’ll get a wholesome, ‘aw-shucks’ Bilbo, some bad-boy sexy Men, and then AS MANY HOT ACTORS WE CAN FIND for the Dwarves.”

And so they did. One after another, each sexier than the last.

Here’s where the Tolkien purist in me has a heart attack. SEE?? I TOLD YOU!!! HOT DWARVES? HOT DWARVES?!?!?

This is wrong, right? It was bad enough when Frodo, Pippin and Merry popped up in LOTR looking like slender, pink-cheeked cherubs (Sorry Sean, you really looked like Sam to me) instead of Tolkien’s rotund, hairy-toed Weebles. Tolkien was doing somersaults in his grave.

But dwarves? As short, lumpy and bearded as Gimli was, Tolkien intended him to look that way. And so, “NO! DOWN WITH HOT DWARVES,” we say. It’s an outrage! A travesty! Nooooooo…

Except… wellllll, Gimli was really short, lumpy and bearded. With Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt and Robert Kazinsky and Graham McTavish cast, I’m not sure I want any of them to look like real dwarves.

When it comes down to it, I’m a purist but I’m a red-blooded girl, too. Armitage alone would get me into the theater. But… put Richard in ‘Gimli’ prosthetics and, well, as superficial as it sounds that would not be as much fun. He’s a wonderful actor; I’m a huge fan of “Spooks.” But I want to SEE him and Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt and Robert Kazinsky and Graham McTavish, etc.

I reckon there are 10,000,000,000 other women in the world who would agree with me on this, and that, presumably, is what determines the film studio’s choice. I know I’m contradicting myself. Writing this I came to realize I believe: 1) HOT DWARVES are wrong, and 2) hiring gorgeous men and not letting them BE HOT is also wrong.

Right? I mean, wrong? Hmmm.

Back me up on this, ladies! Hot or not – which should it be?

=======================

Maegwen is a long time senior staffer and sometimes satirist. She can often be found in Barliman’s Chatroom and is our resident film grumpus.

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien on December 8, 2010 by To Be Hot or Not? That is the Dwarf Question | Discuss

72 responses to “To Be Hot or Not? That is the Dwarf Question”

  1. Tessa says:

    Armitage was doubtfully cast for his looks. He’s a very talented actor with a very expressive voice and eyes. That is more likely why he was cast – as there probably will be prosthetics it will be necessary for him to get a lot cross with part of his “real face” covered(yes as I’ve already admitted I’ll miss seeing his hot self). Not to mention he was cast by men who most likely would not be sitting there thinking “Hey he’s hot”. LOL

  2. ML says:

    Does no one else see the harm in objectifying people in these contexts? The story does not call for it. Actors aren’t obligated to be hot for you, just like women aren’t obligated to be hot for men, though indeed much of our media culture does cater to that. Promoting this idea also promotes the widespread message that being Hollywood-sexy is one of the most valuable things you can be. Why the hell would someone want to instill that message in a story like this? Am I the only person in this conversation who hasn’t internalized this message? There is a world of difference between enjoying things beautiful and sexual, and expressing that, and demanding it of everyone you find attractive; every situation that could be made erotic, should be made erotic. I thought that kind of thing was the RESULT of sexual repression.

  3. guest says:

    Funny, my ex husband didn’t think so. (or was is the hairy hobbity-feet that caused him to leave me? Hmmm…)

  4. Nathan says:

    Authenticity is very important. Tolkein Describes Dwarves as “grim faced”, and it is reckoned that they were between 4.5 to 5.5 ft. tall. All dwarves have beards (perhaps even females), and they are stout and stocky in shape. It would, quite frankly, ruin the movie if the dwarves are portrayed as any more or less than what they are: short, strong, muscular, slightly over-weight, bearded, and “grim faced.”

  5. Amvickery says:

    I didn’t find the LOTR movies filled with very attractive people. But the way they portrayed their characters kept me interested through all that walking in those films! Let’s give this cast a chance, give Mr. Jackson a chance and, as the subject of many of these comments, Mr. Richard Armitage, a chance. I think the comments should be on hold until we see what the dwarves will look like, and then there is a basis for an opinion. Right now, it is all conjecture.

    BTW, anybody remember how good Planet of the Apes (the original) was? Far more than a beard there for the apes.

  6. Creat3d22 says:

    Ok, reading this I kept thinking “well, we don’t know yet how they’ll look” then I realized the author of the article is probably one of THOSE women herself…

    You wrote: “When it comes down to it, I’m a purist but I’m a red-blooded girl, too. Armitage alone would get me into the theater. But… put Richard in ‘Gimli’ prosthetics and, well, as superficial as it sounds that would not be as much fun”

    You’re kind of the typical audience the studio exec’s are going after, it seems…

  7. Rivendell_lh says:

    So glad you stepped up, Rita. I agree with your posting. Viggo did an amazing job as Aragorn. He IS Aragorn. Perhaps someone who is not steeped in Tolkien, books and all, can not experience these films as deeply and completely as the fans who have read “The Hobbit” and LOTR several times and watch the films, enjoying all the nuance and detail that are there on repeat viewings. Hot or not dwarves? Really can’t say. I just have trust that PJ will honor Tolkien and give us two more great films.

  8. Rivendell_lh says:

    So glad you stepped up, Rita. I agree with your posting. Viggo did an amazing job as Aragorn. He IS Aragorn. Perhaps someone who is not steeped in Tolkien, books and all, can not experience these films as deeply and completely as the fans who have read “The Hobbit” and LOTR several times and watch the films, enjoying all the nuance and detail that are there on repeat viewings. Hot or not dwarves? Really can’t say. I just have trust that PJ will honor Tolkien and give us two more great films.

  9. GDH says:

    you can still have “attractive” dwarfs that will still look like dwarfs…i wouldnt go so far to say HOT dwarfs but i think you can still find some room for attractiveness in the actors and still hold true to the true image the book intended.

  10. GDH says:

    you can still have “attractive” dwarfs that will still look like dwarfs…i wouldnt go so far to say HOT dwarfs but i think you can still find some room for attractiveness in the actors and still hold true to the true image the book intended.

  11. Anon says:

    you go girl! i <3 aragorn in the LOTR films. :D!!

  12. Paramount-Ori says:

    NO!!! The fact male Dwarves aren’t that attractive adds to the humor of the book and helps shape the perfection of the Elves, who are supposed to be exact opposites of the Dwarves. The shortness, the beards, the dirty habits and filthy manners are what shape the Dwarves. They don’t need to look good when they’re stuffed in a barrel and floating down a river!

  13. thorinsqueen says:

    I WANT to see Richard as a dwarf because what’s in my actual head is better anyway when I envision him…or hear him speak.

  14. thorinsqueen says:

    I WANT to see Richard as a dwarf because what’s in my actual head is better anyway when I envision him…or hear him speak.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hot and NOT!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hot and NOT!

  17. Defenitily NOT hot. Dwarves are dwarves. They have their own, beardy-sweaty-grumpy kind of hot. And they should stay that way.

  18. Defenitily NOT hot. Dwarves are dwarves. They have their own, beardy-sweaty-grumpy kind of hot. And they should stay that way.

  19. Beth says:

    If you look at Tolkien’s own drawings of Bilbo and other hobbits, they weren’t rotund weebles. I think the movie got the right look for them.

  20. dwarfiness overrides hotness says:

    Why can’t the “Hot Dwarf” be a thick bodied, full bearded, strong nosed “hot guy”?  Jack Sparrow was a hot character with a FULL BEARD.  Get a thickly built guy like Sean Bean in there with a big tough beard and you will have a “Hot Dwarf” AND a dwarf that fits the stout, big bearded stereotype.  I even think a prosthetic nose can be made in a way that inhances handsomeness, like a Harrison Ford or Patrick Stewart type nose in slight caricature.
    Also, I don’t know the actor playing Thorin but I think Patrick Stewart or Sean Connery would have been good.  Sean Connery could have pulled off the voice and age, while still being considered sexy in his way.

  21. Dwarfiness before hotness says:

    I think it sounds like a transparent excuse to insert “hotness” into the equation. 

  22. ga says:

    Totally backing you up!

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