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Why Dain and Connolly is good news for ‘Hobbit’ fans

February 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm by MrCere  - 

The release and news arrived yesterday that Billy Connolly will play Dain II Ironfoot in the two forthcoming Hobbit movies, directed by Peter Jackson, and with that, all the pieces of the films are in place.

Here in the underground labyrinth that serves as TORn’s offices (with doors leading to L.A., Atlanta, Kenosha and Wellington among other places) a big sigh of relief could audibly heard. Dain II Ironfoot will be included; a talented actor, somebody who already looks like a Middle-earth dwarf, and is a skilled performer will be handling the role. Awesome.

We have full confidence in Connolly — who is best known for his comedy — in what might be inspired casting. His credibility comes from small, dramatic roles (The Last Samurai) which he handles just fine but more from independent films, playing larger parts and lead roles, giving him a lot of experience in front of the camera. General audiences may only think of comedy (and there may be plenty of that in The Hobbit anyway) but they should recognize his considerable talent.

Much more central the sigh of relief was the clarity that the Dain character is in. The complete absence of this important dwarven hero from news or casting announcement was a genuine concern among those trying to piece everything together. It was a glaring omission.

Speculation ranged from him being either a very minor character or being played by a minor actor that didn’t need an introduction for a non-speaking role.

Those who don’t recall, or haven’t read the source material, may not realize how important Dain was not only to events in The Hobbit but just off screen in the Lord of the Rings and the War of the Ring, as detailed in Appendix A. He played a key role in the history of the dwarves at least three times according to Tolkien’s writings and is, without doubt, one of the greatest dwarves who ever lived. (You can visit the details on our Dain character page in our FAQ section.)

From a purely cinematic standpoint, we just hope we get to see the Weta-designed red ax that he is famous for. Thinking solely about The Hobbit: There and Back Again due in December 2013, Dain’s inclusion gives us assurances that the lead up and execution of The Battle of Five Armies will include hoards of dwarves coming from the Iron Hills — an event in Middle-earth that we haven’t seen before from Peter Jackson. Previously we only glimpsed Gimli but now we will see a dwarf army in all its military might.

He also was key to a pre-Hobbit battle where, at a tender age, he faces Azog, the killer of his own father and the killer and desecrator of Thorin’s forefather. There are some around here hoping fervently that Jackson finds a way to get a good deal of that on film.

Dain was probably announced last because the production that is taking place in New Zealand is heading into its last stretch of filming that will last several months and, obviously will include now include Dain and is believed to be much of the content for the second film, including much of climatic showdown.

Posted in Billy Connolly, Casting Rumors, Characters, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit on February 9, 2012 by Why Dain and Connolly is good news for ‘Hobbit’ fans | Discuss
Thranduil Statue

18 responses to “Why Dain and Connolly is good news for ‘Hobbit’ fans”

  1. Magicgurl58 says:

    Billy will be a fine addition but….Where is Strider/Aragorn?  Where oh where is my Strider?

  2. Tim says:

    “Hordes” of Dwarves–not “hoards.” Dwarves HAVE “hoards” but they come in “hordes.” Please, folks.  I expect more literacy from TORN.

  3. Boboforion says:

    Where did the pic come from? That’s definitely not Billy.

  4. John Bailey says:

    Looking forward to the movies!!

  5. Heather says:

    Every tidbit that comes out makes me even more eager to see these films!

  6. Utecougar says:

    Why doesn’t the article mention Connolly’s starring role in “Mrs. Brown”? He was brilliant. Anyone who thinks Billy can’t be a serious actor needs to see it.

  7. Milordbish says:

    Ahem… “hordes of dwarves”, not “hoards” 🙂

  8. Enna says:

    It is nice that the dwarves from the Iron Hills will be in the movies!!!

  9. Dalathorn says:

    One last piece of the jigsaw puzzle to go – who is going to play the Elf King, Thranduil?

  10. Beowolf1 says:

    I am a fan of Billy but I always hoped the great Brian Blessed would do it- still I am sure Peter knows what he is doing. 

  11. Simarillia says:

    Not bothering to see either film!!  Without Aragorn/Strider they aren’t worth the film used to make them!!  It’s a shame too!!

  12. Simarillia says:

     Lee Pace is elf King!

  13. Ryman21 says:

    I don’t know whey people are suddenly complaining that Aragorn would not be in these movies… He would be eight at the time these movies take place, not much peter could do about that.

  14. webba says:

    At Rivendell. And 8 years old.

  15. Andrew Mackenna says:

    Billy’s done fine work [‘Mrs Brown’, ‘The Man Who Sued God’…], but I think (Sir) Peter Jackson has little more than a comic-book grasp of literature. Signing Connolly seems to me an itinerant or mendacious idea and celebrity casting of the poorest sort (short or long). Additionally, Billy did some standup (awee while ago…), refering to LOTR, and said: ‘I don’t give a f*** about talking trees and gnomey things…gawf, gawf”. Philippa Boyens, B.A. acknowledged, worries me also. Strikes me as the ditzy friend of Fran (Oh…let’s get Viggo, yum!), I shudder; her treatment (setting aside some directorial deficiencies) was a chainsaw massacre of the novel. 
    I would highly recommend Nicol Williamson’s dramatic reading of The Hobbit (Argo, 1978), sensitively adapted and directed by Harley Usill. In Tolkien’s words the best fairy stories should give…’a catch of the breath, abeat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears’. As Bilbo returns to Hobbiton and sees his front door from a distance he is ‘not the person that he was’, we feel the character change (as we might be) from a long, bitter and increadible journey; no longer a complaisant or naive local. It is not a comedy.
    Sadly Williamson, deeply talented but according to some abusive, died of throat cancer (16/12/2011).
    We should also remember, and deplore, Jackson and co. snuggling-up to Hollywood and shunting aside ‘local’ employment law and local talent considerations in recent years.
    Andrew Mackenna, Christchurch, NZ 2/2012    

  16. Guest says:

    I think 10 actually, according to Tolkein’s timeline – Bilbow set out on his quest in 2941, and Aragorn was born in 2931, but who’s going to quibble over two years!  Obviously, unless Jackson was going to ignore Tolkein altogether, he couldn’t include Aragorn

  17. I wish that arragorn was going to be in this movie *sighs*

  18. chauvelin2000 says:

    Remarkably, Tolkien himself foreshadowed this new development!  Must have something to do, ‘as the Valar would have it’, with Fate or doom or some such thing ‘unlooked for’ (some re-surging hope or ‘whisper in the stream at eve’) — for as John D. Rateliff says on the first page of his Intro to ‘The History of The Hobbit’: ‘… No such character as Dain existed until a very late stage in the drafting [> casting]…’ 🙂 [Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007, volume I (Part One: Mr. Baggins), p. ix].

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