San Diego Comic-Con 12 - 15 July 2012

Warner Bros. took to the stage in Hall H in the afternoon of Saturday 14 July, showcasing Man of Steel, Pacific Rim and The Hobbit. Peter Jackson arrived on stage first and introduced his co-writer and co-producer Philippa Boyens, actor and second unit director Andy Serkis, and cast members Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage.

Prior to this main event, Richard, Martin and Andy attended a signing event at the Warner Bros booth from 11.15 - 12.00pm. Then they joined the other three members of their party at a standing room press event and answered questions individually before attending the Hobbit panel in Hall H. After the Hobbit panel they all attended a press Q&A session as a group.

This page contains a round-up of all interviews that took place on that day.

Picture galleries:

SDCC Hobbit gallery ~ SDCC Richard Armitage Interview screencaps ~ SDCC HQ Pictures by Heathra

Hobbit Stills gallery (including pictures of Thorin merchandise and the 3D Thorin poster)

SDCC Attendee Announcement

On 28th June, Warner Bros. announced who would be attending San Diego Comic-Con via and shortly afterwards Peter Jackson posted a question on his facebook page saying he was looking forward to attending. A day later the announcement featured on The Hobbit facebook page, Digital Spy and IMDB news page amongst other sites, then ComicBookResources posted the Comic-Con schedule for Saturday 14 July, stating that the Warner Bros. panel featuring The Hobbit would take place from 2.30pm - 5.00pm. 

Speculation that Richard would attend SDCC began with his comments in the Summer 2012 issue of Total Film magazine.

On 13th July via his Facebook page, Peter Jackson explained why he will not be showing 3D 48fps footage from The Hobbit at Comic-Con. He also announced that the next trailer is expected in September.



Video Clips

Some clips are embedded on the site, but if you cannot see the videos from your device, the original source links are also provided.


Two videos of The Hobbit Panel in Hall H


Richard answered just one question during the panel: what was it like to work with prosthetics? His answer appears at 12m 15s: "Yeah we went through quite an evolution with the look for Thorin and of course all of the dwarves who are kind of very clearly defined by their features. Working in a prosthetic like that is...was one of the biggest challenges, because you really have to work your face harder to you know, portray what you’re trying to express inside and on day one I really didn’t think that I was going to make it anywhere close to two or three weeks into the shoot, but by the end of the journey, it’s… I couldn’t work without it and I didn’t recognise the person underneath it. But managing the heat and the stench of sweaty dwarf was a challenge in itself." have a transcript of the entire panel on their site.



2. Heather's HD video. Lots of clear shots of Richard. Click the settings button to change the video quality to HD.

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Richard Armitage Video Compilation

A compilation of Richard Armitage interviews at SDCC compiled by TEHI. Link to YouTube

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Press interviews with the Hobbit attendees

The Hobbit attendees were interviewed for around 9 minutes by Entertainment Weekly in their press area at SDCC.

Richard (about Thorin): "He's the exiled dwarf King from Erebor and he's taking his people, really, back on a journey to reclaim their gold and effectively their homeland. But he's also got quite a personal story in terms of the venegance that has been bequeathed from his grandfather Thrór to take revenge on Smaug. And also Azog as well who beheaded him in the battle, so he comes into the story with quite a heavy burden on his shoulders and is really kind of, balancing that throughout the story. But it's interesting how he kind of comes to know himself through his evolving relationship with Bilbo and his deteriorating relationship with Gandalf and it's one of those reflective moments."

Link to YouTube

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Richard, Martin, Sir Ian and Andy were interviewed in the MTV press area at SDCC.

This video cannot be seen by some countries outside the US unfortunately, however I was able to see it on my iPhone even though I couldn't see it on my PC. Try your phone/tablet if you have that option. I have uploaded the video to YouTube (also shown below).

Richard: "I mean it's been awesome and coming here today and seeing the way the fans are expecting the film, it's really exciting because you see that expectation and the love for the books and the trilogy, so that's been great."

Click the image below to watch:




Interviews in the press room

Richard and the other Hobbit attendees were interviewed individually by the press prior to The Hobbit panel in Hall H. There are seven videos below.


Richard appears at 0.56s talking about using his imagination during filming and how the version of Smaug he had in his head was nothing like the concept art.

The video cannot be seen in all countries, so click the picture below to watch:




A five minute video from the press room. Richard appears twice in this video, once describing the character of Thorin Oakenshield and near the end describing Peter Jackson's vision of Middle-earth.


3. Richard clearly in jovial mood as he talks about the singing in the film. Also he gives an interesting answer about the research he did for the character of Thorin Oakenshield, drawing on Shakespeare, Henry V and Richard III. He then comments on the rumours that the second film will be split in two and manages to successfully avoid the question asking when the first film ends.

4. Fox News has brief quotes from Peter Jackson, Sir Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage (mistakenly called King of the Hobbits!).

Richard: "I said to Pete mid-shoot, if this is the last piece of work that I ever do I'll be happy, because it's...when you grow up with a story like this that's so deep-rooted in your imagination and your consciousness, to be standing there looking over at Gandalf, looking down at Bilbo..."


5. Fandango

Richard talks about his height and how physical presence was important when casting the dwarves, working with a green screen and other special effects and that The Hobbit will be "a great family movie".

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6. IGN

Richard talks about playing an elf when he was around 11 years old at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, then describes Thorin's quest and motivation. He talks about what it was like working with the dwarves in Wellington and his envy of the original Lord of the Rings cast who were not receiving the same amount of attention and were not aware of what they were making, but the added pressure when making The Hobbit made the cast and crew "raise the bar high".

It appears there is still lots more filming to do. Richard: "we are so far from being wrapped, we haven't even begun to shoot some of the fight sequences that need to be made. We'll be going back into training for that to make sure that they look..." and video cuts off abruptly!



An interview with Richard Armitage via their live Hobbit feed (hence the quality), recorded by Bccmee. 

Richard talks about his fantastic stunt double, how he has known The Hobbit book as a child and how the characters change as you grow older: "..actually putting the costume on and trying to make that character live and breathe and walk and talk. It’s like you’re given this responsibility to every other person who’s read them, who’s just reading the books for the first time or who has read it when they were seven. That’s the responsibility..." He also talked about the mythology Tolkien created. Visit Bccmee's blog for a full transcript.

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Second Press Conference

A second press conference, where all Hobbit attendees were seated and answered questions as a group, took place after the Hobbit panel in Hall H at SDCC. There are three videos below.


Richard (on the experience of working with Peter Jackson): "You realise when you watch the trilogy that there's no chance that you'll be made to look foolish or that there isn't going to be an amazing piece of work created out of what we've got here, but actually on a day to day basis you still feel the same pressures that any actor feels or any film-maker feels. You're piecing it together so slowly that your perspective of the entire thing kind of diminishes, and it has to be like that. But then the idea of...the only thing I've ever felt for these guys is trust because you've just talked to Pete...I know he's got the entire film in his head and my character, and I can barely hold on to my character, so having that trust has been amazing."

Philippa mentions her reaction to Richard's first moment as Thorin at the end of this video.

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2. ThompsonOnHollywood posted two videos on YouTube, one here and another here, but the audio is quite poor. Richard doesn't answer any questions in the second video. These two videos contain different questions from the LaCosaCineCentral video posted above.

I've transcribed Richard's answer from the first video with a little help from "I was quite envious when I came in that the guys that worked on the trilogy had that privacy to work without too much attention when they did that first film, but at the same time I think the attention that was on The Hobbit made everyone raise the bar and work in a different way. Of course the facilities at Stonestreet are phenomenal, so everything just had an energy to it that I’ve never experienced...(to Martin) do you want to talk about that?"



Fan Video

This video clip courtesy of jpoirier451 who was able to watch Richard, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis pose for photographs alongside the 3D posters of their Hobbit characters and then leave the autograph signing area by the Warner Bros booth.

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SDCC General Reports

Australian 7NEWS channel. A general report about The Hobbit and SDCC with a brief comment from Richard at 52 seconds.

Richard (about the Comic-Con experience): "I was blown away by it, I've never seen anything like this".

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Hobbit Panel round-up in the News (there are spoilers about the Hobbit footage shown in many of these articles)

  • Eric Vespe's written report on This report about the Hobbit panel at SDCC is well worth reading for a detailed description of scenes shown and the atmosphere in the hall when the footage was shown. Be warned that the report is loaded with spoilers about the movie footage. There is a very detailed account of action and dialogue from the film and he describes moments from the production diary: appearances by Luke Evans and Stephen Fry are mentioned, and behind the scenes clips such as Martin Freeman rummaging in the pile of gold hidden in the Lonely Mountain.
  • "'The Hobbit' Comic-Con Panel: Peter Jackson gifts a bounty of footage upon Hall H"
  • "Hobbitcon in Hall H — the details and the spoilers!"
  • - a minute by minute rundown of events at the Warner Bros Panel. Hobbit coverage started at 4.11pm (scroll down the page)

Richard: "We went through quite an evolution for the look of Thorin. Working with a prosthetic like that is quite a challenge. By Day 1, I didn't think I would make it 2 or 3 weeks... by the end, I couldn't work without it." "Managing the heat and 'sweaty dwarf' was a challenge itself."

  • "The Hobbit brings riddles, danger, fainting and more to Comic-Con"
  • "SDCC 2012: 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Panel and Photos" scroll down for pictures of Richard and click to enlarge.
  • "Comic-Con: Peter Jackson unveils over 12 minutes of footage of at THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY panel"



Peter Jackson Interview

In an interview with Comic-Con radio Sirius XM, Peter Jackson stated that he was flying straight back to New Zealand that evening to complete 10 days of pick-up shooting making a total of 277 filming days for The Hobbit. Link to YouTube.

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News from Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con

Preview night took place on Wednesday 10th July 2012.

These pictures from IMDB showed a large statue of Thorin Oakenshield above the Weta booth.

Lots more pictures on's photostream on flickr. With thanks to TORn for sharing, you get a fantastic glimpse of the stands around Weta and the Warner Bros' booths from their photos.

Click for full size (credit

th Thorin-life-size-Weta-booth

More photos from Comic-Con including lots more shots of the Thorin statue (not quite life-size apparently!) on this flickr photostream with thanks to @Jurisdog on twitter.

Check out this 3D poster of Thorin from the Warner Bros booth. I've put a copy of this in the Hobbit Stills gallery.



Three Exclusive Collectibles

1. Gentle Giant produced a hand-painted mini-bust of Thorin and only 500 pieces were made. More details at Click image below to enlarge.

th ThorinMB


2. A Thorin Oakenshield action figure made by The Bridge Direct has been revealed by MTV- scroll down the page to see the figure or click the image below. Available in both 3.75" and 6” scale, at a cost of $7.99 and $14.99 and available to the general public in October 2012.

th Hobbit TheBridge Thorin


3. Weta Workshop have released a special edition statue of Thorin Oakenshield with just 700 pieces made, 500 of which will be available to buy at Comic-Con. Click the image below to see the statue or visit Weta for more information.

th ThorinExclusive1500



Last updated 20 August 2012

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