Quite possibly the most exhilarating part of a beloved book being adapted for the silver screen is the first time you see your favorite characters brought to life. Comic book fans should be well-versed in this by now. The potent mixture of anticipation at the thought of seeing these literary figures made flesh and blood, and dread at the thought of the film-makers getting something wrong, weighs most heavily when adapting towering works of science fiction and fantasy. What is most important when casting Paul Atreides? How do you keep the actor who’s playing Steve Rogers from coming across as corny?Who could possibly fill the shoes of Gregor Clegane, the Mountain? How would you find someone who can portray the internal drama of Honor Harrington? These are the questions that cause no end of speculation and debate among nerds of every stripe.
With The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, writer/director Peter Jackson undertook the task of bringing hundreds of the inhabitants of Middle-earth to life, with almost universal success. And now he’s set to revisit some old faces and reveal some new ones when Part 1 of The Hobbit lands on December 14th. As a caveat, Bilbo is not on this list because we already met him as an older gentleman in The Lord of the Rings. Additionally, because it’s hard to say where exactly An Unexpected Journey will end and who might appear when because of the extra material pulled from the Appendices, we might not see every face on this list this year. However, that doesn’t make the thought of their realization less exciting.
Here are the 10 characters of Middle-earth we’re most excited to meet for the first time…
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