New Photo: Ken Stott in ‘The Hobbit’

TIME has posted a picture of Ken Stott (voice of Trufflehunter in Prince Caspian) in costume as Balin in The Hobbit, directed by Peter Jackson.  View it here (left). Balin is the cousin of Gimli. In the first Lord of the Rings film, the fellowship fight a cave troll at Balin’s tomb in the Mines of Moria. The first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, releases in December 2012. The next film, There and Back Again, releases a year later.

75 Responses

  1. Starlily says:

    Wow, cool beards! And a connection to Narnia? Even better!

    (On a less cheerful note, I wish there was a new Narnia movie coming out as well, so we could be excited about both movies. I wish the Narnia franchise was as successful as the LoTR one 🙁 )

    • Louloudi the Centaur says:

      I agree. Cool photo, but we want Narnia 4 news.*sigh*

      • Just Queen, not High Queen says:

        Agreed, but I'd rather have no news about Narnia 4 at all for a while than bad news.

    • I think the reason Narnia isn't as successful as LotR is because each book is pretty short, and the filmmakers *could* have stayed way more faithful to the actual stories (of PC and VDT), but they didn't. Peter Jackson had a *huge* book to work with, and although he made some changes that I didn't like, the movies were way more faithful to their source material. Not only that, but PC especially tried (and failed) to be like LotR. The Narnia filmmakers need to realize that Narnia doesn't have epic battles like LotR. They are different stories, so they need to be told differently.

      • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

        I agree with you that narnia is not the same as LOTR. While they are similiar, there are definitely some differences in the worlds. I think that's sometimes a problem for the narnia franchise, that people expect it to be like LOTR. Did anyone know that J.R.R tolkien actually was very critical of C.S lewis' first Narnia story?

    • I'm so exicted for The Hobbit I've been waiting for it for years now, and I'm going to see it on first day. And I'm pretty confident that there will a fourth Narnia movie weather it be The Magician's Nephew or The Silver Chair, it just won't be as popular has The Hobbit. Even though I turly believe that the Narnia movie franchise has the potential to be.

  2. Little Miss Artemis says:

    so do i

  3. Daniel says:

    that dude has a war-hammer! thus its gonna be EPIC! and Im also digging the sword/mace thing! this is gonna be awesome, but I do agree, I with Narnia shared the devotion of LOTR and Harry Potter, because it really is that good!

    • LOTR fan says:

      I love LOTR so much? Tolkien was such a genius and he was good friend with Lewis! I was completely addicted to Narnia until I read LOTR and then I was addicted to LOTR. I still love Narnia and LWW film but I do NOT like the other two Narnia films.

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        Is LotR a "good" movie as in a family movie? I've seen all sorts of posters and people are always talking about it. But is it alright to see? (for a Christian too?)

      • Tradition says:

        The LotR movies are excellently made movies, and among the best page-to-screen adaptions I've seen. As far as being a family movie, maybe. I'd recommned discretion for young children. They contain high levels of fantasy violence (sword-fighting, arrows, monsters, etc.), and some of the creatures are frightening in appearance. Also, they do feature alcohol and tobacco use. Overall, the movies are very intense, both visually and emotionally. However, the movies contain no inappropriate language or sexual content, and there is remarkably little blood or gore, all things considered. For parents, I'd say watch the first five minutes of the first movie and then make a decision. That's a pretty good sample of what the rest of the movies contain.

      • Starlily says:

        I don't know if you would call it a "family" movie. I mean, I don't think it's the best for young kids. There's a lot of violence–not gore or anything, but there's a lot of sword-fighting and some blood. Also there are some really scary scenes, like with a giant spider, ugly and cruel orcs, and big monsters. It didn't bother me overly much as a teenager, and I'm a pretty sensitive person. But it might give some people nightmares (especially ones with arachniphobia 😉 )
        As to it being Christian, I think that's open to debate. There's magic in it–one of the good guys is a wizard. But there are some good messages throughout the story. The main storyline is about a journey to destroy a ring, and some people think the ring represents sin because it ruins the lives of the people who become infatuated with it. The characters learn loyalty and responsibility and…well, I'm sure there are a lot bigger LoTR fans who could elaborate on the story's themes. But in the end, I think you should research the movies and decide for yourself whether they're appropriate for your family. Only you know what's best.

        I hope that no LoTR fans are going to jump on me for any inaccuracies in my post. 😛 I'm not an expert on the trilogy because I tend to focus more on Narnia. But I intended no harm in this post! I've seen the movies twice, and I'm just writing down my impressions. Hope this helps a little bit, Aslan's BFF.

      • Tradition says:

        I don't mean to "jump all over you", Starlily–you gave an excellent answer to the question. I'd just like to correct one of the most common misconceptions about LotR, regarding Gandalf.

        Although he's called a "wizard", he actually isn't, not according to the typical definition. Technically, he's a spiritual being incarnated in human form–he is literally an angel. None of his "magical" abilities are actually magical, although characters in both the books and the movies mistakenly believe that they are. They're just his natural angelic capabilities. And, just as his power is mistaken for magic, he is mistaken for a wizard.

        This fact is not fully explained in the movies or the books, unless you cross-reference them with "The Silmarillion".

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        You three sure have given me something to think about! Thanks so much for answering so quickly. Seems like an okay movie from what you've said. But I'm not too keen on giant spiders. Even everyday spiders in the house terrify me!! 😀 😉

      • Not Of This World says:

        Thanks Traditian. I had wanted to see LOTR, but when I read there was a wizard in it I was thinking "Oh no! I had wanted to see that but there's a wizard 🙁 " Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

      • Not Of This World says:

        We posted within a minute of each other, Aslan's BFF 🙂

      • HighQueenofNarnia says:

        I'd agree with using discretion for children, keeping in mind that it is rated PG-13. But as for the movie itself, in my opinion the trilogy is very good and well adapted to the screen. Our family is very conservative about the movies we watch, but we have almost no problem with this one. The minor problems we have are due to squeamishness on the part of some of us girls; we don't really like battlefields littered with bodies, or giant spiders, or bit-off fingers, or green ghosts, or people getting run over by Nazgul. But don't worry, these are actually very minor parts to the story, and as a whole my family would highly recommend it to a teen/adult audience.

        Also thank you, Tradition, for that bit of info about Gandalf! I did not know that, as I am more well versed in Narnia like Starlily. 🙂

      • Dylan says:

        Tradition is absolutley right, Gandalf aint no wizard, hes a spirit(either valr or maier, i cant remember).And those spirits are capable of controling the elements and etc.

      • Tradition says:

        Gandalf is a maia (pl. maiar). I'm not sure where you get the elemental control thing. Maiar can exercise some influence over physical substances and some did have a particular relationship to certain elements/crafts/other stuff; for instance, Arien and the Balrogs are associated with fire; Osse and Uinen with water; Aule (technically Vala, not maia), Sauron and Saruman with smith-craft; Radagast with animals; and Lorien (again, Vala) Melian and Tilion with sleep. But there's no general binding connection with elements or specific elemental control. That's generally in the domain of cheaper fantasy.

        And yes, that was a total geek moment on my part.

    • Cactus says:

      Ya learn something new evryeady. It's true I guess!

  4. Tradition says:

    As far as Christians are concerned, J.R.R. Tolkien was himself a devout Catholic. In fact, he's credited with converting C.S. Lewis from atheism. The LotR books do not contain overt Christian references or symbolism like the Narnia books do, but they do contain an overarching Christian worldview–similar morality, etc. When magic is used, it's either presented as something evil or something only being mistaken for magic. In the movies, these elements are more subtle than in the books, but still present.

    • Tradition says:

      This post should have been connected to the one above, in response to "Aslan's BFF". Oops.

    • Starlily says:

      Thanks for clarifying, Tradition. Like I said, I've never delved deep into LoTR lore, so I wasn't sure exactly how to classify Gandalf. At first glance he has the characteristics of a wizard, only he uses his powers for good. And thanks for mentioning that the LoTR movies are very well-done. I forgot to say that I think they're extremely good in that respect, and they're so realistic I feel like I'm looking at the Middle Ages (which I love), even though they're a fantasy. 😛

    • Not Of This World says:

      Lewis wasn't Catholic, right?

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        Thank heaven's he wasn't. He was a Christian. (very much so)

      • Not Of This World says:

        So how would a Catholic person convert someone to Christianity?

      • Not Of This World says:

        I have a feeling that's not right 🙂

      • Tradition says:

        Catholics are Christians–they do have a lot of customs and rituals that most Protestants, myself included, aren't familiar with or necessarily comfortable with, but they're still Christians. In the preface to "Mere Christianity", Lewis emphasized the point that he didn't care if his readers were Catholic, Anglican (Lewis was Anglican) or any other Protestant denomination. Tolkien did convert Lewis to Christianity, and Lewis decided he'd rather be Anglican than Catholic.

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        After a while, I think, Catholics start worshiping their relics, and Mary, more than God. I mean, we should honor Mary and all but we shouldn't pray to her. (Sorry if this is taken as offense to you Catholics) 🙁

      • Not Of This World says:

        Sorry, but I have to agree with Aslans BFF.

      • WriterFreak101 says:

        Last time I checked, Catholics don't worship relics or even Mary. They just believe that she was born without sin because she needed to be pure in order to conceive Jesus. I don't know exactly though. (I'm currently non-denominational so I can't really give any accurate answers.) We're going to need an actual devout Catholic to come and explain things. All I can say is that Catholics are Christians. And if anything, we should probably question if Protestants are actual Christians or not. The majority of Christians in the past, and a good majority of them today are Roman Catholic. At least, last statistics taken say anyway.

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        I just do what the Bible says. I know some people know more about Catholics but I'm not so certain that Catholic Theology is accurate with the Bible. For me it's just creepy that people pray to Mary. To me, God seems more in control than she is.

      • Bookwyrm says:

        Catholics don't worship Mary. Their theology isn't completely in line with traditional Protestantism, but a devout Catholic is every bit as much a Christian as a devout Protestant. Any claims to the contrary are made by people influenced by anti-Catholic bigotry.

      • Hiking Peter says:

        Hey, Bookwyrm. I find Catholics to be quite different from Christians in the sense that they are required to take their sins to the priest instead of confessing them directly to God. It also seems to me that they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which Christians do. Besides, Luther believed Christianity to be much different that Catholicism, so I'm not about to say that they are one and the same. But, still, I'm not trying to put you down, as you are entirely entitled to your own opinion.

      • ThreeKings says:

        Catholics pray to Mary but don't worship her. The reason why we pray to Mary is because Jesus is more likely to listen to His own Mother in heaven than to a sinner on earth.

        P.S. In my Catholic definition, a Christian is one who believes that Jesus Christ is God, ergo, Catholics are Christians.

      • Not Of This World says:

        ThreeKings: Jesus says "Bring your burdens to Me" not "Bring your burdens to my mother".

      • Not Of This World says:

        And a Christian is someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not through a priest or pope.

      • Hiking Peter says:

        Amen! Seculah, Seculorum!

      • Not Of This World says:

        What does that mean, Hiking Peter?

      • Hiking Peter says:

        Something about the spirit of the age. I just say it as a way of expressing my total agreement.

      • Not Of This World says:

        Cool! Do you know what laguage it's from?

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        Looks to be Latin. I've been studying Latin last year and this year.

      • Hiking Peter says:

        Yes, It's Latin.

      • Not Of This World says:

        Cool! I'm taking Spanish this year. Latin sounds more impressive 🙂

      • Hiking Peter says:

        I never really took to Spanish. Or Latin, for that matter. I'll be doing German soon, then Greek if I survive the second year of Latin.

      • Not Of This World says:


      • Hiking Peter says:

        I decided to start reading the LOTR trilogy. I can't believe what I was missing! Now I have lived.

    • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

      That's exactly what I thought when reading the books.
      I was also happy to find someone who understood the wizard thing. That's something I have to explain alot to Harry Potter fans who think Narnia, LOTR, and HP are all within this one category, and think HP is as sound as LOTR or Narnia. That so called magic with maiar and narnia is what makes Narnia and LOTR different from HP.

      • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

        My thing above is supposed to be in responsse to Tradition's thing at the top that starts with "as far as Christians are concerned.."

  5. Yeah! I'm so excited! I wish the movie making process wasn't so long.

  6. Miss Polly Plummer says:

    I am totally excited! I love LOTR! If The 2 Hobbit movies are going to be anything like the old ones,they should pretty much be the hit of the century=) I wish we had more Narnia movie news too=(

  7. Thee Narnian Meerkat says:

    I can't wait to see this movie…:D 😀 😀 😀

  8. Fireflower says:

    Looking good!

  9. Cithea says:

    I know a lot about LOTR thanks to my brother, who is in fact a LOTR freak, (speaks Elvish probably better than English, collects the monopoly games, books, etc, draws maps of Middle Earth, pictures of elves, orcs, isengard, etc, wants to be a linguistic, that kind of stuff). my sister was a LOTR freak, so maybe my brother will give me the one ring when he moves out. I've read the books at LEAST 30 times each so I'm perfectly entitled to his precious. FYI that's a lot of time to spend reading.

    • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

      I have a relative just like that too! Except he doesn't speak elvish. That's actually the language I want to learn most. I've read the books but not 30 times. have you really read them 30 times?

      • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

        Has anyone here ever been a hobbit for halloween? I was one year and I even put the costume together myself! I even had a ring of power.

  10. Cithea says:

    The movie is going to be amazing! But people should really read the books first. They don't have to, but if they actually want to understand what's going on they should do a bit of LOTR/Hobbit research.
    I like the name Cithea, it's nice and otherworldly.

  11. Cithea says:

    my brother says that the movies were going to be directed by someone other than Peter Jackson, but the guy stepped down, and now we will have Jackson directing 'em.
    🙂 😀

  12. Cithea says:

    Bus driver directing a movie, what could be better?

    • Aslan's BFF says:

      Amateur writer meeting Narnia actors, I'd say.

      • Caspian and all the others says:

        Hah! How about….maybe a Narnia 4…That is Silver chair….That is…I hope the Narnia movie makers are listening right now!!!!

  13. DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

    Okay, I'm the devout Catholic. First off, catholics are not only Christians, we're the original Christians. The term Christian was a term that first of all started when the only people who believed that Christ was God we're Catholics. Christian was a greek/roman term for catholics.
    First off, Catholics don't worship Mary. I find it very hypocritical of people to say Catholics worship Mary when their devotion to LoTR or Narnia things, or certain people, is more like worship than Catholics devotion to Mary. We don't even really pray to her. we ask for her intercession. This is something some Catholics don't even understand.
    People ask for someone to intercede for them all the time. When you ask for your sister to ask your parent for something you want, or ask a parent to ask the other for something, etc. When you ask someone to intercede for you, it's usually because you think that one person will listen to someone more than another person. but there is another reason. You may also ask someone to intercede for you because that person may word it better than you.
    It still goes to God,all intercessions go to God, and your asking God to fulfill your request, not Mary.
    The reason we think Mary is so special is because she is the Mother of God. Think about that people, the Mother of God. And you wonder why Catholics are devoted to her!
    What we beleive with Mary is something alot of Catholics don't understand, because alot of Catholics aren't practicing, devout Catholics, the same with quite a few other religions.
    To Not of this World, Each catholic is someone who by their own conviction beleives that Jesus is God. That is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If this is all a person has, true it's not a very deep relationship, but it is still a personal relationship.
    To Aslan's BFF, what bible do you use? The reason you might not find the bible in sync with Catholic theology is the bible your using. Are you using a King James? The King James bible is a bible with stuff taken out of it. Martin Luther took stuff out that contradicted with his brand of faith. I'm sorry, but who has the right to change the bible just because they don't like certain parts? He basically said the whole Theology of the Catholic Church was wrong and he was right.
    Devout Catholics do read the bible. But we don't live solely on the bible alone. It even says in the Bible, if everything Jesus said or did was written down, their would not be enough books in the world to contain it. That's why we have a church tht contains so much.
    Also, the KJV has even further changed over the years, with stuff being taken out and then some put back in. You should first read the Geneiva bible( or Catholic Bible) Before you judge.
    I could say alot more on the bible, but you basically should just pick up a copy of Catechism of the Catholic Church before you make your bigotrous assumptions about things you clearly have wrong information about. The part about the bible in CCC is only a couple pages long.
    As for rituals( they're ceremonies) Lutherans have almost the same amount of ceremonies and their very similiar in appearance, but some Protestants have even more rituals. And yes, rituals. Catholics didn't believe people that talked funny were witches and then have special ways to burn them.
    As for the pope and priests, they don't live our faith for us. Just like there is a president and mayors, Catholics have a Pope and priests. Their meant to be spiritual leaders to guide the people, in case we have questions or don't understand something. The pope is like the big overseer of all this, who bishops or priests can go to.
    I have actually studied some things from protestant writers, as well as other Christians, and also know devout protestants. If you have any questions about catholicism, either read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or say something and I will refer you to some books on catholiscism.

    • Barnesfan#5 says:

      So you talk to Jesus though Mary? That doesn't sound very personal. And it sounds like you guys have made you own Bible. And the "president" of normal Christions is Jesus. No pope or preist. I'm not comming back to this section becuse I'm sick of this argument. Aloha.

    • Hiking Peter says:

      No, the Christians were first called Christians in Antioch. And, the King James bible was before the NASB or NIV or any of the others. If you want an accurate bible, learn Greek or Hebrew.

      • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

        The dominant languages in Antioch were Greek and Roman, because it was part of the Roman empire at the time. Jesus even spoke Greek, although he was Jewish and lived in Palestine.

  14. DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

    As for whether C.S. Lewis was catholic, her's the answer.
    C.S. Lewis grew up Anglican. Then he became an Atheist. Either his grandfather or his father were anglican clergyman. J.R.R. tolikien did bring Lewis back to Christianity. But it took a while for Lewis to even get to Christian. Later on in his life Lewis was planning of becoming Catholic, but this was near the very end of his life and he died before he could become Catholic.
    Another thing. I'm new to blogging on this site, and I felt very unwelcome by alot of the things posted I saw, especially when they were'nt even correct. Catholics are Christians too, and if you say we aren't, your not the one being a Christian.

    • Tradition says:

      Here's one Protestant who agrees with you!

      Although, I would like to say that many of the misconceptions about Catholics date back to the Middle Ages, prior to the Reformation. At that time, some elements of the Catholic Church were extremely politicized and corrupt. For instance, there were priests taught that people had to buy documentation to earn forgiveness of sins. The Catholic Church doesn't do stuff like that anymore, and hasn't for hundreds of years, but that's the sort of thing that Luther protested against, and it's probably one of the reasons a lot of Protestants still don't like Catholics–even though we've mostly forgotten the reason.

      Also, Lutheran theology was not, I believe, very far removed from Catholic theology. However, it is true that Protestants do not include the Apocryphal books in the Bible, but that's because there are some serious academic and historical questions as to whether they were divinely inspired. Not my area of expertise, but that's the reason. Many of the early church councils also rejected the Apocrypha. The ministry organization Answers in Genesis offers a great lecture on the topic.

      • Aslan's BFF says:

        Yes. I was working on a reply, but you pretty much used what I would have used, Tradition.

      • DaughterofAslan'scountry says:

        Thankyou,tradition. you seem to understand at least, even if you don't agree, and I am thankful for that.
        I admit there were people and priests in the Catholic Church who taught wrong things and did bad things. That's in every religion. But that doesn't mean that's what the Catholic Church believes. The corruption was a result of the powers of europe being so intertwined with the Church. This had some good thingsand bad thing. The corruption started when bishops or the pope would tell the monarchs to stop acting up, and the bishops and priests were then assassinated. then some priests and bishops and popes got scared and started going against the teachings of the Church. Like I said earlier, scandals happen in every religion,the media and society just have always focused on the Catholic Church.
        I knew about the apocryphal books with the bible. And your right that some church officials were wondering about those books too. But that was before the dead sea scrolls.
        As for theology, we do have some things that are very similiar, and some that are very different. I find it ironic when other christians, which in some way come from protestant, attack Mary, because Luther was a very big Mary person. He had a greater devotion than the average Catholic back then I think.
        The reason I've said all this is because I don't like it when other christians attack Catholiscism, and don't even understand or know what it is. I want people to at least understand. When you understand, you may or may not agree. I think that's perfectly fine. My family knows devout protestants and Jews. The reason we can get along is we understand our religions and each others, and since were all devout we find alot of common ground in theological matters, more so also because one religion comes from an other. We all agree on most of the big issues, even some not so big ones. the religions we each choose comes down to which religion we think contains the most truth, and that's a personal thing. I consider Lutherans cousins to Catholics, and I have a great respect for those that are devout and live devout Lutheran lives, and their public life is pretty much the same as devout Catholics, because the devout Lutherans I find agree with what we think is wrong in society.
        When you understand, people tend not to argue or attack each other, even if they believe differently.

      • Hiking Peter says:

        One question….Why did you not capitalize the word "Christians"? Also, we don't 'attack' Mary, we just don't agree with talking to her.

  15. Just a voice in my head says:

    Hey, people! Can you please stop arguing about Catholicism and Christianity and all the other stuff? Everyone has their own opinion. And eventually, this all won't matter who thinks they're right and who's wrong. So please please drop it. Thanks.

  16. Eustace says:

    I am definitely looking forward to the Hobbit! I just wish Narnia was(in the movies) faithfully done and well done as The Lord of the Rings. Sure there were problems but nothing like VDT.