The feels. We woke up bright and early to attend the last Middle-earth panel on Monday morning. This was by far the best panel. These group of guys are so loving towards their fans.
The tables were removed and the panel felt more personal. Which personally, I think all panels should be like that. The actors had more freedom to be expressive, which you don’t see as much when they’re stuck behind a table.
Kirsten Cairns, aka the Green Dragon, introduced Jed Brophy, Craig Parker, Adam Brown, and Manu Bennett to the stage. Brophy and Parker know how to make an appearance. lol They jumped, flipped, tumbled, climbed chairs as they made their way to their seats. Brophy and Parker had the most energy during the panel.
The panel opened up with the first question by Cairns. “How do you become a Dwarf, an Elf, and Azog the Defiler?,” she asked. Brophy jumped in and answered first, “Back in the beginning of time, when the great God made Middle-earth. He made the Dwarves first in his first image. And then having made the perfect being. He was bored and made the Elves.”
Parker, who played Haldir of Lórien in The Two Towers, responded with, “And loathe He looked upon on his creations and said, ‘Oh I screwed that up.’ And he created gravity and puberty. And thus gravity crushed the Dwarves to small misshaped and lumps. And puberty thus sprout hairs from their chins, backs, and ears. And that was only their woman.” And Bennett chimed in, “And then because of their vanity, he created the Orcs.”
The floor opened up to questions. One audience member asked if the actors in The Hobbit got tattoos like the actors in the FOTR. Brown told the fans that the actors received gold rings with “The Journey” engraved inside the ring.
I got a kick out of watching Manu talk about playing Azog the Defiler. Manu shared a great story about playing Azog in the first movie. Since his character was all CG, Manu had to wear a motion capture suit and work in a green screen room. During the scene where Azog is riding on his White Warg, he was originally supposed to say “Can you smell the fear?” to his Orcs, but Manu asked Peter Jackson if he could have a relationship with his White Warg instead. “Instead of delivering the lines to the Orcs that are around me. Can I lean into the head of my wolf and rub my Warg’s hair and whisper it into his ear? and Jackson said, “Yeah, do that.” So that’s the scene you see in the first Hobbit film.
Adam Brown shared that his least favorite experience from working on The Hobbit was the gym. “I’m never going to go back there again.” lol He went on to say that he loved horse riding, especially seeing the beautiful scenery of Wellington. Brophy enjoyed the stunt training, especially watching Martin Freeman doing a forward roll.
At the end of the panel, Parker called for the young fan that was dressed as Charmander from Pokémon to ask any question. Manu jumped off the stage and carried him to the stage. You can see the photo below. That was such a cute moment.
The guys were awesome and so down to earth. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Middle-earth panels.
I found a video of the entire panel, if you wish to watch. These guys will have you laughing.