When news of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — J.R.R. Tolkien's child-friendly Middle-earthen odyssey — first reached my ears, the fantasy-loving reader inside of me cried out with joy. Huzzah! More dwarves and hobbits, orcs and trolls, Gandalf and Gollum! More questing, more magic, more adventure! But then the cynic in me took over — I began wondering whether, with the exception of rabid Tolkien fans and library dwellers, anyone would want to see the movie. Because, while dwarves and hobbits and trolls may abound, this installment would have no Aragorn, no Legolas, no Liv Tyler, and only the briefest of appearances by Elijah Wood. In short, no sex appeal.
Let's face it — hard bodies and beautiful faces do invite audiences to the theaters. Without the promise of Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, and Miranda Otto, of burly men wielding longswords and ladies with luscious locks staring wistfully into the vast unknown, who would want to brave the movie theater's sticky floor and sickly sweet smell of burned popcorn to subject themselves to three long hours of hobbit viewing? How will this film, filled with hairy feet and smelly trolls, draw in those who only shell out for Nicholas Sparks' latest piece of romantic drivel or Vin Diesel's fastest and most furious venture yet?
But then, The Hobbit's dwarf poster was released and everything changed. For staring out from the top row, second from the left, was the hottest dwarf I'd ever seen. You up there, where is your bulbous nose? Your bushy beard? Your unkempt, wiry nest of hair? Who taught you the appropriate amount of facial scruff and the correct eyebrow diameter? You, with the brooding scowl and chocolatey eyes, what is your name? And have you come to save us all?
His name is Kili (played by Aidan Turner), and he and his brother Fili (who is also not your typical homely dwarf) are the youngest in Bilbo's posse. They have the keenest eyesight, and are therefore often sent to scout ahead of the band of merry travelers. According to a Tolkien wiki page, Warner Bros. describes Kili by saying, "Handsome and physically able, Kili possesses the invincible courage of youth. He is a skilled fighter and expert archer, having been trained with weapons from an early age. As one of the youngest in The Company of Dwarves, Kili is determined to make his mark and prove his worth." He's also determined to get a lot of screen time. Aside from Richard Armitage's Thorin Oakenshield, we see Kili more than any of the other dwarves — but hey, why would you waste precious film on an old, balding, or bulging dwarf? Jackson knows what audiences want: More of the hot one, please!
As is to be expected, I was hardly the only one to notice the incongruousness of Kili. There are tumblr pages dedicated to Kili appreciation, the likes of which are filled with such squeeful proclamations as, "Hot dwarves, okay? I’m not even sorry," and "AH! I can’t even, he was just AMAZING." And, surely inspired by Kili, Fili, and lead dwarf Thorin, Buzzfeed ranked the dwarves in order of hotness (they, however, wrongly placed Fili in the No. 1 position — there's no way this big-nosed dude is more attractive than his smoldering brother).
And so we find ourselves here. In the face of an adventure-filled quest, a story of gallantry and heart, we are arguing about which dwarf is the hottest. It's just as I thought — every film has got to have a heartthrob. And while Bilbo is brave and Thorin strong, it is Kili (oh Kili!) who acts as The Hobbit's eye candy. As once happened with Orlando Bloom's Legolas, it is Kili who will prompt teenagers to ask, "Is it okay that I'm like, obsessed with a mythological being?" To which we all answer yes, yes it is. Because, goddamn it, Kili is one hot dwarf.
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[Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]