Here's our first good look at Lee Pace as King Thranduil in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Thranduil is the father of Legolas, and I love that Jackson cast Pace, he looks great in the role! After seeing these photos, do you think Pace was a good casting decision for this character?
Here's a more detailed breakdown of the character, which contains spoilers if you haven't read the books...
Thranduil first appears in The Hobbit as the Elvenking, when Bilbo and the Dwarves enter his realm in the northern part of Mirkwood. The Dwarves are captured by Thranduil's guards and locked in his dungeons when they refuse to divulge their intentions. The Dwarves were rescued by Bilbo, who had remained in hiding with his use of a magic ring of invisibility.
After the death of the dragon Smaug, Thranduil along with people of Lake-town demanded a share of the treasure of Erebor. War with the Dwarves was averted by the arrival of a goblin/warg army and the ensuing battle.
Thranduil was the father of Legolas, a supporting character in The Lord of the Rings. The gradually-established friendship between Legolas and the Dwarf Gimli, the son of Glóin of The Hobbit, helps to reconcile Thranduil's people and the Dwarves. The appendices to The Return of the King note that Thranduil withstood attacks by Sauron during northern battles of the War of the Ring, meeting with Celeborn and his people to together destroy Dol Guldur and cleanse Mirkwood of Sauron's taint of evil. Also, Legolas and the Silvan Elves later worked together with Gimli and the Dwarves to rebuild and improve Minas Tirith, capital city of Gondor, the realm of their mutual friend Aragorn. The last time Thranduil was mentioned was soon after Sauron's final defeat.
Thanks to Nznoldor for the images!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens this holiday season, on December 14th, 2012. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on December 13th, 2013, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released worldwide on July 18th, 2014.
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.