John Callen: 

“I tried to make the horn part of Oin and so we saw it used in ways other than simply, ‘What did you say?’ When Oin was in the barrel he used it as a paddle and when attacked in one or two places, he used it as a weapon. If you’re an Orc, you certainly don’t want the pointy end of it in your eyeball.

James Nesbitt:

“It turns out that Bofur is a musical Dwarf. He also sings a song that was actually one Tolkien wrote for Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, The Man on the Moon. Fran gave me the option of writing the music to it, which I was very glad to do.

John Harvey (Prop Maker):

"Dwalin’s fiddle was carved oak with alloy fittings. There were proper gut strings on it that actually worked and I put a sound board on it.

Daniel Reeve (Graphic Artist):

“Based on a comment that Gimli made in The Lord of the Rings about Ori writing well and quickly, the notion of Ori keeping a travel journal emerged. It was up to me to invent content, so I supplied a dozen or so pages for Ori’s book, careful to avoid anything too specific, as I had no control over where the prop would be seen in the film with respect to when the Dwarves had their various encounters. The entries tended to be Ori’s impressions as he journeyed, what he might see along the way that catches his eye, including portraits of the other characters.

We also trained actor Adam Brown in the use of quills and charcoal. We had a practice session or two, and he took to it very well, filling up some additional pages in a book with his own work. I thought his sketches were excellent!”

Stephen Hunter:

“Considering the high frame rate exposed everything to so much more intense scrutiny, there had to be an extraordinary focus on achieving realism. They couldn’t have anything that didn’t look real so they had to go for the most authentic look possible. Often this meant authentic construction and materials, and consequently authentic weight.”

Jed Brophy:

“The thing was, the crew members wrangling our packs weren’t sure what was going to be shot and whether the packs were to be opened at Rivendell, revealing what was inside, so I think they hedged their bets. […] They didn’t realize how heavy it was and were shocked and apologetic when they came to take it off, replacing it all with Dacron.”

Richard Armitage:

“It’s something Tolkien never addressed, but a group of characters being on the road for so long would require cartloads of stuff. How much would the Dwarves need to carry to survive? How often would they need to refill their water carriers? How much food do they  need? We pick up and lose things along the journey, but the reality is the Dwarves should be hauling a lot of gear with them to sustain them on their trip, a lot more even than we do. While cinematic liberties are taken, we still have to look like we’re prepared so that the effort is believable.”

Nick Weir (Prop Master):

“Thorin’s blanket had gold thread in it, making it more regal than the rest. He’s not an over-the-top kind of guy, but his gear is still top quality because he’s a king, after all.”

Nick Weir:

“Balin had a lectern that we designed so that he would be able to use it to write upon while riding…”

Nick Weir:

“One of the ways the Dwarves were able to make money when they were on the road was to apply their skills to making toys that they could sell. There had been a bit in the script with them selling their wares as they passed through towns on the way. […] We made some intricate toys that all worked and could be played with; an eagle that would flap its wings when the wire handle was turned or a Dwarf being walloped by a Troll when its wheel was turned; and a little Dwarf warrior doll.”


Next pages: Oin’s Costume, Gloin’s Costume, Metal Working

Collective tag link: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Cloaks and Daggers 

1600px versions: Dropbox repository (updated as I post more pages) 

Notes: These photo excerpts are meant to be used by fans as references for the creation of The Hobbit fanwork (cosplay, art, fiction, nonfiction, etc.) Feel free to repost, use, and edit any of these photographs as you wish. Credit back to me is unnecessary. 

If you found these useful, please consider reading through this post by Obscura and making a donation. 

This wonderful book can be purchased at the following links: via RANet Charity Referral with Amazon [US | UK | DE] | via WETA.