Epic Thirst: Lord of The Rings Edition
The most outdated electronic device in my apartment is the Toshiba television with a built-in DVD player I bought eight years ago. You can make fun of me all you want, but it took my brother, with his five state-of-the-art-HD-whatever-K flat screens, about an hour to figure out how to watch a DVD screener through his gaming system. So instead of renting or scavenging for the entire Hobbit/Lord of the Rings on various streaming channels, I bought both trilogies for $35 on eBay when I wanted to watch them again. These Peter Jackson movies are so fucking awe-inspiring, I could not resist the urge to pay tribute to three of my all-time favorite things: epic filmmaking, exquisite costuming, and beautiful men. The Middle Earth thirst will leave you begging for water. You might want to grab the pitcher.
#1 ARAGORN vs. VIGGO MORTENSEN
Let’s just state the obvious. Although Viggo Mortensen is one of the most recognizable actors in his costume, he has never again in the entirety of his career regained this peak level of the hotness. There’s absolutely no cleaned-up permutation of this man that rivals the raw sexuality of a filthy dirty Aragorn. He must have stunk ten ways to Sunday after being dragged off a cliff, washed down the river, and traversed half-dead across Rohan on horseback, and I still would have gladly stood in line to drink his bathwater. Lady Arwen of Rivendell was nobody’s fool. When asked if she was a ride or die chick she literally chose death.
#2 LEGOLAS vs. ORLANDO BLOOM
I think all of the hate directed towards this character is fundamentally misguided. Some of you have never been attracted to an ego-maniacal fuckboi who spends more time getting ready in the mirror than you, and it shows. You have to admit; the dude has got style. Sheeeitt, if I was immortal and could hit a moving target while balancing on the heads of dwarves traveling downstream on the rapids in a barrel (😫 the disrespect!), you couldn’t tell me nothing either. If it makes you feel any better, Bloom was initially paid only about $175,000 for this role until he leveled up to Pirates kind of money. The casting choices here were a real no-brainer. There is no real-life version of Orlando Bloom that doesn’t look like a 17th century or Regency-era portrait painting come to life.
#3 KILI vs. AIDAN TURNER
Even Tauriel could see there was something about this dwarf that hit differently. Still, I can’t believe she tried to save his ass twice only to watch him die on the side of a mountain. The female elves in Middle Earth got all the emotions and not the tiniest bit of common sense. All of them ready to risk it all for the love of a man at the drop of a hat. Smdh.
After conducting thoroughly enjoyable research, I have discovered that Turner is incapable of taking a bad picture. His ability to transform from swashbuckling Poldark to James Bond smoothness and everything in between boggles my mind and tingles my ladyparts. Please continue casting him in all of the things.
#4 EOMER vs. KARL URBAN
Urban’s dashing leading man looks of his youth have settled into a matured, rugged masculinity, but he’ll never lose that sexy smirk and soul-piercing stare. I’m sure I watched this movie twice before I recognized him as the same actor who plays Bones McCoy in the Star Trek reboot. I love identifying actors playing small roles in blockbuster movies just before they blow-up or glow-up. I completely forgot that Chris Hemsworth plays Captain Kirk’s father in the first Star Trek movie reboot. Come to think of it, Eomer is like a low-budget Thor with half of the charm and none of the humor. Maybe that’s why Urban was cast as Hela’s executioner in Thor: Ragnarok instead. Hela is, of course, played by Cate Blanchett, who also stars as Galadriel in LOTR. Holy shit. How many degrees is that away from Kevin Bacon?
#5 THRANDUIL VS. LEE PACE
This is less of a matchup than it is a total annihilation at a ballroom competition. Every time Thranduil appears on the screen, I expect to hear house music and see him spiral into a death drop. Thranduil of the Woodland Realm is that bitch, and he’s got the crown, the wig, and the rest of the drag gear to prove it. When he rides through battles on his giant stag sweeping orcs to and fro like so much trash, honey, I LIVE!!! The Elvenking came to slay, alright? He wants his jewelry back, and if a couple hundred of his best warriors have to die in the process, then so be it. Tell me that ain’t some real diva shit? Ha! The Lee Pace we know from Pushing Daisies could never! Don’t even try to compare.
#6 THORIN vs. RICHARD ARMITAGE
Do you remember seeing Richard Armitage in Ocean’s 8 or Captain America? No? Me neither. Sorry to this man. He looks fine as hell, but I don’t know her. He may never be able to escape the eminence of being known as this short king. While it seems as if most of Middle Earth isn’t overly fond of dwarves, I find that Thorin possesses the best of all their qualities. Sure, he may be stubborn, prideful, and greedy, but who among us wouldn’t catch dragon sickness from diving into piles of gold like Scrooge McDuck? Who else is going to serve you a heaping order of side-eye like it was on the Cheesecake Factory menu? That ugly, pasty-faced bastard, Azog knew Thorin was with the shits even before he sponsored that ill-fated production of Gladiators On Ice. Even with his sword arm, you know the other orcs were already laughing behind his back for getting his ass kicked by a dwarf the first time.
#7 HALDIR VS. CRAIG PARKER
When I found out what this actor looked like out of costume, I was shook down to my very core. He’s been featured in a few TV series since LOTR, but I am actually offended that I’m not intimately familiar with his face (along with his other highly desirable parts.) New Zealand has been offering us a certified thirst trap like this, and we’ve been hyping up a bloated ballsac like Russell Crowe for the past twenty years. This unfathomable oversight makes me exceptionally heated because Haldir’s death scene at the battle of Helm’s Deep left me emotionally scarred. It’s a whole goddamn Shakespearean tragedy in two minutes. You can see the exact moment Haldir wishes he would have stayed his happy woodland ass at home and lived a long healthy life of minding his own goddamn business. Funny how Legolas makes it out just fine. Hmmph. I hope he at least poured one out to all his fallen homies the next time he got his hair braided.
#8, 9 and 10 BIG SCARY MONSTERS vs. LAWRENCE MAKOARE
It feels a little suspect that the only actor of color in these movies series played three different villains: Lurtz, the leader of Uruk-Hai in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gothmog in The Return of the King and the Witch King of Angmar who Eowyn kills in battle with girl power. Since Jackson made several deviations from the text, I don’t see why an actual Maori or Moor-inspired character couldn’t have made their way into the story without too much disruption. We can all see that the Uruk-Hai are dark and astonishingly ugly even when sporting an Ariana Grande high ponytail. Given the history of the Maori people in New Zealand, there’s something about this image that does not sit right in my spirit.
It is documented that Tolkien objected to a description of Middle Earth as “Nordic” because of its association with Nazis and their radical theories on the Aryan race. I’m not that interested in this particular debate outside of the decisions Jackson made for the movies. Let’s just be grateful Tolkien never had a Twitter account.
In case you were wondering, I don’t believe that any of the featured Hobbits qualify as thirst traps. They’re all adorable and kind of funny-looking, as well they should be. And RIP Ian Holm. I hope his journey to Valar was swift.
Stay tuned, stay well, and stay thirsty, my friends!
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