Well, what can I say.
It’s been a terrible few months in terms of Hobbit-related news; and not the kind of updates we were expecting.
Lesnie’s death last April was totally unlooked-for. And whilst Christopher Lee’s recent birthday celebrations at 93 demonstrated an individual defying the norm of old age, this news still comes as a devastating shock.
Admittedly, I’m not one who can claim to have seen the majority of his impressively long (and unconquerable) filmography.
His role as Saruman – the wizard whose thinly veiled evil schemes pose a danger to Middle-earth – is naturally the first image that springs to mind when I come across his name.
Then again, who can deny the power conveyed in Dracula or his villainous role in James Bond. Heck, I even enjoyed his interpretation as Sherlock Holmes (yes, Lee even portrayed the super-sleuth on screen – as if he needed another reason to be cool).
Not a fan of heavy metal music, I was nonetheless awed by his ability to keep recording and releasing albums even at his age.
Not just as a skillful actor, boasting an impressive deep-voice that could put anyone else’s to shame, but even as an individual, he seemed to have lived life to the full.
His work with the British special forces in World War II deserves many praise in itself.
“Boy, that guy’s had a life . . .”
So comments Graham McTavish (Dwalin), in a behind the scenes clip from the special features on the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey.
And he’s right.
Just watching Lee talking to Peter Jackson and the other crew members, recalling past experiences and telling jokes, you can’t help but think how appropriate the phrase “a long and fruitful life” applies to him.
Let us not forget that he was also the only person from the entire The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit cast to have actually met Professor Tolkien.
I mean, how much more awesome can you be?
I still remember in one of his Christmas video messages, prior to the release of the Hobbit films, where he jokingly proclaimed: “I hope I live to see!”
It was a concerning thought. But then, one year passed and An Unexpected Journey was released. Then another, and another.
I shall always be thankful he got the chance to see one of his final performances on screen.
Thank you Sir Christopher. We salute you.