To say people have been waiting for The Hobbit is an understatement. When the lights went up at the end of 'The Return of the King' nine years ago, Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings film trilogy made household names out of the likes of Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom.
And we can expect the same for Richard Armitage, a.k.a. Thorin Oakenshield, in 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'.
But let's leave Middle Earth for a moment, and talk about destiny.
Growing up in England's east-Midlands, Richard's favourite book? 'The Hobbit'.
One of his first acting roles as a kid: The Hobbit.
So when Peter Jackson came calling, the actor best known for playing villains - a henchman in Robin Hood, a Nazi agent in Captain America - picked himself off the floor and steadied himself to play a hero.