Homemade Thorin Oakenshield Costume: Is it Male or Female? You Decide!
First off as the title says is Thorin a male or female, of course he’s a male but when worn by me it makes people take a double look every time.
I made Thorin Oakenshield from the movie The Hobbit. A group of friends and I all got together to come up with our group of dwarfs. I chose Thorin, being that he’s so majestic, king of the mountain and plus Kili was already chosen.
Everything was sewn and made by me. Starting with the outfit. I had gone to so many fabric stores and online stores trying to find the perfect wool, suedes, faux fur, and pleathers for this outfit. Once I found the the right materials I began my own journey. I crafted the plates on the tunic with a material called Worbla it is a thermal plastic that you heat up with a heat gun, once hot enough it is moldable to whatever shape and size you need, once it cools it hardens. You can reheat the stuff if needed as many times as you want. I crafted about 300 of these pieces to go on the sleeves, chest and around the edging of the tunic. Also I crafted the Rings, Belt and Steel Toe for the boots also from this material. Its very lightweight and sturdy and great for small props and accessories.
The Gauntlets are made from pleather, and sewing for the embroidered design. There is a total of three layers I’m wearing, the tunic, blue robe and then the leather fur jacket. On the jacket I used a shaggy tan faux fur and dyed it to make it weathered and dingy, after all these are dwarfs that like to battle, everything isn’t perfect. For the boots I had taken old snow boots that I don’t wear anymore and covered them in brown faux fur and taken pleather to wrap around and took the worbla from earlier for the steel toe. I was able to use my own hair for this because I have the perfect widows peak and my hair is naturally wavy, I did add a few extensions in my hair to make it thicker and bought a human hair beard. I applied spirit gum to attach it to my face.
As for the weapons our group had gone to Lowes to purchase slabs of basswood. We projected the weapons on a wall to make the life size and traced them out on paper, from there we took the paper and traced it out on the wood. Each of us took part in our own weapons, but cutting them out and sanding them down. I primed it and then painted it with a metallic paint. Added the few details I needed with more worbla that I couldn’t get with wood and finished the sword. I also have an Axe that I have cut out but still need to finish. We made a total of about 20 swords, axes, daggers, maces and one slingshot for our group.
I’ve worn this outfit a few times through out the year and plan to wear it for Halloween this year. I absolutely love the response I get from people because I am a girl that is really well disguised as this majestic king. I would have to say 99% of the time I fool people, they think I am a guy behind the costume until I begin to talk with a sweet little voice. I wish I had video footage to show you all the responses, double takes and jaws dropped. I even once had a moment where I walked into the females restroom at a convention with this costume on.
A little girl about 6-7 years old was in there with a few people. She was just finishing up with washing her hands as I walked in. I just came in there to reapply some spirit gum to the beard since it was coming up at corners. She stared directly at me and told me immediately “that I was not allowed to be in there” I couldn’t help but laugh. I told her it was ok as I pulled the beard away and told her I was a girl, but just dressed up as a guy. I did get a smile from her and she told me as she was walking out that she was really confused. I would have to say that has been my favorite reaction I had received for this outfit.
All together this whole experience of making and wearing this costume has been great. I take pride in what I make no matter how time consuming or how much it costs to make. I had put at least 2 months time in it so far and yet want to add more details and touches to fully finish it. I have not won any awards for it as of yet, but I have been featured on a few sites by how truly I pull off the look of the costume. Dressing up and parading around in costume has always been fun for me as it should be for everyone else. It’s a time where you don’t have to be yourself for the day.