When The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits our screens in a few days time, one of the new characters we’ll meet is Alfrid. But just who is he and what is he doing in The Hobbit?
Well, Alfrid is the Master of Lake-town’s councillor. He appears in the novel at the end of Chapter 10 when, ‘The Master and his councillors bade them farewell from the great steps of the town hall that went down to the lake.’ Of course, Tolkien doesn’t actually name any of the councillors but, in a film, to leave a character that interacts with the Master unnamed simply would not work. And so Peter Jackson called him Alfrid Lickspittle.
Alfrid is played by British actor Ryan Gage who says, ‘My character in The Hobbit is certainly a clownish type, quite a dark clown who doesn’t like being laughed at but a clown none the less and Peter [Jackson] really encouraged me in that direction.’
So what do we know of Ryan Gage? Ryan trained at the Drama Centre, London. Then, as is usual for British actors, he spent a good few years in the theatre. He has appeared in several plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including the filmed for television production of Hamlet, which starred Patrick Stewart and David Tennant.
For now though, there’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Alfrid on the silver screen!