The Hobbit movies come with a ready-made team who could give that Fellowship of the Ring bunch a run for their mithril. Meet the 13-strong Company of Dwarves ...
1 - Nori
Not just the dwarf with the star-shaped hairdo and a reputation of mischief, but the brother of Dori and Ori too.
Jed Brophy (NZ)
Who's best known for:
Being a regular supporting player in most of Peter Jackson's past movies since
, including playing a couple of different Orcs in the
Lord of the Rings
2 - Fili
Who is: One of the younger dwarves in the company, the nephew of leader Thorin Oakenshield, and he's quite the fighter, apparently.
Played by: Dean O'Gorman (NZ) who replaced English actor Rob Kazinsky in the role, a few weeks into the shoot.
Who's best known for: Among many other New Zealand screen appearances, The Almighty Johnsons: The Hobbit possibly explains his character's ever-present beard in the last series.
3 - Dori
Who is: The eldest of a trio of brothers with Ori and Nori, the strongman of the company and its biggest worrier about what will befall them next.
Played by: Mark Hadlow (NZ)
Who's best known for: As well as being a fixture at Christchurch's Court Theatre, he's been the rubber-faced supporting player in many a local screen production, including Jackson movies Meet the Feebles and King Kong.
4 - Bofur
Who is: The hard-partying loudmouth of the company, a brother of Bombur and a cousin to Bifur. Possessed of a lovely singing voice, he carries a very big miner's pick as his weapon of choice.
Played by: James Nesbitt (UK)
Who's best known for: His multiple leading roles on British television including Cold Feet, Murphy's Law and Monroe, as well as his appearances in films such as Bloody Sunday and Waking Ned Devine.
5 - Gloin
Who is: The father of Gimli from the Lord of the Rings. Quick-tempered and forthright in his opinions, he is one of the few married dwarves in the company. His wife is apparently an acclaimed beauty, whose own impressive beard rivals that of her husband's.
Played by: Peter Hambleton (NZ)
Who's best known for: Regular prize-winning appearances on the Wellington stage and local television productions.
6 - Dwalin
Who is: The ultimate warrior of the company who doesn't much like anyone who isn't a dwarf.
Played by: Graham McTavish (UK)
Who's best known for: Playing officious or villain types in supporting roles in everything from 2008's Rambo to Lost to 24 to Prison Break. His dulcet Glaswegian tones have featured in many videogame titles too.
7 - Thorin Oakenshield
Who is: The princely leader of the company who comes with his own surname and a very big sword. He is determined to restore the dwarf kingdom of Erebor, recapture the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon, and reclaim the treasure the dragon guards.
Played by: Richard Armitage (UK), who just might be the Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) of this trilogy.
Who's best known for: His roles in mostly British television shows like North & South, Spooks, Strike Back, and Robin Hood.
8 - Balin
Who is: Dwarf nobility and the oldest in the company, he is the group's resident deep-thinker.
Played by: Ken Stott (UK)
Who's best known for: Among his many stage and screen roles, playing fellow Edinburgh-ite, Detective Inspector John Rebus in Rebus as well as the lead detectives in crime series like Messiah and The Vice.
9 - Oin
Who is: The brother of Gloin and a cousin to Thorin Oakenshield, he's effectively the company's financial backer as well as its medic - and the herbal salve he uses on injuries is actually known as "Ointment".
Played by: John Callen (NZ)
Who's best known for: Being the booming bass voice in many a television ad as well as a director on Shortland Street, a theatre actor and a regular supporting player in television shows stretching back to local 70s soap Close to Home.
10 - Bombur
Who is: The brother of Bofur and cousin to Bifur, he's the company cook as well as having the most voracious appetite. His girth is also a danger to the flimsy elfin furniture (judging by the film's trailer) and will be a likely provider of the trilogy's sight gags. Not a dwarf who can be tossed easily.
Played by: Stephen Hunter (NZ)
Who's best known for: Sydney-based, so little-seen on our screens. But in real life he's recognisable as the flying fox-building dad of the Toyota ads.
11 - Bifur
Who is: The dwarf with the remnants of an orc axe in his head, which means he's the company's least conversational, most unhinged member, and will be grunting (in Dwarvish) and gesticulating his way through much of the trilogy. He's a hell of a fighter though. And he's likely to become a fan favourite or possibly a Halloween costume regular.
Played by: William Kircher (NZ), who also plays one of the trolls in the trilogy. Which means Kircher gets to fight himself.
Who's best known for: Everything from late 80s cop series Shark in the Park to movie Out of the Blue while continuing to work behind the scenes as a producer in the local screen industry.
12 - Ori
Who is: The youngest brother of Dori and Nori, he's the timid teenager of the pack who comes armed with a slingshot and a journal to write about his adventures.
Played by: Adam Brown (UK)
Who's best known for: Not a lot yet, apart from his stage work in Britain as a comedy actor. His theatre company, Plested and Brown, toured here in 2006.
13 - Kili
Who is: The younger brother of Fili, he is another one of Thorin Oakenshield's nephews. He's already been branded "the hot dwarf" and reportedly develops a thing for willowy (aren't they all?) elf Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly of Lost fame). No, that romantic part definitely wasn't in the book.
Played by: Aidan Turner (Ireland)
Who's best known: As the vampire John Mitchell in the cult hit BBC supernatural vampire series Being Human. And possibly soon as the Legolas-like pin-up of the bunch.