I love meeting other Tolkien fans, but that can be a challenge in my hometown (We do, however, have a surplus of Harry Potter fans). Thank goodness for the Webosphere.
Since I started cosplaying, I’ve met so many awesome people (and other Hobbit fans). One of which, I had the privilege of interviewing recently.
I discovered the King of Sass and Class, Joshua Dart (better known as Thranduart) while browsing Thranduil cosplays on Google while I was developing my own Thranduil costume. I saw a couple of pics of him at a Starbucks and I thought to myself, here is a fan I want to get to know.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Thranduart, you must not be a fan of the Hobbit. He has a strong online presence and he’s a very enthusiastic Tolkien fan.
Without further delay, here is the interview with the Party King.
Thranduart: It’s Good to be the Elven King
How long have you been a Tolkien fan?
Since I was about 15 years old–over half my life.
Is this your first cosplay? How long have you been cosplaying as Thranduil?
Yes, Thranduil is technically my first cosplay. I dressed as him for my first convention ever, Dragon Con 2013, and that’s where it all started.
What drew you to this particular character? Why do you think Thranduil has such a large following?
Honestly, the look. I was super impressed by the Weta team’s design for the character and I just felt like I could pull it off really well–I guess I was right!
Agreed : )
How long did it take you to develop this costume?
About four months of on and off work in the beginning. The Starlight Robes (silver) took about two months on and off. The crown alone took thirteen to fifteen man hours.
Are you going to continue developing your costume? What additions or changes will you make now that you’ve seen BOFA?
Well I definitely want to make the armor version. And I have to re-make my crown because i sold the second version.
How far have you traveled as the Party King? How many cons or fan events have you attended in costume? Any plans for this year?
I’ve been to Dragon Con, Tampa Bay Comic Con, Mega Con (Orlando), and NYC for the Hobbit BOFA Fan Event. NYC is the farthest this costume has been so far.
When you’re not the Party King, tell us a little about yourself when you’re not in character.
Hmm . . . hard to really put yourself into words. I’m a pretty easy going guy, but I love to read and watch movies. I ADORE going to movies. It’s probably my favorite thing.
Where did you see BOFA for the first time? Your reactions/responses to the movie.
At the NYC Fan Event. I cried like a baby afterwards. It just felt like an ending and I didn’t want it to be over.
As a die-hard Tolkien fan, I think you’d be a reliable person to ask, what do you think (against or in defense) of some of the changes Peter Jackson has made in his adaptation.
I think you have to separate the two, honestly. Tolkien created this beautiful, fantastic world of characters and places. Peter took that to another level and made it his own. Whether or not you agree with that is a whole different story. I think the movies are spectacular in their own way, just like Tolkien’s writings.
You met the fabulous, handsome, and charming Lee Pace. Tell us about that. Is this the highlight of your year?
Oh, gosh, definitely. He was so kind to come out there and visit with us. He didn’t have to–what an amazing feeling when his assistant came out and told us he wanted to come out and say hi to us. Incredible. And the things he and his assistant said about my costume just made me feel like all the hard work had paid off. Best day.
I, as well as other fans, would like to see some Thranduil tutorials on YouTube. Any plans for this or expanding your presence on YouTube?
Gosh, it’s so hard to find the time, but I really want to make a makeup tutorial, as well as a bloopers reel for the music video.
Speaking of your presence on YouTube, the Lady Gaga video was perfect. Tell me about this project.
It was a labor of love, to be certain! SO much planning and hard work went into it, but I had help from amazing people. Without them, it never would have been as amazing as it was. As far as future videos, I would love to do more! We shall see!
(If you haven’t seen this, check it out now. I’m sure this was just as much fun to make as it is to watch)
You certainly feel the love as the Party King. I think some people obsess about you as much as they do over Lee Pace. Ever run into haters? How do you deal with them?
I think everyone has people that don’t care for them, no matter who they are or how “famous” they are considered. Sometimes you know that they exist, sometimes you don’t. If you are unfortunate enough to be made aware of their presence, you just have to remember that at the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own. I truly try to live by one of my favorite quotes, “What other people think of me is none of my business” -RuPaul
As first time cosplayers, after the convention ended, the makeup and wigs were removed (with much effort and spirit gum remover), my sister and I were at a bit of a loss. Do you ever feel this way after a convention or fan event?
Not really, honestly. I’m usually in costume for long periods, so I’m ready for it to be off. And by that point, I’ve had my fill.
Speaking of feeling at a loss, we’ve probably seen our last Peter Jackson adaptation of Tolkien’s works. How do you feel now that we’ve come to the end of this journey? Do you think Tolkien and Peter Jackson’s works will live on or do you think they will be buried under future trends?
I think the movies will live forever in their own way because they are so special and mean so much to so many people. I know they will for me. Hello Extended Editions!!!
Long live Tolkien and Peter Jackson’s creations, and long live the Party King!
Redbubble (where you can purchase Party King memorabilia)