Owain Arthur’s character of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings trilogy lived an adventure that was filled with hardship and loss, but throughout it all, Durin IV remained optimistic and fought to keep his people safe from the evils that surrounded them. That’s what made him such an admirable character, and that’s why fans continue to remember him as one of the most memorable Dwarves in history, despite not having much screen time or dialogue in the film series. Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings

Who Is Owain Arthur

Born and raised in California, Owain has grown up with the strong influence of English culture through various mediums. His favorite films include Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which inspired him to pursue his dreams by emulating many characters, including Dwarves.

Ever since he can remember, Arthur has had a deep love for makeup artistry.

Movie magic

Working as an actor for the past 13 years, the prosthetics and makeup process wasn’t anything new to Owain Arthur. The 3-hour application time was just part of the job – a perfectly timed process where he had two hours during the shoot day, and another hour back at base camp before he could go home. When asked about portraying a Dwarf in The Lord of the Rings, with Durin IV’s facial prosthetics and scars that went down his face, his answer was unsurprising.

Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings
Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings

Actors are artists, too

As an actor, it is my job to bring as much authenticity as possible to the role I am playing. It took me three hours each day to apply the Dwarven prosthetics for my character, and a lot of conversations with prosthetic artists and director Peter Jackson. There was no amount of makeup that could cover up how different I looked.

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I would have to do five scenes per day, so before makeup application, hair and wardrobe team would come in to help make me look like a Dwarf while they did their jobs. And when they were done it was time for another round of makeup application and costume fitting. There were days when we filmed 12-14 hours straight because time constraints didn’t allow breaks between scenes.

Straight from New Zealand

Known best for his portrayal of Mr. Spock, the iconic character he created and brought to life on screen, actor Zachary Quinto has always been committed to exploring the human condition through acting. Known best for his portrayal of Mr. Spock, the iconic character he created and brought to life on screen, actor Zachary Quinto has always been committed to exploring the human condition through acting.

A long way from home

Owain Arthur, a 28-year-old from Surrey, has made the journey from southern England all the way to Wellington for what was undoubtedly one of the most significant roles he will ever get. In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, he portrays Durin IV, prince of the Dwarven city Khazad-dûm. It took three hours to apply his prosthetics each day.

Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings
Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings

The world of dwarves

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Dwarves can’t be actors? Think again.

Durin was the first mortal man and the founder of Khazad-dûm, also known as Moria. But he wasn’t just a person. He was more than that. The creator of the Dwarven race. The creator of the One Ring. And so on, if you’re into Tolkien lore like we are. Which is why it took three hours every day for actor Owain Arthur to apply his prosthetics so that he could play the part in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for all our geeky enjoyment.

Total transformation

For the past four years, actor Owain Arthur has dedicated his time and energy into playing one specific role: that of Durin IV, prince of the Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm. Durin appears as a major character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, set in the world Middle-earth. He is said to be the first mortal king (the second being Bard II) and ancestor of both Durin’s Folk who founded the Iron Hills and all other Dwarves across Middle-earth.

An unexpected honor

We couldn’t have predicted it, but we’re extremely pleased. We can’t thank the Academy enough for this honor. We hope that the members of the Academy and their families are excited about the show as much as we are. We would like to thank our castmates and the producers for their help with The Rings of Power: The Lord of the Rings. It’s been a great journey so far and we’re looking forward to seeing where it takes us next!

Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings
Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings

How long did it take to transform Owain Arthur into Prince Durin?

It took three hours every day for six weeks for Arthur to transform into the prince of Khazad-dûm. He had to have his entire body painted head-to-toe with a clay consistency paint which would then harden, and he also wore a bald cap over his hairless head. All of this was followed by hours of prosthetics work by artist Michael Denton. Denton had to create four separate sets: one for each of the actor’s hands, another set for each foot, and a final set that was placed on top of Owain’s head.

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Who plays Durin IV in Lord of the Rings?

An actor’s work never stops, even if they’re on a break. That must be especially true for an actor working on a large film production with more than one set and crew. As Durin IV, prince of Khazad-dûm, played by Owain Arthur, he was expected to maintain his Dwarven persona at all times during filming of Lord of the Rings.

Who is Owain Arthur?

Arthur has been a British actor since 1997, when he made his stage debut with the York Theatre Royal. He has also starred in theatre productions such as, Carnival Palamades, Labyrinth, and Waiting for Godot. He has gone on to have roles in film, television, and radio. Recently he took on a very physically demanding role as the Dwarven prince in Lord of the Rings.

Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings
Owain Arthur brings authenticity to the role of Durin IV in The Lord of the Rings

Is Durin IV a reincarnation?

Durin has been called The Deathless King for his long life, and is said to be descended from both Elves and Dwarves. His epithet may refer not only to his longevity but also, given that it was an Elven-smith who rekindled the ancient arts of Khazad-dûm and remade three of the Seven Dwarven rings of power, to his Elven blood as well.

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