On April 30, 2011, it was announced that Pace had been cast as the king of the Mirkwood Elves, Thranduil, in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The announcement was made by Peter Jackson himself, who revealed on his Facebook page that Pace had been his favorite for the part, ever since he saw his performance in The Fall. The character had previously been mentioned in Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and had previously been portrayed in The Hobbit, voiced by Oscar-nominated director Otto Preminger, and in the 1968 BBC radio series, voiced by the British actor Leonard Fenton. Pace made three trips to New Zealand, and called it a “fantastic experience”. The character appeared in the prologue of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey released in December 2012, and had a larger role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug released in December 2013 and in the last film of the series, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, released on December 17, 2014.