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Happy birthday, Professor Tolkien!

_65047774_tolkien3On this date in 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa. Over his long lifetime, he delighted readers and fans world-wide with his writings including essays, children’s books and his beloved novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, that center around a race of short, down-to-earth creatures who live, of all places, in (very nice) holes in the ground.

Today, TORn joins millions of fans worldwide in celebrating Tolkien’s birthday. If you have the time and the inclination, you may want to join other fans gathering at local pubs where members of the Tolkien Society will be raising a glass and toasting: “The Professor!” If you’d like to learn more about the annual January third tradition, or find a local gathering near you, visit the Tolkien Society’s Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017 page here. Or instead, you may just want to curl up with a favorite Tolkien story or poem and toast him quietly with a nice cup of tea.

However you decide to celebrate, join us in wishing a happy birthday to “The Professor,” who’s life’s work has come to mean so much to us. Happy birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Toast

Fellowship of the Rings 15th anniversary: TORn staff share their memories

fellowship-movie-posterIt really was the best of times. Not just the opening night of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (or whenever you saw the film for the first time). What about when you first found out that Lord of the Rings films were being made? Maybe, like staffer Garfeimao, it prompted you to start searching the internet and you found TORn. Perhaps, like staffer Magpie, you had been longing for something different and/or better than the animated movies (no matter how sentimental and quaint they seem now).  Perhaps you were a lifelong fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, and had misgivings like deej and JPB. For me, it was all of the above!

Please enjoy reading the memories and impressions of some of our core staff, and share your own memories of how you learned of the LOTR movie, how you found TheOneRing.net and/or what your first impressions of FOTR were, either in the comments section, or on our Lord of the Rings Movie discussion forum.

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Posted in ComicCon, Events, Fans, Line Party, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The One Expected Party, Uncategorized

The music of Fellowship of the Rings

1 howard shore OscarDue to the holidays, we’ll be continuing our stories related to the 15-year anniversary of the release of FOTR into this week. No series about The Fellowship of the Ring would be complete without mentioning the amazing music of Howard Shore and some of the talented people who brought it to life.

From the minute the screen lit up to the end of the credits, Shore’s Oscar-winning score held us spellbound. As the music accompanied the action of the movie, unique themes for the cultures of Middle-earth, even The One Ring itself, wove themselves through the movie seamlessly. Haunting solos and full-voiced choirs added both poignancy and excitement to the film. If you’re like me, you literally wore out your first CD of the score! Fortunately, there were a number of opportunities to acquire other editions such as The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Complete Recordings.

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Posted in Concerts, Events, Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring

FOTR 15th anniversary – a compilation of articles

A number of other sites around the internet are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring this week, and/or The Lord of the Rings movie franchise in general. For the convenience of our readers, we put together this one-stop shop for a stroll down memory lane. We’ll bring more to you during the week as we find them. Enjoy!

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Posted in Cate Blanchett, Director news, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Studios, Viggo Mortensen, Warner Bros.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 15th anniversary!

fellowship-movie-posterAs hard as it is to believe for many of us, this coming Monday, December 19th, marks the 15th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring opening in theaters. To help celebrate, we’ll be looking back all this week at the news on TORN and other sites from before, during and after the release of this incredible movie that changed many of our lives and that, together with the other two films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has become a classic.

By this time in 2001, many of us had already purchased our tickets, some for the midnight shows. Many were preparing costumes and/or thinking up excuses not to go into work on the 20th (ahem). A precious few of us had even been lucky enough to have seen the movie before it opened (I wish). But, one thing we all had in common was the thrill and excitement of watching the trailers in the months leading up to the December release.

Re-watching some of the trailers again brought back a tinge of the excitement I felt when I spent hours watching the first trailer, on dial-up no less! Kids, you’ll have to ask your parents to explain. Yes, those were the days. To help all of you revisit that excitement, here’s a gem from 2014 posted by staffer Demosthenese: The ghosts of trailers past: revisiting The Lord of the Rings, complete with TORn staffers’ exclusive frame-by-frame analysis – well worth a re-visit even today.  

The first teaser in theaters came out on January 12, 2001 and was only 1 min, 47 seconds long; but what a 1 min and 47 seconds! In it, we see the classic ‘money shot’ of each member of the Fellowship as they walk over the crown of a hill in the wild. Gandalf leads the way and as each of the others follow we see the titles appear: The Fellowship of the Ring – Christmas 2001; The Two Towers – Christmas 2002; The Return of the King – Christmas 2003. The sublime subtlety of The Return of the King title appearing as Aragorn topped the hill was lost on no one who had read the books.

The second trailer was released on May 25th and clocked in at a fulfilling 2 mins, 27 seconds. In it, we learned quite a bit about the One Ring and, oh my goodness, got our first glimpse of *gasp* Sauron! Oh, the rumors and hours of discussion that ensued, not to mention the hubbub caused by seeing Arwen for the first time!

The third trailer, which premiered on television in front of Angel in September, gave us our first, glorious glimpse of The Shire and Bag End. “Fate has chosen him…. a Fellowship will protect him… evil will hunt them ….This Christmas the legend comes to life.” How many of us had that memorized? The other biggie in this trailer was seeing the tip of the fiery foot of the Balrog; que more endless hours of rumors and discussion!

We hope you enjoy watching the trailers again, and taking a walk down memory lane with us this week!

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring

Happy birthday Christopher Tolkien!

christopher-tolkienTheOneRing.net would like to wish a very happy 92nd birthday to Christopher Tolkien. Thanks to Christopher, Tolkien fans around the world have been able to enjoy the works of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, beyond what lies between the covers of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The devotion, integrity, and high standards he’s exhibited in bringing us more of his father’s writings are recognized and appreciated by our staff and our readers. Many happy returns of the day!

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Peter Jackson announces his next movie project!

mortal-enginesPeter Jackson made a recent announcement on his facebook page that his next movie project will be adapting Philip Reeve’s book, Mortal Engines.  The book is set in a  post-apocalyptic future where cities move about on wheels, devouring smaller cities for their resources. The book is the first in a series of four books, presenting the opportunity for ‘sequels’ down the road.

The project will bring together many of the crew who worked on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises, including Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens who adapted the Mortal Engines script. The movie will be directed by Christian Rivers, the VFX master of The Hobbit. From Deadline Hollywood:

“Christian is one of my closest collaborators,” says Jackson in a statement. “The combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in Mortal Engines makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing. What Christian intends to do with Philip Reeve’s terrific story is going to result in an original and spectacular movie. I wish I could see it tomorrow!”

The text of PJ’s facbook  post is below

OUR NEXT MOVIE!

Hi Folks,

It’s been a quiet few months, but I’m very happy to tell you that our next project is now underway.

WingNut Films be producing a feature film based on Philip Reeve’s book Mortal Engines, to be directed by Christian Rivers. The script has been written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and myself.

Some of you may recall that Christian was going to direct the Dambusters a few years back. Since then he’s kept himself busy, making short films, and directing Second Units on The Hobbit and Pete’s Dragon.

Our involvement in Mortal Engines actually pre-dates Dambusters (which is still happening) – Christian actually worked on Mortal Engines previs way back in 2009. It’s very exciting to finally get it underway!

We’ve had the rights to Philip’s book series for several years, but have had to wait for the right time to make it.

If you haven’t read the books, you should. They present a stunning look into the future, when all of Earth’s major cities are now mounted on wheels, roaming across the landscape as massive “Traction Cities”. Our society has build itself on the principals of Municipal Darwinism – this basically involves the bigger cities hunting down, and consuming, the smaller ones. And that’s only the backdrop to an original and emotional personal story.

Philip Reeve has created a range of intriguing characters, following their adventures in our strange future world through four books – “Mortal Engines”, “Predator’s Gold”, “Infernal Devices” and “A Darkling Plain”.

The moment we read these novels, we knew what exciting movies they’d make. I literally can’t wait to see them!

The movie will be financed by MRC and Universal, and shooting will get underway next March, in New Zealand. Producers Zane Weiner and Amanda Walker, who both worked on the Hobbit, will be spearheading the NZ based team, along with Deborah Forte in the US.

No casting to announce yet, but Weta Workshop and Weta Digital are both onboard.

With the wheels now rolling on Mortal Engines, I’ll bring you a lot of news and sneak peeks at what we’re doing over the coming months.

Cheers,

Peter J

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, PJ's Other Films, Production, The Hobbit

Ongoing Lord of the Rings discussion in the Reading Room forum

frodo-readingHave you ever wished you had like-minded friends  who love Tolkien’s books as much as you do to discuss them with? A place exists right here on TORn where that’s possible. Over the 17 years TORn has been around, we’ve discussed The Lord of the Rings from beginning to end a total of 6 1/2 times, including the current discussion which is on Book VI Ch 1, The Tower of Cirith Ungol.

The way it works is that volunteers take a chapter and do a number of posts over the course of a week presenting their thoughts and posing questions about the chapter content. How, you might ask, can we possibly find new things to talk about the 5th, 6th and 7th time through? It’s surprisingly easy! New people joining the discussions bring new perspectives and new ideas for their chapter presentations. People use quotes, pictures, historical background from other works by Tolkien, even current events, and combine them to raise interesting, fun, and often challenging questions. Of course, leading a chapter discussion isn’t required. You can simply follow along with each chapter, reading people’s replies, or even better, reply with your own thoughts.

eowyn-witch-king“But, I’m not a Tolkien scholar, I just love reading his books” you might say. No worries! While there are some pretty knowledgeable folks who participate, the discussions are friendly and informal.  Having participated in a number of the discussions, I can vouch for how interesting it is to read other people’s perspectives of the same words you’ve read. Sometimes they can be surprisingly different. For example, I thought I knew exactly who killed the Witch King (Eowyn, of course), and was 100% sure Balrogs had wings. Needless to say, I was astounded at the number of people who interpreted the exact same passages of the story entirely differently than I did! To say those questions prompted some lively discussion is an understatement!

Over the years, in addition to discussing The Lord of the Rings, we’ve discussed The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales three times, The Silmarillion four times, and had a full ten discussions of Tolkien’s other works such as The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and even Letters from Father Christmas!

If following along and/or participating in the current discussion is something that’s of interest, do give the Reading Room a look! You can find the current discussion schedule here (a few chapters are still open for volunteers). You don’t need to register for the forums if you just want to check it out or follow along. Just bookmark this link to the Reading Room. If, after you start reading some of the discussion, you can’t resist joining in, you can register for the boards here.

As we like to say in the Reading Room: pull up a comfy chair, relax, and enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized

Tolkien poem to be republished after 70 years

GaladrielBOTFAPoster“The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1930, and first published in 1945 in the literary journal The Welsh Review, is set to be re-released in November of this year after more than 70 years of being out of print. The 508 line poem tells of the childless couple Aotrou and Itroun (Breton: lord and lady), who are helped by a Korrigan, a Breton term for a fairy.  When Autrou refuses to pay the price of marrying the Korrigan, he dies three days later and his wife, Itroun, subsequently dies of grief, leaving the twins she bore them to grow up as orphans.

From nothing more than this short description, fans will immediately be reminded of Tolkien’s gift for writing about, and romanticizing, tragic circumstances. Anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings knows of the sacrifices Frodo made, [big LOTR spoiler here]…

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Posted in Books Publications, Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

A chance to spend an evening in Middle-earth

The Dukes The HobbitBetween now and August 13, The Dukes theater in Lancashire, U.K.,  will be performing J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit as their summer season’s ‘walkabout’ outdoor show. The audience will literally follow along as Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf, Thorin, and his company of dwarves on their mission, quest, thing, to regain their long-lost treasure from the dragon Smaug.  From the Westmorland Gazette:

Since 1987, The Dukes walkabout shows have transformed Williamson Park into Neverland, Oz, Ancient Greece and now Middle Earth.

“I feel like the park chose The Hobbit,” explained The Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion. “There are some shows – and this is one of them – where people’s instant reaction is to say that will be great in the park. It’s the natural environment for it. The strongest elements in the book are its humour and charm. We plan to capture this, offering an intimate experience where the audience can get really close to all these fascinating characters and creatures.”

According to the Gazette article, there’s also a Lord the The Rings and The Hobbit movie connection in that Andy Serkis began his professional acting career at The Dukes, performing in its first outdoor performance in 1987. Performances of The Hobbit are at 7:15 p.m. nightly except for Sundays. Visit The Dukes website for more information and to purchase tickets.

 

Posted in Events, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Events, Stage Productions, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Tolkien’s annotated Middle-earth map on display at Bodleian

Courtesy of www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Courtesy of www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

We reported earlier here that a map of Middle-earth, annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien while working with Pauline Baynes was to go on display at the Bodleian Libraries. Well, that day was today! However, it proved to be so popular that they added one more day and will also have it on display tomorrow, Friday, June 24. So, if you’re anywhere near the area, you still have a chance to catch it. According to the Bodleian website, the map was a working document that Tolkien and acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes both annotated in 1969 when Baynes was commissioned to produce a poster map of Middle-earth. The map will be on display from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. Admission is free.

Posted in Events, Exhibits, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Tolkien

Hobbit hole for rent in the Pacific Northwest

Hobbit Hole HotelIn the ‘pretty darn cool’ department, an ‘authentic’ Hobbit hole in Orondo Washington, U.S.A., is now available to rent. While we’ve reported on similar things before, the accommodations at this dwelling come compete with rustic furniture, a nice little garden, an absolutely gorgeous mountain view and, yes, shampoo. Whether you use the shampoo on your head, your feet, or both, is up to you.

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Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit