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Free Weta Digital presentation on digital tech in movies at Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Weta-1 As part of the American Film Institute Film Festival in Hollywood, CA., WETA Digital is doing a free presentation lecture on the evolution of digital technology over the last two decades. Although the blurb explicitly mentions Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it seems inconceivable that they wouldn’t discuss Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films as well.

The lecture is happening at the Chinese in Theatre 1 on November 10 at 1pm. Tickets are free so best hurry to grab yours, one suspects. (more…)

Posted in Events, Hobbit Movie, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, WETA Digital

Signs point to November 6 for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies main trailer

10296565_667417219960553_4075720695665026947_n On the TORn messageboards, Ringer caglarkuraner reports some interesting news on when we might see the main trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

According to information from Norwegian film distributor SF Norway AS — Warner Bros. distributor in that country — the main trailer will be released on November 6. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Rumors Spy News, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Trailer

Hear and see Benedict Cumberbatch’s audition for Smaug the dragon!

DesolationOfSmaugEECover One of the little extras on The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition is a clip of Benedict Cumberbatch’s original audition tape for The Hobbit.

In the clip, Cumberbatch reveals that two audition versions were shot — one showing his face, and one directed at the floor. He was especially keen to get some movement into his audition. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

George R.R. Martin says Daenerys’ dragons wouldn’t beat Smaug

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES It’s the stuff that fuels never-ending internet arguments: would X beat Y?

In a long interview with 92 Y, George R.R. Martin revealed that a reader had asked him that exact question about Daenerys’ dragon, Drogon, versus Smaug. And, refreshingly, Martin conceded that Smaug would win… (more…)

Posted in Characters, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Watch TV Spot #1 for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition

the-hobbit-DOS-extended-edition-blu-ray Warner Bros has a 30-second TV Spot (#1 of how many?) for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition. Lots of Smaug and fire, as you’d expect. Check it out below.

If you’re still trying to decide on the EE version for you, check out our buyer’s guide here. and if you’re interested in knowing what all the extra scenes in those 25 minutes of additional footage are, have a look at our extended edition scene guide.

Thanks to Ringer IncognitoBogey for the heads-up. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Sauron: literature’s baddest of all baddies?

theeyeofsauron Over at The Guardian, Sarah Crown discusses why she rates Sauron in The Lord of the Rings as the most frightening and enduring villain of all literature.

I think there could be something to this. I recall vividly just how much Sauron’s unseen — yet uncannily tangible — menace frightened me as a teenager reading The Fellowship of the Ring late into the night, especially whenever I reached the following passage from The Mirror of Galadriel.

But suddenly the Mirror went altogether dark, as dark as if a hole had opened in the world of sight, and Frodo looked into emptiness. In the black abyss there appeared a single Eye that slowly grew. until it filled nearly all the Mirror. So terrible was it that Frodo stood rooted, unable to cry out or to withdraw his gaze. The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.

Then the Eye began to rove, searching this way and that; and Frodo knew with certainty and horror that among the many things that it sought he himself was one.

(more…)

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

High-res version of the international The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster

Here’s a high-resolution version of the international poster for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Just click the image below to get the largest version.

It’s actually quite reminiscent a couple of examples of poster art used to promote The Two Towers. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Analysis of the four Battle of the Five Armies Lego sets

The final Lego sets for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies have been out for a little while now, so I thought it might be a good time to put them all in one place for folks to look over. Plus I wanted to indulge in a little speculation.

 

Lego Battle of the Five Armies set

Lego Battle of the Five Armies set
Pieces: 472 | Minifigs: 7 | Packaging: Box | Instructions: Yes
Included minifigs: Dain II Ironfoot, Azog the Defiler, Thorin Oakenshield, 2 x Gundabad Orcs, Bard the Bowman, Gwaihir the Windlord, Legolas Greenleaf.
Order on Amazon.com

Spoiler analysis (highlight below to read)


Two stand-outs in this set, I think. The first is, of course, the Dain mini-fig, which TORn staffer MrCere discussed just the other week. The second is the actual location: it’s the titular battle, yet it’s sited firmly within Dale in this playset.

Yet, Peter Jackson’s draft battlemap depicts a much more widespread conflict that encompasses not just Dale, but the entire mountain of Erebor and its surrounds, with forces approaching from all directions. I continue to wonder whether the ruins of Dale will form some early, yet significant, skirmish, with a larger, climactic battle involving Beorn and Bolg on the plains in front of the front gate of Erebor itself. Also, despite the inclusion of the ballista, it doesn’t contain any of the large troll-like monsters we’ve seen in recent artwork.

Lego The Lonely Mountain set

Lego The Lonely Mountain set
Pieces: 866 | Minifigs 5 | Packaging: Box | Instructions: Yes
Included minifigs: Smaug the Dragon, Dwalin, Balin, Bilbo Baggins, Kili, Fili.
Order on Amazon.com

Spoiler analysis (highlight below to read)


This is a strange one: it really feels like a leftover from The Desolation of Smaug. I mean, Smaug is there and it features the mine/rail car set that was a big set-piece toward the climax of the film. Yet Fili and Kili — who stayed in Lake-town — are there. Maybe the Fili and Kili plotline came after Lego locked in this set? I dunno, it seems to defy logic that Smaug would re-enter Erebor in the final film: he’s off to a hot date with Bard and the Black Arrow (ballista bolt?)

Lego Witch-king Battle set

Lego Witch-king Battle
Pieces: 101 | Minifigs: 3 | Packaging: Box | Instructions: Yes
Included minifigs: Elrond, Galadriel, The Witch-king of Angmar.
Order on Amazon.com

Spoiler analysis (highlight below to read)


Official artwork has thus far paired Galadriel and Gandalf, and Elrond and Saruman. This set suggests something different.

I wonder whether this playset is an indication that there’s going to be a confrontation between Galadriel, Elrond and the Witch-king as a prelude to freeing Gandalf. Will the two elves arrive first, and take care of the Witch-king and free Gandalf before running into trouble against Sauron? Will Saruman then catch up with the trio and save the day?

The other thing to note is Galadriel’s possession of the Phial — also absent from the official artwork. Its light (that of the Silmaril the Earendil carries) could be potent in repelling the Witch-king.

Lego Attack on Lake-town set

Lego Attack on Lake-town set
Pieces: 313 | Minifigs: 5 | Packaging: Box | Instructions: Yes
Included minifigs: Bard the Bowman, Bain son of Bard, Tauriel, 2 x Gundabad Orcs.
Order on Amazon.com

Spoiler analysis (highlight below to read)


Finally, there’s the Attack on Lake-town playset. This features a couple of Gundabad Orcs as the antagonists. In the film, Bolg lead the previous attack on Lake-town, searching specifically for Thorin Oakenshield. He called the infiltration off when the orcs discovered he had gone. So, why would they attack it again? What, or whom, do they seek?

Does it have some relevance to Thrain’s revelation in the DOS: EE that “They are in league — the dragon and the one!”? If so, will Bolg’s underlings act at Smaug’s behest to attack Lake-town in tandem with his own assault? That could be why we see the Windlance in this set. Definitely raises lots of questions.

End spoiler analysis!

Posted in Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, LEGO, LEGO, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Toys

Support for this Lego Minas Tirith proposal is snowballing

minas tirith 1 Ringer Peter writes to tell us of a push on the website Lego Ideas to get the toymaker to develop and produce an LOTR Minas Tirith set.

Lego Ideas is an initiative by the Lego company that allows fans and collectors to propose ideas for sets, and if they gather sufficient support, have them evaluated by a review board for their commercial potential. (more…)

Posted in Collectibles, Fans, LEGO, LEGO, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Toys

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago will include The Lord of the Rings material and memorabilia

Minas Tirith bigature Peter Jackson has mused more than once how he’d like to have a Lord of the Rings museum in Wellywood somewhere. Now, fellow filmmaker George Lucas is wants to construct what he calls a Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago — and expressed a desire to include “movies that rely a great deal on design” with in it. (more…)

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies

Lord of the Rings game Steam bundle only $10 for next 24 hours

LEGO The Lord of the Rings

LEGO The Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings gamers will love this, and even if you don’t usually dip your toes into the gaming waters (like me) it does seem to be a remarkably good opportunity to try out a bunch of games for the price of just a few coffees.

Over on Bundlestars, for around the next 24 hours you can grab four Middle-earth games plus two associated DLCs for just $9.99. They’re calling it the One bundle to rule them all, and you get every one of the games listed in the image gallery below. (more…)

Posted in Uncategorized

EW proposes The Walking Dead mirrors The Lord of the Rings

RICK-GRIMES-ARAGORN Over at Entertainment Weekly, writer Darren Franich is arguing that The Walking Dead is beginning to morph into a fantasy (or has been one all along) … specifically high-fantasy of the style of The Lord of the Rings.

I don’t watch TWD (or much telly at all) so I’m going to have to let you all argue this one out yourselves. But the one point I will make is that, if you buy that stuff about there only being seven fundamental plot archetypes, you’re bound to get a certain level of resemblance between any two works. Now, I’ll get out of the road and let Darren have his say… (more…)

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers