As convention season draws to a close, there’s still time for one last hurrah in the Big Apple! New York ComicCon will be here in two weeks’ time, and TORn will be there with bells on. (Maybe literally - you’ll have to come and see us to find out…)
If you’re coming to the convention, you can find us at Booth 3040, where we’ll have t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and more for sale, as well as lots of cool giveaways and fun stuff. We’ll also be giving a panel on Saturday night, 9pm, in room 1A21: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – An Unofficial Look’. Find out inside scoop on the third and final film – be ready for spoilers!
Posted in Clothing, Collectibles, Conventions, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, Karl Urban, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, Merchandise, NYCC, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Community, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Our friends at the Hobbit Shop have let us know that they’re celebrating Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday this week with a mathom for you all – 40% off selected items in their store! They say:
It’s a sale of special magnificence at Warner Bros.’ official HobbitShop.com as they celebrate Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthday! Save up to 40% on Blu-ray and DVDs of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and the first two Hobbit movies, and on their newest collectibles like The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Gandalf Illuminating Staff, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Phone Cases, Hoodies, T-Shirts and more. It’s all here!
Click here to visit the shop and take advantage of the special offers.
Posted in Blu-Ray, Clothing, Clothing, Collectibles, Collectibles, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Merchandise, Other Merchandise, Shop
There’s fun for all ages at TORn’s table at DragonCon – one of our youngest visitors yesterday was baby Stephen, who happily posed as Sam in our photo op. (Thanks to his parents for sharing the pic with us!) (more…)
Posted in Adam Brown, Clothing, Clothing, Conventions, Craig Parker, DragonCon, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit
…and TheOneRing.net will be there! This convention is possibly the biggest fan-based party of the year, and this year promises to be a particularly good one for Tolkien fans. Here’s what’s on offer:
Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Clothing, Clothing, Conventions, Craig Parker, DragonCon, Events, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Karl Urban, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, Merchandise, Other Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Those who came to The One Expected Party in February 2013 will remember the wonderful performance from Charles Ross, the man behind The One Man Lord of the Rings. Ross’ show is absolutely hilarious – a must see for Middle-earth fans! If you’re able to get along to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, you can see The One Man Lord of the Rings at Assembly George Square. The show runs (on odd days) 4th to 25th August. See it if you can!
We also hear, from Ringer Spy Daniel, that this week only there is a Lord of the Rings related comedy show as part of the Free Fringe. The Orc Mischief will present their routine of comic (and according to them, ‘tongue in cheek and often obscure’!) songs at the Edinburgh Fringe festival from 2nd – 9th August at the Ibis Hotel on South Bridge. Find out more about this act at their facebook page.
Alas, the shows overlap so you can’t see both on one day – but there’s so much to do in the Edinburgh Festival, why not stay in town for a second day? And take in two Hobbity shows for the price of one!
[The One Man Lord of the Rings] [The Orc Mischief]
Posted in Events, Oscar Parties, Stage Productions, The One Expected Party
As TORn’s readers know, our very own Thorin Oakenshield – actor Richard Armitage – is currently appearing as John Proctor in The Crucible at The Old Vic in London. Staffer greendragon went along to see the show, and she’s written up what she says is ‘half review, half an attempt to capture the atmosphere for those who won’t get to see this production.’ Here’s what she had to say:
Posted in Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Richard Armitage, Stage Productions, The Hobbit
Director Jonathan King’s new film Realiti, featuring Graham McTavish among the cast, will have its world premiere in Wellington on July 31st, with further screenings there and in Auckland in early August. Written by Chad Taylor, the film was made whilst McTavish was also busy with pickups for a certain trilogy; the director says:
“The Hobbit’s Graham McTavish plays a featured (non prosthetic – or kilt!) role in the film, and he’s really great in it: a different tone to his fantasy-related work, but a part that really suits his authority and charisma. Graham worked on the film at the same time as he was shooting The Hobbit here and it was a thrill for us how much attention he gave to our small film at the same time as he was involved in such a big one! I think it will be great for fans to see Graham in a different kind of role.”
Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit
Fans of Dean O’Gorman who live in New Zealand, Australia, Canada or the UK may have already enjoyed watching him in television show The Almighty Johnsons; for fans in America, the series starts screening on Syfy this evening (Friday). Ringer Kiwifan in Germany loves the show, and wants to share her passion with you! Here’s what she had to say:
“This Friday evening, July 11, NZ tv show The Almighty Johnsons, starring Dean O’Gorman as Anders Johnson (Bragi), will have its U.S. premiere on the Syfy channel. The series, which ran for three seasons on television in New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the UK, garnered several awards and gained fans worldwide. Incidentally, the eldest Johnson brother, Mike, is played by Tim Balme who first became known for his starring role in Peter Jackson’s film Braindead (aka Dead Alive). Balme also wrote several of the episodes of The Almighty Johnsons. (more…)
Posted in Dean O'Gorman, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, PJ's Other Films, Television, The Hobbit
What a great summer of theatre this is for Hobbit fans in the London area! Not only is Richard Armitage appearing in The Crucible at The Old Vic; Middle-earth lovers can also see Bilbo himself, Martin Freeman, starring as Richard III at Trafalgar Studios. This promises to be a thrilling, visceral production; director Jamie Lloyd last year staged Macbeth (with James McAvoy), in a production which a reviewer described as ‘a gripping and genuinely startling production’. For this staging of Richard III, audience members have apparently been warned that the front rows might get splashed with blood! The official press release describes the play thus:
“In the aftermath of civil war, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, makes a hateful resolution to claw his way to political power at any cost. A master of manipulation, subtle wit and beguiling charm, he orchestrates his unlawful ascent by spinning a ruthless web of deceit and betrayal. His staunch ambition soon begins to weigh heavy, as the new ruler finds himself utterly alone and steeped in dread, forced to answer for his bloody deeds and face the horrifying consequences.”
Posted in Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Martin Freeman, Stage Productions, The Hobbit
As TORN’s readers no doubt know, Richard Armitage is currently appearing as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s brilliant play The Crucible, which is being staged at The Old Vic in London, by director Yaёl Farber. Previews began on 21st June; here’s what the official press release tells us:
“Yaёl Farber directs Arthur Miller’s modern American masterpiece about the Salem witch trials drawing parallels with his experience of McCarthy’s anti-communist investigations in the 1950s. The Crucible tells the story of one man’s fight to save his identity in a repressive Puritan community where intolerance collides with lust and superstition, fuelling widespread hysteria with tragic results. (more…)
Posted in Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Richard Armitage, Stage Productions, The Hobbit
As you know, in May this year J R R Tolkien’s translation of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf was finally published. This beautiful volume, edited by Christopher Tolkien, also includes commentary on the poem and the task of translating it (taken from the Professor’s own lectures); J R R Tolkien’s own Old English poem, ‘Sellic Spell’ (in both the Anglo Saxon and modern English); and a poem ‘The Lay of Beowulf’, again written by the Professor.
As someone who studied Old English and Middle English at University, and having read both Beowulf and Tolkien’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I had long been curious about the Professor’s Beowulf translation. It’s been a long wait for this text to be published – and it doesn’t disappoint!
The first thing one notices about the book is what a lovely edition it is. A black hardback with gold lettering on the spine, the book has a paper jacket, which features three of Tolkien’s own illustrations – including on the front a beautiful green dragon, curled like knotwork and delicately coloured. This image and the lettering on the front and spine, in white and gold, are raised – a nice touch which adds to the luxurious feel of this book. (If you want to go REALLY luxurious, Harper Collins, Tolkien’s publishers in Europe, have a special slipcase edition. As I think this is a text to which I will want to refer again and again, I may start saving my pennies for that edition…)
As ever, Christopher Tolkien’s Preface and Notes are helpful and insightful. In the Preface, he addresses the issues of translation: how does one choose the right word to capture all the nuance and implication of a word in another language? There are always multiple options; which one gives the best ‘feel’ of the original? Judging from J R R Tolkien’s lectures, this was something he pondered – and changed his mind about! – over the years, and as such he came back to and edited his translation. Christopher has done his best to put together the ‘final’ version, but as he writes, the text is ‘in one sense complete, but at the same time evidently ‘unfinished”. The interesting notes provided illuminate any question marks over word choices.
Christopher also points out another of the inherent difficulties in preparing such a volume for publication. In the Preface, he quotes from one of his father’s letters to Rayner Unwin, with regard to the publication of the translation of Sir Gawain:
- ‘I am finding the selection of notes, and compressing them, and the introduction, difficult. Too much to say, and not sure of my target. The main target is, of course, the general reader of literary bent but with no knowledge of Middle English; but it cannot be doubted that the book will be ready by students, and by academic folk…’
This difficulty of target audience, however, turns out not to be an issue for the volume Christopher Tolkien has put together here; it is neatly arranged so as to be easy for the reader to take from it what he or she wishes. If you are only interested in reading Beowulf in modern English, so be it; if you are curious about Tolkien’s notes, they are there for you; if you want to see how J R R Tolkien crafted a poem in Anglo-Saxon, you can read his ‘Sellic Spell’ in Old English – but it’s there in modern English, too. Thus this volume can appeal to academics and ‘lay’ readers alike. (My only slight disappointment is that it does not include the AS Beowulf side by side with Tolkien’s translation; but that extra content would perhaps be superfluous, and certainly it would make the volume rather more weighty!)
The translation itself is in prose – but with an extraordinary sense of the rhythm and shape of the Anglo-Saxon verse. As Christopher writes (in the Introduction), ‘…my father, as it seems to me, determined to make a translation as close as he could to the exact meaning in detail of the Old English poem, far closer than could ever be attained by translation into ‘alliterative verse’, but nonetheless with some suggestion of the rhythm of the original.’ To my ear, Tolkien’s version has a strong feeling of the verse shapes; the two phrase pattern of Old English poetry seems very much to inform the structure of his sentences, and there is a beautiful musicality to the shape of the language. This occasionally means that the syntax is a little complicated, and one needs to read the line aloud to work out the exact meaning – but this is no bad thing. Beowulf is a poem which is meant to be spoken aloud – and I think this translation would be wonderful as a bedtime story!
(Tolkien’s detailed, prose translation is a great companion to Seamus Heaney’s verse translation; the two translations together shed much light on the scope, the energy and the feel of the original Anglo-Saxon poem.)
I haven’t yet read all of the other content of this publication. I’m excited to discover ‘Sellic Spell’: it is referred to on the book’s fly leaf as ‘a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folktale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the “historical legends” of the northern kingdoms.’ This makes me wonder if it ties in to Tolkien’s desire to create a English mythology; perhaps this is his version of a specifically English (rather than Danish or Norse) telling of the tale of Grendel and his vanquisher.
‘The Lay of Beowulf’ consists of two poems in ballad form, telling the same stories of the monster and the hero. Tolkien himself had noted, of these texts, ‘Intended to be sung’ – and charmingly, Christopher writes that he remembers ‘his singing this ballad to me when I was seven or eight years old.’ What a delight – again, these poems would make excellent bedtime reading!
I have yet to discover fully all the joys of this publication, but so far it is proving to be a magical and enthralling read. You don’t have to be an Anglo-Saxon scholar to enjoy this book (though you won’t be disappointed by it if you are!): if you’re a fan of Tolkien; if you are fascinated by Old English; if you just enjoy a good tale of monsters and battles – you should get your hands on a copy.
[J R R Tolkien Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary is published in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and in Europe by Harper Collins. You can order it from Amazon - click here.]
Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Tolkien
With a poster signed by Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman and Evangeline Lilly up for grabs as the prize, many of you were eager to show us your The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug DVDs and Blu-rays, in photos submitted for our #wheresbilbo competition. We loved looking at all the entries, and as usual, it was hard to pick a winner! Lots of people sent in images showing their extensive collections of Middle-earth collectibles, whilst many others took snaps showing their adorable pets taking care of their DVDs. A group of staff from TORn all voted, and our final overall winner was @WadeAcuff, with his ‘sketchy’ entry:
The staffers were impressed by the beautiful artwork shown in Wade’s photo – he’s clearly a talented fellow!
Other images we loved included @LapisLizuli’s dragon eating her DVD:
And @TolkienistView’s clever set of ‘polaroids’:
@crazysirius clearly ‘treasures’ her DVD:
@RSinsir’s dogs are doing a great job of guarding her ‘precious’:
@EmmersChau found her DVD taking a bath – complete with bearded rubber duck! Check out the details on those bottles – the body wash is ‘Elf-repelling’!
Finally, @I_Christina_I was lucky enough to be able to take Bilbo back to his own front door:
There were many more great entries, including some of folks in costume. Many thanks to all of you who sent in fab photos and entertained us with your creativity (and with much cuteness from various pets!) We wish we could have had more than one winner! Congratulations to Wade – the signed poster will be on its way to him very soon.
Posted in Blu-Ray, Contests, Creations, DVDs, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug