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New York Comic Con this weekend – a gathering for Middle-earth: Shadow of War fans

New York Comic Con is almost here! Alas, TheOneRing.net won’t be there this year; for a number of reasons, we aren’t able to have our usual booth and party at this NYCC. But don’t despair – it doesn’t mean we’ll never be back! We are hoping to see Ringers take Manhattan again next year – so mark your calendars to moot in the Big Apple 2018.

Meanwhile – for those of you who will be in New York City this coming weekend, there is an event for Middle-earth fans! Our friends at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions are celebrating the Middle-earth: Shadow of War game with a special gathering on Thursday 5th October. Full details can be found here.  We’re told there will be food, drinks, giveaways and more! Even if you’re not a gamer, it seems like a great chance to hang out with some fellow Middle-earth fans. Limited capacity so get there early!

And if you are at New York Comic Con this weekend, please do share with us any Tolkien related sightings or fun. Have a great time!

Posted in Conventions, Events, Fans, Gaming, Meet Ups, NYCC, Studios, Video games, Warner Bros.

DragonCon, Atlanta – Sept 1st to 4th

The Dragon is upon us! It’s only Thursday and yet, even though DragonCon doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, there was merriment and partying even last night here in the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. Deej and greendragon are at DragonCon to represent TORn, and we’re looking forward to a fun weekend with our fellow fans! Here’s what’s going on:

Even though the Tolkien Track has sailed into the West, there will still be lots of Middle-earth related happenings over the course of the convention. Check out the High Fantasy Track schedule for details! Some highlights:

Friday 10am: ‘Namarie: Farewell Tolkien Track’. TORn staff will be joining Track staff to reminisce and celebrate the Tolkien Track – and look forward to the continuation of friendships and community, for many years to come, even without the Track.

Friday 7pm: ‘Elf Choir’ – come along and join in!

Saturday 4pm: ‘Preciousss Moments with Gollum and Sméagol’ – lead by Constance Wagner, whose very popular panels are always fascinating and insightful.

Saturday 5.30pm: ‘Beren and Luthien’ – a closer look at the latest Tolkien publication.

Monday 10am: ‘Still Tolkien About It: 80 Years of Middle-earth’. Join TORn staffers deej and greendragon, together with scholar Constance Wagner, to look back on the past 80 years since The Hobbit was first published. What has made Middle-earth such an enduring passion – and to what can we look forward?

All of the above are in the High Fantasy Track Room – L401-403 in the Marriott (where the Tolkien Track was in the past).

In addition, on Friday night we have, of course, the ever popular Evening at Bree! This will be held in the Hilton Grand Ballroom West, from 8.30pm – be sure to get in line early! We have a party of special magnificence planned this year! Bands Toucan Dubh and the Brobdingnagian Bards will be providing live music, followed by a dance party hosted by our very own DJ, deej. We’ll also have the costume contest and the performance by the Elf Choir, plus this year you can expect one or two special surprises. With the theme of ‘Class of 3018 Prom – Enchantment under the Mountain’, we’ll say farewell to the graduating Tolkien Track seniors; and your host Prom Bombadil will be there to make the evening go with a ring a dong dillo!

On Sunday night you can hear the Brobdingnagian Bards again, playing Hobbit Drinking Songs in the Hilton Crystal Ballroom from 8.30pm.

And of course TORn has a table! Come and find us in our usual spot in the Hyatt. For shirts this year we’re bringing back an old favourite – the Lake-town Fire Department – and we have a fabulous new design, encouraging the races of Middle-earth to Coexist. We also have new buttons, fans, and lots of prizes you could win. Come and check out all the goodies – and be sure to say hi to deej and greendragon!

There may not be a Tolkien Track, but Tolkien fans are here in force, and we’re ready for a great weekend of fun and companionship. Half the Shire’s been invited – hope to see you, too!

Posted in Clothing, Clothing, Conventions, DragonCon, Events, Fans, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Sylvester McCoy appearing in the Edinburgh Fringe

As we mentioned on our Facebook page last week, Sylvester McCoy is currently appearing (along side fellow geek-favourite Robert Picardo, of Star Trek: Voyager fame), in a play in the Edinburgh Fringe. Dan Freeman’s comedy A Joke stars McCoy and Picardo, along with Richard Oliver – and is a brilliant piece of absurdist comedy and meta-theatricality. Cleverly written, the play is performed in the round (or square, to be more accurate), and plays with and subverts the expectations of humour.

Freeman’s piece is startlingly good, as are the three players. Packed with delightful, laugh out loud moments, as well as thought-provoking writing, this is definitely one to see. If you’re in Scotland, you have until Saturday 26th August to catch it. If you’re not in the area, well, perhaps you can help to bring the play to other venues; or help to support a filmed version of the show. Check out details on Freeman’s website, here.

You can read All Edinburgh Theatre’s review of the show here; and full details on how to get tickets are here. TORn’s greendragon saw the show last week and was absolutely charmed by it; do see it if you can!

Posted in Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Stage Productions, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Middle-earth Artist Donato Giancola – Artist Guest of Honor at GenCon this weekend

The Fellowship in Hollin
Oil Painting on Panel
65” x 34” ( 165cm x 87cm)

Many of our readers will be familiar with the superb work of artist Donato Giancola, whose stunning paintings have graced the covers of many books, including editions of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He’s a good friend of TORn’s, and some of you may have met him at one of our ‘Ringers Take Manhattan’ parties.

This weekend, Giancola will be appearing as Artist Guest of Honour at GenCon in Indianapolis. He’ll also be appearing at New York ComicCon in October. He has recently completed a fabulous new work set in Middle-earth: The Fellowship in Hollin.  Here’s what Donato had to say about creating this landscape:

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Posted in Artwork, Conventions, Events, Exhibits, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Tolkien

‘Beren and Luthien’ published after 100 years

Yesterday saw the publication of a new book – but not a new story – by J. R. R. Tolkien. Almost a century after the Professor first conceived his tale of immortal love, Beren and Luthien has been edited by his son Christopher, and illustrated by Alan Lee. It is published in the UK by Harper Collins, in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and in multiple languages by different publishers across the world. Harper Collins tell us:

The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.

Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.

Alan Lee’s beautiful back cover illustration

In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

The publication comes ten years after the last Middle-earth work of Tolkien’s to come to press, Children of Hurin. You can read more about this new release here. We’d love to read your reviews – share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted in Alan Lee, Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Silmarillion, Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings joins the LEGO takeover of iTunes store

Our friends at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment let us know that they are celebrating the launch of The Lego Batman Movie by taking over the iTunes store! The store movies homepage will feature exclusive ‘Lego-ized’ images of fan favorites, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Other films re-imagined in bricks and minifigs include The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Head on over to iTunes and take a look – the ‘Lego-ized’ movie posters scroll across the top of the movies homepage. Here’s a sneak preview of The Two Towers image:

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Studios, Warner Bros.

As it’s May the Fourth – news of Star Wars in Concert with the New York Philharmonic

Yes we’re all about Middle-earth here at TheOneRing.net – but we know that many of our fellow fans (and staffers!) are also big fans of a certain galaxy far, far away! So in honour of Star Wars Day, we thought you might like to know about some very exciting performances coming up at Lincoln Center:

In September and October this year, the New York Philharmonic will be presenting the World Premiere Star Wars Film Concert series. There will be nine concerts, led by acclaimed conductor David Newman: two screenings each of Episodes 4, 6 and 7, and three screenings (because it’s the best – discuss!) of Episode 5. The New York Philharmonic tell us:

Since the release of the first Star Wars movie nearly 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects, and iconic musical scores composed by Williams. Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of these beloved Star Wars films in a live symphonic concert experience, as the Star Wars Film Concert Series premieres from September 15 through October 7 at David Geffen Hall in New York City. Legendary composer Williams is well known for scoring all seven of the Star Wars saga films, beginning with 1977’s A New Hope, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score. His scores for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens each were nominated for Oscars for Best Original Score.

Don’t miss this is your chance to watch A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens on the big screen, accompanied by live orchestra; those of us lucky enough to have seen The Lord of the Rings film concerts know how special such occasions are. Tickets are on sale to the general public TODAY – you can purchase them online here or by calling (212) 875-5656! Follow @NewYorkPhilharmonic on twitter.

Click here for details of dates and times, and to buy tickets. 

Posted in Concerts, Events, Film Screenings

Stephen Hunter’s film Blue World Order – London Sci Fi Film Festival May 5

Bombur speaks! Fans of The Hobbit’s Stephen Hunter who are in London this weekend can catch him – and his new film – at Sci-Fi-London 17 (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film) this Friday, 5th May. The film, ‘Blue World Order‘ will screen at the Stratford Picture House at 6.45pm – and Stephen will be there, with other cast and crew.

Stephen, in typical self-deprecating style, says: ‘The film looks great, and this time instead of being a fat ginger mute, I actually … get to say word and everything.’ You can book tickets here; and you can check out the trailer here.

 

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit

An Evening with Royd Tolkien – Roxy Cinema Wellington, 12 April 2017

Royd Tolkien and his brother Mike visit Hobbiton

Many of you will know that Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of the Professor, is currently in New Zealand. He’s completing a ‘bucket list’ of activities left for him by his brother, Mike, who sadly died from ALS (also known as MND) in 2015. Mike was an adrenaline junkie; Royd, by his own admission, is most definitely not. His brother’s list, therefore, is a challenge for Royd, and will see him facing fears and undertaking all kinds of adventures on his mission – quest – thing…

All Royd’s exploits are being filmed for a documentary, There’s a Hole in my Bucket. You can find out more about it in this video: [click here]. Royd says, “It is a journey of discovery and inspiration,” intended “to remind people how precious and important life is and to make every second count.”

Those of you lucky enough to be in Wellington next week can join Royd on Wednesday, 12 April, at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar. At ‘An Evening with Royd Tolkien‘, you’ll hear him talk about his experiences completing his fifty

Auction item: full orc head prosthetic made by Weta Workshop

challenges (which should mostly be done by next week). You will also have the chance to bid in a fabulous auction, with none other than Jed Brophy as the star auctioneer! Today, Royd announced that one of the amazing items up for grabs is a genuine Weta Workshop full Orc Head prosthetic, made for one of Royd’s challenges (see left). What an amazing addition that would make to any Middle-earth collection! Other auction items include a Gandalf statue signed by Peter Jackson himself, and pieces signed by Richard Taylor.

And the good news is – even if you aren’t in New Zealand, you can still participate in the auction! If you check out the Facebook event page [here] you’ll find an email address for Jodie, the event coordinator. To place an absentee bid on any of the auction items, we’re told you can simply send Jodie an email, and she’ll send you the Absentee Bidding Form, which lists all the auction items, reserve prices, and any the information you may need. If you’re an avid Tolkien collector, an art fan, a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or even a keen sailor, you’ll find something to please on the incredible list of auction items. Check out the event page, contact Jodie, and grab yourself an extraordinary treasure!

The event is a fundraiser for MND New Zealand. Details on how to buy tickets to attend are on the event page. If you’d like to know more about MND New Zealand, or support them, click here.

Be sure to let us know if you attend the event – we’d love to hear all about it!

 

Posted in Calendar, Collectibles, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Merchandise, New Zealand, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, WETA Workshop

The Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2017 is…

Almost three weeks ago we began our battles in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness. Each year, we try to mix things up a bit by creating different brackets; this year the categories were Books Only, Movies OnlyWider Mythos and Movie and Book, giving us four sets of varied characters from Tolkien’s realm. We also let previous champions Gandalf, Galadriel, Samwise Gamgee and Thranduil sit it out in a ‘Champion’s Hall of Fame’ – so we knew we’d have a first time victor this year.

Before we announce the overall winner, let’s look back over the five rounds which led up to the Final:

In Movies Only, the Moth Messengers made their first appearance, but were quickly squashed under the trotters of Dain’s Boar. Sebastian the Hedgehog, however, in a blow for small mammals everywhere, vanquished the Goblin Scribe; and there were brief hopes that he might make his way onwards to win the group. Alas, in Round 2 he came up against Tauriel, and he was no match for the elf warrior.

Figwit unruffled as ever

Alfrid Lickspittle, to the relief of many, was hastily dispatched by Figwit; the immaculate elf cruised through to the Sweet Sixteen Round 3, only to be defeated there by mighty stallion Brego. This fiercesome mount was the overall victor of the Movies Only group, having beaten Tauriel in the Elite Eight round.

Brego faced the winner of the Books Only section; a tough group, featuring such legends as Goldberry, Glorfindel, Elrohir, the Barrow-wights and Quickbeam. Small wonder that Fatties Bolger and Lumpkin were unable to get past Round One! In Round Three we had the first awkward pairing of the tournament, when Tom Bombadil had to take on his wife, Goldberry. Perhaps he overcame her, or perhaps she graciously allowed him to win; either way, it was the creature in yellow boots who went on to secure the division.

Not surprisingly, some of the most popular figures appeared in the Movie and Book bracket. Here the likes of Bilbo, Pippin, Faramir and Boromir had to battle Merry, Thorin, Aragorn and other heroes. Even the villains had tough match-ups, with Smaug facing the Witch-king and Sauron up against Shelob – and these were all just first round fights! By the Sweet Sixteen, Sauron was the only bad guy still in the mix – but Elrond did what he could not at the end of the Second Age, and vanquished the Necromancer; only to fall to the section winner, Aragorn, in the Elite Eight.

That fourth round also saw our second difficult ‘lovers’ tiff’, with Beren coming up against Luthien in the Wider Mythos division. Their journey to that point had seen them conquer such worthy opponents as Feanor, Earendil, Glaurung and Varda. Even Morgoth and Eru himself couldn’t make it past Round Two! In the Elite Eight match-up, mortal man Beren was no test for his elf spouse; she won their battle with an overwhelming more than 70% of the vote, making her winner of the Wider Mythos section.

In the Semi Finals, Luthien wasn’t able to defeat another devotee of elf-maidens; she was conquered by the Ranger from the North. The other Final Four battle brought disappointment for those of us hoping for a Brego vs Aragorn final; Tom Bombadil beat the steed, taking almost two thirds of the vote.

And so Aragorn was in to his second Middle-earth March Madness final, facing a somewhat unknown quantity in the strange and ancient creature from the Old Forest. The 2200+ votes have been counted, and the winner is…

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers

Middle-earth March Madness FINAL is here! Vote now for your Champion!

And then there were two… We’re down to the Grand Final in Middle-earth March Madness 2017 – only one can emerge as this year’s Champion. Here’s what happened in the Final Four stage:

In Books Only vs Movies Only, we had Tom Bombadil dancing rings around loyal steed Brego, who just couldn’t come up with any answers to the yellow-booted fellow. Alas, (for those of us who were hoping for an Aragorn vs Brego final), Bombadil took almost two thirds of the vote to win this fight.

Wider Mythos vs Movie and Book saw Luthien take on a man who knows a bit about immortal elf maidens, and what it means to give your heart to one. With a similar margin to the other Semi Final, Aragorn easily defeated the pointy-eared warrior to claim his place in the Final.

Here are the full results for Middle-earth March Madness thus far:

 

And so we come to it at last – the great battle of our time. This year’s Championship Round in Middle-earth March Madness sees Strider, the Ranger from the North, take on Tom Bombadil, the River-woman’s daughter’s husband… How will these characters match up? Let’s take a look at some vital statistics for them both:

ARAGORN:

Aliases: Elfstone, Strider, Longshanks, Wingfoot, Elessar, Thorongil, Estel (‘Hope’), Telcontar, The Dunedan, the Renewer, Isildur’s Heir

Date of Birth: TA 2931
Race: Man of Gondor, of Isildur’s Line
Date of Death: FA 120
Parents: Arathorn, Gilraen
Spouse: Arwen Evenstar (married TA 3019)
Children: Eldarion, and several daughters

Tolkien describes Strider as tall, with ‘a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes.’ Raised by his mother at Rivendell, with Elrond as a surrogate father, he there met Arwen Undomiel. After meeting Frodo at The Prancing Pony in Bree, he became part of the Fellowship, which he then led after Gandalf’s fall in Moria.

Aragorn has participated in Middle-earth March Madness every year; he was last in the final in 2012, when he was defeated by Samwise Gamgee.

TOM BOMBADIL:

Aliases: Iarwain Ben-adar (‘Oldest and Fatherless’), Forn, Orald, the Master of wood, water, and hill

Date of Birth: Unknown. He says of himself, ‘Eldest, that’s what I am … Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn … When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already … before the Dark Lord came from Outside.’
Race: Unknown. Elrond calls him ‘a strange creature’
Spouse: Goldberry, known as ‘River-woman’s daughter”

Very little is known of Tom Bombadil. He lives in the valley of the Withywindle river, by the Old Forest. We know plenty about his appearance – Tolkien describes him as wearing ‘an old battered hat with a tall crown and a long blue feather stuck in the band.’ The Professor goes on: ‘a man, or so it seemed. At any rate he was too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People … stumping along with great yellow boots on his thick legs … He had a blue coat and a long brown beard; his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter.’ He has extraordinary power within his own domain, commanding Old Man Willow and the Barrow-wights to release the hobbits, and being totally unaffected by the power of the Ring. He seems, however, to live somewhat outside the world, being mostly unconcerned with the goings-on of the other races of Middle-earth.

Bombadil has been in Middle-earth March Madness several times, but has never before made it past Round 2.

If Bombadil and Aragorn were to ride into battle, Aragorn (in the movies, at least) would ride in on Brego; Tom would come on his faithful pony, Fatty Lumpkin.

Will Strider be overcome by ancient and powerful magic? Or will Tom’s nonchalant attitude be defeated by the warrior skills of the Ranger from the North?

VOTE BELOW!
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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers

Middle-earth March Madness reaches the Final Four! Elite Eight results are in.

Are Beren and Luthien still speaking after their Quarter Final battle?

Middle-earth March Madness 2017 is at the Semi Finals stage! Sixty-four characters started – now only four remain.  Who has made it to the Final Four?

After a fairly close fight, Brego is the victor of the Movies Only group! Elf warrior Tauriel just couldn’t overcome the battle-hardened steed; could we be heading towards that Aragorn vs Brego final? It’s certainly still on the cards, as Aragorn comfortably defeated Elrond to emerge as champion of the Movie and Books category.

Books Only was neck and neck right up to the last moment, with yellow boots taking on pointy ears; Tom Bombadil finally won over Glorfindel, with a margin of just over 1%! So it is Tom who goes on to face Brego in the Semi Final. Aragorn’s opponent in this penultimate round will be courageous elf maiden Luthien, who was pitted against her own true love Beren in the Elite Eight. The mortal man proved to be no match for her, with Luthien taking over 70% of the vote in the Wider Mythos pairing. After all the trials they endured in Angband, let’s hope their love survived this latest challenge!

Here are the full results from the Elite Eight:

Voting for the Final Four matches is now open! You have until April 3rd 10pm EST to have your say. Will we see that Brego/Aragorn final? You decide – VOTE NOW!
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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers