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Middle-earth March Madness – onwards to Round 3!

Sweet Sixteen – the lucky few who have made it through Round 2, to fight again in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness. Let’s take a look at how things stand, as you get ready to vote in Round 3…

Division I has had more than its share of tough choices, with beloved characters facing each other. Round 2 saw Samwise defeat Gimli, Aragorn thrash Frodo with over three quarters of the vote, and Sean Astin’s Rudy beat Dominic Monaghan’s Charlie Pace (from Lost). The big news is that a Sean Bean character still lives! Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones) beat Viggo Mortensen’s Frank Hopkins (Hidalgo), and now faces none other than Master Samwise in Round 3. How to choose?! Do you want to see Eddard Stark make it all the way to the final? Or are you hoping to see Sam face Rudy in Round 4 (assuming that Rudy can get past Aragorn, that is)? Tough decisions to be made…

In Division II, Galadriel soundly defeated Faramir, but Cate Blanchett’s Hela (Thor: Ragnarok) is out! Karl Urban’s Dr McCoy must have had the backing of USS Enterprise to help him come through, in a narrow victory (51.67% to 48.33%). (Hmm, I wonder what would have happened if Hela had been facing Karl Urban as Skurge – also Thor: Ragnarok – instead?)  Gollum didn’t have too much trouble against King Theodon; David Wenham’s Carl (Van Helsing) vanquished Miranda Otto’s Mary Ann (War of the Worlds), and now needs to be on his guard against the tricksssy Gollum in Round 3.

 

The most overwhelming victory came in Division III, with poor Dwalin no match for Mithrandir – Gandalf took over 90% of the vote in that duel! But perhaps shockingly, Martin Freeman’s John Watson (Sherlock) was able to outwit the mighty Magneto, winning by a margin of less than 1%; and this, in spite of our Facebook ‘exit poll’ suggesting that Magneto would win 60-40! No chance, then, of Sir Ian’s two characters meeting in a later round; Christopher Lee, on the other hand, is throwing down against himself in Round 3, with both his Saruman and his Count Dooku (Revenge of the Sith) having been victorious in Round 2. Does a Sith Lord stand a chance against one of the Maiar? They’re both pretty treacherous, having both turned against their original allies and beliefs; but is a lightsaber a match for a wizard’s staff?  You decide – vote now!

Finally, Division IV – where Hobbit elves and villains reside with their alter-egos. As expected, Tauriel was no match for Elrond, and was defeated by almost 64%. Hugo Weaving’s other character Agent Smith (The Matrix), however, was unable to stand up to the brainpower of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. Will Sherlock take over Rivendell in Round 3, to make it the Last Holmely House? (Sorry – couldn’t resist…)

Lee Pace has to fight himself in Round 3, with his Thranduil and his Ronan (Guardians of the Galaxy) both winning their Round 2 battles with ease. Pace fans (is there a name for the Pace Army?), whom will you choose??

Round 3 voting is open NOW, and goes until 10pm EST on Wednesday 28th March. Round 4 will then be launched on Thursday 29th. Don’t forget to check out the ‘exit polls’ on Facebook, to see how the duels might play out. And let us know who you’re hoping will become ultimate champion this year, in the comments below! VOTE NOW! [Round 3 Bracket] [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Middle-earth March Madness – Round 2 begins!

Who has made it through to the second round of Middle-earth March Madness 2018? There were some tough battles in the first round – and difficult choices for voters to make! Frodo vs Pippin; Gandalf vs Bilbo; Kili vs Nori… Whilst we may have a pretty shrewd idea who might win in such contests, it’s tough to have to see some of these characters fall at the first fence…

Some of the results are what one might expect. Galadriel easily overcame Eomer in Division II, with almost three quarters of the vote. In the same bracket, Andy Serkis’ Caesar put up a tough fight, but in the end he was no match for Cate Blanchett’s Hela (from Thor: Raganok), who took just over 60% of the vote. No-one would be particularly surprised to see that Magneto beat John Thornton (Richard Armitage’s dreamy role in North and South, but clearly no match for an X-man); and perhaps it was inevitable, in the clash of mighty wits, that Sherlock Holmes (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) would beat Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry).

More surprising was the victory in Division I of Gimli over Boromir. In a closely fought duel, the dwarf took just over 51% of the vote, dismissing any hopes of a Boromir vs Eddard Stark show down in Round 3. Fans will be relieved to know, however, that for once a Sean Bean character has stayed alive – thus far! – with Stark beating Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean) to go through to the second round. Now he faces Frank Hopkins, as played by Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo.  Be sure to vote for Eddard if you want to see a Sean Bean role survive to the end!

Another upset was the defeat of Ian Holm’s Bilbo by Faramir. The Lord of Gondor’s success may be short lived, however – he faces Galadriel in Round 2.

In Division IV, Elrond demonstrated that he should have gone with the Company to the Lonely Mountain; he defeated Smaug with a fairly convincing victory of 57.95% to 42.05%. Now the high elf will face the movie elf, Tauriel, in Round 2; we have a pretty good idea how that will go down, but if Tauriel fans come out and vote, you never know…

Round 2 voting is open NOW, and goes until 10pm EST on Sunday 25th March. We’ll announce winners and launch Round 3 on Monday 26th. You can also find some fun ‘exit polls’ on Facebook – a chance to see how people are voting in one or two of the face-offs. Want Samwise to defeat Gimli? Hoping John Watson might overcome Magneto? Keen to see Count Dooku bested by The Doctor? Then join the Madness and VOTE NOW (below)! [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Middle-earth March Madness 2018 is here!

Welcome all, to the annual showdown in the realms of Eriador and beyond! Yes, it’s that time of year when hobbit must fight wizard, dwarf must battle elf, and man must face … erm … well, maybe himself.

Because this year we’ve thrown something new into the mix for March Madness. We thought it would be interesting to see if Sherlock could outwit the most cunning of dragons; or if Rudy has more heart than Samwise. What would fastidious Oscar Wilde make of the slovenly Master of Lake-town? Can Dwalin out-wrestle Dougal Mackenzie?

That’s right – our brackets contain actors in both their Tolkien roles, and a role they play in another film or TV show. So Luke Evans appears both as Bard and Gaston; and Billy Boyd is there both as Pippin and Barret Bonden (from ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’). This means that some battles will be between two characters from Middle-earth, some between two ‘outside’ characters, and some will be a mix; and yes, actors could find themselves facing an alter ego.

Are we crazy? Is there absolutely no way that the ape Caesar would stand a chance against Gollum? Is Magneto clearly no match for Gandalf? That’s for YOU to decide! Voting starts today – and the madness will run until April 5th. Here is the schedule for rounds:

  • Round 1 – March 19th – March 22nd 10:00pm ET
  • Round 2 – March 23rd – March 25th 10:00pm ET
  • Round 3 – March 26th – March 28th 10:00pm ET
  • Round 4 – March 31st 10:00pm ET
  • Final Four – April 1 – April 3rd 10:00pm ET
  • The Final – April 4 – April 5th 10:00pm ET


The brackets are divided as follows:

  • Division I – The Lord of the Rings Fellowship, and counterpart roles
  • Division II – The Lord of the Rings outside the Fellowship, and counterpart roles
  • Division III – The Hobbit Company (wizards, dwarves, and hobbit), and counterpart roles
  • Division IV – The Hobbit Lake-town and villains, and counterpart roles


Voting is simple – just click on your choice in each dual, below. You can only vote once – but feel free to share, and rally people to your cause! Speculate on the message boards, and head on over to Facebook to take part in some ‘exit polls’, and see who is predicted to win.

It’s all in fun – how you choose your choice of winners is entirely up to you. But if you’re keen to see someone in particular go all the way to final victory, start campaigning now!

Let the games begin!

Voting in Round 1 will remain open until March 22nd at 10pm ET. At that point, we’ll calculate the winners and post the next round on March 23rd. Follow after the break for a complete bracket image (download it), and to vote on all of our Round 1 match-ups! [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

March Madness is coming…

It’s that time of year – when hobbit is pitted against elf, man against wizard, curious fox against talking wallet…. Yes, March Madness is just around the corner! It’s almost time once more to vote for your favourites, and see who will be victorious over all.

Wondering what on earth we’re on about? Check out last year’s contest and result, here.

We have a new twist to our brackets this year, with some very interesting match ups as the result. Stay tuned to find out more, coming soon – and be ready to play!

Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community

EXCLUSIVE: tickets available TUESDAY 13 FEBRUARY for Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has an exceptional exhibition coming up later this year, which fans will no doubt travel far and wide to see. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (June 1 – October 28) will display an extraordinary collection of illustrations, manuscripts, letters, personal belongings and more, giving a unique insight into J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. This ‘once in a lifetime’ exhibition is not to be missed – and thanks to our friends at the Bodleian, TheOneRing.net can reveal exclusively that tickets will be available from 2pm UK time tomorrow, Tuesday 13th February. Here’s what the Bodleian tell us:

The Bodleian Library is pleased to announce that free tickets for the upcoming, once in a lifetime exhibition, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, will be available for booking from 2pm UK time on Tuesday 13 February 2018. We know that some visitors will want to travel some distance to this exhibition and want to help them ensure their entry in advance.

To book your tickets, visit the official Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth website at https://tolkien.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/about-the-exhibition where they will be available from 2pm on Tuesday 13 February 2018.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien’s amazing legacy from his genius as an artist, poet, linguist, and author to his academic career and private life. The exhibition takes you on a journey through Tolkien’s famous works, The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, displaying an array of draft manuscripts, striking illustrations and maps drawn for his publications.

Visitors will discover Tolkien’s early abstract paintings from The Book of Ishness, the touching tales he wrote for his children, rare objects that belonged to Tolkien, exclusive fan mail, and private letters.

The exhibition runs 1 June to 28 October 2018 at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

If you’ve been thinking about making a pilgrimage to Oxford, this summer/autumn is the time to go; and be sure to grab those tickets tomorrow! Check out the exhibition website, here.

Thanks to the Bodleian Library for allowing us to make this announcement.

Posted in
Calendar, Events, Exhibits, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Ian McKellen’s King Lear to play in London’s West End

McKellen in an earlier RSC production of Lear

Ian McKellen has called it his ‘last big Shakespeare part’ – and now you have another chance to see it! Last year’s high acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre production of King Lear will play at London’s Duke of York’s theatre, (which happens to be the theatre where McKellen made his West End debut, 54 years ago), from 11th July this summer.

You can read more about Jonathan Munby’s production here. Sir Ian tweeted this morning about the 100 show run. Tickets will go on sale on Monday 12th February.

Posted in Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Stage Productions, The Hobbit

Tolkien Rights and the Amazon Television Deal – some insight

In a fascinating article, TORn staffer and author Kristin Thompson gives us some invaluable insight into some of the legal wranglings which may have led to this new The Lord of the Rings television series deal:

The announcement that Amazon will be producing a multi-season television series based on The Lord of the Rings has caused much speculation and not a little confusion. One common assumption seems to be that the television rights to the two hobbit novels were sold to United Artists in 1969, when it obtained the production and distribution rights to make film adaptations. (more…)

Posted in Amazon TV series, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.

Tolkien’s The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun – published in America today. WIN a copy!

Fans who are waiting to hear further news about a possible Lord of the Rings television series can keep themselves busy for a while with a new publication of Tolkien’s poem, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun. Although this work was released by UK publishers Harper Collins last year, it is available today from American publishers Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Here’s what they tell us about the book:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is proud to announce the publication on November 7, 2017 of THE LAY OF AOTROU AND ITROUN by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Verlyn Flieger. Unavailable for more than 70 years, this early but important work is published for the first time with Tolkien’s ‘Corrigan’ poems and other supporting material, including a prefatory note by Christopher Tolkien.

Set ‘In Britain’s land beyond the seas’ during the Age of Chivalry, THE LAY OF AOTROU AND ITROUN tells of a childless Breton Lord and Lady (the ‘Aotrou’ and ‘Itroun’ of the title) and the tragedy that befalls them when Aotrou seeks to remedy their situation with the aid of a magic potion obtained from a corrigan, or malevolent fairy. When the potion succeeds and Itroun bears twins, the corrigan returns seeking her fee, and Aotrou is forced to choose between betraying his marriage and losing his life.

Coming from the darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination, THE LAY OF AOTROU AND ITROUN, together with the two shorter ‘Corrigan’ poems that lead up to it and which are also included, was the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien’s life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic, and particularly Breton, myth and legend.

Originally written in 1930 and long out of print, this early but seminal work is an important addition to the non-Middle-earth portion of his canon and should be set alongside Tolkien’s other retellings of myth and legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur and The Story of Kullervo. Like these works, it belongs to a small but important corpus of his ventures into ‘real-world’ mythologies, each of which in its own way would be a formative influence on his own legendarium.

We have FIVE copies to give away to lucky fans in the US! To enter, simply complete the entry form, and answer the following question:

Who is the editor of this new edition of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun?

Complete the entry form by 5pm EST on Monday 13th November. [Enter Here] Five winners will then be chosen at random, and a copy of the latest Tolkien publication will be mailed to them. Good luck!  (Sorry, this competition is only available to fans living in the United States.)

For those who don’t win, you can buy the book here; and it is also available as an e-book.

 

UPDATE: Many thanks to all who entered our competition. The winners have been notified by email, and their books are on the way to them!

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Contests, Events, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Shop, Tolkien

Medieval Fantasy Convention in Germany: a report from TheHutt

Ringer TheHutt was recently at the 2017 Medieval Fantasy Convention in Germany. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit actors Adam Brown, Sean Astin, Manu Bennett and David Wenham were among the many guests. Read on for TheHutt’s full report!

Medieval Fantasy Convention in Germany: a report from TheHutt

By TheHutt
Photos: Silv
Originally published at Henneth-Annun.ru

Readers following actors from The Hobbit on social networks might have noticed that some of them suddenly started posing with owls in front of picturesque medieval walls. No wonder: the atmosphere of the Castle Burg in the German town of Solingen is quite inviting for taking pictures.

Historical info: Castle Burg (“Schloss Burg”, literally meaning “Castle Castle”) was built in the 12th century by the Count von Berg. It was destroyed in the 14xx’s and then rebuilt in the 19th century. It is situated on a mountain over the river Wupper.

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Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, David Wenham, Events, Manu Bennett, Sean Astin

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