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A Wellington Weta Adventure!

Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.

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The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ

Like most fans of the The Lord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.

(more…)

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Movie, John Callen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Pumpkinwalkers (Halloween Special)

pumpkinwalkers yt

When cursed jack-o-lanterns turn Fili, Kili, and Eowyn into pumpkinwalkers, it is up to Daggorlad and the neighborhood bounder to try to save them!

 

Have a happy hobbity Halloween!

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Hobbit Three Year Anniversary: Daniel Falconer

Daniel Falconer Interview

In honor of Happy Hobbit bringing Middle-earth into daily lives for three years, we have a special interview with our friend Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop!

 

Posted in Daniel Falconer, Happy Hobbit, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Trail Riding Basics – Episode 70

HH trail riding yt

Join Fili, Kili, and Sam to learn beginning Western trail riding! But even with transportation, will they make it to the Renaissance Faire in time to see their friends the Wicked Tinkers play?

If you enjoy Happy Hobbit then please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and “like” us on Facebook to share in our hobbity fun!

Posted in Happy Hobbit

Wizard World!

We had a fantastic time at last weekend’s Wizard World San Jose. Thanks so much to everyone who made the effort to come out and join us!

wizard world YT

Our panel, Happy Hobbit: The World Ahead, was a delight on Friday afternoon. In keeping with our theme, there was lots of laughter and learning. It’s always very rewarding to meet people who watch our show and fellow Tolkien-fans in general. In addition to geeky fun, several creatives also turned out, curious to hear about my experience with writing as K.M. Rice and to see Fili’s love of capturing the moment with Alexandra Rice Photography. We can only hope that Tolkien would’ve been proud to see just how much creativity and inspiration people have found in his Middle-earth, leading them to their own unique forms of self-expression. Like Bilbo, many of us artists just need a little nudge out the door onto our own roads! You can watch our panel in it’s entirety here:

The short film that we debuted, Wildling, which we made together as a sister team over the summer, can be watched here (in a bit better quality than what you can see in this panel footage!).

Following the panel, we had time to sweep through the showroom floor before heading over to the Hilton’s Affinity restaurant for some hobbity and dwarven hijinks that made our panel look like a calm and composed event. TORn staffter Garfeimao and her sister, Carynn Hobbit, were in attendance, along with several friends, some old and some we’d only met that day! The following afternoon was none other than Billy Boyd’s (Pippin in LOTR and lead vocals in the band beecake) hilarious Q & A panel.

As always with our show, our goal is to make episodes that help you feel like you were at these events, even if you were only present in spirit, so feel free to prop up your feet and enjoy Wizard World San Jose by watching the video below!

Posted in Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Uncategorized

San Jose Wizard World Comic Con This Weekend!

Not going to Dragon*Con? Live on the west coast? Need something Middle-earthy to do this weekend that includes two dwarves and a hobbit? Then look no further than the San Jose Wizard World!

The Tolkien festivities will kick off Friday with a Happy Hobbit panel, followed by a “moot,” or Entish get-together, across the street from the convention center at the Affinity Restaurant at the Hilton. Even if you’re not attending the con on Friday, be sure to join us at the moot for some Middle-earth madness, which is prone to happen whenever Fili and Kili are around.

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Saturday is your opportunity to meet Billy Boyd (Pippin) and ask him anything at his panel, which will undoubtedly be comic gold and of course, very informative.

Below are the specifics of each event:

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SAN JOSE WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON

San Jose Convention Center

150 West San Carlos St., San Jose, California 95113

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2015


 

Happy Hobbit new DP2

PANEL

6:00 – 6:45PM  HAPPY HOBBIT: THE WORLD AHEAD (ROOM 211AB)
“Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread…” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Join sisters Kellie and Alex Rice (Kili and Fili of the webseries Happy Hobbit) as they go beyond the shire to explore how their geeky roots have blossomed into creative careers. Kellie is also known as K.M. Rice, an author and screenwriter who has worked for both Weta Workshop and Magic Leap, while Alex produces shows and shorts and has her own photography business. Both are excited to share tips on self-publishing, low-budget films, and engaging an online audience.

HH WW

 

MOOT  7:30 PM

Affinity Restaurant at the San Jose Hilton.

Hilton San Jose, 300 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95113

No reservation, we’ll just take over Dwarf-style!


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2015

billy-boyd-peregrin-pippin-took-the-lord-of-the-rings-trilogy-joins-the-wizard-world-comic-con-tour-2

PANEL

12:30 – 1:15PM  ADVENTURES IN MIDDLE EARTH WITH BILLY BOYD (ROOM 210)
“Lord of the Rings” fans rejoice! Billy Boyd (Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took) has traveled far and wide to join us for this very special Wizard World Q&A! This is your opportunity to ask Billy about his life, career, and where his adventures will be taking him next! You don’t want to miss this awesome panel!

Billy is also a member of the band beecake, and anyone who has heard either Pippin singing in the LOTR films or “The Last Goodbye” as the credits rolled on Middle-earth with BoTFA this winter knows that he’s more than worth listening to.


 

Here’s to hoping we’ll see more than less than half of you as we’d expect, and that you all have more than half the fun that you deserve!

Posted in Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Happy Hobbit, Uncategorized, Wizard World, Wizard World

NEW! White Cloud Worlds – Volume 3

It’s no secret that the artists of Weta Workshop who brought both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life are an insanely talented bunch, but have you ever wondered what they’ve been up to post Middle-earth? Aside from contributing to multiple other films and their own projects, several have been collaborating on a wonderful series of books showcasing their Fantasy and Science Fiction art: White Cloud Worlds. New Zealand’s Maori name is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud,” and given that the art is all Kiwi-made, well, you get the picture! Several of the art pieces included were also inspired by Middle-earth.

The covers of Volumes 1 & 2

The covers of Volumes 1 & 2

Books one and two have already been released, and book three is due out in November.  This new volume is said to contain over 200 images, showcasing the work of 60 New Zealand artists, several of whom include such Middle-earth artists as:

Gus Hunter, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit

Ben Wootten, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR

Paul Tobin, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Jamie Beswarick, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit

Andrew Baker, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Lindsey Crummett, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

Nick Keller, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit

(more…)

Posted in Books, Merchandise, New Zealand, The Hobbit

New Tolkien Book: The Story of Kullervo UPDATED

Kullervo

Available for pre-order now is allegedly one of Tolkien’s darkest stories, which (if any of you are familiar with my books) has me all kinds of excited.

Here’s the official press release we have received:

THE STORY OF KULLERVO

The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.

  • • The Story of Kullervo is the first piece of prose fiction that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
  • • This is its first appearance in book form
  • • 2015 is the centenary of its creation
  • • Illustrated on the cover by one of Tolkien’s own paintings

 

Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.

 

The book will be released in the UK on the 27th of August 2015 and is scheduled for release in April 2016 in the US.

[Read More]

While I doubt the rights will be released any time soon, this sounds like an edge-of your seat read that would make a fantastic film. With stories like this kicking around in his desk drawers (or wherever the Professor kept them!), one has to wonder what would be his chosen medium if alive and publishing today. Would he be like J.K. Rowling and write not only novels, but for the stage, and the screen as he expanded his magical world? Or do you think he would’ve just stuck to books? Before you go into a lecture about Jackson’s films “ruining everything,” remember that Tolkien willingly sold the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, knowing full well their stories would be told on the big screen with all kinds of changes to match the cinematic storytelling medium.

Posted in Books Publications, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, TheOneRing.net Announcements, Tolkien

Happy Hobbit: Tie-Dye Elrond Shirt – Episode 67

elrond for torn

Meet Ranger Daggorlad as he tries to show off his Ranger skills along with an attempt to impress Aragorn with a rainbow Elrond camouflage shirt!

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit

Happy Hobbit: San Diego Comic-Con 2015

sdcc 2015

Join Kili for a cruise through Weta Workshop’s booth and all things Middle-earth at San Diego Comic Con!

 

Posted in ComicCon, Fans, Happy Hobbit, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Durin Braids – Episode 66

Learn how to braid your hair in a style that honors the heirs of Durin!

Check out Lilla Rose’s awesome clips here! 

Note: My apologies for posting this late on TORn! Sometimes real life gets in the way of being a volunteer at TheOneRing. If you would like to make sure you get our videos and posts as soon as they’re up, please like our Facebook page and subscribe on YouTube. Hannon le!  ~Kili

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Tolkien

Happy Hobbit: Strawberry Wine – Episode 65

Learn how to (and how not to) make strawberry wine worthy of the Woodland Realm with Kili!

 

STRAWBERRY WINE (1 gallon)

Ingredients:

3-4 lbs of fresh, ripe strawberries
2.5 lbs of sugar
1 gallon of pre-boiled water
2 tsp citric acid
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp yeast

Instructions:

Mash the strawberries. Add mashed berries and sugar to a crock pot. Add 2 tsb citric acid. Pour the boiled water over the mixture and dissolve the sugar as much as possible.

Once the mixture cools, add yeast nutrient and yeast. Stir.
Let the mixture sit for a week, stirring every day.

After one week, strain the strawberries and squeeze out the juice into a sanitized glass carboy. Good luck. If needed, sterilize more water by boiling. Allow it to cool then add it to your wine. Attach an airlock and let sit for 4 weeks.

After a month, rack your wine (siphon it into another sanitized carboy).

Rack once a month for 4-6 months.

Bottle. Enjoy!

Posted in Happy Hobbit