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News from the Mark – WB and Turbine sneak preview music for the new Riders of Rohan game

Award-winning composer Chance Thomas’s work should be familiar to anyone who’s played the Lord of the Rings Online Games: Shadows of Angmar and Mines of Moria. Those are just two examples in an impressive resume. His latest collaboration with LOTRO and Warner Bros. Entertainment is the soundtrack to the new online game Riders of Rohan, releasing September 5, 2012. Posted on Lord of The Rings Online’s YouTube site are three musical selections: “LOTRO Legacy”, “Shadow of the Argonath” and “Boromir’s Last Stand”. Be sure to click on “Show more” on the individual pages for “Shadow of the Argonath” and “Boromir’s Last Stand” to read Thomas’s insight into the composing of the music.

Additionally, the second in the series of behind the scenes videos: “Immersion through the look and sound of Rohan”, posted July 5th, has interviews with Thomas as well as Director Mitch Cohen, Director of Photography Scott Kevan and Senior World Designer Chris Pierson. The composer speaks to how he relied on painstaking research of the literature to create what he feels is “authentic” and true to Tolkien’s vision of the role of music in his stories. This video along with the first behind the scenes and various teasers and trailers for the game are available at LOTRO’s YouTube page. More musical tracks will be posted as the launch date approaches. In the meantime check out Chance Thomas’s official site to hear examples from some of the composer’s other works.

Posted in Gaming, Merchandise, Video games

My name is Sauron and I’m here to recruit you

It’s so easy to become swept up in the drama of Frodo and the One Ring that we forget there was another side to this story. Millions of ordinary, every-day citizens of Modor had to deal with the mounting pressure of war at their doorstep. Faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of filling their ranks, the Department of Defense (in the form of Zeke Mahogany Comedy) put together a slick recruitment video to stir the hearts and minds of the average Orc and inspire some good, old-fashioned heroism. Posted on I09  on June 9th and brought to our attention by Spy John G., the video is part of the Zeke Mahogany Comedy troupe’s ongoing online sketch series on YouTube.

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies

LOTR Lego available on shelves, in stores, now, today

A not-that-careful look at stores shelves reveals that LOTR Lego items are available right now and have been since June 1. Members of our spy network have written in to inform us they are available online for later delivery but if you get yourself to a retailer with toy shelves you can grab and buy already. (We suggest finishing this article first!)

On day one at E3 the guys over at IGN Live sat down with Nick Ricks, Executive Producer at Traveller’s Tales Games for an in-depth analysis and some game play. All three Lord of the Ring movies are included in the Lego game and actual film dialogue is used as well. By far the coolest feature is being able to toss the dwarf.

If you’re more of a hands-on fan with your Legos, they are now selling their Lord of the Rings sets online at Lego.com, including the hard to find The Orc Forge. That set joins the previous releases: Gandalf Arrives, Shelob Attacks, Uruk-hai Army, Attack on WeathertopThe Mines of Moria” and The Battle of Helm’s Deep. But wait, could there possibly be more? SteveDJ was kind enough to scan the latest Lego catalog which has a poster (forum post) revealing what looks to be a teaser about possible Hobbit sets coming December 1st, 2012. Stay tuned for updates as we get them.

Please, out of courtesy to others, pick up all the Legos before bed. No one likes to step on those things in bare feet (even Hobbit ones).

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

All the world is a stage – see Middle-earth live

There are some very exciting Lord of the Rings related live performance opportunities this summer to tide you over until “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” release later this year. In Ottawa, the NAC will be screening “The Fellowship of the Ring” and providing the musical soundtrack for 3 performances: July 5th, 6th and 7th. (Many thanks to Emanuel for that information!) Similarly, The Lord of the Rings in Concert has a few forthcoming dates in France, Australia and Chile. The Hobbit returns to The Maverick Theater in Fullerton, California. This imaginative production, reviewed here at Backstage.com, runs now until July 14th and is a must see. (Thank you Ringwinner for the heads up!) If you haven’t already caught Charlie Ross’s One Man Lord of the Rings you’ll have an opportunity as the show moves to Austin, Texas June 20th through 24th, Columbia, Maryland June 29th, San Jose, California July 24th through 29th and the exciting Fringe Festival in Edinburgh August 13th through 27th. Lastly, the popular musical Fellowship! closes at the Trepany House in Hollywood after the 11pm performance on Friday, June 29th.

Get out there and support your local arts. Shire!

Posted in Concerts, Events, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Stage Productions, The Hobbit

A New Biography Describes an Encounter with Peter Jackson

Back in 2009 The One Ring posted a humorous video of ex-patriot John Dybvig explaining to talk-show host David Letterman about his adopted homeland New Zealand. For more than 20 years the San Francisco native has been making a name for himself in the entertainment and sports industries in New Zealand and has just released his autobiography “The Two of Me”. This book is a frank account of how Dybvig was able to turn around his life after years of self-centered, self-sabotaging behavior and find true contentment. Included is a chapter about working on the 2005 feature King Kong and encountering director, Peter Jackson. The audio book is narrated by the author and is available for download on iTunes. In case you’re interested, John offers a US accent workshop with The Equity Foundation for any Australasian actors out there.

Posted in New Zealand, Peter Jackson

Sean Astin Shares Some of His Hollywood Treasures

Season 2 of Hollywood Treasure opened with a segment sure to spark the interest of Tolkien and Lord of the Ring fans. Actor Sean Astin, commonly known as Samwise Gamgee around these parts, was treated to a viewing of one of only three original maps of Middle Earth, illustrated by Pauline Baynes who was commissioned to do all of the artwork for the book’s first publication. In a bit of quid pro quo Sean returns with some of his cherished mementos from the shoot including his elven broach and Sam’s pack. The episode is available to watch on Hulu as well at SYFY.com’s site. (and also after the break) If you were wondering – Hollywood Treasure boss Joe thinks the original map will go to auction later in 2012 and should fetch something in the neighborhood of US$30,000 to US$50,000. Don’t forget you can follow Sean on Twitter . Our thanks to Spy elswifto for the heads up. [Hollywood Treasure]

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Posted in LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Sean Astin