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Clock is ticking on the start of HobbitCon 2 in Europe

hobbitconlogoBONN — HobbitCon 2, in Bonn, Germany is just hours away from starting with a hotel packed full of special guests, lecturers, and fans from around the world.

The Maritim Hotel in Bonn hosts the entire event, which takes over the whole property for the weekend. A full slate of lectures and presentations are scheduled starting just a few hours from now. All of the 13 dwarves from The Hobbit movies are present save Richard Armitage, who is at WonderCon, James Nesbitt who was scheduled but had to cancel and Aiden Turner. That means Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish and William Kircher are all involved. (That means three trolls are here as well!) The gentlemen were present and were rumored to have been observed hanging around the hotel last night talking together and to each other. Reportedly, 26 countries are represented at the event.

The first HobbitCon

The first HobbitCon

Richard Taylor and Royd Tolkien were also in the house as was Mark Atkin — Thorin Oakenshiled in scale size. TheOneRing.net has three panels scheduled for the weekend, including one tomorrow evening, speculating on the third film in Peter Jackson’s adaptation. With the entire event scheduled in one place, it gives the whole affair a remarkable, intimate feeling that is a little challenging to explain. Its one of those things where you have to be there.

In fact, European fans can still make that happen, buying tickets by walking up to the hotel. Details can be found RIGHT HERE. TORn would love to see you in person around the hotel and at the first panel at 5 p.m.!

Expect updates all weekend long.

Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, HobbitCon, James Nesbitt, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Richard Armitage, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, William Kircher, WonderCon

Middle-earth Madness 2014 Unleashed!

2014BracketMORIA — TheOneRing.net’s selection committee has been hard at work, delving too deep into lore and frivolous fandom to bring you the third? another edition of Middle-earth Madness! The top seeds in each bracket are predictable and Hobbit-book-centric, with fan favorites Thorin, Bilbo, Gandalf and Smaug each holding the top spot in their respective brackets. Smaug anchors the LONELY MOUNTAIN bracket, Bilbo is at home in BAG END, while Thorin heads EREBOR and everybody’s (most everybody’s) favorite wizard and 2013 champion lands in MIRKWOOD. (Don’t expect it to all make sense, we are after all voting for fictional characters based on no specific criteria in a bracket format made popular by NCAA basketball in the 20th Century. Just go with it.)

Smaug is a repeat one seed but in the 2013 version of the contest, the other tops spots were The One Ring, Balin (who lost his opening round match with Pippin, a sixteen seed, by .05 percent) and Galadriel. In 2012, with a smaller field, Gandalf and Bilbo were top seeds along with Legolas and Glorfindel. The first winner  was Sam in 2012 with Gandalf snagging the Maiar community a trophy in 2013. Can the wizard be stopped in 2014?

New to the bracket is Tauriel, the elf maiden entirely made up by filmmaker Peter Jackson’s writing team. The bad-muther elf has the potential to face Gandalf in the Mirkwood bracket if they each win their first four contests. Tauriel must first fend off Saruman’s Palantir. Thranduil, Beorn and Bard are the other second seeds and each seems just fabulous enough to be real contenders. Bard, in the same bracket as Smaug, just might be in the right place to pull an upset. Meanwhile his Black Arrow faces the Watcher In The Water in the Bag End bracket. Another object making its first appearances and likely offending purists and bracketologists alike, is the Bunny Sled. In a tough matchup, it must face Angcalagon, known as “The Black” and the greatest of all winged dragons from Middle-earth’s first age. He was likely the largest dragon that ever graced Middle-earth and could likely use Smaug as a toothpick, but could be erased by a sled – pulled by rabbits.

The Erebor branch of the bracket is filled with dark creatures and objects including rings and The Arkenstone. Once a champion, Sam is now a #10 seed and faces Azog. But the white CGI movie Azog or the vengeful creature from the LOTR appendicies? Only voters can decide who will prevail. If Samwise can down Azog (he was a ring-bearer after all) he may prove Tauriel’s undoing in the second round. Beren (a symbol for J.R.R. Tolkien himself) and Luthein (the author’s wife Edith) each made the field and are always a tough out.

Be sure to follow the complete bracket to see which imaginary character gets an imaginary mithril shirt engraved with MIDDLE-EARTH MADNESS across the chest.

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Headlines, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers

Exclusive look at Weta’s new book ‘Smaug: Unleashing The Dragon’

Smaug_Pgs22_23



This image was slipped under our door deep in our network of mines where TheOneRing.net staff labors to make the internet safe and interesting for Tolkienites. Unable to find the sneaky culprit, we have no choice but to share with the world this exclusive look at page 22-23 from Weta Workshop’s new book, “Smaug: Unleashing The Dragon.”

As you might expect, the book brings readers face-to-face with the magnificent creature created for Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” From the pages we can preview, this is a book with concept art and text from the artists at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop; This spread from Gus Hunter who presents a couple of variations of body types of Old Smaugy. TORn friend Daniel Falconer is the author as he has been on Weta’s previous books about the creation of the Hobbit films.

A larger size version is available by clicking below.

Smaug_Pgs22_23Z

Posted in Books Publications, Hobbit Book, Merchandise, The Hobbit, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

New eagle eye, warg eye views of Middle-earth

Mid-earthJ.R.R. Tolkien changed fantasy books and publishing forever with his inclusion of maps of Middle-earth. One of the staples of world-building fantasy novels since, maps tell readers they aren’t quite in Kansas anymore and help them know they are instead in places like Westeros or Randland.

So it’s absolutely fitting that the Middle-Earth DEM Project (somebody tell those amazing folks its lower case “e”) is putting Middle-earth in the hands of the public with views from space and can also be explored on foot virtually. The video above demonstrates that walk while the link to the project gives you choices of how you wish to see Middle-earth. Enjoy as team continues its work to put Middle-earth everywhere, including a demo you can download.

Posted in Artwork, Fans, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Tolkien

‘Hobbit’ making less money than first film, still poised to win weekend at box office

moneyThere is good news and bad news for Warner Bros. and Peter Jackson at the box office this weekend. Despite the strong opening of “Anchorman 2,” projections show that “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” will be the number one movie for the second weekend in a row. Different outlets have different takes on the same story. Variety talks about “The Hobbit,” winning the weekend while Boxofficemojo features comparison charts on its front page and complete Middle-earth showdown charts inside.

The comparisons do reveal that DOS may fall well short of its predecessor which makes its run toward $1 billion world wide pretty interesting. As Variety mentions above, the film has managed to gather up $300 million world wide Meanwhile BoxOffice.com has every possible movie in its headline, now in its sixth update.

Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

Official ‘Hobbit’ Visual Companion app announced

The same company that publishes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, obviously including “The Hobbit,” and “The Lord of the Rings” announced an app companion to the latest Peter Jackson Middle-earth film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” From the looks of things, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt means for this to be an immerse and interactive version of the film books. Jude Fisher provides text and many of the images are 3D and interactive. We will include a gallery of images from the app below the official press release.

The app is produced by the United Kingdom publisher of Tolkien’s work, Harper Collins UK in conjunction with Warner Bros. and developed by Ardman Digital.

Below is the full press release with images of the product:

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT ANNOUNCES THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP

December 20, 2013

LeggyHoughton Mifflin Harcourt, official U.S. publisher of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, is thrilled to announce THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP, an app designed to accompany the film experience of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson. A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened worldwide on December 13.

The app, produced by HarperCollins UK in association with Warner Bros., was developed by Aardman Digital. The app aims to engage with book and film fans on a digital and interactive platform, and is packed with content from the The Hobbit Trilogy, including text by Jude Fisher, details and images of the characters and a beautifully rendered 3D map.

Nick Perrett, Group Director of Strategy & Digital at HarperCollins said, “This is the first step toward HarperCollins’ vision for persistent storytelling worlds that will act as a hub for fans of The Hobbit worldwide. This exciting new experience brings The Hobbit universe alive and, will over time, develop as a platform for discovering the world of Middle-earth.”Sanj Kharbanda, VP of Digital Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said, “At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, our strategy is to create great experiences across many touch points including books, ebooks, apps, and the web. We are thrilled to partner with HarperCollins UK to bring this to life for The Hobbit and celebrate the magic of Middle-earth with a new generation of readers with this app.”

BilboCreated using the Unity engine – more typically used by game developers than book publishers – THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP is designed to enrich users’ experience of the films, enabling them to navigate a map of Middle-earth in its entirety, while discovering facts about the characters, locations and artifacts recognizable from the films and book. The app also features interactive trivia, allowing users to unlock additional app features.

THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP will be updated with a rolling schedule of content for the next two years, including cast interviews, content for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the official U.S. publisher of film tie-in books for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson.

THE HOBBIT: OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION APP is available from Samsung’s Apps Hub (Samsung Web, Samsung Mobile) and Apple’s App Store (Premium, Lite).

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT TRADE PUBLISHING

MapFor nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade division has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, trade paperback, and eBook formats. Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, forty-seven Pulitzer Prize winners, thirteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O’Brien, and Umberto Eco, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Lois Lowry, Chris Van Allsburg and David Wiesner. HMH is also home to The Best American
series®; The American Heritage® and Webster’s New World™ dictionaries; Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, The Gourmet Cookbook, and other leading culinary properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters including Curious George®, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-
producers.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.

Posted in Books Publications, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, New Line Cinema, Other Merchandise, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

Weta Workshop puts ‘Hobbit’ soaring eagles in Wellington airport

During the crazy week of the world premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” we received all kinds of emails telling us that Weta Workshop had put up another amazing display in the Wellington Airport. We are big fans of the workshop and they have been great to help TheOneRing in various times and places. Our organizations are pals. But with everything going on in Los Angeles, we just didn’t have the time among our volunteer staff to post.

Now however, we have this pretty amazing video to share that hasn’t aged a day and is every bit as interesting as ever. It is enough to make us want to grab a plane to Wellington. Sir Richard Taylor, workshop supervisor Rob Giles and the rest of the gang show how they managed to put giant eagles in the beautiful airport.

Enjoy the magicians from the workshop.

Posted in Characters, Hobbit Movie, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Workshop

Video: Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans talk ‘Hobbit’ with TheOneRing.net

BEVERLY HILLS – As “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opens around (most) of the world, we continue or video conversations with its stars. This round has Luke Evans talking about Bard the Bowman and his character’s city of Lake-Town and Benedict Cumberbatch explaining Smaug and his take on the massive creature. TheOneRing.net had a chance to briefly sit down with both actors on the morning of the world premiere. Evans wouldn’t say it on camera but he was not feeling well but soldiered on all the same. Thanks to both for insightful answers. Enjoy

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Characters, Director news, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Locations Sets, Luke Evans, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Press Conferences, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Video: Dan Hennah, Art Director, talks ‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ with TheOneRing.net

Dan Hennah, Academy Award winner and nominee just last year, talked about Middle-earth movies and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” with TheOneRing.net last week while he stood inside the re-creation of Beorn’s house! Hennah and his wife Chris run the Art Department of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and from concept to shoot day, makes the items and sets happen. He is a pretty incredible guy, right up there with Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor as one of New Zealand’s most amazing individuals. Part of our series of video interviews to get you ready for the World Premiere of the newest Middle-earth film!

See also: An interview with Martin Freeman
And: An interview with Richard Armitage

Posted in Characters, Dan Hennah, Director news, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Locations Sets, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Press Conferences, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Video: Martin Freeman talks ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ with TheOneRing.net

BEVERLY HILLS — On the same day that fans and journalists lined the streets of Hollywood to celebrate the World Premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Martin Freeman chatted with TheOneRing.net about what it was like to play opposite a dragon. He also discussed the work of other fine actors on set including Sir Ian McKellen and Morgan Freeman! The video is part of a series today to usher in the midnight release of the film (more or less) around the world.

See also: An interview with Richard Armitage

Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Lectures & Education, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Video: Richard Armitage talks ‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ with TheOneRing.net

BEVERLY HILLS — TheOneRing.net had a chance to sit down with Richard Armitage and talk “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” last week in the hours leading up the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles. We present below the first of several videos with some of the key actors in the films, this one featuring Richard Armitage talking about his character Thorin, his own writings and ping-pong. Enjoy and check back all day for more videos as we lead you into the hours before the debut of the second of three Peter Jackson movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”

Posted in Characters, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Transcript: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ world premiere press conference

Desolation_PressThis is a word-for-word transcription of a press conference held for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” in a hotel in Los Angeles after the World Premiere of the film. Seated were: Philippa Boyens, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Peter Jackson, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman.

Press were given microphones by moderators. Although TheOneRing.net attended, for which we thank Warner Bros., we did not have a chance to ask a question to the assembled group; we apologize for some that did. Transcribed by Twitter staffer @Saoirse_Loachlann (more…)

Posted in Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Characters, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, J.R.R. Tolkien, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien