Support TheOneRing.net - A not for profit fan community!
Join us in our forums!
Get a Real Piece of Middle-earth - New Zealand Post Stamps
Daggers of Tauriel

Get emailed with every new post!

Weekly Newsletter

Select a list:

Author Archive

Smaug vs. Godzilla: TORn helps the Wall Street Journal with the showdown

headGodzilla is stomping closer to theaters while Smaug is between the two films featuring the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch, but Wall Street Journal writer Michael Calia asked our own news editor Demosthenes to help out with the showdown between the two pop-culture heavyweights. Its a pretty fun read and Demos certainly did us proud but if Godzilla is King of the Monsters (1956 film) then maybe he should face J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatest dragon Ancalagon The Black. Many readers at the WSJ blog probably haven’t heard of him though, so Smaug is much more fun for the masses. You can read the blow-by-blow right here.

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

TORn Takes on Bonn Germany and HobbitCon2

HobbitCon2_TORn_EDITED-17Note: MrCere here. ImladrisRose wrote this immediately after the convention but became very ill after getting home — very ill. So, after delivery, it took me a little bit to get it posted. She is on the mend and this is a major relief. Thanks for all your hard work IR! We do all wish you health and happiness. She also took many more photos and included more to post but technical issues made that impossible but we may upload some later.

BONN — TORn staffers MrCere and ImladrisRose traveled to Bonn, Germany to attend HobbitCon2 over Easter weekend. While the journey was long, the excitement at the final destination made it very much worthwhile.

HobbitCon is convention bred for a single purpose, to destroy every other con that came before. HobbitCon is all things “The Hobbit”, as if the title didn’t give it away. It is a kaleidoscope of Hobbity goodness, a gaggle of dwarves, masters in the film industry, a real life Tolkien and fans who’s boundless enthusiasm is something that has always made this particular fandom so stupendous! As someone who has been to conventions all around the US featuring so many different people involved in the Tolkien universe, HobbitCon was a completely unique, exhilarating experience. Not only was it packed with talks, workshops, lectures and unique experiences, but because everything took place at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, the nightlife at this con made every other con I’ve been to seem well, lame!

HobbitCon 2, Bonn, Germany

HobbitCon 2, Bonn, Germany

Taking place over the course of three days, HobbitCon is truly an event in which even the most die hard Tolkien fans that think they’ve heard it all will hear stories and take on experiences that will stay with them forever. The atmosphere of the con was very laid back, it felt very much as if Hobbits themselves were in charge because there was a constant feeling of camaraderie and all the good feelings of home amongst the guests and fans alike. This love infused environment allowed for everyone in attendance to truly immerse themselves in their time at the con and to feel fully relaxed, but most importantly, not to feel judged for who they are or where they come from or who has a better Thranduil costume. Everyone in attendance was cut from the same cloth and this feeling of uniqueness combined with similarity made everyone feel like family by the end. As people were saying goodbye to one another, tears were being shed. Beautiful.

The fans at HobbitCon would not have had the incredible experience that they had if it were not for the absolute warmth and sincerity that oozed from each and every featured guest, including all of the actors. Never I have witnessed such an effort put forth from an events featured guests to make the fans feel so important and to take the time to have unique and memorable interactions at every possible turn. I remember seeing a woman dressed as Dwalin walking down the halls and Graham McTavish made a beeline for her and told her what a great job she did on her costume, He didn’t have to do that, but he did it because he wanted to. This again, is such an ode to the marvelous gift that Peter Jackson and co have for bringing the most awesome people on board to work on these films. It really says a lot.

HobbitCon2 had an enormous amount of awesome guests which include but are not limited to: Ken Stott “Balin”, Adam Brown “Ori”, William Kircher “Bifur”, Stephen Hunter “Bombur”, Mark Hadlow “Dori”, Dean O’Gorman “Fili”, Peter Hambleton “Gloin”, Jed Brophy “Nori”, John Callen “Oin” and Graham McTavish “Dwalin”. Also in attendance were: Sir Richard Taylor, Royd Tolkien (great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien), Mark Atkin (stunt/scale double for Richard Armitage) and our very own Larry D. Curtis.

SAMSTAG 19 April, 2014

Saturday was opening day for HobbitCon. Last year was the first HobbitCon so guests from the previous year had very high expectations, and from what I gathered, no one was disappointed! The Opening Ceremonies took place in the evening, but there were many exciting talks and panels before hand. First up was a talk featuring Mark Hadlow “Dori” and Stephen Hunter “Bombur”. The banter between these two was fabulous as they eagerly answered questions from fans. Mark even had an interesting exchange with some of the set/stage decorations that looked to be either Ringwraiths or cloaked Elves! Up next was none other than Sir Richard Taylor, who walked out to a standing ovation, is the best public speaker I have ever encountered. His steadfast encouragement for people to follow their dreams is a true inspiration. After that was a hilarious talk featuring William Kircher “Bifur”, John Callen “Oin” and Peter Hambleton “Gloin”. They were such a hilarious trio and the fans simply adored them. Adam Brown “Ori” and Dean O’Gorman “Fili” were up next and out of all of the featured guests; those two seemed to always get the biggest reaction from the crowd. Their personalities are contagious and while they both told great stories, my favorite would have to be the one Dean told where he got stuck in a neighbor’s mailbox and the fire department had to rescue him. My favorite fan question was when they were asked how they would eventually propose to their respective girlfriends, to which they both acted it out which eventually led to Adam passionately kissing Dean. Shenanigans. The fans simply adore those two, frankly it is impossible not to.

TORn’s first panel of the con “A Not So Official View at the Hobbit” began right after Adam and Dean’s panel. The room was filled with curious fans, many of which follow TORn but quite a few who were just learning about us! That was great to see, as I am sure that those who were just hearing about TORn would be following us in no time at all. Larry did a great job and many fans were engaged in asking questions. Great job MrCere! My sole purpose for going to HobbitCon was to do what I do best, take pictures so that I can have a more enticing article for TORn, I did not talk for any of our presentations, I work best behind a camera. ☺

After a very short recess, the Opening Ceremonies began. HobbitCon is hosted by none other than Mr. Mark Ferguson (who you may know as “Gil-Galad” from LOTR). Mark is such a joy and his charisma made the event that much more charming. The sheer spectacle of the opening ceremonies has no rival in the convention world; it is its own animal and is something to truly be marveled at. The stage is filled with ever changing lights, cloaked figures, a large screen for better viewing of the speakers, and even a to scale Hobbit hole! After Mark did his introduction he introduced each speaker and panelist, the people who ran the various workshops and ended with introducing the events cast of characters who were met with boisterous applause from the audience who was on their feet cheering in excitement. Ken Stott received the loudest cheers from the fans, it was his first ever convention!

Once the opening ceremonies were complete all the fans were ready to mix and mingle, as were all of the featured guests. The entire first floor of the Maritim is filled with lounge spaces, bars and dance floors. This is where the party was every single night of the con. On this particular night, the music was to the tune of oldies until about 10pm then the modern dance music came on. The films stars did not stay segregated in their own space, no, quite the opposite! They were interacting with fans at the bar, dancing on the dance floor, having real conversations about real life things (not just the books or films). These conversations were filled with a mutual respect and a sense of humanity that is rare in the world of conventions, but again that is a testament to the people in attendance, both guests and fans. It was such a welcoming atmosphere and such a joy to see such pure of heart interactions taking place. For me, the highlight of the night was seeing Dean O’Gorman and Stephen Hunter rip up the dance floor doing the moves to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” dance. One of the highlights of my life, really. Most of our dwarven company took a spin on the dance floor, and that was what was so wonderful. How many times in your life do you get to dance with dwarves in Germany? If you go to HobbitCon, it is very likely to happen since it did every single night this time around.

SONTAGG 20 April, 2014

Sunday kicked off with our second TORn panel “New Zealand is Middle Earth” done once again by MrCere. This panel seemed to be the best received by the fans, probably due to the beautiful imagery associated with the talk showcasing New Zealand in all its glory. The afternoon brought talks from many of the films stars in a variety of combinations. Each panel brought many laughs and a great deal of insight to both the on set experiences and the lives of our beloved dwarven company.

There were two standout panels on Sunday. One of which was given by Royd Tolkien (great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien). The audience was fully engaged and hanging on to every word he said, his charm captivated the audience and it was an honor to have had him there. He is so respected within the community and it was great to see that in person. The second stand out for me would be the talk given by Mark Atkin (Richard Armitage’s scale/stunt double). His raw enthusiasm, not just for what he does, but also for it being his first convention, was wonderful and it was fascinating hearing his stories throughout the weekend. His perspective of working on these films is a welcome addition to any con as most of the featured guests at conventions are the more well known players, however Mark’s role in the films is a vital part in the creation of that universe, so hearing a unique perspective was both refreshing and fascinating.

One of the huge draws to attending an event like this is the chance to meet and greet with your favorite star/filmmaker. Part of that opportunity means that you also have the chance to have your photo taken with one of the stars or get their autograph. The photo ops and autographs are an additional fee besides your ticket to the event, but it is always worth the experience, especially if your favorite character is there! These photo and autograph opportunities were taking place throughout the entire event at specific designated times. I witnessed fans shrieking in delight upon receiving their photo. Again, the constant enthusiasm of Tolkien fans is something I am so happy to be a part of and one of the many reasons I love this community so much.

Early evening brought the conventions costume competition! Of all of the events I have been to, this convention had some of the most incredibly detailed costumes I have ever seen. The expert craftsmanship and the time that went into these stupendous creations is something to be marveled at. The costume contest had a panel of expert judges making all of the decisions! This panel included: Royd Tolkien, William Kircher, Jed Brophy, Sadwyn Brophy, and Sir Richard Taylor! The panel’s kindness and enthusiasm towards all of the contestants was so sweet and endearing. While there were many fabulous entries into the contest, my favorite was a Bilbo and Smaug duo. The Smaug costume was both unique and intricate, such a lovely interpretation. The winners of the contest were an exquisite pair of Thruandil’s, a Thorin so perfect you would’ve sworn that it was Richard Armitage himself in full costume and a perfect pairing of Bilbo and Smaug.

After the festivities of the costume contest wore down and many a photograph was taken of the splendor surrounding the work of these fabulous artisans, a panel took place in which Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Dean O’Gorman, Adam Brown and Stephen Hunter had the crowd in stitches of laughter the entire time. The fans were asking questions that led to stories being told in pure hilarity. One fan asked to hear the story of each of their worst professional working experiences, and all of their answers were hilarious, although Adam’s story takes the cake. It would seem that he worked on a play early on in his career in which he had to “swim” in a speedo. (Censored by MrCere, thinking that story was meant for the room only! You are welcome Adam!) It was gut-wrenchingly funny. Another funny moment was when a fan asked which house in Harry Potter they would each belong to causing the actors to question the loyalty of the fan and resulting in a complete butchering of the HP house names. But this did lead to the discovery that Adam Brown had a small roll in the Harry Potter films which was quite ironic considering when this question was asked the audience booed, yet when they found out Adam was in the franchise they cheered. Ah, fans are so loyal…

The final panel of the evening was done by our very own MrCere and was aptly named “The Hobbit: A Front Row View”. The audience, as usual, had dedicated Ringers along with people who were just now being exposed to TORn. It is always great to see both familiar faces and to meet new people at these events. That for me has always been one of the greatest draws of conventions: a lot of these people you only see at events like this, except for following each other on Facebook or Twitter, but the friends you make at these cons really do become friends for life. Who else fully understands that aspect of you as a human being?

Sunday evening filled the Maritim Hotel with yet another party all throughout the halls and rooms of the ground floor. The music was loud, the party hopping and the socializing was going on all night long. The fact that you can be ripping up the dance floor with Royd Tolkien or chatting over a drink with Stephen Hunter or Dean O’Gorman is something that really makes this event super magical. Everyone is on the same level, no segregation of celebrity vs. commoner. Everyone hangs out with everyone, everyone dances with everyone, everyone has a drink with everyone, and everyone talks with everyone. It was a fabulous experience and I know that everyone who attended has memories that will last a lifetime.

MONTAG 21 April, 2014

The final day of the con, of any con really, is always filled with much love and sadness. No one ever wants to leave but is always filled with joy from the memories made but most importantly the new friends that were made. The morning brought another panel from the wonderful Mark Atkin, a panel from the amazing duo of Ken Stott and Graham McTavish, another panel from the fabulous Royd Tolkien and a final panel from the incomparable Sir Richard Taylor.

Sir Richard Taylor began his talk explaining the history of WETA and all of the amazing projects they have worked on and what a powerhouse they have been in the film industry. Seeing the visuals attached to the history was both fascinating and moving at the same time. He is so passionate about what he does and I have always believed that if you aren’t passionate about what you do that you should be doing something else. After his introduction, the visuals kept playing in the background as he answered questions. It is astounding that at the heart of this juggernaut of a company is such a humble man who is probably the most gracious individual I have ever encountered. He took the time to fully answer every fan question and would almost always find a story that was relevant to tell to coincide with his answer, and then he would sincerely thank the fan for their question. He meant it too. It is easy to tell when someone is genuine and when they are not, he is genuine and sincere and we as a fandom are incredibly lucky to have him.

I am a filmmaker and have been making movies since I was a kid (thanks to a film production company started by myself, my little sister and my mom called M.A.R.S. Productions). Much of our early work was LOTR related: including a three and a half hour parody of ROTK and a series named Middle Earth Idols. To simply say that Tolkien, Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor have been an inspiration and have been very influential in my life is probably the greatest understatement I could ever make. I have never not been a filmmaker, I don’t know how to be anything else, it’s just not who I am. During his talk, Richard said something that really stuck with me and pretty much sums everything up: “If you don’t wake up every morning and dedicate 100% of who you are to what you love, you will never be the version of yourself you are supposed to be. Artists or anyone creative need to be creating in order to be fulfilled as individuals. If we are not creating, we are not being who we are. That is why I live and breathe what I do. I would not be me if I did anything else.”. His words are eye opening and inspirational and if you have the opportunity to, please go see a talk or lecture given by him.

I had never had the pleasure of meeting Richard Taylor until I was 7,000 miles away from home in Bonn Germany, but I did get the honor of meeting him. I ran into him in the lobby and was initially hesitant to walk up to him; he is someone I really look up to. The line from the movie “We Bought a Zoo” popped in my head where Matt Damon says “All it takes is ten seconds of insane courage to accomplish something amazing.” so I walked up to him and introduced myself. I was shaking the entire time, but I told him a little bit about me and how much I respected him and what an influence he has had on me in my career. We chatted for about fifteen minutes and it was the most delightful conversation I’ve ever had. He was asking me questions about my career and just genuinely engaging in the conversation which I thought was amazing. At the end of the conversation he gave me his card and shook my hand saying that he hopes we can maybe work together one day. Basically made my life complete by saying that. Never in a million years did I think that conversation would happen, but it did, and I am eternally grateful to HobbitCon for having him there and giving me that opportunity.

The closing ceremonies took place in the early evening and allowed all of the fans to see the stars and lecturers one last time before departing. Everyone was met with immense cheers, Richard Taylor received a much deserved standing ovation and then the featured guests left the stage and thus HobbitCon had ended…. Almost. The actors who play our beloved dwarves emerged on to the stage one final time and lined up with microphones in front of them. They began to sing the Misty Mountains song. It gave everyone chills. It was the most incredibly awesome thing to witness and was the most perfect way to end such a wonderful event. What could possibly be better?!

So many wonderful and amazing things happened at HobbitCon and I simply can not wait until next year and am praying that I am able to attend because there is nothing that quite compares to totally geeking out, partying with dwarves and meeting so many people you admire all while being in Germany. ~ ImladrisRose

Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, HobbitCon, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, William Kircher

HobbitCon 2 hosts spectacular European fan weekend

hobbitconlogoThose of you who were in Bonn, Germany for HobbitCon 2 already know what a spectacular weekend it was. Those of you who didn’t attend (a much bigger group) may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, TheOneRing.net staff who did attend and lecture and photograph, will have a roundup and collection of photos soon. But we wanted to say right away, to both fellow fans, friends and founders of the Con: Thanks! It was a special event and we are honored to have participated and look forward to next year’s event! Guests included Richard Taylor, Royd Tolkien, Adam Brown, Graham McTavish, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter and William Kircher.

Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, HobbitCon, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, William Kircher

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