Spring is in the air, and it’s finally that time of year when fans get to vote on their favorite Tolkien characters. Yes, Middle-earth March Madness is back for 2017! If you are new to TheOneRing.net, Middle-earth March Madness is our adaptation on the popular NCAA Basketball tournament that takes place every March/April in the United States. It’s our chance to have some fun matching up middle-earth power players against each other. Past winners include Samwise Gamgee, Gandalf, who won in both 2013 and 2015, Thranduil, and last year’s winner Galadriel, who defeated the mighty Morgoth in the final round.
To mix things up a bit and give some other, very deserving characters a chance, the past winners mentioned above will sit this year out in the esteemed ‘Champion’s Hall of Fame.’ As for this year’s brackets, the four divisions will pit characters against each other based on the following criteria:
Movies Only – characters who appeared only in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit movies
Books Only – characters who didn’t make the final cut for the movies
Movies and Books – characters who graced both the written page and the silver screen
Wider Mythos – Middle-earth characters not in the movies from Tolkien’s works outside of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Our staff are sorting out the field of 64 initial combatants now, and we’ll be posting the first bracket and polls this Monday, March 20. Stay tuned to the front-page of TORn for the announcement to start voting, and follow along on Twitter and FB with #middleearthmarchmadness @theoneringnet
Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Jackson, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers
The word ‘mathom,’ invented by J.R.R. Tolkien, was used by Hobbits to describe anything they ‘had no use for but were unwilling to throw away.’ If that sounds familiar as you look around at your collection of Tolkien books and other collectibles, it did to Andrew Whalen at iDigitalTimes too. In Andrew’s opinion, the word mathom is so perfect for describing the clutter many of us love, it should become part of our regular vocabulary.
According to the article, “Hobbits love clutter. Many humans do too. The thought of purging a bookshelf, for example, might give you angry shivers. Everyone should have several different copies of the same book with different paperback covers!” Of course, to many Tolkien geeks that goes without saying. Further to making his case, Andrew really hits the nail on the head with his observation: “..it’s just fun to say: mathom.” We here at TORn wholeheartedly agree. Read the full article here.
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Tolkien
In addition to the many fans that posted their reviews on TORn (see yesterday’s article: 15,084 Reviews and Counting), many of our core staff chimed in with reviews soon after FOTR opened. In this article, we bring you reviews by such well-known names as Xoanon, Tehanu, Quickbeam and Ostadan. All of them capture the magic and excitement that we all experienced 15 years ago.
To begin, one lucky staffer, Tehanu, the envy of all of us, was lucky enough to attend the film’s premier in Wellington, New Zealand. Of course, Tehanu (a.k.a. Erica Challis) is one of TORn’s founders and served as our ‘feet on the ground’ and number one Ringer Spy during filming. Here are some of her impressions from the day:
“I’ve been in Wellington for a day or two and I have to tell you, the town is in a Rings uproar. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. The streets are hung with LOTR banners, everything from the Town Hall to the Evening Post’s headquarters is renamed ‘Middle Earth’ (as is the airport, I believe, though I haven’t seen that myself.) The Rings is on every newspaper, every phone bill, every electricity company billboard, on the ads for Mastercard. There are funny billboards harping on LOTR themes everywhere (“Wellington: Full of orcs, hobbits and elves. …But enough about Parliament…..”). The monster cave troll dominates Courtenay Place from its perch on the awning of the Embassy Theatre, where the plasterers are working round the clock to finish the theatre in time for the Premiere.”
Posted in Director news, Fans, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, New Line Cinema, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Studios, Wellington
On December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews – “A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.
Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.
Posted in Christopher Lee, Costume Design, Director news, Elijah Wood, Fans, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Make Up, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Original TORn, Other production, Peter Jackson, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen
TheOneRing.net isn’t the only news site reporting on the 15th anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring this week. Leigh Blickley, Senior Editor at The Huffington Post, takes us on a bit of a walk down memory lane in her article that looks back at the many people and circumstances that came together to produce the fantasy classic.
“Fifteen years ago, Hollywood was abuzz as director Peter Jackson geared up to release the first installment of his screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. The film series was the talk of the town, considering Tolkien fans were chomping at the bit to see Jackson’s cinematic imagining of Middle-earth. The somewhat unknown filmmaker took on one of the most expensive and ambitious projects in cinema history, and many worried he would flounder in bringing the beloved epic to life.
Well, Jackson delivered something far more incredible than what anyone was expecting.”
We have to agree with you, Leigh! But, we’re not the only ones. Later in the week we’ll take a look a the many reviews of stunned (in a good way) critics and fans alike. In the mean time, you can read the full HuffPost article here.
Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Jackson
Christopher Tolkien, known to all fans and scholars of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien as the devoted son who brought many of his father’s previously unpublished works to light, is to become a recipient of the 2017 Bodley Medal. The award, which includes past laureates David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking, honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds of communication and literature.
Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, said: “Christopher Tolkien’s contribution as a scholar and editor has been immense. Without his dedication and commitment, his father’s works would not have reached such a broad public audience and without his erudition and scholarship J R R Tolkien’s work would not have been presented so fully and with such authority.”
Christopher Tolkien said: “Although I have never looked for anything remotely of such a kind, I find it especially welcome to receive the Bodley Medal in that it affirms the unique significance of my father’s creation and accords a worthy place in the Republic of Letters to Tolkien scholarship. It gives me particular pleasure that the award comes from and is conceived by the Bodleian, where a great part of my father’s manuscripts lie and where I have happy memories of the great library itself.”
According to the Bookseller article, The Bodleian is planning a major Tolkien exhibition for 2018; something to put on all of our calendars!
TheOneRing.net wishes to congratulate Christopher on this well-deserved award, and express our thanks for the many hours, days and years of painstaking attention and care dedicated to furthering our enjoyment of his and his father’s works.
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien, Tolkien Family
We spotted an interesting read over at Denofgeek.com. posing the question as to whether any fantasy film will ever be able to outshine Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“Legend, Krull, The Neverending Story, Dune, all have their fans but none captured the zeitgeist anywhere close to how Lord Of The Rings did from late 2001, along with Harry Potter. We finally had fantasy films faithful to the genre’s most rock-solid source material, made by a relatively independent director in a country mostly neglected for big-budget filmmaking, and brave enough to commit to a fantasy world with both digitally-aided grandeur and a practical, lived-in feel.”
Of course, it depends on what one’s definition of ‘outshine’ is: Box office success? The ability to support sequels? Motivating people to seek out more of the particular fantasy world? Read the article, then let us know. Read more…
Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Warner Bros.
Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk
A long-standing Spring tradition was repeated this weekend in the Czech Republic. Hundreds of fans recreated a battle from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth literature. This year it was The Battle of the Five Armies from The Hobbit. Fans choose sides, join together, then march until they meet the enemy. Armed with plastic and/or foam-tipped weapons, the worst of the injuries from the battle that ensues are bumps and bruises. However, where costumes are concerned, the competition gets serious, producing some very impressive and intimating-looking warriors on both sides. Check out this story, and great video footage, from the U.K. Telegraph, and let us know in our comment section, or on our Forums, which side you’d be on if you could join the battle. Would your choice be based on which side you’d like to fight on, which would be the best cosplay opportunity, or both? Read more…
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Meet Ups, Other Events, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Photo courtesy of www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk
The Bodleian Libraries, home to the largest collection of Tolkien manuscripts and drawings in the world, has acquired a recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien and artist Pauline Baynes during her early preparations to produce a poster map of Middle-earth that was later published in 1970. The fold-out map was pulled from one of Baynes’ copies of The Lord of the Rings. In order to help her represent Middle-earth as accurately as possible, Tolkien made notes on the map (those in green ink and pencil) regarding the climate of various areas, often equating them to real places in England and Europe, in order to give Baynes an accurate idea of the area’s flora and fauna.
The map was kept by Baynes, who passed away in 2008. It resurfaced in 2015 and was acquired by the Libraries. According to the Libraries:
“The annotated map went unseen for decades until October 2015 when Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford put the map on display and offered it for sale. The purchase of the map was funded with assistance from the Victoria & Albert Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Bodleian.
This working document reveals that the creatures which enliven the final poster map – wolves, horses, cattle, elephants and camels – were all suggested by Tolkien and that Baynes drew the animals in the exact locations he specified. ‘Elephants appear in the Great battle outside Minas Tirith (as they did in Italy under Pyrrhus) but they would be in place in the blank squares of Harad – also Camels,’ wrote Tolkien.”
The Bodleian Libraries hopes to put the map on display to the public in the near future – a great reason to plan a special trip! In the meantime, read the fascinating full article here.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Image from Startraks/Rex Shutterstock
From stuff.co.nz: Peter Jackson along with fellow Oscar winner Jamie Selkirk stepped down from Sir Richard Taylor’s Miramar workshop on December 31, Companies Office documents show. The change comes ahead of new legislation which would make directors personally liable for health and safety, which the Institute of Directors said demonstrated that directors needed to be across all aspects of the business. Jackson and Selkirk both still own about one third of Weta Workshop.
Weta Workshop senior communications manager Erik Hay confirmed the law change was behind the move for Jackson and Selkirk. “The reason was centred around the law change, which will require them to be more involved on a daily basis. As a manufacturing business, it’s important they are. Peter felt he was not and decided to step out of the piece. They will still retain shares in the company.” Read more…
Posted in Director news, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, WETA Workshop
TORn’s staff and our readers know from experience that Tolkien fans can sometimes be found in surprising places. So, imagine our delight when we learned through this Washington Post story that there aren’t just Tolkien fans on the Washington D.C NFL team, quotes from The Lord of the Rings are regularly heard in the locker room and even on the playing field!
The board was set, the pieces were moving, and victory was in hand, but Kirk Cousins needed a little help with his lines.
“Is it the third day or the fifth day you’ve got to look to the East?” Cousins asked teammate Tom Compton on the FedEx Field sidelines, as the clock counted down Washington’s triumph over the Bills.
Compton grimaced at the memory, still aghast that his quarterback would need to ask.
“I was like, ‘It’s the fifth day, bro,” Compton recalled. “Like, c’mon.”
Information secured, Cousins delivered the lines that welcomed the world into his team’s growing “Lord of the Rings” fascination.
“Today, the gray became the white,” Cousins announced, as they closed in on a division championship. “We look to the East.” Read more…
Note: out of respect for our Native American readers (and non-readers) a word that is viewed by many as a racial slur has been removed from the headline and body of this article. We overlooked that in our attempt to reword the headline of the source article. We’d like to apologize to any of our readers who might have been offended, and encourage everyone to focus on the true intent of linking to the story which was to highlight how Tolkien fandom helps us all transcend labels and brings us together as a community, sometimes in the most unlooked for ways.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers
Black Friday comes to Middle-earth today at HobbitShop.com, the official online shop of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies! The shop is offering savings of up to 60% on officially licensed jewelry, phone cases, chess sets, collectibles, and more, plus Buy One, Get One 50% Off all shirts! Check it out at http://www.hobbitshop.com !
Posted in Calendars, Clothing, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Other Events, Other Merchandise, The Hobbit