Just the other day, I was pondering the 12 silver pennies that Barliman Butterbur uses to buy Bill the Pony for Our Heroes in Bree. That, and the coins that he gives Merry as recompense for the ponies that fled Prancing Pony stables and eventually made their way back to Tom Bombadil.
It’s interesting because this is one of the very few times a unit of currency is directly mentioned in the main text of The Lord of the Rings. In fact, the further we get from The Shire, the less money (and economics) becomes a factor within the story.
But how do economies work in Middle-earth? We know that, at least in the Third Age, trade of a sort occurs. Tobacco and other goods make their way to Isengard from The Shire. Bilbo purchases goods from Dale and Erebor for his farewell party. And the elves of Mirkwood do business with Lake-town and the mysterious region of Dorwinion. (more…)
This adorable video makes an excellent addition to Air New Zealand’s more lighthearted and fun approach to safety videos shown at the beginning of every flight.
Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi has taken two Middle-earth fans and placed them in the middle of an Epic Journey, surrounded by Hobbits, Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, and some of them are the actual actors from the films. All the bases are covered, seat belts, electronic devices, life vests, etc, but there is a very definite Middle-earth vibe going on. (more…)
With little more than a month left before the final film in The Hobbit trilogy hits screens, we are excited to debut the fabulous cover art for The Battle of the Five Armies special edition soundtrack courtesy of our good friends at WaterTower Music.
As with the special edition soundtracks previously released for An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, this is a 2-CD set (that will, presumably, contain additional music not available on the regular edition).
Barliman’s chat op Miriel writes to tell us that tickets for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will begin in Finland on November 22.
Ready your elven cloaks and dig out your dwarven armour — it is time to lay siege of the Lonely Mountain! Or in other words, we have the date for the Finnish ticket sales to the Battle of Five Armies. (more…)
If you’re in the market for a physical (BluRay or DVD) copy of The Desolation of Smaug Special Extended Edition, we think you may appreciate this handy buyer’s guide that Ringer TheHutt has laboriously assembled. It covers a number of markets (not just the USA and Canada): United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Special Extended Edition buyer’s guide
By Ringer TheHutt
Like last year, there are a great many versions of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition out there. In the USA, there are exclusive releases (for certain chains only), whereas in Europe there are some interesting designs not released elsewhere. (more…)
Playing a bit of catch-up. This isn’t exactly new anymore, but in case you missed it, Total Film features an interview with Peter Jackson in the November issue of their magazine talking about how the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is coming together. (more…)
Hollywood movie studio accounts are famously opaque, but in New Zealand Warner Bros. is obliged to file detailed accounts of production spending on Peter Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.
Associated Press reports the latest filings reveal that, as of March this year, total production costs had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars — the equivalent of US $745 million. AP reports it is unclear whether the documents factor in worldwide marketing and distribution costs into this figure.
Just a gentle reminder that you are now able to download a digital copy of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition from iTunes and Google Play.
Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson continues his Middle-earth saga that follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who’s swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. In the company of thirteen dwarves and the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo enters the Lonely Mountain in possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring and his keen blade, Sting.
With an all-star cast, including many acclaimed actors from The Lord of the Rings (such as Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and more), and the effects wizardry of Jackson’s award-winning Weta Workshop, Tolkien’s epic story comes to life as never before imagined.
The Extended Edition film is 25 minutes longer with new and extended scenes, not seen in the theatrical release.
One of the big visual secrets of the final Middle-earth movie from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” is Dain Ironfoot. Played by Billy Connoly, Dain is a character that is essential to the story but isn’t incredibly fleshed out in J.R.R. Tolkien source material that was originally intended for children.
Our own Demosthenes has this excellent analysis of Connolly as Dain complete with quotes and descriptions of the character. It has long been reported that Dain will arrive on the scene riding a war boar but clearly Jackson’s team has been careful not to reveal this in any teaser trailers so far, and, lets hope it stays that way.
But, visuals of the character have started to seep into the public eye. With giant franchise films like The Hobbit, it’s impossible to put a lid on too much because merchandise and toys need to start selling before the film hits theaters (and before it is finished!) and that means that at the very least, clues are out in the wild.
The image at the top of this story, for example, clearly displays Lego Dain and it jives with the descriptions that are out there including this one from Connolly via Yahoo Australia:
“They’re basically broadening me, making me wider. But let me say, this guy will terrify the life out of you. I have a Mohawk and tattoos on my head. You’ve got to see it.”
The Lego character appears to be a ginger and is wearing a red chest piece as part of his armor, giving him a distinct look that will visually set him apart in cinemas so viewers will know instantly that he isn’t like the dwarves we have spent so much time with so far. He is a new element with a distinct mount, armor and will be immediately recognizable and unique.
The Lego Dain even evokes a little bit of Connolly to me visually, although it could be a previous bias.
The concept art here seems to really compliment the Lego image as something close to Dain’s final design. The helms certainly seem similar in shape and color and the beards seem the same in shape and color. There are differences however in the color of the breastplate, although details on a Lego toy are only meant to be a representation and not a literal translation. In fact the looking and speculation from still images of a toy and a concept art is fun because of how different the motion picture experience is from a still image. In the day of CGI, what is filmed may or may not even resemble what ends up on screen.
UPDATE EDIT: Readers have correctly pointed out the below image is of Dwalin. The writer has been sacked.
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