It’s hard to believe it’s almost two weeks since staffers deej, Thorongil and greendragon gathered at LI Geek Con (Islip, May 2nd and 3rd). A new convention, taking place for the first time, LI Geek was small but lots of fun, with a great atmosphere.
Perhaps the biggest draw at the convention was actor Graham McTavish, there both for his role as Dwalin and for his lead role in the popular television show Outlander. He spoke at four Q&A sessions – two focusing on Outlander and two, lead by greendragon, centering on The Hobbit. Many fans had made the trip to Long Island just to see McTavish, and even at such a small convention, there were some fabulous Hobbit costumes to be seen! McTavish himself commented on the quality of many of the costumes, remarking that one particular Dwalin costume was up there amongst the very best he had seen.
For fans who hope to meet an idol, such small conventions are the best opportunity; McTavish’s supporters were able to spend a little time actually chatting with him, rather than just being rushed through the autograph line. He was as charming, erudite and amusing as ever, sharing in his panels tales from the sets of The Hobbit, Rambo and Outlander, as well as from his start acting and the journey which led him to Middle-earth. (He mentioned that he read The Hobbit to his older daughter, and each time Dwalin was mentioned in the book, she cheered; her classmates all know him not as ‘Mr. McTavish’ or ‘Honor’s Dad’ but as Dwalin!)
The convention was also attended by celebrities such as David Warner (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Tron and more), actor Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones) and actor Nina Toussaint-White (Doctor Who). Panels and discussion groups were held, covering many topics. TORn presented a look forward to what we might see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, what’s next for fans of Middle-earth, and a discussion group entitled ‘Kick the Hobbit!’ – chatting (with much affection) about the things which we loved and some we didn’t love so much in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy.
Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport…
LI Geek Con had the unusual distinction of being the only convention any of us had ever attended which was actually held in an airport! Our table, where we met with convention goers, sold shirts, buttons and lanyards, and gave out prizes, was directly opposite the baggage claim! Some folks arriving on flights into Islip airport seemed bemused to see all the costumes and displays, but the experience turned out to be rather charming. One gentleman, arriving at the airport to catch a flight, caught sight of our table as he entered. His face lit up. He hurried over, and eagerly purchased a ‘Keep Calm and Read Tolkien’ t-shirt. He told us he has read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion seventy-five times each! He had read that a convention was taking place on Long Island, and was disappointed that he didn’t have time to attend – and yet, here we were, in the airport! We asked where he was flying to, and he revealed that he was returning home after flying up for his mother’s funeral. We all of course offered our condolences – and he said that seeing the convention and getting his TORn t-shirt had cheered him up no end! Serendipity bringing a smile all round at MacArthur airport…
An intimate, fledgling convention, LI Geek Con was warm, friendly, and lively – and TORn was delighted to play a part in it. Now we’re looking forward to seeing fans at more conventions through the summer and into the Fall – San Diego ComicCon, DragonCon or New York Comic Con, anyone?
TORn is looking to host another Laketown Luau during San Diego Comic Con in July. In fact, we may well make this an annual event so that Tolkien fans can stay connected at one of the biggest Pop Culture events in the world. But we’d like to ask you, the readers, if this is something that would really interest you.
The Laketown Luau is a mashup event with both a Tolkien theme and a Luau theme mixed together, resulting in costumed hula contests, Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon games and lots of fun and fellowship. The advantage of holding the event during San Diego Comic Con is that Tolkien fans attending the convention from all over the world will be in town that week and can attend. Even better, holding the event off-site means that non-attendee fans from So Cal can also attend the party.
HobbitCon 3 took place just a couple weeks ago in Germany and our friends at Henneth-Annun were on-hand to get the low-down.
They’ve compiled an extensive English-language report on the three-day convention, as well as many quotes from Q&A panels featuring Luke Evans, Graham McTavish, Sylvester McCoy, Lawrence Makaore, John Bell and more.
Don’t forget to click the link at the bottom to read the complete report.
HobbitCon 3: third time’s a charm!
by Peter “TheHutt” Klassen
I do remember the very first HobbitCon. When FedCon GmbH, the organizing company, announced a new convention during the RingCon 2012 dedicated exclusively to “The Hobbit”, with the participation of 11 dwarves from Thorin’s Company (although two of them cancelled later), I didn’t know what to think about it. That was even before the first movie from PJ’s second trilogy was released, and the dwarf actors were only known to us from the director’s video blogs. And in fact, the first HobbitCon proved to be a commercial failure, though it had a very pleasant and homely atmosphere.
Luckily, the organizers didn’t give up, and the second HobbitCon fared much better than the first one. And now, after the third HobbitCon (christened by Mark Ferguson “HobbitCon DREI”, which is German for “three”) has passed, you can really tell that there was barely room to swing a cat. If the first HobbitCon had just 800 visitors during the weekend, the third one had 5500 guests from over 27 countries! The Maritim hotel in Bonn was bursting, and the amount of Fili & Kili cosplay couples was staggering.
Speaking objectively, the HobbitCon is a unique event in the whole world. International conventions usually work with several mixed genres, there are many different fandoms present at a convention, with each fandom represented by just one or two actors. These are giant commercial vehicles, with an airplane hangar-like atmosphere. The HobbitCon is very different. You do not need to stay in a line overnight to get into a Q&A panel hall. You can be partying in a bar and suddenly find yourself on the dance floor together with Graham McTavish, Jed Brophy or even Luke Evans. Of course it is not for free – but still, three days of positive emotions, homely atmosphere and the feeling that the movie actors have become your friends, are worth it.
TheOneRing.net will be at Long Island Geek Convention this weekend (May 2nd and 3rd) along with Dwalin himself, Graham McTavish! In addition to having TOR.n t-shirts, buttons, and lanyards for sale at our fan table (or try your hand at Tolkien trivia for a fun prize!), we’re also participating in several panels throughout the weekend. Stop by and say hello!
11:00-12:00Tales of the Hobbit with Graham McTavish; Graham McTavish tells tales of his adventures as Dwalin in the Hobbit movie trilogy. Hosted by Kirsten Cairns/Greendragon from TheOneRing.net
14:00–15:00Extended Edition, Biopics … Silmarillion? What’s next for fans of Middle-earth?;
Staffers from TheOneRing.net speculate and share inside info on what may be in the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And once that is released – to what can fans look forward next? Could The Silmarillion ever make it on to the big screen?
20:00–21:00 There and Back Again – a look back over the 17 year journey through Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth; Staffers from TheOneRing.net get nostalgic! Join us as we recall the journey from Fellowship to Five Armies – the ups and downs, the quests to New Zealand, the fans and friends we met along the way. How has
your passion for Tolkien and for these movies enriched YOUR life?
10:00–11:00 Tales of the Hobbit with Graham McTavish; Graham McTavish tells tales of his adventures as Dwalin in the Hobbit movie trilogy. Hosted by Kirsten Cairns/Greendragon from TheOneRing.net
13:00–14:00 Kick the Hobbit! All the things we love and hate about Peter Jackson’s second Middle-earth trilogy; A love of Tolkien is the common bond shared by all staffers at TheOneRing.net; and most of us also love Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. But we still have our personal pet peeves – and now is the chance to air them! Join us to let rip about those things which just didn’t work in The Hobbit trilogy – and maybe a few from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, too! (We say it all with a great deal of affection…)
The next fantastic Weta item we’re going to be taking a look at made its debut at Comic-Con 2014. King Thror on Throne was a surprise to fans like myself, but it is not surprise that Weta has once again shown the ability to rip what we see on screen and put that right into our collections. The piece has amazing details, including the symbol of the Arkenstone on the back of the throne and the rings on Thror’s hands. Despite his all-to-short screen time, I would highly suggest adding this beautiful piece depicting the great king of the Dwarves, Thror, to your collection.
When TheOneRing.net marked its 10th anniversary in 2009, we celebrated in style. In fact, we had such a good time, we decided to continue to celebrate every year on April 26, the date that TORn was established.
Founders Day is TheOneRing.net’s official holiday, filled with the best that a virtual party can offer. If you’re new(er) to the site, it’s a chance to find out about the roots of the site, about the four founders, and to say thanks to the people who keep this place going.
If you’ve been around for a bit, it’s a great day to reminisce, tell war stories, and reflect on all the adventures and friendships that have been forged over the years.
Look for a few special party threads on our message boards (mostly on Main, Off Topic and Feedback) — so don’t be shy! Hunt around, find a party game you like, or a conversation you enjoy, and dive in!
Plus Barliman’s is always open. While we understand they don’t currently have a special event planned, they always welcome both old friends and new visitors, so why not drop in and say Hi!
Here’s to our Founders (from left to right below: Corvar, Xoanon, Tehanu, Calisuri).
Happy 16th TORniversary, TheOneRing.net!
As part of our celebrations every year we reprise posting the TORn ‘Valaquenta’ below. The TORn ‘Valaquenta’ was written by member Alassëa Eruvende and set most beautifully to paper by our dear friend Daniel Reeve, calligrapher and artist for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Enjoy!
On March 28, 2015 TheOneRing.net livestreamed an interview with animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi to discuss the first-ever “The Lord of the Rings” film (1978), and to parse the differences between homage and rip-off (and the not-so-nebulous chains of inspiration from one artist to another).
Bakshi revealed to us that his Studio’s “LOTR” character designs and artwork were sent down to Three Foot Six in New Zealand; elevating the conversation of his impact on the live-action epic.
The subversive director has lived through numerous controversies, yet remains undervalued by Ringer fans and feels personally slighted by Jackson. He carries on vigorously at 77 years old with a new crowdfunded animated work, “The Last Days of Coney Island” and his intent to direct a “Wizards 2″ follow-up to his 1977 cult hit.(more…)
The newest environment to from Weta Workshop has landed as an in-stock purchase. The House of Beorn from The Hobbit: The Desolation Smaug joins the other amazing places that are part of so many collections. Beorn’s house comes in with an edition size of only 750 pieces world wide and is priced at $279. If you are in the UK it is back-ordered until June.
We know that many fans are in New York this week, enjoying the fabulous Lord of the Rings in Concert performances at Lincoln Center. For those of you who can’t be there, here’s a short video to enjoy, which captures the excitement of seeing these great films with live orchestra:
We hope that everyone who is there is having a great time in the Big Apple!
While fans of basketball were enjoying a Duke victory in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Middle-earth fans were preparing for the epic final of Middle-earth March Madness: Gandalf vs. Bilbo Baggins! This year we decided to keep the poll results hidden to heighten the suspense. I must admit, I took full advantage of my special access to watch the results intently. When we first opened the battle, Bilbo took an early (hobbit-sized) lead of only 1%. Over the next 48 hours, the combatants exchanged that lead nearly every hour. It was a neck and neck competition that only revealed a clear winner in the last 12 hours.
We closely watched for voter fraud and we are pleased to report that no over-voting was recorded. Each vote had a unique IP. So without further delay, we are pleased to announce that the 2015 Middle-earth March Madness Champion is….
This is it! The Finals are set! An epic battle of historic proporations! In one corner we have Gandalf, the Istar responsible for helping save the fate of all Middle-earth. In the other, Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit who would successfully weild and then, more importantly, pass on the most powerful object in Middle-earth, The One Ring.
Since this is the finals, we are not going to share the results until the contest is complete. So you will NOT see a percentage of votes when you cast your own vote. Don’t fret, the committee will be monitoring the competition behind the scenes.
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.