DragonCon, the annual pop culture convention held on Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia has announced that there will no longer be a Tolkien’s Middle-earth programming track. Instead, any Tolkien-related content will be absorbed into other programming tracks, such as Fantasy Literature, Costuming, and Main Programming.
This is a huge blow to the thousands of Tolkien fans that have attended DragonCon over the years. The Tolkien track has been a staple of DragonCon’s programming, long before Peter Jackson’s films were released. Over the years the track has presented quality panels on the books, films, music, and costuming. They’ve hosted actors from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies, as well as Tolkien artists and scholars. Bonds of friendship and love have been forged from time spent in the track room and for many friends it is the one time each year they get to see each other.
For the last 9 years, TOR.n staffer MrCere has been Tolkien’s Middle-earth track director. Yesterday he announced the end on the Tolkien Track’s Facebook page:
In my personal opinion, this is a terrible decision. In brief I told DragonCon:
* I think Tolkien shouldn’t be lumped into fantasy, for his sake and for dominating the rest of the fantasy content
* There is scholarship about Tolkien that differentiates him & his works from every single other Fantasy creator
* Tolkien content is still coming out new, at a solid rate, including a new book in 2017
* 80 years of fandom and counting, not a fad or trend
*Tolkien brings mainstream respectability to the whole convention and transcends just fantasy / just generally geekery
* Guest potential (Weta Digital & Weta Workshop & actors)
* Because good things are worth fighting for
* It harms Dragon Con by removing it
I hope WE can be united as a fandom, of which I am a member. It would be nice to form something of a Fellowship to Vote Bilbo — if some of you know that reference.
The Tolkien track would love to continue as long as DragonCon does, but at the very least they’d like one last year to hold a proper goodbye. If you would like to voice your support for the Tolkien track, PLEASE contact DragonCon and let them know (politely)! Click HERE, and select DragonCon Office under the list of departments. As Tolkien fans have proven time and time again, even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
On this date in 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa. Over his long lifetime, he delighted readers and fans world-wide with his writings including essays, children’s books and his beloved novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, that center around a race of short, down-to-earth creatures who live, of all places, in (very nice) holes in the ground.
Today, TORn joins millions of fans worldwide in celebrating Tolkien’s birthday. If you have the time and the inclination, you may want to join other fans gathering at local pubs where members of the Tolkien Society will be raising a glass and toasting: “The Professor!” If you’d like to learn more about the annual January third tradition, or find a local gathering near you, visit the Tolkien Society’s Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017 page here. Or instead, you may just want to curl up with a favorite Tolkien story or poem and toast him quietly with a nice cup of tea.
However you decide to celebrate, join us in wishing a happy birthday to “The Professor,” who’s life’s work has come to mean so much to us. Happy birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!
It really was the best of times. Not just the opening night of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (or whenever you saw the film for the first time). What about when you first found out that Lord of the Rings films were being made? Maybe, like staffer Garfeimao, it prompted you to start searching the internet and you found TORn. Perhaps, like staffer Magpie, you had been longing for something different and/or better than the animated movies (no matter how sentimental and quaint they seem now). Perhaps you were a lifelong fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, and had misgivings like deej and JPB. For me, it was all of the above!
Please enjoy reading the memories and impressions of some of our core staff, and share your own memories of how you learned of the LOTR movie, how you found TheOneRing.net and/or what your first impressions of FOTR were, either in the comments section, or on our Lord of the Rings Movie discussion forum.
Due to the holidays, we’ll be continuing our stories related to the 15-year anniversary of the release of FOTR into this week. No series about The Fellowship of the Ring would be complete without mentioning the amazing music of Howard Shore and some of the talented people who brought it to life.
From the minute the screen lit up to the end of the credits, Shore’s Oscar-winning score held us spellbound. As the music accompanied the action of the movie, unique themes for the cultures of Middle-earth, even The One Ring itself, wove themselves through the movie seamlessly. Haunting solos and full-voiced choirs added both poignancy and excitement to the film. If you’re like me, you literally wore out your first CD of the score! Fortunately, there were a number of opportunities to acquire other editions such as The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Complete Recordings.
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.”
A number of other sites around the internet are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring this week, and/or The Lord of the Rings movie franchise in general. For the convenience of our readers, we put together this one-stop shop for a stroll down memory lane. We’ll bring more to you during the week as we find them. Enjoy!
One month on from New York ComicCon, we thought readers might enjoy a gallery of images from the event – to see the fun which unfolded in the Big Apple, and perhaps to reminisce, if you were there!
Big thanks to all who came and visited TORn’s booth this year. The convention was bigger than ever, and fighting one’s way around the show floor is no easy feat! It is always a delight to meet with fellow fans, and we loved chatting with all who came by – or who joined us at the ‘Fan Meet-up’ on Saturday night. And of course it was a joy to hang out with everyone who joined us on the Thursday evening for our annual ‘Ringers take Manhattan’ party. Special thanks to Graham McTavish for coming along, and being a true gent to all the partygoers. (more…)
A month into its run (which began with a period of previews, followed by press night and opening later in October), Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Love, Love, Lovehas six weeks to go before the limited run ends on December 18th. The production has been gaining strong reviews – here’s a glowing one from The New York Times. TORn’s own review comes from staffer greendragon, who saw the production early in its run, before the press night.
Previewed during Comic-Con 2016 at the Weta Cave, our friends at Weta Workshop are proud to announce their newest statue for The Hobbit Trilogy line of statues. Joining the collections of many collectors world-wide is none other than The Witch-King as we saw him at Dol Guldur during The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. This fantastic statue is a super dynamic pose of The Witch-King looking to take out a member of The White Council. Collectors, you can add this to your collection for $349 and I would do so quickly as the edition size of this one comes in at only 750 pieces. The expected delivery of this one is scheduled for December of this year.
If you weren’t able to join us at our ‘Ringers Take Manhattan’ party last week, then you missed the chance to party with Graham McTavish, who joined us towards the end of the evening. We’ll be bringing you a full write up from New York ComicCon in the next day or so; in the meantime, as a consolation, here’s your chance to spend some time enjoying the company of not only McTavish, but also the fabulous Stephen Hunter.
As you know from our interview with him in September, Stephen is creating a series of video interviews called ‘Actors Talk About Themselves’. Having already spoken with fellow dwarves Nori and Oin (aka cast members Jed Brophy and John Callen), Dwalin is the latest interviewee. The two gents are good friends and the interview is as funny and irreverent as you might expect. Enjoy! We’re looking forward to seeing Stephen’s next interview.
Staffers from TORn have started arriving in the Big Apple to set up our booth – that means New York ComicConis almost upon us! The fun kicks off at 10am tomorrow morning; here are some of the highlights for Tolkien fans:
First of all, TORn’s booth this year is number 3164. This is NOT our usual corner spot – we could only get an ‘inline’ booth this year. But look for the usual ‘tent’ and you’ll find us! As ever, we’ll have t-shirts and buttons for sale, and we have some fabulous items for our ‘lucky dip’ giveaways! It’s an election year even in Middle-earth; here are the t-shirts we’ll have on sale this year: (more…)
Once again our friends at the Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship are hosting their annual “Evening in Middle-earth”. This year their Guest of Honour is none other than dwarvish prankster, Nori, the wonderful Jed Brophy! So if you’re from Brisbane or planning on visiting Queensland this month, why not head along to An Evening in Middle-earth on October 15.
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