Next Friday, September 22, is both Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, and has been proclaimed by the Tolkien Society as Hobbit Day. Many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, including TORn, are planning parties of special magnificence for the auspicious day, and Weta Workshop is front-and-center, ready to help put on the best party ever with their Hobbit Day Party Business Bundle. As they so aptly put it at Weta: “There ain’t no party like a Hobbit Day party because a Hobbit Day party DON’T STOP!”
The Party Business Bundle contains the following items every Hobbit-loving collector will drool over (but not on the birthday cake, please!):
The One Ring (film-accurate size 11)
Hobbit Scarf by Stansborough
One Ring Keyring
No Admittance Sign
The Unexpected Journey Art Print
Hobbit Feet magnet
The package is priced at $229 USD, but contains $368 USD worth of everything you need to enjoy Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday long after September 22 has come and gone. Speaking of September 22 coming and going, the package is available through September 29 at midnight New Zealand time, a full week after the big birthday event. You can place your order here.
We just found out that the Changeling Artist Collective is currently having a ‘There and Back Again’ online auction of Tolkien-inspired artwork. The Collective is comprised of fantasy artists, many of whom specialize in all things Tolkien, from Hobbits to dragons to landscapes. A wide variety of other fantasy-related artwork can also be found there. From their home page: “Inhabiting the more mysterious nooks of the world, the Changeling Artist Collective is comprised of creators and conjurers. We channel our abilities to weave visual tales that are sure to delight your eyeballs.”
Check out the auction site here. The thing is, the auction ends at noon EST tomorrow, September 15. Yes, we know it’s late notice, but we just found out about it ourselves, and better late then never, right? The good news is, if you don’t read this in time to bid, many of the artist’s works will still be available, and there are other auctions scheduled for the future.
Come One, Come All, the Baggins Birthday Bash is coming in just 3 weeks, time to party like Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Men, and maybe the more well behaved Orcs.
We are moving back to Griffith Park, huzzah, and to the Mineral Wells location we’ve used the past 5 or 6 years before last year’s jaunt to Long Beach. Directions can be found on our Facebook event page in the party description. The picnic will start at Noon, with activities wrapping up around 5pm so we can clean up and clear out before it gets too dark. Here are a few of the things to note:
Costumes welcome, but not required. There will be a contest, with all pomp and circumstance.
The Cake and Cupcake contest is back as well, Tolkien themed designs only, please.
Quotes contest – The Hobbit is 80 years old on September 21, so let’s keep quotes to just The Hobbit, film or book in honor of the book that introduced Middle-earth to the World.
There may be a few games as well, such as Golfimbul, depending on how much yummy food and fellowship there is, or the temperatures. Actually, the weather may also impact the number of costumes or the viability of the Cakes. I’m sure some of you remember the great Cake meltdown a few years back.
Survival, on hot days, an umbrella or pop up tent work really well, so bring them, and chairs because the park benches don’t move. On not so hot days, still bring the pop ups or at least the chairs.
Food, yes, this is a Potluck party, so bring food, at least 6 servings worth, but let’s not forget cups, plates, napkins and flatware. If you have an ice chest, bring it. Whether it is personal sized, for your own beverages, or super big to help keep lots of water, soda or juice cold. Bottles are preferred because yellowjackets do seem to like picnics too.
Please check out the Facebook event page (linked above) to RSVP your attendance and what you plan to bring, or you can RSVP to me at Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net just so we have an idea of what is being brought and where we need to fill in the gaps.
And yes, children are very welcome, bring the whole family.
TORn will be doing a panel at San Diego Comic Con on Friday, July 21 at 5pm at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel in the Grand Ballrooms 1 & 2. The Grand Ballroom is located to the right of the main Lobby as you enter from outside, we are in sections 1 & 2.
Our panel is titled “Still Tolkien about it: 80 years of Middle-earth” and will include discussion about how Professor Tolkien is still influencing pop culture, especially in Art, Literature, music, cosplay, gaming and collectibles. And as always, there will be singing.
The panel will end just before 6pm, and then everyone who wants to gather together can do so at the Marina Kitchen restaurant, also on the Lobby level but down left, at the far end of the Southern building, closest to the Convention Center.
The Hotel has not replied to us about trying to pre-book space, so like I said, we are just going to flash mob it, Middle-earth style.
For anyone showing up in Tolkien cosplay, we will grab a group photo in the Hotel lobby area by the restaurant, before heading inside, or maybe just as we hang out waiting to get into the restaurant.
Like with the Ice Cream social a few years back, this will be an informal gathering, stealth Ranger style. We are going to descend upon the restaurant and see if they will just seat everyone near each other, hopefully. There is a bar/lounge area just before entering the restaurant, so that may be where the bulk of everyone ends up. But those who want food, I highly recommend this place, even if it’s just to share some appetizers.
Our panel ends before the main hall closes next door at the Convention Center, so there should be fewer people to compete with than after 7pm. Anyhow, looking to arrive at the Marina Kitchen restaurant between 6:15pm and 6:30pm or so and staying until 8pm or beyond, allowing people to then hit up any of the other parties, screenings, and late night activities you want.
Please only RSVP attending if you will be at either the panel (which requires an SDCC badge) or at the Moot at the Marina Kitchen restaurant within the Marriott Marquis (no badge required for this one).
Aussies watching the ABC’s News Breakfast show would have seen the exciting news that Weta Workshops latest project is opening today in Melbourne. This latest project, Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers, is a giant-sized exhibition focused on all things creepy crawly. Anyone familiar with LOTR and the Hobbit will have no doubt how effective these creepy crawlies will appear. The exhibit consists of six giant replicas and aim to give visitor an up-close view of the micro world beneath our feet.
Many of you will know that Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of the Professor, is currently in New Zealand. He’s completing a ‘bucket list’ of activities left for him by his brother, Mike, who sadly died from ALS (also known as MND) in 2015. Mike was an adrenaline junkie; Royd, by his own admission, is most definitely not. His brother’s list, therefore, is a challenge for Royd, and will see him facing fears and undertaking all kinds of adventures on his mission – quest – thing…
All Royd’s exploits are being filmed for a documentary, There’s a Hole in my Bucket. You can find out more about it in this video: [click here]. Royd says, “It is a journey of discovery and inspiration,” intended “to remind people how precious and important life is and to make every second count.”
Those of you lucky enough to be in Wellington next week can join Royd on Wednesday, 12 April, at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar. At ‘An Evening with Royd Tolkien‘, you’ll hear him talk about his experiences completing his fifty
Auction item: full orc head prosthetic made by Weta Workshop
challenges (which should mostly be done by next week). You will also have the chance to bid in a fabulous auction, with none other than Jed Brophy as the star auctioneer! Today, Royd announced that one of the amazing items up for grabs is a genuine Weta Workshop full Orc Head prosthetic, made for one of Royd’s challenges (see left). What an amazing addition that would make to any Middle-earth collection! Other auction items include a Gandalf statue signed by Peter Jackson himself, and pieces signed by Richard Taylor.
And the good news is – even if you aren’t in New Zealand, you can still participate in the auction! If you check out the Facebook event page [here] you’ll find an email address for Jodie, the event coordinator. To place an absentee bid on any of the auction items, we’re told you can simply send Jodie an email, and she’ll send you the Absentee Bidding Form, which lists all the auction items, reserve prices, and any the information you may need. If you’re an avid Tolkien collector, an art fan, a wine connoisseur, a foodie, or even a keen sailor, you’ll find something to please on the incredible list of auction items. Check out the event page, contact Jodie, and grab yourself an extraordinary treasure!
The event is a fundraiser for MND New Zealand. Details on how to buy tickets to attend are on the event page. If you’d like to know more about MND New Zealand, or support them, click here.
Be sure to let us know if you attend the event – we’d love to hear all about it!
Middle-earth Madness officially starts today! We’ve split our field of 64 characters into four divisions:
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
There are some very interesting match-ups in round one this year. In one of the more intense match-ups in the Movies Only division, Tauriel is up against the Warg Matriarch, Azog’s vicious white warg. A perennial TORn fav, FIGWIT (stay-tuned for the story behind the name if you don’t know it already) takes on Alfrid, and it’s anybody’s guess as to who will come out on top in the match-up between Sebastian the Hedgehog and the Goblin Scribe.
The Books Only division is chock-full of interesting matches such as Ghan-buri-Ghan vs. Quickbeam, and The Fox (who wondered at Hobbits traveling through The Shire in FOTR) vs. Prince Imrahil.
It was almost impossible to narrow down the Movies & Books division with so many amazing choices, but there are some gut-wrenchers in the contests as they stand with Beorn going up against the Balrog and Shelob battling Sauron.
Finally, some of Tolkien’s Titans go mano-a-mano in the Wider Mythos division, with two powerful dragons, Ancalagon and Glaurung battling it out, and Beren and Huan facing each other in what is sure to be a close call.
The Slaying of Glaurung, by Ted Nasmith
A note on how the bracket combatants were determined. TheOneRing.net created a document containing all combatants, sub-divided into divisions. We asked staff to cast sixteen votes per division, with the votes having a weight of 1-4. Each staffer cast four 4 votes, four 3 votes, four 2 votes and four 1 votes in each division. We then totaled all the votes from each division to determine their rank, and ultimately placed the top 16 into each bracket for seeding.
As you can imagine, our staff is diverse and the results were very interesting! Not only are there some great match-ups in this first round, the final four will pose some amazing choices between the various literary and film sources.
Voting in Round 1 will remain open until March 22nd at 10:00 p.m. EST. At that point, we’ll calculate the winners and post the next round on March 23rd. Follow after the break for a complete bracket image [download it], and to vote on all of our Round 1 match-ups! [Round 1 Bracket] (more…)
On the upcoming episode of DC Legends of Tomorrow, airing this Tuesday, March 21 at 9:00 p.m. EST on The CW channel, the team goes back to France during WWI and enlists the help of, yes, J.R.R. Tolkien. The episode is titled “Fellowship of the Spear.” From IMDB: “The Legends land in France during World War I and enlist the aid of J.R.R. Tolkien to retrieve the last pieces of the Spear of Destiny from the Legion of Doom.”
Tolkien is being played by actor Jack Turner known, among other things, for his role as Liam in the Stitchers series and the movie The 10-Year Plan. Here is the link to the trailer for the episode (although they don’t mention Tolkien in trailer). Definitely one to put on your watch list! If you’re unable to watch or DVR it, you can stream it online after it airs at the same link.
Sunday 12th February the British Academy of Film and Television Arts held their annual film awards. Our favourite citizen of Lake-town Luke Evans was there as a presenter; and even more excitingly for Middle-earth fans, Viggo Mortensen was nominated in the Leading Actor category, for Captain Fantastic. (The award went to Casey Affleck, for Manchester by the Sea.)
Mortensen was of course on the red carpet, where he was interviewed by Zoe Ball. Many of you will have seen the fabulous picture (right) of Mortensen hanging out with an elf and some hobbits, the day after the Screen Actors Guild awards. In the Bafta interview, he explained how that came about. Take a look:
It’s heartwarming to know that the bonds forged amongst the cast of The Lord of the Rings are still as strong today – just as the friendships and connections we fans have made are unbreakable. I’m told that in Finland they celebrate friendships on Valentine’s Day – seems a good time to raise a glass to Fellowship! Cheers!
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.
New York ComicCon is fast approaching – and TheOneRing.net will be returning to the Big Apple! We can’t wait to see you all there – full details to come soon. Meanwhile, SAVE THE DATE for our annual ‘Ringers Take Manhattan’ gathering!
This is one of the only TORn parties on the East Coast, and this year it takes place on Thursday 6th October at 8pm. It will be at The East Wing, a private venue in Manhattan, and will include all the usual fun, food, drink, goody bags, raffle – and YOU, we hope!
We’ll post soon about how to get tickets – watch this space! We hope you’ll be joining us to party in New York City.
Between now and August 13, The Dukes theater in Lancashire, U.K., will be performing J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit as their summer season’s ‘walkabout’ outdoor show. The audience will literally follow along as Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf, Thorin, and his company of dwarves on their mission, quest, thing, to regain their long-lost treasure from the dragon Smaug. From the Westmorland Gazette:
Since 1987, The Dukes walkabout shows have transformed Williamson Park into Neverland, Oz, Ancient Greece and now Middle Earth.
“I feel like the park chose The Hobbit,” explained The Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion. “There are some shows – and this is one of them – where people’s instant reaction is to say that will be great in the park. It’s the natural environment for it. The strongest elements in the book are its humour and charm. We plan to capture this, offering an intimate experience where the audience can get really close to all these fascinating characters and creatures.”
According to the Gazette article, there’s also a Lord the The Rings and The Hobbit movie connection in that Andy Serkis began his professional acting career at The Dukes, performing in its first outdoor performance in 1987. Performances of The Hobbit are at 7:15 p.m. nightly except for Sundays. Visit The Dukes website for more information and to purchase tickets.
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