124 years ago today, on January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa. Forty-five years later, in 1937, his book The Hobbit, was published which he had written for his children. Together with its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it launched generations of readers on adventures through the invented world of Middle-earth that would impact many of us for the rest of our lives.
Today, we here at TORn join millions of fans worldwide in celebrating Tolkien’s birthday. On this day, you might read a favorite passage or two from Tolkien’s writings or, like many of our message board members, you might even be in the midst of your annual read-through of The Hobbit and/or The Lord of the Rings.
Many fans will be gathering at local pubs with fellow member of the Tolkien Society to raise a glass to: “The Professor!” If you’d like to learn more about the annual January third tradition, or even find a local gathering near you, visit the Tolkien Society’s Tolkien Birthday Toast 2016 page here.
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!
Calling all Ringers in New Zealand and those planning on heading to New Zealand in March 2016. The team over at Welly-moot are arranging an event of special magnificence, assisted by the lovely crew at Roxy Theatre Wellington.
As you know, last week a select group of fans in London were treated to a screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. Some pretty special guests were in attendance – we hope many of you were able to watch via the live stream!
The organisers behind the event have sent us along this report:
“On Saturday, 7th November 2015, a number of the world’s biggest and most passionate fans of TheHobbitfilm trilogy assembled in London for a very special screening event, where they were joined by a host of special guests, to celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital release, and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s incredible The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest competition. The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release is the final film in the globally popular The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Kyle Pedley of (A)musings Media, who was among the UK-based winners of the global fan competition, organised and hosted the event along with fellow members of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, with help from Warner Bros. Pictures UK and Tourism New Zealand. International winners flew in from all over the globe – from as far afield as the United States, Mexico and Eastern Europe – to take part in an evening full of surprises and special appearances.
Guests were not only treated to an exclusive UK screening of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy’s epic conclusion at Warner Bros. Pictures’ own private screening theatre ahead of its home entertainment release, but were also treated to surprises including a video message from director Sir Peter Jackson all the way from New Zealand, and a Q&A session with a panel of distinguished guests.
These included Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of author J.R.R. Tolkien and long-time advocate and supporter of the film adaptations (who made a cameo appearance in 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), and writer / broadcaster Brian Sibley, who has long been involved in the community celebrating the author’s legacy, having been jointly responsible for the acclaimed 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and penning a number of official behind-the-scenes books and guides for both of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Finally, to the excitement and disbelief of fans – met with an uproarious standing ovation – came the surprise appearance of film, theatre and television icon Sir Ian McKellen, known and beloved around the world for his defining portrayal of the Wizard Gandalf in Jackson’s Middle-earth and the only principle cast member to appear in all six films across both celebrated film trilogies.
Other special guests in attendance included a contingent of Middle-earth ‘cosplayers’ – The Galactic Knights, who showcased some of their terrific Hobbit- and Rings-inspired costumes and replicas; Chairman of The Tolkien Society, Shaun Gunner; and Rachel Sprackett of Tourism New Zealand.
Kyle Pedley, The Hobbit Fan Fellowship member and host of the event, said:
“This was an incredible, unprecedented celebration of the impact both these films and also last year’s incredible competition have had on people from all corners of the globe. To have such a dedicated group of fans, who last year formed their own genuine fellowship over the course of a magical week in New Zealand, reunite for this special occasion was just an absolute joy to behold and be part of. To be joined by the likes of Royd Tolkien, Brian Sibley and Sir Ian McKellen, and have such a fantastic personal video message from Sir Peter Jackson over in New Zealand, was an absolute thrill and honour. The guests were not aware or expecting any of it, and their reactions to not only the surprises, but also getting to see one another again, were a moving reminder of how indelible and genuine the bonds of fellowship formed in New Zealand really were.”
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest was an international search conducted in 2014 by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Warner Bros. to find 75 of the world’s biggest Hobbit fans. Over 140,000 people registered for the competition, and over a two month period were required to complete a series of tasks and challenges, including testing their knowledge of New Zealand as the cinematic Middle-earth, designing a postcard for Peter Jackson, and also producing their own two-minute videos detailing their favourite memories of Middle-earth and demonstrating why they were the biggest fans of the franchise.
The winners and their +1s were then flown to New Zealand for an incredible, all-expenses paid trip which spanned both Islands and included visits to the actual filming locations from the movies, a special tour of the Hobbiton Set itself in Matamata, a special Maori Cultural welcome ceremony and Hangi Banquet, a visit to Weta Workshop where all of the creatures, costumes, weapons and special effects of the Middle Earth films were made, and finally a private screening of the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in the company of Peter Jackson himself, over a month before its theatrical release.”
The day has finally come and gone when many of you were lucky enough to view The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies in theaters. TORn’s facebook page, the discussion boards and Barli’s chat are all buzzing with excited observations! Many of our staffers saw it too and, as it TORn tradition, we’ll be featuring their comments and insights here, as well as a spoilery picture or two. Speaking of spoilers, they abound in the rest of this article, so read no further if you haven’t seen the EE yet and don’t want to be spoiled until you do!
A reminder that the extended edition of The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, will be airing tonight across the U.S.. As we reported back in early August, this is the first in a series of live showings of all three extended editions of The Hobbit movies sponsored by Fathom Events and Warner Bros. AUJ will air tonight at 7:30 local time. Many local theaters are carrying it, so if you don’t have tickets, and feel like having a last minute visit with some of your favorite characters such as Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Saruman, etc., check your local theater!
Also remember that the EE of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will air at the same time and same theaters this Wednesday, October 7th, with the big wrap-up occurring a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, October 13th with the first public showing of the EE of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with a special introductory message from Peter Jackson.
Those of you lucky enough to see one, or all three, be sure to leave comments below letting us all know how it was!
Come one, come all to TORn’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, held in the Mineral Wells section of Griffith Park this coming Sunday, starting at noon. This is a potluck event, so bring your own beverages, munchies or sweets, and consider sunscreen and hats for the heat. Please do RSVP for the Baggins Birthday Bash by emailing garfeimao@TheOnering.net or head over to our Facebook event page where you will get an idea of what others are bringing, and what you might want to contribute. TORn staffers will be hosting a variety of fun and games, with a few prizes thrown in for good measure, here is a tentative schedule of events.
12pm – Official Start (arrive a little early if brining a pop up tent or tables)
12:30pm – Silmarillian discussion with TORn Bookclub host Sarumann
1:30pm – Middle-earth Cake and Cupcake contest judging begins
2pm – Middle-earth Trivia
2:45pm – Middle-earth Quotes contest (brush up on both book and film quotes)
3:30pm – Pin the Black Arrow on the Dragon
4pm – Golfimbul
For directions, here is a map of the Park, just work your way towards the Mineral Wells location. Griffith Park Map
Update: Accidentally posted Sept. 27, the event will be this weekend, Sunday, September 20.
Calling all Tolkien Fans in Brisbane Queensland, the coming month is full of Middle-earth goodies presented for you by the Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship. So if you’re a Brisbane local, or you’re planning on visiting Brisbane this month, come along and join in the fun!
This Saturday, the American Cinematheque will be screening the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and offer a tribute to the legendary Christopher Lee and the brilliant Andrew Lesnie. There will be video greetings from Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett, and live discussions between the films with Mark Ordesky after FOTR and William Kircher after TTT. Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway will be hosting the Q&A, and there will be some T-shirt sales and some Trivia contests to give away prizes. The screenings will begin at 1pm at the Aero Theater , 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. Doors open at 12noon, so come early, play games, meet new friends and have fun. You can get your tickets at the American Cinematheque website.
Fathom Events has come out with a trailer for the special showings of all three Hobbit extended editions in early October. The trailer, which is 2 minutes, 19 seconds long, contains shots from all three EEs, including The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Needless to say… spoilers ahead!
The Fathom Events trailer shows only a few seconds of new material sandwiched in between familiar scenes from the theatrical release. However, a quick eye can catch some tantalizing hints about some of the new material. Some of what the sharp-eyed members of our Hobbit Movie discussion forum are buzzing about are listed below (spoiler warning!):
The American Cinematheque will be screening their annual LOTR Extended Edition Trilogy marathon on Saturday, September 12 at the Aero Theater, 1328 Montana ave. in Santa Monica. In addition to the films, this will also be a tribute to Christopher Lee and Andrew Lesnie with discussions between the films with executive producer Mark Ordesky, and more guests to be announced. For details on how to get tickets and directions, please go to American Cinematheque website.
As usual, TheOneRing.net will be at the theater all day long, but in lieu of trivia contests on stage between films, we will host a few ‘pop trivia questions’ in the concession lines. After all, what else are you going to do while standing in line when you could be having fun winning stuff. All this because there will be special guest appearances on stage during the intermissions. The Cinematheque is bringing in a Food truck for the intermissions, so there should be a little bit of variety for food options, yum.
For those of you who reside in LA and have attended some of these Cinematheque trilogy screenings before, you know there is nothing more entertaining than getting to see these films on the big screen again, and with a bunch of fellow fans. Hopefully a few of you are on their mailing list or are members of the American Cinematheque. After all, with the LOTR trilogy being an annual event, chances are you will want to attend every year, and in between Trilogy screenings, they offer some other pretty cool programming all year long. Between foreign language films, indie films, classics and some really avant garde films, many of which they also bring in cast or crew members, it feels like a year round film festival. And membership will get your discounted tickets, most of which will be $7 per show (and $10 for this trilogy), free ‘members only’ sneak preview screenings, and priority ticket purchase and entry for certain screenings. For more details, just head to their membership page.
San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.
The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans? (more…)
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