Support - A not for profit fan community!
View Custom Engravable Elvish Rings and Wedding Sets.
LEGO Lord of the Rings Collection
The Hobbit LEGO - Now Available!

News Alerts

Get emailed with every new post!

Weekly Newsletter

Select a list:

Archive for the ‘Ken Stott’ Category

TORn Staff Reviews the BoTFA EE

Hobbit_BOTFA_Intl_posterThe 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!





Posted in Billy Connolly, Director news, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Martin Freeman, Meet Ups, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Uncategorized, Warner Bros., William Kircher

Battle of the Five Armies EE DVD available November 17!

BoTFA EE DVD CoverAfter weeks of rumors (and some nail biting), it’s official! The DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, will be available on Tuesday, November 17. Those who prefer a digital copy can own it four weeks earlier, on Tuesday, October 17. The official press release follows:










The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition Also Available on
Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD

Burbank, CA, August 25, 2015 – The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion when “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” from Academy Award®-winning* filmmaker Peter Jackson, is released as an Extended Edition on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.  A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the extended cut of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy includes 20 minutes of extra footage and more than 9 hours of bonus features that will complete every Hobbit fan’s collection. The film, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 17 and will be available early on Digital HD on October 20.


Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, Blu-Ray, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, DVDs, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Callen, Ken Stott, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, MGM, Peter Hambleton, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Richard Armitage, Stephen Fry, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros., William Kircher

HobbitCon 3: the third time’s a charm

hc3articlelogo_en 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.

IMG_1549 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.

[Read More]

Posted in Conventions, Events, Graham McTavish, HobbitCon, John Bell, Ken Stott, Lawrence Makoare, Lawrence Makoare, Lord of the Rings, Luke Evans, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, Tolkien, William Kircher

EXCLUSIVE Video from the red carpet, BotFA World Premiere, London

As you know, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies had its world premiere in London last week. Members of the cast and crew gathered in the city, with some of them seeing the film the night before the premiere, but many heading down the red carpet to experience the completed movie for the first time.

TORn Senior Staffer greendragon was there to catch up with the folks in Leicester Square that night. Amongst those who stopped by to chat with her were stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen and others, as well as director Peter Jackson and screen writer Philippa Boyens. In addition to hearing what they thought of the film, and how it felt to be at the end of their (long expected? unexpected?) journey, greendragon made sure to invite them all to celebrate at The One Last Party in Los Angeles next February – which, of course, YOU can attend too. (Click here for more information.)

Enjoy this footage from that star-studded night in London:



[Special thanks to cameraman and editor Matthew Rodriguez; should you be looking for a film maker in London, you can reach him at rodriguezrmatthew at]

[Buy tickets to The One Last Party here]

Posted in Adam Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Boyd, Crew News, Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Ian McKellen, John Bell, Ken Stott, Lee Pace, LotR Cast News, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Premieres, Richard Armitage, Ryan Gage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, Community

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – a ‘first thoughts’ review (spoiler free!)

HBFA_1sht_Main_INTLAnd so we come to it – the last Hobbit movie of our time…

Maybe not – but certainly this is the final film in what is now Peter Jackson’s sextuplet of Middle-earth movies. And I was lucky enough to see it today.

Here are some spoiler-free first impressions:

It is a beautiful film. So many lovely moments – great acting from our dwarf cast (who have very few lines amongst them, but who do wonderful, expressive things facially and with body language). Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Richard Armitage are as fabulous as they have been throughout these films.

John Bell (Bain, son of Bard) is a stand out ‘supporting role’ in this film. There is a scene between him and his father Bard which is especially moving – it was the first scene in the film to make me cry! From the dwarves, Ken Stott (Balin) and Graham McTavish (Dwalin) both have well scripted, skilfully played scenes.

Christopher Lee is fantastic – Saruman is a force to be reckoned with in this film, even though he only appears briefly!

There are some typically over the top, ‘PJ’ moments – bits which made me roll my eyes, but which, on the whole, we’ve come to expect from this playful director. Legolas does more than shield-surfing in this movie… But when it comes to the quiet, downplayed moments, this stellar cast don’t let us down. I was moved to tears often; the scene when Bilbo takes his final leave from the company of dwarves is beautifully touching.

Howard Shore’s score is as effective as ever, and of course the production and costume design are wonderful. Is this the best of the three Hobbit movies? Maybe. I need to see it again to decide. Does it rise to the height of the Lord of the Rings movies? In places, yes. There are scenes of spectacular depth and emotion, as well as that incredible New Zealand scenery. There are CGI moments which, for me, are jarring – vast hordes of soldiers where it is all too obvious that the same CGI character is repeated multiple times – but on the whole, not so many in this film as there were in The Desolation of Smaug.

There are small things I might wish to change, but overall, this is a satisfying end to this trilogy – and a pleasing ‘lead in’ to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Tonight on the red carpet, Peter Jackson asked me who would be the first person to watch all six films in order. I can’t wait to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies again; and I can’t wait to watch this film ‘in situ’ with the other five movies. It’s a worthy, emotional part of our Middle-earth journey; a three tissue film for me! We went there; we’ve come back again; and the journey has been well worth it.

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Christopher Lee, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, John Bell, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

FantasyCon 2014 Full Recap!


Fantasy-Con’s official mascot!

dwarves and dragon

These dwarves aren’t afraid of Smaug!

The first annual FantasyCon was an amazing weekend! Tens of thousands of fans from around the country and many actors from around the world traveled to beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah for an engagingly fun weekend of group panels, signings, photo ops and fireside chats. Here is a recap of some of the fun from several staff members who made the journey there.

Elijah Wood Hosts Kickoff Party

Starting off the week was an amazing dance night hosted by Frodo himself DJ ElWood!


Elijah Wood is on the right in the center of the stage. Frodo has some groovy tunes!


Official Fantasy-Con photographers got better shots than we did ;)

Middle-earth Kick-Off!

To start FantasyCon with a celebrity blast, an all-star group of Tolkien guests took the stage including:

  • Sean Astin (Samwise)
  • Adam Brown (Ori)
  • Billy Boyd (Pippin)
  • Jed Brophy (Nori)
  • John Callen (Óin)
  • Peter Hambleton (Glóin)
  • William Kircher (Bifur)
  • Sylvester McCoy (Radagast)
  • Graham McTavish (Dwalin)
  • Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer LOTR)
  • John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)
  • Ken Stott (Balin)
  • author Doug Adams (‘The Music of The Lord of the Rings’)
  • artist Donato Giancola
  • Badali Jewelry
  • …and the staff of!

dwarves and staf 2 dwarves and staff dwarves staff 2 staff


Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Happy Hobbit, Jed Brophy, John Callen, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Meet Ups, Peter Hambleton, Sylvester McCoy, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, William Kircher

Middle-earth kickoff panel at Fantasy Con

Fili barrelThe Official Day 1 of FantasyCon was yesterday, July 3 and was filled with cosplay, LARPing, music and heraldry. A few awesome Middle-earth costumers visited our booth, and we even had a Dwarf in a Barrel. The barrel and the 4 Hobbits standee proved to be quite popular with those holding a camera, especially the children.

At 11am hosted their first panel at the convention with the Preview of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies to an enthusiastic crowd. We fully expect that the trailer will be out by the time San Diego Comic Con rolls around in a few weeks, at which point our Preview panel will be dramatically updated.

Near the end of the day, the entirety of the Tolkien programming track was introduced on stage at the Middle-earth kickoff party. Artists, musicians, writers and staff on hand, plus an Avalanche of Dwarves, as John Rhys-Davies put it, a Wizard and a pair of Hobbits converged on the Main Ballroom stage to thunderous applause. Moments later, the entire room went silent, you could almost hear a pin drop, along with one wee Hobbit singing his heart out.

During the panel, numerous questions were asked of many Dwarves, Hobbits and a Wizard, but none were handled with quite so much originality as the one about the Dwarven prosthetics.

The day ended with the Red Party, a less bloody affair than the Red Wedding. Costumed denizens of Westeros and many other realms all danced the night away.


Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Fans, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Hambleton, Sean Astin, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, William Kircher

DJ E-Wood? FantasyCon lands Elijah Wood for its opening night party

DJEWoodSALT LAKE CITY — Elijah Wood isn’t joining fellow Fellowship actors Billy Boyd, Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies for autographs and panels at FantasyCon July 3 – 5, but he is joining the adventure in other ways. The Daily Herald broke the news yesterday that Wood will DJ an evening event the night before it all starts to get FantasyCon rolling.

The event follows an invite-only charity event that same evening for seven different children’s charities that helps kids get access to FantasyCon that otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend an event like a big public convention. You can read more about Wood’s event RIGHT HERE and read more about the guests at FantasyCon here. Those who purchase VIP tickets (ticketing here) to FantasyCon look to have access to the event that will likely have very limited availability to the public. (more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Concerts, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Meet Ups, Peter Hambleton, Sean Astin, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Community, William Kircher

The top 10 reasons for Tolkienites to attend FantasyCon

FantasyCon is a major part of FantasyCon coming up on July 3 – 5 in Salt Lake City and there is a pretty incredible lineup of of Middle-earth content at the show. We are counting the top 10 reasons to attend one of the largest Tolkien gatherings in the history of conventions. (more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Callen, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Hambleton, Sean Astin, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, William Kircher

Media: FantasyCon promises dragons, hobbits and Simon Pegg

Adam Brown as Ori in The HobbitSALT LAKE CITY — At a press conference to announce its inclusion of Simon Pegg as a guest, FantasyCon said it has the largest contingent of Tolkien guests at a fan convention ever, including parts of the staff of

Coming from the Lord of the Rings films:
Sean Astin
Billy Boyd
John Rhys-Davies.

Scheduled for visits from The Hobbit films are:
Adam Brown
John Callen
Peter Hambleton
Jed Brophy
William Kircher
Ken Stott
Graham McTavish
Sylvester McCoy

Other Tolkien-related content:
Doug Adams
Artist Donato Giancola
Artist Justin Gerard

You can read the full article, including the announcement of Simon Pegg, right here.

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Exhibits, Fans, FantasyCon, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Hambleton, Sean Astin, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Billy Boyd joins FantasyCon lineup for July Tolkien extravaganza

Billy Boyd and BeecakeSALT LAKE CITY — FantasyCon, with an already potent lineup of guests from “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies, announced that Billy Boyd will be joining the show. The convention, with its obvious fantasy theme, is striving to be different from the many popular-culture events that dot North America with increased interactivity and an emphasis on fantasy art.

Set for July 3 – 5, capitalizing on the 4th of July weekend in Salt Lake City, the convention is self described as “the first convention of its kind to answer the call for an interactive, immersive experience that encompasses all things in the genre of pop culture fantasy.”

Boyd joins LOTR partners Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies, along with Hobbit actors Slyvester McCoy, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, and Jed Brophy. The convention is Stott’s first convention appearance in North America.

FantasyCon is also a major sponsor of and the show will feature several of our own staffers, including FantasyCon Program Director Larry D. Curtis, MrCere here at According to him, “There are more Middle-earth names to come, and by the time all the announcements are done we will offer a unparallelled Tolkien lineup. We mostly have all of these guys for three days helping us celebrate fantasy and of course signing autographs and providing photo ops with fans.

Billy Boyd at TORn's booth, DragonCon 2012

Billy Boyd at TORn’s booth, DragonCon 2012

“FantasyCon’s founder Josh Patel had most of these pieces in place before he reached out to me so I was delighted immediately with his plans. I just talked to these guys about the show while we were together in Germany at HobbitCon 2 and they are excited and we are doing some really fun programming stuff, not just talking from the stage. This is a chance for fans in the U.S. to meet an army of talent from these franchises. What is more, there is a lot of other really good related content. We are having a world-class Middle-earth convention inside a spectacular fantasy convention.”

The convention also includes a group of masterwork fantasy artists, many who are bringing commissioned paintings to the event. Artists include TORn friend and Middle-earth artist Donato Giancola and Brom. The full list of artists can be found right here.

The show starts Thursday July 3rd and will finish Saturday July 5th in Salt Lake City. The Salt Palace Convention Center will host the event, close to many hotels and close to the Salt Lake airport.

The main website is here:
To purchase tickets go here:

Posted in Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Sean Astin, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Community, William Kircher

TORn Takes on Bonn Germany and HobbitCon2

HobbitCon2_TORn_EDITED-17Note: MrCere here. ImladrisRose wrote this immediately after the convention but became very ill after getting home — very ill. So, after delivery, it took me a little bit to get it posted. She is on the mend and this is a major relief. Thanks for all your hard work IR! We do all wish you health and happiness. She also took many more photos and included more to post but technical issues made that impossible but we may upload some later.

BONN — TORn staffers MrCere and ImladrisRose traveled to Bonn, Germany to attend HobbitCon2 over Easter weekend. While the journey was long, the excitement at the final destination made it very much worthwhile.

HobbitCon is convention bred for a single purpose, to destroy every other con that came before. HobbitCon is all things “The Hobbit”, as if the title didn’t give it away. It is a kaleidoscope of Hobbity goodness, a gaggle of dwarves, masters in the film industry, a real life Tolkien and fans who’s boundless enthusiasm is something that has always made this particular fandom so stupendous! As someone who has been to conventions all around the US featuring so many different people involved in the Tolkien universe, HobbitCon was a completely unique, exhilarating experience. Not only was it packed with talks, workshops, lectures and unique experiences, but because everything took place at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, the nightlife at this con made every other con I’ve been to seem well, lame!

HobbitCon 2, Bonn, Germany

HobbitCon 2, Bonn, Germany

Taking place over the course of three days, HobbitCon is truly an event in which even the most die hard Tolkien fans that think they’ve heard it all will hear stories and take on experiences that will stay with them forever. The atmosphere of the con was very laid back, it felt very much as if Hobbits themselves were in charge because there was a constant feeling of camaraderie and all the good feelings of home amongst the guests and fans alike. This love infused environment allowed for everyone in attendance to truly immerse themselves in their time at the con and to feel fully relaxed, but most importantly, not to feel judged for who they are or where they come from or who has a better Thranduil costume. Everyone in attendance was cut from the same cloth and this feeling of uniqueness combined with similarity made everyone feel like family by the end. As people were saying goodbye to one another, tears were being shed. Beautiful.

The fans at HobbitCon would not have had the incredible experience that they had if it were not for the absolute warmth and sincerity that oozed from each and every featured guest, including all of the actors. Never I have witnessed such an effort put forth from an events featured guests to make the fans feel so important and to take the time to have unique and memorable interactions at every possible turn. I remember seeing a woman dressed as Dwalin walking down the halls and Graham McTavish made a beeline for her and told her what a great job she did on her costume, He didn’t have to do that, but he did it because he wanted to. This again, is such an ode to the marvelous gift that Peter Jackson and co have for bringing the most awesome people on board to work on these films. It really says a lot.

HobbitCon2 had an enormous amount of awesome guests which include but are not limited to: Ken Stott “Balin”, Adam Brown “Ori”, William Kircher “Bifur”, Stephen Hunter “Bombur”, Mark Hadlow “Dori”, Dean O’Gorman “Fili”, Peter Hambleton “Gloin”, Jed Brophy “Nori”, John Callen “Oin” and Graham McTavish “Dwalin”. Also in attendance were: Sir Richard Taylor, Royd Tolkien (great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien), Mark Atkin (stunt/scale double for Richard Armitage) and our very own Larry D. Curtis.

SAMSTAG 19 April, 2014

Saturday was opening day for HobbitCon. Last year was the first HobbitCon so guests from the previous year had very high expectations, and from what I gathered, no one was disappointed! The Opening Ceremonies took place in the evening, but there were many exciting talks and panels before hand. First up was a talk featuring Mark Hadlow “Dori” and Stephen Hunter “Bombur”. The banter between these two was fabulous as they eagerly answered questions from fans. Mark even had an interesting exchange with some of the set/stage decorations that looked to be either Ringwraiths or cloaked Elves! Up next was none other than Sir Richard Taylor, who walked out to a standing ovation, is the best public speaker I have ever encountered. His steadfast encouragement for people to follow their dreams is a true inspiration. After that was a hilarious talk featuring William Kircher “Bifur”, John Callen “Oin” and Peter Hambleton “Gloin”. They were such a hilarious trio and the fans simply adored them. Adam Brown “Ori” and Dean O’Gorman “Fili” were up next and out of all of the featured guests; those two seemed to always get the biggest reaction from the crowd. Their personalities are contagious and while they both told great stories, my favorite would have to be the one Dean told where he got stuck in a neighbor’s mailbox and the fire department had to rescue him. My favorite fan question was when they were asked how they would eventually propose to their respective girlfriends, to which they both acted it out which eventually led to Adam passionately kissing Dean. Shenanigans. The fans simply adore those two, frankly it is impossible not to.

TORn’s first panel of the con “A Not So Official View at the Hobbit” began right after Adam and Dean’s panel. The room was filled with curious fans, many of which follow TORn but quite a few who were just learning about us! That was great to see, as I am sure that those who were just hearing about TORn would be following us in no time at all. Larry did a great job and many fans were engaged in asking questions. Great job MrCere! My sole purpose for going to HobbitCon was to do what I do best, take pictures so that I can have a more enticing article for TORn, I did not talk for any of our presentations, I work best behind a camera. ☺

After a very short recess, the Opening Ceremonies began. HobbitCon is hosted by none other than Mr. Mark Ferguson (who you may know as “Gil-Galad” from LOTR). Mark is such a joy and his charisma made the event that much more charming. The sheer spectacle of the opening ceremonies has no rival in the convention world; it is its own animal and is something to truly be marveled at. The stage is filled with ever changing lights, cloaked figures, a large screen for better viewing of the speakers, and even a to scale Hobbit hole! After Mark did his introduction he introduced each speaker and panelist, the people who ran the various workshops and ended with introducing the events cast of characters who were met with boisterous applause from the audience who was on their feet cheering in excitement. Ken Stott received the loudest cheers from the fans, it was his first ever convention!

Once the opening ceremonies were complete all the fans were ready to mix and mingle, as were all of the featured guests. The entire first floor of the Maritim is filled with lounge spaces, bars and dance floors. This is where the party was every single night of the con. On this particular night, the music was to the tune of oldies until about 10pm then the modern dance music came on. The films stars did not stay segregated in their own space, no, quite the opposite! They were interacting with fans at the bar, dancing on the dance floor, having real conversations about real life things (not just the books or films). These conversations were filled with a mutual respect and a sense of humanity that is rare in the world of conventions, but again that is a testament to the people in attendance, both guests and fans. It was such a welcoming atmosphere and such a joy to see such pure of heart interactions taking place. For me, the highlight of the night was seeing Dean O’Gorman and Stephen Hunter rip up the dance floor doing the moves to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” dance. One of the highlights of my life, really. Most of our dwarven company took a spin on the dance floor, and that was what was so wonderful. How many times in your life do you get to dance with dwarves in Germany? If you go to HobbitCon, it is very likely to happen since it did every single night this time around.

SONTAGG 20 April, 2014

Sunday kicked off with our second TORn panel “New Zealand is Middle Earth” done once again by MrCere. This panel seemed to be the best received by the fans, probably due to the beautiful imagery associated with the talk showcasing New Zealand in all its glory. The afternoon brought talks from many of the films stars in a variety of combinations. Each panel brought many laughs and a great deal of insight to both the on set experiences and the lives of our beloved dwarven company.

There were two standout panels on Sunday. One of which was given by Royd Tolkien (great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien). The audience was fully engaged and hanging on to every word he said, his charm captivated the audience and it was an honor to have had him there. He is so respected within the community and it was great to see that in person. The second stand out for me would be the talk given by Mark Atkin (Richard Armitage’s scale/stunt double). His raw enthusiasm, not just for what he does, but also for it being his first convention, was wonderful and it was fascinating hearing his stories throughout the weekend. His perspective of working on these films is a welcome addition to any con as most of the featured guests at conventions are the more well known players, however Mark’s role in the films is a vital part in the creation of that universe, so hearing a unique perspective was both refreshing and fascinating.

One of the huge draws to attending an event like this is the chance to meet and greet with your favorite star/filmmaker. Part of that opportunity means that you also have the chance to have your photo taken with one of the stars or get their autograph. The photo ops and autographs are an additional fee besides your ticket to the event, but it is always worth the experience, especially if your favorite character is there! These photo and autograph opportunities were taking place throughout the entire event at specific designated times. I witnessed fans shrieking in delight upon receiving their photo. Again, the constant enthusiasm of Tolkien fans is something I am so happy to be a part of and one of the many reasons I love this community so much.

Early evening brought the conventions costume competition! Of all of the events I have been to, this convention had some of the most incredibly detailed costumes I have ever seen. The expert craftsmanship and the time that went into these stupendous creations is something to be marveled at. The costume contest had a panel of expert judges making all of the decisions! This panel included: Royd Tolkien, William Kircher, Jed Brophy, Sadwyn Brophy, and Sir Richard Taylor! The panel’s kindness and enthusiasm towards all of the contestants was so sweet and endearing. While there were many fabulous entries into the contest, my favorite was a Bilbo and Smaug duo. The Smaug costume was both unique and intricate, such a lovely interpretation. The winners of the contest were an exquisite pair of Thruandil’s, a Thorin so perfect you would’ve sworn that it was Richard Armitage himself in full costume and a perfect pairing of Bilbo and Smaug.

After the festivities of the costume contest wore down and many a photograph was taken of the splendor surrounding the work of these fabulous artisans, a panel took place in which Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Dean O’Gorman, Adam Brown and Stephen Hunter had the crowd in stitches of laughter the entire time. The fans were asking questions that led to stories being told in pure hilarity. One fan asked to hear the story of each of their worst professional working experiences, and all of their answers were hilarious, although Adam’s story takes the cake. It would seem that he worked on a play early on in his career in which he had to “swim” in a speedo. (Censored by MrCere, thinking that story was meant for the room only! You are welcome Adam!) It was gut-wrenchingly funny. Another funny moment was when a fan asked which house in Harry Potter they would each belong to causing the actors to question the loyalty of the fan and resulting in a complete butchering of the HP house names. But this did lead to the discovery that Adam Brown had a small roll in the Harry Potter films which was quite ironic considering when this question was asked the audience booed, yet when they found out Adam was in the franchise they cheered. Ah, fans are so loyal…

The final panel of the evening was done by our very own MrCere and was aptly named “The Hobbit: A Front Row View”. The audience, as usual, had dedicated Ringers along with people who were just now being exposed to TORn. It is always great to see both familiar faces and to meet new people at these events. That for me has always been one of the greatest draws of conventions: a lot of these people you only see at events like this, except for following each other on Facebook or Twitter, but the friends you make at these cons really do become friends for life. Who else fully understands that aspect of you as a human being?

Sunday evening filled the Maritim Hotel with yet another party all throughout the halls and rooms of the ground floor. The music was loud, the party hopping and the socializing was going on all night long. The fact that you can be ripping up the dance floor with Royd Tolkien or chatting over a drink with Stephen Hunter or Dean O’Gorman is something that really makes this event super magical. Everyone is on the same level, no segregation of celebrity vs. commoner. Everyone hangs out with everyone, everyone dances with everyone, everyone has a drink with everyone, and everyone talks with everyone. It was a fabulous experience and I know that everyone who attended has memories that will last a lifetime.

MONTAG 21 April, 2014

The final day of the con, of any con really, is always filled with much love and sadness. No one ever wants to leave but is always filled with joy from the memories made but most importantly the new friends that were made. The morning brought another panel from the wonderful Mark Atkin, a panel from the amazing duo of Ken Stott and Graham McTavish, another panel from the fabulous Royd Tolkien and a final panel from the incomparable Sir Richard Taylor.

Sir Richard Taylor began his talk explaining the history of WETA and all of the amazing projects they have worked on and what a powerhouse they have been in the film industry. Seeing the visuals attached to the history was both fascinating and moving at the same time. He is so passionate about what he does and I have always believed that if you aren’t passionate about what you do that you should be doing something else. After his introduction, the visuals kept playing in the background as he answered questions. It is astounding that at the heart of this juggernaut of a company is such a humble man who is probably the most gracious individual I have ever encountered. He took the time to fully answer every fan question and would almost always find a story that was relevant to tell to coincide with his answer, and then he would sincerely thank the fan for their question. He meant it too. It is easy to tell when someone is genuine and when they are not, he is genuine and sincere and we as a fandom are incredibly lucky to have him.

I am a filmmaker and have been making movies since I was a kid (thanks to a film production company started by myself, my little sister and my mom called M.A.R.S. Productions). Much of our early work was LOTR related: including a three and a half hour parody of ROTK and a series named Middle Earth Idols. To simply say that Tolkien, Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor have been an inspiration and have been very influential in my life is probably the greatest understatement I could ever make. I have never not been a filmmaker, I don’t know how to be anything else, it’s just not who I am. During his talk, Richard said something that really stuck with me and pretty much sums everything up: “If you don’t wake up every morning and dedicate 100% of who you are to what you love, you will never be the version of yourself you are supposed to be. Artists or anyone creative need to be creating in order to be fulfilled as individuals. If we are not creating, we are not being who we are. That is why I live and breathe what I do. I would not be me if I did anything else.”. His words are eye opening and inspirational and if you have the opportunity to, please go see a talk or lecture given by him.

I had never had the pleasure of meeting Richard Taylor until I was 7,000 miles away from home in Bonn Germany, but I did get the honor of meeting him. I ran into him in the lobby and was initially hesitant to walk up to him; he is someone I really look up to. The line from the movie “We Bought a Zoo” popped in my head where Matt Damon says “All it takes is ten seconds of insane courage to accomplish something amazing.” so I walked up to him and introduced myself. I was shaking the entire time, but I told him a little bit about me and how much I respected him and what an influence he has had on me in my career. We chatted for about fifteen minutes and it was the most delightful conversation I’ve ever had. He was asking me questions about my career and just genuinely engaging in the conversation which I thought was amazing. At the end of the conversation he gave me his card and shook my hand saying that he hopes we can maybe work together one day. Basically made my life complete by saying that. Never in a million years did I think that conversation would happen, but it did, and I am eternally grateful to HobbitCon for having him there and giving me that opportunity.

The closing ceremonies took place in the early evening and allowed all of the fans to see the stars and lecturers one last time before departing. Everyone was met with immense cheers, Richard Taylor received a much deserved standing ovation and then the featured guests left the stage and thus HobbitCon had ended…. Almost. The actors who play our beloved dwarves emerged on to the stage one final time and lined up with microphones in front of them. They began to sing the Misty Mountains song. It gave everyone chills. It was the most incredibly awesome thing to witness and was the most perfect way to end such a wonderful event. What could possibly be better?!

So many wonderful and amazing things happened at HobbitCon and I simply can not wait until next year and am praying that I am able to attend because there is nothing that quite compares to totally geeking out, partying with dwarves and meeting so many people you admire all while being in Germany. ~ ImladrisRose

Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, HobbitCon, John Callen, Ken Stott, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, William Kircher