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Archive for the ‘Christopher Lee’ Category

Middle-earth March Madness – Round 2 begins!

Who has made it through to the second round of Middle-earth March Madness 2018? There were some tough battles in the first round – and difficult choices for voters to make! Frodo vs Pippin; Gandalf vs Bilbo; Kili vs Nori… Whilst we may have a pretty shrewd idea who might win in such contests, it’s tough to have to see some of these characters fall at the first fence…

Some of the results are what one might expect. Galadriel easily overcame Eomer in Division II, with almost three quarters of the vote. In the same bracket, Andy Serkis’ Caesar put up a tough fight, but in the end he was no match for Cate Blanchett’s Hela (from Thor: Raganok), who took just over 60% of the vote. No-one would be particularly surprised to see that Magneto beat John Thornton (Richard Armitage’s dreamy role in North and South, but clearly no match for an X-man); and perhaps it was inevitable, in the clash of mighty wits, that Sherlock Holmes (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) would beat Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry).

More surprising was the victory in Division I of Gimli over Boromir. In a closely fought duel, the dwarf took just over 51% of the vote, dismissing any hopes of a Boromir vs Eddard Stark show down in Round 3. Fans will be relieved to know, however, that for once a Sean Bean character has stayed alive – thus far! – with Stark beating Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean) to go through to the second round. Now he faces Frank Hopkins, as played by Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo.  Be sure to vote for Eddard if you want to see a Sean Bean role survive to the end!

Another upset was the defeat of Ian Holm’s Bilbo by Faramir. The Lord of Gondor’s success may be short lived, however – he faces Galadriel in Round 2.

In Division IV, Elrond demonstrated that he should have gone with the Company to the Lonely Mountain; he defeated Smaug with a fairly convincing victory of 57.95% to 42.05%. Now the high elf will face the movie elf, Tauriel, in Round 2; we have a pretty good idea how that will go down, but if Tauriel fans come out and vote, you never know…

Round 2 voting is open NOW, and goes until 10pm EST on Sunday 25th March. We’ll announce winners and launch Round 3 on Monday 26th. You can also find some fun ‘exit polls’ on Facebook – a chance to see how people are voting in one or two of the face-offs. Want Samwise to defeat Gimli? Hoping John Watson might overcome Magneto? Keen to see Count Dooku bested by The Doctor? Then join the Madness and VOTE NOW (below)! [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]


Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, Announcements, Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Middle-earth March Madness, round 1 play by play

We are now about halfway through the first Round of our Middle-earth March Madness, and some of the match ups are really close, while others have one contestant running away with the race. Because this year’s bracket has the newly added twist of featuring characters portrayed by the actors who brought our most beloved Middle-earth characters to life, this rundown will include a little about those non-Middle-earth characters.


You can VOTE here!



The traditional match ups first: Boromir is facing off with Gimli in a close race, make sure you vote before the evening of March 22, this one is close enough that your vote will definitely matter. The contest between Samwise and Merry has the acclaimed gardener running away with nearly all the points on this one. Surprisingly, the other match up of Hobbits is unexpectedly close, with Frodo holding a slim lead over Pippin. To cap off the Fellowship match ups, Aragorn is soundly beating Legolas.

With the non-ME characters, there is just as much variety in vote percentages. Sean Bean’s portrayal of Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones has a narrow lead over Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, from Pirates of the Caribbean. The next race is just as close, between Viggo’s portrayal of real life long distance, endurance horse racer Frank Hopkins with a slim lead over John Rhys Davies’ Sallah from Raiders of the Lost Ark. There is a neck and neck contest going on between Dom’s Charlie Pace, the recovering addict rock star from Lost has a very narrow lead over Billy Boyd’s Barrett Bonden, the coxswain on the HMS Surprise in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Not close is the fact that Sean Astin’s earnest performance of Rudy is decidedly running away with the race, leaving Elijah Wood’s Ryan Newman from Wilfred.

“You All Everybody” should get out and vote before 10pm et on March 22.



In this division, the ME match ups are as follows: Galadriel has firm control of the contest with Eomer, the Lady of Light is not easily taken out of events. Faramir has a small lead over Old Bilbo, so you may still be able to give a helping hand to the Hobbit that found the One Ring in the first place. Eowyn and Gollum are nearly neck and neck, can the Shieldmaiden of Rohan defeat the sneakiness of Smeagol? Her uncle Theoden, however, is wiping the floor with Denethor, who became tainted by his contact with the Palantir.

The non-ME roles are proving interesting as well: Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the Goddess of Death from Thor: Ragnarok has a decent lead over Andy Serkis’ Caesar, the ape leader from Planet of the Apes. At the same time, Karl Urban’s Dr. ‘Bones’ McCoy is soundly beating Sir Ian Holm’s Ash, the rather inhuman android from the original Alien movie, who admired the xenomorph just a little more than he valued human life. There are two battles that are very close and would benefit from a last fit of voting on your part. Those are between David Wenham’s Carl from Van Helsing just edging out Bernard Hill’s Captain Smith from Titanic, who did his duty and went down with the ship. The other close battle is between Miranda Otto’s Mary Ann from War of the World with a slim margin over John Noble’s brilliant, but crazy Walter Bishop from Fringe.



On the other side of the bracket, let’s see who is doing well for the traditional match ups: Believe it or not, Gandalf is stomping all over Young Bilbo, guess that is punishment for not telling the truth about finding the One Ring. Dwalin has a sizable lead over Radagast, but then, he does have a massive War Hammer, this is not surprising. Amongst the Dwarves from The Hobbit, Kili is slaying pick pocket Nori, while Thorin is not really faring well against Saruman. Feel free to give a boost to those you wish to support and share with your friends, it’s all in good fun.

The non-ME side of things has: Sir Ian McKellen’s Magneto soundly thrashing Richard Armitage’s John Thornton from North and South, the clever mutant is probably dismantling all of Thorton’s looms as this is written. Graham MacTavish’s Dougal from Outlander is all but finished at the hands of Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson, it’s those modern Doctors he can’t handle, clearly. As expected, Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is trouncing Jed Brophy’s Dagda More from the Shannara, this writer would love to see this battle realized on screen. A little less expected, but even cooler for that is that Sylvestor McCoy’s Doctor has the upper hand on Aiden Turner’s Ross Poldark, Time Lords really do know how to come out on top when needed.



Last division match ups, for the traditional segment: Elrond has a decent lead over Smaug, which is fascinating to see. The Master of Laketown is no match for Tauriel, she saw his selfishness and is leaving him to his own ruin. There is a relatively close match between Thranduil and Bard, with the Elven King of Mirkwood edging out the Bowman of Laketown. Bard’s son Bain is faring even worse in his match up with Azog. This calls for some voter help, Bain came to his father’s aid while the town was burning under the wrath of an angry dragon, the least we can do is vote for them and see how things play out.

Over on the final division of non-ME characters: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is so soundly beating Stephen Fry’s Oscar Wilde, it’s almost as if something very large has been dropped on him. This writer’s favorite match up in this round is Luke Evan’s Gaston from Beauty and the Beast against Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith from the Matrix. A battle of the bragalicious Gaston up against the master manipulator within the Matrix is just something that should be onscreen. Right now, Agent Smith is defeating Gaston. A match that is all but over is that of Lee Pace’s Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy wiping the floor with John Bell’s Young Iain from Outland, poor lad never stood a chance. And the very last match up to get coverage tonight see’s a near tie between Evangeline Lilly’s Kate Austen from Lost squaring off with Manu Bennet’s Deathstroke from Arrow, another match up I would love to see on screen.


Last chance to vote in Round 1 is 10pm et on Thursday, March 22. Round 2 will begin on Friday, March 23.

Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Middle-earth March Madness 2018 is here!

Welcome all, to the annual showdown in the realms of Eriador and beyond! Yes, it’s that time of year when hobbit must fight wizard, dwarf must battle elf, and man must face … erm … well, maybe himself.

Because this year we’ve thrown something new into the mix for March Madness. We thought it would be interesting to see if Sherlock could outwit the most cunning of dragons; or if Rudy has more heart than Samwise. What would fastidious Oscar Wilde make of the slovenly Master of Lake-town? Can Dwalin out-wrestle Dougal Mackenzie?

That’s right – our brackets contain actors in both their Tolkien roles, and a role they play in another film or TV show. So Luke Evans appears both as Bard and Gaston; and Billy Boyd is there both as Pippin and Barret Bonden (from ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’). This means that some battles will be between two characters from Middle-earth, some between two ‘outside’ characters, and some will be a mix; and yes, actors could find themselves facing an alter ego.

Are we crazy? Is there absolutely no way that the ape Caesar would stand a chance against Gollum? Is Magneto clearly no match for Gandalf? That’s for YOU to decide! Voting starts today – and the madness will run until April 5th. Here is the schedule for rounds:

  • Round 1 – March 19th – March 22nd 10:00pm ET
  • Round 2 – March 23rd – March 25th 10:00pm ET
  • Round 3 – March 26th – March 28th 10:00pm ET
  • Round 4 – March 31st 10:00pm ET
  • Final Four – April 1 – April 3rd 10:00pm ET
  • The Final – April 4 – April 5th 10:00pm ET

The brackets are divided as follows:

  • Division I – The Lord of the Rings Fellowship, and counterpart roles
  • Division II – The Lord of the Rings outside the Fellowship, and counterpart roles
  • Division III – The Hobbit Company (wizards, dwarves, and hobbit), and counterpart roles
  • Division IV – The Hobbit Lake-town and villains, and counterpart roles

Voting is simple – just click on your choice in each dual, below. You can only vote once – but feel free to share, and rally people to your cause! Speculate on the message boards, and head on over to Facebook to take part in some ‘exit polls’, and see who is predicted to win.

It’s all in fun – how you choose your choice of winners is entirely up to you. But if you’re keen to see someone in particular go all the way to final victory, start campaigning now!

Let the games begin!

Voting in Round 1 will remain open until March 22nd at 10pm ET. 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]


Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, The Hobbit, Announcements, Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Fellowship of the Ring: 15,084 reviews and counting

fotr-movie-posterOn December 18, 2001, introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews“A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.

Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.


Posted in Christopher Lee, Costume Design, Director news, Elijah Wood, Fans, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Make Up, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Original TORn, Other production, Peter Jackson, Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen

EW interviews Peter Jackson about Christopher Lee

SarumanCheck out this wonderful Entertainment Weekly interview with Peter Jackson about his experiences with, and memories of, the actor who brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s wizard Saruman to life for millions of loving fans. You’ll chuckle at PJ recalling some comical moments, but have a box of tissues ready because you just might shed a tear too.  Read more…

Posted in Christopher Lee, Director news, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

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

Sir Christopher Lee passes at age 93

3-hobbit_sarumanAs many of you already know, there is sad news in our community of fans today: Sir Christopher Lee passed away Sunday morning at the age of 93 due to respiratory problems and heart failure. Of course, we all came to know and love him for his role as the evil wizard, Saruman, in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, a role that came at the end of a long, and very distinguished career as an actor in horror movies and other dramas. For many of us, it’s difficult to picture a better Count Dracula than Christopher Lee. But, for many more of us, it’s impossible to think of anyone else playing the role of Saruman. All of the professionalism, passion and dedication of his long career shone out in that role, making it perfection.

From the U.K. telegraph website, here is a nice obituary, and a short video of his career highlights. Námarië, Sir Christopher. You are dearly loved and will be dearly missed!

Posted in Christopher Lee, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie The Two Towers, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to Sir Christopher Lee!

Christopher LeeJust a couple of days on the heels of another wizard’s birthday, Sir Christopher Lee turned 93 today. He was born in Belgravia, Westminster, London on May 27, 1922.

A true titan of cinema if there ever was one, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the shoes of the great wizard Saruman the White. We hope you had a wonderful birthday and we wish you many happy returns, Sir Christopher! (more…)

Posted in Christopher Lee, Headlines

Chris Lee’s new Christmas tune: Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing

chrislee I think we posted this on Facebook a couple weeks back, but I love me some Christopher Lee metal — especially Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross.

For the last few Decembers, Lee has also been releasing metal-themes Christmas tunes, putting his own inimitable stamp on classics such as The Little Drummer Boy and Silent Night Holy Night.

Now he has a new single: Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Lee, Hobbit Cast News

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

When exactly did Saruman fall?

Christopher Lee has precisely one line in the recent trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, but his little cameo was an unsurprising winner with fans. And, apart from reinforcing that stuff is always better with Chris Lee (maybe Chris can do all the voices for BOTFA — that would be ace!), it also sparked a surprising amount of speculation about Saruman’s intentions in desiring to confront Sauron alone.

Now, we can’t say how the confrontation occurred in canon: we know little more than that the White Council put forth its strength, that Saruman played an important role, and that Sauron deliberately withdrew as he had anticipated and planned for the actions of the Wise. Had Sauron, in fact, already fled? It’s a legitimate interpretation of the texts. However, Tolkien’s writings are a lot more informative about when Saruman “left the path of wisdom”. In this feature, Tedoras examines what The Lord of the Rings, Unfinished Tales, and The Silmarillion have to tell us about Saruman’s fall.



Posted in Christopher Lee, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Two Towers, Trailer

TORn staff analyze the new scroll poster for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

The-Hobbit-The-Battle-Of-The-Five-ArmiesThere are just 3 months remaining until the final chapter of The Hobbit saga and the final bit of Middle-earth on film is released, and new images and story tidbits are going to start coming much quicker now. Earlier today we shared the new scrolling poster for this final chapter and now we have some analysis of what can be seen in it from our staff. Of all the new imagery available, there is still nothing of Dain and the wild War Boar he purportedly rides in on, but this scroll does have a few other new tidbits of info in it that are fun to speculate on.

But first, a little editorial note about these scrolls that most of you have probably already noticed, there is a LOT of photoshop involved in putting these together. They cobble together a vast array of characters and settings in order to tell a miniature 2D story with just a few images, and sometimes the photoshop works well, and sometimes not so much. When it does not work out so well, we’ve taken to calling it FrankenPhotoshop, which can be attributed to any image that makes you scratch your head and wonder ‘wait, who is that?’.

So read on to see the TORn staff reactions to the images selected to be in this Scroll, and then feel free to post your own thoughts below. (more…)

Posted in Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, ComicCon, Dean O'Gorman, Evangeline Lilly, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies