It’s hard to believe it’s almost two weeks since staffers deej, Thorongil and greendragon gathered at LI Geek Con (Islip, May 2nd and 3rd). A new convention, taking place for the first time, LI Geek was small but lots of fun, with a great atmosphere.
Perhaps the biggest draw at the convention was actor Graham McTavish, there both for his role as Dwalin and for his lead role in the popular television show Outlander. He spoke at four Q&A sessions – two focusing on Outlander and two, lead by greendragon, centering on The Hobbit. Many fans had made the trip to Long Island just to see McTavish, and even at such a small convention, there were some fabulous Hobbit costumes to be seen! McTavish himself commented on the quality of many of the costumes, remarking that one particular Dwalin costume was up there amongst the very best he had seen.
For fans who hope to meet an idol, such small conventions are the best opportunity; McTavish’s supporters were able to spend a little time actually chatting with him, rather than just being rushed through the autograph line. He was as charming, erudite and amusing as ever, sharing in his panels tales from the sets of The Hobbit, Rambo and Outlander, as well as from his start acting and the journey which led him to Middle-earth. (He mentioned that he read The Hobbit to his older daughter, and each time Dwalin was mentioned in the book, she cheered; her classmates all know him not as ‘Mr. McTavish’ or ‘Honor’s Dad’ but as Dwalin!)
The convention was also attended by celebrities such as David Warner (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Tron and more), actor Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones) and actor Nina Toussaint-White (Doctor Who). Panels and discussion groups were held, covering many topics. TORn presented a look forward to what we might see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, what’s next for fans of Middle-earth, and a discussion group entitled ‘Kick the Hobbit!’ – chatting (with much affection) about the things which we loved and some we didn’t love so much in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy.
Staffer greendragon finds a BB-8 on duty at Islip airport…
LI Geek Con had the unusual distinction of being the only convention any of us had ever attended which was actually held in an airport! Our table, where we met with convention goers, sold shirts, buttons and lanyards, and gave out prizes, was directly opposite the baggage claim! Some folks arriving on flights into Islip airport seemed bemused to see all the costumes and displays, but the experience turned out to be rather charming. One gentleman, arriving at the airport to catch a flight, caught sight of our table as he entered. His face lit up. He hurried over, and eagerly purchased a ‘Keep Calm and Read Tolkien’ t-shirt. He told us he has read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion seventy-five times each! He had read that a convention was taking place on Long Island, and was disappointed that he didn’t have time to attend – and yet, here we were, in the airport! We asked where he was flying to, and he revealed that he was returning home after flying up for his mother’s funeral. We all of course offered our condolences – and he said that seeing the convention and getting his TORn t-shirt had cheered him up no end! Serendipity bringing a smile all round at MacArthur airport…
An intimate, fledgling convention, LI Geek Con was warm, friendly, and lively – and TORn was delighted to play a part in it. Now we’re looking forward to seeing fans at more conventions through the summer and into the Fall – San Diego ComicCon, DragonCon or New York Comic Con, anyone?
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.
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.
After hitting so many different parts of popular culture, Martin Freeman, forever known around these parts as Bilbo Baggins, will now invade the Marvel Universe, which also means Disney. Just in case he wasn’t popular enough for works in Middle-earth and in the world of Sherlock Holmes, he will jump into Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
TheOneRing.net will be at Long Island Geek Convention this weekend (May 2nd and 3rd) along with Dwalin himself, Graham McTavish! In addition to having TOR.n t-shirts, buttons, and lanyards for sale at our fan table (or try your hand at Tolkien trivia for a fun prize!), we’re also participating in several panels throughout the weekend. Stop by and say hello!
11:00-12:00Tales of the Hobbit with Graham McTavish; Graham McTavish tells tales of his adventures as Dwalin in the Hobbit movie trilogy. Hosted by Kirsten Cairns/Greendragon from TheOneRing.net
14:00–15:00Extended Edition, Biopics … Silmarillion? What’s next for fans of Middle-earth?;
Staffers from TheOneRing.net speculate and share inside info on what may be in the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And once that is released – to what can fans look forward next? Could The Silmarillion ever make it on to the big screen?
20:00–21:00 There and Back Again – a look back over the 17 year journey through Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth; Staffers from TheOneRing.net get nostalgic! Join us as we recall the journey from Fellowship to Five Armies – the ups and downs, the quests to New Zealand, the fans and friends we met along the way. How has
your passion for Tolkien and for these movies enriched YOUR life?
10:00–11:00 Tales of the Hobbit with Graham McTavish; Graham McTavish tells tales of his adventures as Dwalin in the Hobbit movie trilogy. Hosted by Kirsten Cairns/Greendragon from TheOneRing.net
13:00–14:00 Kick the Hobbit! All the things we love and hate about Peter Jackson’s second Middle-earth trilogy; A love of Tolkien is the common bond shared by all staffers at TheOneRing.net; and most of us also love Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. But we still have our personal pet peeves – and now is the chance to air them! Join us to let rip about those things which just didn’t work in The Hobbit trilogy – and maybe a few from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, too! (We say it all with a great deal of affection…)
It has been weeks now and this isn’t news. I have felt the loss personally and thought about the loss for so many.
Melissa Theresa Petrey Kern, 42, is gone. In her real traditional obituary, it says she was of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Respectfully, I disagree, or I want to state on the record, that while that may be true, it isn’t the whole truth.
More of the truth would say that Melissa Theresa Petrey Kern, 42, a notable figure in the Tolkien Community, died March 8, 2015, after a long battle with ALS. She lived among us, the fan community, and was our neighbor and shared her life with us and is missed by us, as she is missed in Lawrenceville. You could write about more places she lived and is missed too.
I remember, fortunately a few conversations we shared that didn’t seem especially significant at the time, but feel pretty lucky now. We talked about an artist that visited Georgia. We talked about the Tolkien Community in Atlanta. We even talked about specific people she wanted good things for. We talked about fandom, that included her own early love for the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. We shared some moments and I value them, as part of the beautiful experience of our community and they are just a tiny sample of many such moments she shared with many people.
More memorable than the things she said were the people she influenced. The Georgia costuming community, I think it is fair to say, wouldn’t have been so organized or so unified if not for Mel. The Arms of Middle-earth might not have existed at all without Mel, but I don’t pretend to know the reality of that claim. We can safely and accurately say, she was at the heart of the community.
There is a photo, I am sure dozens of people have it, where a significant number of Tolkien costumers were all gathered together in an impressive array of characters from “The Lord of the Rings.” It was during Dragon Con in Atlanta, before the convention had matured to quite the level it has now. Groups of costumers were less frequent and large numbers of themed costumes were rare. There, in that spot, was organized and gathered an outstanding display of fans, living their passions and forming a genuine fellowship. It was a very fine cosplay effort but it was a transcendent community effort. (more…)
In the USA, from March 24th, the last in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies will be available for you to take home. (It’s been available in digital version in many countries since March 3rd; but from Tuesday you can get your hands on a ‘hard’ copy.)
Many fans, of course, like to wait for the Extended Edition release before purchasing a copy; but speaking personally, my collection isn’t complete unless I have the theatrical cut as well. I was thrilled to get my hands on a review copy of the Blu-ray Combo pack, which includes copies of the movie on Blu-ray, on DVD and a Digital HD copy – as well as various extras. (more…)
More than two weeks have passed since our celebrations in Hollywood – how time flies! During those two weeks we’ve still been working hard – updating records, and making sure we know who collected their perks, and to whom we still need to send things!
All remaining perks should ship towards the end of this week; if you haven’t received something by the END OF MARCH, then please let us know!
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has snared four nominations at the 2015 edition of The Empire Awards. Voting is open to the public now, and the winners will be announced on Sunday March 29 in London.
The awards The Hobbit has been nominated for are: (more…)
The latest member of Thorin’s company has landed! Bifur the Dwarf is the eleventh of the company to be produced in statue form.
Bifur was sculpted by the insanely talented Lindsey Crummett who did a fantastic job of capturing one of my favorite looking Dwarves.
Bifur is limited to just 1000 pieces worldwide, with a price tag of $249. If you’re like me and hate waiting, then you’re in luck, as he is an in-stock item and is ready to ship to your collection now.
Aidan Turner is set to star in the BBC’s new adaptation of Poldark — the series of novels written by Winston Graham in the 1940s and 1950s.
He recently spoke with The Telegraph about the role. He also dropped a few anecdotes about his time on The Hobbit, and revealed how a story about him helping a fan escape a mugger in Odessa is not actually true.
Thanks to Ringer Taekotemple for the heads-up! (more…)
Ringer kiwifan has told us that Aidan Turner’s new mini-series “Poldark” will be heading to the small screen very soon. Aidan’s co-stars include Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes to Pemberley), Heida Reed (Silent Witness), Ruby Bentall (The Paradise), Jack Farthing (Blandings), Kyle Solder (Anna Karenina), the late Warren Clarke (Red Riding), Phil Davies (Whitechapel), Beatie Edney (Poirot) and Robin Ellis, who played the title role in the original 1975-77 BBC adaptation of Winston Graham’s acclaimed novels.
Poldark starts on BBC One in the UK on Sunday 8 March at 9 pm and in the US on PBS Masterpiece on 14 June. It will also be on ABC in Australia.
Aidan says of the extensive riding required, “Luckily I did a lot of riding in New Zealand when we were there filming The Hobbit. I trained a lot and thought I’d leave a pretty good rider – thank God I did as there was a lot of riding in Poldark. It’s very much a part of who Ross is, so it’s immediately getting you into character.” [Read More]
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