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Peter Jackson’s comments provoke a ‘Gathering Storm’ in a teacup…

BotFA Photoshop Collage 2-D BlurayThere’s been a storm raging today over comments director Peter Jackson made about the process of filming The Hobbit trilogy. Staffer greendragon reflects on the debate which has been unleashed…

With the release this week of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition on Blu-ray and DVD, folks have been sitting down to watch the many hours of extras provided in the included ‘Appendices’ footage. Starting with an article on The Guardian newspaper’s website, one particular part of Peter Jackson’s comments (in ‘The Appendices Part 11: The Gathering Storm’) on the making of The Hobbit trilogy has gone viral online, unleashing much debate among fans who love or hate the movies.


Posted in Blu-Ray, Director news, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Production, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition available TODAY

BotFA Photoshop Collage 2-D BlurayFor fans who have been waiting to get their hands on actual disks before watching The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, today is the day when releases begin! The Blu-ray and DVD sets are available today in America, Nov 18th in New Zealand (so almost today already in NZ!), and across Europe and the rest of the world in the coming days. (Read our International Shopping Guide for further details.)

This is the Home Entertainment release which completes the set for all fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. Many have written how the extra footage in the extended cut makes this the version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that they wanted to see. (You can read some staffers’ thoughts here.) Others have commented that they had hoped for the full extra 30 minutes Peter Jackson had said would be in this cut, not just the 20 minutes we got. There are certainly more scenes I had hoped to see – but that is where the Appendices come in…

At last we have parts Eleven and Twelve of The Appendices; parts One and Two came out with the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, so this has been a long time coming! It’s great – if sad – to see the end of this journey. The tales from the set, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and memories from cast and crew are wonderful, and give us some insight into moments we perhaps wish had made it into a cut of the movie. Have tissues ready for the filmmakers’ ’emotional farewell to Middle-earth’!

There are over NINE hours of bonus features included in this Home Entertainment release, so it really is an essential part of your The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie collection. In the 2D version, the disc with the film also includes Part 3 of ‘New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth’; Disc 2 contains The Appendices Part 11: The Gathering Storm, The Chronicles of The Hobbit – Part 3; and Disc 3 is The Appendices Part 12: Here at Journey’s End.  There is also audio commentary on the film, with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens; I haven’t had a chance to watch with the commentary yet, but I’m sure it’s fascinating. I’d still like, at some point, to have some commentary from the cast – maybe that will come with the ‘super mega all-six-films’ box set….?  (For the completists amongst us, you can already purchase the Extended Edition Box Set, also available today.)

Whether you prefer the Theatrical or Extended cuts of these films (and I think most of us come down on the side of the Extended Editions), it is really the bonus features which make this Home Entertainment release a ‘must have’. If you are patient enough to wait, maybe it’s one for your Holiday Gift wish list? (Look out for TORn’s Holiday Gift Guide, coming soon!)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to watching those nine hours of extras….

Click here to purchase The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (BD) [Blu-ray]






Posted in Blu-Ray, Crew News, Director news, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien Gift Guide, Warner Bros., Weta Collectibles

Sheep Farming in Hobbiton

HobbitonFor those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the Hobbiton set (like me!), you know how magical it is to wander among the well-tended gardens and Hobbit-home facades, to rest in the shade of the magnificent party tree, and to enjoy a pint at the Green Dragon Inn. However, as most of us are aware, the Hobbiton set is surrounded by a 560 hectare (approximately 1,400 acre) working sheep and cattle farm owned and operated by the Alexander family. recently recounted a bit of the history of the Hobbiton and how Hobbit holes and sheep continue to coexist nicely in a quiet corner of the New Zealand countryside:

“Right alongside the tourism business is their sheep and beef operation, on probably the country’s most-visited farm. While not many of the tourists see the whole farm, the stock is still very much in the public eye, meaning Craig [Alexander] has to be strategic in where he farms stock because of the occasional gate left open by an unsuspecting tourist. Hobbiton is also ring-fenced with paddocks for stock on either side. “If we’re driving a mob of 1500-2000 ewes down the main track and there is a [tourist] bus going through that can be pretty frustrating.”

While the farm is family-owned and operated, Hobbiton is a 50/50 partnership between the family and Peter Jackson. “Today, the tourism venture has about 70 permanent staff and twice that number over the busy summer season. It’s given the Matamata district a huge boost in earnings and the region is now thriving.”

Read the full article here.

Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Tours

‘LOTR’ voted favorite film score for 6th consecutive year

Frodo (Elijah Wood) in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - In Concert” Peter Jackson delivered the images and Howard Shore’s delivered the unforgettable musical score for “The Lord of the Rings.” Music and film lovers haven’t forgotten, voting in the favorite film score fro the sixth consecutive year at Classic FM.

The site, that calls itself the world’s biggest classical music radio station in the world, plays such music including film and video game scores. It is said to be the UK’s only 100 percent classical music radio station that includes radio on all platforms including streaming world wide on the web.

After thousands of votes, Shore’s score edged John Williams’ effort for Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” and Hans Zimmer’s music for Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator.”

Those who have been with TORn from the early days will remember that a Burger King tie-in commercial was the first time Shore’s score was heard by the masses, as the “Fellowship” theme showed off flame-broiled goodness along with the miracle of in-scale Men, Hobbits, with a pony, a Dwarf and Wizard.

The score carried themes from “Fellowship” into the following movies, earning an Academy Award for “Return of the King,” after a snub of even an nomination for “The Two Towers.”

There are many highlights, and different fans would have different favorite moments.

You can read Classic FM’s story here and find more links to more of the top 100.

Doug Adams’ book, “The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films,” stands as the definitive word on the score but is also one of the finest books written on musical scores anywhere. You can read our review of it here.

Posted in Books Publications, Fans, Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Music, Production, Tolkien

Happy Birthday Peter Jackson!



Today, Sir Peter Jackson turned 54 years old! We here at TORN hope he had a most wonderful day and wish him many happy returns. (May the hair on his toes never fall out!)

Thank you, Peter, for all you’ve gifted us with – from the very first online preview for The Lord of the Rings to the Extended Cut of The Battle of the Five Armies. May the coming year, and those after, be most prosperous for you. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Sir Ian McKellen to appear in Santa Monica in November

Ian McKellen Mr HolmesThose of you lucky enough to live in the L.A. area can catch an appearance by Sir Ian McKellen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:30 p.m. He will be appearing before a special showing of Mr Holmes, in which he portrays an aging Sherlock Holmes struggling to put closure on his last case from thirty years earlier. As we all know, our favorite wizard from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is always entertaining and gracious to his fans, and may even discuss or take questions on his role as Gandalf, so get thee to the Aero on November 17th if you can! Tickets can be purchased here.

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

Conversations with Sir Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit MoviesRinger, Kiwifan, has sent us this lovely interview/conversation with Sir Ian McKellen at the SAGFoundation.


Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Press Conferences, The Hobbit

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s New York Comic-Con Showcase

12140815_10153000893257303_5736612201995309004_nWeta Workshop is at it again! This time they’re wowing fans on the East Coast with the goodies they brought with them to New York Comic-Con. This event brought us several new items from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. From The Hobbit Trilogy we got an amazing Smaug bust it is a hugely detailed piece giving fans a super upclose look at him without being turned to ash. You can order Smaug right now for $399 with it shipping in Dec/Jan. Also up for order and a new piece from NYCC is one of the cooler looking Orcs in this set of films Yazneg. Like the other Orcs he has that brutal looking skirt of Dwarf faces. You can also pre-order him right now for $279 with him arriving in Dec/Jan. The final Hobbit item is one that debut at Comic-Con this past July. Ori the Dwarf comes to fans with an edition size of only 500 pieces and with a price of $249 he is sure to sell fast. He’s in-stock, so make sure to get your order in now.


Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, NYCC, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

Hobbiton makes the list of top 16 movie locations to visit

thedoorNot surprising to Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie fans, lifestyle and travel blog, BLT, has named Hobbiton as one of its top 16 movie locations to visit. From the blog“The gardens and crops surrounding the homely Hobbiton featured in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series were actually planted a year before the filming of the first movie. Hobbiton was built and designed with the fictional landscape described by J.R.R. Tolken in the books and the set still stands today. In fact, people travel from all over the world to take a two-hour tour of the set. Hobbiton, although originally just a movie set, is now a permanent tourist attraction.”

Other locations mentioned in the blog include Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England (Harry Potter; Downton Abby), The Hawaiian island of Kauai (Jurassic Park; Raiders of the Lost Arc) and California’s Redwood National Park (Star War’s Forest Moon of Endor). While all of them would be fun to visit, we’re partial to Hobbiton not the least of which is because it’s not just a building or a landscape to look at. As the article mentions, it’s a permanent tourist attraction in beautiful New Zealand, offering excellent guided tours, a store and a pub! What’s not to love?

Check out Hobbiton and the other top 15 movie locations to visit here, and let us know which ones you’d most like to see (after Hobbiton, of course).

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production

New York ComicCon is almost here – a few party tickets remain!

NYCC - New York Comic-ConIt’s almost time to gather in the Big Apple and enjoy all that New York ComicCon has to offer. As ever, will be there! Here are a few details for you:

We’ll be at Booth 3040, which – to make life simple! – is the same location as last year! We’ll have all the usual goodies for sale – plus this year we’ll have hoodies from our friends at LotH Hoodies!  Of course we’ll have many fabulous things you could win! And we’ll be ready just to chat and geek out with our fellow fans.

Talking of which – if you want to chat in a quieter location than the convention floor, this year we’re leading a ‘Fan Forum’ discussion group! Basically it’s a chance to join us to reminisce about the past seventeen years – since was founded and since Peter Jackson began pre-production in earnest on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. What a journey it’s been! Come and share memories with us – and maybe hear a bit about what we may see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (which, as you know, screens in cinemas on October 13th!)  Find the Forum in room 1E03, Friday 4pm. Click here for details

And don’t forget about our PARTY! Thursday 8th October 8-11pm at The East Wing – a few tickets remain! Click here to buy. WETA will be co-hosting with us, and as usual your ticket includes the buffet, your first drink, a goody bag and two raffle tickets – all in a wonderful, private venue in Manhattan. Hope to see you there!

NYCC One Ring New York 1 Ring New YorkYou’ll find our WETA friends at Booth 622. Middle-earth guests at the convention this year include Sean Bean, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood!

As ever, we have a host of folks supporting us to make it possible for us to be at New York ComicCon. Many thanks to them all:

ROW NYC – making sure hard-working TORn staffers have somewhere to sleep. A great place to stay in Manhattan!

LotH Hoodies – check out their new ‘Galaxy Collection’.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Tolkien publishers and donors of some great items for the party goody bags. – helping us decorate our booth with their fabulous standees.

Badali Jewelry – alas not exhibiting at NYCC, but they have given us some wonderful items for giveaways!

And of course, special thanks to Weta – party co-hosts!

Hope to see you in New York! Buy your party tickets here!


Posted in Clothing, Collectibles, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, NYCC, Sean Bean, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Community, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

New York ComicCon – party with and WETA!

NYCC - New York Comic-ConIt’s almost October already – and that means New York ComicCon is almost upon us! As ever, TORn will be there.

You can find us at the convention at Booth 3040  – same spot as last year! We’ll have t-shirts, buttons, lanyards and more for sale, as well as the usual cool giveaways and fun stuff. We’re not giving a panel this year – instead, we’re hosting a ‘forum/discussion group’, on Friday 9th Oct 4-5pm. We’ll be chatting and reminiscing about the seventeen years which have flown by, since Peter Jackson got going on pre-production for his Lord of the Rings trilogy and TORn was founded. Come and share your memories of this unexpected journey! Venue TBA – we’ll let you know asap, and hope you can join us! (We very well may also include some gossip on just what might be in the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies…)


Posted in Clothing, Collectibles, Conventions, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, Karl Urban, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, Merchandise, NYCC, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Community, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

The LA Baggins Birthday Bash is back, this Sunday, Sept. 20

Baggins Birthday CakeCome 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 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

Baggins Birthday Bash

Update: Accidentally posted Sept. 27, the event will be this weekend, Sunday, September 20. 

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Tolkien