Born on February 25, 1971, Sean Astin turned 43 yesterday!
Astin — actor, director, voice artist and producer — is, of course, best known to Tolkien fans as Sam Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, but has also made his mark in a career spanning more than 70 films roles, including The Goonies, Toy Soldiers, 50 First Dates and as the indomitable, never-say-die working class hero of Rudy. (more…)
LOS ANGELES — TheOneRing.net covered all kinds of events this week surrounding the World Premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” None was more exciting than the film’s red (black) carpet experience where the stars can greet fans and walk the press line to talk about the film.
Many clips end up on news and entertainment websites but we bring you an edited version with our own Happy Hobbits behind the microphones and in front of the stars including Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, William Kircher, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, Philippa Boyens, Manu Bennett, Ryan Gage, Sean Astin, Ed Sheeran and the already-famous pinch from Benedict Cumberbatch.
TORn Tuesday will be chatting with Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee) later today at 5pm PT.
So join us on theonering.net/live then! Additionally, Sean and TORn Staffers Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway and Justin Sewell will be at Cross Campus in Santa Monica for another public discussion with FilmBreak at 7pm. So if you happen to be in the area, come along! (more…)
As you are aware, many Hobbit cast members have their own twitter accounts. After Evangeline Lilly participated in a live Twitter Q&A the other day, we thought it would be a great time to remind you of the official accounts. As far as we know each actor manages their twitter personally, offering a great way to keep up with them. (more…)
The Fellowship of the Ring is now complete. As you may know from following our news and reviews of this set, Weta Workshop created a three piece set of The Fellowship as they crest the hill from that memorable scene in The Fellowship of the Ring. You can still order Set 1 and Set 2 from Weta’s website. Tonight, we get to complete the trio of pieces with Set 3 going up for Pre-Order with this piece of the trio containing Samwise, Aragorn, and of course Bill the Pony. This set comes in at $200 like the other two sets and will be shipping in September/October of this year. Make sure to get your order in now to get yours in the Fall.
“I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise! ‘Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee.’ And I don’t mean to! I don’t mean to.”
— Samwise Gamgee to Frodo
The Fellowship of the Ring
Last year at Comic-Con 2012 two Hobbits made an appearance as one of the newest entries to Sideshow Collectibles The Lord of the Rings statue line. The two Hobbits fans got a glimpse at were the Ringbearer himself and the most loyal friend you could ever have Samwise Gamgee. These two make their appearance in this line as we see them towards the end of The Return of the King in the Orc armor they get from Cirith Ungol. The regular release for this statue gets you two amazing head sculpts of Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, while the exclusive gets you these two headsculpts wearing the Orc helmets they find with the armor.
Graphically the box of the Frodo/Sam statue follows the same path as previous releases from this series. You have the front and back panels, which are black with The Lord of the Rings and Frodo/Sam done in a shade of Silver. While on the sides of the box you get an image of the statue from two different angles. The material on the outside of the box continues the matte finish we’ve seen with the last several boxes in this line. The Styrofoam on the inside has once again done its job of making sure the statue makes it intact, and to help with the multiple sculpts they’ve been wrapped separately in a cushion wrap.
Gabriel Marquez and the uber talented Trevor Grove were tasked with bringing Frodo/Sam to life. These are two of the best likenesses I’ve seen of either character in the years I’ve been collecting Middle-earth. What’s great about the Frodo sculpt besides the likeness is the pain/agony Frodo is going through by this point in the story. We know that the Ring has finally worn him down and this very much comes through in the final product. Samwise is loyal and loves Frodo. Its one of the best things about the character because he is willing to give his life to make sure Frodo succeeds. I think this comes through in spades with the Samwise sculpt. He has that look of protection on his face as if something is about to come at Frodo and keep him from finishing the task.
Sideshow has a great history of making the costumes the characters wore in the movies translate into polystone. This is another case where they were successful in making that happen. The Orc costumes have tons of leatherwork involved and not brand new leatherwork either. This comes across very nicely in the sculpt of both the leather and the chainmail with both having knicks, dents, and holes to make it look worn. One thing I love about the sculpt is the gloves. I love how they’re sculpted where the fingers do not fill the gloves. If you ordered the exclusive you get both sculpts wearing the Orc helms they steal from Cirith Ungol. These helms look worn and just like we saw on screen during the movie. You also don’t loose the likeness with the Sam helmeted sculpt nor the feeling of agony from Frodo’s eyes. You also get a couple of weapons with this statue with those being the Orc sword and of course Sting which Samwise carries. Finally, the base is really well done with the rocks giving you the feel that they’re crossing The Plains of Gorgoth.
As I said earlier the sculpts are really well done, but that can be lost if the paint is not done very good. That did not happen with this statue as the skin tone is fantastic and has the proper amount of dirt/ash to complete the look both characters had at that point. The eyes are also well done on both statues with Frodo being exceptional allowing the emotional rise/fall he’s going through to come through in the sculpt. Another great job was done on the outfit of the two characters with the worn looked sculpted being enhanced to look worn by the paint job. These outfits very much feel the way they looked on screen that some Orc has been living in for sometime. The same can be said for the Orc sword with it looking rusted and worn from years of just being out in the elements. You can say the same for the base with the look you see of Mordor coming through loud and clear.
Frodo and Sam come in with a price tag of $275 which for two statues in one is a really solid deal. The exclusive has an edition size set at only 500 pieces while the regular has an edition size of 1000 pieces world wide. Both items are currently in-stock but do not miss a chance to own this fantastic statue!
“I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee…here at the end of all things.”
- Frodo to Sam after the destruction of The One Ring
The Return of the King
Frodo and Sam have an edition size of 500 pieces World Wide for the Exclusive and 1000 pieces World Wide for the Regular. The dimensions for the Frodo/Sam are as followed: 14″ x 8.75″ x 8.5″ (H x W x D)
…The boy nodded his understanding. “Can I ask you something?” The Jedi Master nodded. “What are midi-chlorians?” Wind whipped at Qui-Gon’s long hair, blowing strands of it across his strong face. “Midi-chlorians are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force.”…
…”Use the Force, Luke.”…
…Raistlin lifted his thin, frail hand and allowed the spell component he had taken from his pouch to fall slowly from between his fingers onto the deck of the boat. Sand, Tanis realized. “Ast tasarak sinuralan krynawi,” Raistlin murmured, and then moved his right hand slowly in an arc parallel to the shore….
…”The One Power,” Moiraine was saying, “comes from the True Source, the driving force of Creation, the force the Creator made to turn the Wheel of Time.”…
Bibbidi, bobbidi, boo.
There seem to be almost as many ways of representing magic as there are fantasy writers. Role-players know the whole system with mages, spell components, spellbooks, the language of magic, etc. Jordan fans can tell you the ins and outs of the One Power, complete with a discourse on the varying characteristics of saidar and saidin, and the innumerable levels of strength among Aes Sedai. And Star Wars geeks (a word I use with love, considering that I myself am a dyed-in-the-wool geek!) were stunned when Lucas started explaining the universe-balancing Force with microscopic middlemen, instead of with the innate power of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. What ties them in common is that they each have a system, a framework with rules and laws almost more complicated than those of physics. Mages lose their spells after one casting, and must rest and recommit the words to memory before casting again. Aes Sedai spend years in training, because abuse of the One Power can too easily lead to death… and evidently you’ve got to be well-stocked on single-celled symbionts (is that even a word? My spellchecker sure doesn’t like it) to even make a dent in the Force. Fantasy writers delight in coming up with their own, hopefully brand-new systems, to give their books that added twist, that spark that no other sword-swinging Elf-hopping kender-singing dragon-flying books have. But what about Tolkien? Where is the system? What are the rules which govern the making of Rings of Power, which delineate the powers and limits of Istari, of Maiar, of Valar? He never talks about a framework or physical laws; we only see the results of the power’s use. Where does the power come from?
It’s been over 12 years since some of these common Tolkien related questions have been answered, so what better time then to repost some of them for the newbies. Contained in this post are some newbie classics….Why do the Eagles always show up at the last minute? Why did Sauron not just come forth to war? Why do the Black Riders seem to be so weak? Read on…
Q:Greetings masters of lore. My question deals with the Nazgul. I know of Khamul, but I have not found the names of the other Nazgul. If they had names, what were they as well as who were they prior to their transformation? Furthermore, is there any story about their creation and why Sauron decided to choose them specifically?
A:Khamul seems to be the only named Ringwraith. What we know of him is given in the section “The Hunt for the Ring” in Unfinished Tales (1980). He was second to the Chief, and his name is given as Khamul the Shadow of the East. Some more about the Nazgul, or the Ulairi, can be found in some of the volumes of the History of Middle-earth, particularly in the section “The Story of Frodo and Sam in Mordor” in Sauron Defeated (1992), and in the work on the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings as printed in The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996). But, unfortunately, the histories of the men who became the Nazgul seems nowhere to be specifically illuminated. (more…)
Most people think Frodo is the true hero of The Lord of the Rings. To put it another way: It is accepted by nearly all readers that the novel is about Frodo. It’s his quest, his burden, he’s the focus. The little blurbs in magazines that are designed for the non-initiate read like this: “The story of a hobbit, Frodo Baggins, who is sent to destroy an evil Ring of power…” Sound like a good pitch? Not quite.
The main character is really Samwise Gamgee, though you may not know it. I’m telling you now, it’s all about Sam.
You can safely argue Frodo Baggins should be the centerpoint of the tale. In The Hobbit Bilbo had the limelight for an entire book, and no one came close to grandstanding him (except maybe Smaug). Seems like Tolkien intended to chronicle the history of the Baggins family; first through Bilbo’s adventures–then with Frodo inheriting more adventures than he bargained for.
What a fun movie! Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck) came on board to be our wonderful narrator! Actually this film is a time capsule of many decades of pop culture history — giving us the full story on how the world has embraced Tolkien’s masterpiece THE LORD OF THE RINGS over 50 years and more!
Winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, RINGERS was produced in association with TheOneRing.net — this remarkable little film was forged BY fans and FOR fans, just like our website, with the production/writing talent of Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway (who hosts TORn TUESDAY every week), Jeff Marchelletta, and supercool director Carlene Cordova. It was executive produced by X-Men/Transformers guru Tom DeSanto.
With a wonderful rock-driven score and detailing all the outpouring of love bestowed on Tolkien over many generations, this film is a must-have for your digital collection! Get it on iTunes now for only $9.99!
From the original Sony Press Release:
“RINGERS is comprehensive, entertaining and informative pop culture history.” – The Toronto Star
“…Will always be a salient part of ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ history…
See it, absorb it, love it.” – FilmThreat
Winner of “Outstanding Achievement” Award at the
Newport Beach Film Festival
FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY CAPTURES THE HISTORY, INFLUENCE AND PHENOMENON THAT IS LORD OF THE RINGS
CULVER CITY, Calif. (September 12, 2005) – Sony invites you to return to the Shirewith the release of the feature-length documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS,direct to DVD.In association with the popular fan-site TheOneRing.net, Carlene Cordova produced, directed and wrote this award-winning film with executive producer Tom DeSanto(X-Men, X2: X-Men United and Transformers), which charts the incredible influence and ripple-effect that Lord of the Rings has had on worldwide pop culture over the past five decades.Whether you are a fan or first timer, critics agree, RINGERS, stands as the most comprehensive film documenting the ongoing impact of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary achievement.
Dominic Monaghan (star of ABC’s Lost and the Academy Award® winning Lord of the Rings trilogy) narrates the documentary as it looks behind the curtain between Lord of the Rings andhow it inspired so many artists of different mediums.The film moves beyond “cult classic” and through different generations unearthing the way legendary rock musicians, filmmakers, professors, actors and authors all unite under the banner of ‘Ringer.’Interviewees included in the film are Lord of the Rings trilogy filmmaker Peter Jackson as well as Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin and David Carradine.Infused with a dynamic rock-driven score, irreverent cut-out animation (á la Terry Gilliam), and a centerpiece audience sing-a-long, RINGERS is a genre-busting documentary that shows how a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions.
RINGERS continues the momentum of the motion picture trilogy Lord of the Rings, a winner of 17 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Jackson, who made history as the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously.
From the official synopsis:
Ringers: Lord of the Fans is a feature-length documentary that reveals the ongoing cultural phenomenon created by The Lord of the Rings. Very funny and often moving, Ringers shows the hidden power behind Tolkien’s books — and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time.
Shot with groundbreaking new digital technology in 24P, Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies — the people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer.’ From the hippie counter-culture to the electronic age; from the Bakshi animated film to Jackson’s epic trilogy; this documentary brings together extensive footage from across the globe. With units in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Bonn, Germany, Wellington, New Zealand, and Oxford, England, our cameras capture the most fascinating “Ringers” and Lord of the Rings events.
What began as the private amusement of a tweedy Oxford professor has now become a new mythology for the 21st century. Ringers: Lord of the Fans shows how an adventure story published in 1954 has had dynamic ripple-effects through Western pop-culture. Ringers carefully pulls away the veil between Tolkien’s book and the creations of art, music, and community that have been inspired by it.
Welcome to the latest “Getting to know…” questions that need answering. It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I occasionally post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of our one and only greendragon.
Thanks so much Kirsten for agreeing to take part this month
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