In his second of many articles for our worldwide community, Tedoras, long-time audience participant on our TORn TUESDAY webcast brings us a fascinating idea: a lost connection to the Beacons of Gondor perhaps… Read on for a short but very interesting look at how an ancient Biblical account may have inspired Tolkien! Take it away, Tedoras….
The (Biblical) Beacons of Gondor
By Tedoras — special to TheOneRing.net
This past April 28th happened to be the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day of the Counting of the Sheaves, to be more precise). Now, you are probably wondering how this little-known holiday relates to The Lord of the Rings(and, if you’re like me, you’d like to know what a “sheaf” is, too). It turns out a sheaf is a bundle for cereal plants—fortunately for us all, though, my story has nothing to do with Biblical agriculture. Rather, it begins with The Return of the King.
If you are like me, you love those amazing fly-by shots from The Lord of the Ringsfilms. One of the most epic sequences of such shots is the lighting of the beacons in ROTK(refresh your memory here). Whether your first encounter with these mountaintop fires was in literature or film, you probably thought it was an ingenious mode of communication. Certainly, they are by far the best means for sending urgent messages across long distances (and I hope the Gondorian who urged their construction was handsomely rewarded). In order to see the connection between these beacons and the aforementioned holiday, it is important to know the story of Lag B’Omer.
In short, Lag B’Omer commemorates a revolt in the year 131 CE. The Israelites, under the leadership of Bar Kochba, rose up against the Romans, who ruled the land at that time. Years before the Romans came, the Israelites had built a series of m’durot, or bonfires, upon the surrounding mountains. So, when the revolt began, (you guessed it) Bar Kochba ordered a beacon lit. A soldier took a torch to the top of a mountain, lit one the beacons, and thus sent word around the land that war had begun.
Certainly, the use of the beacons of Gondor to call for Rohan’s aid is reminiscent of this episode. Yet, was Tolkien inspired by this Biblical tale in his creation of the beacons? On the one hand, we know Tolkien was well-versed in the Bible; his contemporaneous English education saw to that. Furthermore, Tolkien was a lifelong scholar—thus, if not in school, it is likely he would have encountered this story on his own. Assuming Tolkien was acquainted with this tale, the unanswerable question here, of course, is whether or not he consciously recognized the Bible as their source.
However, on the other hand, a case can certainly be made that Tolkien knew not of the story of Bar Kochba’s revolt. For a realm the size of Gondor, it would make sense to have a system for mass-communication in the event of any important occurrence. And, while these beacons also housed fresh horses on stand-by for couriers, it is clear that signal fires would be a much faster means. The independent invention of the beacons is not only possible in terms of the technology available to Gondor at the time, but it is also becoming of the prudence and wisdom of the Gondorian kings of Old.
This is one of many familiar situations to us Tolkien fans: is there a “right” answer here? Personally, I do not think it really matters; I intended only to present a surprising and uncanny resemblance upon which I happened to stumble. But, of course, such a topic is up for interpretation—so I will let you decide for yourself.
Welcome to our weekly live webcast — known as TORn TUESDAY — a unique show format where you can come into the chat and participate live. We are now on the 4th part of our ongoing series of discussions on the History of the Dwarves who undertake the Quest of Erebor. Today we switch gears to discuss OIN and GLOIN (father of our Fellowship member Gimli) and learn about the great fate tying up these characters in the House of Durin’s Line! Bring your questions and join us LIVE for what will be a very illuminating discussion of dark Dwarven secrets! We have *JUST* confirmed that our actors playing these roles have been whisked away to the studios in Wellington, where Peter Jackson has commenced new shoots for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!
Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Haven’t Read The Books Yet” Sewell — as we discuss the unique characteristics of each Dwarf. We shall learn how they fit into the larger history of Tolkien’s legends — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish these rough and tumble travelers from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A.!
NEXT WEEK: Bifur, Bofur….. and Bombur, for real this time!
Follow Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
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.
As TORn readers will no doubt have heard by now, Ray Harryhausen, the man who pioneered stop motion photography and led the way to many of the special effects we take for granted today, died on Tuesday. He was 92. His classic films, such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, inspired many future movie makers, with their wonderful scenes of monsters and mythical creatures, brought to life by Harryhausen’s brilliant use of stop motion technique. As a teenager, Harryhausen had himself been inspired by the 1933 King Kong; it seems fitting, then, that he in turn became a source of great inspiration for a teenage Peter Jackson, who of course made his own King Kong movie in 2005. USA Today quoted this statement from Peter Jackson: ‘The Lord of the Rings is my Ray Harryhausen movie. Without his lifelong love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made — not by me, at least.’
You can read more about Ray Harryhausen here. In 2010, BAFTA paid special tribute to Harryhausen in celebration of his 90th birthday. Peter Jackson was a surprise guest, and at the event he showed some of his earliest attempts as a teenage film maker, clearly inspired by Harryhausen’s movies. Jackson’s presentation – and those wonderful, early film clips – can be seen here.
The film industry has lost a legend; RIP Ray Harryhausen.
Greetings all! Last week we began the first of a series of webcasts profiling each dwarven member of Thorin’s Company, starting with Balin and Dwalin (who were 1st to arrive at Bilbo’s round green door) and today moving on to discuss the youngest, and in a way almost beardless, Dwarves of the nascent traveling company, Kili and Fili! Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Haven’t Read The Books Yet” Sewell — as we discuss the unique characteristics of each Dwarf. We shall learn how they fit into the larger history of Tolkien’s legends — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish these rough and tumble travelers from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A. The show will begin in less than 20 minutes from *now*!
In his first of many articles for our worldwide community, Tedoras, long-time audience participant on our TORn TUESDAY webcast brings us an illuminating discussion on something that fascinates the inner-linguist in us all: taking the very Euro-centric names and words Tolkien invented and reforming them into other languages! How do foreign-language translators deal with Tolkien’s legendarium? Read on for some keen insights! Take it away, Tedoras….
By Tedoras — special to TheOneRing.net
In recent years, and especially following the release of the first installment of The Hobbit films, Latin America and China have both become major sources of Tolkien fandom. While we often associate the works of Tolkien with the English-speaking world, the international nature of modern Ringerdom cannot be ignored. The Spanish and Chinese-speaking markets have undeniably helped in making An Unexpected Journey the fourteenth highest grossing film of all time. An historical challenge with Tolkien’s works, however, is how best to translate them. Whether in film or literature, translators have struggled and debate for years on how translate the names of people and places without losing the original sound and meaning that the Professor clearly intended. The process of de-anglicizing these nouns is further complicated because not only must English-language etymology be considered, but also that of Middle-earth’s many distinct tongues.
In Middle-earth, we find a strong correlation between sound and meaning that is particularly evident in the context of “soft” or “hard/harsh” names. For example, the word “Shire” conjures up visions of a distinctly British pastoral community — in essence, one notes a favorable and pleasant sense simply from reading the word. In contrast, “Dol Guldur” is composed of hard consonants and more guttural vowels which denote a rather negative air. Another popular theme is the use of alliteration; it is no mere coincidence that Bilbo Baggins lives in Bag End. As you will see, the biggest problem in translating proper nouns is deciding whether to maintain the original sound or meaning intended by the author, when often both cannot be kept.
It just so happens that Chinese and Spanish are two languages I study, so, in homage to the large Latin American and Chinese Tolkien-fan base around the world, I have decided to present some translations of proper nouns from The Hobbit. While these translations certainly highlight the many different ways Tolkien’s works can be translated, they also provide some important insight into Middle-earth (and some unintended laughs along the way).
I first present some Spanish translations of proper names.
These translations reflect an effort to keep the original meaning of a word, rather than its sound. However, because of its close relationship with English, Spanish allows for the pronunciation of many words in their original form.
This is of course our favorite hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. Interesting here is the translation of the surname. In Spanish, “bolsón” is the augmentative form of “bolsa,” which literally means “bag.” A “bolsón” is simply a large bag or backpack, yet in translation it is used to convey the “bag” in Baggins.
Bardo el Arquero
Bard the Bowman is, in Spanish, literally Bard the Archer. In this case, we note a loss of alliteration in translation. It may seem trivial, but alliteration very much shapes how we view a character. The strong “b” sound in Bard’s English title provides him with a bold, confident aura. In a way, the Spanish version tries to make up for this loss by means of assonance and the repetition of the “o” in Bardo and “Arquero.”
Bill Huggins is one of our favorite trolls. His surname is of particular interest; in the translation, we find the Spanish word “estrujón,” literally “squeeze/press” or “bear hug.” There are two aspects to this translation: first, if we take the “bear hug” approach, then you will notice how “hug” is also present in his English surname (Huggins); and secondly, from the Spanish name one is immediately aware that this character must be strong and large.
Piedra del Arca
The Arkenstone can be interpreted many ways in Spanish. “Arca” can refer to a chest (as in of treasure) or to an ark (as in Noah’s). Either translation lends an antiquarian, more mystical nature to the stone.
In Spanish, the Shire is known rather literally as a “region” or “province”. This name was translated out of necessity, for in Spanish the “sh” sound does not typically exist. Personally, I find this name lacking of the novelty of “Shire.”
The Spanish name for “Bag End” is rather odd. We find Bilbo’s surname used to represent the “Bag” in his aforementioned smial, but where one expects to find “end” there is the Spanish “cerrado” (literally “closed”). I am at a loss as to how to properly account for his translation; I will note, however, that the name flows much better as translated than if any variant of “end” had been used instead.
I find the Spanish name for the Misty Mountains very descriptive. Of note here is “nubladas” (literally, “cloudy/overcast”, from “nube” cloud). While “misty” and “cloudy” both denote mystery, the Spanish name is particularly foreboding; the verb “nublar” means “to darken/to cloud” and has a negative and ominous connotation in Spanish. This is of course an apt warning of the Misty Mountains.
The Spanish version of the “Long Lake” is very evocative of its English translation. Both exhibit an alliterative nature and are composed of two one-syllable words. This is, perhaps, exemplary of an ideal translation, if ever there were such a thing, as neither an ounce of meaning nor sound is lost.
Next I present some Chinese translations of proper names.
Before continuing, however, I must note a few important characteristics of the Chinese language for those who have no experience with it. Unlike Spanish, Chinese is much more concerned with the preservation of sound. The Chinese have a long tradition of translating words such that they are phonetically similar to their native language-form. Here are two examples: first, the Chinese name for Germany is deguo (de, because of the German Deutschland, and guo meaning “country/nation”). While the character de has literal meaning (“virtues” or “ethics”), in this context it is used simply because it sounds like the “de” in Deutschland. Another example is the translation of the English name Michael; the Chinese form, maike, literally means something along the lines of “overcome wheat”. Yet, again, the Chinese in this instance forgo meaning in favor of sound. Thus, as you will see, the majority of translations involve preserving sound in Chinese. Yet looking at what potential literal translations of the names yield is a rather funny and interesting task.
#1 (huo bi te ren)
This is the Chinese form of “hobbit.” It can literally be translated as “quickly compare special people.” This name, oddly enough, recognizes one truth: the unique and special nature of hobbits. Whether conveyance of this meaning was intended or not by the translator, I am not sure, though.
#2 (gu lu mu)
As you might have guessed, this is Gollum in Chinese. The literal meaning of this name is very odd: it can be translated as “nanny guru.” It does imply Gollum is old (which is true) and beholding of some secret knowledge, as a guru is (also, perhaps, true).
#3 (zhong tu shi jie)
The Chinese name for Middle-earth is an example where meaning is carried over sound. It literally means “middle earth/soil world”. However, another translation of “zhong1 tu3” is “Sino-Turkish,” though, of course, that is not the intended meaning.
#4 (bierbo bajinsi)
This is Bilbo Baggins—and a very difficult name to translate, too. The first name cannot really be translated at all. However, the surname is quite interesting; one translation could be “long for gold” which, although perhaps not applicable to Bilbo himself, is a rather pertinent note on the story as a whole.
#5 (gan dao fu)
As it sounds, this is Gandalf. The translation I like most for his name is “willing path man,” for, as we know, Gandalf is an instinctive wanderer; they do call him The Grey Pilgrim, after all.
#6 (si mao ge)
Smaug’s name is also very apt for his character. I translate this name as “careless spear,” which reflects his wantonly destructive nature.
#7 (you an mi lin)
The Chinese form of Mirkwood is another rare instance where meaning is favored over sound. This name literally means “gloomy jungle.” The dark and ominous connotation of the Chinese form is, in my opinion, much more powerfully negative than even the original English.
#8 (tuo er jin)
Lastly, I decided to include Tolkien’s Chinese name because it is oddly appropriate for the Professor. The name can be translated as “entrusting you with gold,” which I interpret in two ways: first, this can be seen as a reference to The One Ring, and, second, it can refer to Tolkien’s gift of his writings to us (his literary “gold,” if you will). Again, any intent on the part of the translator is impossible to know.
…. stay tuned for more from Tedoras ….
Join us every Tuesday for more engaging conversation with live chatters around the world who join our innovative broadcast TORn TUESDAY, featuring interviews with Tolkien/Fantasy luminaries, authors, and artists — many of whom are Ringer fans just like us! Every Tuesday at 5:00PM Pacific Time
iTech Post.com: Ancient humans that bear a resemblance to the fictional hobbit creatures apparently had bigger brains than we previously gave them credit for.
The species known as Homo floresiensis was previously thought to have a brain volume of 400 cc, but it was actually 426 cc, bringing their brain size to roughly the same as a chimpanzee. That is, compared to about 1500 cc we currently have as Homo sapiens.
Researchers determined the larger brain size with a high-definition CT scanner.
The remnants of the “hobbits” were discovered on the island of Flores, part of Indonesia, in 2003.
The individuals were roughly three and a half feet tall, and had short legs when compared to their arms and feet.
From Otago Daily Times: In 1974, the name Aragorn Peak appeared on a Fiordland topographic map published by the Department of Lands and Survey, but by 1980 the mountain had been stripped of the name.
The New Zealand Geographic Board has decided to keep the mountainous area Tolkien-free after declining a proposal to name a nearby peak Tolkien Mountain.
Manapouri man Aaron Nicholson had applied to have an unnamed 1757m peak at the northern end of the Earl Mountains in Fiordland National Park, named Tolkien Mountain but the New Zealand Geographic Board has declined the application.
New Zealand Geographic Board secretary Wendy Shaw said the board’s naming policy had not been met and it was not convinced the peak needed a name.
”The proposal would have had to have provided a strong association between the person being honoured/commemorated, and the area where the feature is located.
There once was a little hashtag looking for a cause. Over the past eleven days, #VoteBilbo became a lightning rod of attention and excitement among Ringer fans the world over. In the words of another reporter: “it went beyond viral.” A resounding victory was pulled off by the unlikeliest fandom — an unorthodox lovefest — for an unexpected little hero. Here’s the story of how TheOneRing.net galvanized a remarkable fan audience to achieve a sweet victory!
It started when this year’s MTV Movie Awards announced their vote-in contest for the category “Best Hero” — allowing Instagram and Twitter users to employ hashtags like #VoteIronMan or #VoteHulk — and especially of interest to this phenomenon #VoteBilbo. A few days actually went by without us even noticing there was a contest. Over Easter weekend the staff of TheOneRing.net was working to deliver a great presentation before packed crowds (many hundreds in the standing-room-only hall) at WonderCon, happening right on the tail of a very successful April Fool’s Day prank — so no wonder we were looking elsewhere.
TheOneRing.net first brought attention to the contest on April 3rd with this tweet:
We saw that Kristen Stewart’s character Snow White (from that hunky HUNTSMAN movie) had a stunning 13,556 votes, far more than the other nominees… while poor Mr. Baggins was in very last place with only 226 votes. A pathetic showing that would have me old Gaffer shaking his head in shame.
By using Twitter to muster our troops, within a mere 24 hours we saw a mighty surge of thousands of votes — yes THOUSANDS — and it kept going strong from there. We hit the Twitterverse so hard that #VoteBilbo started trending, everyone outside of our community actually picked up on it, K.Stew quickly lost her lead (causing her fanbase to respond), and thus “The Great Battle of the Fandoms” was in full swing.
We realized that TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN fans were supporting their chosen actress, *not* the character she portrayed, a bit of irony not lost on us. The category “Best Hero” did not really mean “Best Actress You’re A Fan Of From Another Franchise Because You Didn’t Really Watch This Movie.” Their rigorous support for the actress rather than the character made the whole contest a bit of a sham, in that context. Rather unfair, in this Ent’s personal opinion, that a true statement of how we regard our heroes was being skewed so badly. Undoubtedly Twi-hards have been a huge segment of MTV’s target audience, and plenty of naysayers told us that we didn’t have a chance to tip the scales. We were glad to have a challenge: a task to show what genuine fan-love of a heroic character really looks like, with numbers not seen since the Muster of Rohan!
The meteoric trending of #VoteBilbo caught everyone’s attention. Warner Bros. Pictures officially supported the effort with this missive from their Twitter account ‘TheHobbitMovie’ on April 5th, which spurred tens of thousands of new votes:
Our burglar, Bilbo Baggins, is nominated for Best Hero atthe 2013 MTV Movie
The other nominees were floundering: Batman and Catwoman were left in the dust of a deserted Gotham City as Bilbo VS. Snow White became a runaway viral showdown. But the numbers were not quite right. Certain fake Twitter accounts (spam-style “bots”) were discovered processing blank-except-for-the-hashtag #VoteSnowWhite tweets, but they were reported and shut down. Our support for Mr. Baggins was quite organic, and the funny thing was that votes were not coming from some hardcore group of Martin Freeman supporters, though they exist, but rather from Tolkien-lovers who really wanted to make a true statement about Bilbo Baggins.
April 6th proved to be a huge day! The media-watch group WHO TRENDED IT? posted this tweet on April 6th, giving TORn proper credit:
Guess what ! #votebilbo trending in the US ? @theoneringnet did it ! Now, that’s badass. Even as a cold hearted robot, I’m impressed.
Within his wonderful vote-tracker page we could see exactly what was going on, relative to the timing of our announcements on TheOneRing.net (and our Facebook timeline and Twitter, of course). When there was doubt our votes were less than stellar, we rallied again!
Stars from the LOTR Film Trilogy and even newer actors from THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY jumped on board! Their timing was perfect — and because these actors are actually paying attention to what fans are saying on Twitter, it felt like a genuine grassroots effort was brewing. We had tweets from Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck) and Dean O’Gorman (the dwarf Fili) on the same day Evangeline Lilly (upcoming new character Tauriel) retweeted our comments — pleased as we were to ultimately learn that retweets counted as full votes!):
More ambitious creative folks within our Ringer ranks started posting videos designed to bring a smile to your face as well as playfully jab at Bella Swan — and MTV reported on it, realizing that the race was getting quite aggressive between the two camps. ‘If you liked it then you shoulda put a Ring on it’ had a whole new meaning with Speigel Ei’s Vimeo clip:
“HOBBIT fans went straight for the gut of Team #VoteSnowWhite,
who have to watch as several of the characters from Middle-earth court
Kristen Stewart to their side over Edward Cullen,” declared the MTV blog, and we realized this was indeed a chance to show our resplendent fandom in a unique way. The fact that we have been in love with Tolkien’s HOBBIT characters for 75 years since the book was first published supported the sky-high numbers of votes.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTES POURED IN DAILY. When the final weekend of the Awards telecast began on April 13th, we broke 1 million votes. K.Stew voters were trying to keep up; sometimes we crossed above or below their high-end total. Fans started to create one-click Twitter vote buttons, and we supplied a host of #VOTEBILBO avatars and funny images to become viral memes. Fans started creating their own images (with familiar LOLcat fonts) and sharing them.
Our lovely lady friends Kili and Fili from our HAPPY HOBBIT video channel did a fun little P.S.A. style announcement asking Ringers to bring their votes to bear! We were really building momentum as a community. There was more spirited fun to be had with this contest than we first suspected!
Did we have crossover from other fantasy fans? You betcha! *wink* GAME OF THRONES featured our very own Sean Bean (Boromir) in the first season and of course it was appropriate for him to support his halfling friend.
We were not just sending empty or meaningless tweets with a hashtag in place — we wanted to make this relevant. In an effort to really bring our feelings and honest passion to the center stage, TORn decided to host a concentrated “Tweet Quest” on Sunday April 14th, the day of the MTV Movie Awards. During a tightly-concentrated 1-hour block, and then another encore 1-hour, we asked Ringers to declare why Bilbo should be named ‘Best Hero.’ So we put forward the call to arms.
Boy oh boy, did they respond with a flood of hobbity lovin’!
Fans declared things that mattered to us, that mattered to readers, and as lovers of Tolkien we could certainly relate: “#VoteBilbo because he was the one person who willingly let the Ring go, when no one else could,” was my personal favorite sentiment. We have an audience that included older-generation folks who had never used Twitter, so we gave quick and easy instructions to help guide our friends toward their goal. We provided everything we could — and most importantly we gave this effort true SPIRIT.
It was a phenomenal success. In the end the final tally was:
Giving our furry-footed reluctant adventurer a lead of well over 100,000 to claim the win! Although MTV broadcast the announcement of the winner as a throw-away commercial bumper for Axe body spray (indeed it was shown offstage, not really part of the “actual ceremony”), and although no cast member from THE HOBBIT film was present to receive the award, we here at TheOneRing.net were entirely thrilled to have succeeded with a kind of social networking wizardry that was fueled by you, dear readers.
Such a long way to go from only 226 votes! Such an outpouring of love!
One of our volunteer staffers, Magpie, had this to say: “It was like a flash mob. We did it for us (Wedefined as the greater Tolkien fan community with TORn functioning a major player in focusing that fan community). It was a community campaign that was an event in itself.”
Staffer Justin who produces our Live webcasts and our weekly show TORn TUESDAY had this to say: “Over 27,000 Bilbo pictures on
Instagram in one week! Take a look at all the comments and tweets we got, there is something for everyone to run with. Thank you all for making #votebilbo happen. I received several messages at the beginning saying I was ‘crazy’ and it was ‘Folly against Twi-hards,’ ‘Who cares about MTV,’ and ‘What’s the point of a stupid teenage online popularity contest?’ But this is why fans love being fans. Achieving something together. To Prove Their Quality.”
And that, my friends, is indeed the feeling I have at the end of the day. That we have stood up with a flag of unity once again. That we have proven our quality of thinking creatively and acting with great energy! It feels like it was months in the making but it happened over such a very short length of time (making it the more surprising).
The love that brings us together is our love of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works are evergreen. No separation of older to younger generations or access to technology can slant that. The truth will out!
Hulk sad. Too bad.
Batman gave up the ghost. Because we are the most.
Iron Man clad in shame. Shoulda played his own game.
Catwoman felt an itchy pox. Put kitty back in her smelly box.
Snow White drifted. Twi-hards were sifted (out).
But #BilbotheHero wins the day! We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Much too hasty,
Follow Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
With sincere apologies to our local and international online audience: there will not be a TORn TUESDAY live webcast today, as you’ve probably surmised by now. We return to the digital airwaves next week, Tuesday April 16th, at 5:00pm PDT. We are working on several surprising guest interviews and some other mischief you will all enjoy! This particular missed episode today was our chance to talk about the current fan-voting for the MTV Movie Awards BEST HERO category — an online showdown between K. Stewart’s Snow White and M. Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins, as two separate camps of fandom massively point and click to the tune of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTES! This heated contest continues right now with every Tweet and Instagram post, right up until next Sunday’s broadcast of the Awards. Keep tweeting dear Ringer friends! Bilbo is currently ahead — but the armies of prepubescent Twi-hards are loathe to give up this public crowning of their dear Miss Homewrecker Stewart as “best hero” (which seems quite absurd since we know the real hero of that movie was actually the Huntsman, played with Asgardian might by Chris Hemsworth. But I digress… Until next Sunday keep up the Tweets with hashtag #VoteBilbo and we will surely win the day! See you next week Ringer faithful!
A story we posted a while back has recently resurfaced, and as we’re all thinking about dragons right now, it seemed worthy of a repeat visit! Forbes published a ‘rich list’ of fictional characters, and our favourite dragon, Smaug, comes out on top. Not surprising really; I’m not sure how they arrived at their figures, but $62 billion seems like a fair sum for the wealth of Erebor. Forbes suggest, however, that much of Smaug’s vast hoard comes from his work in movies and the excellent deal he negotiated to appear in The Hobbit movies! Check out the whole fictional rich list here; thanks to Ringer Eledium for the heads up!
HAPPY EASTER and welcome to WonderCon! Join us today as we bring amazing Hobbity goodness to all the attendees waiting for a real insider’s scoop! Today, March 31st, join TORn Staffers Garfeimao and Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, for our special panel presentation at 12:00pm PDT in Room 207. The panel is titled TheOneRing.net’s Unauthorized Sneak Peek: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This will be a wildly fun discussion regarding all things Hobbit… with special insights from those who have been on the New Zealand sets!
WonderCon is one of three conventions hosted by Comic Con International, the others being APE (Alternative Press Expo) and San Diego Comic-Con. Wondercon follows the same general format as San Diego Comic Con, but on a much smaller size, making it easier to attend the panels you wish and still have time to shop. It is returning to the Anahim Convention Center for the second year while the Moscone Center in San Francisco is getting a major renovation. If you have had problems getting into San Diego Comic Con the last few years, this is a really great alternative. See you all on Sunday.
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