Last weekend, The Hall of Fire examined what’s undoubtedly the movie topic of the moment — the character and appearance of Beorn. Lots of thoughtful opinions from all sides, and some interesting analysis of the mythic roots of Tolkien’s shapeshifter as well as of Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith’s classic illustrations. Plenty of spoilers, too! For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a log.
Also, this weekend (Saturday August 24 at 6pm EDT (New York time)) we’ll be returning to our Lord of the Rings book chats. This week we begin the first chapter of book four — The Taming of Smeagol — so be sure to join us for this exciting topic! (more…)
Fact is that, while noting that people often tend to automatically respond negatively to change then rapidly adapt, the reader response has been largely unfavourable. Overall, people don’t seem to like Beorn.
It’s a reaction seemingly propelled by the crazy mane of hair that sweeps over Beorn’s head like a mohawk, and stretches down his back like a long, rangy mullet.
It’s prompted a wide-ranging variety of negative comparisons to Sonic the Hedgehog, Blanka, Joe Dirt, ’80s hair metal bands, David Bowie in Labyrinth and Beast from Beauty and the Beast. (more…)
John Howe, legendary Tolkien artist and conceptual designer for THE HOBBIT and LOTR Trilogies, dropped us a note to remind us that today is the *final day* to bid on a very special piece of art that he and Alan Lee created in support of Robin’s Relief Fairy Tale Art Auction, a charity fundraiser where world-renowned fantasy artists have donated remarkable exclusive artworks to help raise hopes and raise funds for Robin Sullins’ new hands, new legs, and new life.
This artwork was created in New Zealand while the two artists were busy working on THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, but they took time out of their work schedules to craft something special for this fundraiser.
The story takes us back to the recent holidays, where Robin’s family had gathered for a long, pleasant Christmas meal that brought everyone together — but afterward, a small bite from an over-excited family dog would have strange and tragic consequences. Robin became infected with the Capnocytophaga bacteria, commonly found in cats and dogs but very rarely ever transmitted as an infection to a human, yet the devastation through her body ultimately caused the loss of both her legs and hands. More details on her courageous battle can be found here on the Robin’s Relief Fairy Tale Art Auction page.
Now, in an effort to bring light and hope to her medical struggle, world-famous fantasy artists such as Wendy Froud, Michael Parkes, Alan Lee & John Howe, Kinuko Craft and many others have donated EXCLUSIVE new artworks that will be offered on eBay through the month of March. All proceeds go directly to a Chase Bank account setup for Robin’s Relief Fund.
Unfortunately, eBay has been pursuing a policy of NOT ALLOWING the mention of a charity fundraiser anywhere on these auctions, and recently this amazing Lee/Howe original drawing of one of Tolkien’s elves discovering the most unlikely creature imaginable (at least in terms of Middle-earth) was taken down off the auction site and all the bids were lost! None to be restored… so now they have replaced the live auction and the artist greatly desires to bring some Ringers’ attention to it before it concludes later today. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY — the current bids are not as significant as they were before being taken down — SO PLEASE BID NOW — They are in the final hours of bidding on this item and every little bit helps.
greendragon with actor John Bell, who plays Bain in The Hobbit movies
On 12th December staffer greendragon was lucky enough to attend the red (well, actually it was green!) carpet in Leicester Square, London, for the Royal Film Performance of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Many of the film’s stars – and other celebs who were there to see the movie – stopped by to say hi, and were delighted to see TheOneRing.net (‘our special friends,’ as Peter Hambleton said) represented there. This is because YOU, our readers, are all so fabulous – everyone involved with the films knows that the best fans are the ones who visit TORn. 😉 So here, as a little festive mathom offered to you all from us, the staffers at TORn, is a video of some greetings (and some ‘woohoos’!) to you all, from the folks who work in Middle-earth.
After a little footage of the set up in Leicester Square to set the scene, you’ll see John Bell (Bain) and his parents, Graham McTavish (Dwalin), James Nesbitt (Bofur), William Kircher (Bifur) and his beautiful wife Nicole, artist Alan Lee, Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), and of course Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin)- who were there to see the movie and revisit old haunts! Enjoy! Wishing you all happy holidays!
Courtesy of Warner Bros Belgium, here is an amazing 13-minute look into The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It features behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and many, many other key cast and crew members where they discuss the inspiration for, and direction of, the story the first film reveals. Plus there’s plenty of new, previously unseen (at least by me!) sneak previews of what you’ll see on the big screen! So I guess I’ll add: spoilers! (more…)
British artist John Cockshaw creates the most amazing artwork of the landscapes of Middle-earth using his imagination, and a love of landscapes and macro photography. TheOneRing.net spoke with John about the techniques and inspiration behind his moody and evocative pieces in this extended interview. (more…)
Ringer Maya sends us this report from today’s signing at the Weta Cave.
The queues were especially long this afternoon at Weta Cave. The cave is usually rather busy and packed with tourists, movie fans, Tolkien fans and other enthusiastic visitors, but today was exception even in busy times’ standards. Like many others, I too arrived at the cave today, my own wee elfling in tow, willing to brave the long queue especially to meet illustrator Alan Lee and to have him sign our copy of The Hobbit 2013 Official Calendar.
It was such a delight to find out that John Howe, the other major illustrator on the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies was there as well! (more…)
The 2013 Tolkien calendar naturally features ‘The Hobbit’ this year including the work of Alan Lee and John Howe. To celebrate, the Weta Cave in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand will host Lee this Sunday to sign this and others of his works.
Lee and Howe have been working on concept art for Peter Jackson’s three-part ‘Hobbit’ movie, headed for a mid-December release but found time to produce some new work for this calendar.
The calendar features 14 paintings, including some created exclusively for this calendar by Alan Lee and John Howe, the two artists whose work has defined the look of Middle-earth over the last 25 years.
This is their first-ever collaboration since the official Tolkien Calendar began publishing 40 years ago.
Each month depicts one of the most famous scenes from The Hobbit, including Bilbo outside Bag End, Smaug the Dragon, the Great Goblin and Bilbo’s Front Hall. As well as classic illustrations from bo
th artists’ celebrated portfolios, the 2013 calendar includes brand new paintings, created by John Howe and Alan Lee exclusively for this calendar.
You’ve probably already seen the that fabulous picture of Thorin holding Thrain’s key — the one that they need to get into Erebor.
Now Herr-der-Ringe has a spy image of the artwork.
The keys is exactly the same, but the runes on them seem to be slightly different? Was the artwork an earlier iteration that was subsequently simplified? Maybe it’s the equivalent of text greeking? Any runes experts out there able to help? Potential spoiler warning
For JRR Tolkien, languages evolved at least in part in reaction to the history of their speakers. Looking at recent photos and screenshots of the cities of Dale and Esgaroth, I was struck by the thought that for Peter Jackson’s design team, Middle-earth history could exert a similar effect on architecture.
Curious how the architectural set design choices for the Hobbit might reflect the history of these two cities, I asked Barliman’s chat regular and archaeologist Jenniearcheo to provide a few professional insights on some of the set images that have found their way onto the internet.
This brief essay is the result. We hope you enjoy it.
From the LOTR Trilogy Facebook Page: Ever wonder how the design & effects came together in The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Well, now you can ask the experts. Alan Lee & John Howe Illustrators & Conceptual Artists for The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as Richard Taylor, Design and Effects Supervisor for The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be answering YOUR Facebook fan questions! Submit questions below & be sure to let us know who it’s for. More..
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