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Archive for the ‘Tolkien’ Category

The mythology of Middle-earth explained in four short minutes

Making the complex simple and easy to digest has great value. A fellow on YouTube has been doing this for a while and now he has picked the mythology of Middle-earth to break down in a four-minute video. (And yes, we immediately wondered why we didn’t do this!) He uses spoken words, simple illustrations and iconic figures to blow through J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology. The big overview ads value to the movie-going experience — like if you went to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” for example — or any of the various Middle-earth movies and gives viewers some idea of what all the ruins sitting around might be from. Finally, it might encourage somebody to go pick up a book!

Here it is, the broad view of old Middle-earth in four minutes:


Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Peter Jackson talks ‘Hobbit: BotFA’ and all Middle-earth with TheOneRing.net

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MIRAMAR, New Zealand — The director’s tent. Inside a sound stage or outside on location, it is a constant and central fixture on a movie shoot. It is home base for Peter Jackson and his team.

It is sacred ground – well almost.

The decisions made inside it, by the team, under Jackson’s direction, are crucial to the project where it is determined what will later happen in front of the camera.

So every day, whatever happens to a set or a soundstage overnight, the tent is there set up and waiting for the core of the shooting unit.

Editor Jabez Olssen, Script Supervisor Victoria Sullivan and First Assistant Director Carolynne Cunningham call it home during the shoot. Cunningham is out a lot, Olssen and Sullivan less so and Producer Zane Weiner is always near. Jackson’s assistant Sebastian Meek is in and out at all times, bringing badly needed tea and watching the door from outside to eliminate distractions inside.

Jackson lives on tea and Meek has a talent for having it handy at the perfect moment.

Jackson7SETTING THE SCENE

In April, 2012, as a representative of fandom via TheOneRing.net, to be on set during five weeks of the filming of the Hobbit films. At the time, it was still scheduled to be two movies and the production had just settled in to shoot in studio instead of on location. Much was unknown then, that now is completely familiar to fans.

When I first arrived at Stone Street Studios, the publicity team took me to set, showed me the ropes and left me to my own devices during the rest of my stay to meet folks and get interviews, which was great. No time and no need for babysitting.

I was there to be a good guest and to observe. Two weeks later I was definitely convinced I had no chance of talking to Peter Jackson, except for an occasional, “Hello, how are you getting on?” from him during my time there.

Fans world-wide know from production diaries, how exhausted Jackson gets during the shooting phase of filmmaking. It is important to really understand why.

Peter Jackson is a busy guy. Particularly when he is shooting, there is a lot to do in a day and a lot of people that need to understand his vision in order to do their jobs well; he is the hub of the great spinning wheel.

Peter JacksonHe is the director, a writer and a producer — each a big job on its own. Many films have one of each of those, or several of some, all working together. But Jackson was all of them at once and combining titles didn’t mean there was less work to be done. Just because he was reviewing shots didn’t mean the script didn’t need his touch or that the art department didn’t need his input as a director or the next day’s schedule didn’t need approval. Others were partners on all of these fronts but they also required Jackson.

In a day he might need to meet with the effects supervisor, set designers, concept designers, costume designers, the composer or see actual costumes for approval or changes to name just a few of the many things that require his time. He will confirm the schedule with his Assistant Director, producers and spend time with the Second Unit Director Andy Serkis to make sure all is to his liking. They need sets built, greens grown, sets decorated, concept guys working ahead, materials guys building everything, maximizing actors’ time, feeding all of those people, screening extras, bringing in the right number of prosthetic artists and on and on. In short, there is never a shortage of people who need Jackson’s input to work on his vision and it takes the logistics of, dare I say, planning a battle with five armies.

In short, he has to sign off on pretty much everything.

Those are the reasons “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and his other Hobbit movies are genuinely Peter Jackson movies. It also means he is booked.

Solid.

THE FINAL HOURS

And so it was, the last day of my time on The Hobbit set, after several assurances that it would happen — it did.

Lunch happened and on the location set of Dale, up on a hill, I was invited to that director’s tent to sit and talk with PJ, just the two of us alone. (One editor asked me if we ate together in the tent but I don’t think so, but why many memories are crystal clear of that meeting, I just have no idea.)

I had been inside before, but not often. The day I shadowed him, I spent several hours, trying to melt into the background. This was his sanctuary and office.

Posted in Alan Lee, Andy Serkis, Characters, Crew News, Director news, Director Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Fran Walsh, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Production, Silmarillion, Studios, Terry Notary, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.

The Final Film, a Final Review

Hobbit cast posterThere was a lot that I liked in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and there were a few things that left me scratching my head. But first, let’s get the niceties out of the way; this review is chock full of spoilers, so turn back now if you just don’t want to know. Also, this review is based on my opinion, other reviews will be popping up shortly from other staffers, so take that for what it’s worth.

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Beware, there be spoilers ahead!

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Really, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now!

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These spoilers reveal a lot, last chance to come back later!

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Here is a list of all the cool scenes that really made an impact on me.
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  1. I did rather like that instead of a Flashback beginning, like all the previous films, this one jumped right into the action with Smaug attacking Laketown and everyone trying to flee.
  2. On a related note, I love the way Bard faces off against Smaug. He stays so calm and yet watchful and careful as he prepares to defend the city against Smaug’s attack. Once Bain enters the scene, it becomes event better. Everyone who might have been afraid that this sequence would be ruined, or at least lessened by the use of the Wind-lance, fear not, Bard goes real old school in how he launches the fatal shot. The fact that Smaug is taunting him is even more perfect.
  3. Dol Guldur – Perfection in just about every way. From Galadriel’s rather relaxed entrance, to Elrond and Saruman double-teaming the Nine, this is the kind of epic showdown we hoped for from the White Council. And then Galadrield goes nuclear on Sauron and things get really serious. If you ever had any doubt that Galadriel was the most powerful Elf in Middle-earth, this will drop you jaw to the floor. It also shows just how close the bond is between Galadriel and Gandalf, so that in 60 year’s time, when Galadrield learns of Gandalf’s fate in Moria, we will be able to feel her grief just that little bit more.
  4. Bilbo presenting the Arkenstone to Bard and Thranduil in order to broker peace between them and Thorin. Thranduil is universally dismissive of the Dwarves throughout the film, but Bilbo cuts through the politics and states he would not like to see his friends in battle, so he has come up with another solution.
  5. As impressive as it was for Bilbo to make the decision to take the Arkenstone out of Erebor, it is even more impressive that he returns to the Mountain to be with the Company when Bard plays the Arkenstone for peace. Thorin’s fiery reaction is pitch perfect, and Bilbo barely escapes without being thrown over the walls.
  6. Thorin’s decent into madness is expertly played, but my favorite scene is actually when a suspicious Thorin questions Bilbo about what he has in his hands, to discover it is an Acorn. Bilbo picked it up in Beorn’s garden and intends to plant it in his own garden at Bag End. Thorin is so surprised that Bilbo has been able to keep this little thing safe so long, that Bilbo would even make the effort when now he can have a share of the treasure. Bilbo simply reminds that it will grow, and that it will remind him of all his adventures, the good and the bad, all the people he encountered along the way. I believe it is at this moment that Thorin decides Bilbo is the only member of the Company he can truly trust because he just does not covet treasure at all. This whole sequence plays beautifully between these two.
  7. To bookend the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin, at least before the Battle, is the gifting of the Mithril shirt. Bilbo thinks he looks ridiculous, but Thorin knows there will be a fight and that Bilbo needs something to help keep him safe. Of course, it is during this sequence that Thorin confides to Bilbo that he thinks a member of the Company has taken the Arkenstone, that he has been betrayed by one of his own kin.
  8. Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all jump on the Battle Rams brought by Dain’s army and ride those up Ravenhill. It is now made very clear why Dwarves use Battle Rams as steeds, they are the perfect animal for folk who live in or on mountains because they can climb so well.
  9. Thorin and Azog, the battle royale on the ice. This is a big, bone crushing battle that is exhausting just to watch, and it ends just the way it is supposed to end. We do get to see how Thorin get’s Orcrist back, which is a nice touch.
  10. Bilbo does get to join the battle, much more so than he did in the book. He is on the field of battle when both the Orcs and Dain’s Iron Hill Dwarves show up, and then when the Laketown people are withdrawn to Dale, he makes the decision to go warn Thorin that a second Orc army is bearing down on his position on Ravenhill. This, after Thorin nearly threw him from the Walls, is why it is clear that Bilbo is no longer that same Hobbit that left the Shire.
  11. Bilbo does get knocked out, but not while he is invisible, and he awakens in time to see Thorin’s epic fight with Azog, allowing him to be there at the end. This will be one of the times you need your tissue.
  12. I do so love it when Bilbo invites the surviving Dwarves back to Bag End for tea, whenever they are in the neighborhood. It is so very Hobbity, and emotional at the same time.
  13. The auction at Bag End, in the Shire. We finally see Lobelia Sackville-Baggins trying to get away with Bilbo’s spoons, and many other Hobbits do get away with quite a lot of his furniture. Bilbo has to prove he really is himself by showing some document or other with his name on it. Luckily, he still has his contract with his name on it to do so, but alas his home is nearly empty at this point. It is while he is looking at Thror’s Map that we transition to Old Bilbo just at the moment that Gandalf knocks on the day of Bilbo’s Birthday. So the film ends just where it should, back in the Shire where the next story begins.
  14. The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd is a rather perfect song to listen to through the end credits, accompanied by Alan Lee’s wonderful drawings, as usual.

And here is a list of the few things that confused me or did not seem to ring true.
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  1. Not a big criticism, but I found it odd that a few scenes shown in the Trailer released just a month before the Premiere did not make the final cut. There is no Ice Chariot careening down the icy river outside Erebor, in fact there is no Ice Chariot at all. There is also no sequence where you can clearly see the Iron Hill dwarves riding the Battle Rams, which is not a big deal, you see the army, just not the Rams. But since Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all go grab a Ram to ride up to Ravenhill, it’s an odd transition to not see them arriving.
  2. The biggest thing I was looking for was when Bilbo and Gandalf finally discuss the Ring, but it happens in the most unexpected way, and very off hand, as if they almost forgot to include it at all. Just as Bilbo and Gandalf reach the edge of the Shire and Gandalf is about to go his own way, he stops and warns Bilbo that Magic Rings are not toys and should be taken seriously. Basically, it’s the same thing he says to Bilbo after his Birthday party stunt 60 years later. Problem is, the Ring has never been a topic of conversation, so Bilbo is about to deny it when Gandalf stops him and says something along the lines of “I know you found something in the Golbin caves and you’ve been acting strange every since then.” But how does Gandalf surmise it is a Ring of Power and not just some magic Acorn, or a brass button with a charm on it? It’s just a bit out of left field and took me completely out of the scene.
  3. The only other bit that made me a bit sad was the fact that Beorn was barely even in the film at all. He arrives at the last minute with the Eagles, lead by Radagast, and he joins the fight by simply sliding off the back of an Eagle and falling into the battle, changing into a Bear on the way down. That is wicked cool, but we basically see just one swipe of his giant paw, sending Orcs flying, and then that is all done. Just not very satisfying at all.

(more…)

Posted in Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Meet Ups, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug the Magnificent

smaug colbertIn a rare move, Stephen Colbert was granted an interview (er…audience) with none other than Smaug himself on his American television show “The Colbert Report”. As many of you know, Stephen is a great Tolkien fan, and Smaug seemingly left his last press interview of the day just for him.

The two share some of their common political interests, and Smaug discusses some of the difficulties of working on the Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – as well as his distaste for several “pretender” Hollywood dragons. (more…)

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Television, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital

BBC iWonder “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

JRR TolkienBBC Wales have produced an online guide, via their iWonder site and presented by Dr Dimitra Fimi, about how the Welsh language inspired Tolkien, called “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

What does Welsh have to do with it?

JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings combine timeless storytelling with the creation of a mythical world with its own races, history, music and languages.

The invention of new languages went hand-in-hand with the shaping of the characters that spoke them. And while Englishness is at the heart of the Shire, the home of the hobbits, for his other races Tolkien looked beyond England.

Sindarin, the Elvish language used in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, shares many key characteristics with Welsh. How did a proud Englishman like Tolkien become so entranced by the Welsh language?

[Read More]

 

 

 

 

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Royd Tolkien Holds ALS Fundraiser: Advance Screening of BOTFA Wows In Wales

Studio_20141207_154915Tonight in the heart of Wales a very special event happened that brought together the family scions of Tolkien while also raising money for ALS; which by way of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge became one of the notable internet phenomena of 2014.  Motor Neurone Disease touches closely on the family, as Royd Tolkien’s brother Mike struggles with its effects.  (more…)

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.

Hobbit Fan Contest winners make ‘thank you’ video for Peter Jackson and New Zealand

The winners of last month’s Hobbit Fan Contest that got to go to New Zealand and watch an in-progress cut of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” and experience the beautiful scenes of the north and south islands and the hospitality of Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, won their spots by producing short films.

As reports from the experience suggest, there was a great bonding of the 75 winners and their guests during the week-long tour of Middle-earth. These bonds are on display in a “thank you” video that the group organized to give to Peter Jackson and all the many folks who helped make the trip amazing. There is even a nod to TheOneRing.net which honestly touches us.

Turns out that crew can make a pretty great video with parts from all around the world. Their sincerity and appreciation really comes through and will make all fans proud. Enjoy! #HobbitFanContest

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Locations Sets, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Warner Bros., Wellington, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Watch the whole of ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ press conference

For the previous Hobbit films TheOneRing.net attended press conferences and brought you coverage the best we could. For the last film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” we delivered this transcript. Oh but now, here it all is on video!

Posted in Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Pace, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Media Reviews, Orlando Bloom, Premieres, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, Ryan Gage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

Happy Hobbit: Middle-earth Gaming – Episode 55

Ever wondered what some of those Tolkien-inspired video games were like? Join Fili and Kili to sample them. WARNING: This video was filmed by professionals. You should not attempt to anger your sister in Elf Mode at home without another Elf being present.

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, LEGO, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Video games

WATCH: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,’ clip with Bilbo, Gandalf and Thranduil

The final film from Middle-earth is out and making impressions world-wide but for the vast majority of fans, the wait is still ongoing. To tide us over and to whet our appetites, here is a clip of Thranduil, Gandalf and the title character, the Hobbit.

That is a different character entirely from the one who faints in his own home in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Enjoy your journey as we count down the days to the film hitting wide release. Thanks to spy theElf19101730 for the heads up.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Pace, Martin Freeman, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Update: Variety, Empire and now Hollywood Reporter review ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

BilboBOTFAPosterIt’s that time of the year again…

Following the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, reviews have begun pouring in – and here we have two from Variety and Empire. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Freeman, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

Tickets for ‘The One Last Party’ coming tomorrow

one last party logoThe date is almost upon us, when we open up our Pre-Oscar Party support campaign, which includes tickets to attend ‘The One Last Party: There and Back Again” on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The Campaign will be going live tomorrow on Indiegogo and will include numerous levels of support, including cost saving levels for those who can’t attend but would still like to support TheOneRing.net as we say One Last Goodbye to all things Middle-earth on the big screen.

In the first of a series of Scrapbook articles, we will be looking at brief moments from previous parties, some from the planning phase, the production phase, or reviews from fellow fans who have attended. While digging through some of our old photos, I came across something a little different. This was a story written in a small town paper by a woman who had decided to try and attend our Return of the One Party in 2004 and conveys her excitement at the prospect. With the tickets and support page opening up tomorrow, this seemed a very appropriate Scrapbook reminder. You can read her story from this below.ROTOP story about party

Posted in Events, Fans, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Movie Return of the King, Old Oscar Party News, Oscar Parties, Return of the King, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, Tolkien