After our ImagineCon experience, we didn’t know what to expect from our next adventure into the world of Fandom. We arrived at DragonCon in Atlanta early Tuesday morning without incident, looking forward to a great time at the US’s largest fan-based convention.
The highlight of the day was Karl Urban‘s appearance. (Eomer in the upcoming films) He had travelled 12 hours from NZ and then 4 hours to DragonCon only to have to wait around 2 hours for his luggage! However, by the time he came to do his chat, he was in good spirits and ready to please the crowd. Jincey (our Communications director, or better known as Head Op in Barliman’s) tried to exchange her TheOneRing.net shirt for Karl’s OFfICIAL Lord of the Rings vest. (Oooo…we were all drooling) Unfortunately, he wasn’t too fancy on the idea. Karl was very careful not to say anything specific or too revealing about the filming. He did state that the production is paying great attention to detail and the books are actually on the set, being read and used, everyday. Karl also spoke at length about his new series “The Privateers.” We’ll hear more from Karl this coming Saturday.
Jincey had a chance to check out a rare Tolkien biographical video which included footage of his children and Tom Shippey. It was a great presentation and we will report more on the video later.
The rest of the day was filled with some lessons in Tolkien linguistics, checking out Michael Martinez‘s reconstructing Middle Earth, and manning our fan table.
We started off Friday with our “Secrets of the LOTR Movies Revealed” session. While we can’t exactly tell you what we showed there, we will say, that it was really fun to watch the first time reaction of many Tolkien fans. We have never seen so many jaws drop.
After our well attended first session, the room cleared out, just in time for the Tolkien Webmaster forum. Yeah, this is a slight rip on us, but really… are we that important? Needless to say, TolkienOnline, Xenite.org and even the folks from Coming Attractions hung out to chat about the internet and the many issues we webmasters face everyday.
After the Tolkien webmaster track, we set up the table and prepared to met the fans. Corvar and Calisuri spent the bulk of the rest of the day discussing the internet preview with hordes of hardcore Tolkien fans. In the early afternoon, Ringer fan Scott Murdock stopped by to lend us a much needed hand. Notable guests at the table include Terry Brooks, Rogue (of Imaginecon fame), Lucas L. (the Apple Guy), CHUD, Glass Hammer, Web Druid (from Barlimans and Terry B’s webmaster), Zealot.com, and Coming Attractions. With the much needed break Scott allowed us to take, Calisuri and Corvar were able to take a look around and meet some people.
Our neighbors, at the fan table, are Fiends Carnival of Souls. Fiends is a hardcore band which preformed Thursday night, and from what we heard put on an excellent show, regrettably Calisuri and Corvar were recovering from a lack of sleep preparing for the convention.
Meanwhile back at the Tolkien Track, among other Tolkien filled fun, Jincey and Leowyn (of Barliman’s) ran the Tolkien Trivia contest where a few lucky people walked away with bright shiny white TheOneRing.net shirts. After the Tolkien Trivia contest was a chat with Brad Dourif. Brad was willing to say a little bit more about the movies than Karl, but did not reveal anything that was not general knowledge. Brad went on to discuss his role in Dune and his involvement in other films. Following Brad, Glass Hammer unveiled some music from their soon to be released new album, you can expect to hear more about Glass Hammer on the site as Fall approaches.
Closing out the evening, we gave away another copy of the boxed set of LOTR and the Hobbit to the lucky winner Michael Page, greeted many more Tolkien fans, explained more details, and eventually came back to the hotel to prepare this report.
DragonCon continues through Sunday here in Atlanta Georgia; approximately 20,000 people are expected to attend the convention in its 5 day run. DragonCon is the largest fan run convention of its type in the United States.
Expect another report tomorrow when we will hopefully have more time to prepare it.