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Archive for December, 2000

A Feast of Film

Good news— Hollywood is feeling creative again. The artful fare in 2001 includes ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘Ali’ and ‘Possession.’ [More]


Posted in Old Main News

McKellen/Lee News

From: Chris

I was browsing through the Radio Times (UK), and I found something that might interest people at TORN. Christopher Lee (Saruman) will be reading four Victorian ghost stories by MR James on BBC 2: The Ash Tree at 11:25 p.m. on the 26th, Number 13 at 10:50 p.m. on the 29th and A Warning to the Curious at 9:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Also, Gods and Monsters, starring Sir Ian Mckellen (Gandalf), is on BBC 2 at 10:15 on New Year’s Eve.

Looks set to be a good end to the year. Also, the Radio Times had a mini-interview with Christopher Lee, with some LotR mentions.

Posted in Old Main News

Blanchett Focuses on Low Cost Films

NEW YORK (AP) – Since being nominated for an Academy Award in 1998, Cate Blanchett has turned down several lucrative roles in major Hollywood films. But she isn’t against the idea of starring in a big-studio blockbuster.

“I love action movies,” the Australian-born actress told the New York Times for Sunday’s editions. “I’d love to be in one. I just haven’t yet. Maybe one day I’ll regret that because, you know, it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t even pay my electric bill.”

For now, Blanchett, who earned an Oscar nomination for “Elizabeth,” continues to focus on roles in relatively low-budget features. In her latest film, an independent murder mystery called “The Gift,” she plays a psychic in the small-town South.

“The Gift” premiered in Los Angeles on Wednesday and will open nationwide on Jan. 19.

Posted in Old Main News

The Mirror of Galadriel

The Mirror of Galadriel

Oh annoying one 😛

This is Galadriel of the Koga Ninja clan.

I am writing regarding these films you keep making me talk to you about. Here is my story this time.

I was running around the forest practicing my dragon stance and approach techniques when I felt a grumble in my stomach.

I had a feeling for sushi. I wondered why this was possible because I had eaten an hour previously. I could almost smell the wasabi… in fact I could smell wasabi; using my heightened sense of smell I went in search.

Once again I came across the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ set of Helms Deep. Today they were filming scenes of Rohan horsmen chasing Uruks with body doubles of Gandalf, Legolas , Theoden, Eomer and Aragorn on horses also.

I noticed that there was a blue screen up that day, 5 meters in height and 15 meters across to be exact. At this point I was suspicious so I went in for a closer look. Thankfully the Riders of Rohan came close to where I was so I grabbed one and dressed in his costume. Complete with helmet with blonde hair glued onto the back, I rode closer to the director’s tent to take a look.

I jumped off the horse and looked at the LCD screen showing test shots of the previous take. And this they would never know: that their security is no match for a Koga Ninja.

I had noticed that there were a lot of PNS, or Provisional Stunts (Fighter), but still that did not explain the extremely large blue screen. Hunting around for more information I watched as Uruk Hai extras lined up in formation: pikesmen, swordsmen, and crossbowmen, all who have distinctly different armor.

I waited a while longer until one of the assistant directors started yelling things at the Uruk Hai. What he said would interest you.

‘Ok all, Gandalf has arrived! You are very scared; we need you to run towards the blue screen, because you have just noticed a forest appear behind you in the last five minutes so you are running for shelter!’

He shouted across the quarry. What I was more interested in at this time was the ear pieces most of the assistant directors and heads of each division had.

But then I thought, “These are Ents coming at the end of the Battle.” The Ents had arrived!! Obviously they will be in the movie, so all can rest their Tolkien hearts.

I left my horse which I called ‘POOKY’ and made my way for the female toilets. Grabbing a lady who appeared to me as an a.d. I tied her with toilet paper and took her ear piece. Over it I heard a lot.

*Due to weather conditions the new Helms Deep sets will be filmed in studio along with the retreat to the Glittering Caves.

*Minas Tirith will be erected in the same quarry and will be in production around spring.

*From Wednesday-Friday this week, Elves will be used in studio for the Helms Deep studio sets.

*Torrential rain has slowed down the production at Haywards Hill and they are missing vital shots which they can only do at the outdoor sets.

*Ents are completely CGI with the help of WETA visuals, apparently they look more tree-like than human-being-like but somewhat transform from tree into walking being.

*Other scenes included huge battles between Uruk Hai and Rohan warriors in front of the 3 scale miniature of Helms Deep castle; using lighting and camera trickery it looks like the battle field is dense with fighters and the castle will look like it is in the distant background.

This concluded my day at the Helms Deep set. I headed back to the Dunharrow set because I had dropped one of my favorite Vials of Poison and it was the last I had so I needed it desperately.

Dunharrow consisted of many tents with Rohan and Dunedain warriors, Viggo Mortensen was doing a small scene where he walked from one tent to another with many background Rohirrim behind him. This was interesting because not only have I seen him speak Elvish on screen at Helms Deep, but I also admired his acting skills.

I managed to slip off the set using my Ninja skills of invisibility and deception. Moments later I was back in the forest practicing my dragon stance again.

What happened next is between me and my gods… and maybe you.

Until next time,

Keep an eye open,


Posted in Old Galadriel News

A Journey In The Dark…

Ignore what you see above, it is Glaurung here with you now. I’d like to tell you a tale… and show you a little of New Zealand…

Nothing sounds better than the 5 o’clock whistle, especially when a weekend over the edge of the wild beckons! The horse was saddled and off we set into the unknown. Our hopes weren’t high; we assumed security would be tight surrounding the Edoras set. We figured we might get as close as Lake Clearwater before we came across some form of movie constabulary. We were under no illusions as to the fact that this weekend was the halfway mark in the filming at Erewhon and sightseers and Ringer spys would not be too welcome.

As we left Christchurch the sun was setting behind the snow-clad Southern Alps. The road to Rakaia is straight and boring, and beyond is more of the same. It looks nearly the same be it night or day. Halfway between Rakaia and Geraldine strange yellow and black signs appear on the roadside near intersections. They are shaped as an arrow and bear 4 letters: J A M B. We know the meaning and follow them inland…

At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony…

Nestled before the foothills lies the tiny hamlet of Mt Somers. Main features are a dodgy pub and a rather cool church on a hill overlooking the village. We made our way to the holiday park prepared for the meagre lodgings it doth provide. Whilst checking in at the office we noticed a newspaper on a nearby desk; it was indeed the Timaru Herald with a large picture of the Edoras set at top right. We took the office lady by surprise when we questioned her as to what it was. The amazement on our faces when told that a movie was being filmed nearby took her quite aback…

We unloaded our mighty steed and spruced ourselves up a bit before a short walk to the local watering hole. We needn’t have bothered. Yokels and sheepherders abound, we were slightly out of place but we found a quiet corner in which to swill our ale (and watch Auckland beat North Harbour at rugby – sweeet). Once the clock struck eleven we made our way back to our roof and four walls and fell asleep to prepare for our early start…

The Road To Isengard…

It is really hard to get up at six in the morning even when the view was this good. The rising sun painted the snow-covered hills a blood-red colour and the cold chill of dawn got us packed up and on the road real fast. We rode west from the town towards the Ashburton Gorge and Erewhon beyond. After 24 kilometres we reached a crossroads; the road onwards to Lake Clearwater was metalled and not the comforting asphalt which complements high speeds.

We paused for breath (and a photo of course) and then carried on. We faced 10 kilometres of gravel road before we would reach the community of Lake Clearwater. The landscape is suddenly very barren on either side of the road with many distant snowy peaks and roadside tarns. It can best be described as breathtaking but grim.

As we continued we were aware we were not alone. To our left, a few kilometres across the tussocky ground there appeared a beast in the sky. White in colour and with spinning blades it sped across the countryside. We guessed it carried some high-ranking official (maybe even PJ himself) and were heartened that our journey may not have been totally in vain.

Along the road at regular intervals are cattle-stops in to keep stock under control. Or at least there were. Now there is a section of fence missing through which you drive as the cattle stops are marked off. They appear to have been damaged somewhat, undoubtedly by a lot of “large” traffic. The Lord Of The Rings has left his mark on the land…

…more to come soon.

Posted in Old Glaurung News

Burial of the King

My task was simple, I was hired by a man who will remain a secret to ‘off’ a person who was clearly brieching the Code of Fashion…

My target was not hard to find. Some called him ‘The King’ because he looked and dressed almost too similar to ‘Elvis’.

I followed him from the bus and walked in stealth down a street in Miramar called Stone Street. Unfortuanately it was the studios he was heading for, a minor delay for me as I would have to get past security once again. This time I decided that too many security guards had died in the line of duty, and I did not want to make a dent on the movie project budget by totally writing off all security guards. Taking my trusty ninja grappling hook I climbed one of the warehouses in persuit of ‘The King’.

Finally I saw my window of opportunity ‘The King’ had stopped off in the studio’s Green Room, which is used for breakfast, lunch and coffee to keep the workers at Unit 1A from killing each other due to sleep dep and stress levels. ‘The King’ stood by the refressments counter, I had made my way behind a metal sliding door marked ‘Studio 2’ and waited for him. The time had come… pulling ‘The King’ into Studio 2 I fliped him in the air, donuts and coffee flew everywhere….


was the last thing I heard before looking back I noticed that ‘The King’ flew through the domed roof of a set which had recently been completed.

I went to investigate. Around me stood a cirlcular chamber. The outter rims of the chamber were supported with white columns, within every meter of the columns the builders and designers had made it look as if pentagons had been inscribed into the stone, the center of each containing a what were surely a Coat of Arms. I looked up at the dome and noticed that the chamber was split in half probably to make it easier for filming. Ingraved on each column were runes of some sort.

I looked at ‘The King’ then looked at the chamber… Pictures flashed in my head, this was the burial chamber of the Kings of Minas Tirith!

This was all to weird, so pulling out my Katana I went to finish my job. I shaved ‘The King’s’ side burns off for my cash on delivery, then whispered to the artist formally known as ‘The King’, “Caffiene kills!” and made my departure.

What the man did with those side burns I do not know.

The rest is between me and my Budda statue.

Beware of the Koga Ninja-


Posted in Old Galadriel News

Elven Warriors

Yes, I’ve managed to use my keen Ninja Vision and discover something you may have all missed in the past, Elven Warriors…

…Yes it’s true, in the internet preview you TORNadoes seem to cherish so much, there is a shot of two opposing armies clashing together much like a scene from ‘Braveheart’. Those armies are are Uruk Hai and Elven army warriors.

The Elves are the ones heading for the spikes: in this picture here you can see them fairly easily.

Notice the Kantana style swords, sharkfin helmets, Elven skirt armor and breast plates. The Elves are modelled after Samurai Warriors, and the Uruk Hai even more so.

All these are designed by Alan Lee, and WETA worked on them.

Here is an isolated picture of one of the Elven warriors, alongside a picture of a traditional Samurai, thanks to

Posted in Old Galadriel News

The Ninja Strikes Gold

This is Galadriel,

For many days I have been occupied collecting information on the recent talk about Rohan.

My story starts in a land far away… I had just returned home when I noticed my Ninja Spy phone flashing. “This must be important,” I thought. Picking up the phone quickly and raising it to my ear, I listened. A husky voice echoed through the receiver.

“There is more to this Rohan story than you think…”

And then I heard no sound…

It was time to investigate, so I picked up my trusty Katana and made my way to Stone Street Studios. Reaching the gates I decided to play my chances with the Security Guard and walked straight past him. Obviously my silky cotton Komono of Invisibility was doing the trick and I slipped past without disturbing the peace.

Today I decided my target would be a script writer for the movie, a tall balding man and carrying a briefcase with all the information I needed. Grabbing him while he walked past the shadow in which I lurked, I dragged him towards me. At that moment his briefcase went flying open and all the information I needed went off in the Wellington wind. It was time to act drastically! Scattering my genetically altered bamboo shoots on the ground I tied the script writer over them and submitted him to Bamboo Torture.

“Tell me everything Oldman, or in twenty minutes I will be using you as a garden display for my Japanese bamboo thickets!” I screamed.

The man started blurting out everything, maybe these plot details were too much:

The Rohirrim, frightened by the current war situation that Saruman is forcing upon the people of the Land, decide as a last effort in keeping the helpless safe to send them to the abandoned keep of Helms Deep. Unfortunately Wormtounge informs Saruman of this and the duplicitous wizard takes this as an opportunity to feed his newly born and hungry specialised army of Uruk Hai, thinking, “What better than a bunch of Rohan refugees made up of women and children!”

Meanwhile the two Elven settlements, Rivendell and Lorien, hear of this Uruk Hai invasion and decide to send a small force of warriors in aid. Led by Arwen and Haldir, they move quickly to fortify the Keep of Helms Deep while the Fellowship make their way through Rohan to inform the king that his people are in danger. At this time Saruman is mustering his Wildmen who are angry at the Rohirrim for stealing their land and driving them into the hills; driven by hate they slowly assemble and prepare to march towards the land of Rohan.

Elves hold back the Uruk Hai battalion on the battle field, long enough for the King of Rohan, his Royal Guards, the Riders of Rohan and the Fellowship to secure the keep!!

That is all I will say about the Helms Deep saga. But this brings me to the the filming in Methven (NZ), which is the attack on the Castle of King Theoden. Saruman’s army of Orcs and Wildmen march to the castle, Saruman in rage that his Uruk Hai army had been wiped out. Filming in Methven will include such scenes, including the scenes of Merry and Pippin taken prisoner by Orcs and running in the feilds of Rohan.

Now for the bombshell… and this indeed shocked even me…

Arwen will be helping at the Battle of Minas Tirith!!

Now I have said too much… there will be more in other reports.

The rest is for me and my Gods…

As for the script writer, I will only say that my that my Bonzai tree has never grown better.

Always look behind your back twice…


Posted in Old Galadriel News

Details on Weapons and Armor

Well it has come to this…

My Ninja skills have gotten the best of me and I had to give you all some details on those armor pics!

Well here we go.

The two helmets are taken from Rohirim armor:

This shows the the helmet of a Rohirim Royal Guard of the King; the costume consists of a red tweed shirt and some fine leather plate armor. They wear a green woolen cloak, shoulder caps with horse head engravings, and it seems that Celtic designs border all of the leather armor. The pants are brown but hardly seen because a red tweed tunic extends to the top of their boots. They use broad swords which you will see Legolas wielding on horseback -if you check back on the trailer the sword he is using on horseback is indeed a sword from Rohan.

This is a helmet worn by a standard Rohan horseman which also can double as a footman, spearman or axeman. They also wear a green woolen cloak with a white gown that is stained grey with wear. Horseman armor is scale mail which reaches to the knees where the leather boots meet the gown. You will also notice that all the blonde hair in the movie is indeed fake and connected to the back of the helmets. Some of these units have strap on wooden shields with a metal horse head emblem.

All races have different infantry unit styles…

Uruk Hai

Short Swordmen
Long Swordmen
Beserker (usually kamikaze style bomber)

They also use ballistas to breach the wall at Helms Deep.


Royal Guards
Rohan Horsemen


Elves are masters of all weapons and carry all their weapons with them which include:

Long Bow
Fire Arrows

Men of Gondor

Spearmen with Sheild
Long Bowmen
Axe Handlers


Spears, farming tools, sickles, daggers, etc.

Olog Hai

Brute force, berserk’s rage

Orcs & Goblins

Short swords (very rusty)
Dagger Handlers
Short Bowmen

All units depending on type have different styled armor, so each weapon type has different armor according to what it is carrying….

The rest is for me and my gods.


Posted in Old Galadriel News

X-Mass Spoiler Pics!!

Some great spoiler pics for you to enjoy on this Christmas Day!!

The first is a great pic of Aragorn and what could be a stone troll! [More]

The next is a much smaller pic of Frodo, with the Ring letters glowing on his face! What an amazing pic!

Thanks to Leonides and Tulkas for the pics!

Posted in Old Spy Reports

Santa Brought Us Something Special! Picture of Aragorn/Troll! and Frodo!!!

Well, I woke up this Christmas morning to find something quite pleasant in our email box. I haven’t had a chance to run out to the store and pick up the latest edition of USAToday, but this picture is supposedly in it! It’s amazing! It’s the first real CGI effect we see… or I think it’s CGI. Needless to say, I’m as happy as a 5 year old on Christmas morning, literally! [See it!]

!!! SPOILERS !!!

Posted in Old Main News

There and Back Again: A Geek’s Adventures in Middle-earth, Part X

Harry’s last and final report of his adventures in Middle-earth. Check it out! [More]

Posted in Old Main News