Ringer Dan noticed something odd at the Tolkien exhbition in London recently and decided to drop us a line. Perhaps it has some bearing on the Saruman situation – or perhaps not, but it’s a very intriguing coicidence.

He writes:

Just thought I d drop you a note to say that when I was at the exhibition [in London], the Orthanc prop had been removed, with a small note saying it had been returned to the set for further filming if nothing else this goes to show that you are looking at the real deal when you go to the exhibition, although I was a little disappointed as it was one of the things I was looking forward to seeing!

I wrote back, asking what date this was – he replied telling me it was November 3.

Of course, the bigature could have been gone a while. But this does add another layer of confusion to the Saruman mess. Was it needed for alternate scenes for Isengard? Or is it just coincidence?

As with all spy reports, treat this news cautiously.

After posting this I received a couple of e-mails from readers. Ringer Philip in particular writes that he went on the first Sunday (back in September) and Orthanc was missing then with exactly the same notice …