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Archive for August, 2004

Marmor’s ‘Legends’ Site Update

Ostadan writes: Paula Marmor (first editor of Parma Eldalamberon) has just added a Tolkien resource page to her beautiful and comprehensive “Legends” site in the “Poets and Painters” section. Among the resources to which she supplies links are two Green Books articles, Turgon’s “Beyond LotR” reading list and my own introductory article about Elvish. [More]

Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Old Main News, Original TORn, Tolkien

Dwarfed by his make-up

Science fiction conventions are probably the last place you’d expect to find good-looking women but Lord of the Rings star John Rhys-Davies disputes that perception. The esteemed British actor, who played the dwarf Gimli in the Rings trilogy, is in Sydney to take part in the Friends of Science Fiction Convention at Lidcombe Catholic Club on Saturday September 11. [More]

Posted in Conventions, Events, John Rhys-Davies, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Old Main News, Original TORn

‘Towers’ powers DVD Awards with 7 nods

TTT: Extended Edition New Line Home Entertainment was the big winner in the 7th Annual DVD Awards, receiving seven separate honors for its Special Extended DVD Edition of “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” Coming in second place were Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Fox Home Entertainment, with four wins each. Film critic Leonard Maltin was scheduled to present the awards during a ceremony Monday night, held as part of the Entertainment Media Expo taking place through Wednesday at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. [More]

Posted in DVDs, Events, LotR Movies, Movie The Two Towers, Old Main News

Holm’s ‘Acting My Life’ Book On Sale

Irascian writes: Sir Ian Holm’s book “Acting my Life (The Autobiography)” hits the British bookstands today. One of Britain’s most distinguished actors (he played the original Frodo in the BBC radio dramatisation before going on to play Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s movie, but has a slew of lauded film roles like Alien and Chariots of Fire behind him) Holm has always refused to discuss the process of acting until now so this will prove a fascinating read for long-standing fans of his. [Order from]

Posted in Books Publications, Ian Holm, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Old Main News

Detailed Fellowship Festival Reports

Marysia writes: I just spent three days at the Fellowship Festival in Alexandra Palace.

The Fellowship Festival is the first UK based attempt to run a more typical genre convention rather than a marketplace event for Lord of the Rings movie fans. It will be followed by similar (though “unofficial”) events in Manchester in October (Master of the Rings – and Bristol in March 2005 (Return of the Convention – and possibly another Fellowship Festival next August. The question is, does it work?

The Fellowship Festival was both a success and a failure. Originally planned for a room that could hold up to 8000 it was scaled down before the event and even then didn’t come near to filling the capacity of the hall used, with a guestimate of 600-900 people there on it’s busiest day. This doesn’t mean they failed, it just means they over-estimated their audience… 700 people is still a lot of people for this kind of event. However there was a slight element of not having fully pulled away from the marketplace event mould with seperate (and very high) charging for autographs rather than inclusion within the ticket price, and the autograph sessions being run in the noisy dealers/exhibitors room.

But there was a lot they got right, bringing in the sort of elements that make conventions fun. Competitions, workshops etc. Some highlights would be…

The spoof radio play written by Mark Ferguson (Gil-Galad) and performed by him, Craig Parker (Haldir), Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton), Cameron Hodges (Farmer Maggot) and sound effects by Bruce Hopkins (Gamling). A followup to RotK where Frodo gets bored of the Grey Havens and comes back to Middle-Earth to get back together with Sam (amid much suggestive implications), Legolas (hilariously played by Craig) and others to defeat the evil resurrected Haldir.

A display recreating various fight scenes from the movies done by Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz/Witchking/Gothmog) and Jed Brophy (Snagu/Sharka/Ringwraith) with audience participation. Jed is a bundle of prat-falling energy and Lawrence has an easy drier humour, the end result was hilarious and included a recreation of the extended DVD version of the death of the Witch King with an 8 year old boy in Gimli costume and a girl dressed as Legolas assisting.

Sandro Kopp (Gildor) talked through a CD full of sketches he had done while on set, some of which can be seen on his website at He is an accomplished artist exhibited worldwide and gave a nice view of what it was like to be in the background of the set. For instance 1/20th of the Army of the Dead are played by Sandro in a variety of different costumes.

The Tolkein Society provided a lot of extra content with hobbit dancing (assisted by Cameron Rhodes and Sarah McLeod) and talks on the languages of middle earth and costume making workshops.

Bruce Hopkins performed an impromptu scene from Macbeth under the direction of Cameron Rhodes with a lady from the audience rading for MacBeth and several other audience members playing trees.

John Noble (Denethor) did a particularly touching reading of the winning poetry entry at the closing ceremony.

The cast members present were mostly very relaxed and seemed to have a good time, even those that didn’t do so well on the autograph front. They were often seen looking around the exhibition area or sitting in the main hall watching other talks and from what I hear all had a very enjoyable time, especially in the evenings.

This kind of event can work and I think it’s a welcome break from cross genre marketplace events, but I hope future organisers look at this event and take note of where it did go wrong. Bigger isn’t always better and there are limits to the amount of money fans will pay out. Get the mix right and hopefully events like this will continue in the UK for many years to come.



I visited the Fellowship Festival late on Sunday afternoon, after completing my morning’s work and motoring like a fell beast on Pelennor Fields chased by the White One to London.

Once I found the Alexandra Palace, somewhere I’d heard of, and seen from the train, but not gone to by car before, it took a while to find the main entrance (there are two entrances, one to an Ice rink, the other to the Great Court, which led to where the Festival was. We had been greatly encouraged to pre-book our tickets, and were told the ONLY place to buy your tickets for autograph sessions was online. These autograph tickets entitled you to bask in 2 minutes of Star Power, and chat with The Star, and get up to 3 items of your own inscribed as well as ‘one of his/hers’. A maximum of 300 tickets per person per day was to be sold.

At the ‘Box Office’ they had no clue who was still signing, it was 4pm-ish, and nothing big was listed until the Festival Feast took place a mere 3 hours later. The signing stations in the room were deserted. Bruce Hopkins at one end of the line, and Craig Parker at the other were battling with no queues between them. In the centre of the room were a group of folks, some in full dress (Rosy Gamgee, and a few uber-fans) doing a dressed up form of country dancing to a worn out tape, a large block where you could play the LOTR-related EA Games if you so desired, and around the perimeter was a collection of various stalls that helped remind me of school jumble sales and Speech Days. Apart from John Howe and Alan Lee, signing for free, discounted copies of their assorted books (including advanced copies of Alan’s excellent revamped The Hobbit (I got 2), we had a pewter seller, a poster seller, a stall promoting New Zealand as a holiday destination, and a mini lecture theatre in the corner where lectures were being given on the intricacies of Elven weapon adornment.

In the middle of the room, next to the folk dancing, was Cards Inc, UK distributor of the Topps cards, and makers of their own lines of trading cards and memorabilia. Talking to some of the guys in the room, the show had so far been a bit of a disappointment. Stars had ‘disappeared’ when they were advertised to be still signing, and look bored when the flow quickly dried up. The Festival’s PR exclaimed the Biggest companies in the World would be fighting to display their latest wares. OK EA Games are quite big, but Sideshow were notable in their absence. Besides Topps, or New Line itself, is there a bigger LOTR related Big Company out there?

Across the hallway, I was able to catch the end of Karl Urban’s Q&A. He was able to disappoint many (cancelling his Collectormania appearance) and delight (suggesting his fave film was the Caine version of Get Carter , and dissing Stallone’s version (Ok so fish, barrel and shooting comes to mind but…)) someone pointed out it wasn’t him at the end of Two Towers riding beside Bernard Hill. Apparently he had to be away (attending his son’s birth) that day. He wasn’t happy about it. He felt that PJ should have digitally replaced his face on the face of the stand-in. Imagine that, digitally altering reality, in Lord of the Rings! This was followed by the School Nativity Play on Acid AKA Craig Parker and Ferguson’s ‘Radio Play’. For a family show, it was very much off limits. From what I saw and heard, it made Howard Stern look like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the worst sketch on Whose Line is it Anyway, look like Frasier. I think one comment I heard was, Tolkien, and PJ if he was dead, would be rolling in their graves like spinning tops..

With all the ‘blowing our own trumpet’ you could read on the website and in the mags, what you got for your 20 GBP (or more if you upgraded) really was a waste of money. Ok nice big venue, thousands of seats in the auditorium, and only just 650 tickets sold ALL Sunday.. unless you were stupid enough to buy tickets just for the feast..

If anyone thought Collectormania was bad, they had to be at Alexandra Palace this weekend. I mean, they didn’t even have blokes selling ‘ltd. ed’ film cells!

Posted in Conventions, Craig Parker, Events, Fans, Lawrence Makoare, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Old Special Reports, Other Cast

Trilogy Screening at New York University

Andrew sends along this announcement: New York University’s The Gallatin Film Series, The Tisch School of the Arts & Andrew Vannata present The Lord of the Rings:

FOTR: September 24, 2004 6:00 pm
TTT: October 1, 2004 6:00 pm
ROTK: October 8, 2004 6:00 pm

Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street
at University Place

Open to All
Free Admission
Seating First Come Basis

Posted in Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Old Special Reports

More Fellowship Festival Goodness

Fellowship Festival 2004 Parn from sent along her collection of images from the Fellowship Festival that took place last weekend in London. Take a look at some of the people who attended, Alan Lee, John Howe, Karl Urban, Lawrence Makoare, Bruce Hopkins, John Noble, Gino Acevedo and the always adorable Sarah McLeod! [More]

Posted in Alan Lee, Bruce Hopkins, Conventions, Crew News, Events, Fans, John Noble, Karl Urban, Lawrence Makoare, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Old Main News

Free ROTK Screening in Montreal

Anna writes: And so a new school year is about to begin…(ack!!!) And with the smell of new books and the lightening of students’ wallets comes a more welcome surprise. On September 1st at 8.30pm on the Lower Field of McGill University (just inside the Roddick Gates), there will be a free showing of “The Return of the King”.

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Return of the King, Old Main News

LOTR Anime at Dragon Con 2004

Kaiser Mike writes: At Dragoncon, there is going to be a showing of the fan-produced parody movie entitled “Inu Yasha: Lord of the Jewel”. This film takes animation from the popular anime “Inu Yasha: A Feudal Fairytale” (as seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup) and hijacks the plot of the Tolkien Trilogy to forge a comedy of epic epicness! Showing in the Vinings room Saturday night, it is currently scheduled to start around 9:00 pm. Catering to both Ringer and Otaku tastes, this is a must-see for any Dragoncon goer with a sense of humor and a half hour to kill! []

Additional Notes: This is a “Fan-dub-parody” which is an anime culture custom. These are made by splicing clips of existing shows, and re-doing the dialogue and soundtrack. They are best viewed in group settings, and are made for one purpose: to make people laugh.

Were it to be rated it would probably have a PG-13 rating, mostly for language and suggestive dialogue.

The plot of “Inu Yasha” is very similar to the scenario of LotR. In it, a group of travelers are on a quest to neutralize the evil of a small mystical jewel.

Posted in Conventions, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Old Special Reports

Discover Middle-earth…in the UK

Richard from DME Partnership writes:

DME Partnership launches the UK’s only Middle-Earth tour. A coach Tour from London will visit locations that inspired JRR Tolkien when writing Lord of the Rings including Sauron’s Temple in Oxford and the original Two Towers and Shire in Birmingham.

It’s nearly three year since the Lord of the Ring’s movie trilogy hit our cinema screens and New Zealand became known as Middle-Earth.

Dozens of New Zealand companies of all different sizes jumped on the opportunity the film presented to them and created a huge boost the tourist industry with thousands of people from all over the world visiting the “Middle-Earth” of New Zealand.

While Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy was shot in New Zealand, the trilogies author, JRR Tolkien never visited the country and spent most of his life in England. Tolkien drew inspiration from locations in English cities such as Birmingham and Oxford for parts of Middle-Earth including the Shire, The Two Towers and Saurons Temple. Realising little had been done by these cities to capitalise on the renewed interest in Tolkien, two brothers, Richard (24) and Tom Greenwood (22), both recent graduates, set up the DME Partnership to highlight the places in England that inspired Middle-Earth.

Originally the partnership set up a website called which charts Tolkiens life in England and the locations that provided inspiration for The Lord of the Rings. Using original photography DME also produced a 2005 Wall Calendar entitled “Discover England’s Two Towers”. Following the success of this calendar in early sales online and at Lord of the Rings events, DME have now taken it a step further with the announcement of England’s first Middle-Earth coach tour – Destination Middle-Earth.

The first full day coach tour is scheduled for Saturday September 25th and will depart from Central London before heading off to Oxford, the Barrow Downs in Warwickshire and Birmingham. Passengers will be kept amused and informed by Tolkien expert guides and video clips from each location. More dates are set to be announced soon. Booking can be made online at

The tour costs #35 for the full day tour which departs at 9.00am from Central London and returns at 8pm.

Before now there have been occasional small scale tours around individual key Tolkien sites but this will be the only tour to truly take passengers on a journey into England’s Middle-Earth by combining many different locations in one tour. The tour will be suitable for people of all ages and is designed to be interesting to anyone who enjoyed the films, books or is simply looking for a day out with a difference.

Posted in Events, Fans, Meet Ups, Old Special Reports, Other Events

Bilbo Birthday Bash in Springdale, Arkansas

Diamond Harfoot-Baggins writes: People from Shire Post will be gathering in Springdale, Arkansas, on September 25th to celebrate Bilbo and Frodo’s Birthday. For more information and directions, contact Mayor Whitfoot!

Posted in Events, Fans, Meet Ups, Old Main News, Other Events

Showtime Airs Astin’s ‘Jeremiah’ Episodes

LKK writes: Showtime has scheduled at least four unaired episodes of “Jeremiah” co-starring Sean Astin starting September 3, at 8pm. They will show two new episodes back to back the first two weekends of the month. Showtime and Showtime HD will debut the episodes on Friday. Showtime Too repeats the episodes on Saturday at 10pm. Showtime Beyond has a third airing on Sunday at 8pm. [More]

Posted in Events, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Old Main News, Sean Astin, Television