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Archive for February, 2006

Tolkien Reading Day

25th March is Tolkien Reading Day

Tolkien Reading Day is an event to encourage the use of Tolkien’s works in education and library reading groups. Launched in 2003 the reading day event has sparked interest in reading and reading groups across several nations and ages from Primary schoolchildren to University students and library users of all ages. Hence the circulation of this release to the media, educational press and county library services.

Tolkien’s works encompass many themes, and can be used to illustrate or provide assessment subjects for study areas in current school curricula. 25th March has significance to Tolkien’s readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the ‘War of the Ring’ in “The Lord of the Rings.” For children and adults reading together is fun, and stimulates good conversation, vocabulary development, an interest in history and for some an interest in linguistics.

There’s more to Tolkien than “The Lord of the Rings”, schools and reading groups can enjoy the mock-medieval rebellion of “Farmer Giles of Ham” complete with giants and dragons or the radio play “The Homecoming of Beohrtnoth” that looks at the aftermath of a Viking raid.

Have a Tolkien Reading Party or Dinner

Why not have a group of people gather to read aloud? As this year’s Reading Day is a Saturday schools may be closed but libraries, pubs, cafes, youth clubs, restaurants and other places won’t be. Members of the public (and schools wishing to hold an event near to rather than on the 25th) can contact the Society for free posters, bookmarks and help with publicising their event.

Tolkien Reading Day Fun in the East Riding of Yorkshire

East Riding Libraries will be running several events to tie in with Tolkien Reading Day. A county wide art competition is being held throughout March with a theme of “The Magic of Middle Earth.” At Hessle library Games Workshop will be holding a games demonstration and running a diorama model competition “Middle Earth in Miniature,” Beverley Library will be hosting a Games Workshop tournament themed around Lord of the Rings while art and modelling workshops will be running at Bridlington and North Bridlington library. There will also be wordsearches, quizzes and displays at several libraries across the region, for more information about events being held by the library service please contact Gemma Williams on 01482-392747 or email her at Gemma.Williams AT

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, Old Special Reports, Other Events, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

How Digital Animation Conquered Hollywood

Old-timers in Hollywood sometimes talk about a golden age of animation, seven or eight decades ago, when cartoons were funny, beautiful, and perfect. But the truth is, toons have always been a bit of a backwater – the province of Disney kiddie flicks, Looney Tunes, maybe a rudimentary special effect. Until recently. These days, animation is everywhere. Pixar masterpieces like Toy Story and The Incredibles prove that a digitally animated movie can have more heart than a live-action film. Depictions of the fantastic – flying superheroes, ferocious velociraptors, battling starships – rely on software to maintain the audience’s suspension of disbelief. Even the most realistic movies call on animators to simulate an ungettable shot or to make a moment just a smidge more perfect. [More]

Posted in Crew News, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Old Main News, WETA Digital

Golden Words From Golden Gun…

Adele sends this in: Old trouper Christopher Lee, whose 250-film career includes one of the most memorable Bond villains, is in no doubt who has made the best 007 to date. Despite working with Roger Moore, and contrary to the general consensus so far that Sean Connery’s Bond was the definitive, Lee has given the rosette to the ousted Pierce Brosnan. [More]

Posted in Christopher Lee, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, Old Main News

EA’s Battle for Middle-earth II!

If you didn’t know, EA Games is releasing ‘The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for XBOX 360 this September 2006. But for those of you with PCs, your wait is nearly over! March 2nd is just around the corner and the game will hit store shelves then! [BFME II Homepage] [BFME II Hits GOLD] [Xbox Release]

Posted in Gaming, Merchandise, Old Main News, Other Merchandise, Announcements


REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 13, 2006–Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced that the highly anticipated PC game, The Lord of the Rings(TM), The Battle for Middle-earth(TM) II will make its exclusive console debut when it ships in Summer 2006 on the Xbox 360(TM). Players can now command epic Middle-earth battles presented in spectacular high-definition from the comfort of their very own couch. To add to the intensity of the experience, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 is the first game in The Lord of the Rings(TM) series that will be playable over Xbox LIVE(TM)(1). Players will be able to challenge friends online and engage in intense, action-packed real-time battles.

“Living these cinematic battles in high-definition with stunning surround sound, all from the comfort of your living room couch on the Xbox 360, is an extraordinary experience,” said Louis Castle, VP of Creative Development at EALA. “Adding the ability to battle it out with friends via Xbox LIVE is also really exciting.”

Based on the PC version of the same name, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 will bring players into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction. The game boasts a new and intuitive console-specific control scheme that will allow novice players to enjoy the game’s signature strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Players will directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth.

Developed at EA’s Los Angeles studio, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 offers players a new depth of The Lord of the Rings fiction never before explored in an EA console game. The game makers at EALA have brought The Lord of the Rings world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 has not yet been rated by the ESRB and the PC version is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB. For more information about either game, please visit: For information about all of EA’s games, please visit EA’s press site at

(1) Online play requires Internet Connection. Xbox Live online play also requires subscription to the Xbox Live service.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA(TM), EA SPORTS BIG(TM) and POGO(TM). In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA’s homepage and online game site is More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

About Tolkien Enterprises

The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary works The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tolkien Enterprises has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on Tolkien’s works for almost 30 years. Its headquarters are in Berkeley, California, and its website may be found at

About New Line Cinema Corporation

Founded almost 40 years ago, New Line Cinema is the most successful independent film company in the world. Its mission is to produce innovative, popular and profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, the fully-integrated studio has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, merchandising and an international unit. In 2005, New Line partnered with HBO to form Picturehouse, a new theatrical distribution company to release independent films. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line’s Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in history. New Line is a division of Time Warner, Inc. (TWX).

Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All The Lord of the Rings content other than content from the New Line trilogy of The Lord of The Rings films (C) 2006 The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises (“SZC”). All Rights Reserved. The Lord of the Rings, and the names of the characters, events, items, and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SZC under license. All content from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (C) MMVI New Line Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. Xbox and Xbox LIVE are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Electronic Arts
Abby Topolsky, 310-754-7005 (Public Relations)
Brooke Cahalane, 310-754-7312 (Senior Publicist)

SOURCE: Electronic Arts

Posted in Gaming, Merchandise, Old Special Reports, Other Merchandise, Announcements

Ian McKellen Makes Donmar Debut in Ravenhill’s The Cut Feb. 23

The Donmar Warehouse’s new season kicks off Feb. 23 with the world premiere of Mark Ravenhill’s The Cut, which marks the Donmar debut of Sir Ian McKellen. Directed by the theatre’s artistic director Michael Grandage, The Cut officially opens on Feb. 28. The play centers on Paul (McKellen) who, according to production notes, is a loving husband harboring a shocking secret. McKellen is joined by Deborah Findlay, who appeared in the National Theatre production of Ravenhill’s Mother Clap’s Molly House and was last seen at the Donmar in The Vortex, Grandage’s inaugural production for the theatre as artistic director. [More]

Posted in Events, Ian McKellen, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Old Main News, Stage Productions

LOTR Online Update

Meghan, Online Community Manager for The Lord of the Rings Online writes: “Steeped in the histories of Middle-earth, Lore-masters are able to aid their fellows in recovering from maladies caused by the forces of the Dark Lord….” You can find more info about the Lore-master (and an avatar!) on our Playable Classes page here.

In other, and some might say bigger news, this morning we announced our partnership with Midway Games for co-publishing and distribution of LOTRO in North America. This is great news for all of us here at Turbine, and we’re excited to be working with such a terrific partner. You can find the full press release here.

Posted in Merchandise, Old Main News, Other Merchandise, Announcements

Trilogy Screening at Ziegfeld Theatre in NYC

Lightsteward writes: I’ve recently taken over maintaining the NYC Line Party list for Lightwards, who was our Line Party organizer over the years here in NYC. I was hoping you could list this news item on the site a.s.a.p.. The historic Ziegfeld in NYC is showing the LotR Trilogy as part of their Hollywood Classics series this coming week. The Ziegfeld is the largest and most magnificent single screen venue left in NYC and is the location of most major film premieres in NYC. This is the first time that the LotR films will play there, as none of them ran there. Previously only the first two films had premieres there. So this is a real first for fans of the films who want to see the movies under prime conditions.

Many of us from the NY Line Party will be reuniting for our Second Annual Trilogy Day as a part of this run on Saturday 2/25. We have also arranged a group discount with the theater, lowering the ticket price from $7.50 per film, to $4.50 per film. People just need to print out and present this flyer at the box office.

The discount is also good for the entire week, so anyone who cannot make it on Saturday, or wants to go more than once can take advantage of the break. So, please help us get the word out a.s.a.p.. I’m sure there may be some people out there outside NYC who’d even want to come in for the day.

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

Join us this Saturday for ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’

As part of our popular Movie Watch chats, this weekend TORn’s IRC gang will be settling in to watch the second of the four Harry Potter films, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” We will follow up with “Prisoner of Azkaban” on March 11th, and “Goblet of Fire” on March 25th.

Join us Saturday on our IRC server at 5:30 pm EST when we pop our copies of the film into the DVD player. After the usual confusion, at around 5.30pm EST we’ll all press play on our individual players and proceed to cheer and jeer (or discuss and argue, if you like!) the finer points of the film.

We plan to take a break midway through the film, to allow for stretching of fingers and backs. Barliman will be on hand to serve drinks and snacks (and to enforce the house rules).

* * *


Saturday February 25

Time zone conversions:

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

5.30pm EST (New York)
4.30pm CST (Chicago)
3.30pm MST (Salt Lake City)
2.30pm PST (Los Angeles)

10.30pm GMT (London)
11.30pm CET (Paris)

6.30am AWST (Sunday 26th) Perth
8.30am AEST (Sunday 26th) Brisbane
9.30am AEDT (Sunday 26th) Sydney
11.30am NZDT (Sunday 26th) Wellington


On TORn’s IRC server, in the #moviechat channel. After joining the server, type /join #moviechat to get there.

If you’ve never been to TORn’s IRC server before, you can join through our java applet and type /join #moviechat once you’re signed in. We recommend you visit our FAQ for some guidelines on using our IRC service. Barliman’s is a place for good conversation about JRR Tolkien’s works. We welcome you to our community and ask that you, and all guests, abide by some simple guidelines.


Once everyone is in #moviechat and has their DVD ready to go, the ops will moderate the room and have a countdown to “Play.” I expect that we will be able to give minute-markers throughout the evening for latecomers. A break will be taken midway through — the exact point will be announced in the topic.

* * *

That’s all, folks! See you this weekend!

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Meet Ups, Old Special Reports, Announcements

Tolkien: The Lord Of Literary Fantasies

TAMPA – “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit …” That famous first line, now 70 years old, introduced J.R.R. Tolkien to a small readership, and so began the cult of Middle-earth. After his “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy hit bookstores in the mid-1950s, Tolkien was fast becoming a worldwide cultural phenomenon. As complex as they appear, Tolkien’s literary fantasies all grew from kernels, branching out into an interconnected family tree. But where did these ideas come from and how did he develop them? [More]

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Old Main News, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Meet Alan Lee in Exeter This Weekend!

Claire writes: Meet Alan Lee at Waterstones Roman Gate Exeter Saturday 25th February at 11. At long last the local Oscar-winning illustrator is back on home ground and will be signing copies of his book, ‘The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook’ in the shop! No tickets required follow the link for more information on Waterstones. [More]

Order on Amazon
The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook [CA] [UK]

Posted in Alan Lee, Crew News, Events, Fans, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Old Main News, Other Events

EE Trilogy Screening at Berkeley

Cameron writes: As an Employee Appreciation gesture, a group of us are hosting a Lord of the Rings marathon, showing the Extended Editions of the trilogy on a big screen. It will be on Saturday, March 11, in Berkeley. We have rented a screening room that is intimate and has great sound and high-backed comfortable seats. Since this would be an all-day event, we have hired a caterer, as well. There is some limited seating still available, and we thought we should make it open to the Faithful. Would any of you be interested in joining us for Lembas Bread (and second breakfast, elevensies…)? Please send me an email and let me know, and I will be happy to send more information about this event.

Posted in Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Meet Ups, Old Main News