FantasyCon is a major part of FantasyCon coming up on July 3 – 5 in Salt Lake City and there is a pretty incredible lineup of of Middle-earth content at the show. We are counting the top 10 reasons to attend one of the largest Tolkien gatherings in the history of conventions.

#10 THEONERING.NET — TORn visits many conventions around the country including the mammoth San Diego Comic Con and DragonCon in Atlanta. Add first-year FantasyCon to the schedule. Salt Lake City, capital of Utah, recently found to be the nerdiest state in America, will host three panels, feature a TORn booth with TORn shirts and use TORn staff to introduce and moderate panels.

An early look at the The FantasyCon sentinels.
An early look at the The FantasyCon sentinels.
#9 THE SENTINELS So far only teased at in various FantasyCon videos, the event will feature some giant, unique figures to greet patrons of the show. Just a glimpse of them on Facebook lit up the imaginations of readers. We can’t wait to see them in real life. Will you?

#8 FANTASY & PATRIOTISM PARADE The morning of July 4, downtown Salt Lake City will transform and host groups of fantasy and patriotic-themed marchers. Costume groups from the area will march in force in an event that is free to the public and will be one of the best photo ops imaginable. TheOneRing is hoping to gather Tolkienites to march together, more details to follow. There will also be a fireworks display, a charity event for under-privledged kids and a kickoff party event of Epic proportions. Plus a few surprises!

#7 FORGING THE ONE RING WITH BADALI This Utah-grown company has the world-wide rights to produce jewelry based on Tolkien’s books. They produce lovely replicas of the one ring of power in various finishes including fine handmade detail pieces. They will be on hand to sell their wares and also to give an excellent panel on the process of Forging The One Ring. The Badali booth and the TORn booth happen to be located together as well. Bonus!

#6 UNVEILING A GIANT DRAGON Dragons have played a significant part of the marketing and visual themes of the convention since it first started popping up online. In a year of amazing cinematic dragons like Godzilla, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and of course, our own Smaug, the theme continues at the show and at least part of the reason is the convention’s own dragon. Designed and built by FantasyCon for FantasyCon, the three-story dragon with its 50-foot wingspan may well be the star of the show. FantasyCon is changing conventions with events and creatures like this.

#5 AUTHOR DOUG ADAMS The man who wrote THE book on Howard Shore’s score for Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy is on hand to share his knowledge after spending years as Howard Shore’s right-hand-man. His book The Music of the Lord of the Rings films is among if not the best book on a specific film score ever. Doug will be on hand to lecture and talk Tolkien and film scores.

blackrider#4 THE BEST OF MIDDLE-EARTH ARTISTS The TORn community has a long relationship with Donato Giancola, and the master is bringing a never-before-seen and giant new Middle-earth commissioned painting to FantasyCon. We have seen it and it is glorious. But he isn’t alone! Justin Gerrard, known for his Battle of Five Amries paintings in Tolkien circles, also has a new commissioned work and these two are just the tip of the spear. Also included is Brom, Howard Lyon, Jeff Easley, Heather Theurer, Christophe Vacher and even more. The art and artists alone are a fantasy landmark and may never be collected together again.

#3 ROYD TOLKIEN While FantasyCon couldn’t bring the professor himself, having his great grandson on site seemed like the right thing to do. Royd knows the literary legacy from being part of the family and he knows the movie adaptation world from spending time on the set of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films. He will speak and sign your Tolkien book.

Dwalin-grahammctavish-p#2 7 DWARVES + 1 WIZARD Where can you find the majority of the Dwarves from the three Hobbit movies? At FantasyCon. Ken Stott is making his first U.S. Hobbit appearance and he is joined by Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Graham McTavish and William Kircher. Plus, Radagast himself, Sylvester McCoy. As everybody knows he was The Doctor in Doctor Who.

#1 THREE MEMBERS OF THE LOTR FELLOWSHIP Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and John Rhys-Davies all will be at FantasyCon bringing their stories from the now legendary Lord of The Rings film set. We also will focus on these men who created such indelible characters in movie history and since they are present for all three days, there will be time for them to relax, sign autographs and enjoy FantasyCon.

In short, its the biggest Middle-earth related convention gathering ever. As they say at FantasyCon, join the adventure!

Hobbit guests include:
Jed Brophy
Adam Brown
John Callen
Peter Hambleton
William Kircher
Sylvester McCoy
Graham McTavish
Ken Stott in his first U.S. convention ever

Lord of The Rings guests include:
Sean Astin
Billy Boyd
John Rhy-Davies

Tickets are on sale now, right here.