San Diego Comic Con 2015 is now in the books, let’s do a little recap for any all things related to Tolkien fandom and TORn. The TORn panel, titled “What’s next for Tolkien Fans?” was on Friday afternoon, and directly after the panel we had our annual Tolkien themed Cosplay photo Op, as seen in the first photo.
The panel itself began at 4pm, but without the snazzy little visual presentation we normally have. The laptop that the presentation was on, and had been operating just 2 hours earlier, decided it was taking the afternoon off. Apparently it helped the panel move along at a quicker pace, leaving plenty of room for questions at the end. So, what was discussed in the panel, what IS next for Tolkien fans?
The obvious first answer is the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is coming in November. Folks at WETA Digital have said the effects were done for the Dwarf Ice Chariot sequence, so you can expect to see some of the put back into the film. Also, this is conjecture, but there is no way there isn’t more of Beorn in the Battle or at least of Radagast marshaling the Eagles and Beorn to join in the fight. And while the Dwarves all gathering around Thorin’s body has some closure with the Company, the missing Funeral of the Sons of Durin is greatly missed. It is the emotional closure to Thorin’s story, and brings about the final treaties between Elf and Man and Dwarf again when Dain takes over Erebor. And then there is the Arkenstone, it needs to be put to rest, and perhaps a little Elven gemstones returned to Thranduil would be nice as well. Word is that there will be at least 30 minutes, if not more, in the extended edition. Luckily, this was not the only subject for Tolkien fans to look forward to.
The three panelists are also the hosts of our produced shows, Quickbeam from TORn Tuesday, Kili from Happy Hobbits and Sarumann from TORn BookClub. They gave us a quick update on what’s coming up on their various shows, especially the in-depth Silmarillion discussion going on in the TORn BookClub, and invited everyone to participate as much as possible in the chats and comments sections for their shows. We also discussed the chatroom and message boards on TORn and all the activities and discussions going on regarding Tolkien’s books and other academic sides to Tolkien. We just wanted to remind everyone that TORn is still planning to stick around and be the central hub for all things Tolkien, which includes all your regular readers. Finally, we put up the calendar of regular Tolkien activities that anyone can participate in, including Tolkien’s Birthday on January 3, Tolkien Reading Day on March 25, and the Baggins Birthday Bash on September 22. In the LA area the local fandom hosts parties for all three of these events, but we know there are fans out there all over the world. We want to invite you all to host your own events locally, let us know at spymaster@TheOneRing.net or ping us on the Facebook page so we can compile the info and invite other local fans to join you, and make these events as globally relevant as possible. You don’t have to wait for TORn to host an event for you to attend, you can be your own social manager and we can be your voice when you want it to grow.
We saved the biggest and most conjecture filled news for last. But first, let’s see if you were paying attention to a certain line of dialogue in The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. After the battle has wound down and we see how it plays out for the Elves, Legolas has decided that he is going to leave Mirkwood. Thranduil does not try to stop him, but does mention he should look up a Ranger named Strider of the Dunedain. The Appendixes, for which the movie rights still exist, include details of Strider riding off with the likes of Elladan and Elrohir and some other Rangers and winds up traveling to both Rohan and Gondor, among other places far and wide using the name Thorongil. This data, which is known to be available in the Appendixes, coupled with some rather interesting whispers to come out of some reliable realms indicate that there is some great interest in continuing stories set in Middle-earth. Just ask there will be more Potterverse stories based on the Book of Creatures, we may well have an expansion to the Middle-earth Cinematic Universe (known as MeCU, cause any Tolkien fan worth his or her salt knows that the ‘e’ in earth is lower case). So the line spoken by Thranduil about sending Legolas to find this young Dunedain Ranger, and some of the other little lines sprinkled throughout LOTR about Aragorn’s past traveling through Rohan and Gondor may well be in the works. But as always, this is all conjecture and rumor at the moment, until the time comes when it is no longer just secret kept secret and safe.
Before saying farewell, we made sure to remind everyone of the Ice Cream Social we hosted at the Ghiradelli’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Shop later that evening after the convention closed for normal activities. It’s a busy shop, so people started with scattered tables around the whole dining area, but we ended up with so many people at one point, we practically took over the whole back end of the shop. We had a couple of birthdays that week, so a fun Ice Cream Sundae was bought for one birthday girl, but the song was sung for several. There were some prizes given for some random and sometimes very difficult trivia questions, and we hope everyone who attended had a good time. We know it was a delicious evening.
Back on Thursday, to kick things off, WETA held a moot for the fans who frequent their fan message boards, and a few TORn staff as well. It’s always a nice event because it’s fairly casual and low key. A few years back, WETA artist Dave Tremont started creating customized little goodies to be given away in a raffle at the party. They often had a robotic or gothic vibe to them, and this year was no different. Here is a picture of Sarumanella with her booty.
On the exhibit hall floor, there were a few things to make Tolkien fans happy. Badali Jewelry had both Tolkien jewelry and some incredible leather armor on display. WETA had a booth full of Hobbit and LOTR statues, mostly new stuff coming out soon, as well as a full display of life sized character armor, including Dain on his War Boar. And during the convention, several people were able to get personalized Dwarf or Elf make up on by Warren Dion-Smith as shown below. They even had a little visit by Elijah Wood who wanted to meet the newest Dwarf.
And finally, outside the Convention Center, there were loads of fun activities going on, most of which did not require a pass to the convention. Believe it or not, the cast of Hannibal did an autograph signing event across the street at the Tin Fish restaurant. And even if you did not make it through the line, the location made it so that anyone could get near enough to snap a few good pictures, something that never would have happened inside SDCC.
And on this note, this SDCC 2015 story is a Wrap!