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Archive for August, 2015

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh buy church for Wellington suburb

PJ_NZ_Church

MAARTEN HOLL/ FAIRFAX NZ courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Here’s a nice story from stuff.co.nz: Sir Peter Jackson has come to the rescue of a historic Wellington church. Jackson and wife Fran Walsh have bought St Christopher’s Church in the suburb of Seatoun for $1.06 million in a move that saves the earthquake-prone church and neighbouring hall from potential demolition. The couple made their latest purchase to ensure the buildings would not be lost from the peninsula, trust chairman Richard Stubbs said. According to Stubbs, the community would have faced a huge fundraising effort were it not for Jackson and Walsh stepping in.

“They’ve rescued it. They’ve totally relieved us of that obligation, and that means we can get on and run the facilities … their involvement here is absolutely pivotal. They’ve done this for the people of the peninsula, and indeed for Wellington.”

Read the rest of the article on the stuff.co.nz website here.

Posted in Director news, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Collecting The Precious – Dain Ironfoot on War Boar

IMG_4917Today, is the last of the three week run of Weta Workshop post Comic-Con extravaganza collectibles.We end this run with a very cool rider piece capturing Dain Ironfoot himself on that really awesome War Boar. Dain, who hopefully we get to see a bit more of in the extended edition because what we did get to see of him in the theatrical release was pretty cool, is presented in incredible detail. One of the other things I really liked about Dain, besides the incredible detail and likeness, was the metallic paint used on the armor. Fans can order Dain right now for a solid price of $449 with a pretty low edition size of just 800 pieces worldwide. You can expect Dain to arrive into your collection during the first quarter of 2016.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

Collecting The Precious – Asmus Toys Aragorn and Tauriel Sixth Scale Figures

902523-aragorn-06As we’ve mentioned before, Asmus Toys is doing 1:6 figures from both The Lord of the Rings as well as The Hobbit. Our friends at Sideshow Collectibles are helping fans get both Aragorn and Tauriel by distributing them to collectors. Both figures come with loads of items allowing you to create whatever poses you want. Plus, if you order Aragorn you get a special base with an Amon Hen theme. You can snag Aragorn for $199, and he is due to ship between September and December of this year. Tauriel will be shipping to collectors a little sooner, with a shipping scheduled for September or October of this year.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Sideshow Collectibles, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

George R.R. Martin says he wants his epic series to have a LOTR ending

George-RR-Martin-thumbGeorge R.R. Martin, writer with a series of #1 bestellers, a hit HBO show and a measure of celebrity few writers ever achieve, has given a pretty substantial signal about the how the tone of his series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” will end and he credits J.R.R. Tolkien. Martin has long praised Tolkien and credited him with influencing him and most every other fantasy writer.

But this time Martin got pretty specific.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with The Observer, where he didn’t give anything away, but did reveal the kind of tone he hopes to have at the end.

“I’ve said before that the tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet. I mean, it’s no secret that Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory.”

Tolkien_2692769bMartin also talked about the golden age of television and mentioned some great shows that not everybody is watching, but he wasn’t done with praising Tolkien.

“Frodo is never whole again,” he said.

Martin is of course known for writing giant volumes and killing favorite characters. The joke goes that Martin isn’t on Twitter because he already killed 140 characters and the fear is that by the end of the final book, Martin may write something of an apocalypse, which is why his Tolkien comparisons are so welcome for fans.

But he also praised a portion of Tolkien’s writings that filmmaker Peter Jackson left out of his movies, save for a brief glimpse as part of another scene. Martin loves the Scouring of the Shire chapter.

“And the scouring of the Shire—brilliant piece of work, which I didn’t understand when I was 13 years old: “Why is this here? The story’s over?” But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for.

Martin is writing the sixth book in his series, “The Winds of Winter.”

Read the full story right here.

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Hall of Fire this weekend: Tolkien’s orcs and goblins

Tolkien’s orcs and goblins. What are they? Where do they come from? What is their nature? Where do they go? Do they even really have personalities or a will of their own?

These are just a few of the questions we’ll be asking in Hall of Fire this Saturday at 6pm EDT.

“[Orc] occurs in one or two places but is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds). Orc is the hobbits’ form of the name given at that time to these creatures.” Tolkien’s preface to The Hobbit.

(more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop’s Uruk-hai Swordsman Pre-Order

IMG_4788This week marks the second of the three week Weta post Comic-Con Extravaganza. Fans of Middle-earth now have the chance to add the Uruk-hai Swordsman who was part of Saruman’s army attack on Helm’s Deep to their collections. The Uruks were some of the coolest creatures we’ve seen in any movie, and this statue does such a fantastic job capturing all that amazing work by our friends at Weta. You can snag the Uruk-hai Swordsman for $299, he comes with an edition size of 1500 pieces world-wide.

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

New Tolkien Book: The Story of Kullervo UPDATED

Kullervo

Available for pre-order now is allegedly one of Tolkien’s darkest stories, which (if any of you are familiar with my books) has me all kinds of excited.

Here’s the official press release we have received:

THE STORY OF KULLERVO

The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.

  • • The Story of Kullervo is the first piece of prose fiction that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
  • • This is its first appearance in book form
  • • 2015 is the centenary of its creation
  • • Illustrated on the cover by one of Tolkien’s own paintings

 

Kullervo son of Kalervo is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. ‘Hapless Kullervo’, as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny.

Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and who tries three times to kill him when still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and guarded by the magical powers of the black dog, Musti. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruellest of fates.

Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was ‘the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own’, and was ‘a major matter in the legends of the First Age’. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.

 

The book will be released in the UK on the 27th of August 2015 and is scheduled for release in April 2016 in the US.

[Read More]

While I doubt the rights will be released any time soon, this sounds like an edge-of your seat read that would make a fantastic film. With stories like this kicking around in his desk drawers (or wherever the Professor kept them!), one has to wonder what would be his chosen medium if alive and publishing today. Would he be like J.K. Rowling and write not only novels, but for the stage, and the screen as he expanded his magical world? Or do you think he would’ve just stuck to books? Before you go into a lecture about Jackson’s films “ruining everything,” remember that Tolkien willingly sold the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, knowing full well their stories would be told on the big screen with all kinds of changes to match the cinematic storytelling medium.

Posted in Books Publications, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, TheOneRing.net Announcements, Tolkien

Crowd funded Minas Tirith pricetag: £1.8 billion

Minas TirithA group, that displays one man with 500+ Facebook friends, has started a GoFundMe page to build a 1 to 1 scale replica “of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”

For American readers, if my pounds to dollars calculator is working right, that is about $2.8 billion, an ambitious amount to raise on IndieGoGo, or really any crowd funding site, or really, by any method. Still, the project would be a dream to visit and would create an economy all its own and would provide years of good media material as the world watched its progress.

“We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life,” Jonathan Wilson says on his intro page. He also breaks down the cost, a little bit, to say, “The vast majority of this expense will cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material.”

He hopes to raise £1.8 billion. (more…)

Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Studios, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, WETA Workshop

Hall of Fire this weekend: The Hobbit: Fire and Water

Tomorrow, (6pm EDT New York time) Hall of Fire returns to The Hobbit as we delve into the events of Chapter 14: “Fire and Water”.

“The dragon is coming or I am a fool!” he cried. “Cut the bridges! To arms! To arms!”

The Hobbit: Chapter 14: Fire and Water (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Hall of Fire

Street date and running time for the BOtFA EE

BOFTA EE Canadian cover - courtesy of digitalbits.com

BOFTA EE Canadian cover – courtesy of digitalbits.com

Bill Hunt over at Digital Bits.com came out with two updates on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies yesterday afternoon. The first, which you can read here, is that the street date for the DVD release looks to be Tuesday, November 17th, according to Amazon.ca which, according to Bill, almost always coincides with with Warner Bros. release date. The second update is that the official running time appears to be 164 minutes, which means the EE will be around 20 minutes longer than the theatrical version, not 30 minutes as intimated by Peter Jackson in various news outlets last December.

The shorter running time has been rumored for the last week or so, with the reaction from our Hobbit forum users mostly reflecting disappointment regarding the ‘lost’ 10 minutes.  Of course, there are also the ‘glass half full’ fans that are hoping that quality will beat out quantity in this case. Let us know what your reaction is in the comments, on the forum, or in Barliman’s chatroom. In the mean time, Bill believes an official announcement from Warner Bros should be forthcoming in the next few days.

Posted in Blu-Ray, Director news, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Tolkien artist Jef Murray: March 17, 1960 – August 3, 2015

Jef MurrayA member of the Tolkien community is gone. Jeffrey “Jef” Patrick Murray died Monday, Aug. 3 unexpectedly, at the age of 55.

Jef, living in Decauter, Georgia, was best known to many as a Tolkien artist, and was a selected artist at the upcoming Dragon Con in Atlanta. He leaves behind family and friends who know him as more than his work and will miss him dearly.

Jef was scheduled to help the Tolkien track of programming at Dragon Con this year, as he has many others, and will be missed and remembered. He was active year round in a Facebook group dedicated to the convention, where he posted his art weekly. He put his effort where his passion was and it will be hard not to notice that he hasn’t posted each Tolkien Tuesday.

Jef had a deep spiritual connection with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and credited the professor and his writings with his conversion to Catholicism. Besides leaving his mark in Tolkien fandom, he was involved as a writer and artist in religious publications and websites. He also wrote his own stories and poems.

Murray received a note of tribute from fellow artist and friend Ted Naismith, noting his passing and explaining that the pair kept in contact via email despite different viewpoints of the world. He said in part:

“I’m proud to call Jef a friend, fellow artist, scholar and colleague, and deeply mourn his loss. My deepest condolences to Lorraine and Jef’s family and close friends. He was a very lively and dedicated voice and talent in our community, and he leaves an impressive legacy. I’m truly saddened that he has left us, it’s simply too soon! I’d like to think he is now free to roam the width and breadth of Middle-earth and Valinor with his canvases and songs.”

Tolkien scholar Constance Wagner, who got to know Jeff at Dragon Con also spoke of her sadness at his passing:

“He has gone Into the West to paint forever with starlight. I will miss his wit and kindness and sense of fun. I will miss his talent. But mostly, I will miss him. Namarie, Jef. Elen sila lumenn’ omentielvo.”

The Tolkien Society knew Jef and his works well. He often contributed to its publications Amon Hen and Mallorn. It published a notice of his death, expressing sadness at his passing.

It is interesting to note, that he graduated from Georgia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering according to this obituary.

TheOneRing.net wishes our deepest condolences to those hurt by the loss of Jef, yet we honor his works and his passion and his life.

Some of Jef’s creations are posted below but to see a full compliment of his works, visit his official website.

He also left behind his own words about himself:

“Although it’s thought good form to speak about oneself in a “Biography” section, I’m always embarrassed that I’ll either say too much and sound pompous or too little and sound elusive. I intend neither, so beg your pardon in advance if I strike the wrong balance.

I’ve sketched and painted natural and mythological wildlife and landscapes since my childhood years in the north Georgia hills. I suspect I’m best known for my illustrations from Inklings-themed publications, although I’m very grateful that my work has also been published in many other books and journals.

I love the writings of G. K. Chesterton (see my artist’s statement), and a good deal of my work explores the connection between myth/fairy tales and Christian thought. I am Artist-in-Residence for the St. Austin Review (StAR).

My illustrations of whimsical tales and poems and my stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Amon Hen, Mallorn, Silver Leaves, the St. Austin Review (StAR), the Georgia Bulletin, and Integrated Catholic Life. My most recent book illustrations appear in Seer: A Wizard’s Journal.

Lorraine and I reside in Decatur, Georgia with hamster-in-residence Ignatius, and up to 60,000 honeybees.”

Posted in Creations, DragonCon, Fans

Tolkien’s Beowulf translation now in paperback – enter to WIN!

Beowulf Online GiveawayOur good friends at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this week released Tolkien’s wonderful translation of Beowulf in paperback – and to celebrate, they are offering YOU a chance to win a copy of the paperback, as well as a poster of the beautiful cover art (drawn by Tolkien himself).

To enter, all you have to do is click here and complete the entry form. The contest winner will be selected on August 18th – so don’t delay! (Alas, this US based competition is only open to those who are over 18 and who have a valid US address – sorry!)

If you didn’t grab a copy of Beowulf in hardback, now is your chance to own this fabulous translation by the Professor.  You can read TORn staffers’ reviews of this edition here and here; suffice to say, it’s well worth adding to your library. Snap up a copy or try your luck to win the poster as well!

[Click here to enter the HMH giveaway]

 

Posted in Books, Books Publications, J.R.R. Tolkien, Merchandise, Other Tolkien books, Posters Prints, Shop, Tolkien