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Archive for April, 2018

Middle-earth March Madness – FINAL! Vote now to decide this year’s Champion!

Last two standing – here we are at the Middle-earth March Madness FINAL for 2018. Two – well, not men… – enter, one leaves; who will be Champion this year?

In the Final Four, we saw Samwise Gamgee take on Gollum, and Gandalf face Elrond Half-elven. Both Sam and Gandalf have been Middle-earth March Madness Champions before – twice, in the wizard’s case –  but for the other two, the heady heights for the Final Four are new.

The contests were tight; Sam took an early lead in his duel, but by the second day, old Stinker had pulled ahead. Gollum finally went on to win that battle convincingly, claiming over 60% of the vote.

In the second pairing, it was neck and neck right down to the wire, with less than 1% in it at times. In the end, however, elvish power triumphed over Maiar magic, and Half-elven came home with 54.35% of the vote, to Gandalf’s 45.65%.

So this year will definitely see a NEW Champion crowned! Gollum faces Elrond in a fight to the finish. Can tricksssy deviousness overcome the power of a high elf? Will Smeagol help out, making it two against one? You decide!

The Final voting is open NOW. Polls close at 10pm EST on Thursday 5th April; only two days to vote for the Champion, so don’t delay! Last chance to play along with Middle-earth March Madness this year; and don’t forget to check out the ‘exit polls’ on Facebook. Whom do you want to see crowned…? VOTE NOW! [The Final] [Final Four] [Elite Eight] [Round 3 Bracket] [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Andy Serkis, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth March Madness – The Final Four are Chosen!

Just two rounds remain in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness – we’re down to the final four, facing off against each other in the Semi-Finals! Who has the strength to rule over all?

Let’s take a look back at the Quarter Finals – where none of the battles was as tight as might have been predicted. In a pairing which presented voters with a tough choice, the stout-hearted hobbit overcame his long-shanked foe; Aragorn was defeated by Samwise, with the Ranger unable to claim much more than a third of the vote. This result may surprise some, but then, Master Gamgee has always proved to have hidden strengths and depths.

Division II saw Galadriel going nuclear on Gollum, but still losing to the tricksssy one! Who would have thought that one of the River-folk could overcome a high elf, and a margin of two thirds to one third?

The mighty Maiar match was also not the closely fought duel one might have expected; it must indeed have been Gandalf the White who entered the lists, as he thrashed Saruman, taking over 85% of the vote!

Finally, in Division IV two elves faced off; a high (but half) elf against a woodland dweller. Thranduil may have ridden in on his war moose, but in the end, it was Elrond who came out victorious, claiming about three quarters of the vote.

And now we are down to just FOUR. Samwise vs Gollum – there’s no love lost between these two! Will the faithful gardener be able to overcome ‘Stinker’, or if he lets his guard down, will Gollum defeat the ‘stupid, fat hobbit’? Will it just devolve into a contest of name calling?! You decide!

Gandalf vs Elrond – will the wizard finally teach Half-elven a lesson, for failing to throw Isildur and the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom at the end of the Second Age? Or does Rivendell’s ruler have a trick or two up his voluminous sleeves? It’s up to you – VOTE NOW!

The Semi-Final voting is open NOW, and will close at 10pm EST on Tuesday 3rd April. The FINAL will then run April 4th -5th. Only a few more days to play along with Middle-earth March Madness, before it’s over for another year. VOTE NOW![Final Four] [Elite Eight] [Round 3 Bracket] [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

TORn to explore subscription-based business model

In a big shake-up for the largest fansite of the author J. R. R. Tolkien, TheOneRing.net (TORn) founders have announced they are about to begin beta-testing a subscription service to better align with the business model of Amazon.com for the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series: a “TORn-Prime,” if you will.

“It’s something we’ve been working toward for a while because we want to continue to deliver a top-class website that services the fans of Tolkien,” says TORn’s new spokesperson, Sarah Mcleod. “We will roll out a beta test with our message boards, then evaluate a model for the entire site.” While the timeline is still under discussion, preliminary plans are for Barliman’s chat and the Home Page to begin offering premium subscriptions during the June-August, 2018 time-frame. The once-popular Green Books will also be revived for premium subscribers.

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Barlimans, Fool, J.R.R. Tolkien, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Is Guillermo Del Toro finally going to bring his Middle-earth to the fans?

When Amazon Studios first announced their big production deal last November for a Lord of the Rings television series, there was just one thing missing, a big name attached to the project. There was no Producer, Showrunner or even a Writer or team of Writers to indicate the direction these stories might take and give confidence to fans that Middle-earth would be in good hands. 

It has been confirmed that the Guillermo Del Toro has signed on with Amazon Studios, in conjunction with his Tequila Gang production company, to Executive Produce and write this iteration of Middle-earth. He brings with him his co-writer, Chuck Hogan from The Strain. Del Toro’s long time manager, Gary Ungar says that they have already begun identifying and sifting through possible stories that exist within the Appendices, separating out those that are more fleshed out in other Tolkien properties. Because the deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust is still in flux, they are currently only looking at storylines they know won’t be a legal issue so they can get down to writing.  

During that time waiting for The Hobbit project to finally get going, Guillermo Del Toro spent nearly two years breaking down The Hobbit and working with pre-production designs for the story he was helping to craft. His visual style and ability to create wild and very unique looks was one of the reasons fans came to really anticipate Del Toro’s take on Middle-earth. We wanted to see what he would do with the Elves and Dwarves and even Men, and we especially wanted to see what he would have come up with for all the monsters. When he finally had to leave the project because it was dragging on too long waiting for a green light, fans felt a sense of loss and mourned The Hobbit that could have been. 

This is why Del Toro is perfect for this project. He already has a deep knowledge of the source material, including what can and can not be included legally, and he’s got designs that never got the see the light of day. Because Peter Jackson and WETA are not going to be involved in the Amazon Studios production, there is little reason to maintain strict adherence to the design motifs put in place for the various races. The only design features required are within Tolkien’s books, and beyond that, Del Toro will get to finally let loose with his own, distinct look and feel with very little constraint. What will his Numenor look like? Will we see a Northern Kingdom or meet a young Aragorn, as Thorongil, as he journey’s about Middle-earth learning the skills he will later need to become King?  

Amazon has already announced that it will be developing a Lord of the Rings series set before the events of the original films. The company reportedly spent $250 million to acquire the rights alone and, according to that same report, marketing and productions costs for two seasons could raise the investment to $500 million. It is still unclear if these stories will be told in a series of anthology like episodes or story arcs, or if there will be a much wider, more epic scope to the narrative. 

Amazon Studios will produce the series in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publishers HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Creations, Director news, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Fool of a Took, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Rumors Spy News, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family