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Archive for September, 2019

Today in Middle-earth, September 29

September 29 The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 29:

  • The company of Thorin recovers in Lake-town (1341)
  • Frodo reaches Bree at night (1418)
  • Gandalf visits the Gaffer (1418)
  • They come to the Grey Havens (1421)
  • Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keeper (1421)
  • The end of the Third age (1421)

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Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Collecting The Precious – Asmus Toys Hobbit Day Giveaway

Our friends over at Asmus Toys have been celebrating Hobbit Day for the last week with an awesome giveaway. All you have to is go to the Asmus Toys Facebook Page and follow the directions. Five lucky fans will be given the chance to win one of their very cool Frodo slim figures. The contest ends this Monday, September 30th, so make sure you get your entries in now!

Posted in Uncategorized

Middle-earth composer Chance Thomas chats with TORn

Chance Thomas is a composer who has worked in film, television and video games, including when he transported readers to Middle-earth in the game Lord of the Rings Online. He is a Tolkien enthusiast and was happy to do an interview with TheOneRing. We sat down, broke bread and talked Tolkien.

Thomas was involved in several editions of LOTRO including, “Riders of Rohan,” “Mines of Moria,” Shadows of Angmar,” and “Mordor.” I watched recently as fans geeked out at the chance to meet the man who provided the music for the game they loved so dearly.

He has a long list of credits including other Peter Jackson games and an Academy Award winning short film “The ChubbChubbs!”

You can visit his webiste here: chancethomas.com/ and look at his credits here: credits.

TORn: Where did your own love of music spring?

Chance Thomas: When I was a child, my mother was always singing in our home. She took me to the symphony, we listened to records and sang along with the radio. Great music was always around and it always lit me up.

As I grew older, good friends would often introduce me to cool new bands and recording artists. We would get together just to share new songs we liked with each other. I also started playing in orchestras and rock bands and wrote songs and made recordings. After college, my wife and I entertained together on cruise ships and wrote pop songs.

Really, I have loved music for as long as I can remember.

TORn: Where did your involvement with Tolkien come from?

CT: I read the Hobbit as a tween, but didn’t tackle The Lord of the Rings until I was in my 30s. When I did finally read the trilogy, it was like an eruption of joy and discovery inside of me.

Oh, how I loved it! The world, the characters, the fantasy, the pacing, the descriptions … and the music! Everywhere across the world there was mention of music. Songs, instruments, voices; it was wonderful. As a result, I began to codify all of the references in the book and their inferences about music into a document, “The Tolkien Music Style Guide.” The intent was to keep me authoritatively focused as I composed, so that the music I wrote would resonate with the source material, as if drawn from some sub-dimensional embedding of music in the very literature itself.

TORn: As a composer, do you get a lot of emotional feedback on your work? Do you hear from people?

What a great question. (Thanks Chance!)

Media composers like me generally get very little feedback on the work we do. But that’s not uncommon in the professional world. For example, a plumber who lays pipes and fittings in a new home will likely never get feedback from the people who buy the home unless there’s a problem.

It’s hard for me to imagine a homeowner tracking down a plumber, calling him up, and saying, “Hey man! I just want you to know how much we’re enjoying the water pressure in our shower. It’s amazing!”

Likewise, most of the people who hear my music are busy playing the game or watching the TV show, or going through the VR experience. They’re gleefully consuming the entertainment, enjoying it as a total experience. It’s not often that people will go to the extra effort of tracking a composer down to give feedback on the music.

Having said all that, the one notable exception comes from “The Lord of the Rings Online.”

Players of this game have been unusually active in finding me online and sharing their enthusiasm for the music I’ve written for them. It has been incredibly gratifying, as you can imagine, to have people find me and share how much the music has meant to them over the years.

And actually, now that I think of it, “DOTA 2” players have been great that way too.

TORn: Who are some of your music heroes and also heroes in your more specific field of soundtracks?

CT: Kansas, Boston, Elton John, Billy Joel, Toto, James Newton Howard, John Williams, James Horner, Danny Elfman, Loreena McKennitt, Earth, Wind and Fire, Quincy Jones, many more.

TORn: For those of us who can’t compose music, how does it feel to complete a piece of music ?

It’s surprisingly dynamic, really. You can feel an incredible rush of adrenaline and satisfaction at times. You can also feel complete contempt, disgust, and self-loathing. And the pendulum can swing from one extreme to the other fast enough to make your head spin. I had that kind of reaction when I wrote the theme for Rohan. Still do. Sometimes I think it’s a really great tune. Other times I think… meh.

I’m not saying that composers are neurotic, but we can tend to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our own creations. Sometimes that pendulum can even swing all the way across an entire score. I never was really sure how I felt about my first DOTA 2 score.

TORn: Are there certain pieces you find that you love more than others? You have compared them to children in previous conversations.

CT: I write a ton of action music. Creating action tracks can be super fun. It’s loud, it’s bombastic, its aggressive. It gets the adrenaline going. But more often than not, if I’m just in a listening mood, I prefer the more thematic pieces, the thoughtful tracks, the music with some emotional movement in it. Here are a couple of examples from that part of my composing style.
First the thematic afterture I recently composed for Warhammer:

And here is an older one, the tragic hero theme I composed for King Kong:

TORn: Can you watch films or the like and not focus on the soundtrack?

Absolutely. I’ve always been drawn deeply into films. Sometimes my wife laughs when I’m watching a movie because I may physically duck and dodge during fight scenes. In the process of being entertained, I typically consume the music as part of the overall experience. But when the music is meant to stand out and be featured, I dial in to that too.

TORn: What types of projects do you hope to do down the road?

CT: As a fan and as an artist, I adore deeply developed fictional worlds. I love working in them, creating music so that people who love those worlds can be drawn in ever more deeply.

I’ve been privileged to compose music for many such worlds, including The Lord of the Rings, James Cameron’s Avatar, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel, King Kong and many more.

Down the road, I hope to continue to contribute to these kinds of fantasy worlds, at higher and higher levels, with broader and broader reach. Composing for the Avatar film sequels or the LOTR television series would definitely be at the top of my list

Larry, thanks for the interview. It’s always a pleasure. May the road go ever on and on!

Posted in Lord of the Rings, soundtrack

Ringers take Manhattan – Friday 4 October

It’s that time of year again! It’s Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday – the Autumn Equinox – which must mean New York ComicCon is just around the corner. Time for Ringers to assemble in the Big Apple!

We don’t have a booth at the convention this year, but we ARE hosting a party, with our good friends from Sideshow. It’s at Tir na Nog Times Square, 8pm on, Friday 4 October. Tickets are just $10 and include your first drink and a finger food buffet, plus entry to our fabulous raffle! It’s a great chance to gather with fellow fans, and enjoy a night to remember!

For full details and to buy tickets, click here. (Please use the code LYGSS19 to access the page, and then TORN19 to access tickets). Some of TheOneRing.net staff will be in attendance, and we hope YOU can join us! Tickets are selling fast – don’t delay!

Buy tickets here

Posted in Calendar, Events, Fans, Meet Ups, Miscellaneous, NYCC, Other Events, TheOneRing.net Community

Today in Middle-earth, September 22

Baggins BirthdayThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 22:

  • Birth of Bilbo in the Shire (1290)
  • Bilbo and the barrels reach Lake-town just after sunset (S.R. 1341)
  • Birth of Frodo in the Shire (1368)
  • A long expected party!! (S.R. 1401)
  • Bilbo and Frodo’s birthdays (S.R. 1418)
  • The Black Riders reach Sarn Ford at evening (S.R. 1418)
  • Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax (S.R. 1418)
  • The hundred and twenty-ninth birthday of Bilbo and Frodo’s fifty-first birthday (S.R. 1419)
  • Sharkey in the Shire (S.R. 1419)
  • Bilbo’s hundred and thirtieth birthday. Frodo’s fifty-second birthday (S.R. 1420)
  • They meet the Last Riding of the Keepers of the Rings in Woody End (S.R. 1421)
  • Master Samwise rides out from Bag End (S.R. 1482) 

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Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth

Amazon TV series to be filmed in New Zealand

Talent, locations, infrastructure and a warm Kiwi welcome. According to Pam Ford from the Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development agency in this piece from Radio NZ, those were the determining factors in Amazon Studios’ decision, confirmed on Tuesday, to film the upcoming Middle-earth-based TV series in New Zealand.

Quoted in stuff.co.nz, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay described New Zeland as indeed offering all of the criteria they were looking for: “As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle Earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff”.

“And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”

No doubt the prospect of a 20% to 25% rebate for every dollar spent also contributed to the ‘welcome’ factor. The good news for New Zealand is that Amazon will be spending approximately $1.0 billion of those dollars ($1.3 NZD) and will likely provide jobs that will spill over from the film industry to affect the rest of the economy for up to a decade.

Read more about the Auckland studios where filming will take place in our article from June, and be sure to listen to the full radio story linked above as it features our own staffer Garfeimao (Cathy Udovch)!


Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

The LA Baggins Birthday Bash is nigh. . .

It’s that time of year again, time for all good Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and assorted denizens of Middle-earth to gather and make merry to help celebrate the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

Southern California Tolkien fans are invited to join in the merriment of TORN’s Annual Baggins Birthday Bash, which will take place on Sunday, Sept 22, 2019 starting at noon in Griffith Park in the Mineral Wells area. If you need help finding this location, look at the Directions below and at the Map, which clearly shows Mineral Wells near the Harding Golf Course. We will be celebrating the Birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and rejoice in each other’s fellowship.

COSTUMES are encouraged, and we may have a prize or two for the most beautifully or most creatively attired lads and ladies. There will also be fun and games and plenty of food.

BIRTHDAY CAKE(S) – We invite you all to get your creative baking going on and bring Middle-earth themed Cakes and/or cupcakes . This will actually be a Juried event with a prize for the Cake or Cupcakes deemed the most Beautiful or Whimsical, or maybe just most delicious looking.

The picnic is potluck so bring something to share. RSVP by leaving a note on our FB event page here or send an email to Garfeimao@theonering.net. Please let us know what you plan to bring so we can make sure we’ve got all bases covered for a good, Hobbity meal. The food list will be updated with what people are bringing so everyone can see what’s coming and what is still needed. Please read the full Info text for the Party for the food list, schedule of events and suggested driving instructions.


Posted in Uncategorized

Today in Middle-earth, September 2: In Remembrance of J.R.R. Tolkien

On September 2, 1973, we heard the sad news that J.R.R. Tolkien had passed away.

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Posted in Calendar, Fans, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, TheOneRing.net Community, Today in Middle-earth, Tolkien, Tolkien Remembrance

The Great Hall of Poets

Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.

So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net  One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

Never laugh at a live Dragon!
(or Bilbo’s Song)

By D.McGlinchey

“It’s a chance for some adventure” said he.
“A chance to leave the Shire”.
Like the the Tooks of old, I could go forth bold
And throw my doilies on the fire!
Well I’ve always dreamed of adventure.
Of meeting Big Folk, Dwarf and Elf
Until one day I was on my way, leaving handkerchiefs on the shelf!

Out from the Hill, down over the bridge
With my rucksack on my back.
Adventure awaits through your garden gates
Just keep your feet upon the track.

“A Burglar Hobbit!” told he to them.
“He will get you what you need”
Then with an outraged hand I joined their band,
And signed the contract deed.
Well now off to the Misty Mountains far
Great treasures for to seek
Through Goblin, Troll and Spider lairs
That would make your knees grow weak.

Out from the Hill down over the bridge
With my rucksack on my back.
Adventure awaits through your garden gates
Just keep your feet upon the track.

“Interrupters of feasts!” he cried out loud
“Lead them from my hall”
Though he could not see an invisible me
Nor my shadow upon his wall.
Well down I went passed the sentry gate.
My colleagues for to find.
Now pack them down in barrels dark
That used to hold fine wine.

Out from the Hill down over the bridge
With my rucksack on my back.
Adventure awaits through your garden gates
Just keep your feet upon the track.

“Go in” said he “and don’t come back!”
“‘Til you find what I desire!”
But see could I with the naked eye
From the glow of Dragon fire.
Well thought I, with a heavy sigh, time to face the foe.
And find this shiny, glowing thing
From the caverns down below

Out from the Hill down over the bridge
With my rucksack on my back.
Adventure awaits through your garden gates
Just keep your feet upon the track.

“Thief in the shadows!” hissed he to I “Have you come back here for more?”
Wary was I for I’d seen his fierce eye.
Trying to see me as I crept from the door.
Well chatted did we and riddles spoke I, though thought my mind ‘He KNOWS!’
So with with a laugh I ran just as fast as I can.
But his flame burned my back and toes!

Out from the Hill down over the bridge
With my rucksack on my back.
Adventure awaits through your garden gates
Just keep your feet upon the track.

So listen well say I to you if rare adventure you do seek,
From the depths of caverns dim and dark,
To the heights of a mountains peak!
Wizards and Dwarves and Elven Kings may give you jewels and gold
But laugh in the face of a fierce Dragon Lord
and you’ll never get to be old!

Over the bridge and up to the Hill.
With my treasure on my back.
Adventure found, now I’m homeward bound
With my feet upon the track

~~ * ~~

Posted in Creations, Fans, Green Books, Poetry