On April 26, 2009, TheOneRing.net marked its 10th anniversary with a huge celebration. It was quickly agreed that the TORn-born Founders Day holiday would be an annual event.  The Discussion Board members wanted a proper logo to mark each year; so being fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, we decided a Party Tree would be perfect!  Discussion Board member Ainu Laire gave us this lovely elvish design to build upon. Every year, a unique leaf has been added to mark each TORniversary.  So, beginning with our 11th Founders Day/Anniversary/TORniversary (also like Tolkien… there are several names applied ;), we planted our Founders Day Party tree with a leaf for our 10th and 11th TORniversaries (2009 & 2010).  We have just added our 22nd Anniversary Leaf (2021).  Please see below for the description of each year’s leaf.

There really hasn’t been a formula for deciding which type of leaf should be added; but it was agreed that avoiding the same kind year-after-year would make the leafy symbol for each year as unique as the events surrounding it.  So you’ll see a new leaf sprout every Founders Day to help our Party Tree grow fuller and stronger… just like the TORn Community which has grown in its shade.

Here’s a glimpse of the leaves added since the beginning and a bit  of the Trends and Threads going on within the Discussion Boards each year.

10th TORniversary Leaf (2009) Elven – April is always launched with an “April’s Fool” homepage prank by tptb.  This year found the Discussion Board members’ nicknames suddenly converted to Harry Potter monikers.  The Board Discussion was also fascinated with Susan Boyle.

11th TORniversary Leaf (2010) Shumard Oak – It’s been 7 years since the release of RotK, and we were panting for information on the filming of The Hobbit!  Would it happen or not!?  But it was tempered for a spell at the announcement of Peter Jackson’s Knighthood!

12th TORniversary Leaf (2011) Sugar Maple – A preview for an upcoming HBO show starring Sean Bean had posters filled with anticipation… something called A Game of Thrones.  More importantly, TORn’s community was brought together with the destructive earthquake(s) of Christchurch.  Many members of the Boards live in or near the area overwhelmed by the devastating quakes.  This year’s Founders Day Party included an incredible video made by Discussion Board poster One_Ringer of TORnsib’s pictures attending LotR-related conventions, moots, etc.

13th TORniversary Leaf (2012) Alder – Long-time poster and creator One_Ringer, who gave us a video of TORnsib pictures at conventions, moots, etc., offered his thoughts about TORn, which sums up how many posters feel about their online community.  The reviews and reactions to the first installment of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are still coming in; but the anticipation of Smaug in The Desolation of Smaug has really captured our imagination!

14th TORniversary Leaf (2013) Oak & Acorn – Many long-anticipated movies /videos were getting TORn members very excited, but none more than the fan-made work called Born of Hope.  Posters were very busy discussing the 1st Hobbit installment, An Unexpected Journey and longer-anticipated part 2, The Desolation of Smaug.

15th TORniversary Leaf (2014) Rhododendron – This year’s Founder Day included another TORn first, Tolkienia Times; a local online newspaper created by local sibbies.  And there’s one thing TORnsibs do very well…a pants thread.  Although, a good pun thread will do the trick.

16th TORniversary Leaf (2015) Shamrock – Every once in a while, a thread will take on a life of its own.  This was the case for a run-away Name that word game that eventually had to be locked (replies no long possible) because it grew so much, but it’s still great fun to read.  This Founders Day season also gave us another issue of Tolkienia Times!

17th TORniversary Leaf (2016) Mallorn – The 3 installments of The Hobbit have been completed; but our thirst for more Tolkien is not quenched.  TORnsibs discussed casting for the Silmarillion.  We also talked about which scenes we liked better in the LotR/Hobbit movies than in the books.

18th TORniversary Leaf (2017) Silver Fern, national symbol of New Zealand, a.k.a., Middle-earth – The love of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books is still very popular and finds its way to magazine special editions.  And a year later, we’re still talking about The Silmarillion being made into films.  We never give up… never surrender!

19th TORniversary Leaf (2018) Kauri Pine – In 2004, TORn Discussion Board members participated in raising money in conjunction with Wellington’s Commemorative Tree Programme to honour LotR, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Peter Jackson.  Eleven kauri trees were planted in Willowbank Park in Tawa, NZ.  Nine trees for the ‘Fellowship of the cast and crew’ of the films, and one each for Peter Jackson and Professor Tolkien (while also honouring the 2004 11-Oscar sweep of The Return of the King).  2018’s big news was the announcement of a Middle-earth TV series.  A new Middle-earth TV Series Discussion board was created for TORnadoes to share information and reactions to this incredible development.

 20th TORniversary Leaf (2019)  Black Pine (Pinus Nigra) – It is told that J.R.R. Tolkien’s  favourite tree was found in the Oxford Botanical Garden where it was believed to be planted circa 1799; 220 years ago this year. Tolkien he enjoyed being photographed resting under the tree by his grandson, Michael, on August 9, 1973… less than a month before Tolkien passed away on September 2nd.  During this past year, there’s been a lot of excitement with the development of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Original Series.  The anticipation grows with every clue being leaked to TORn, like this beautiful Map of Middle-earth!

21st TORniversary Leaf (2020) Tropical – “Tolkien“, the biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s youthful years, was finally released in theaters.  This past year also marked the sad loss of Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, at the age of 95. 

22nd TORniversary Leaf (2021) Sweetgum – This past year has been challenged by the Covid 19 Pandemic.  TORn’s usual appearance at San Diego’s Comic Con and numerous other conventions and activities were  cancelled.  But you can’t keep a true fan down!  Instead of in-person gatherings, TORn members participated in a virtual variation to the normal venues.  Sadly, during this past year of memoriam, we lost our beloved Ian Holm better known as Bilbo Baggins on June 19, 2020.

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