TORn staffer ImladrisRose was in attendance at Monday night’s performance: and it reminded her of all the very best things about the Tolkien fandom, and the joy it has brought us all. Here are her thoughts on the experience.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 21st Anniversary Concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine was at the helm, bringing Howard Shore’s incredible score to the packed house in Manhattan. Led by conductor Ludwig Wicki, Shore’s sweeping pieces, expertly performed by the Ukrainian ensemble, filled the concert chamber with pure magic as we were watching the film play out before us. Soloist Kaitlyn Lusk had quite the feat before her, but performed her piece with grace and ease. The Mastervoices Adult Choir sent chills through the theatre on multiple occasions, whether it be in the halls of Khazad-dum or the Departure of Boromir. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and their shining stars brought us a deeply haunting experience through the fall of Gandalf, and with every moment they were given to shine.
The concert was a euphoric experience, one that will not soon be forgotten by anyone in attendance. Nothing compares to a live performance like this, seeing your favorite piece played out before you, feeling the synergy of the room. Uniting under one roof for a love of the arts and The Lord of the Rings…
I’ve been a part of this fandom since my mom “dragged” me to see Fellowship opening night. I was a ride or die Harry Potter fan and wasn’t willing to consider anything could impress me more. Let’s just say that I remember audibly gasping as the Fellowship rose over that mountain peak, the Fellowship theme triumphantly booming, and by that point in my first screening, I was obsessed (thanks mom!).
Twenty-one years later, my love of all things LOTR has taken me around the globe, launched my film career, given me an immense amount of opportunity and a community that I adore (looking at you, TORnSibs). I’ve seen the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of this fandom, and overall, Ringers are a group of excellent and admirable folks. With the recent release of a certain big Amazon show, I became disheartened by a lot of what I was seeing within our beloved fandom. As someone who spent many hours with my fellow staffers, moderating comments, it was causing me to lose that love and spark that I have felt for Ringers for 20 plus years. It shone a light on the underbelly of not just a fandom, but the world in general. LOTR has always been an escape from all of our societal nonsense, but this time period was a stark reminder that even within a community you love, there can be toxicity. I LOVE a good debate about anything and everything, but when things become about hate rather than discourse, your point is lost on me. In Middle-earth, all are welcome….
Monday night’s concert reminded me of why I love this fandom so much. It’s been probably ten years since I’ve been to a screening of Fellowship and this crowd was thrilled to be there! Not only would the audience erupt into cheers after hearing a favorite piece of the score performed (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much the entire score!) or after Lusk wrapped a solo, the crowd would literally go wild when a new character came onto the screen! So much so that at times you couldn’t hear the film or the orchestra!
A stand out for me was when members of the Fellowship arrived to the Council of Elrond. Aragorn received a 7/10 volume for cheers, Legolas 8/10, but Gimli received a full 10/10 in crowd reaction! My husband remarked that he was shocked Gimli got significantly more love than Legolas, to which I replied “Gimli has more substance and better dialogue!” To each their own. Fans next to my husband jumped at Bilbo lunging for the ring, and then commented that they had forgotten that part of the film. While next to me at the exact same point, a fan laughed and remarked that he always thought that part was funny. Two completely different reactions to a moment, but both existing in harmony with one another.
The majority of people there that night (I’m quite sure) have seen these films, read these books, countless times. Yet experiencing it together, as one unified group, made it seem somehow new again. The ambiance of the venue, the exquisitely performed film score, the fans reacting in utter joy and exuberance throughout… all of this made the evening a true night to remember… and I’m forever grateful.
Last September we brought you the exciting news of screenings of The Fellowship of the Ring, to be performed with live orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Time has flown by, and now those special performances are NEXT WEEK!
The good news is, two extra dates have been added; the shows are now Feb 6, 7, 8 and 9. It has also been announced that the orchestra for the performances will be the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine! AND there will be a post-concert talk, with conductor Maestro Wicki, each evening. For those of you lucky enough to be able to go, there are still some tickets available; click here to get yours!
AND – if you’re hoping to meet up with fellow fans, either before or after the concert, on Monday 6th Feb we have reserved the upstairs at McCarthy’s bar (46th and 6th). Go along before or after – the kitchen stays open until 2am! – head upstairs, and find your kindred spirits! (Or just spirits at a well stocked bar…) Have fun!
Back in the earlier days of TORn – probably roughly during our Second Age – there were all kinds of exciting events which happened, both when Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies were originally in cinemas, and in the years which followed. There was much excitement when the live performances of Howard Shore’s incredible score started; and then they started presenting the movies with live orchestra accompaniment. Those were heady days!
And now – they’re back!
Next February, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, the movie will screen with live orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Here below are the details from the press release:
21st Anniversary Concert: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert
Academy Award-Winning Score By HOWARD SHORE, performed Live to the Epic Motion Picture with SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, CHORUS, SOLOISTS
Ludwig Wicki, Conductor
238 MUSICIANS ONSTAGE BENEATH A 60-FOOT SCREEN
Radio City Music Hall, New York FEBRUARY 6-7, 2023
Celebrating the 21st anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Howard Shore’s Academy award-winning score will be presented live, in concert. Experience the epic motion picture and its legendary score at the historic Radio City Music Hall, beneath a 60-foot screen accompanied by 238 musicians, including symphony orchestra, chorus and soloists, this coming February 6 & 7, 2023.
“The world is changed.” This very first line of The Fellowship of the Ring has new meaning for a fan community waiting for a return to live events. The 2023 concerts will mark the return of The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, to NYC for the first time since 2015. These returning concert events of The Fellowship of the Ring will bring 6,000 fans a night to see, hear, and feel Howard Shore’s epic score from the opening title through the end credits, in person once again.
The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, is represented by CAMI Music, who is partnering with Fifth Season and Bowery Presents to bring these performances to life at Radio City Music Hall.
The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, will be conducted by Ludwig Wicki, who was the inaugural conductor of The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert, and specializes in bringing films and their scores to life. Orchestra, soloists, and chorus for the 2023 performances at Radio City Music Hall will be announced at a later date.
Howard Shore commented on the return of The Fellowship of the Ring, In Concert to New York City: “The concerts on February 6th and 7th, 2023 will bring Maestro Ludwig Wicki back to NYC’s historic Radio City Music Hall leading a symphony orchestra, chorus, and soloists. Based in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, where we first performed the complete score to the theatrical version of the film in 2008, Maestro Wicki is the foremost conductor of this score-to-film concert. Over the years he has worked to perfect this music and his precision, detail and supreme musicianship will be on display at Radio City. I am so very happy to have The Fellowship of the Ring return to New York.”
Tickets are available now – and are selling fast! You can buy them here. We hope to host a post show party – probably on the Tuesday evening after the concert, but maybe we’ll manage both evenings! Stay tuned for more on that! Meanwhile if you want to find out more about these happenings, you can find LOTRConcerts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Hope to see you there!
In order to get into Hall H for the Rings of Power panel, which was scheduled to be the first panel on Friday, July 22 at 10:30am, a group of fans needed a plan to camp out in line. Staffers from TORn, members of the Discord community and a bunch of fans from the UK banded together to have group members take turns standing, or sitting, in line, starting at Midnight Wednesday night, all day on Thursday, and overnight into Friday morning.
It was a blast to see the trailer, but the special footage that accompanied some of the cast discussions really showed us what type of show this is going to be, and those subwoofers that blow through the room during the first video emphasized the Power of the Rings.
Here is an accounting for the exclusive scenes shown to the 6500 fans in attendance.
Ring Verse video and sound:
The panel began with Bear McCreary conducting a small orchestra with choral and violin solos of several minutes of his newly created music for the series, which was released a couple of days ago. Once the music ended, Stephen Colbert was introduced as the moderator, and very soon we’ll be giving a rundown of those cast and showrunner Q&A sessions in a separate article. But the first group of guests comprised the show runners and producers of the show. One said that the thing he had most wanted to see on screen was the moment when Sauron puts on the One Ring and invokes the Ring verse for the first time, sending a ripple across all of Middle-earth, a moment when the Elves especially, realized they’d been had.
Shortly after this, we got our first Exclusive video footage, and it is this moment recreated for us in Hall H.
The sequence opens with the image we’ve all seen, of Finrod walking up the grassy hill to see the Two Trees, and at this point the black curtains on the side walls pull back to reveal the screens that stretch more than half the length of the hall (approximately the distance of two semi-trucks back to back). This allows us to see the mountains and valleys to either side of the main image of the city and the Two Trees.
But then we push in closer to see the trees better, and they are fading. As the light begins to dim, and the leaves fall, there is a giant shadowy figure of Morgoth in the sky. We are then transported to a realm of burning ground that seems to be disintegrating, and the Ring Verse appears in a golden circle on a black background.
We hear the first line, read by Morfydd Clark, ‘Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky’, a quick glimpse of an elven realm, and the Ring Verse enlarges and rushes towards us as a giant burst of sound emanates from some very large subwoofers at the front of the stage, the whole room shakes and you can literally feel the blast on your face.
She reads the second line, ‘Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone’ and a quick glimpse of Moria in it’s glory, then the same rush of the Ring verse rushing towards the screen and the burst of sound from the speakers, just a wave of sound rushing the screen.
Next comes the third line, ‘Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die’, and a look at Numenor from above, and again with the Ring Verse and Sound bursting through the room.
And finally, we get the final lines, ‘One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie’ and a glimpse of destruction before the final burst of sound with the Ring Verse.
And thus, everyone in the audience, and everyone who came back onstage were just dumbstruck by that experience. It was one of the most visceral experiences to ever happen in Hall H.
Elrond and Durin IV’s relationship:
Elrond and Durin IV, set up like a prize fight as Elrond walks past male and female dwarves singing and chanting, but not necessarily in a good way, then big cheers when Durin IV enters. Again, very much like the bravado of two competitors before a big fight.
Durin IV announces the challenge, to break rocks until one or the other cannot. If the Elf loses, he is banned from ALL Dwarven realms, if he wins. . .Durin IV sniggers, as if to say that is very unlikely, and then the big rocks are carted in.
Durin IV gives a big swing and easily splits his rock, Elrond hesitates just a moment and then gives a big swing as well. . .fade to black
Elrond and Galadriel’s relationship:
Elrond greets Galadriel, and then each looks at the tapestry of a ship sailing into the sunset, and mentions in somber tones what it is supposed to be like, of a song welcoming one to this realm. The moment is very contemplative, and almost fearful on the part of Elrond.
Then in a lighter tone, Elrond says he expected Galadriel to be covered in mud and dirt, she replies “more like frost bite and troll blood”
Galadriel and Halbrand saved from the sea:
We got context of that regal ship sailing into the Numenorean port. It is Elendil’s ship, the circular sails have the sunburst sigil on them, and two guests were aboard, the rescued Galadriel and Halbrand. Elendil recognizes Galadriel as one of the Eldar, and she asks what ship this is, he tells her and it does not ease her mind. Halbrand then asks where it is they are going, he doesn’t recognize anything about the port.
But Galadriel does, she recognizes the carved stone faces they sail by, the glorious waterfall next to what may be a statue of Ulmo, and announces to Halbrand that it is the island nation of Numenor. This sequence also gives us a heavy dose of the grandeur of the music Bear McCreary is creating for Numenor.
Arondir in chains:
The Arondir scene where his ankle is chained is an Orc prison gang thing, several elves, and maybe some men are all chained and working at what looks like a quarry. The Orcs have those white membranous cloaks (could it be flesh?) on to protect them from the sun, but they don’t work well
We see one Orc wince from sun exposure and retreat to a covered area made of wooden beams and canvas. Arondir looks at another elf, giving a signal, and they and other prisoners attempt a jailbreak using the long chains to whip the Orcs off their feet.
The prisoners cross their chains and then take turns smashing with their hammers where the chains intersect. One chain breaks and that prisoner takes off running and scales the walls of the pit, until he is shot down.
Thus comes the scene where Arondir pics up an axe and leaps high overhead, but not to attack an Orc. No, he goes for the wooden crossbeam and collapses the structure protecting the Orcs. . . fade to black
Nori and the Stranger
Nori appears at the top of the burning crater and looks down to see the ‘Stranger’ curled up in a fetal position unconscious. Her friend Poppy comes up from behind and tells her to get away from the edge, it’s dangerous. Nori says that they should help the man below, and Poppy says that they can’t, he’s a giant and it isn’t safe.
At that moment, the edge of the crater collapses and Nori falls into the crater, landing amongst the flames. As she scrambles to regain her feet, she realizes the flames don’t burn, they aren’t hot. This gives her enough courage to approach the figure at the center of the flaming crater.
She slowly reaches out to touch him, while Poppy pleads for her to stop. Nori pokes his face and nothing happens, and again Poppy pleads for her to come back. Nori says that we can’t leave him here, not for the wolves to get, and then suddenly he wakes enough to reach out and grab her arm.
Nori turns back to him, stunned and surprised, he looks just as perplexed and starts to cry out, the camera cuts back and forth between them, while the cries of surprise or pain or confusion escalate, the fire goes out. And then, Nori is able to pull away, and the Stranger falls unconscious again, and the flames return.
Poppy urges Nori to get out as fast as she can, and Nori says we have to help him, and Poppy retorts ‘how are we to carry a giant’, but Nori says that they can, that this is who they are, and Poppy reminds her ‘no, this is who you are’.
This last interchange between Nori and Poppy is very much like the Shire we know, where most of the Hobbits never go anywhere and never have any adventures, and then there are the Bagginses and Tooks, who do go places and have adventures.
Thus ends the Dispatches from Hall H at San Diego Comic Con, at least as far as the exclusive video content goes. There will be a synopsis of all the cast and showrunner Q&As forthcoming.
Whether you have run the previous two races or not, you can still participate in this one, so limber up and join your fellow ringers and take on the 5 Meters Through Moria Challenge. This course will follow the fellowship of the ring’s dark and dangerous journey through the mines of Khazad-dûm. Once prosperous and echoing with song and the ringing of pick-axe, these dark caverns are now inhabited by orcs and cave trolls and something much, much worse. So be on your guard as you make your way to the final bridge and cross once more into daylight.
This Virtual 5k Race (3.1 miles) can be run or walked at any location you choose (please follow your town’s current rules). You can run, jog, walk in your neighborhood or your backyard, use a treadmill, climb the stairs in your home, or use an elliptical – whatever is most convenient and safe for you. 30 minutes of exercise can also count as 1 mile. Run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself – our 5k’s are on the honor system.
Before you start each race, download a RACE BIB here or from TheOneRing.net’s “The World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” Facebook page. Write your name or nickname and/or race time in the white box, then you can stop by our Facebook page and post a photo wearing your bib, or post in the comments below.
Also, check back next Friday for the fourth and final race. If you complete all four races, an additional special certificate can be yours! If you’re so inclined, reading the section in “The Fellowship of the Ring” that corresponds to this race might add a bit of color to your journey. Above all else, have fun. On your mark, get set, go!
If you weren’t able to join the first two races, don’t despair! Click on these links to earn your Shire Sprint and Racing to Rivendell bib and certificate. Complete all four races by May 29 and earn an extra crowning certificate.
Bibs and certificates designed by TORN staff member Mithril, aka Nancy Steinman.
Updated 11/3/17 – From time-to-time you, the fans, email TORn about events of interest to other fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. As a service to our readers, we decided to created this new feature: a listing of upcoming events to keep everyone apprised of where they can hook-up and commiserate with other fans, learn a thing or two, or just plain enjoy the fandom that we’ve all come to know and love. From Howard Shore concerts in Paris, to fan get-togethers in Kentucky and South Carolina, to exhibitions in Staffordshire, U.K., it’s all listed here! The list will be updated periodically as past events drop off and future events are added. If you know of an upcoming event, please let us know either in the comments section of this story, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. – TORn, ‘Together in Tolkien’