It’s that time of year, when fans from the world over gather in downtown Atlanta, for a weekend for well-mannered frivolity. Or crazed depravity. Or, most likely, some combination of the two. This year, alas, coronavirus means no in-person DragonCon, which is sad for all those who are missing seeing friends there. But it’s great new for anyone who has never been able to get to Atlanta, as this year you can join the fun online! And there is PLENTY going on for fans of Middle-earth. Let’s take a look…
Staffers deej and greendragon will be taking part as ever, and TheOneRing.net’s panel will be online at 11.30am ET on Saturday (5th). There, deej and greendragon will be joined by High Fantasy Track assistant director Madeye Gamgee, who was recently lured into joining the TORn staff. We’ll be looking back on the past 12 months of Tolkien fandom, and looking forward to see what we can be excited about in the year ahead. (Spoiler: there’s actually rather a lot!)
Before that, on Friday evening at 8.30pm ET we’ll be hosting a Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (EE) watch along. Set up your own device, and we’ll all hit play together at 9pm precisely; and text chat along as we watch. AND earlier on Friday, you can catch a panel with none other than Nori, Ori, Bombur and Bifur: Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, Stephen Hunter and William Kircher will be appearing together to chat all things dwarvish!
There are lots of other things happening which will be of interest to Tolkien fans. Here’s a list of highlights of the con weekend, beginning this evening:
Tolkien Come to Virtual Dragon Con High Fantasy Schedule 2020 (all times are Eastern Daylight)
Thursday, Sept. 3
Sylvester McCoy (from 2011)
We Have Always Fought: Warrior Women in High Fantasy
D*C Fan Tracks
Friday, Sept. 4
Greg Hildebrandt Spotlight
Dwarves on the Loose!(Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher)
8:30 pm onward
Watch-a-Thon! Fellowship of the Ring (hitting “play” together at 9 pm EDT)
And as if that weren’t enough… We are also excited to let you know that there WILL be TORn t-shirts available! You’ll be able to order them online, and we’ll be revealing the designs for 2020 in our panel on Saturday, 11.30am ET. So please join us then! We’ll also post links here for buying, after Saturday’s reveal.
It’s all happening at DragonCon 2020. We may not be able to gather in person, but we can still have merry meetings online; see you for panels, movie viewing, and more. Let the fun begin!
Since TORn’s beginning early in 1999, Corvar (William R. Thomas) has been the mystery man behind the scenes working on TheOneRing.net’s server from where he lives in Wisconsin. A computer programming professional who, along with Calisuri (Chris Pirrotta), is the guy responsible for making sure that everything runs smoothly and the lights stay on. Corvar’s vast programming knowledge in the ever-changing computer field ensures that TheOneRing.net keeps clipping along without a hitch. But when we do hitch… he’s the one they call.
I feel it in the water… I smell it in the air. The beast has emerged from its lair, and DragonCon is here again! Here’s what you can expect from Middle-earth fandom, and from TheOneRing.net, this weekend:
We’ll have our usual ‘fan table’ in our normal spot, in the Hyatt hotel opposite the entrance to the Art Show. There we’ll have buttons and shirts for sale; here’s a glimpse of our merchandise for this year:
We’ll also have other goodies for you to look at, maybe a few giveaways, and we’ll be happy as ever to chat with our fellow fans!
The High Fantasy track will be in L401-403 in the Marriott, and there are various panels which will be of interest to Tolkien fans; such as a discussion about The Inklings (Saturday 2.30pm), ‘Valar-ous Women of Middle-earth’ (Sunday 5.30pm), and TORn’s own ‘They’re taking the Hobbits to Amazon!’ panel (Sunday 4pm, in a bigger room – Marriott A601-602).
Then of course Friday night is the EVENING AT BREE! From 8.30pm in the Grand Salon West (Hilton), join us for music and revelry! Bands Toucan Dubh and Landloch’d will play, the Elf Choir will sing, and we’ll have the ever popular costume contest – possibly with a celebrity host or two…
(Don’t forget, if you want to sign up for the costume contest, you need to do it IN ADVANCE of the ‘Evening at Bree’. Go to the High Fantasy Track Room (Marriott L401-403) or visit the TORn fan table before 6pm on Friday to sign up to participate.)
Middle-earth celebrity guests this year are Graham McTavish (Dwalin), John Noble (Denethor), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), and Craig Parker (Haldir). On Sunday morning, 11.30am in the Marriott Imperial Ballroom, TORn staffer greendragon will be hosting these gentlemen in the ‘Heroes of Middle-earth’ session.
In addition to all that, there will be lots of Tolkien characters marching in the Parade on Saturday morning, and there will be all the usual opportunities to spend far too short a time among such excellent and admirable fans! Hope to see you there – let the fun begin!
The Dragon is upon us! It’s only Thursday and yet, even though DragonCon doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, there was merriment and partying even last night here in the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. Deej and greendragon are at DragonCon to represent TORn, and we’re looking forward to a fun weekend with our fellow fans! Here’s what’s going on:
Even though the Tolkien Track has sailed into the West, there will still be lots of Middle-earth related happenings over the course of the convention. Check out the High Fantasy Track schedule for details! Some highlights:
Friday 10am: ‘Namarie: Farewell Tolkien Track’. TORn staff will be joining Track staff to reminisce and celebrate the Tolkien Track – and look forward to the continuation of friendships and community, for many years to come, even without the Track.
Friday 7pm: ‘Elf Choir’ – come along and join in!
Saturday 4pm: ‘Preciousss Moments with Gollum and Sméagol’ – lead by Constance Wagner, whose very popular panels are always fascinating and insightful.
Saturday 5.30pm: ‘Beren and Luthien’ – a closer look at the latest Tolkien publication.
Monday 10am: ‘Still Tolkien About It: 80 Years of Middle-earth’. Join TORn staffers deej and greendragon, together with scholar Constance Wagner, to look back on the past 80 years since The Hobbit was first published. What has made Middle-earth such an enduring passion – and to what can we look forward?
All of the above are in the High Fantasy Track Room – L401-403 in the Marriott (where the Tolkien Track was in the past).
In addition, on Friday night we have, of course, the ever popular Evening at Bree! This will be held in the Hilton Grand Ballroom West, from 8.30pm – be sure to get in line early! We have a party of special magnificence planned this year! Bands Toucan Dubh and the Brobdingnagian Bards will be providing live music, followed by a dance party hosted by our very own DJ, deej. We’ll also have the costume contest and the performance by the Elf Choir, plus this year you can expect one or two special surprises. With the theme of ‘Class of 3018 Prom – Enchantment under the Mountain’, we’ll say farewell to the graduating Tolkien Track seniors; and your host Prom Bombadil will be there to make the evening go with a ring a dong dillo!
On Sunday night you can hear the Brobdingnagian Bards again, playing Hobbit Drinking Songs in the Hilton Crystal Ballroom from 8.30pm.
And of course TORn has a table! Come and find us in our usual spot in the Hyatt. For shirts this year we’re bringing back an old favourite – the Lake-town Fire Department – and we have a fabulous new design, encouraging the races of Middle-earth to Coexist. We also have new buttons, fans, and lots of prizes you could win. Come and check out all the goodies – and be sure to say hi to deej and greendragon!
There may not be a Tolkien Track, but Tolkien fans are here in force, and we’re ready for a great weekend of fun and companionship. Half the Shire’s been invited – hope to see you, too!
DragonCon, the annual pop culture convention held on Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia has announced that there will no longer be a Tolkien’s Middle-earth programming track. Instead, any Tolkien-related content will be absorbed into other programming tracks, such as Fantasy Literature, Costuming, and Main Programming.
This is a huge blow to the thousands of Tolkien fans that have attended DragonCon over the years. The Tolkien track has been a staple of DragonCon’s programming, long before Peter Jackson’s films were released. Over the years the track has presented quality panels on the books, films, music, and costuming. They’ve hosted actors from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies, as well as Tolkien artists and scholars. Bonds of friendship and love have been forged from time spent in the track room and for many friends it is the one time each year they get to see each other.
For the last 9 years, TOR.n staffer MrCere has been Tolkien’s Middle-earth track director. Yesterday he announced the end on the Tolkien Track’s Facebook page:
In my personal opinion, this is a terrible decision. In brief I told DragonCon:
* I think Tolkien shouldn’t be lumped into fantasy, for his sake and for dominating the rest of the fantasy content
* There is scholarship about Tolkien that differentiates him & his works from every single other Fantasy creator
* Tolkien content is still coming out new, at a solid rate, including a new book in 2017
* 80 years of fandom and counting, not a fad or trend
*Tolkien brings mainstream respectability to the whole convention and transcends just fantasy / just generally geekery
* Guest potential (Weta Digital & Weta Workshop & actors)
* Because good things are worth fighting for
* It harms Dragon Con by removing it
I hope WE can be united as a fandom, of which I am a member. It would be nice to form something of a Fellowship to Vote Bilbo — if some of you know that reference.
The Tolkien track would love to continue as long as DragonCon does, but at the very least they’d like one last year to hold a proper goodbye. If you would like to voice your support for the Tolkien track, PLEASE contact DragonCon and let them know (politely)! Click HERE, and select DragonCon Office under the list of departments. As Tolkien fans have proven time and time again, even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
It’s that time of year again, when about half a million people converge on downtown Atlanta for the geekfest that is DragonCon. And TheOneRing.net will of course be there! We can’t wait to see all our friends and to enjoy Middle-earth fun together.
Some of the things which will be happening:
TheOneRing will have a ‘fan table’, as ever, where staffers deej and greendragon will be hard at work! We’ll be in our usual location in the Hyatt hotel, opposite the entrance to the Art Show. Come by and check out the new buttons and two new tshirt designs we’ll be unveiling this year!