The annual TORn event in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is slated to take place on Saturday, September 23, starting at 11:30 a.m. in the Mineral Wells location we’ve been using for years.
One note for those driving in from the Valley. The North entrance to the park from the 134 freeway, past Forest Lawn and the Travel Town Railroad has major closures, so make sure to drive around to the 5 freeway, head south, and follow the directions into the park. The FB event page has directions, just visit the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/795815945664608 Simply click on the About button, then See More at the bottom of the brief description to see the full description, and driving directions.
We don’t quite know what the weather will be like, but there is usually lots of sunshine, so a popup tent, sunscreen, a hat, etc. is always a good idea. The Potluck is back, so read through the description on the FB event page for more details. If everyone brings at least enough food and drink for their party, and maybe to share with at least 3-4 other people, we should have more than enough food. But it doesn’t stop at food and drink, we will also want a supply of paper plates and cups, ice chests with ice in them, trash bags, plastic utensils, and paper towels. Beverages should be in bottles, if possible, in the case of yellowjackets, cans just can’t keep your beverage safe. There will be fun and games, as usual, with trivia and possibly some Golfimbul fun to be had. Costumes are welcome, and we will be doing the Middle-earth-themed Cake and Cupcake contest, so start considering your epic design and yumminess factor. There will be prizes for many of the games, cakes, and costumes.
To RSVP and let us know what food or supply items you intend to bring, please post on the facebook event page linked above, or email Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net.
The Annecy Film Festival “first look” at The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim has just concluded and reactions are starting to trickle out. While we wait for fuller reports from our own Crebain, here’s a selection of thoughts from the internet.
(It does seem quite positive and I am personally very excited by that.)
Just finished the work in progress talk for the new #LotR film #WaroftheRohirrim, and I have to say that the marriage between Lord of the Rings and #anime never looked so good! The world and characters looked very authentic. I can’t wait to see this in theaters next year.
Art-books, chara-design and extracts enriched this exclusive presentation of the future “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” in the company of his team, including Kenji Kamiyama (director) and Philippa Boyens (screenwriter of the LOTR saga ).
LordOfTheRings War of the Rohirrim is already shooting to the top of my most anticipated movies of 2024. The (very short and unfinished) footage shown at #Annecy2023 looks fantastic. This is 100% in line with the original trilogy while also very much an anime. Can’t wait.
I’m drying my wet eyes, I’m cleaning up all these pages of notes and I’m telling you, but #WarOfTheRohirrim is in very good hands.
This is beautiful 2D from new drawings by John Howe and Alan Lee. It’s full Rohan and the story, based on three paragraphs, is led by a young woman, Hera, the daughter of Helm Hammerhead [sic. i think that should be “Hammerhand”.]
Two scenes were shown (one of them, the opening, not finished) and the producers commented on the importance of trying to unite the world of Lord of the Rings movies with anime ones. And it really was an interesting combination. It reminded me a bit of Castlevania.
Castlevania! That’s interesting. I’ve not watched it (Netflix jail something something), but I understand it’s well-regarded. Two scenes is also interesting, and accords more or less with my expectations of what they’d reveal.
For #WaroftheRohirrim, a lot of Unreal and motion capture is being used to help figure out the shots. But no rotoscope is being used, it is only for reference. Then it is all getting the traditional anime treatment for the final look. It looks amazing! #LotR #AnnecyFestival
It is only for reference: right now, I’m interpreting that as meaning for fight scenes pending further clarification. I do think they are trying to not scare/alienate people who’ve seen Bakshi’s rotoscoped LOTR treatment with that clarification.
I saw the first images of the (Japanese) anime “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” To be honest, not particularly convinced for the moment, I was hoping for something else BUT we really find the style of PJ’s films and the sets seem successful.
The first fence-sitter! And more for the adherence to PJ-style than anything else? Interesting.
There was a really early layout of what looked Ike [sic] the opening sequence: starting from a map fly through to a sequence with Hera on a horse with some great eagles. Then a talk scene in I assume Edoras with Hera talking about the shield Maidens. #LofR #WaroftheRohirrim
A little bit more detailed information about the scenes that were shown.
This animated prequel set 260 years before the cult trilogy is inspired by the Appendices provided by JRR Tolkien at the end of The Return of the King (Appendix A, Chapter II: The House of Eorl).
This is a curious one since earlier publicity material has stated events occur 183 years before the events chronicled in the original trilogy of films. Even factoring in the canonical delay between Bilbo’s party and Frodo setting out for Rivendell, something still seems wrong. It’s also … well… trivial, so I’ll return to this weirdness when I have time.
The film features a female character Hera, “neither a princess in distress nor a warrior” , the daughter of King Helm whose hand is coveted by Wulf, himself the son of Freca the leader of the clan of wild men.
I really like the neither/nor. It feels more complex and open to a nuanced presentation. By-the-by it also accords with the vibe I got from my discussion with Philippa Boyens last year.
“The attraction of this film was to tell a film that follows neither the story of the Ring nor that of Sauron” summarizes the New Zealand producer, who also hinted that some characters well known to fans of the trilogy could appear in this film.
The Helm story is a very human one, and on the face of it, remarkably unmagical. No elves, no dwarves, no wizards. Except Saruman at the very end. They really want to say Saruman, but they’re only willing to tease it.
To explore Tolkien’s universe using anime codes, several different animation techniques were employed, ranging from CGI to more traditional 2D animation as well as the employment of performance-capture techniques . For the sake of realism, the animators of the film were asked to study horses and practice horseback riding.
As I wrote yesterday (completely stealing the line from the incredibly smart anime art anaylsts over at Sakuga Blog), “horses populate the nightmares of animators”. It makes a lot of sense — Rohirrim as Tolkien outlined in Letter 144 is a Sindarin name meaning “the host of the Horse-lords”. Kyoto Animation had people on their staff who knew Kyudo (Japanese archery) for their series Tsurune. The results of that practical knowledge applied to their work speaks for itself.
Three non-finalized excerpts were broadcast in exclusive preview during this panel. The opening sequence, introducing the character of Hera, a dialogue scene in King Helm’s throne room, and finally a short teaser announcing the film’s main action scenes.
No Eowyn seemingly? Kinda surprsing, but I’ll take a cookie for guessing Edoras would feature. Hera and Helm suggests to me that the familial relationships will be critical. Hera may end up our viewpoint character. Why? She survives wheras all her close kin — Helm, Haleth and Hama — perish.
Big ups again to Allocine for the summary!
SLASHFILM also has a very nice report up now. Unfortunately, at time of writing, they appear to have confused Charlie Cox for Brian Cox, who is the real voice actor for Helm Hammerhand. we all make typos but hopefully the eds over there can fix that one soon.
ARROBA NERD has an even better and more detailed report. It’s getting late over here in Oz so I’ll leave it to others to break it down, but it has more details about character designs and dialogue that you can read about here.
IMPORTANT (because i know a lot of people will wonder): Producer Jason DeMarco clarified about the status of the footage shown to attendees — “We presented work in progress for attendees of the festival but it won’t be widely released.”
NOTE: I’ll keep updating this as more reactions come in (hopefully with more details), so be sure to check back!
Many Middle-earth fans will be familiar with the spectacular work of artist Donato Giancola. His art has graced the covers of Tolkien editions as well as calendars, and last year saw a fabulous exhibition of his work at the Huntsville Museum of Art. Visitors there were lucky enough to see his massive new painting, ‘Beacons of Gondor’ – a breathtaking, gigantic rendering of sweeping scenery and drama.
If you live in the New York area, this Saturday you could see that painting – and more – for yourself. Giancola is holding an Open Studio in Brooklyn, 11am to 6pm, May 13. This is an incredible opportunity to meet the artist himself, as well as seeing many of his amazing pieces up close. Not only that, but the first 25 visitors will receive a fabulous gift – a signed copy of Giancola’s now out of print first edition art book ‘Middle-earth: Visions of a Modern Myth’. Copies will also be embossed with the sigil of the Kings of Gondor!
Giveaway for those unable to attend in person
Those visiting the open studio could WIN a Giancola original painting; AND there is even an online giveaway which can be entered by folks who can’t visit in person! So there’s something for everyone. Here’s all the info you need:
Donato Arts OPEN STUDIO
Saturday May 13, 2023
11am – 6pm
397 Pacific Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
This May will see the return of the annual hosting of an Open Studio here at our place in Brooklyn. We will showcase an abundance of new oil paintings, drawings, and projects as well as scores of classics from my 30+ year career as an illustrator. Come eat, drink, and commingle with fellow artists, professionals, and fans of the genre as we plow our creative paths forward in these changing times.
The massive Middle-earth canvas The Beacons of Gondor will anchor the studio at 78″ x 114″. This is my largest work ever and was created for the exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama this past winter. I am excited to share this with the New York area audience.
Also back from traveling shows are a couple of my favorites, ‘I threw down my enemy’ of Gandalf defeating the Balrog on Zirak-zigil, and the intimate ‘Shadow of the Past’, as well as The Walls of Moria and the Fellowship in Hollin. There are also numerous pages around the home from David Wenzel’s graphic novel of The Hobbit!
A dedicated Wall of Magic displaying over thirty recent Magic: The Gathering oil paintings and preliminary sketches as well as a handful of my earliest works for Wizards of the Coast will be set up in the studio.
New fantasy works will be shown from the cover of Kristen Britain’s forthcoming novel The Spirit of the Wood to interior illustrations for the new novel King-Killing Queen by author Shawn Speakman of Grim Oak Press . The latest Empathetic Robot painting in now finished titled, Remembering, and Portfolios filled with large, preliminary drawings and studies will also be available to peruse through.
Smith, killed by shrapnel near the end of WWI’s Battle of the Somme, was one of Tolkien’s closest friends from late childhood.
As an alumnus of Corpus Christi College, poet Smith may be best known for his work “A Spring Harvest,” and is a recognized influence in Tolkien’s life and writings. Tolkien and Smith were friends from King Edward’s School days and part of the tight-knit Tea Club and Barrovian Society.
Corpus Christi hosts this two-day series in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Professor’s passing, organized by Doug Anderson, Oronzo Cilli, and Beppe Pezzini. Confirmed speakers include John Garth, Grace Khuri, Mark Atherton, and many more.
Click here for lecture topics and further details, and here for more related reading (from 2016!) over at The Tolkien Society, including a link to “Tolkien’s Great War,” a halfling-sized documentary film published by King Edward’s School, Birmingham.
Due to some technical issues, there has been some realignment to the programming schedule at LACC and TheOneRing.net has a slight change in our programming slot.
Our ‘Dispatches from Middle-earth: The return to Middle-earth’ panel is still in room 303 AB on Saturday, December 3, but now our start time is at 5:30 PM and ending at 7:00 PM, giving us nearly a full 90-minute panel. Join us as we talk about all things Tolkien, past, present, and future. And remember, we love seeing Middle-earth themed cosplay, and this is the weekend to really bring it.
But wait, there’s more Middle-earth goodness to be had. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin will be on the Main Stage on Saturday, December 3 from 3:00 PM to 3:50 PM. Both will be doing autographs and photo ops on Saturday as well, check the L.A. ComicCon App for details.
There is one more surprise coming tomorrow for cool, geeky Middle-earth-themed fun happening at LACC, so check back tomorrow morning.
Actor Bruce Hopkins, who played Gamling in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (and is a good friend to TORn), is 67 years young. To celebrate his recent birthday, he raised money for charity by doing something unusual: back flipping off a wharf, once for every year of his age.
Middle-earth fans will be aware of Hopkins’ drive and energy; back in 2017, he walked the 3000km Te Araroa trail, taking the ashes of his father and brother the length of New Zealand and back to their ancestral home, Stewart Island. That time, as with this latest endeavour, he was raising money for charity Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
As a grandfather himself, Hopkins is an ardent supporter of the charity. He’s also a keen swimmer who has spent much of his life in the water – but never before had he endeavoured to do quite so many back flips. To challenge himself even further, one in every ten of the flips was taken from 4m (c. 12 foot) above the water!
The men of Rohan are hardy stock, and our Gamling came through unscathed – apart from some bruising to his shins. Happy birthday Bruce, and congratulations on raising funds for such a worthy cause.