The Jameson Empire Awards 2014 are taking place in London this evening, and folks from The Hobbit cast are there in force! In fact, the host for the evening is none other than the very charming, smooth talking James Nesbitt. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has already taken the award for Best SciFi/Fantasy movie, with Richard Armitage, Adam Brown and Aidan Turner joining Nesbitt on stage to accept the award.
Turner was soon back on the stage to accept the Best Male Newcomer award (which seems odd, as even if we were only thinking of his career in terms of The Hobbit, this is already the second movie… but we’re happy to see any recognition for Hobbit cast members!) Empire reports that Bofur was also delighted for Kili: ‘”A gorgeous, multitalented Irishman winning an award for The Hobbit. I couldn’t be happier for him,” says Nesbitt sourly. We’re not sure he’s really so curmudgeonly.’
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For Tolkien fans, 2013 was the year of anticipating the dragon, as fans worldwide grew ever more enthusiastic between the final shot of the billion-dollar “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the opening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in December. The staff of TheOneRing.net has been privileged to participate in many related events, by fans and for fans, and this ‘year of the dragon’ was more exciting than anyone expected! Take a walk down memory lane with us and peruse chapter 2013 of the “fan book of Westmarch” below:
Tolkien Forever “Toast To Tolkien.”
Fans in Los Angeles met at the Cat & Fiddle pub to share a drink and stories of all things Tolkien. The Tolkien Toast is a tradition started by the Tolkien Society to celebrate professor Tolkiens birthday on January 3rd. On that day, fans around the world lift a glass to “The Professor” at 9:00 p.m. local time wherever they may be.
Billy & Dom live fan chat – Merry & Pip reunion special
Our weekly webcast TORn Tuesdays had an exciting January as host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway snagged an exclusive “reunion” chat with Billy Boyd and Dominic Monahan. Dom discussed the launch of his new series on BBC America: Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, and Billy filled us in on the new album, new album, Blue Sky Paradise, released by his band Beecake.
Dylan Sprouse on TORn Tuesday
Another great TORn Tuesday in January included an interview with guest Dylan Sprouse, star of the hit Disney Channel series “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” A Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award-winner and T.V. star, Dylan chatted about his own, personal love of Tolkien and how generational love of J.R.R. Tolkien is handed down to kids , inspiring them to great things! We hear you, Dylan!
Sylvester McCoy live fan chat
TORn Tuesdays spent a full hour with Sylvester McCoy and he even played the spoons! Of course, he also touched on his role as Radagast, the wizard, in The Hobbit movies. Have a look (or another look) at this great interview.
Kiran Shah live fan chat a week later! (Archive not available)
In early February actor and stunt man Kiran Shah joined us for an exclusive live chat on . Kiran shared his experiences as a scale scale double for all 5 Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Bilbo) in the LOTR Trilogy and his return to Middle-earth in The Hobbit movies.
Unexpected Art Show – Los Angeles
To kick off TORn’s Oscar Party weekend, TORn held ‘An Unexpected Art Show’ at Lot 613, a blank-canvas special events space in the Historic Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. The show was a unique celebration of artwork from over 30 artists around the world inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Attending in person, and exhibiting their art, were Tim Kirk, who illustrated the 1975 Tolkien Calendar — the first by an illustrator other than Professor Tolkien, and Jerry VanderStelt, an artist producing licensed reproductions for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films. Additional artists include Donato Giancola, Stephen Hickman, and Jay Johnstone.
One Expected Party w/ Dom & Billy and Beecake
Once again, TORn returned to the American Legion in Hollywooed to host the party of all parties on the night of the Academy Awards. Attendees were treated to a live broadcast of the Academy Awards, a photo booth, fabulous food an drink, an amazing auction of LOTR and Hobbit collectibles and the company of Tolkien fans and friends from around the world. Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin, Air New Zealand., Sideshow Toys, The Tolkien Shop, The Noble Collection and Empire Magazine. World-class entertainment at the party included music ensemble Dorian Mirth, Celtic band Emerald Rose, Sir Ian McKellen impersonator Hunter Davis and a grand finale by Billy Boyd’s band, Beecake. Needless to say, a fabulous time was had by all!
AUJ released on DVD
We knew the Extended Edition was coming but fans still bought AUJ on DVD… because we just couldn’t wait to invite Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves into our homes!
DVD press junket (Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Martin Freeman)
While we were all waiting for the release of the AUJ DVD, TORn staffers were able to get exclusive interviews with Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Martin Freeman. In these great interviews, the four talented actors shared their experiences preparing for their roles and filming The Hobbit movies If you listened to them before, they’re well worth another listen. If not, what are you waiting for?!
WonderCon – Anaheim – Panel
On March 31st, at the 2013 Wondercon convention, staffers Garfeimao, Josh and Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway presented a panel titled: “TheOneRing.net’s Unauthorized Sneak Peek: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Upwards of 600 people attended as our staff showed excerpts from the WB DOS sneak peak gave their insights to the latest Hobbit news and rumors. Feedback from the attendees was mega-positive.
Tolkien Reading Day
On the 25th of March, the same day of the destruction of the Ring of Power in The Return of the King, fans gather worldwide to celebrate the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and read favorite passages to each other. Tolkien Reading Day was started by the Tolkien Society and celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. TORn coverage here and here.
MTV Movie Awards hosted a fan-voting contest for “BEST HERO” and when we first discovered it, Kirsten Stewart, of Twilight and Snow White fame, was so far ahead of Bilbo it seemed hopeless. Beginning in last place, #VoteBilbo captured the hearts of twitter users around the world and, one by one, Bilbo overtook The Hulk, Batman, Catwoman and Ironman and finally led a heated battle with Snow White herself. An alliance was formed with LOTRProject to track voting in real time and while the battle was epic, and Bilbo came out ahead, the biggest reward was the many new friendships forged over twitter.
C2E2 – Chicago – Panel
TORn staffers were crowd-pleasers once again at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in late April. Staffers entmaiden and Corvar offered a presentation and discussion of all things Hobbit and were a big hit!
Adam Brown live fan chat
TORn Tuesday did it again with an exclusive interview with actor Adam Brown who plays dward Ori in The Hobbit movies.
The Fall of Arthur published – New Tolkien book
A rare and exciting thin happened in April of 2013: a previously unpublished work of J.R.R. Tolkien was released: The Fall of Arthur. Like too many of his works, the narrative poem, edited by his son Christopher, was never finished. Still, as it is, it covers much of the Arthurian legend including Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, the sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, Mordred and the tormented Lancelot.
Phoenix Comic Con – Panel
Hitting the con circuit again, staffer Garfeimao brought ‘The Desolation of Smaug: Sneak Peek’ panel to Phoenix.
Trailer 2 released
#Hobbitception Elves reaction video
All the Happy Hobbits, Fili and Kili, set out to do was quickly record their reactions to the 2nd trailer for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” So, still in their pajamas, they set up their camera and started recording their sheer, geeky delight over what they saw. Little did they know that their little recording would be picked up by mainstream news outlets like Entertainment Weekly and Stuff.co.nz. The production and actors also got a kick out of their enthusiasm. From Stuff: “Jackson saw the video and posted it to his Facebook page saying it was “pretty cute”. He then filmed Hobbit cast members Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace watching their reaction, saying “here’s what I guess you’d call a sequel to that fan video”. More than 20,000 people liked his video of the video, with many applauding Jackson for satisfying The Hobbit’s avid fans. Way to go, Hobbits!
Emporium of Goods launched
Fans worldwide submitted t-shirt designs for TheOneRing.net Emporium, and we had a tough time keeping up with demand!
SDCC – San Diego – Panel & Booth
San Diego Comic Con was just as epic as TheOneRing.net shared booth space with the fine folks at WETA Workshop and Badali Jewelry. Cosplay was out in full force, impression the likes of Evangeline Lilly, Manu Bennett, and Richard Taylor.
#ThankYouPJ fan video project
The final day of filming on The Hobbit trilogy inspired fans worldwide to say “Thank You Peter Jackson” for creating films we love.
Tauriel “It IS out Fight!” poster
Evangeline Lilly supported our efforts for a 5 Army Solution with an amazing poster designed by Badali Jewelry artist David Powell.
Road To DragonCon
New adventurers Doug, Ryan and Katalena joined the 3rd annual Road To DragonCon, meeting Tolkien fans across the country.
The blurriest pic to ever fire up Tolkien fandom.
S.H.I.R.E Project (Sharing The Hobbit to Improve REading) is a new charitable effort started by TheOneRing.net to provide needy schools with copies of Tolkien’s literature. The inaugural drive exceeded all our expectations so look forward to more book-giving efforts in the future.
Dragon Con – Atlanta – Four days of programming, celeb panels, a booth and an Epic 80’s Dance Party
DragonCon 2013 was yet again, the most Tolkien-centric event in the nation with four days of wall-to-wall programming from the track “Tolkien’s Middle-earth.” With TORn staffers MrCere, deej, greendragon, and Thorongil running the track, running the fan table to sell shirts and to see folks face-to-face and hosting big stars, this year’s edition also drew new attendees from Twitter and social media. The presence of stars was bigger than ever with Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, William Kircher and Manu Bennett delighting fans at multiple panels. In fact, the two dwarf actors appeared on a large-room panel every single day of the convention. But one of the highlights of the week was the first annual Middle-earth Dance Party that created a big stir at a convention with endless entertainment possibilities.
Dragon Con video dance night highlights
Dragon Con ‘Tolkien’s Middle-earth’ track highlights
Baggins Birthday Bash – Los Angeles
TORn’s LA staffers hosted their 11th annual Baggins Birthday Bash in Griffith Park where close to 150 fans ate like Hobbits, drank like Dwarves and generally celebrated Bilbo and Frodo’s September 22 birthdays.
TheOneRing.net was once again the only Hobbit content at the New York Comic Con and we’re always proud to represent Tolkien fandom! Our booth (complete with a ‘ring’ of dwarves mounted on the top), staffed by Calisuri, deej, Earl, greendragon, ImladrisRose, Justin, and Thorongil drew many folks eager for some Middle-earth goodies, and we were able to satisfy their craving with our own t-shirts and buttons, as well as Weta collectibles.
Sean Astin live fan chat
Sean Astin recalled his time on LOTR and updated us on his life and his projects since.
November brought the long-expected “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” fan event hosted by Anderson Cooper in New York. The event was held live in major cities around the world and also online. Per Anderson: “this global fan event is for fans around the world to ask questions of their favorite Hobbit actors and also to see some never before seen footage from the upcoming film. Go here for the video and a full transcript of this exciting event!
AUJ DVD Extended Edition Bluray release
The release of the extended edition of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in Blu Ray format had fans around the world scratching their heads in confusion: “So, what version is available where and what is included on how many discs?” TORn to the rescue! Our staff put together this comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to help fans zero in on exactly what they wanted.
TORN Book Club – Show launch
November brought about the debut of a new weekly live streaming video chat show for Tolkien Fundamentalists and all book lovers. Sundays 3pm PT at http://theonering.net/live
Premiere – Hollywood – pinch seen ’round the Tumblrs
Although Berlin got the bigger premiere, fans watching Hollywood were most delighted to see a fun moment between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Only TheOneRing.net cameras caught this, inspiring legions of tumblr gifs and validating shippers worldwide.
As part of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s premiere festivities, Air New Zealand graciously invited TheOneRing.net to the red carpet reveal of their new Smaug plane! Joining the Happy Hobbits at the event were TORn staffers Quickbeam & Sarumann, who shared a brief moment with director Peter Jackson and actors Aidan Turner (Kili) and Dean O’Gorman (Fili). Check out the pics and video here!
Press Junket – Beverly Hills
Check out our exclusive “Playlist of Desolation.”
William Kircher live fan chat
Bifur himself stops by and gives the scoop on our favorite Dwarf with an axe in his head.
FORTH EORLINGAS INTO 2014!
“Tolkien Fandom is the most generous, thoughtful and kind fandom I’ve ever seen.”
Although officially all shooting for Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies wrapped at the end of pickups last year, the cast have always said that they expect to head back sometime this year. In his interview with TheOneRing.net last November, Richard Armitage said, ‘We have nothing official at the moment; but knowing Pete, knowing what that third movie needs to be like, you know, his taste and what he’s aiming for, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be going back to do more stuff … On the last day of the shoot, he [PJ] put his arms around me, and he gave me a big hug and said, ‘See you next year.’ And I was like, ‘What, do you mean for the Premiere?’ and he went, ‘No, no; we’ll be back here again…’ ‘
Now there is the first hint of a confirmation that there will indeed be further pickups to complete the third movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The business section of newspaper Irish Examiner contains this article about actor James Nesbitt’s entertainment firm Brown Cow Films Ltd; at the very end of the article is the line, ‘Nesbitt confirmed that he is returning to New Zealand in around May for the filming of the third Hobbit movie.’
There and Back Again indeed! It looks like New Zealand may be becoming Middle-earth, and the fellowship of companions may be gathering, for one last journey in a few months’ time. And that is an encouraging thought.
Since this is full of conjecture for the next film, consider it wall to wall spoilers!!!
Here is a list of all the things we are looking forward to seeing in ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ next December. Since there are so many changes, additions and enhancements in the films, we can only know the broad strokes of what is to come with the details up for grabs. That means this list will mostly be based on events that occur in ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ and the questions and actions they leave open heading into ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’
And now we begin the Spoiler filled guesswork portion of this article.
1) Legolas catching up to Bolg. Nobody, but nobody gives Leggy a bloody nose and lives.
2) Smaug’s attack on Lake-town will be epic! Bard’s response will be equally epic!
3) What exactly does it take to pry Thranduil out of Mirkwood and enter the fray? Could it be a true desire to assist the Men of Lake-town in their hour of need? Or will it be his desire to recover the missing elven gems? Or will it be a more personal desire to find and bring back Legolas and Tauriel who are missing and presumed to be in the middle of the fight already?
4) How will an injured Kili and the rest of the dwarves get out of the way of an approaching Dragon? And what about Bard’s kids?
5) Who springs Bard out of prison? Will it be Tauriel, Bofur and Fili, or might it be his son, Bain?
6) What becomes of Tauriel? Does she stay with the Dwarves and Bard’s kids or does she try to catch up to Legolas?
7) How does Gandalf get out of his pickle?
8) Radagast went to inform Galadriel of what was happening at Dol Guldur, will she go to War? Who else might come with her? Will Saruman join in or drag his feet?
9) Does Bilbo have the Arkenstone already? If not, how will things play out in Erebor while Smaug is away? And how does the Company find out about Smaug’s fate and how long does that take?
10) Is that big Orc army we see marching through Dol Guldur going to be present when the White Council shows up? Or is the army headed towards Erebor, leaving Dol Guldur rather defenseless when the White Council does show up to spring Gandalf?
11) When will Beorn decide to jump into the fray and how many dead orcs does he leave in his wake?
12) Will we see an auction beginning at Bag End with Lobelia stashing silverware into her bodice?
Additional characters aside, as they were all known before going in so they can’t be a surprise anyhow, here is a list of things that have surprised audiences in ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ this past week since the film’s release.
1) Legolas got a bloody nose, which seemed to surprise him almost as much as it surprised the audience. He’s never been wobbly in a battle before, not sure if that is going to make him more cautious or not as he chases after Bolg, the one who inflicted the injury.
2) Smaug seems surprisingly well informed. He knew that Thorin had earned the nickname of Oakenshield while out in Middle-earth after the fall of Erebor. Smaug also seems fully aware that a Dark Power is rising and that there is an impending war coming. Now if we can just figure out who is feeding him this intel.
3) A Wind Lance, really? Not a standard Long Bow? How disappointing, although it is wicked cool looking and realistically makes more sense, it is not the image most fans were expecting from Bard the Bowman.
4) So Kili gets injured and is left behind in Lake-town, along with 3 other Dwarves. Wow! the Breaking of the Company. The fact he was injured by a Morgul bladed arrow was also a surprise.
5) The Orcs were chasing the Dwarves down the river and fighting the Elves in full sunlight? What’s up with that?
6) The other surprising bit with Smaug is that he could sense the Ring’s presence and by force of will convince Bilbo to take the Ring off. Yipes! It’s a power similar to that of the Nazgul.
7) Back to Bree we go, and this time the guy sitting in the corner is actually dangerous, and that dude munching on a carrot is back.
8) The Spiders did speak, but only Bilbo can hear them when he wears the Ring. Well, except for when he took the Ring off and stabbed that one spider, who then says “it stings” before dying, giving Sting it’s name. So the Spider’s speaking was a surprise, and the way it was handled was a surprise, but there is at least one inconsistency to this plot device. Does anyone care about that? Probably not, cause the spiders were creepy as all heck.
9) Gandalf entering Dol Guldur alone, first facing Azog and having to resort to trickery to get away, and then the big face off with the Necromancer, who reveals himself fully to Gandalf. The endless emptiness that is Sauron is epic.
10) While not surprised that the molten hot gold did not seem to injure Smaug, the most surprising bit in that whole sequence was just how transfixed Smaug was when the Golden Dwarf statue was revealed. He looked like an animal caught in a Cobra’s stare, which is probably the reverse of what Smaug normally encounters.