If you’re a regular reader here at TORn, you know by now about composer and sound engineer Jordan Rannells’ immersive audio soundscape of music and ambient sounds, bringing to life Middle-earth. His soundscape is designed to be listened to whilst reading The Lord of the Rings – and in fact, is timed perfectly to fit with Andy Serkis’ recording of the books.
The Hobbit and The Silmarillion
Following the success of his Long-Expected Soundscape, Rannells is at it again! This time he’s tackling two more of Tolkien’s works, in epic scale. Read on below to find out what Rannells told us about his latest projects.
A new kind of Middle-earth experience for Hobbit Day
Jordan Rannells composed an original score, designed sound FX and recorded nature ambience to match all 60+ hours of Andy Serkis’ The Lord of the Rings audiobooks. Each moment is timed exactly so that when you hear Serkis describe Grond tearing through the gates of Minas Tirith, you hear it happening; when the eucatastrophe happens, we hear its theme; when the water of Wellinghall rains down around us, we hear it come and go. It is so simple to put the Soundscape together with the audiobooks, but you can also listen without them and just escape to Middle-earth any time you need to. Listen to the wind in the grass on your way to Edoras; hear the turmoil in the score as Boromir confronts Frodo; duck as the wings of the fell beast fly over you.
Rannells uses Dolby Atmos to achieve the highest level of 3D immersion possible, using the latest technology and sound design tools used in big franchises like Marvel, Game of Thrones and more.
Now, after spending a year and a half designing his first soundscape experience, An Unexpected Soundscape and A Soundscape of Eä are on the way. The Hobbit and The Silmarillion are next on Rannells’ journey, as he seeks to complete the Legendarium in this new immersive adaptation.
Listeners will be able to hear the dwarves as their barrels crash by; catch whispers of Gollum and the spiders of Mirkwood; witness the Coming of Tuor to Ulmo, and even the creation of Arda itself. New challenges present themselves in bringing the up-close-and-personal world of The Hobbit to your ears, such as recording movement and footsteps for each of the dwarves. Then, in the opposite direction, large scale and epic abstract sound design are required for moments in The Silmarillion.
Find out more about Rannells’ epic undertaking on his website. You can also experience the first chapter of the Long-Expected Soundscape on his YouTube channel. Celebrate those Baggins’ birthdays surrounded by the sounds of Middle-earth!
DragonCon begins today – and of course TORn will be there! You’ll find staffers deej and greendragon at TORn’s ‘fan table’, in our usual location: in the Hyatt opposite the entrance to the Art Show. We’ll be there from Friday on, until the very end of the con! This year we have three new shirt designs and a new button, as well as some former designs, and other fun goodies at the table. Drop by and see us!
There are some exciting celebrity guests for Middle-earth lovers this weekend; read on for highlights of events of interest to Tolkien fans during DragonCon this year:
Friday 1st 10am The Wit and Wisdom of Samwise Gamgee
Gardener; friend; husband; potato enthusiast. We all need more Sam in our lives! Marriott room L401-403
Friday 2nd 8.30pm An Evening at Bree
As ever, TORn will be joining the High Fantasy track to host this long standing DragonCon tradition. Party like a Hobbit! Once again, our live acts will be fan favourites The Brobdingnagian Bards, Beth Patterson, and Landloch’d. We’ll also have the Elf Choir, and the costume contest – with a fabulous panel of expert cosplay judges. We’re thrilled that Charles Conley, Joshua Duart and Lacey Santos will be lending us their skill and judgement for the evening! If you’d like to enter the contest, please remember to sign up in advance of the evening, at the TORn fan table or the High Fantasy track room (Marriott room L401-403).
Find us at the inn of the Prancing Pony (aka Hilton Grand West)
Saturday 2nd 1pm The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Retrospective
It’s been 20 years (gasp!) since the final part of Peter Jackson’s trilogy was released. Join TORn staffers to look back and get nostalgic together! Marriott room A601-602
Saturday 2nd 4pm Rings of Power discussion
A look back at Season 1, and speculation as to what may be coming in Season 2 of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings show. Marriott room A601-602
Saturday 2nd 5.30pm Elijah Wood and Sean Astin in conversation
Marriott Atrium Ballroom
Saturday 2nd 10pm The Tolkien Renaissance
What makes Middle-earth such an enduring favourite with fans? With more shows, movies (and maybe even a theme park) in the works, we’ll explore why Tolkien’s works are evergreen. Marriott room L401-403
Sunday 3rd 10am Hobbits, Harfoots, and More!
Exploring the origins, characteristics, and significance of our favourite hairy-footed folks. Marriott room L401-403
Sunday 3rd 1pm Andy Serkis and Elijah Wood in conversation
Marriott Atrium Ballroom
(There are also photo sessions with Astin, Serkis, and Wood throughout the weekend. Their appearances are fully in line with SAG-AFTRA guidelines, enabling actors to attend conventions but not to promote work.)
Sunday 5pm Hobbit Drinking Songs!
Join The Brobdingnagian Bards and party like a Hobbit! Hilton Grand West
Sunday 10pm Dance Magic Dance
TORn’s own deej shows us how she got her name, as she djs this 1980s themed dance party. Put on your best 80s/fantasy cosplay and come and dance the night away!
There are many more High Fantasy Track events which are Middle-earth related, and other events across the con which will appeal to Tolkien fans. Check out DragonCon’s app for all the details. Hope to see you here for all the fun – come and say hi!
Now, The Towers Collection (for The Two Towers) is available – and we have some promo codes for TORn’s followers! Read on below to find out more…
The Long-expected Soundscape is designed to be listened to whilst reading Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (and is timed specifically to sync up with the Andy Serkis audiobook recording). It is created with Dolby Atmos for full 3D immersion in headphones, and includes an original score, ambient nature and environment sounds, and designed and recorded sound effects. The soundtrack is downloadable at https://jordanrannells.com/ – and can also be accessed very easily through all usual podcast apps.
Ways to listen
Rannells suggests various ways to enjoy his creation:
1. Simply experience the atmosphere alone, without the books
2. While reading Tolkien’s works (yes you might read a bit faster, but all you have to do is wait and enjoy the music and sound effects for a bit until you hear the next significant sound or cue, and then keep reading)
3. Synced up (perfectly!) with Andy Serkis’ audiobook so you can enjoy them together (step by step process on how to do that on Discord)
4. Just as background for DnD, Lotro and so on…
Exclusive promo codes
If you’d like to get your hands on this wonderful soundscape, you can use the code TORN25 (for a discount on the whole collection), or TORN10 (for a discount on an individual book). These promo codes are good only until June 10th, so don’t delay!
Once you’ve experienced this beautiful aural world, you’re definitely going to want more! So you’ll be glad to know that Rannells has plans for The Hobbit and The Silmarillion soundscapes! He’ll be launching a Kickstarter for these, this coming December; if you’re interested in getting involved, and perhaps even having a small voice or performance role on one of those projects, join the Long-expected Discord. Happy listening!
We hope you enjoyed this April Fools’ Day joke for 2023. (Though wouldn’t a LEGO Lord of the Rings be fun…?)
Since it was announced in February of this year that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema had secured a deal with Embracer Group to create more Middle-earth movies, fans have been waiting eagerly to hear what would be the first movie on the slate. (We already know, of course, about The War of the Rohirrim, due April 2024.) As it turns out, the next feature to be set in Tolkien’s realms is not what one might have expected – though it does stay in the world of animation (and of course we did just see the release of the Rivendell LEGO set). We’re thrilled that TORN has been given the exclusive to reveal: Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have announced today that a new Lord of the Rings LEGO movie is set to be released in 2025.
Here’s the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW LINE CINEMA AND WARNER BROS. ANIMATION’S “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: A LEGO ADVENTURE’ ARRIVES IN CINEMAS ON APRIL 1, 2025
The Studio behind the cinematic blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” trilogy returns with an original animated film, bringing the legends of Middle-earth into the world of LEGO
BURBANK, CA, April 1, 2023 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the animated movie ‘The Lord of the Rings: A LEGO Adventure’, from New Line Cinema and in partnership with The LEGO Group, will release in theaters on April 1, 2025.
This whimsical animated adaptation of the beloved, epic tale is set to hit theaters April 2025, bringing together fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary saga and LEGO enthusiasts alike, for an unforgettable journey through Middle-earth as it’s never been seen before.
Esteemed actors Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will both return to their respective roles as Gandalf and Gollum. The all-star voice cast also includes:
Jim Broadbent as Bilbo Baggins, the eccentric and adventurous hobbit who sets the stage for Frodo’s journey
Austin Butler as Frodo Baggins, the courageous and unexpected hero on a quest to save Middle-earth
James D’Arcy as Samwise Gamgee, Frodo’s loyal gardener and self-appointed guardian
Simon Pegg as Meriadoc Brandybuck, the wisest of Frodo’s three Hobbit companions
Nick Frost as Peregrin Took, the youngest of the Hobbits on this quest, mission, thing
Chris Pine as Aragorn, the mighty and charismatic heir to the throne of Gondor
Genevieve O’Reilly as Galadriel, the fierce and fabulous Elven queen, with unmatched power and style
Michael Shannon as Denethor, the troubled steward of Gondor whose descent into madness is as captivating as it is chilling
A playful reimagining of the classic story, ‘The Lord of the Rings: A LEGO Adventure’ comes more than 22 years after the culmination of Sir Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy based on the iconic books by J.R.R. Tolkien. The films are among the most successful and acclaimed of all time, winning seventeen Oscars including eleven for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” tying the record for a single film. This new movie promises to be a blockbuster adventure that captures the heart and spirit of the original story, while adding a touch of humour and creativity that only the world of LEGO can provide.
“With Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis reprising their iconic roles as Gandalf and Gollum, we wanted to sew a thread of familiarity into this particular production,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “At the same time, we wanted to bring new and surprising voices to the other characters to give them a fresh and unique take. We’re confident that this talented group of actors will breathe new life into this classic tale, and we can’t wait for audiences to experience this new journey through Middle-earth.”
Animation work has already begun; more exciting voice casting will be announced imminently. The film will be distributed theatrically worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.
Andy Serkis’ narration of The Fellowship of the Ring is now free on Audible through October 15th!
Editorial note: Now THIS is marketing I can appreciate because it makes Tolkien more available! I’ve heard Andy read The Hobbit and have been waiting for that right time to listen to his read of LotR. So much Tolkien, such little time…