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Archive for the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ Category

The woods burst to life with tasty butterburs

Until I read this article the other week over on The Mainichi I never realised that butterburs — as in Barliman Butterbur — were a type of flower.

Specifically, it’s the name for some members of the Petasites genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family. (more…)

Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King

Is Guillermo Del Toro finally going to bring his Middle-earth to the fans?

When Amazon Studios first announced their big production deal last November for a Lord of the Rings television series, there was just one thing missing, a big name attached to the project. There was no Producer, Showrunner or even a Writer or team of Writers to indicate the direction these stories might take and give confidence to fans that Middle-earth would be in good hands. 

It has been confirmed that the Guillermo Del Toro has signed on with Amazon Studios, in conjunction with his Tequila Gang production company, to Executive Produce and write this iteration of Middle-earth. He brings with him his co-writer, Chuck Hogan from The Strain. Del Toro’s long time manager, Gary Ungar says that they have already begun identifying and sifting through possible stories that exist within the Appendices, separating out those that are more fleshed out in other Tolkien properties. Because the deal with the Tolkien Estate and Trust is still in flux, they are currently only looking at storylines they know won’t be a legal issue so they can get down to writing.  

During that time waiting for The Hobbit project to finally get going, Guillermo Del Toro spent nearly two years breaking down The Hobbit and working with pre-production designs for the story he was helping to craft. His visual style and ability to create wild and very unique looks was one of the reasons fans came to really anticipate Del Toro’s take on Middle-earth. We wanted to see what he would do with the Elves and Dwarves and even Men, and we especially wanted to see what he would have come up with for all the monsters. When he finally had to leave the project because it was dragging on too long waiting for a green light, fans felt a sense of loss and mourned The Hobbit that could have been. 

This is why Del Toro is perfect for this project. He already has a deep knowledge of the source material, including what can and can not be included legally, and he’s got designs that never got the see the light of day. Because Peter Jackson and WETA are not going to be involved in the Amazon Studios production, there is little reason to maintain strict adherence to the design motifs put in place for the various races. The only design features required are within Tolkien’s books, and beyond that, Del Toro will get to finally let loose with his own, distinct look and feel with very little constraint. What will his Numenor look like? Will we see a Northern Kingdom or meet a young Aragorn, as Thorongil, as he journey’s about Middle-earth learning the skills he will later need to become King?  

Amazon has already announced that it will be developing a Lord of the Rings series set before the events of the original films. The company reportedly spent $250 million to acquire the rights alone and, according to that same report, marketing and productions costs for two seasons could raise the investment to $500 million. It is still unclear if these stories will be told in a series of anthology like episodes or story arcs, or if there will be a much wider, more epic scope to the narrative. 

Amazon Studios will produce the series in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, book publishers HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Creations, Director news, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Fool of a Took, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Rumors Spy News, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day

In 2003, The Tolkien Society established an annual tradition, designating one day of the year for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien worldwide to celebrate their love of Tolkien’s writings by, well, reading them! March 25 was chosen for the celebration as it is the date in The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, when the ring of power was destroyed and the dark lord Sauron was defeated.

Each year the Society selects a theme for the day, with this year’s theme being Home and Hearth: the many ways of being a Hobbit. This opens up a wide array of things that could be read to explore the ‘inner Hobbit’ in all of us. You might join Bilbo in The Hobbit, as he opens his home to Gandalf and the dwarves, feeding them most of the goodies in his pantry! Another option would be to settle around the dinner table with Frodo, Merry, Sam and Pippin, as they eat the delicious mushrooms offered to them by Farmer Maggot during their journey through The Shire.  What favorite Hobbity thing will you pull off of your bookshelves to read today?

 

 

Posted in Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Howard Shore’s FOTR Complete Recordings gets new release on Vinyl, re-release on CD & BluRay

After a little more than a decade, fans of Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings films will finally be able to purchase the complete score for the first movie in the trilogy on vinyl.

To be released on March 30, 2018, the vinyl release of the Complete Recordings of The Fellowship of the Ring will comprise 5 LPs on 180 gm red vinyl packaged in a gorgeous boxed set which includes Doug Adams‘ liner notes that accompanied the original Complete Recordings’ CD+DVD set back in 2005.

And for fans who have been deprived of getting their own copies of the Complete Recordings on disc due to their being long out of production, the score is also being re-released on CD and BluRay.

As a long-time fan of these scores and as one who has had the CRs since their initial release, I cannot recommend the physical sets highly enough, especially at their current price points. I truly feel both versions are more than reasonably priced, considering the almost-3 hours of the complete film score (EE scenes music included!) and the quality of the physical products themselves. I say this without having seen or held the vinyl product in hand, but if the quality of the original CD+DVD set is anything to go by, one can rest assured the product will exceed expectations.

More information to come as we get it.

Posted in Blu-Ray, Fellowship of the Ring, Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Music

Does Amazon’s Middle-earth need a Showrunner? Our Top Ten list.

The recent, completely Unexpected news of new Middle-earth stories coming from Amazon Studios has left Tolkien fandom in a bit of a Party mood. There haven’t been many details about which stories will be told, what the format will be, and who will actually be designing and managing this whole process. Do these Middle-earth stories need a Showrunner, or has Amazon Studios just not announced that they already have someone on the team?

Amazon is purported to have paid between $200 to $250 million just for the rights to the story before any costs for development, talent and production are taken into account. This is considered somewhat risky since there is no concept and no creative leader at the helm, and no characters or story to build upon. The only news to come out since the announcement is that Sir Ian McKellen has said he would be happy to don the Grey, pointy hat again.

We humbly submit our Top Ten list, in alphabetical order, of genre writers and Showrunners for consideration by Amazon Studios, and you, the fans. Do you agree or disagree? Did we miss anyone? Sound off in the discussion section below.  (more…)

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Characters, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Tolkien Rights and the Amazon Television Deal – some insight

In a fascinating article, TORn staffer and author Kristin Thompson gives us some invaluable insight into some of the legal wranglings which may have led to this new The Lord of the Rings television series deal:

The announcement that Amazon will be producing a multi-season television series based on The Lord of the Rings has caused much speculation and not a little confusion. One common assumption seems to be that the television rights to the two hobbit novels were sold to United Artists in 1969, when it obtained the production and distribution rights to make film adaptations. (more…)

Posted in Amazon TV series, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, New Line Cinema, Return of the King, Studios, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.

LOTR TV series: some background and more information

Fellowship of the RingAs is to be expected, the internet, our discussion forums, and comments to our story from yesterday are abuzz with the news broken by Variety magazine yesterday of talks between Warner Brothers and Amazon to make a series adaptation based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since there are many outstanding questions, we thought we’d go back over some of the background related to the movie and television rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as relate some additional information also published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood.

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Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, Television, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.

Amazon and Warner Bros in talks for new ‘Lord of the Rings’ adaptation

Fellowship of the RingCheck your calendars. This is not, I repeat NOT one of our famous (or infamous) TORn April fools jokes. Variety broke the story tonight that Warner Bros. is in talks with Amazon to develop a series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels! According to Variety, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is personally involved in the negotiations, which are still in the very early stages.

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Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Production, Return of the King, Studios, The Two Towers, Warner Bros.

Save the Date: Baggins Birthday Bash Sept. 23, 2017 in LA

Come One, Come All, the Baggins Birthday Bash is coming in just 3 weeks, time to party like Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Men, and maybe the more well behaved Orcs.

We are moving back to Griffith Park, huzzah, and to the Mineral Wells location we’ve used the past 5 or 6 years before last year’s jaunt to Long Beach. Directions can be found on our Facebook event page in the party description. The picnic will start at Noon, with activities wrapping up around 5pm so we can clean up and clear out before it gets too dark. Here are a few of the things to note:

Costumes welcome, but not required. There will be a contest, with all pomp and circumstance.

The Cake and Cupcake contest is back as well, Tolkien themed designs only, please.

Quotes contest – The Hobbit is 80 years old on September 21, so let’s keep quotes to just The Hobbit, film or book in honor of the book that introduced Middle-earth to the World.

There may be a few games as well, such as Golfimbul, depending on how much yummy food and fellowship there is, or the temperatures. Actually, the weather may also impact the number of costumes or the viability of the Cakes. I’m sure some of you remember the great Cake meltdown a few years back.

Survival, on hot days, an umbrella or pop up tent work really well, so bring them, and chairs because the park benches don’t move. On not so hot days, still bring the pop ups or at least the chairs.

Food, yes, this is a Potluck party, so bring food, at least 6 servings worth, but let’s not forget cups, plates, napkins and flatware. If you have an ice chest, bring it. Whether it is personal sized, for your own beverages, or super big to help keep lots of water, soda or juice cold. Bottles are preferred because yellowjackets do seem to like picnics too.

Please check out the Facebook event page (linked above) to RSVP your attendance and what you plan to bring, or you can RSVP to me at Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net just so we have an idea of what is being brought and where we need to fill in the gaps.

And yes, children are very welcome, bring the whole family.

 

 

 

Posted in Baggins Birthday Bash, Characters, Collectibles, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers, Tolkien, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

The Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2017 is…

Almost three weeks ago we began our battles in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness. Each year, we try to mix things up a bit by creating different brackets; this year the categories were Books Only, Movies OnlyWider Mythos and Movie and Book, giving us four sets of varied characters from Tolkien’s realm. We also let previous champions Gandalf, Galadriel, Samwise Gamgee and Thranduil sit it out in a ‘Champion’s Hall of Fame’ – so we knew we’d have a first time victor this year.

Before we announce the overall winner, let’s look back over the five rounds which led up to the Final:

In Movies Only, the Moth Messengers made their first appearance, but were quickly squashed under the trotters of Dain’s Boar. Sebastian the Hedgehog, however, in a blow for small mammals everywhere, vanquished the Goblin Scribe; and there were brief hopes that he might make his way onwards to win the group. Alas, in Round 2 he came up against Tauriel, and he was no match for the elf warrior.

Figwit unruffled as ever

Alfrid Lickspittle, to the relief of many, was hastily dispatched by Figwit; the immaculate elf cruised through to the Sweet Sixteen Round 3, only to be defeated there by mighty stallion Brego. This fiercesome mount was the overall victor of the Movies Only group, having beaten Tauriel in the Elite Eight round.

Brego faced the winner of the Books Only section; a tough group, featuring such legends as Goldberry, Glorfindel, Elrohir, the Barrow-wights and Quickbeam. Small wonder that Fatties Bolger and Lumpkin were unable to get past Round One! In Round Three we had the first awkward pairing of the tournament, when Tom Bombadil had to take on his wife, Goldberry. Perhaps he overcame her, or perhaps she graciously allowed him to win; either way, it was the creature in yellow boots who went on to secure the division.

Not surprisingly, some of the most popular figures appeared in the Movie and Book bracket. Here the likes of Bilbo, Pippin, Faramir and Boromir had to battle Merry, Thorin, Aragorn and other heroes. Even the villains had tough match-ups, with Smaug facing the Witch-king and Sauron up against Shelob – and these were all just first round fights! By the Sweet Sixteen, Sauron was the only bad guy still in the mix – but Elrond did what he could not at the end of the Second Age, and vanquished the Necromancer; only to fall to the section winner, Aragorn, in the Elite Eight.

That fourth round also saw our second difficult ‘lovers’ tiff’, with Beren coming up against Luthien in the Wider Mythos division. Their journey to that point had seen them conquer such worthy opponents as Feanor, Earendil, Glaurung and Varda. Even Morgoth and Eru himself couldn’t make it past Round Two! In the Elite Eight match-up, mortal man Beren was no test for his elf spouse; she won their battle with an overwhelming more than 70% of the vote, making her winner of the Wider Mythos section.

In the Semi Finals, Luthien wasn’t able to defeat another devotee of elf-maidens; she was conquered by the Ranger from the North. The other Final Four battle brought disappointment for those of us hoping for a Brego vs Aragorn final; Tom Bombadil beat the steed, taking almost two thirds of the vote.

And so Aragorn was in to his second Middle-earth March Madness final, facing a somewhat unknown quantity in the strange and ancient creature from the Old Forest. The 2200+ votes have been counted, and the winner is…

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers

Middle-earth March Madness FINAL is here! Vote now for your Champion!

And then there were two… We’re down to the Grand Final in Middle-earth March Madness 2017 – only one can emerge as this year’s Champion. Here’s what happened in the Final Four stage:

In Books Only vs Movies Only, we had Tom Bombadil dancing rings around loyal steed Brego, who just couldn’t come up with any answers to the yellow-booted fellow. Alas, (for those of us who were hoping for an Aragorn vs Brego final), Bombadil took almost two thirds of the vote to win this fight.

Wider Mythos vs Movie and Book saw Luthien take on a man who knows a bit about immortal elf maidens, and what it means to give your heart to one. With a similar margin to the other Semi Final, Aragorn easily defeated the pointy-eared warrior to claim his place in the Final.

Here are the full results for Middle-earth March Madness thus far:

 

And so we come to it at last – the great battle of our time. This year’s Championship Round in Middle-earth March Madness sees Strider, the Ranger from the North, take on Tom Bombadil, the River-woman’s daughter’s husband… How will these characters match up? Let’s take a look at some vital statistics for them both:

ARAGORN:

Aliases: Elfstone, Strider, Longshanks, Wingfoot, Elessar, Thorongil, Estel (‘Hope’), Telcontar, The Dunedan, the Renewer, Isildur’s Heir

Date of Birth: TA 2931
Race: Man of Gondor, of Isildur’s Line
Date of Death: FA 120
Parents: Arathorn, Gilraen
Spouse: Arwen Evenstar (married TA 3019)
Children: Eldarion, and several daughters

Tolkien describes Strider as tall, with ‘a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes.’ Raised by his mother at Rivendell, with Elrond as a surrogate father, he there met Arwen Undomiel. After meeting Frodo at The Prancing Pony in Bree, he became part of the Fellowship, which he then led after Gandalf’s fall in Moria.

Aragorn has participated in Middle-earth March Madness every year; he was last in the final in 2012, when he was defeated by Samwise Gamgee.

TOM BOMBADIL:

Aliases: Iarwain Ben-adar (‘Oldest and Fatherless’), Forn, Orald, the Master of wood, water, and hill

Date of Birth: Unknown. He says of himself, ‘Eldest, that’s what I am … Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn … When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already … before the Dark Lord came from Outside.’
Race: Unknown. Elrond calls him ‘a strange creature’
Spouse: Goldberry, known as ‘River-woman’s daughter”

Very little is known of Tom Bombadil. He lives in the valley of the Withywindle river, by the Old Forest. We know plenty about his appearance – Tolkien describes him as wearing ‘an old battered hat with a tall crown and a long blue feather stuck in the band.’ The Professor goes on: ‘a man, or so it seemed. At any rate he was too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People … stumping along with great yellow boots on his thick legs … He had a blue coat and a long brown beard; his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter.’ He has extraordinary power within his own domain, commanding Old Man Willow and the Barrow-wights to release the hobbits, and being totally unaffected by the power of the Ring. He seems, however, to live somewhat outside the world, being mostly unconcerned with the goings-on of the other races of Middle-earth.

Bombadil has been in Middle-earth March Madness several times, but has never before made it past Round 2.

If Bombadil and Aragorn were to ride into battle, Aragorn (in the movies, at least) would ride in on Brego; Tom would come on his faithful pony, Fatty Lumpkin.

Will Strider be overcome by ancient and powerful magic? Or will Tom’s nonchalant attitude be defeated by the warrior skills of the Ranger from the North?

VOTE BELOW!
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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers

Middle-earth March Madness reaches the Final Four! Elite Eight results are in.

Are Beren and Luthien still speaking after their Quarter Final battle?

Middle-earth March Madness 2017 is at the Semi Finals stage! Sixty-four characters started – now only four remain.  Who has made it to the Final Four?

After a fairly close fight, Brego is the victor of the Movies Only group! Elf warrior Tauriel just couldn’t overcome the battle-hardened steed; could we be heading towards that Aragorn vs Brego final? It’s certainly still on the cards, as Aragorn comfortably defeated Elrond to emerge as champion of the Movie and Books category.

Books Only was neck and neck right up to the last moment, with yellow boots taking on pointy ears; Tom Bombadil finally won over Glorfindel, with a margin of just over 1%! So it is Tom who goes on to face Brego in the Semi Final. Aragorn’s opponent in this penultimate round will be courageous elf maiden Luthien, who was pitted against her own true love Beren in the Elite Eight. The mortal man proved to be no match for her, with Luthien taking over 70% of the vote in the Wider Mythos pairing. After all the trials they endured in Angband, let’s hope their love survived this latest challenge!

Here are the full results from the Elite Eight:

Voting for the Final Four matches is now open! You have until April 3rd 10pm EST to have your say. Will we see that Brego/Aragorn final? You decide – VOTE NOW!
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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Two Towers