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Archive for the ‘LotR Books’ Category

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

The Elite Eight – Middle-earth March Madness 2018!

And then there were eight… It’s Quarter Finals time in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness – and Round 3 was a decisive round indeed. The people have spoken, and made it clear that alter-ego interlopers shall go no further; every duel in the last round was won easily by the Professor’s creations.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock) put up the best fight, taking a third of the vote against Elrond. Only two other non-Tolkien characters managed to climb over 20%: Karl Urban’s Leonard McCoy (Star Trek) fought hard but was no real competition for Galadriel, with the high elf in the end claiming more than three quarters of the vote. Alas, another Sean Bean character bites the dust prematurely; Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones) clawed his way to almost 29%, but could not hope to defeat the valiant Samwise Gamgee.

Martin Freeman’s John Watson (Sherlock) was thrashed by Gandalf, and David Wenham’s Carl (Van Helsing) received a similar humiliation at the hands of Gollum.  At least, however, they made it into double figures; poor Rudy (Sean Astin) could only manage 7.13% against Gondor’s king. Aragorn’s triumph in that pairing will come as no surprise to anyone.

It was perhaps the ‘schizophrenic’ contests which were most interesting in this round; Christopher Lee faced himself as both Saruman and Count Dooku (Revenge of the Sith), and we wondered which way Lee Pace fans would vote, when having to choose between Thranduil and Ronan (Guardians of the Galaxy). Once again, the Middle-earth characters reigned supreme; Count Dooku couldn’t even manage to wrestle 9% of the votes away from Saruman.

So here we are at Round 4 – denizens of Tolkien’s realm all the way! The choices are tougher now; does Sam stand a chance against Strider? Will Gandalf and Saruman throw some break-dance moves in their fight, and will Saruman come out victorious? (Is he facing Gandalf the Grey or Gandalf the White? – you decide!) In the mighty battle of the elves, can Thranduil of the woodland realm possibly pose a threat to Elrond Half-elven? And is there anything the tricksssy Gollum can do, to give him a chance against Galadriel?

Quarter Final voting is open NOW, and runs until 10pm EST on Saturday 31st March. The Semi Finals will then start on Sunday 1st April. You can also take part in the ‘exit polls’ on Facebook, if you want a second chance to voice your opinion! Who looks set to take the ultimate crown this year…?  VOTE NOW![Elite Eight] [Round 3 Bracket] [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Middle-earth March Madness – onwards to Round 3!

Sweet Sixteen – the lucky few who have made it through Round 2, to fight again in this year’s Middle-earth March Madness. Let’s take a look at how things stand, as you get ready to vote in Round 3…

Division I has had more than its share of tough choices, with beloved characters facing each other. Round 2 saw Samwise defeat Gimli, Aragorn thrash Frodo with over three quarters of the vote, and Sean Astin’s Rudy beat Dominic Monaghan’s Charlie Pace (from Lost). The big news is that a Sean Bean character still lives! Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones) beat Viggo Mortensen’s Frank Hopkins (Hidalgo), and now faces none other than Master Samwise in Round 3. How to choose?! Do you want to see Eddard Stark make it all the way to the final? Or are you hoping to see Sam face Rudy in Round 4 (assuming that Rudy can get past Aragorn, that is)? Tough decisions to be made…

In Division II, Galadriel soundly defeated Faramir, but Cate Blanchett’s Hela (Thor: Ragnarok) is out! Karl Urban’s Dr McCoy must have had the backing of USS Enterprise to help him come through, in a narrow victory (51.67% to 48.33%). (Hmm, I wonder what would have happened if Hela had been facing Karl Urban as Skurge – also Thor: Ragnarok – instead?)  Gollum didn’t have too much trouble against King Theodon; David Wenham’s Carl (Van Helsing) vanquished Miranda Otto’s Mary Ann (War of the Worlds), and now needs to be on his guard against the tricksssy Gollum in Round 3.

 

The most overwhelming victory came in Division III, with poor Dwalin no match for Mithrandir – Gandalf took over 90% of the vote in that duel! But perhaps shockingly, Martin Freeman’s John Watson (Sherlock) was able to outwit the mighty Magneto, winning by a margin of less than 1%; and this, in spite of our Facebook ‘exit poll’ suggesting that Magneto would win 60-40! No chance, then, of Sir Ian’s two characters meeting in a later round; Christopher Lee, on the other hand, is throwing down against himself in Round 3, with both his Saruman and his Count Dooku (Revenge of the Sith) having been victorious in Round 2. Does a Sith Lord stand a chance against one of the Maiar? They’re both pretty treacherous, having both turned against their original allies and beliefs; but is a lightsaber a match for a wizard’s staff?  You decide – vote now!

Finally, Division IV – where Hobbit elves and villains reside with their alter-egos. As expected, Tauriel was no match for Elrond, and was defeated by almost 64%. Hugo Weaving’s other character Agent Smith (The Matrix), however, was unable to stand up to the brainpower of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. Will Sherlock take over Rivendell in Round 3, to make it the Last Holmely House? (Sorry – couldn’t resist…)

Lee Pace has to fight himself in Round 3, with his Thranduil and his Ronan (Guardians of the Galaxy) both winning their Round 2 battles with ease. Pace fans (is there a name for the Pace Army?), whom will you choose??

Round 3 voting is open NOW, and goes until 10pm EST on Wednesday 28th March. Round 4 will then be launched on Thursday 29th. Don’t forget to check out the ‘exit polls’ on Facebook, to see how the duels might play out. And let us know who you’re hoping will become ultimate champion this year, in the comments below! VOTE NOW! [Round 3 Bracket] [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

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

Today in Middle-earth, March 25

map Battle of Morannon and Mt Doom March 25The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 25th:

  • The Captains of the West come to the Black Gate (3019)
  • The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills (3019)
  • Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of Sauron (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur (3019)
  • Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom (3019)
  • Minas Tirith (3019)
  • Gondor proclaims their New Year (3019)
  • Frodo comes home  (3020)
  • Birth of Elanor the Fair, daughter of Samwise (3021)
  • The First “Tolkien Reading Day” (2003) 

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth, Tolkien Reading Day

Middle-earth March Madness – Round 2 begins!

Who has made it through to the second round of Middle-earth March Madness 2018? There were some tough battles in the first round – and difficult choices for voters to make! Frodo vs Pippin; Gandalf vs Bilbo; Kili vs Nori… Whilst we may have a pretty shrewd idea who might win in such contests, it’s tough to have to see some of these characters fall at the first fence…

Some of the results are what one might expect. Galadriel easily overcame Eomer in Division II, with almost three quarters of the vote. In the same bracket, Andy Serkis’ Caesar put up a tough fight, but in the end he was no match for Cate Blanchett’s Hela (from Thor: Raganok), who took just over 60% of the vote. No-one would be particularly surprised to see that Magneto beat John Thornton (Richard Armitage’s dreamy role in North and South, but clearly no match for an X-man); and perhaps it was inevitable, in the clash of mighty wits, that Sherlock Holmes (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) would beat Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry).

More surprising was the victory in Division I of Gimli over Boromir. In a closely fought duel, the dwarf took just over 51% of the vote, dismissing any hopes of a Boromir vs Eddard Stark show down in Round 3. Fans will be relieved to know, however, that for once a Sean Bean character has stayed alive – thus far! – with Stark beating Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean) to go through to the second round. Now he faces Frank Hopkins, as played by Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo.  Be sure to vote for Eddard if you want to see a Sean Bean role survive to the end!

Another upset was the defeat of Ian Holm’s Bilbo by Faramir. The Lord of Gondor’s success may be short lived, however – he faces Galadriel in Round 2.

In Division IV, Elrond demonstrated that he should have gone with the Company to the Lonely Mountain; he defeated Smaug with a fairly convincing victory of 57.95% to 42.05%. Now the high elf will face the movie elf, Tauriel, in Round 2; we have a pretty good idea how that will go down, but if Tauriel fans come out and vote, you never know…

Round 2 voting is open NOW, and goes until 10pm EST on Sunday 25th March. We’ll announce winners and launch Round 3 on Monday 26th. You can also find some fun ‘exit polls’ on Facebook – a chance to see how people are voting in one or two of the face-offs. Want Samwise to defeat Gimli? Hoping John Watson might overcome Magneto? Keen to see Count Dooku bested by The Doctor? Then join the Madness and VOTE NOW (below)! [Round 2 Bracket] [Round 1 Bracket]

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Posted in Aidan Turner, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, David Wenham, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Miranda Otto, Miscellaneous, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Viggo Mortensen

Today in Middle-earth, March 15

Gandalf faces the Witch-king The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 15th:

  • Thorin and Gandalf’s chance meeting at the Prancing Pony (2941)
  • In the early hours the Witch-king breaks the Gates of the City (3019)
  • The horns of the Rohirrim are heard at cockcrow (3019)
  • Denethor burns himself on a pyre (3019)
  • Battle of the Pelennor (3019)
  • Aragorn raises the standard of Arwen (3019)
  • Dernhelm faces the Lord of the Nazgûl (3019)
  • Théoden is slain (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise escape and begin their journey north along the Morgai (3019)
  • Battle under the trees in Mirkwood; Thranduil repels the forces of Dol Guldur (3019)
  • Second assault on Lórien (3019)
  • The realm of King Brand of Dale is attacked (3019)
  • Evening in the Morgai (3019)
  • The wounded come to the Houses of Healing (3019)
  • Gandalf hears the cry of the Lord of the Nazgûl (3019)
  • Wounded Merry comes to Minas Tirith (3019)
  • Aragorn comes to the City (3019)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, March 13

Sam battles ShelobThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 13th:

  • Frodo captured by the Orcs of Cirith Ungol (3019)
  • The Pelennor is overrun (3019)
  • Faramir is wounded (3019)
  • Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet (3019)
  • Théoden in Druadan Forest (3019)
  • Frodo is taken ill (3020)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, March 4

Eucatastrophe Gandalf charges Helms Deep The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on March 4th:

  • Aragorn faces the enemy as the new day dawn (1419)
  • The charge of the Riders (1419)
  • Gandalf returns (1419)
  • Théoden and Gandalf set out from Helm’s Deep for Isengard (1419)
  • Frodo reaches the slag-mounds on the edge of the Desolation of the Morannon (1419)
  • Merry and Pippin try to stay high and dry (1419)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Today in Middle-earth, February 26

Boromir at Parth GalenThe following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on February 26th:

  • Death of Boromir; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith. (3019)
  • Meriadoc and Peregrin captured. (3019)
  • Frodo and Samwise enter the eastern Emyn Muil. (3019)
  • Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening. (3019)
  • Éomer hears of the descent of the Orc-band from the Emyn Muil. (3019)
  • Frodo’s ordeal on Amon Hen. (3019)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

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

Today in Middle-earth, February 14

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on February 14th:

  • The Mirror of Galadriel (1419)
  • Gandalf returns to life, and lies in a trance (1419)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Creations, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth