Join us on Facebook!
Join us in our 24 Hour Chatroom!
Check out on Twitter!
Join us on Instagram

Latest Tweets

  1. Security cam footage proves that Gandalf is officially a disturber of the peace! #Happy4thofJuly

  2. JRR Tolkien is like “I know a place” and it’s the same corner of the same pub every time

  3. You could have chosen a different screenshot in a story about COVID

News Alerts

Get emailed with every new post!

Archive for the ‘LotR Movies’ Category

Andy Serkis is Reading The Hobbit LIVE and it is as Precious as You Would Expect!

Ever generous with his time and talent, Andy Serkis is hosting a #hobbithon of sorts and reading the entirety of The Hobbit for 12 hours – right now!

In a message to his fans, Andy writes:

So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown. While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12 hour armchair marathon reading of “The Hobbit” by yours truly – a journey across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need – NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings.  

We have links below to the various ways you can watch, and then you can support his efforts on the official GoFundMe page.

YouTube Feed:

And if you are on Facebook:

Posted in Andy Serkis, Hobbit Cast News, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, The Hobbit

Virtual 5k Week 2: Racing to Rivendell

If you’re ready for another race, welcome to “Racing to Rivendell” where we are following Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Arwen/Glorfindel, and Asfaloth (the horse who carried Frodo) as they race to outrun the Black Riders from Weathertop to Rivendell.

(If you weren’t able to join us last week, you can still earn your Shire Sprint bib and certificate. Just check out the post from May 1 for instructions.)

This virtual 5k race (3.1 miles) can be run or walked at home or any location you choose (please follow your town’s current rules). You can run, jog, walk, use a treadmill, climb your stairs, or us an elliptical – whatever is most convenient and safe for you. 30 minutes of exercise can also count as 1 mile. Run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself – our 5k’s are on the honor system.

Before you start each race, download a RACE BIB here or from TORn’s “The World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” Facebook page. Write your name, nickname, or race time in the white box, then you can stop by our Facebook page and post a photo wearing your bib, or post in the comments below.

Once you have completed each race, let us know! Download your finisher certificate and share another photo.


Click on this link if you want to download a .pdf. Or the .jpg is below. They are also available for download on our “World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” Facebook group.

If you complete all four races, an additional special certificate can be yours! If you’re so inclined, reading the section in “The Fellowship of the Ring” that corresponds to this race might add a bit of color to your journey. Above all else, have fun. On your mark, get set, go!

There will be a total of four 5k races in all. Check back on Friday for a new race.

Bibs and certificates designed by TORN staff member Mithril, aka Nancy Steinman.

Posted in Activies, Contests, Creations, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, LotR Books, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Parodies, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness CHAMPION 2020!

Six rounds, with well over 5,000 votes in each round; much impassioned discussion in chat rooms and on Facebook threads; multiple live results shows; and now it’s done. Middle-earth March Madness 2020 drew to a close last night; if you missed the live results show, you can catch it here. (Last night the panelists looked back on the past nine years of Middle-earth March Madness, and also discussed some of our least favourite scenes in Peter Jackson’s movies, before the big reveal of this year’s winner!) Or simply read on, to find out which scene was declared Grand Champion 2020.

This year’s theme was ‘Film Scenes’, and we started off with a selection of 64 favourite moments from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, chosen and voted on for seeding by TORn staffers. These were divided into four categroies: Scenic, Laughter, Tearjerkers and Drama/Action. Staff chose considerably more Lord of the Rings moments than Hobbit moments as favourites, and only one Hobbit scene (Bilbo saying farewell to the dwarves) made it out of Round One. (It was defeated in Round Two by Boromir’s death.) Perhaps the most notable upset in Round One was the defeat in the Tearjerker group of the number one seed, the Grey Havens, by the number 16 seed, ‘You bow to no one’. This latter scene went all the way to the Semi Final, suggesting that it should perhaps have started with a higher seed; but clearly it wasn’t a high favourite amongst the staff who voted on seeding. (What do TORn staff know…?! I’m still shocked that the ‘Dare we risk a little more light’ moment in the great hall of Moria didn’t make it past the first round!)

Our two eventual finalists were the winner of the Scenic bracket, ‘Lighting the Beacons’, vs the Drama/Action champion, ‘The Charge of the Rohirrim’. Feelings ran high for this one, with many fans expressing their love for one side of the other. As more and more comments appeared on Facebook, however, it seemed pretty clearly that voting was going more to one side – and in the end, it wasn’t a particularly close battle. The victorious scene took 68% of the vote.

And so, we can reveal the Grand Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2020:

The stirring speech by King Theoden, and the heroic plunge into battle, defeated the call for aid which lead directly to that moment, as Rohan comes to help Gondor – making the Charge of the Rohirrim this year’s overall winner.

Here is the final bracket for 2020:

We also announced last night the winner of the fabulous Balrog statue, from our friends at Sideshow. Congratulations to A. Fuentes; look out for an email coming your way! Thanks again to Sideshow for letting us do such a great giveaway.

And thanks to all of YOU, for having some March Madness fun with us over these last couple of weeks. Don’t forget, you can still catch last night’s live results show, here. We’re already thinking about what our theme next year might be… Meanwhile, stay tuned for more fun and live events from TORn, as we get through these strange, locked-down days together. Your friends are with you! Fear no darkness!

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth March Madness 2020 GRAND FINAL!

And then there were two… Middle-earth March Madness 2020 began just over two weeks ago, and here we are, arrived at the FINAL. We started out with 64 scenes from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, divided into four categories: Tearjerkers, Scenic, Laughter, and Drama/Action. Five rounds later, and just two scenes remain, to battle for the title of Grand Champion 2020.

Once again we had almost 5,500 people vote in the last round; if you missed last night’s live results show, you can watch it here. (Panelists on last night’s show also discussed what they would choose for their own personal top four scenes from PJ’s movies; see if your choices coincide with theirs!)

In Round Five, we saw the Laughter division winner take on the champion from the Drama/Action category: ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ vs The Charge of the Rohirrim. Comedy, it turned out, was no match for an epic battle sequence; the Rohirrim took almost three quarters of the vote to secure their place in the final.

But Theoden shouldn’t be cheering too soon; the Rohirrim face a very tough opponent in the Final. The other Semi Final was between the Scenic and Tearjerker brackets, and this was a really closely fought contest. It went right down to the wire, with strong feelings on both sides; the final vote split was 51% to 49%! By this narrowest of margins, Lighting the Beacons defeated ‘You bow to no one’; so it is Gondor’s call for aid which goes through to this year’s final.

Here is the bracket as it currently stands:

Feelings are likely to run high for this face off. Which epic sequence gets YOUR vote? You have until 10pm TOMORROW night (Wednesday 15th) to make your voice heard, so don’t delay! We’re also still taking entries for our GIVEAWAY of an awesome Balrog statue, from our friends at Sideshow. Vote again, submit your details again, and be in with a second chance to win!

We’ll have our final LIVE RESULTS SHOW tomorrow night at 10pm ET; you can find that, as ever, on our facebook page. Hope to see you there; or check back here on Thursday morning to find out who is Middle-earth March Madness Grand Champion 2020. VOTE NOW!

Click here to vote now in the Grand Final.

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth March Madness Final Four voting closes soon!

THE BEACONS ARE LIT, and Gondor calls for aid – but the aid is needed for the ‘You bow to no one’ scene! We know that many of you want to see ‘You bow to no one’ go through to the Final of Middle-earth March Madness 2020. Right now, however, it’s being beaten by the Lighting the Beacons scene; but there is only 10% in it!

Muster the Rohirrim! (Whose charge, by the way, is currently easily beating the ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ scene; but that could all change, if there is a final day surge in voting as there was in the previous round. No scene is safe!)

Rally the troops! Get your fellow fans to VOTE before 10pm ET TONIGHT!

And don’t forget, everyone who votes can enter to win an amazing Balrog statue, thanks to our good friends and sponsors Sideshow. So check out the Final Four scenes, make your choices, and vote! VOTE NOW!

Then tune in to our facebook page at 10pm ET tonight to watch our live results show!

Click here to vote now in the Final Four.

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth March Madness Final Four 2020

It’s time for the Semi Final! The champions of each of our four brackets have been decided, and now just four entries remain in Middle-earth March Madness 2020. Which scene will go on to be our Grand Champion this year?

Thanks to everyone who voted in the Elite Eight round, and who tuned in to our Live Results show last night; strong feelings were shared on Facebook threads and in the chat room, and we had almost 5,500 votes placed! Let’s take a look at our bracket winners:

The easiest win this round was in the Scenic category, where in spite of many finding this to be a tough choice, the Lighting the Beacons scene took 69% of the vote against the Sailing past the Argonath scene. It’s hard to see the Kings of Old go out of the contest, but the beacons are continuing to look like a very strong contender for overall Champion.

The contest was only a tiny bit closer in the Drama/Action group, where Gandalf and the Balrog fell to the Charge of the Rohirrim. The wizard and his foe could only muster one third of the vote, so the horsemen charge on, into the Semi Final.

In the Tearjerker category, feelings not surprisingly ran high, and there was much discussion. Boromir’s death had many fans, who posted how this scene always makes them weep; but in the end, it was ‘You bow to no one’ which came out victorious, by a margin of 10%. Could the four humble hobbits at Minas Tirith be our future Grand Champion?

The closest battle was in the Laughter bracket, and I know many will be upset by this result: Pippin is out! His Second Breakfast, though it secured 48% of the vote, just could not overcome the Artoo and Threepio of Middleearth; Gimli and Legolas’s ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ scene goes on to the Semi Final.

So here’s how our Final Four pair up in the Semi Final:

‘Bow to no one’ vs Lighting the Beacons will surely be the closer of these two battles; how to choose between those two?! At the same time, how does one pick between a scene of humour and a sweeping, majestic battle scene? Tough calls indeed. But if you’re thinking, ‘I wish the decision had never come to me!’ and considering not voting in this round, let me urge you to reconsider… Because our good friends and sponsors Sideshow have given us an awesome prize to giveaway!

Every person who votes in the Semi Final will have the chance to enter to win a Balrog statue! He may not have made it to the Semi Final, but he could be making his way to your home; and he even comes complete with a mini Gandalf, so you can reenact their face-off to your heart’s content. Simply complete the voting survey and then, if you wish, fill in your details in the form at the end, and you’ll be in with a chance to win. And if you vote again in the Final, you can enter again! But let’s get through the Final Four first… Big thanks to Sideshow for such an amazing giveaway!

Don’t take too long over your choices; this round only goes until 10pm ET TOMORROW, Monday 13th April. Tune in to our facebook page at 10pm ET tomorrow night to watch our live results show! Which two scenes do you want to see facing off in the Final? YOU decide: VOTE NOW!

Click here to vote now in the Final Four.

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

12 hours left to vote in Middle-earth March Madness Elite Eight!

The Quarter Final of Middle-earth March Madness 2020 is now on; but it closes this evening! If you want your voice to be heard, don’t delay – vote now!

In the Elite Eight round, each of the four brackets has its final contest, before the victors go on to meet the winners of other categories. So there are four fights currently ongoing; two are very close, and two have fairly wide margins…

If you’re a lover of the Argonath, you should know that right now, the scene where the Fellowship sail past those mighty kings of old has only 30% against the Lighting of the Beacons scene. Likewise (and this one really surprises me!) the charge of the Rohirrim is currently trouncing Gandalf vs the Balrog, two thirds to one third. But a lot can change in a day! If you want to see the Argonath or Gandalf and the Balrog go through to the Semi Final, rally your troups and get them to VOTE!

Will it be Pippin or Gimli who comes out on top from the Laughter bracket? ‘Second Breakfast’ is in the lead just now, over ‘Would you like me to find you a box’ – but there are only 100 votes in it! The same margin stands between Boromir’s death and ‘You bow to no one’ – which of these two will turn the tide and sail on through to the Final Four?

Pippin with apple

A reminder of our Elite Eight pairings:

Tune in to our facebook page at 10pm ET TONIGHT to watch our live results show! But meanwhile, push for the result YOU want by sharing, tweeting, getting your friends involved, and voting!

Then come back here tomorrow morning to vote for the Final Four; and to find out about a very EXCITING GIVEAWAY we’ll be doing, for those who are joining in with March Madness this year! Love the Balrog? You’ll definitely want to stay tuned….

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

LOTR Production Team reveals secrets of Teaser Trailer

Click to watch on YouTube

On April 7, 2020 the senior members of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production team came together with fans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first teaser trailer of LOTR, an online-only digital video that broke all online download records.

This digital trailer, released on Apple Trailers, was responsible for 30% of all internet traffic upon release according to Akamai. It surpassed the Star Wars Episode 1 trailer, arguable the most hyped film in history, in downloads the first day and first week.

Prior to this trailer, fandom was seen as “Star Wars.” This validated fandom and a different way of marketing and appreciating what fandom can bring. It created a different perception of the power of fans.

Gordon Paddison, VP Marketing LOTR

Michael Pellerin describes watching the LOTR trailer with Chairman Roy Disney at Walt Disney Studios, the parent company of Miramax that actually let LOTR walk away to New Line Cinema. “He just went huh, wow, good on them. Disney would have made it a company film. This is more of a visionary thing.”

Richard Taylor tells a heartfelt story of offering a job to a professional make-up artist early on, which was respectfully declined. “We were turned down by almost everyone… but when the trailer came out, a number of people we had pursued actually wrote back to me!”

An early Cinefex advertisement soliciting resumes for Weta Digital c. 1999-2000

“What Michael did under Peter’s leadership was to unpack everything about everything, the whole process. In that trailer the world got to see the first thing that Weta Digital was doing. There was unbelievable groundbreaking stuff being done. It was all so beautifully unfolded for the world.”

Gordon Paddison was New Line Cinema’s VP of Digital Marketing who took a risk engaging with fan sites early on. “Nobody is doing anything bad, its just that they care! That’s how you develop a relationship that lasts 20 years. It comes down to passion. Fans are passionate and I was a champion of the fans, as was everyone on this chat and Peter. A strategy of love is the best you can have.”

“Star Trek had been taking legal action and shutting down fan sites for years. This was the beginning of embracing fandom and we developed a great relationship working with you guys [at]. This video changed the velocity & tone of the fan response.”

“Peter was so good at saying very early to the fans that this is not the definitive version of Lord of the Rings, this is my personal impression of what the films should be. It did a lot to right-set the filmmaker vision and set us on a journey that was really humble. “

I have a very in-depth trust in Peter. When he came to us that he wanted to do this trailer, there was no question that it was the right thing to do. I hadn’t seen a trailer like this, so I was surprised that there would be this level of reveal.”

Richard Taylor

Co-Producer Rick Porras describes the unique vision of this first teaser trailer, “What made it special was intercutting the old footage and seeing the filmmaker talk about it. Including Peter [in the video] really started something special.”

A big reveal is that the this teaser trailer actually includes footage of the original pitch package for studios to even make LOTR. Everything with Peter Jackson in a white shirt was part of the pitch package delivered to Miramax, New Line, and all other potential studios. New Line Cinema of course saw the vision and financed the films.

Sasha is a Weta artist who designed the Lord of the Rings logo and typefaces – who also pulled double duty as an orc on stilts.
Jed Brophy is the first actor ever shown officially from LOTR, on Nazgul horseback

“The fans were so engaged. Normally you can hide under a rock for a while. The fans were getting materials and putting them out. From my experience you don’t want to get into a fight with your core market. We had to feed them!” Gordon Paddison acknowledging the fourth estate of filmmaking – the fan community.

Gandalf’s shadow, sent secretly by Ian Mckellen, generated one of the first legal notices the studio sent to

Jed Brophy, in addition to playing many orc characters, was a horse rangler on the film and is actually in the teaser trailer as one of the nazgul nine. “It is a pretty incredible thing to see something you’ve done, which is just another day at work.”

Executive Producer Mark Ordesky was fully supportive of Peter & Gordon’s efforts releasing this teaser. “The best way is tell your own story before someone else tells it. What was genius about the trailer is Peter basically showed how he’s going to do things that you can’t possible imagine.”

“Think with hope, not with fear. I have come with answers.”

One of the fun tidbits revealed was that the ringer verse voice over was performed by Nick Tate, who has done everything from Jurassic Park to Spongebob. The Tolkienist was the first to reshare the discovery with fans!

Michael Pellerin expands on the Roy Disney story, confirming that LORD OF THE RINGS was indeed a Disney film at its inception because of the Miramax deal. Miramax was a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, and to this day Harvey Weinstein is credited as Executive Producer on LOTR.

“In April of 2000, I was in NYC in an audio recording session with Roy Disney, for a project I was finishing up with him. I had been counting down the days until the first LOTR online preview was to be released and it just happened to occur while we were in the studio. I tried to be as surreptitious as I could, waiting for the preview to drop on my laptop. But Roy could see I was obviously up to something — probably not having to do with our show. So he asked me what I was doing, and I fessed up to him that the first LOTR preview was about to appear online, and I couldn’t miss it. Instead of reprimanding me, Roy said we should all take a break from the session and watch it together — which we did. 

When it was over, Roy turned to me and was duly impressed. He said he thought Peter and New Line were really going to pull off what many felt was impossible — a motion picture of The Lord of the Rings – and that the project had found the right home, after all, with a director who was clearly a visionary. This was an amazing comment by a man whose progenitors founded the Walt Disney Company, and who himself was one of its chairmen. Especially in light of the fact that  Disney that was the parent company of Miramax, the studio that was originally producing Peter Jackson’s film version of LOTR, before it went into turnaround and ended up as a trilogy of films for New Line Cinema. Technically speaking, Peter Jackson’s LOTR was originally a Disney film, in its inception. So hearing Roy Disney express the same hope and feeling of excitement we all had watching that preview, felt like a sense of closure to a long journey that began in 1997, and was soon to make cinematic history.” wants to thank all the participants for engaging with the fans from those early days to now, 20 years later, in such a respectful and candid nature. THANK YOU Gordon Paddison, Richard Taylor, Jed Brophy, Mark Ordesky, Michael Pellerin, & Rick Porras for making the time to celebrate this record setting trailer release.

Watch the entire conversation as it streamed live here:

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, Other Crew, Richard Taylor, Rick Porras, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness Round Four: Elite Eight

Thanks to all the thousands of folks who voted in Round Three of Middle-earth March Madness 2020; we’re now down to the Elite Eight, ie the Quarter Finals! Some of you were able to tune in for our LIVE results show last night; if you want to catch up, you can watch that show here. Let’s take a look at some of those results…

The choices are, for many voters, getting harder as the contest goes on; and that was shown in the outcomes, with most match ups being closely fought. The widest margin was in the Scenic bracket, with Lighting of the Beacons beating the Fellowship’s first glimpse of Rivendell by taking 79% of the vote. This isn’t as big a majority as it had in the previous round (87% against the Witch King and his army leaving Minas Morgul), but it’s still a pretty decisive win; and I’m still backing the Beacons to go all the way to be this year’s Champion! Its Quarter Final contest, however, is a VERY tough one: it goes up against the Fellowship sailing past the Argonath, which beat out Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli running through Rohan by 72% to 28%. Beacons vs Argonath; how to choose between those two epic scenes? Which one will get YOUR vote?

Only one of the other duels in Round Three had a resulting margin of more than 15%: in the Drama/Action category, where once again we had two charges facing off. The Charge of the Rohirrim (on Pelennor Fields) was able to overcome Gandalf and Eomer’s dawn charge at Helm’s Deep by almost 1,000 votes, or by 62% to 38%. It goes on to meet a demon from the ancient world in the Elite Eight, Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog in Moria having defeated Eowyn’s vanquishing of the Witch King. Our panel last night had a long discussion of the varied merits of these two scenes; most in the chat room agreed that Eowyn’s victory is more powerful in the book (where her identity is unknown right to the last moment), whilst many thought that the rendering of the Balrog in PJ’s movie actually enhances what we read in Tolkien’s work. Whatever your opinion, it was the fiery foe who won in Round Three; though there were fewer than 300 votes in it.

The closest pairing in the Sweet Sixteen round was found in the Tearjerkers group; I suspect some people may have had to toss a coin to decide this one! We are indeed all looking for ‘some good in this world’ right now; but nonetheless, ‘You bow to no one’ snuck through, with only just over 100 votes between those two amazing scenes. Boromir is still hanging in there; or rather, he’s not, but his death is! The mighty warrior’s death scene took 54% of the vote, and thus defeated the Fellowship’s reaction to Gandalf’s fall in Moria. So in the Elite Eight of Tearjerkers we have to choose between Aragorn being moved by his comrade’s death, and Aragorn being moved by four hobbits who changed Middle-earth. Will you need to toss that coin again…?

Talking of tossing things – the Laughter bracket continues to be Pippin vs Gimli. Pippin’s ‘What about second breakfast?’ was victorious over Gimli’s ‘Toss me!’, but to our panel’s (and my!) surprise, Legolas’s ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’, beat Pippin’s ‘Where are we going?’ There were only about 600 votes between the contestants in both these match ups; and so our final in this category is Pippin’s second breakfast vs Gimli’s box.

Here’s how the Elite Eight shapes up – the final duels within each of our four categories:

Get those votes in! Voting in the Elite Eight round will close at 10pm ET Saturday 11th April. Click here to go to the survey – open now! We’ll have another LIVE results show starting at 10pm ET on Saturday evening, which you’ll find on our facebook page. The Semi Final will then kick off with a post here on the morning of Sunday 12th April, when we’ll be down to the last four…

Are any of your favourites still in with a chance? Are these some of the toughest choices you’ve ever faced?! Join in the fun and let us know your thoughts!

Click here to vote now in the Quarter Final.

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien

All-Star Panel Joins TORn Tuesday LIVE! 5pm PT / 8pm ET

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lord of the Rings internet teaser for The Lord of the Rings, we’ve put together an all-star line-up to join us LIVE for TORn Tuesday!

Join us on all our social channels at 5pm PT/8pm ET (All Timezones) as we welcome guests…

  • Mark Ordesky – Executive Producer
  • Richard Taylor – Creative Director Weta Workshop, VFX Supervisor
  • Gordon Paddison – VP Marketing, New Line Cinema
  • Jed Brophy – Actor, Snaga and Sharku
  • Rick Porras – Co-Producer
  • Michael Pellerin – Director The Appendices

Where to watch…

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Production, Richard Taylor, Studios

20 Years Ago Today, the LOTR Internet Trailer was Released and the World was Never the Same Again

It is hard to believe that 20 years ago today, we got our first collective tease at what would become the greatest film trilogy of all time. (Yea…I said it.)

Way back on March 31st, 2000 – New Line sent out an update for those folks subscribed to their newsletter…footage was going to be released officially on April 7th. (See our squee-worthy post from 2000)

The waiting game began. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, check out all of our headlines from that timeframe. The child-like exuberance of our staff in anticipation of the trailer was unmatched. One particular enthusiastic staffer – some guy named Calisuri – even kept a daily countdown that eventually went into an hourly countdown.

Then in the early hours of April 7th, the official website posted the trailer and our lifelong dream of seeing The Lord of the Rings on the big-screen become a reality. By the time Peter Jackson says ‘This is the time,’ and the screen fills with an army of Uruk-hai, we could barely contain our joy. The Ring Verse is read while Carmina Burana builds the tension, and we all couldn’t get enough of the magic. staff immediately went to work on our Frame by Frame analysis, and as you will see on that page, we kept updating for days and months afterwards.

The ‘internet trailer’ for Lord of the Rings became the most downloaded preview in history and holds a special place in film history as a result.

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios

Middle-earth March Madness Round Three: Sweet Sixteen

Round Two is closed, with around 5,000 votes placed, and it’s almost time to launch the Sweet Sixteen round in Middle-earth March Madness 2020; but before we do that, we need to take a look at the results in Round Two! As at the end of Round One, we hosted a LIVE results show, with a great panel of folks discussing the various battles and their outcomes. If you missed it, you can still watch that show here. Take a moment to check it out; and be sure to tune in for another results show when this current round ends on Wednesday 8th April. If you don’t have time to watch, then read on for a look back at Round Two now…

As ever, we start with the Tearjerkers bracket. In Round One this category contained the closest battle overall (Theoden’s death vs Pippin finding Merry on Pelennor Fields); but here in Round Two, there were fairly hefty wins in all four fights. The closest one was Sam’s ‘There’s some good in this world’ speech against the previously mentioned Theoden death scene; Sam was triumphant, with just over two thirds of the vote. The widest margin here was the Fellowship’s reaction to Gandalf’s fall in Moria vs Sam saying farewell to Frodo after Shelob’s sting (80% to 20%). Our panelists on the live show last night were all pointing out how it is the superb acting of Elijah Wood, Sean Astin et al in the scene of Gandalf’s fall, as they weep or sit in stunned disbelief, which really makes it. A possible contender to go all the way to become Champion? Maybe; but first it faces very tough competition, as it goes up against Boromir’s death scene. Round Three of this bracket surely contains some of the hardest choices; the other pairing is ‘You bow to no one’ against ‘There’s some good in this world’. As our panelists remarked, we’re all looking for good in this world right now; that scene for sure will be getting my vote!

Let’s look next at the Scenic bracket. The first pairing here was the lighting of the beacons vs the Witch King and his army leaving Minas Morgul. Lighting the beacons won by the biggest margin in any match up, taking 87% of the vote. This scene is surely a strong contender for overall Champion 2020? It gets my vote for certain (well, given that my favourite great hall of Moria scene went out in Round One. Still grieving; grumble grumble…)

The closest duel in this category was Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running through Rohan against Eowyn at Meduseld, gazing out across the land. Our live panel almost unanimously wanted Eowyn to win; but the running ‘boys’ took 700 more votes than the Shieldmaiden, so they go through to Round Three – where they face surely VERY tough competition from the sailing past the Argonath scene?

Laughter next: something we all need right now! As was remarked last night, this has now come down to a Pippin vs Gimli bracket. Pippin’s ‘What about second breakfast?’ defeated the scene where he and Merry welcome Aragorn, Gandalf and Gimli to Isengard; though it wasn’t the landslide I would have predicted, with second breakfast taking less than two thirds of the vote. The closest fight in the entire second round was between two Legolas/Gimli moments: ‘That still only counts as one!’ vs ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ To our panel’s surprise, ‘find you a box’ was victorious; but there were only just over 100 votes in it!

Last but by no means least, let’s consider the Drama/Action bracket. Having beaten Gandalf escaping on an eagle in Round One, Eowyn taking on the Witch King had another fairly easy victory this round, taking 80% of the vote against Gollum falling into the Cracks of Doom. Now she faces Gandalf and the Balrog in Round Three; will she have another easy win, or will that scene be stiffer competition?

Two charges faced off in this group: Gandalf and Eomer’s dawn charge beat Faramir’s charge, with almost three quarters of the vote. And alas, another of my personal favourites has fallen, to another charge: the Ents going to war was beaten easily (69% to 31%) by the charge of the Rohirrim.

Here’s the entire Round Three bracket:

Middle-earth March Madness 2020 - Round 3 - Sweet Sixteen

So now comes the Sweet Sixteen round! You have until 10pm ET Wednesday 8th April, to vote in this Round. Every vote counts; and the choices get harder as we move through the rounds. Click here to go to the survey and place your votes. Don’t forget to tune in to our LIVE results show starting at 10pm ET on Wednesday evening; as ever, you’ll be able to find that on our facebook page (and you can watch last night’s show here). As usual, results will also be posted here around 10am ET, on Thursday 9th in the morning; and then on to Round Four!

What are your predictions now for 2020’s Champion? Which pairings are the hardest choices? Share your thoughts on facebook, in the chat room or on the message boards. Onwards!

Click here to vote now in Round Three.

Posted in Calendar, Characters, Events, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Community, Tolkien