During San Diego Comic-Con 2023 this year our friends at Diamond Select Toys had several new collectibles for fans to contemplate getting when they are available for order. Two of those pieces were the awesome Gandalf the White Gallery Diorama, and the Aragorn Gallery Diorama. This is a new line of collectibles for the DST The Lord of the Rings line, with them both being around 9″ tall. You can order both right now via the DST site, with Gandalf coming in at $75 and shipping in quarter one of next year, and Aragorn coming in at $59, with him shipping in the back half of this year.
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!
August 4-6 saw LeakyCon happening in Chicago, and various cast members from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies were there. (LeakyCon fully supported SAG-AFTRA members appearing at the con, stating, ‘… we have removed direct reference to their projects that fall under TV/Theatrical Contracts so that they can continue to appear without promoting these projects.’) So the fun was able to go ahead – and staffer Entmaiden attended for TORn. Here’s her write up:
ELIJAH WOOD AND SEAN ASTIN AT LEAKYCON
Since 2009, LeakyCon has been a community-focused fan event that provides opportunities to celebrate magical movie franchises with creators, artists and fans. TORn staffer Entmaiden was able to attend this weekend’s event in Chicago. LeakyCon originated with a focus on the Harry Potter movie series, but recently the organizers invited cast members from The Lord of the Rings movies. Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Miranda Otto and Kiran Shah participated this year.
Entmaiden was delighted to attend the spotlight sessions with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin on Saturday. In support of the on-going strike by members of SAG/AFTRA actors and WGA writers, Elijah and Sean did not speak specifically about their filming experiences. While we might not have been able to explore the behind-the-scenes film stories, the spotlight sessions gave the audience a chance to learn how Elijah and Sean became actors, and uncover a couple secrets about their personalities. Some elements of the journey for both Elijah and Sean are well-known: both started acting very young, and their early acting experience helped prepare them for the enormous success of LOTR films.
It’s been 20+ years since the first film was released, and both Sean and Elijah have seen changes in their lives. Sean’s youngest daughter is about to turn 21 and he is NOT READY! He reflected on his own childhood, where even as the son of famous parents (Patty Duke and John Astin), Sean was able to play Little League like the other kids. His daughters also had to navigate childhood with a famous father, with the complication of social media. Did you know that Sean is a ferocious Monopoly player? He has a thorough understanding of the rules, and applies them rigorously. Sean takes no prisoners when it comes to Monopoly, and some friends and family members avoid playing with him!
While Sean was married with children when filming in New Zealand, Elijah was single. He recently revealed he has two children with long-time partner Mette-Marie Kongsved, a Danish film producer. He didn’t speak much about his children at LeakyCon, but he frequently referenced how his life has changed now he’s a father. But some of the things long-time fans know are the same: Elijah is still a massive music lover, and a big-time foodie. He even gave the fans tips about good frozen pizza, which he confessed to eating as often as he can.
Thanks to LeakyCon for inviting TORn, and for such a fun event!
As you saw at their booth during Comic-Con 2023, our friends at Diamond Select Toys have two new Deluxe Action figures up for pre-order. Fans can now add to their collections the loveable Samwise Gamgee, and Saruman the White. Both figures looked amazing in person! You can snag these individually for $29.99 or $59.98 as a set, with a release date of quarter 1 of next year. Check out our Middle-earth tour from Comic-Con to see all the goodies DST had at the show.
The folks at Mischief Management have just announced that Frodo Baggins himself, actor Elijah Wood will be joining Sean Astin and others at LeakyCon next month! Here’s the official press release:
FILM STAR ELIJAH WOOD JOINS LEAKYCON SPECIAL GUEST LINEUP
New York, NY (July 19, 2023) – Film star Elijah Wood has joined the special guest lineup for LeakyCon 2023, the fan convention celebrating fandom, fun, and some of our favorite magical worlds. LeakyCon 2023 will take place at McCormick Place South in Chicago, Illinois, August 4-6, 2023. Tickets are available now at LeakyCon.com
Wood will appear on panels and programming on Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5, as well as participate in autograph and photograph sessions with fans. A joint photograph session with Wood and Sean Astin is also available.
LeakyCon has also announced the addition of the Heroes’ Journey Pass ($625) which includes Friday and Saturday access to LeakyCon, a priority duo photograph session with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, a priority autograph session with Elijah Wood, a priority autograph session with Sean Astin, and guaranteed reserved seating in individual spotlight sessions with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin.
Wood joins fellow actors Sean Astin, Miranda Otto, Tom Felton, Sean Biggerstaff, Miltos Yerolemou, Ellie Darcey-Alden, Rohan Gotobed, James Payton, Chris Rankin, Stanislav Yanevski, Walles Hamonde, Kiran Shah, and Flick Miles, fandom creators Chanel Williams (TikTok: @chanwills0), Trey Beachum (Instagram: @iamblackharry), and Em Wallbank (Instagram: @emwallbank), and fandom podcasts Potterless, Pottercast, Mugglecast, and more.
LeakyCon stands in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. In coordination with SAG-AFTRA members appearing at LeakyCon, we have removed direct reference to their projects that fall under TV/Theatrical Contracts so that they can continue to appear without promoting these projects.
Actor Kiran Shah is joining Lord of the Rings cast mates Sean Astin and Miranda Otto at LeakyCon in Chicago this August. Here’s the official press release:
THE LORD OF THE RINGS ACTOR KIRAN SHAH JOINS LEAKYCON SPECIAL GUEST LINEUP
NEW YORK (June 13, 2023) – LeakyCon welcomes television and film veteran Kiran Shah to LeakyCon 2023, the fan convention celebrating magical worlds like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and more. LeakyCon 2023 will take place in Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, August 4-6, 2023.
Shah is best known for his roles in blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and many Star Wars films. Shah will appear on panels and programming on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6. He will also participate in autograph and photograph experiences with fans. Tickets are available now at LeakyCon.com.
Shah joins The Lord of the Rings actors Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee) and Miranda Otto (Éowyn), Harry Potter film actors Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood), Ellie Darcey-Alden (Young Lily Potter), Rohan Gotobed (Young Sirius Black), James Payton (Frank Longbottom), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), Stanislav Yanevski (Viktor Krum), Walles Hamonde (Auror), and Flick Miles (stunt double), fandom creators Chanel Williams (TikTok: @chanwills0), Trey Beachum (Instagram: @iamblackharry), and Em Wallbank (Instagram: @emwallbank), and fandom podcasts Potterless, Pottercast, Mugglecast, and more. Additional guests will be announced at a later date.
LeakyCon is a fan convention celebrating fandom, fun, and magic. From August 4-6, 2023 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, join some of the biggest fans, actors, and creators to celebrate the world’s most popular magical franchises. LeakyCon will feature panels, interviews, discussions, workshops, and more, all packed into an epic three-day weekend. LeakyCon is produced by Mischief Management.