Twenty years have passed since we all first visited Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle-earth; to celebrate the anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, our friends at NZ Post have released a very special coin. Here’s what they tell us about it:

NZ Post's twenty dollar coin, showing the nine companions, or members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The image is surrounded by dwarven runes; and in English, we can read 'The Fellowship of the Ring 20th Anniversary Twenty Dollars'. The coin is mostly silver in colour; behind the silver portraits of the Fellowship, New Zealand's mountains can be seen in blue and white, and a blue sky above them.

“20 years ago, on 19th Dec 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring premiered in Wellington, New Zealand nine days after the red carpet was first rolled out for the world premiere in London.

NZ Post will release a special coin featuring the members of the Fellowship:

“Nine Companions” coin

  • 5oz silver proof coin (Worldwide limited mintage: 300)
  • 1kg silver proof coin (Worldwide limited mintage: 100)
  • Minted from 0.999 silver, this coin features the nine characters who form the Fellowship in The Fellowship of the Ring. In the film, wizard Gandalf, men Boromir and Aragorn, elf Legolas, dwarf Gimli and hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin set out on a dangerous journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the One Ring can be destroyed to bring peace to Middle-earth. Behind the characters the coin shows a glimpse of the Misty Mountains (the South Island’s Southern Alps). Elvish text surrounds the central image, and the coin is finished with elegant gold plating on the rim. On the obverse, New Zealand is acknowledged as the home of Middle-earth with the fictional land’s name.

NZ Post is the exclusive issuer of New Zealand legal tender commemorative coins, in partnership with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The coins have been designed by New Zealand artist Sacha Lees. Lees began her artistic career with a job at Wētā Workshop working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy as an illustrator, airbrush artist, creature designer and concept artist. Sacha is a highly accomplished New Zealand artist, who last year won the prestigious Adam Portraiture Award and was the 2020 New Zealand Portrait Artist of the Year.”

Check out NZ Post’s ‘Unboxing’ video, below. These fabulous coins are a strictly limited edition, so don’t miss out!

At the start of August, we told you about NZ Post’s beautiful stamps which were being issued to celebrate 20 years since the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring movie. Now NZ Post have shared with us EXCLUSIVE news about their next new release – a set of commemorative coins. Here’s what they tell us:

Presentation case for the 'Fellowship' coins, featuring Sacha Lees' artwork of Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and holding three NZ Post coins: Frodo, Gandalf and Boromir.
Continue reading “20th Anniversary celebrations continue with NZ Post – EXCLUSIVE”

As we all know, this year is the 20th anniversary of the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, first in his Lord of the Rings film trilogy. To celebrate, New Zealand Post are bringing out some spectacular new stamps, with brand new artwork inspired by the movie – and we’re delighted to have an EXCLUSIVE first look for you here at TheOneRing.net. Fans will NOT want to miss adding these gorgeous works of art to any collection!

Here’s what our friends at NZ Post have to say:

Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE First Look – new NZ Post stamps”
The incredible 'Fantasy Film' section in WETA's 'Unleashed'
This is the Fantasy film section. Photo by Jason Dorday/Stuff

On December 15, 2020, WETA Workshop opened up Unleashed, a hybrid entertainment experience in Auckland that is part film set and part creative workshop. This project started as an idea about 3 years ago, but it was 18 months ago when they landed on the concept that would become Unleashed – A Fantastical Film FX Experience. WETA took over an entire floor at the SkyCity entertainment precinct in Auckland, at the foot of the Sky Tower. This finally gives WETA the space to grow and flesh out what they began with the WETA Cave and the Window on the Workshop experience they have in Wellington. 

The Health and Safety officer named Jeff, who greets visitors to the attraction - an otherworldly looking character.
Jeff, Health and Safety officer Photo by Sylvie Whinray

Upon entering, guests are greeted by Jeff, head of security and health and safety; who happens to be an animatronic character, voiced by Mark Hadlow, with 40 points of articulation. Guests will go on a 90-minute immersive journey, through several rooms that aren’t always what they appear to be. Jeff will get you started on your adventure to learn about the creation of three original films in the Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction genres. Each room will offer hands-on, interactive activities, such as sculpting, making armor, or tracing creatures. The concept is to show the creative process involved in filmmaking from the beginning through the final stages before release, and leave the guests inspired to take that creativity home with them.

Some sculpture work on display
Photo by Jason Dorday/Stuff

In addition to being a fun day tour experience for movie fans and tourists, this facility is big enough to be an event venue, a themed event venue at that: from small groups of 15 or more for things like Birthday or Anniversary parties, all the way up to large corporate or professional groups. There is room for receptions up to 700 people, or banquets of 300. And to add atmosphere, you can include an SFX make-up demo, hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and Middle-earth themed feasts. Makes one wonder if they will have space for some 20th anniversary partying next December…?

For details on where to find WETA Workshop Unleashed and all of their various tours and venue options, simply head over to WETA Workshop Unleashed

An incredible display at WETA Workshop Unleashed
Photo by Jason Dorday/Stuff

Welcome to part two of our tips for touring New Zealand as Middle-earth. In our first segment, we covered getting around NZ and the Top Ten Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit locations.

Today we’ll offer a few options for itineraries as well some helpful additional resources.

Continue reading “Can We Please Go There and Back Again? Touring New Zealand As Middle-earth (Part Two)”

Twenty years. On December 19, 2000, a young TheOneRing.net was abuzz with news of LotR Christmas parties, a new spy photo of four battle-ready hobbits, and the big one: New Line Cinema was starting the countdown clock. Only 365 sleeps until The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring would make its long-awaited debut.

At the time, we hoped that the movie could live up to crushingly high expectations; that we would be transported, live-action style, into Tolkien’s Middle-earth. What many of us did not appreciate, though, was the thorough gob-smacking we would experience through Aotearoa – how completely transporting, impossibly immersive, and mind-bendingly beautiful this remote archipelago of New Zealand could be.

Now here we are, on the cusp of 2021 and a series of 20th anniversaries for movies that have never faded in their grandeur and emotional impact (not to mention meme generation power).  And like Bilbo, pandemic or no, the heart stirs and we long to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains! And lakes, rivers, forests, fields, and fens. New Zealand is calling.

For the LotR-lover, this is mandatory bucket list territory. But did I mention remote? New Zealand is a long flight from literally everywhere. Even flying from Sydney to Auckland covers more than three hours and two time zones. One does not simply pop by.  That means you need a plan, aspiring Kiwi-connoisseur. And TORn is at your service, with some thoughts on must-see filming destinations, an example itinerary or two, and some resources that might prove useful, should 2021 prove kinder than this last year to those itching to get out into the World again.

Note: This is the first part of a two part series. In this portion, we will review getting around NZ and the Top Ten Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit locations.

Continue reading “Can We Please Go There and Back Again? Touring New Zealand As Middle-earth (Part One)”