Actor Bruce Hopkins, who played Gamling in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (and is a good friend to TORn), is 67 years young. To celebrate his recent birthday, he raised money for charity by doing something unusual: back flipping off a wharf, once for every year of his age.
Middle-earth fans will be aware of Hopkins’ drive and energy; back in 2017, he walked the 3000km Te Araroa trail, taking the ashes of his father and brother the length of New Zealand and back to their ancestral home, Stewart Island. That time, as with this latest endeavour, he was raising money for charity Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
As a grandfather himself, Hopkins is an ardent supporter of the charity. He’s also a keen swimmer who has spent much of his life in the water – but never before had he endeavoured to do quite so many back flips. To challenge himself even further, one in every ten of the flips was taken from 4m (c. 12 foot) above the water!
The men of Rohan are hardy stock, and our Gamling came through unscathed – apart from some bruising to his shins. Happy birthday Bruce, and congratulations on raising funds for such a worthy cause.
It’s been almost a year since The One Last Party, but we haven’t forgotten it, and we didn’t want Peter Jackson to think we’d forgotten about him either. As you may remember, one of the promises we made on the Indiegogo campaign was that we would send Peter a “thank you” card. To be exact, we said, “Your name will go on an EPIC ‘thank you’ card we will present or send to Peter Jackson, from fans everywhere, to express our appreciation for the immense effort he and his cast and crew have put into the epic journey of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.”
After the campaign ended, the TORn staff began brainstorming how to get all the names on one card – there were a lot of them! We decided to create a keepsake ‘Red Book’ for Peter. TORn staffer and designer, Mithril (Nancy Steinman), found a gorgeous leather journal and then designed and illustrated the interior pages and bound them into the book. Out of the 194 pages of the journal, 180 of them were the list of names!
Peter now has his journal, but we thought all of you deserved something to remember that fantastic night, too (besides your gift bags), so Mithril reached out with some questions to one of the party planners who was absolutely instrumental in making the party happen. Following is the interview with TORn Senior Staffer greendragon, and scroll down to see some photos of the journal and the party.
Feel like taking a 15 day journey through Middle-earth with the former commander of the armies of Rohan? Well now you can 🙂 Bruce is leading tours of Middle-earth for a local tour company, you can check out all the details on his Facebook page.