Last September we shared with you the beautiful stamps and pins the good folks at NZ Post released, to celebrate twenty years since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was released. Now a stunning pair of coins is available, celebrating those towers (or at least one version of what Tolkien may have meant by his ‘Two Towers’ title!) Here’s what NZ Post’s press release tells us:
After 12 long months of eagerly anticipating part two of the trilogy, in late December 2002 fans were rewarded with the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. After the unbridled success of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, the second instalment had a tough act to follow. Nevertheless, the enthusiastic audiences for the sequel ensured it was not only the highest grossing film of that year but, at the time of its release, the third-highest grossing film of all time.
The principal photography for all three The Lord of the Rings films took place in New Zealand from 11 October 1999 to 22 December 2000. New Zealand’s mountains, rivers, forests, fields and plains all played a part, and vast studio sets stood in for the more fantastical environments required to build the world of Middle-earth. Weta Digital, the creator of visual effects for the trilogy, doubled its staff for the vast post-production requirements presented by The Two Towers, with challenges that included a large-scale battle scene and the digital rendering of a speaking character.
Thousands of everyday New Zealanders played a part in contributing to this film – from a stadium full of cricket spectators recording an Uruk-hai war cry, to local equestrians riding their horses as extras in the plains of Rohan. Most Kiwis will recognise at least one place as their New Zealand, whether it’s a favourite walking spot near their home or a family holiday destination. The Two Towers is part of a larger legacy left by the trilogy, which gave countless New Zealanders unique experiences, memories to cherish and stories to tell for generations to come.
Minted from 0.999 silver, this set of coins features each of the towers alluded to in the film’s title – Orthanc, the stronghold of evil wizard Saruman, and Barad-dur, where the spirit of the Dark Lord Sauron resides. The coins have a black proof finish and selective colour highlights the detail of Sacha Lees’ artwork.
Set of two silver coins Features the two towers alluded to in the film’s title The obverse of each coin acknowledges New Zealand as the home of Middle- earth Designed by New Zealand artist Sacha Lees Each coin is minted from 1oz of 0.999 silver Low worldwide mintage of 499 sets Presented in an elegant display case with a certificate of authenticity.
Set of two brilliant uncirculated coins Features the two towers alluded to in the film’s title The obverse of each coin acknowledges New Zealand as the home of Middle- earth Designed by New Zealand artist Sacha Lees Low worldwide mintage of 1,000 sets Presented in a specially designed display pack.
As ever with NZ Post, these products are beautiful, and very collectible. The coins are available now on NZ Post’s website.
PureArts and Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products are partnering on a cool The Lord of the Rings project. The Mouth of Sauron will be the third character to get the 1:1 treatment by the folks over at PureArts. This awesome helm will be made of polyresin, including the lower part of the Mouth of Sauron’s face, LED lit base, black cloth hood, and a PureArts exclusive Mouth of Sauron Metal Necklace. This helmet will be limited to only 150 pieces, so fans should expect the supply to dry up quickly. Pre-orders for this open on March 9th at 1 PM EST, with the piece having a price tag of $749. You will have time to save, as this does not ship until Q1 of next year.
TORn staffer ImladrisRose was in attendance at Monday night’s performance: and it reminded her of all the very best things about the Tolkien fandom, and the joy it has brought us all. Here are her thoughts on the experience.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 21st Anniversary Concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine was at the helm, bringing Howard Shore’s incredible score to the packed house in Manhattan. Led by conductor Ludwig Wicki, Shore’s sweeping pieces, expertly performed by the Ukrainian ensemble, filled the concert chamber with pure magic as we were watching the film play out before us. Soloist Kaitlyn Lusk had quite the feat before her, but performed her piece with grace and ease. The Mastervoices Adult Choir sent chills through the theatre on multiple occasions, whether it be in the halls of Khazad-dum or the Departure of Boromir. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and their shining stars brought us a deeply haunting experience through the fall of Gandalf, and with every moment they were given to shine.
The concert was a euphoric experience, one that will not soon be forgotten by anyone in attendance. Nothing compares to a live performance like this, seeing your favorite piece played out before you, feeling the synergy of the room. Uniting under one roof for a love of the arts and The Lord of the Rings…
I’ve been a part of this fandom since my mom “dragged” me to see Fellowship opening night. I was a ride or die Harry Potter fan and wasn’t willing to consider anything could impress me more. Let’s just say that I remember audibly gasping as the Fellowship rose over that mountain peak, the Fellowship theme triumphantly booming, and by that point in my first screening, I was obsessed (thanks mom!).
Twenty-one years later, my love of all things LOTR has taken me around the globe, launched my film career, given me an immense amount of opportunity and a community that I adore (looking at you, TORnSibs). I’ve seen the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of this fandom, and overall, Ringers are a group of excellent and admirable folks. With the recent release of a certain big Amazon show, I became disheartened by a lot of what I was seeing within our beloved fandom. As someone who spent many hours with my fellow staffers, moderating comments, it was causing me to lose that love and spark that I have felt for Ringers for 20 plus years. It shone a light on the underbelly of not just a fandom, but the world in general. LOTR has always been an escape from all of our societal nonsense, but this time period was a stark reminder that even within a community you love, there can be toxicity. I LOVE a good debate about anything and everything, but when things become about hate rather than discourse, your point is lost on me. In Middle-earth, all are welcome….
Monday night’s concert reminded me of why I love this fandom so much. It’s been probably ten years since I’ve been to a screening of Fellowship and this crowd was thrilled to be there! Not only would the audience erupt into cheers after hearing a favorite piece of the score performed (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much the entire score!) or after Lusk wrapped a solo, the crowd would literally go wild when a new character came onto the screen! So much so that at times you couldn’t hear the film or the orchestra!
A stand out for me was when members of the Fellowship arrived to the Council of Elrond. Aragorn received a 7/10 volume for cheers, Legolas 8/10, but Gimli received a full 10/10 in crowd reaction! My husband remarked that he was shocked Gimli got significantly more love than Legolas, to which I replied “Gimli has more substance and better dialogue!” To each their own. Fans next to my husband jumped at Bilbo lunging for the ring, and then commented that they had forgotten that part of the film. While next to me at the exact same point, a fan laughed and remarked that he always thought that part was funny. Two completely different reactions to a moment, but both existing in harmony with one another.
The majority of people there that night (I’m quite sure) have seen these films, read these books, countless times. Yet experiencing it together, as one unified group, made it seem somehow new again. The ambiance of the venue, the exquisitely performed film score, the fans reacting in utter joy and exuberance throughout… all of this made the evening a true night to remember… and I’m forever grateful.
Last September we brought you the exciting news of screenings of The Fellowship of the Ring, to be performed with live orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Time has flown by, and now those special performances are NEXT WEEK!
The good news is, two extra dates have been added; the shows are now Feb 6, 7, 8 and 9. It has also been announced that the orchestra for the performances will be the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine! AND there will be a post-concert talk, with conductor Maestro Wicki, each evening. For those of you lucky enough to be able to go, there are still some tickets available; click here to get yours!
AND – if you’re hoping to meet up with fellow fans, either before or after the concert, on Monday 6th Feb we have reserved the upstairs at McCarthy’s bar (46th and 6th). Go along before or after – the kitchen stays open until 2am! – head upstairs, and find your kindred spirits! (Or just spirits at a well stocked bar…) Have fun!
The amazing folks at Diamond Select Toys asked us if we would be interested in showing off some of their awesome figures as a preview. That was a quick yes, as their figures are very well done and are great collectibles for fans of Middle-earth.
If you went to, or watched, any coverage of Comic-Con from last summer, you would have seen the concepts of these two figures on display. Today, we’re pleased to share with you the final images for the new Boromir and Lurtz figures.
These figures are available for pre-order on Friday January 20th at the Diamond Select Toys website for $29.99 and you can expect to add these to your collections in the fall.
Our good friends at Sideshow were kind enough to send us one of the Iron Studios Cave Troll statues to review. This thing is massive, detailed, heavy, and has a real presence, especially for those doing the whole Balin’s Tomb scene. You can get this guy for $730 USD retail – but right now he is sold out through Sideshow. Keep an eye out on their site though, as it could come back in stock or the wait list may open up. We hope you enjoy the review and all the pics, showing off a very cool collectible.