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November 04, 2002 - November 14, 2002

Thursday, November 14, 2002
Ian McKellen At SFU Report! - Xoanon @ 13:56 PST
Jennifer writes:

Just thought I'd pass on some comments about Sir Ian McKellan's appearance at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby British Columbia on November 13:

The SFU Film Society hosted a screening of Sir Ian McKellan's "Richard III" on campus on November 13. Sir Ian himself presided over the screening, giving a brief introduction to the play and hosting a question and answer period afterwards. The play itself was magnificent! One of the best screen adaptations of Shakespeare that I've seen! Sir Ian, in the title role, was superb.

The question & answer period, which went on about three-quarters of an hour longer than Sir Ian had originally promised, was lively and entertaining. Though most of the questions were in respect of "Richard III" a few folks couldn't resist asking their LOTR questions as well. I was particularly amused when a gentleman in the back asked if Sir Ian were ever annoyed that, having played such significant roles as Macbeth and Richard III, he is so often recognized as Magneto or Gandalf. Sir Ian's response? A laugh! He said he would never take a role he didn't see as significant and wouldn't star in a picture that he wouldn't want to be in the audience to watch. What a wise man!

Sir Ian impressed me as being incredibly personable, intelligent and well-read. Since the screening actually took place in a lecture hall, it was sometimes hard to remember that Sir Ian was not, in fact, a professor of English Literature! Peter Jackson could not have chosen a wiser man to bring Gandalf to life. (Even if Sir Ian hadn't read LOTR until after he'd been offered the role! Rest assured, he says he's since read the book and has fallen under its spell.)

The most incredible thing about the evening was how intimate it seemed. Though he was addressing hundreds of students and fans, it felt as though every question was answered directly to each person in the audience. I left with an even deeper respect for Sir Ian as an actor and as a human being... And he showed us his "nine" tattoo. What more could you ask for?

New Line Cinema hosts LOTR: FOTR Extended DVD marathon in L.A. - Xoanon @ 13:49 PST
From: Ringer Spy Wyvern

The Fans Converge

Well, there wasn’t any doubt that winning a ticket to the Extended DVD premiere in L.A. was a wonderful surprise. I found out about just four days beforehand via email. We were told to appear in costume in order to get our free DVD, and after getting out my Sam Gamgee costume I had been working on all year, and gathering up some of my artwork (just in case….you never know who you might meet at these events!) I quickly made plans to make the drive from San Francisco on Sunday and spend two nights at a friends apartment. Luck was on my side, as my best friend (with the scary Ringwraith costume left over from Halloween, lucky her!) happened to also win a ticket so I did not travel alone. We were both bubbling over with excitement and therefore the 7 hour trip went by quickly.

The morning of Nov. 11 we woke up at 6 and my makeup started. (Now I know how the actors feel somewhat, to get up early and get into a wig and get the feet done!) I was done a little before 9 and It was another 1 hour trip from the apartment to the Grove in Los Angeles proper. The Grove is a very large and beautiful shopping mall with an outdoor fountain. The line for this event was immediately obvious: there were fans dressed as Elves, wizards and other general fantasy-related characters. When we arrived there were about 50 fans already present in front of the grand Pacific theatre. I enjoyed meeting and talking to several people in line and we all took pictures of each other, and exchanged URLs and email addresses like the true geeks we are. We also enjoyed freaking the mundanes who walked by….

More fun than I ever expected to have: DVD Extras and Intermission

After a brief welcome from New Line staff, we were seated at around noon. The theatre was almost full when everyone had arrived. It was evident that many fans were not only film fans but longtime book fans as well. I noted a Radagast costume, a Goldberry costume, and an Eowyn costume which I found particularly impressive since The Two Towers had not even come out yet to use for reference!

The lights went down and the “Play All” feature was selected and we watched the DVD itself for the first half. So many, many features and extra goodies here, too many to mention in detail. The extras on this DVD are mostly devoted to showing how the film was made technically, from Visualization to Post-production. In terms of the technical /SFX videos, I thought I would not be interested in all of them but as it turned out, almost everything was fascinating. I really felt like I was given real insight into not only the making of this film but into the art of the filmmaking process as well. It was evident to me that LOTR:FOTR was a interesting combination of state of the art technology and good old Kiwi ingenuity.

My personal favorite was the Cast video. We get to hear Dominic do silly impressions of his fellow cast mates, hear about Sean Astin’s obsession with helicopter safety and in contrast, Sean Bean’s extreme fear of helicopters. Splinter injuries, insults, goofy outtakes and salmon curry… I seriously laughed my head off. The only thing I wanted was more….

My friend was one of the only Ringwraiths, and her face was invisible most of the time. She frightened children (like any self-respecting Nazgul would) and got interviewed by CBS during the intermission. I was surprised to be photographed and spoken to so often about my costume that I really didn’t get much of a break before we were moved to the next theatre for the Digital showing of the movie itself.

My Sam Costume wins the Costume Contest…. (see attached pictures)

The announcement of a Costume contest came as a complete surprise to me. There were really so many great costumes, I had actually never seen so many at an event. Beautiful elven gowns dominated, but there were several hobbits as well. There were at least three obvious Frodos, one of which was very good and was complete with rubber feet and cloth suspenders. My personal favorite was the Legolas costume I had seen earlier that spring, featuring a hand-made quiver and silver-decorated green suede tunic - I was certain it would win. First place DVD Boxed Gift set went to a Ringwraith: Black hooded, very tall, and quite scary. Two second place posters were given to the incredibly detailed Legolas and Frodo costumes. I took the other first prize award of the Boxed Collector's Gift set and was truly very surprised! I was told it was because the costume was so complete in terms of props: I did have a loaded pack with frying pan and elven rope on my back. So, I suppose that sometimes obsessions can really pay off!

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Extended DVD review

I can honestly say I’ve never been to a movie with a more exuberant audience. It’s true: we had all seen Fellowship about ten or more times…..but it didn’t matter. The fans recited dialogue, gasped, cheered, booed, and whistled. But things got really exciting when we saw the new footage!!!!!

In a P.J. interview on this DVD set, he explained that the theatrical version was simply kept to around 2 hours for practical reasons. His editing decisions for the shorter version was based on what he felt were the key elements: Basically, if it didn’t have to do with Frodo or the Ring or was vital to the explanation of the plot, it was cut. It became evident that this new version was actually the film the fans should have seen to begin with.

To sum up what we get in the extended version: We get character development. What would the Fellowship be without Gimli’s love for Galadriel, Sam’s spontaneous recitations, or Merry and Pippin’s enduring friendship. I didn’t think I could weep for Boromir more than the first time around….but this time, I did, because with the added dialogue his character is even more sympathetic. Some new footage concerning Hobbits at the beginning, a couple of funny one-liners, and spectacular added Lothlorien visuals round out a perfectly wonderful Fellowship of the Ring which didn’t feel too long at over three hours.

Sean Astin at L.A. Sunset Blvd. Virgin Megastore, November 12, 2002

Completely terrified that I would miss Sean’s appearance, I tore out of there as fast as my furry little bare feet would take me, Ringwraith in tow. We were given maps and instructions about how to get to the Virgin Megastore, which were luckily very clear for us out-of-towners. We drove to the store where we were placed in another line to wait for 12 midnight for the official release date. At this point, I was not only exhausted and hot from the wig but I was a nervous wreck as well…just about falling apart. Sean hadn’t arrived yet, we were told, but would soon and we would be herded over to the street side of the Bookstore for the signature line. I spoke to fans from Utah and Washington and just generally all over! We were soon given our DVDs one by one and directed out to the street. The line slowly grew and grew, my friend and I were one of the first in. Sean had finally arrived and the line started moving, only about 5 people at a time were allowed to enter. Security was rather tight, and no photography was allowed (darn!) There was a very calm and orderly mood to the room.

I had my Sam costume, Sam sketch and prints ready, and when I got in he greeted me very warmly. I couldn’t help but gasp at how much weight he had dropped since filming, he looked in great shape. He signed my artwork and complimented it, and accepted my art booklet, and looked at my costume (particularly my woolly feet) with pleasant surprise. New Line called for us both to stand for a photo of “The two Sams” which we were both happy to do, Sean indicating that I should put my foot up on the table so it would be in the picture. Overall Sean was friendly and had a genuine willingness to please. Outside I got the full report from several others as they exited the building. One woman was all aglow, stating that Sean had slowed down and spent more time with her, thumbing through the DVD booklet and chatting about one scene or another. As it turns out, Sean had seen the line and humbly assumed there were only eight people left in it, and therefore he was able to give more time. He had to be informed that the line indeed continued around the block…..

Special thanks are owed to New Line Cinema for organizing this event. It was so well-ordered and comfortable, and it really meant a lot to everyone to see the extended DVD on the big screen and in Digital as well! Also a big thanks to Sean Astin for taking the time so late at night away from his family to make the connection with Lord of the Rings fans. Never have fourteen hours of my life passed so swiftly…..and alas, it was over far too soon….

Review Of Tom Shippey Lecture In Chicago - Xoanon @ 13:36 PST
Martha writes:

Here's my review of the Tom Shippey lecture I attended in Chicago on 9 Nov 2002. My son who is taking a Tolkien class at Purdue University thought this was interesting, so I decided to pass it on.

The material for the lecture, "Trees, Chainsaws, and the Vision of Paradise in J.R.R. Tolkien," was drawn mostly from one of the chapters in Shippey's book "JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century." It was a rapid-fire lecture punctuated by quotes in Quenya and Old English (usually with translations) and anecdotes about the rivalries between the Oxford English language and literature faculty members.

Shippey began by describing Tolkien as a tree-hugger, who probably didn't really hug trees (that would have been too emotional for an Englishman), but who most likely DID "pat, stroke, and talk to" trees. He then spoke of some of the trees found in the Hobbit and LOTR - Old Man Willow, Mirkwood, mallorn-trees, etc. - examples of well-loved trees as well as those "you would not like to meet in a dark alley." In general, single trees are OK, but forests are dangerous. Here we also heard a bit about the "chainsaws" mentioned in the title of the event - see Book I Chap 6 of FOTR "The Old Forest" - and Shippey admitted that he himself is the owner of a chainsaw and an ax.

Next he explained how you cannot have a proper romance without a forest. (LOTR does fit, at least partially, Northrop Frye's definition of a romance where the characters are superior in degree to other men and to their environment.) Woods you get lost in and can't find your way out of. Woods where you can't see very far - where the sky, sun, and stars cannot be seen.

His first reference was to the woods in "The Faerie Queene", which he said no one reads anymore - most people only start it. Next he moved on to Shakespeare ("a writer of some talent" who could have been good, but he went off and became commercial). Shakespeare's fairy play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," has the enchanted forest where the characters keep wandering. Then he mentioned Milton's "Comus" where two brothers in search of their sister go astray in a forest. Details can be found in Shippey's book chapter titled "The Lord of the Rings (3): The Mythic Dimension" with sections on "Timeless poetry and true tradition" and "Three Shire-poets: Shakespeare, Milton, and ‘Anonymous.'

Next Shippey discussed hobbit poetry which is rather like paths in a forest - shifting all the time. He compared Bilbo's ‘Old Walking-Song' "Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet..." (sung when he leaves Gandalf and Bag End) to Frodo's ‘Walking-Song' which speaks of "weary feet" not "eager feet" (just before the hobbits first encounter with a Ringwraith) and then to Bilbo repeating the ‘Old Walking-Song' in Rivendell at the end of Book VI Chap 6 when he is dying and says "But I at last with weary feet Will turn towards the lighted inn, My evening-rest and sleep to meet." Each time the poem is adapted and its symbolic sense becomes clearer. The "Road is life, always followed, eagerly or wearily, but from which everyone in the end must turn aside, leaving it to others to follow." Later when Frodo is passing out of Middle-Earth he sings about taking the ‘hidden path' that leads out of the world.

Finally, Shippey moved on to Tolkien's personal myth which involved reaching earthly paradise. Neither the Elves nor the hobbits wanted to leave the tree-tangled Middle-Earth to go beyond the great Sea. Tolkien knew it was impossible to remain with the natural beauty of the trees AND to leave the woods to see the sun and stars again. So a compromise suggests that maybe trees can be found in "heaven" or in an earthly paradise (e.g. the Garden of Eden/Lothlorien). Then there was a lot of discussion about crossing rivers to get to paradise. In "Pearl" (most certainly by the anonymous poet who wrote "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" - Tolkien spent much of his life editing these two works) a father goes into an ‘arbour' to look for the pearl (his daughter) he has lost - and when he falls asleep, he finds himself in a strange land where his grief disappears, and where he sees his pearl on the other side of a river. In FOTR, the Fellowship crosses rivers to reach Lothlorien where their grief for Gandalf ‘disappears.' Again, lots more detail in "Author of the Century."

Miscellaneous comments during the Q/A period (most are elaborated upon in "Author of the Century"):

Those Elves who did not leave Middle-Earth and go beyond the Sea turned into parts of the landscape. In contrast, Tom Bombadil is an example of the landscape turning into a living being.

The victory at the end of LOTR is a temporary victory midst the long defeat. Humans cannot save themselves - they must be redeemed.

Although Tolkien wrote to a friend that "‘The Lord of the Rings' is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," it is superficially neither Catholic nor religious, nor Christian. Shippey: "There is almost no hint of any religious feeling at all in the characters or in their societies, not even where one would be most likely to expect it" e.g. no mention of churches, marriage ceremonies, etc.

Texas Ringers Moot - Tehanu @ 12:34 PST
Rasputin the Evil Balrog writes: "LOTR fans from all over Texas will be gathering this Saturday, 11/16, at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville, TX (just northwest of Houston). Look for folks handing out gold armbands just inside the front gate from 9:30am-10:00am.

"We'll spend the day at the Festival, then reconvene for a Pub Moot at the Alpenhaus Restaurant & Biergarten, 18450 I-45, at 8:30pm.

"Most folks from out-of-town are staying at the Homewood Suites in The Woodlands, 29813 I-45N. On Sunday morning, 11/17, at 10:00am, we'll gather at the hotel to watch the new Extended FOTR DVD together.

"Please visit Rings on the Range for more details. Everyone is welcome. Hope to see y'all there!"

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Lord of the Geeks - Xoanon @ 15:47 PST
Well, if there's a date we could pick to hold the mantle of 'International day of the Geek', November 12th should be it.

I've just returned from a short trip to the local Future Shop (think, Pep Boys without the Pep). I picked up the FOTR: Special Edition Gift Set, complete with Pillar of Kings bookends and my very own copy of the Fellowship. I also snagged Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and thought 'What would offend my girlfriend even more? Why if I bought Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace DVD and watched them all tonight!'

I thought I'd be the only Geek-boy in the place at 2 in the afternoon on a cloudy fall day here in Montreal, but much to my surprise I found myself at the counter behind 2 other people buying the DVD, and a quick glance to the cash line next to me and yet another 3 people picking it up!

When I got to the front of the line I asked the cashier if many people were picking up the DVD's today, her eyes buldged out and she moaned a 'yes, I ton'. That raised my spirits, go Canadian Geek Fandom!

Pick up your copy today, and remember, hug a jedi...they'll need it. [More]

Her Night Out - Xoanon @ 00:18 PST
Bonnie writes:

There is the spoiler about how The Two Towers opens.

Okay where do I start?

Mum and I arrive at the Playhouse an hour before curtain. Walk in with my bag of stuff for him to sign ect. Come in and see a big Silent Auction going on for the Playhouse. Lots of LOTR stuff. Signed posters, statues, DVD’s, shirts, and video’s all signed by Ian himself. I bid on a new Two Towers poster. My highest bid was $90, but by the end of the night I was outbid. Figures.

Anyway, mum and I go down to our seats. Front row I might add. Pretty sweet.

Come down the stage and see all these pairs of shoes on the stage. Odd. But oh well. Get settled in and everyone is starting to come. Full house, not a seat empty I suspect. Then I see on a little podium a Gandalf bobble head. LOL How cute.

Wait more then suddenly the light dims…. But you would think that Sir Ian would come on from backstage… oh no! LOL He comes running down the isle with a HUGE Union Jack Flag, wearing a ‘Frodo Lives’ cap, in a rain coat with sandals, and a green umbrella! LOL

He runs around a bit and then he comes down to front row and passes me! *squee!!!* Everyone is clapping and cheering and I’m just like ‘OMG! There he is! There is Ian McKellen! Gandalf!’

He starts the show by auctioning off the Frodo Lives cap… mum bid $125... The final bid was $200. Figures again. LOL

One of the offers was “A night in bed!” by some man… and then…. THEN! Ian leans over to me and asks what that man said, because everyone was clapping so loudly and he didn’t hear… I told him “A night in bed.” MEEP!!! LOL I just said that to Ian McKellen!!!

The show goes on and Ian performs beautifully. Really, this is one of the greatest actors of the 21st century. And man is he funny. I knew he had a great sense of humour before, but we were all rolling in the isles….

This was also a night to raise money for the Vancouver Playhouse and Ian then auctioned off the shoes he wore in the very end scene of X-Men. Some little kid in the 3rd row got them after his mother agreed to pay $200. Yikes!

Ian then takes some questions… I asked if I could get Orlando Bloom’s phone number… YES I REALLY DID! But unfortunately someone beat me too it. *sob* If he wanted to auction that off I would have gladly paid $1000 for it! *G*

Ian then did some Shakespeare… this man was made for Shakespeare, yes he was. Then he proceeds to tell us about some of his acting then he took more questions…

By this time I am in awe of this man. Damn! Gandalf is 4 feet in font of me. *thud* Then… then he pulls out the book. Not just any book, but a book that has been a major part of my life since I was 14. Lord of the Rings.

He then asks if he should read. *rolls eyes* If he didn’t I might scream. But luckily many people agreed with me.

Ian then proceeds to read the first few pages of “A Long Expected Party”. OMG!! He does this so beautifully. I feel the tears well up. Yep, I’m a loser people, I cry when Ian McKellen reads Tolkien.

Then, he reads the last few pages of “The Bridge of Kazad-dum.” OMG!!! It was so powerful… so enchanting. I was crying… and when Ian read Gandalf’s lines… that wasn’t Ian up on stage anymore, that was Gandalf with a shave. Honestly. I felt I got a live performance from Lord of the Rings. God. Just… *thud*

I have hear Ian McKellen read Tolkien and I can say that I am now blessed to have witnessed it. This will be one of the best memories that I have had.

During the show, Ian tells us that some of the X-Men 2 cast is here. Alan Cumming, who plays Nightcrawler was there, Ian said Piro was in the audience, and a man with claws… I have a feeling that Ian meant Hugh Jackman.

Someone asked if he was playing Dumbledore, but he said no, but Chris Lee was very eager to get the part.

By the end everyone was cheering and laughing, and when Ian left the stage he got a well deserved standing ovation. Taking his Union Jack flag, his raincoat, and his umbrella he leaves the same way he came in. On the way shaking my mums hand and saying ‘Thanks for being here.’ Meep.

Time for the reception.

Only the first six rows were in… *G* and I was one of them. Come in and see a lovely buffet and bar. Free everything. Yum. Lots of people come in.

Then Ian comes in. Smiling and laughing. This man has just put on a 2 hour show and he comes in shaking and saying ‘Thank you for coming’ to everyone.

He comes over to me and I almost faint. He shakes my hand and leaves to greet other people

I wasn’t worried. I knew I’d see him again later…. HOLY SHIT IAN MCKELLEN JUST SHOOK MY HAND!!! *thud*

Mum comes back from the bar, and we proceed to mill around. Met to nice young ladies who came all the way up from San Francisco. Wow… Mum and I just came over the 2nd Narrows Bridge. LOL

Alan Cummings comes in and gives Ian a big, big hug. I could hear Alan and he’s got such a delicious Scottish accent. Mmmmmm but not as nice as Billy Boyds. LOL

Mum and I mill over and Ian is by the buffet… I then get my moment….

It is official people. I cry when I meet celebrities. I cried when I met Elijah, why shouldn’t I cry when I meet Ian.

I just blubber about how he is Gandalf and takes my arm… rubs it, says thank you and there is no need to cry, and that I will enjoy the second movie even more.


Honestly I thought I would pass out. He then leaves quickly again…. I still have all the stuff I want him to sign, but never fear…. *G*

But here is the part that blew me away the most… Ian McKellen, Gandalf himself told us all how The Two Towers open.


The Two Towers starts off with a shot of the mountains.... then the camera comes in and you here this faint 'you shall not pass' and then the camera cuts into the mountain and the scene with Gandalf on the bridge fighting the Balrog, but instead of seeing Gandalf fall from above, the camera goes down with him and then you see Gandalf fight the Balrog!!! THAT IS HOW THE TWO TOWERS STARTS!!! *thudthudthudthud*

OMG!! I CANNOT WAIT! And I heard this from Sir Ian McKellen himself so unless PJ changed something at the last minute this is how the movie will begin.

After mum and I mill around…. And ton’s of people comment on my necklace. Thank you Daisy, it was a big hit.

I go over to meet Nightcrawler himself, Alan Cumming. He was very nice. I told him that I’ve seen pics of him in make-up and that he was gonna rock. He thanked me very graciously and I posed with him. *G* So nice.

People then start to horde around Ian for pictures and autographs. Poor guy, but he does it with a smile.

I asked him if he would sign all my stuff… (and I did have 9 things for him to sign) but he told me to come back later, but he promised he would sign it all, then he smiled and went back to others.

Mum and I mill around a bit and it starts getting late. I guess this is it.

I go over to Ian again for my things to get signed. He is still signing things for people. A woman kept buzzing around taking pics and stuff, and she whispers to me “Don’t worry I won’t let him leave until he signs all this for you.” I guess she was his agent or for McKellen.com or something.

I wait… and wait… FINALLY!!! *G*

I have all the pictures and books that want layer out on the table… and Ian rushes over to sign them all. He said thank you for putting the names of the other people he was signing for on the photos.

He then signs the very first copy or rather the very first Tolkien book I ever bought myself when I was 14... He even drew a little Gandalf toon. *G*

The I thank him for about the 400th time… *G* I show him my LOTR tattoo’s!!! EEEEE!!! He put his hand on his chest and said ‘You are really mad!’ In that delicious British accent… OMG!! LOL Elijah said I was crazy too!!!

Then my mum says that I’ve seen LOTR 32 times…. He just looks at me and says ‘Take it in steps dear and slow down.’ LOL Okies… But then he laughs… AND HE TWEAKS MY NOSE!!!! IAN MCKELLEN JUST TWEAKS MY NOSE AND SAYS ‘You’re a doll.’ *thudthudthudthudthud* And Now I can die happy… although I must meet Orli first.

Mum tells him that I am in love with Legolas… Ian just blinks, looks at me, smiles and says in such a matter of fact voice ‘Well who wouldn’t?’ *dies* Really, really makes me go ‘guh’. Mum and I also say we like Viggo and Karl. Ian smiles and says ‘Yes I really love Viggo, he’s great.’

Mum takes my pic with him… and yeah… OMG!!! I am just freaking at this point!!! Gandalf… in the flesh!!!

He tell me and my mum to enjoy the 2nd movie… yeah right… it’s already #1 on my list and I haven’t seen it yet. And that was that!!! EEEEEE!!!! I grab a few more pics of him and then we leave… Half the crowd has gone so I think it was ending.

OMG!!! I just met Sir Ian!!!! GANDALF HIMSELF!!!! *dies*

He really was one of the most sweetest, gracious, and charming men I have ever met. Down to earth but he also had this regal feeling about him. Really sweet. And he signed everything for me. That was special. He had every right to say no, but he did. He could have said no to anyone, but he did. He tried to meet and have a conversation with everyone in the room. He didn’t have to. For this he is one special guy who loves people. Really awesome. He did not let me down in the least. This night has been like a dream to me and I know that I will treasure this forever. Thank you Sir Ian.

I will have pictures of Sir Ian and myself tomorrow


Monday, November 11, 2002
Special Edition Screened In NZ - Xoanon @ 13:13 PST
Phillip writes:

Tonight (Monday NZ time) the theatrical screening of the extend FOTR took place at the Embassy in Wellington. This was a film screening - not digital.

It was not advertised and was shown as 'private' to the Friends of the Embassy. As a result the theatre was not full, but nearly all members of the group attended. The audience was a restrained 'establishment' one, and was not demonstrative. But nobody left (except for a steady flow - so to speak - to the toilets, especially just after the Mines) and everybody came out smiling.

I won't add to the reviews, except to say that for me it just about answered all my niggles from the theatrical release. Very, very happy. What I will comment on was the quality of the pictures. Absolutely superb except for a few editing marks that could have been avoided. If we were the only people to see the extended version on film stock, then I count myself extremely lucky. I just hope that eventually there will be opportunities for others to share that experience.

To be a bit controversial - I think Galadriel gained enormously from her extra screen time. I also understand why cinematically Arwen has to be in TTT. Funnily enough I found the ring changing its size to fit Isildur's finger very important in establishing the object with a will of its own. This, and the extra appearances of the lidless eye, are pieces of creative genius. Getting a sense of menace into those two things was NOT an easy ask, but it has been definitely achieved fully in the extended version.

Friday, November 08, 2002
Norwegian Line Party Madness! - Xoanon @ 11:48 PST
Vibeke Olason writes:

Concerning Hobbits …. (In Norway)

As you may have noticed by now, the Norwegian Line Party for TTT was something special. Here follows a brief report from “the inside”.

The line started to form as early as Monday 21 when Emil and Tom, who also were the first to line up for tickets for FOTR last year, showed up in front of the cinema. The news soon reached the rest of us, causing quite a panic. After all, Tolkien followers are not all students, some of us have jobs and families.

I had already decided to bring my Viking tents to sleep in, but since the line was to be moved to a nearby park on Friday 25, I wanted to wait for that to avoid having to put the tents up twice. So in the early morning of the 25, I said goodbye to the real world and joined the throng in Frognerparken. I was no 14 in the line, with 10 days of queuing ahead if me.

By Sunday the population of our village had grown to over 50, and the promoters of the camp had done their bit to make things as pleasant as possible. We now had toilets (named Mordor), a tent with heating (named Mount Doom), and also a tent with four computers with access to the internet (named Silmarills)

From Monday onwards there were daily Risk Tournaments, twice a day there would be a new chapter from the BBC Radio Play to listen to, and also different games to participate in.

The weather stayed favorable, with temperatures down to –7 C and a clear sky. By Thursday the number of people in the line had gone past 225, and the newly arrived had no longer any hope for tickets for the first screening, but still they kept coming.

Thursday and Friday night FOTR was shown on a big screen in the park, and Saturday night they decided to show the extended version, to wild cheers from the audience. It was quite magical to sit there under the stars, surrounded by trees. It made you feel as if you were actually inside the film, and could hear the rustling leaves of Lorien, or feel the cold winds of Caradras.

By Sunday the Park was inhabited with large numbers of Orcs and Elves, Rangers and Rohan Riders, Hobbits and Ents (rather young ones, judging from the size. I think perhaps the Entwives may be living in the neighborhood.) The most impressing were perhaps the two boys who had copied the elven Armour from “The last alliance”, helmets, shields and all.

On the morning of Monday of November 4, more than 600 persons lined up to march down to the ticket office of the cinema, and more joined in on the way there. I now have in my possession 4 tickets that say 18 des. 00.02 and 4 tickets that say 18 des. 20.00. And yes, I am going to see the film twice on the opening day.

In the 5 days that have passed since the ticket sales opened, more than 40.000 tickets have been sold here in Norway, equaling nearly 1% of our population.

I send along some pictures from our camp, featuring my daughter Erin/Eowyn and her friend Iris/Arwen, and some general pictures from the camp. More pictures are to be found at ringenesHerre.no (the Norwegian official web page) if you click on “Frognerparken 2002”, and then on “Bilder fra Frognerparken” in the yellow box on the right.

Yours sincerely

Vibeke Olason

Thursday, November 07, 2002
TTT Exhibit & Party Pics! - Xoanon @ 13:42 PST
Xoanon here with my photos and small report on the TTT exhibit and party we had last weekend in Toronto. A small group of LOTR nuts got together at the Playdium in Mississauga to shoot some aliens and have a beer or two (or three) and talk LOTR. Take a look at the pics!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Andy Serkis Talks Gollum! - Xoanon @ 14:40 PST
Ringer Spy OBI-WAN360 writes:

I visited the book launch at the Piccadilly Circus branch of Waterstones today to catch a glimpse of Gollum. Brian Sibley and Jude Fisher did a fantastic job of holding the Q and A on the movies and the new books, and really kept the kids attention. Then Andy Serkis arrived, and wow were we treated! Again he was excellent with the children from the two local schools and the adults alike. The high point of the event came when Brian skilfully tricked Andy into a demonstration of Gollum's voice, for the next minute or so Andy reeled off Gollum lines, FANTASTIC. The room went silent, and the voice, the voice, it was eerie.

I managed to track Andy down to a small corner on the 5th floor where he was being interviewed by numerous magazines. After a short wait I was able to meet him. He's a truly great person, very friendly. My signed copy of the Fellowship of the Ring from the Christopher Lee signing, now has an extra signature to keep it company. [More]

Monday, November 04, 2002
Tom Shippey News - Xoanon @ 17:51 PST
BagginsGirl writes:

I am a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA and I thought that I would pass along some information in case other fans around here wanted something interesting to go to without having to drive too far. ;) We have a Tolkien Society on campus and I have just received this latest information:

I'd like to remind you of the lecture this Tuesday, November 5 at 4:15 pm in the UGA Chapel: Thomas Shippey, noted Tolkien scholar and author of "J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century." Here is a link to the story in today's Athens Banner-Herald. [More]

Professor Shippey will also be at Barnes and Noble tonight at 8 pm to discuss and autograph his book.

Also, this Wednesday, November 6, 7 pm at Borders on Alps Rd: National Scottish Harp Champion Tracie Brown will perform "Music of Middle Earth" -- songs and tunes from and inspired by "The Lord of the Rings", and lead a Tolkien Trivia Contest (kid's and adult's divisions). She will also appear at 7 pm Thursday, November 7 at Borders in the Mall of Georgia.

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