Go back to Fan News Archives

July 01, 2002 - July 21, 2002

Sunday, July 21, 2002
The Other Change of Hobbit - Xoanon @ 23:23 PST
From: LegolasArcher

Yarrow, NikiiTook and I checked out a store in Berkeley, CA today called The Other Change of Hobbit at Shattuck by University Avenue.

Take a look at LegolasArcher's pics right here!

They have different publications of Lord of the Rings books including The Art of Lord of the Rings. Well we found more than just books. The attic office is called Shelob's Lair and the basement is called Khazad-dum. Here is more info at their website. http://www.dnai.com/~ochobbit/index.html

There is a whole LOTR FOTR doll set displayed at the counter collected from Burger King. Sorry not for sale. I rotated them around to capture all the characters. They have a cat (orc !) Shagrat. He does not know who named the cat after an Uruk Hai (or is it an orc), anyway but this cute cat has some tumor. Shagrat is undergoing chimo therapy. Will, the store manager, asks one dollar donation for all who enters the store. We do not think he is going to get too far with that. So if there are kind hearted LOTR/TORN followers out there who wish to help Shagrat get that needed chimo to zap his tumor, please do. Check out what the cat thinks at

After that we went to a game store and got some FOTR game cards, then off we went to Elmwood Theatre and met more fans and enjoyed a whole afternoon of the Fellowship of the Ring movie for the nth time.

Real Groovy To Have Midnight Release - Xoanon @ 14:06 PST
From: Real Groovy

I thought you might like to know that Real Groovy Wellington is also opening at Midnight for the release of the DVD and Video of The Fellowship Of The Ring. We will be having free giveaways, and a few lucky customers who buy the movie from us on the night will win fantastic collectable Lord Of The Rings prizes. Real Groovy has New Zealand's largest range of DVDs and we have been taking orders for The Lord Of The Rings since the start of the year. We have had many of the stars and the production crew shopping here over the last few years, and at this stage our store will feature in a documentary about The Two Towers focusing on Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan.

Friday, July 19, 2002
Viggo Booksigning Event In NYC Report - Xoanon @ 13:55 PST
The fans who opted NOT to attend the Poetry Reading at Housing Works on Crosby Street in Soho NY on Friday night (7/12) missed a very special treat, and a glimpse of a side of Viggo that is rarely seen. As there has already been several reports about the booksigning at the Robert Mann Gallery, I’m not going to expand much on that. I’m kind of an “old timer” at these Viggo events now, as this was my third time “meeting him”. All I can say is that it was a great experience, and everything that you hear about him is true, how personal he is with each fan, how he graciously answers questions and poses for photos. The gallery is quite small and there were less pieces than at Track 16 in Santa Monica, although there were some brand new ones, quite nice. After getting my books signed and finally getting my picture taken with Viggo like everyone else J, I stayed for a while at the gallery, admiring each piece at length. I then decided to head straight to Housing Works, to check the place out and see if people would already be in line (we had been warned that seating was limited, first come first serve basis).

I arrived at the bookstore around 2:15p and to my surprise there was no line at all. I sat in the café in the back of the store for some well deserved food and cold drinks. I was told by the staff that there would be no lining up in the street, and that they were going to set up for the reading soon. A nice bookstore, comfortable seats, food and drinks and air conditioning: this was definitely the best possible waiting conditions one could expect, so I decided to stay there until the reading started. All of the books at Housing Works are donated, and the sales go towards healthcare and support for homeless men, women and children with AIDS. Pretty soon some fans came arriving from the booksigning. I sat down with Melanie, a very nice lady from New Hampshire whom I had met while waiting at the Gallery in the morning, and her three wonderful children. We spent the afternoon chatting about Tolkien, the movie, Viggo and many other subjects. Time went by rapidly, the stage was set up in the back of the store, and we soon all had seats as close to the stage as we could manage (the first two rows were marked as “reserved”). As early as 6pm the place was pretty packed and buzzing with excitement – at this point it was standing room left only. We could see Pilar, Viggo’s publishing partner from Perceval Press, coming in regularly to update the store’s staff, presumably on Viggo’s whereabouts. The reading was to start at 7pm but for some obscure reason Viggo arrived fashionably late (probably due to the fact that he spent much more time at the booksigning than anticipated) around 7:30p. As he made his way through the crowd I told Sara, Melanie’s 10-year old adorable daughter: “here comes your boyfriend”, she turned around and he saw her as he passed, and recognizing her from the booksigning, smiled at her and said “hi sweetie” (or so I seem to recall). Sara was absolutely ecstatic! The evening started with a band -coincidentally named One Ring Zero- (no relation whatsoever J), very good musicians who played 4 songs. Then came a couple of writers who read from their work; both were funny and the audience enjoyed their performance. Last came Viggo, more relaxed than I ever saw him… Laughing at his own expense, poking fun at the audience and interacting with them. As someone in the back yelled “we can’t hear you” he replied with his typical self-deprecating humor “I can’t hear myself either. Which is probably just as well”, all the while smiling and laughing softly. He read many poems from Recent Forgeries and Coincidence of Memory, among them: “Clear”, “Ontario”, “Matinee”, “Edit”, “Fossils”.

At the audience’s request he read two of his Spanish-language poems, and all I can say is you can’t know the true meaning of the word “bliss” until you’ve heard Viggo read or speak in Spanish… He ended the reading with a poem from Coincidence of Memory entitled “First Light” which he dedicated to Henry and which brought tears to my eyes. Very powerful work. Check it out, and you may find yourself crying too! J

After this the musicians from One Ring Zero came back for another set of songs. They played a rendition of “Brazil”, and right after this, to everyone’s surprise Viggo jumped back on the stage, took the microphone and suggested they play Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. The band replied that HE should sing it! But he declined and just stayed in the back of the stage while they played, clapping and moving to the rhythm. Eventually he got off the stage, grabbed his poet friend Rene who was sitting in the first row, and led him into a happy dance. It was great to see Viggo so relaxed and happy, carefree, goofing around and obviously having a good time.

The poetry reading was definitely the highlight of my *Viggo experience* that day. He is a very special person – as I said many times before: he is a prince, and I can find no better ways to describe him.

Last but not least, the best thing about all of these events is the opportunity to meet other fans and make new friends. Melanie and her kids were wonderful, and so were the other people we spoke to. LOTR fans are the best!

Dominic Monaghan to be at San Diego ComiCon with Fan Club/Decipher! - Xoanon @ 08:40 PST
From: Decipher Msg Boards

Just to let you guys in on the news first, we have confirmed that the alter-ego of Meriadoc Brandybuck, one Dominic Monaghan will be with the Fan Club/Decipher at San Diego ComiCon!

The Con is a huge event and runs from August 1-4, with Decipher (the company that brings you The Lord of the Rings Fan Club, trading card game and roleplaying game!) holding a cornerstone booth in the LOTR Pavilion with others such as Games Workshop, Electronic Arts, Houghton-Mifflin, Sideshow and more!

The ever gracious and lots of fun Dominic will be with us on the Friday and Saturday, and will be holding free autographs and Q&A sessions each of those days!

Additionally, we are looking into giving first preference to card-carrying fan club members for a special "up close" event (more details to come),

And stay tuned for news about a Fan Club messageboard appearance by Dominic after the event (and after the poor guy has recovered!).

Exciting stuff! Look for the press release to be posted here and on decipher.com soon!

Justin Pakes
Director of Fan Services
Decipher Inc.

Sunday, July 14, 2002
Viggo Book Signing In NYC - Xoanon @ 14:44 PST

Ringer Spy Ecthelion writes: After having my train break down en route from Philadelphia to New York I arrived at Penn Station around 10:30 a.m. (an hour and a half later than planned). A brisk walk got me to Eleventh Ave. where I started to look for signs of lines, etc. to help me find the gallery. When I got to the address there was no line outside, so my spirits raised. I walked in to find a small lobby with an elevator (also empty) - which I got into and rode to the 10th floor. When the elevator doors opened pandemonium erupted. The first thing I saw was a large group of fans rapidly swing around and strain their necks, etc. to see if I was Viggo... I joined the back of the queue which was large and snaked around a corner. There were rumors as to how long the line actually was... some saying it snaked through many hallways, others saying that their were two lines that merged at one point. The latter turned out to be the case as many people had taken the stairs and a queue had gone down the stairwell. Apparently there were a number of disputes as to who should go in front of who where the lines merged - some of which I witnessed myself. Needless to say I don't think the gallery had anticipated the size of the crowd at all and there was no one present in an official way to help make decisions about the line. As a result it was very pushy, very tightly packed and very, very warm. I got in line at 11 a.m. and by noon I had only moved about 25 feet at which point I made it around a corner and discovered the entrance was at the end of the hallway. Two and a half hours later I stepped into the Robert Mann Gallery.

The wait was well worth it. Once I got inside the gallery I was struck at first by how small it was. I had expected a large space - at street level no less), but once I thought about it, you really don't need too much space to display 36 photos and paintings. I purchased a hardcover copy of "Signlanguage" - mainly because I was interested in some of the Lord of the Rings related photos it contained - and found myself $50 poorer. The book is wonderful though, with a rather long (and difficult!) introductory essay about Viggo's work as a painter, photographer and poet. The softcover was only $25, but I felt if I was having something signed I wanted it to be more durable. I'm very happy with my decision, and would have liked to purchase more of his books (they also had "Coincidence of Memory", "Recent Forgeries", and "Hole in the Sun"). My book bore the Smart Art Press imprint, which seems to suggest to me that Perceval hasn't printed any copies yet (or perhaps are only doing softcover, as their site seems to suggest). There was also Viggo's partner from Perceval Press in attendence, whose name I forget. The Press seems very interesting and has a great site at www.percevalpress.com!

After buying my book I joined a final que - this one the actual line to meet Viggo. It moved just a slowly as the hallway had, but at least I had the pictures lining the wall to amuse and inspire me as the time passed. Many people in the hall had grumbled about the wait, but it seems that complaints ceased once inside. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that all the people waiting inside the gallery could see Viggo and all the time he was spending with each person. I roughly gauged that he was taking 2-3 minutes with each fan (which doesn't seem like much until you consider that most celebrities just sign and keep looking down the line). Viggo also had snacks at the table because it had gotten so late and people had been standing so long... he kept insisting everyone take chocolates!

As I stood along the wall I had a chance to look over much of the work on display, although it was mostly photography there were a few paintings:

I also took a chance while standing in line to look over a price list for all of the works. Any pictures had been done in limited print runs of 25, and the prices ranged from $400 to $5000 dollars. The most expensive pieces were the paintings (all of which were unique items). The show was essentially already completely sold according to Deborah, one of the gallery people. I did learn later on though that pieces which were in the Singlanguage book, but not on display were available for viewing to interested buyers and that originals and by request prints could be done (originals prices were to be "about $5000" and prints "could probably be arranged for $1000 depending on the size Viggo would want for them"). The most popular photograph seemed to be a self portrait of Viggo titled "Later, Blue, 2000" which is in the upper right in the photo of mine below:

Then I finally got to meet the man himself. Viggo was relaxed looking, even though it was more than an hour after the signing was supposed to have ended. He was wearing a simple greenish-sweater type shirt and a simple pair of dark grey pants with some sneakers (also in a greyish color). He was clean shaven and his hair was cut shorter than in the films, but seemed to have grown longer than in other pictures I have seen of him. He started by asking my name and then beginning his signature, mainly because I was a little tongue-tied. However I did manage to ask him if he planned to doing prints for sale of any of his photography related to Lord of the Rings, and he kindly told me that I could talk to his partner at Perceval (again I've forgotten her name) about having anything specially done. I also asked a question of him and passed on a small postcard for another member of the Fan Club who couldn't make it to see him. He was very nice and seemed genuinely interested in my question. I would have asked more, but my sudden shyness and the slight discomfort (I just wasn't sure HOW to act!) - coupled with an overeager fan behind me meant that I just sort of said "Thank you for staying so late and thanks for signing my book". He smiled and said something along the lines of you're welcome and it's no trouble to stay. I remember that he called me by name, which seems like nothing again - but you have to consider how few celebrities even ask for you name, let alone remember it a few minutes later!

As I had come by myself I didn't get a photo with Viggo - I always feel somewhat uncomfortable being photographed with celebrities because I feel that they must tire of it. Next time I won't hesitate so much though, as I noticed he was really enjoying them - and also helping with some very special requests (kisses, hugs, even taking original Viggo Mortensen photographs of people standing by his paintings, etc.) I would love to have Viggo take a picture of me and hope he will next time I meet him (I do intend to ask)! His generally happiness to fufill requests was very refreshing - and led to a funny little episode. He agreed to take a picture of one pair of fans in front of a painting, but then couldn't figure out how their camera worked (I had to chuckle after I tried to snap a photo hastily - it a little blurry but good no less). I found it so ironic that the photographer would have so much trouble with a camera that was not his own!

There isn't really much more for me to say except that Viggo was one of the most pleasant celebrities I have ever met (easily on par with Sir Ian McKellan). Conclusion: Viggo Rocks!

Now for those who wish to drool, please direct your attention to a few photos I took of Viggo chatting with and signing for fans.

Viggo Book Signing In NYC - Xoanon @ 14:14 PST
From: laurelinthegolden Just got back from the Robert Mann Gallery opening of Viggo's work in NYC. It was a thrill to meet him and be able to view many of his works. Many of his fans had lined up 3 1/2 hrs. before hand (much to the consternation of some of gallery's employees)! and by the time 11:00 A.M. rolled around, the line was down 10 flights of stairs ( gallery was on the 10th floor). Viggo took the time to talk, have photos taken and personally autograph whatever the fans brought. Many left beautiful gifts to show their admiration. It was well worth the time, money and hassles of getting in and out of NYC to meet him!!

Thursday, July 11, 2002
Wellywood Is Full Of Stars - Xoanon @ 10:39 PST

Ringer Spy ~*~ Rochelle ~*~ was lucky enough to meet LOTR stars Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) and Karl Urban (Eomer) in Wellington recently.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Midwest TORN Gathering Coolness - Xoanon @ 13:28 PST
Donna writes: Several of us from the message boards are planning a TORN gathering. The gathering will be held outside of Dayton, Ohio at the British Isles Festival on July 20th. We will be meeting for lunch at 11:00am at the Aleing Knight Pub and then enjoy the festival together. Everyone is invited and we would love a HUGE turnout! For more information follow the link [More]

Tuesday, July 02, 2002
The Good News With The Bad - Xoanon @ 15:34 PST
From: The Lord of the Rings Fanclub

I am pleased to report that the 19-minute credit scroll of Charter Members names was so impressive that director Peter Jackson wanted to expand it by placing original scored music behind the names as they scroll on-screen. Members names are ordered alphabetically by last name and integrate seamlessly into the format and style of the rest of the production credits. (Just for your information, the scroll of Charter Members names is twice the length of the credit scroll for the films production team!) This exciting addition will certainly reflect the Charter Member name scroll as an important and integrated part of the films credits.

As always, there is a cost to making something bigger and better and this situation is no exception. The space needed to add a 19-minute musical score to the name scroll and the time required for Howard Shore to score and produce additional music -- means that neither space nor time was available to place the Charter Member name scroll on the first Theatrical Release DVD (due August 6th). When New Line Cinema and Jackson originally approved the project, neither realized these space/time constraints would occur. Everyone regrets this, but also promises that the final result will be far more impressive than first planned. As promised, the enhanced-format name scroll with music will appear on all domestic and international versions of the Special Expanded Edition DVD and the Collectors DVD Gift Set -- both due November 12th.

I know Charter Members were told their names would be included in all three DVDs. This may have been your primary motivation for joining the club early or pre-ordering the August DVD release from our online store. The Charter Member name scroll is certainly a distinction unlike any we have ever heard of in the world of property or film fandom. To this end, we want to provide the highest level of customer service and resolve this problem to your satisfaction.

If you pre-ordered the August DVD from the Fan Club online store and want to cancel your order, we will cancel your order promptly. If you would like to change your order from the August release to either of the enhanced versions due in November, we will handle your request with minimum hassle on your end. If you pre-ordered the August release DVD from another retailer and cannot cancel your order, send us the unopened DVD with your receipt and a copy of their no cancellation policy and we will refund the total purchase amount. If you have not yet pre-ordered a copy of the DVD, we hope you will place a pre-order soon to guarantee you receive a copy since this is certainly a distinction worth celebrating.

An explanation of the three different DVD sets and the unique features of each product follows if you want to revise the order you placed with us:

The first DVD is a two-disc set that contains the theatrical release of the film and a selection of special footage and features including: interviews with cast members; an exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of The Two Towers; and a sneak peek at the two DVD releases coming in November. Due August 6th for $US29.95. (Does not contain Charter Member name scroll.)

The Special Extended DVD Edition is a four-disc set that features Peter Jackson's unique cut of the film with more than 30 minutes of extra footage and a veritable Orcish army of special features. Among the special features are Jackson's commentary and two entire discs of original bonus features that explore the mystical world of Middle Earth. Due November 12th for $US39.99 ($35.99 for Fan Club members at the Fan Club store at www.lotrfanclub.com). (Guaranteed to contain Charter Member name scroll!)

The Collector's DVD Gift Set is the ultimate collectors set and contains the same four-disc set described above plus an additional disc featuring the National Geographic "Beyond The Movie" special. Packaged in an impressive Alan Lee illustrated box, this set also includes a set of Argonath bookends crafted by Sideshow/Weta and three alternate-image cards from the The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. Due November 12th for $US79.92 ($US71.92 for Fan Club members through the Fan Club store). (Guaranteed to contain Charter Member name scroll!)

I apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this may have caused you. To revise your pre-order please email dvdpreorder@lotrfanclub.com. If none of the options we propose adequately address your concerns, please contact our customer service department at help@lotrfanclub.com and we will work with you to reach a fair and equitable resolution to your complaint.

Monday, July 01, 2002
Ian McKellen At Gay Pride Parade Prt II - Xoanon @ 13:47 PST
Ringer Spies Aurelie, Emma and Karen sent in these pictures from Ian McKellen (Gandalf) at the gay pride parade in San Francisco take a look at the pics and read Emma's report!

Sir Ian seemed to have a fabulous time at the Pride Festival, and certainly he is a big crowd favorite. At the brunch on Saturday, he regaled those of us at the benefit with amusing stories, inspiring ideas, and quite kindly acquiesced to show us his tattoo! He was very gracious with all of those in attendance, both old friends and total strangers, and he and his co-celebrity grand marshall (Sharon Gless) were very entertaining.

In the parade itself on Sunday, you could see his car from a block away due to the HUGE Union Jack he was waving. And none of this sitting in his open car for Sir Ian--he stood the whole time, waving his flag, tipping his hat, and waving to well-wishers along the parade route.

His final appearance was at the main stage, where he retold the story of how a late night discussion with friends (including Armistead Maupin) helped him decide to come out in 1988. He looked and sounded like the weekend had been a great success for him, and certainly the crowd accepted him as one of their own.

Viggo Book Signing In NZ Report - Xoanon @ 13:11 PST
From: Tracy

Kia ora to all at TORN. I am finally back at my computer after my trip to Wellington, and the Green Parrot book signing with Viggo. He arrived barefooted and gave the waiting people a big, but slightly shy smile. As others have written, he is a quiet, friendly, charming man and we had a good all be it short chat.

I told him I had seen him interviewed as "Aragorn" fresh from filming (with torn sleeve and blood!) on the news on TV1 NZ on the friday evening and he asked "oh how was it?" I assured him it was fine and and great to hear any news about filming on TTT, as well as the book signing. He asked where I had come from and I told him I had flown up from Dunedin, he raised his beer and said "they make this there don't they!" He told me about the Guy the funds from the book sales are going to, I asked him how filming for TTT was going and he smiled and said "fine". I asked if he would sign a couple of extra things for me, and as you can see by the photos he said "sure". He wrote Kia ora in his book messages, which is a lovely New Zealand greeting, and he shook my hand and said thankyou as I left. All too soon it was over but I am glad I got to meet him even if it felt rushed and I didn't get to ask him more about his paintings and photos. There was a great atmosphere while we were waiting out side, lots of people yelling out of their car windows asking what we were waiting for! and a few interviews and photos were taken!!

The books are wonderful and the CD with 'Recent Forgeries' is amazing, and he even sings!

While I was in Wellington I went to see where Weta Studios is (among other sites), and walking along the road was Alan Lee and another guy. I was not quick enough to leap out of the taxi and say Hi!

The article about the book signing in the paper was great except that I didn't actually say the things that they wrote!!

Go back to Fan News Archives