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September 16, 1999 - September 22, 1999

News for Sep. 22, 1999

Contests Contests Contests galore.

9/22/99, 11:56 pm EST - Corvar

Well also in the best tradition of Hobbits we talked about the contests more than we acted on them. But we did meet the deadline we set for ourselves. They did get posted while it was still Bilbo and Frodo's birthday. Well depending on what timezone you live in. But you can read all about the contests here.

Hope you all enjoy, and while I know it is not possible, I hope you all win.

A big thanks to everyone who donated the wonderful stuff which we are giving out.
Houghton Mifflin the US distributors of Tolkien's work.
Toy Vault makers of wonderful Tolkien Action Figures.
AllPosters.com making great posters available to everyone.

DIF (not LOTR, but fun)

9/22/99, 6:06 pm EST - Xoanon

Well the cool dudes over at CHUD have this neat little item called DIF, Desert Island Flicks. What would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island? What films would you bring? Check out the results from an interesting group of people asked, yours truly included!

More on MEO

9/22/99, 3:43 pm EST - Xoanon

Well, when i spoke to Sierra's people yesterday they told me Middle-earth Online (MEO) is not cencelled, but in a restructuring mode. So I'm assuming that this report means they are hiring a new DEV team, read on:

In addition to cancelling Orcs - the entire Middle Earth Online development team was sacked yesterday. Sierra told them that their vision of how to impliment Tolkien's world wasn't "mainstream" enough to be profitable, and when they wouldn't bend, they sacked them all. The ex-Dev Team was going to have things in such as extremely limited magic usage, very few elves allowed (and you'd have to prove your roleplaying ability to play one) as the game was being made in the Fourth Age, and having it that if your character was killed (not just knocked out), he couldn't just be resurrected with a magic spell - permanant death. It all made sense, and the Dev Team listened constantly to Tolkien fan input and ideas, so it looks like if the new Middle-Earth isn't a hack and slash spellfest, it won't go any further than this one did.

This all remains extreemly shady, but I'm still looking into it.

Thanks to Collin W for the tip!

Remember The Spy Reports!

9/22/99, 11:54 am EST - Xoanon

Just a small reminder to all of you to alwys check The Spy Reports for the latest from the rumor mill. Send your stuff and you'll see your name on the site!

Enough of all this Sad Stuff! Contest Galore!

9/22/99, 11:07 am EST - Xoanon

TheOneRng.net Contest Galore!

In the true nature of all Hobbits we here at TheOneRing.net are giving away presents on a birthday! We are very happy to announce 3 big contests with amazing cool prizes!

Stay tuned later today for a link to the contest page. But for now, check out the prizes we have for you!

5 Posters

Donated by allposters.com

1 - Frodo and Sam with Gandalf and his HUGE sword
2 - Gandalf Frodo and Sam (Led Zep inspired)
3 - A collage of images from Tolkien (70's style)

Additionally we have two Houghton Mifflin promotional posters entitled

'J.R.R. Tolkien Countdown to the Millenium'

5 Books

Donated by Houghton Mifflin, The american distributor of Tolkien's work.

1 - Lord of the Rings One Volume Edition in tradepaper ISBN: 0-395-97468-2
1 - The Hobbit tradepaper with new art cover ISBN: 0-618-00221-9
1 - The Fellowship of the Ring tradepaper new art cover ISBN: 0-618-00222-7
1 - The Two Towers tradepaper new art cover ISDN: 0-618-00223-5
1 - Roverandom tradepaper mangled cover ISBN: 0-395-96799-0

10 Action Figures

Donated by ToyVault (www.ToyVault.com)

2 Gandalf In Hobbiton
2 Forest Balrogs
2 Frodo Of the Shire
2 Ugluk in His Cave and
1 Gollum
1 Gimli

What on Middle-earth is going on?!?!?!

9/22/99, 10:21 am EST - Xoanon


21 September 1999

Effective 22 September 1999, ICE will no longer be filling orders for Middle-earth products. Iron Crown Enterprises ("ICE") has ceased the production and sale of its Middle-earth series of games, puzzles, and posters.

After working together for 18 years, ICE and Tolkien Enterprises have agreed to part ways. Tolkien Enterprises will be acquiring all of ICE's inventory and work product. As the licensor of Middle-earth games and the forthcoming motion picture series, they will be reorganizing and reorienting the program. ICE will be assisting them to make sure that there is a smooth transition.


ICE has been publishing officially licensed adventure maps and games based J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since 1982. We have enjoyed producing the line, and in the process working with some of the world's most inspiring literature. The research, cartography, art conception, game design, and story-telling have all involved creative, exhausting, and exhilarating work. (I, for one, have enjoyed creating lots of maps.) It has been a labor of love, and we are proud of our legacy.

The gaming public has received our work with enthusiasm. ICE's Middle-earth Role Playing Game has appeared in 13 languages. It is the second best selling role playing game of all time. ICE has sold over two and half million units of MERP and its many fine supplements. Our Middle-earth Collectible Card Game has appeared in 8 languages. It contains around 1,700 distinct images, and has generated sales of around two hundred million cards. The Lord of Rings Adventure Game and The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame are both critically acclaimed, family-oriented entertainment.


ICE will now be focusing its energies on its own, original game brands. We will be concentrating on revising and updating Rolemaster, Silent Death, and our parlor products (e.g., Fluxx), while at the same time preparing new products now in the development pipeline (e.g., Bladestorm and Space Master).

Middle-earth will now be in different hands. We are sure, though, that Professor Tolkien's world will continue to receive the care and respect that it deserves. As for specifics, however, you will have to await further information. In the meantime, please do not contact us with questions and concerns. You should instead direct your inquiries (via mail) to the following address:

Director of Licensing
2600 Tenth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

We will, of course, try keep you posted regarding any future announcement concerning the evolution of the Middle-earth publishing program. ICE will let you know new information as it becomes available.

For ICE,

Pete Fenlon


Happy Birthday!!

9/22/99, 9:22 am EST - Xoanon

Good times! Today as you all know is September 22, an important day in Middle-earth. Today is Bilbo and Frodo's birthdays!

While out here in the real world today is also an important day. A year ago today it was announced that this film was actually going to become a reality, so rumor has it that something else big might happen today. Ringers all over the world are holding their collective breath to hear something from PJ.

I say, enjoy today and when things are announced, you'll hear about it soon enough. :)

News for Sep. 21, 1999

About this Whole Sierra Thing

9/21/99, 3:49 pm EST - Xoanon

Well it's official, I just got off the phone with my contact at Sierra who wants to remail nameless. ORCS: Revenge of the Ancients is dead, no chance of any sort of comeback, moreover MEO is being 'restructured' as we speak, with a whole new team taking it over.

I was to scream 'SIERRA SUCKS!!' I want to say 'YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!' as I'm sure many of you do. But the truth of the matter is, Sierra is not to blame.

As much as we'd like to think that the folks at Sierra were a small bunch of cool dudes who liked to play video games it's not true. They are, in fact, a company like all others. And they are owned by someone else, like so many other companies. Sierra is owned by 'Havas Interactive', which in turn is owned by 'Vivendi' a french company which is the 64 th biggest company in the world.

Do you think any of them know or even care about this game? No. Do you think they care that people like John Race and his Berkley team made this game their blood, sweat and tears for months now? No. And in reality do you blame them?

It's all about money here folks, Sierra obviously wasn't paying the bills so CHOP CHOP CHOP! And they decided that ORCS, an LOTR inspired game would not catch the video gamers eye. Forget the fact that the films, due out in the next few years will be the biggest thing EVER, forget the fact that it'll beat Star Wars, Titanic AND Jaws.

They don't see that far ahead, or maybe they do but they STILL think ORCS wouldn't have been a moneymaker.

Shame on them for not taking the risk.

As for John Race and his team, they apparently are not one of the 105 people being fired. They will be moved to other tasks, if they are willing. I heard that at this very moment they are out getting drunk, good, stick Vivendi with the tab, they obviosuly have the money to pay for it now.

ORCS Cancelled?

9/21/99, 3:17 pm EST - Xoanon

Xoanon here,

I will try to find more about this, right now this is what I recieved:

Sierra Cancels Babylon 5 And More in Reorganization

On the heels of another reorganization, Sierra On-Line has elected to cancel several titles it claims did not meet its success criteria. Cancelled titles include Desert Fighters and Pro Pilot Paradise at the company's Dynamix studio, Babylon 5, a project of Sierra Studios, and Orcs: Revenge of the Ancient. The product cancellations will result in the loss of 105 jobs.

The company today also announced a reorganization into three business units: Core Games, Casual Entertainment and Home Productivity. This new structure is effective immediately. Core Games features several renowned development teams including Impressions Games, Papyrus, Sierra's Northwest studio and the Tribes team. In addition to Valve, other third party relationships include Relic and Massive Entertainment. Core Games will focus on strategy, action, RPG and adventure games.

Casual Entertainment includes the Hoyle line, the Trophy Bass Fishing series, Professional Bull Rider, the Field and Stream Hunting series, the 3D Ultra series, Austin Powers: Operation Trivia and other similar titles. This group has a 26 percent share of the casual entertainment business. Home and Productivity will publish titles for gardening, home design, home publishing, family heritage, digital imaging and web page design.

From: The Adrenaline Vault

Thanks to Hastur for the tip

'Making Of' Being Filmed Right Now

9/21/99, 3:04 pm EST - Xoanon

Xoanon here,

Cool news has reached me today from the heavens beyond. A contact on the 'inside' gave me a cool tibit of news concerning the 'Making Of' film. When I asked him/her/it/they if he/she/it/they have seen any cameras aroud shooting pre-production stuff, he/she/it/they said that they certainly are!

More was gleamed from my contact, but it is of such a fragile topic I cannot say, but will speak of soon!

News for Sep. 20, 1999

McKellen opens up 'Grey Book'!

9/20/99, 12:02 pm EST - Xoanon

The good folks over at Sir Ian McKellen's official site have opened up a section called 'Grey Book'. It's apparently going to be filled with Ian's thoughts through the process of filming LOTR!

20 August 1999

There is a general assumption that the main professional concern of actors is the parts they play. That is not true of this actor.

To begin with I have never had a hit-list of characters whom I wanted to play. A friend has always wanted to play Abraham Lincoln - but "Where?" I ask him, and "Who will write your words?" I have played some celebrated men like Lawrence of Arabia ( in "Ross" 1970), King Edward II (1969-70), and Adolf Hitler ("Countdown to War" 1980), but my authors were Terrence Rattigan, Christopher Marlowe, and Hitler himself (I used only the Fuehrer's own words translated into English naturich.)

I have landed on some of the most fulfilling parts by accident. It was a chance meeting with an old friend, as I puzzled what to cast myself in at the Royal National Theatre in 1990 that introduced me to the idea of playing Richard III. Before we talked it had never crossed my mind to challenge the great Richards of recent years.

It's rather that I invariably look at the job as a whole - who will direct, who will be cast, how long will it take,do I want to work in Leeds (or Toronto or now Wellington). So with "The Lord of the Rings," the whole venture across three movies and across the magical landscape of New Zealand, is as invigorating as the opportunity to embody a legend.

If it weren't the director of "Heavenly Creatures" in control, with a strong vision of all those precise, quirky, majestic locations, I should not much look forward to a full year away from my home in London. But Peter Jackson's designs, script and his unshowy dedication to the task are irresistible. Had I been unable to play Gandalf (because of an encroaching "X-Men" schedule), I should have hoped for another less time-consuming part later in the trilogy.

I am aware of the high expectations of Tolkein's fans - like myself. But, never having imagined that I would ever play any sort of wizard, I am ill-prepared. I just worked with a witch, however, a white one, whose spells are formidable. Her energy is impressive. I shall have to come to understand the nature of Gandalf's energy - what keeps him going. What keeps any of us going?

A big project. I wish them luck when "The Lord of the Rings" starts shooting (without me) in October 1999."

Visit the great site here.

SFX Guys Speak at Conference

9/20/99, 9:40 am EST - Xoanon

Tehanu ran across this and thought it would be interesting. On November 18 - 20th in Wellington, two SFX guys doing work on LOTR will speak at SPADA TV and Film Arts conference.

Mark Stetson, SFX guy who did 5th Element and Ghostbusters

Alex Funke, who is a miniatures DP (Director of Photography?)

If ANYONE is going to this conference (which apparently costs 625$ to attend) please contact me! You'll be my new best friend!

News for Sep. 19, 1999

Weekly Update

9/19/99, 10:40 pm EST - Calisuri

Check out Chapter 12 of Xoanon's Rants with storyboard images provided by our new resident artist, Mia!

Thanks to Roger Sorenson for this weeks poll! Check out the old polls here, and submit your poll questions to me at calisuri@theonering.net.

As always, fan art has been updated with some great images.

Look for a Green Books update this wednesday.

ILM to do Rivendell?

9/19/99, 10:20 pm EST - Xoanon

Well Rivendell is just an example, but listen to what my good buddies at TheForce.net just handed over to me.

Is it possible for ILM to work on the upcoming Lord of the Rings trilogy and the mega sequel-prequel Episode II? We think this seems like too much to bite off at once, and it seems like the heads at ILM agree. The Tuesday Bagel Bandit checks in with this message:

Most everyone over at ILM says that currently they are not signed to work on Lord of the Rings and are also not actively bidding to get a piece of it. Seems it would be too huge a job to do especially considering that the schedule for LOTR runs concurrent with SW2.
Some of the current ILM projects include Rocky & Bullwinkle, Galaxy Quest, Space Cowboys, Sleepy Hollow, The Perfect Storm, and coming soon Mission to Mars and Episode II. Doing LOTR at this point would be possible, but HIGHLY unlikely.

So does anyone have any knowledge of this? Do any of you dudes at ILM come here? If you do, drop me a line! (I have a few 'Han's hand going through Jabba' questions for you as well)

Tehanu Returns to Hobbiton!

9/19/99, 9:17 pm EST - Xoanon

The mysterious Tehanu has taken human form once more and has ventured out to the Hobbiton set. This time she brings along photos of the very front gate that Elijah, Billy, Sean and Dominick will call home, for a short while anyways!

Check it out here. for more photos click on over to The Spy Reports and The News Archives in the 'TheOneRing.net' section on the nav bar!

More on Bree.

9/19/99, 5:48 pm EST - Tehanu

Active Tolkien fan Mortimus had a look and sent in this description of the Bree set:

I saw Bree yesterday and it looked awesome. The set is wooden, extended onto old 2-storeyed army barracks (the site is a decomissioned fort in Seatoun) - about 30-40 metres long, basically forming a graded alleyway or small section of street with 'frontages on either side. Shingled roofs, small windows, an arched doorway which looks to actually lead into the real entrance of the building behind it, and some steps leading up to this. No signage though. The odd thing is that there are residential houses next door and a public walking track overlooking this (the set is at the foot of a hill), so for the moment it's been quite easy to get a look at what's going on there - I imagine this will be closed pretty soon though!

OK, excellent work! Wonder what the neighbours are going to make of all that!

Building Bree?

9/19/99, 3:05 pm EST - Tehanu

An alert fan saw a quick item on TV1 news to the effect that a film-set medieval village scene was being built in the hilly suburb of Seatoun, one of the suburbs next to where Peter Jackson has his studios. "With nobody admitting anything, TV1 thought it might be for LOTR!" said my informant.
Somebody down there, go have a look, would you?

News for Sep. 18, 1999

Spy Report Madness

9/18/99, 11:05 am EST - Xoanon

Dwane's back! And he's been busy, check out what he's got in The Spy Reports.

Want to see your name and bit of news? Email it to Dwane!

Click here to send Dwane some news

"Win a Trip to Middle-Earth" Sweepstakes

9/18/99, 10:50 am EST - Calisuri

This is the Official contest folks! Follow this link for the official rules:

"Win a Trip to Middle-Earth" Sweepstakes

We wanted to bring it to your attention again before the deadline is upon us! Get your entries in by October 31st!

Thanks to Corvar for slaving over a keyboard to get the rules to you!

Martinez's article gets Tehanu thinking...

9/18/99, 10:48 am EST - Calisuri

Tehanu here -

"Michael Martinez's wonderful article got me thinking more about New Zealand as a film location. He made some good guesses and I can add further to them....Check out "Non-industrial Light and Magic" in "NZ Exclusives."

News for Sep. 17, 1999

Michael Martinez Article

9/17/99, 9:41 am EST - Xoanon

Michael Martinez has written another article for 'Suite101' called 'Hey Guys How's The Weather Down There?'. Interesting read, check it out.

I don't think we'll be seeing the Elves of Lorien offering the surviving members of the Fellowship vials filled with Elven sunblock, but Jackson's makeup and special effects people will have to take the sunblock into account...

For the rest of the article, click here.

News for Sep. 16, 1999

John Race Chat Log

9/16/99, 11:53 pm EST - Xoanon

Last nights chat was with the cool folks at Sierra, working hard on the LOTR inspired game ORCS: Revenge of the Ancients. They were a great bunch of guys and gals.

Apparently they stayed later on after the chat was over and had an open mic session with the good folks hanging around at Barliman's!

Click here for the log of the chat.

Fab new items in the Green Books!

9/16/99, 9:21 pm EST - Quickbeam

Greetings-- Quickbeam here.

We have added tremendous new stuff to our Green Books section! Stop in and read a wonderful new column by Anwyn (woah, is she a deep thinker!) then sample from a HUGE plate of new Q & A's. Find out if Tolkien's Elves have pointy ears, if Saruman survived the Scouring of the Shire, and unravel what REALLY happened with Frodo and the Barrow Wight. Also, we dig into a new "Stump the Staff" query meant to challenge our best Tolkien acumen (but this time, I think we got it!).

And what's all this about Gollum Toothpaste? Lord of the Rings breakfast cereal?! Read my "Out on a Limb" column to find out.

Much too hasty,

Riders of Rohan Casting

9/16/99, 7:26 pm EST - Xoanon

Xoanon here,

This is rather cool, I'm picturing this as we speak, hundreds of horses and riders....drool...

A few moments ago there was an item on Radio New Zealand news stating that hundreds of riders and horses are being sought for LOTR. They want experienced riders, and horses over 15 hands (150 cm for the non-horse literate).

They are being sought for the Riders of Rohan. Auditions will start next weekend in Alexandra, and further auditions will take place in Queenstown and Oamaru. All these are in the south of New Zealand, so probably a good clue to the Rohan location.

Does anyone live in these areas! Please contact me!

(Thanks to Shayne P for the tip!)

The Official Cast and Crew list.

9/16/99, 6:55 pm EST - Tehanu

According to the editor of NZ's Onfilm magazine, Peter Jackson has promised to give him the full list of cast and crew for Onfilm to publish in the October 1st edition. We'll know a lot of the names before then, but if you're in NZ it might be good to buy a copy and have it for reference.

More Locations

9/16/99, 6:15 pm EST - Tehanu

'Scoop' news agency has identified another possible filming location. They say that some filming may take place west of Masterton. This would put it in an area of bush and hills overlooking the Wairarapa plains. Though Masterton is conveniently close to Wellington, Scoop believes that Peter Jackson may be living in a house in the area during filming.
Meanwhile, word from some South Island contacts gives the 5th of November as the start date for filming around Queenstown. Get your binoculars out, my hiking friends....

Hawke: Still in Negotiations

9/16/99, 3:04 pm EST - Xoanon

Well you heard it here many times. But the word out of Ethan's camp is, 'We're still negotiating'.

No word on Uma, I was told to call back within the week for a definative answer. In a slow news day...this is the stuff that makes the front page :)

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