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October 18, 2003 - October 24, 2003

10-24-03 Latest News

Writers reveal their Lord of the Rings on-set secrets
leo @ 5:26 pm EST

Brian Sibley and Jude Fisher, authors of official guides to the Lord of the Rings films, are to share their experiences of the blockbuster trilogy at the Science Museum in London.

The two authors will talk to film fans in the museum lecture theatre at 2pm on Saturday 8 November. A book signing will follow the event at 3pm in the Science Museum's Ottakar's bookshop.

The talk is just one of a series of events at the museum to accompany The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition.

Hundreds of props from the movies including models, armoury and costumes are on display alongside interactive computer demonstrations of the cutting-edge technology used to bring the story to life.

The family exhibition has opened before the final instalment of the film trilogy and the Science Museum is its only European host. Visitors also have a chance to see the first two films of the trilogy at the Science Museum's cinema.

Jude and Brian will share their experiences on the set of the three movies and of working with the cast and crew to create their books which include The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy (Sibley) and The Official Illustrated Movie Companion (Fisher).

The event is free, but tickets must be pre-booked on 020 7942 4739. (Maximum 2 per person.)

Writers reveal their Lord of the Rings on-set secrets
Tehanu @ 5:12 pm EST

Brian Sibley and Jude Fisher, authors of official guides to the Lord of the Rings films, are to share their experiences of the blockbuster trilogy at the Science Museum in London.

The two authors will talk to film fans in the museum lecture theatre at 2pm on Saturday 8 November. A book signing will follow the event at 3pm in the Science Museum's Ottakar's bookshop.

The talk is just one of a series of events at the museum to accompany The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition.

Hundreds of props from the movies including models, armoury and costumes are on display alongside interactive computer demonstrations of the cutting-edge technology used to bring the story to life.

The family exhibition has opened before the final instalment of the film trilogy and the Science Museum is its only European host. Visitors also have a chance to see the first two films of the trilogy at the Science Museum's cinema.

Jude and Brian will share their experiences on the set of the three movies and of working with the cast and crew to create their books which include The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy (Sibley) and The Official Illustrated Movie Companion (Fisher).

The event is free, but tickets must be pre-booked on 020 7942 4739. (Maximum 2 per person.)

So Who Really Forged Narsil?
leo @ 4:47 pm EST

A few weeks ago, after the trailer for The Return of the King appeared online, there was much discussion about who was the person that was forging Narsil. Was it Arwen? Figwit perhaps? Ringer Spy Valerya chimes in with what seems to be the final answer! SPOILERS!

My name is Valerya and I work at a mall bookstore, today when I got in to work they had in the back room 4 brand new ROTK books featuring all sorts of goodies, such as images and articles, with spoilers galore. As I was looking throught one of them called the ROTK visual companion, I noticed an article about narsil. There on the bottom of the page, were 2 different elves working on the sword. The caption says somthing to the effect of "Elven smiths reforging Narsil". The picture is also very clear, that it is neither Arwen nor Elrond nor is it Figwit. They are just 2 elves that I dont beleive appeared in the film as of yet.


SPOILER: On another page, I noticed a picture that appears to take place either right before or right after Elrond has given the sword to Aragorn. The setting was the same, in the same tent, but the picture was of Aragorn and ARWEN. Arwen was wearing a very beautiful gown, looked like a traveling gown tho. Looks like Arwen may be making an appearence at Pellanor maybe? Sorry, no images because I was not allowed to borrow the book before they go on sale Nov 5. Thanks!

10-23-03 Latest News

Richard Taylor in Italy!
Tehanu @ 7:21 pm EST

Robert writes, " The two-time Oscar winner will be in my country very soon. In fact, Taylor will be the special guest of Virtuality, an event dedicated to the special effects and to the 3D movies, which will occur in Turin between the 3 and 5 of november. Taylor will describe his work and answer the questions arriving from the audience, even by web surfers, who can connect at Virtuality Conference, on Monday Nov 3rd, starting from 10.30 Italian time.

"Other guests of the event are, among others, Digital Domain's Scott Ross, Pixel Liberation Front's Colin Green, PDI's Luca Prasso, ILM's Indira Guerrieri and Proxima's Paolo Zeccara."

10-22-03 Latest News

TORN Digital West: EXCLUSIVE Orlando Bloom Clip
Xoanon @ 10:09 pm EST

Orlando Bloom at the 'Hollywood Awards Gala'
Click for more images

[Click here for TORN DIGITAL XV featuring Orlando Bloom]

Greetings, Quickbeam here.

These days it seems we just can't get Orlando Bloom out of our hair.

He follows us into restaurants. He is always hanging around the back of the bus, thinking we don't notice him. But of course he's at Starbucks, every morning, hiding behind an old copy of the L.A. Times acting non-chalant. That's the price we pay being part of TORN -- always in demand in Hollywood -- we could wave a stick and hit 7 celebrities just begging to be on our videotape. And thus we have Mr. Bloom waiting for his chance! :)

All he really wants is to share the love with all you shiny, happy Ringer fans. So after months of this clandestine behavior (*giggle*), we just turned around and said, OK, fine... we'll interview you.

Sheesh. So we met up with him at the Hollywood Film Festival's gala awards night in the world famous Beverly Hilton Hotel. He wants to send his affection to everyone online? -- Well fine! Our amazing Director of Photography, Josh "Tan Pants" was sharp, awake, and ready to tape. Asfaloth was also there, greasing the publicity wheels with the other paparazzi and stamping her hooves every so often.

The event was star-studded to the max. Rushing past us without saying a word was the Hulk himself, Eric Bana. He doesn't care much about reaching out to his fans, eh? There goes Billy Bob Thornton. There's Ron Howard (the man who stole the Oscar from "Fellowship" boo HISS). We barely recognized him and then *blink* he was past us. Gone inside. We were standing on the very end of the red carpet, interviewing droves of Hollywood's great talents, pushing and wrestling for space surrounded by a cacophony of photographers and bulky microphones. Tinsel Town glamor! Flashing paparazzi! Soon we chatted up Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Tilly, director of "Almost Famous" Cameron Crowe, and Orlando's costar from "Pirates," Geoffrey Rush. The whole evening was a blast of energy, and none were so gracious with their time as Orlando Bloom. He immediately recognized me, shook hands and smiled, knowing it was his time to shine. Heh heh.

After many questions and delightful patter Orlando was ushered inside the ballroom by his impatient "handlers," even though he clearly wanted to stay longer. Then we noticed that everyone else was gone. All the celebrities had long since gone inside! Orlando was the very last one... Yes, it was a measure of how generous he was with his time, letting the awards ceremony start without him and staying put for our interview. Other news correspondents were packing up their items to leave: US Magazine, Inside Edition, and respected news veteran Patrick Healy from the NBC4 affiliate station. As Orlando was leaving we heard Mr. Healy whisper to us, "I can't believe that he's still so nice! What a nice guy!"

Truer words were never spoken. Despite the crazy, lightning speed of his rising star, it is clear that Orlando has not been overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, not yet. He certainly walks comfortably in his own shoes. And we all love it when Hollywood people aren't so damn "Hollywood." Know what I mean?

Much too hasty,

TheOneRing.net chats with Lawrence Makoare!
leo @ 10:16 am EST

At the recent Collectormania 4 TheOneRing.net got the chance to talk to Kiwi actor Lawrence Makoare who played, amongst others, Lurtz and the Witch King about make-up, Christopher Lee and punching Viggo Mortensen in the face!

Lawrence, did you read the books before you started working on this film?

LM: No I’ve never ever read the books before we started filming.. actually, I still haven’t read them. I’d rather wait for the movie because I’m not much of a reader. I read comics, but that’s about it. I mean that book is so thick, it would take me about a year to get through the first one. I don’t think I’ll ever read because I just don’t like reading hehehe.

You should get the audiotapes then.

LM: Hahaha yeah.. Or I’ll just get the movie.

Close enough. So how did you get your part in the movies?

LM: Like everyone else, by auditioning. My agent got me the audition and I went along. I had to actually audition for Snaga, some character from the movie. He was an Uruk-hai. It was funny because, you know, I hadn’t read the books and I didn’t know what the hell an Uruk-hai was. What is an Uruk-hai? Is it some kind of foreign people? From.. somewhere? I didn’t know. So it’s hard to get around the character. And we were supposed to do it in a cockney-accent, an English cockney-accent and that was also really hard for me because I had never done accents and stuff before. Lucky my ex-sister-in-law is from Bristol so she taught me what a cockney-accent was, that was really helpful. So I went to the audition and what they actually had was like silhouettes against the wall, from Hobbit-sized scaling up, way, way up to...


LM: Yeah, heheh.. So what you did after an audition was stand next to the silhouette that matches yourself, they take a photo, it gets sent to... well Peter of course, and the production people for final analyses. And a couple of days later I got the call saying: “We want you as an Uruk-hai.” And again I was like “what the hell is an Uruk-hai?”

I bet if they told you it would require eleven hours of make-up you wouldn’t have taken the part.

LM: Yeah! Oh maaaaannn... If I knew that.. I don’t think anyone knew what they were getting into. We didn’t start with the eleven hour make-up, we started with the four-and-a-half hour make-up and even that the first time was really tiring, just sitting there for four-and-a-half hours. The eleven-hour make-up came about two months later. They said: “We are going to do you up as the naked Lurtz now.” And I was like “ehh?”

You’d think that was less make-up

LM: Yeah heheh.. So I thought they wanted me to be, you know, naked, but they said: “Nah don’t worry you are going to be painted. Sorta. Kinda.” So I said okay, that’s cool just paint my body up. But it wasn’t like that, it was eleven hours.. And that’s the first instance when I said: “Oh what the hell did I get myself into.”

But my feeling now about it is that I would do it all again. This was an opportunity you know that fans and stuff would die to do. It was just [...] of this creature being created right in front of your eyes, while I was looking in the mirror. And when it was finally finished I was just.. “Wow.. far out man. Look at this, is this really me?” And I couldn’t believe it was me because it didn’t look like me and it was really, really scary. And I was doing the facial expressions and just thought: “This is wicked, this is starting to get cool.”

What was your most memorable experience of filming The Lord of the Rings?

LM: Sword fighting with Bob Anderson, he was the sword-master, and the fight with Aragorn. I had never done any sword fighting before, and just the action, the fighting, punching Aragorn hehehe.. Punching Viggo, that was fun hehehe.. I actually connected with his face. Just that fight with Aragorn was amazing.

But my ultimate, ultimate.. errr... part I liked in the movie, loved actually, was meeting Christopher Lee. That will be the highlight of my whole career. Same thing with the Lord of the Rings, those will be the highlights in my entire career. No other movies will come close to that. To the experiences that I’ve had on Lord of the Rings. But Christopher Lee man... he commands this magical presence which I was just in awe of. I would just stand there and listen to him telling me all these stories of his experiences in the like over 300 movies he did. And I could just sit there for hours and hours and hours and I was like “Stuff the movie man, I’d rather sit here and listen to you.” It was just fantastic to work with a man of his calibre.

And I’d just.. I mean.. I never ever dreamed of working with a man that scared me as a kid. He used to scare the living daylights out of me actually. It was that bad that I had to hide under my brothers bed. Because Dracula was always on Sunday nights, and we always used to watch Sunday-horrors and Christopher Lee was Dracula and I was just sooo scared I had to hide under my brothers bed and just shiver. And when we did the naked Lurtz scene, when the character was getting born I was like “Yeah man. This is the ultimate payback that anyone can get with Christopher Lee, just to scare the **** out of him.” But they told me.. they warned me beforehand they said you can’t go and scare him. Because he was on set and I just wanted to run up and go rrroooaaahhhrrr!!! And you know, scare the **** out of him. And that what I wanted to do just got thrown out the window when they said: “No you can’t. You can’t go up and scare him because he is 78, his heart ain’t what it used to be and we really can’t afford to loose him at this point in time, we’ve only just started with this movie and we’ve got two more movies to do.” Hahaha!

So it was just a silent approach, and I said “Hello Mr. Lee.” And he turned around and goes [does Christopher Lee impression] “My god, you must feel very uncomfortable in there.” And I was: “Yeah I’m not too bad..” he goes: “36 years ago when I played the Mummy...” And I went: “Woaahhh! I wasn’t even born then!” Hehehe... Man.. he was just amazing that’s been the highlight and will always be the highlight of my career.

Will we be seeing you a lot in The Return of the King?

LM: Absolutely. I play three different parts in the Return of the King. I play the Witch King of Angmar. And I play Gothmog, who’s a sergeant in the Orc-army. The Witch King is my boss. I play my own boss. And I play an Orc who is a soldier in the Orc-army. So I play my boss again. I’ve got all bases covered man, heheh

And do you have any other projects coming on? Because you did the James Bond-movie (Die Another Day)..

LM: Yeah I did that.. Well.. Because Peter (Jackson) is like.. he’s already started initial filming on King Kong. There may be a window of opportunity there as some sort of tribesman yeah. But over in New Zealand they are going to start filming The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.. there’s a possibility there. But you really never know what comes until your agent give you a ring or someone else rings you saying: “Oh look I’m really interested in you or stuff like that..” So we’ll see.

[TheOneRing.net chats to Andy Serkis!] [Coming Soon: TheOneRing.net chats to Sala Baker!]

10-21-03 Latest News

LOTR: The Musical News
Xoanon @ 4:40 pm EST



India's most popular composer A R Rahman and Finland's influential contemporary folk group Värttinä are to collaborate in composing the score for the stage version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which will have its World Premiere in London's West End in Spring 2005. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the publication of the complete J R R Tolkien trilogy, "The Fellowship of the Ring", "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King".

A R Rahman has composed the soundtracks for over 50 Bollywood films, which have sold over 100 million soundtrack albums. He has also composed for television and recording artists. A R Rahman is best known in the West for writing the music for "Bombay Dreams", currently playing to sell-out business in London, and opening on Broadway in Spring 2004.

Värttinä, fronted by three female singers and supported by six acoustic musicians, are now celebrating their 20th year and the release of their 10th album. Since 1990, they have toured internationally and built a reputation as one of the most inventive and uncompromising ensembles in the contemporary world music arena. The original inspiration for Tolkien's stories and languages (such as Elvish), and for much of Värttinä's music and lyrics, is the Kalevala, Finland's national epic of mythological songs, poems and stories.

Producer Kevin Wallace says, "A fusion of A R Rahman's and Värttinä's exceptional talent and contemporary sound, rooted in the antiquity of their respective traditions, will provide Tolkien's mythological world of Middle Earth with a pure, unique and dynamic score. At the heart of this spectacular epic is an intense story of personal and collective endeavour that grips the audience's imagination, immersing them completely in the experience; the music of A R Rahman and Värttinä has the dramatic range to do just that. I am pleased the music of the project's initial composers Stephen Keeling and Bernd Stromberger is also available to the production".

THE LORD OF THE RINGS, with book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna, will be directed by Matthew Warchus and designed by Rob Howell. Christopher Nightingale is the musical supervisor.

The production of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which will cost £8 million, is produced by Kevin Wallace and Saul Zaentz.


10-20-03 Latest News

More London Expo Images!
Xoanon @ 10:24 pm EST

More London Expo 2003 Images
Click here for more images

Rosamunde Brownlocks

Sorry I'm late for your request for London Expo photos, but I'm still traveling and sightseeing in England, and am working on the photos in sets. Here are the best from the signings of day one of the London Expo - don't know if you want them, you have so many good ones already! Will send more from the Q&A and day two after I get home - tomorrow is the travel day back to Chicago.

Wish you and the rest of the folks could have been at the two Cons in England - great experiences! And thank you so much for posting my earlier pics from C4.


I've decided to send in a report from the London Expo as I noticed nobody really gave you a detailed account of the event just yet. So here I go...

My friend Clarissa flew in from the Isle of Man and we met up on saturday evening, to have some dinner and see a movie. Little did I know that she managed to book herself into the very same hotel as Billy Boyd, Craig Parker and virtually everyone else attending the event. So as we sat in the hotel bar, drinking wine, our eyes lit up at the sight of Masters Billy and Craig walking into the very same bar for a few drinks. As you can imagine we desperately wanted to talk to them so up we got and walked over to the bar and stood ourselves next to them. We ordered more drinks but decided not to bother the guys. After all, they've just spent the entire day talking to fans and deserved a break.

They did notice us, however, and even remembered my friend who met them earlier that day. We received a few smiles and stayed in the bar until they left. The very next morning I arrived at the hotel to have breakfast with my friend and we managed to get a table opposite Billy and Craig. They recognized us again and smiled at us. We were trying not to stare at them and let them get on with their breakfast. They kept glancing in our direction and even turned after us when we were leaving!

We made our way to the exhibition centre which is located roughly five minutes from the hotel. There we joined the queue for Craig and Billy and patiently waited for them to arrive. The Expo was not as packet as I expected it to be. Now and then a Dalek whizzed past us, greeting us in a mechanical voice and noting that 'If this is the queue for the Elf and the Hobbit then why are there so many Orcs?'. That made us all laugh. At roughly 11am, our heroes finally arrived and sat down at their little tables. They seemed cheerful and happy.

Our time came and we went to see Craig. We told him we saw him in the bar last nite and he replied they had only stayed for a bit 'coz they were very tired. He asked us how long we stayed and I told him that I had missed my last train and all that. Then he asked me if I knew what time the first DLR (dockland's light railway) left and I replied that I didn't know but that I knew they run till 1am. He then told me to make sure I don't miss my last train today then. We got our signatures and then asked to take a group photo. Craig sat down on the table for us and hugged us both and posed for photos, aww. He was really nice and bubbly! Oh and I'm happy to inform that he wears white underwear O.o.

Then we moved onto Billy Boyd and had much more to say to him, lol. It was clear he recognized us but didn't say anything. I asked him if he had enjoyed his breakfast and my friend added 'Did you have a second breakfast, too?'. 'Yeah, I had a bowl of cereal later, actually!' replied Billy. 'Oh, that's very hobbity of you!' says I. Yes, I invented a new word: hobbity. O.o lol. Then we kindly asked him to write 'It comes in pints!' on our photos. He did so happily. I told him I needed a new autograph from him 'coz the one I got last time got kinda smudged. 'Oh I'm sorry!' he said, as if it was his fault. 'Oh it's okay!' says

I, leaving him thinking it WAS his fault. Lmao.

Then I told him I had met Dom two weeks earlier. 'How was he?' asked Billy. 'He was really nice!' said I. 'Oh really? Was he behaving? He usually doesn't!' asked Billy all smug like. I assured him Dom had been nice.

They had shown the Master and Commander trailer on the plasma screen before we got to Billy and we noticed he kept peeking to look. I was like 'You're not in it, you know!' He's like 'Really??', saying that he'd not seen it yet. I informed him that I watched it a few times and did not get a glimpse of him and that it was evil! I can't remember what he said but it was something like 'Okay, that's it!', I think. Then we took a group photo and happily scuttered off.

There was so much room to take photos, it was incredible! Absolutely nothing like Collectormania, so much better! Everyone was allowed to have a personal experience, you could take your time with the guys, there was no ridiculous queuing system and you could even come back for a random hug. I think the people who organize the Collectormania events should visit the London Expo and take notes next time.

At some point in the afternoon it was announced they'd do a talk even though they were not supposed to 'coz they did one the day before. We were the first ones to arrange ourselves in front of the podium and waited for them. Then they came up and it was hilarious. Craig is so funny. They kept joking about everything. Someone asked Billy what was his fav moment in ROTK and that he should talk about it in detail. He laughed and said that he can tell us absolutely nothing and Craig joked that New Line Cinema had arranged for snipers to
hide up near the ceiling and they'd get shot if they said something they should not. He then did a good imitation of being shot and threw himself onto the floor. That left everyone in stitches and Billy called him 'The King of the Deathscene'.

Craig then got asked to explain why it was that he was reluctant to hug Aragorn upon arrival at Helm's Deep. Craig went on to explain how Aragorn never really changed his clothes for months and that he was sweaty and all that. So it is now official that Haldir did not want to hug Aragorn because he was smelly!

Another question addressed to Craig was regarding his archery and if it was difficult to learn. Craig then revealed a grave secret, all the time hiding behind Billy. Apparently those arrows that Orlando was shooting so quickly and masterfully at Amon Hen were not real arrows. They were added later digitally. So it was all a cheat!!!! Craig was also asked why it was that all the elves at Helm's Deep were killed off and not many of the humans. He said he thought it was coz they were all prissy and poofy and therefore had to die. Someone asked Billy the obvious question if he still keeps in touch with some of the other guys to which he replied that he had seen Orli and Dom recently. As if we all didn't know that. Of course they
keep in touch!

I managed to ask him whether he is coming to the London premiere of ROTK and he said that yes, they are coming coz they feel that after all the world premieres they should attend the one in their home country and that last year they were suprised at how big it was and that the reception was bigger than at any of the others (which is true, really).

We also learned that Craig Parker is a big fan of the Daleks (for those who don't know, the Daleks are evil aliens from the sci-fi tv series Doctor Who and ride around in something resembling tins). An argument ensued between Craig Parker and a Dalek, the Dalek extended and thrust its plunger-like arm out at Craig to which Craig replied "I can do that too". The Dalek quipped, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours." It soon descended into a battle of taunts flying between Craig and the Dalek, to the amusement of both Billy Boyd and the audience.

The last question was asked and the boys said their goodbyes to the fans. Many ran after them for a last hug and were rewarded with warm words. Craig wished us a safe journey home and we left the exhibition centre smiling with content. It was a great weekend and a great Expo. We are definitely going to return next year. I would hereby like to congratulate the organizers for a job well done, helpful and kind staff and a wonderful experience.

Hope this report was somewhat helpful and not too long (sorry about that) and printable. Thank you!

Shore's Trilogy Symphony Confirmed
Tehanu @ 6:56 pm EST

Trilogy Symphony for New Zealand

A once-in-a-lifetime concert event sees Oscar-winning film composer Howard Shore conduct the NZSO in a one-off performance of ‘The Lord of The Rings: A Symphony in six parts for Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists’.

New Line Cinema, in association with CAMI and J&A Productions, have announced that the concert will take place at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on November 29, and will be part of the celebrations surrounding the world premiere of the third and final Lord of the Rings film, ‘The Return of
the King’.

‘Lord of the Rings Symphony’ will feature music adapted from Mr Shore’s scores from all three of Peter Jackson’s astonishing trilogy: ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of the King’.

Tickets for the concert are strictly limited and will be available through Ticketek from October 27.

London Expo 2003 Images & Reports!
Xoanon @ 4:52 pm EST

London Expo 2003 Images
Click here for all the images


My friends and I decided to go undercover on our third trip up to the LoTR table ...so perhaps you'd like to see our more colourful groupshots instead of the usual poses we also had?!

Billy, Craig Parker and Jorn Benzon ...Haldir's brother Rumil :) ...check out his Tshirt!

Thanks as ever to the cast for their time, good humour... and patience! - we had a fantastic weekend.


I was at the London Expo this weekend with Billy "Pippin" Boyd and Craig "Haldir" Parker Saturday, and I asked them if there was any truth behind the rumors of continued filming AFTER RoTK is released...Billy Boyd said that he didn't think so, as there was a wealth of material to draw on to complete the Extended Edition, and the only way that would happen was if Peter Jackson decided to film entirely NEW scenes.

Then he said, "With him, anything is possible."

Hawaii Goes Geek!
Xoanon @ 3:45 pm EST


Aloha Xo!

Here we are, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, reading with envy about the goings-on elsewhere: the Gathering of the Fellowship in Toronto, the Premier in Wellington, the TORN party, etc. (sigh) For those of us who cannot travel to those far away places, we have been saddened that we could not participate in those magnificent festivities. But no longer.

Ahem, (in my best Bilbo Baggins voice) I have an ANNOUNCEMENT!

Tol Andúnë, the Hawaii Chapter of the Tolkien Society, is proud to sponsor The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Premier Party!
The party will be on December 14th, from 3 PM to 6 PM at the Yum Yum Tree Restaurant in Ward Center, Honolulu Hawaii. There will be a buffet, trivia games, a costume contest, and drawings for various prizes including The One Ring as well as a raffle for a ticket to Trilogy Tuesday at the Ward Theaters. Reservations are required as seating is limited. The cost is $24 for adults and $15 for children under 10 years. Deadline for reservations is November 15th. You can download the reservation form at the website: www.tolandune.net or call 808-593-3855 for more information.

So there you have it Xo! In our small, Hobbit-like way, we will celebrate the ROTK, Hawaiian style! I sent a brief email to Erica about this (who I met in New Zealand while I was on a Red Carpet tour), but I know she is rather busy with the things going on in Wellington nowdays. Would it be possible to post this info on the TORN website? I would be ever so grateful! I know there are many other Ringers here in Hawaii, but don't have a way to reach them otherwise. (Last I heard, the theater here had sold around 300 tickets to Trilogy Tuesday).

Sean Astin in DC Report
Xoanon @ 3:35 pm EST

Cyloran writes:

I would like to pass on another report of Sean Astin's appearance as the closing speaker at the Generations United Conference in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday. (For those who don't know, Generations United is the only national organization that focuses solely on promoting intergenerational strategies, programs and policies.) I was invited to be one of the chaperones to a local youth group who were graciously granted permission by the GU organizers to attend Sean's speech.

Because it was the last day of the conference, many of the attendees had already left. That meant that the closing session would be much more intimate - approximately 150 people.

The closing session opened with the Speaker briefly summarizing what had gone on during the Conference, whose main theme was grandparents who are raising their grandchildren as well as intergenerational volunteerism. Sean was standing off to the side listening intently. The Speaker introduced a local nonprofit improv acting troop comprised of adult and Baltimore inner city youth to address social issues and generational understanding. They performed two little skits, the first about a teenager who didn't want to visit an elderly woman with AIDS for fear of catching the disease, then realizing that the older woman was lonely and had much to share. The second skit had an inner city kid spraying graffiti on a wall. A woman comes up behind and, instead of chastising him, comments favorably on his use of color and asking what he feels when he draws. He is somewhat receptive -- actually, startled by her interest. She wishes him well and says goodbye, but intentionally leaves her shopping bag behind. The kid, curious, approaches the abandoned bag. As he's looking at the contents, Sean wanders up and looks at the "wall" with the painting. He comments on how cool it is and, hey, what's in the bag? Inside, the kid finds colorful markers, art paper, and a flyer about a youth center that encourages the arts as an outlet. The kid decides to check it out and, as he leaves, hands the spray paint can to Sean -- who shrugs and promptly begins to mime spraying the wall!

Sean was finally introduced to the audience amid much applause as he took the podium. He was very snappily dressed in a suit that he bought at Brooks Brothers. A little story went with that, about how his father had said that since he was about to meet the President to be sworn into the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, he should really get himself a nice suit. So Sean, an avowed Democrat, mimed walking somewhat sheepishly into Brooks Brothers and essentially asking them for a suit that would make him look like a Republican! (At which point, he stepped out from behind the podium to briefly model the suit.)

Sean discussed how he had came to be a member of the President's council. He had been asked to attend a memorial service at the Pentagon on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was approached by a member of the President's staff who wanted to know how an actor had come to be at such solemn proceedings. As you may know, Sean has been a civilian liaison with the US Army for many years and explained that a friend at the Pentagon had invited him since he would be in town for a memorial event on the National Mall later that day. The woman then asked Sean if he'd be interested in a new Council promoting volunteerism that the President was organizing. Sean was definitely interested, but warned that he was a Democrat. The representative assured him that it was alright, since the Council was nonpartisan.

Sean talked about how hard it is to balance family life with his hectic schedule of work, projects, and other business that has kept him running non-stop. He spoke often of his father John Astin, with the greatest respect, and how much he admires how incredibly busy and active his father is at 73. He also discussed the difficulties and joys of his relationship with his wife's grandfather, who passed away a few months ago. In that context, Sean said something I've not heard before but found truly moving. In discussing the value of older people to the young, he said that "When an old person dies, it's like a library burns down." How true!

There was a short Q&A period after Sean's speech. One question asked of Sean was how he felt about tapping into the potential of fans to contribute to charitable causes and/or volunteerism. (I'm paraphrasing. The actual question was far more eloquent and well thought out than that simple statement.) Sean replied that he was very interested in how fans could turn their enthusiasm and energy to good works and volunteerism, but wasn't exactly certain how that could be attained.

The next question wasn't actually a question. It was a challenge from a senior citizen in the audience for Sean to make a movie like "Rain Man," which raised public awareness about autism, but instead depicting the many facets and difficulties of grandparents raising grandchildren. "You want me to make the definitive movie?" he asked. "Will you buy a ticket?"

Throughout his speech, Sean was relaxed, sincere, passionate and quite obviously speaking from his heart rather than from a written page. It was more of a comfortable talk than a prepared speech. Afterward, GU gifted Sean with a beautiful black and white photo of a pair of hands, one old and the other very young, depicting intergenerational cooperation.

To my surprise and delight, the GU folks and Sean graciously set up a receiving line after the closing session where anyone who was interested could say hello, get an autograph or have their picture taken with Sean. It was an unexpected gesture and very appreciated! Needless to say, the teenagers we were chaperoning (all LOTR fans) were thrilled! None of them had met a celebrity before and all of them loved Sean as Sam. Each of them got to spend a few minutes one on one with Sean and have their picture taken with him. Unanimously, they were very impressed with how friendly, sincere, and approachable he was. As has been said before (and it's true!), they all marveled at how Sean made them feel as if he were listening and truly interested; as if they were the only person in the room at that moment.

When it was my turn to say hello, I told Sean that I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring so many people to volunteer and support charities. Whether as Mikey or Rudy or Sam, he has inspired so many people with his values and his good works. He felt that there were probably more fans than he could imagine who were donating their time to charities because of him. He then thanked me for my thank you (*g*) and for being an active volunteer myself. "Keep up the good work," he said in parting, then added, "We both will!"

I am eternally grateful to the GU organizers for being so gracious in allowing four chaperones and 8 teenagers to attend the closing session of their conference. I am especially grateful to Rev. Rachel Wangen-Hoch for inviting me to be one of the group's chaperones. And most of all, many many thanks to Sean Astin for his generosity of spirit, inspiration, and his passion to help others.

10-19-03 Latest News

Tolkien Sculptor in Montreal
Xoanon @ 8:33 pm EST

Anya writes: At Rob McIntosh in Pointe-Claire, Quebec they are selling LOTR goblets. My mother saw them and she said they were just beautiful. She saw one of Galadriel, one with landscape from the Shire, one of Elrond or Celeborn (she wasn't sure which), one of Gandalf (maybe there are more, I don't know).

These are being sold for $129 CDN. There is also a limited edition of King Elessar (there only about 150 of them) which is being sold for about $149 CDN. These are OFFCIALLY LISCENSED.

They are made from solid pewter and are inspired by the books as opposed to the films, thus liscensed by Tolkien Enterprises as opposed to New Line. You can buy big goblets which are being sold at $129 each. There is also a limited edition of King Elessar (which is decorated with a gold crown) which is being sold for $149 - and there are on 50 to be had. (I think I may have said 150 last time - my bad!!) You can also buy little liquer goblets (they actually comprise a chess set) which are being sold for $45 each.

Of the big goblets, I saw one for each of the following: Gandalf, Saruman, Orc, Smaug, Ent, Shelob, Legolas, Celeborn, Galadriel, Frodo (with a golf ring around the base), and Gollum. I also saw one that was called and "Elven Goblet"; this one featured scenes/lanscapes, including the swan ships of Alqualonde. There was another called the "Ring Goblet" which, again, featured only scenes, inlcuding a very scary looking Nazgul. All of them are sculpted from the pewter, not just "carved" - I mean, for the characters, it's really a FACE. They have the same for the smaller ones, but I didn't see many. The woman I spoke with said that they will be getting some in soon for the following reason.

The sculptor is Dr. Graeme J. Anthony and he will be in the store on November 9th for a signing, from 12 noon to 4 pm. (He's actually a trained chiropractor and now lives in Australia, according to the sign).

10-18-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 7:59 am EST

The city of Minas Tirith holds its breath waiting for news of the war, while in the Houses of Healing Eowyn rises from her bed. The concerned Warden takes her to see the Steward of the City. Faramir is soon struck by her beauty, but he also perceives that here is one greatly troubled by grief and unrest. Eowyn for her part sees in Faramir both a gentle spirit and a great warrior and slowly hope is kindled in her heart.

An Eagle brings news of the downfall of Sauron to Minas Tirith, and soon it is once again filled with women and children as the refugees return home. The people of Gondor are ready for their new king to return to them. Before the walls of his City, Aragorn is accepted by his people and crowned by Gandalf and Frodo.

The first happy days of Aragorns reign passes and Gandalf takes the king to a hallow high up on Mount Mindolluin. There they find a sapling of the White Tree which the king plants in the court by the fountain. Summer comes to Gondor, and with it a great following of elves out of the North. On the day of Midsummer Aragorn the King Elessar finally weds Arwen, the evenstar of her people.

How is Eowyn finally healed? How does Aragorn show his greatness during his coronation and in the following first days of his reign? What does the White Tree signify? Join us in #thehalloffire as we explore Chapter V of The Return of the King; 'The Steward and the King'.

Upcoming Topics:
October 25-26: Why are hobbits so resistant to the One Ring?

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 3:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
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Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at halloffire@theonering.net.

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