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November 01, 2003 - November 07, 2003

11-07-03 Latest News

LineParty: Return of the Blood Drive
Demosthenes @ 8:04 pm EST

TORn Staffer Garfeimao writes: I run the Line Party that will be held at the Big Newport in Newport Beach, CA. We've pulled in some decent sponsors so far, including the Hard Rock Cafe Newport Beach, and have hooked up with a few charities. Most notable of the charities is the Marine's Toys for Tots toy collection we will host, and the American Red Cross blood drive to be held at the theater on Tuesday, December 16.

The Toys for Tots toy collection should be familiar to many people. Simply bring a new, unwrapped toy to the theater any time on Tuesday, December 16, and you will receive a raffle ticket. Make sure to let theater staff know you are donating a toy, so they can give you your raffle ticket. The raffle will be held just before the film starts, after everyone has been seated.

Last year, I hosted a blood drive on the Saturday after the opening night, and it was fairly successful. We had over 30 donors that afternoon, and hope to be able to double those numbers this year. We have dubbed this event "The Return of the Blood Drive" due to last years succesful conclusion. If you wish to make an appointment for the blood drive, please call (949)222-7009 and leave your name, phone number, date of event and the time you'd like to donate. The event will be held from 3:00pm to 9:00pm.

Every donor will receive an Event Exclusive T-shirt, various sponsored premiums, and a raffle ticket for LoTR-related prizes. I have a special prize of one Houghton Mifflin black canvas bookbag for the person who refers the most donors. This will be given away at the end of the blood drive, when all referrals can be tallied. The other raffles will actually occur during the day, in the donor room, as it is only for those donating.

As for fun events, we will have a costume contest, trivia and games, and an impersonation contest. I've also set up a very nice deal with the Edwards Big Newport and the Hard Rock Cafe Newport Beach (which is just across the street from the theater) for a Movie and a Meal deal. For just $15, people can purchase, in advance, a ticket that will get them a free lunch or dinner on Dec. 16, a ticket to the midnight screening, and a portion of the ticket sales will go to the John Muir Trust. These tickets are very limited, and are selling right now. Just email me at Garfeimao@theonering.net and I'll send you info on how to pay for this package deal. I can only accept orders through November 17, so that the theater has time to pull the group of tickets out of it's allotment, and I have time to mail the tickets out to everyone purchasing them. We even plan to have a second day of fun and silliness on Saturday, December 20.

Details for these, and all the other events I'm planning can be found on my Line Party page.


Midwest Entmoot 2003 News
Xoanon @ 9:43 am EST

NOVEMBER 20-23, 2003
Ramada Plaza Northshore Hotel
4500 W. Touhy Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL

AZ Tel writes: The Chicago Fellowship wants to meet you! Register now to attend our convention, Midwest Entmoot 2003, and meet up with other "Lord of the Rings" fans from the the Midwest. With fun ranging from veiwing the extended versions of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers to a Decipher Card game demonstration to readings of JRR Tolkien's works to a raffle of LOTR merchandise, there's something for every fan to enjoy. For more information, check the Entmoot link at our website, chicagofellowship.org and keep updated on our message board.

Even better, right now there's two special offers: if you stay at the hotel for the entire event, or if you stay over Friday or Saturday night, you get FREE admission to the convention! All you pay for is your hotel accomodations! Space is limited, however, so if you want to participate in the offer, please contact AZ Tel at telcontar@chicagofellowship.org right away. We look forward to meeting you!

11-06-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 7:58 pm EST

The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen - Appendix A of the Lord of the Rings

Aragorn is only two years old when his father is slain by orcs. The
newmade heir of Isildur is taken by his mother Gilraen to dwell in the
house of Elrond in Rivendell. He is twenty years of age when one evening he meets Arwen Undomiel in the twilight woods, and falls in love. A meeting that will shape his life, and doom Arwen to a parting from her father and her kin beyond the end of the world.

After thirty years of perilous and lonely journeys, Aragorn comes to
Lorien and there he meets Arwen again. On Midsummers eve they are
trothplighted on Cerin Amroth, and together they turn away from both the shadow of the East and the twilight of the West.

Aragorn is crowned King of Arnor and Gondor after the War of the Ring. A long reign they have together in glory and bliss, but at last Aragorn grows weary of Middle Earth and lays down his life.
For the first time Arwen understands fully the bitterness of mortality. Cold and Grey she seem to her people when she set out from Minas Tirith after saying her farewells. She travels to Lorien and finally lays herself to rest on Cerin Amroth.

Tolkien uses beautiful imagery in this text. We shall look at how he
particularly uses the twilight and the stars. Why does he liken Arwen to a White Tree? What do you think is meant by Arwen being the 'Evenstar' of her people? What does this tale tell us about the ordeals of Aragorn? Do you think Arwen loses all hope in the end?

Join us in #thehalloffire as we take a look at the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.

Upcoming Topics:
November 15-16: Homeward Bound - Chapter VII of the Return of the King.
November 22-23: Durins Folk - Appendix A of the Lord of the Rings.
November 29-30: The Scouring of the Shire - Chapter VIII of the Return of
the King.

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
AET = Australian East Coast

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at

Houghton Mifflin Bookstore Reports
Xoanon @ 4:13 pm EST


Jackie writes: I just wanted to say I was very disappointed to have so few Portland ringers turn out for the event. I assumed that everyone is as anxious as I to get our hands on anything Tolkien. But it actually was nice with so few people there. The documentary was great! I enjoyed it because I delved much more into the relationship of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (something I am very interested in). After the feature they had a drawing for prizes and I won this awesome Fellowship wall scroll. But as for new TTT:EE footage. there wasn't a whole lot, the only scene that stood out to me was the "Old man willow" scene. So, all the Merry and Pippin fans will be pleased about that. Well that is all and thank you for listening!


Grandmotherweb writes: There were only about 6 or 7 of us there, but the atmosphere was great. Most of us got there early, but they didn’t have the books out yet. They set them up while the movie was showing (whether they planned it this way or were just running behind I don’t know). They showed the video in a cozy little lecture room on the fifth floor of the Barnes and Noble, and they also raffled off a LotR hat and tote bag (I won the hat! Woo-hoo!).

The video was VERY interesting (as in the Colorado Springs report, employees were stopping outside to watch). The speakers included Jude Fisher, Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, Tom Shippey, another Tolkien scholar whose name I can’t remember, John Howe, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, lots of Christopher Lee, Dom Monaghan (briefly), and John Rhys-Davies. To start off, they gave a little history about what was going on in Tolkien’s mind and life as he was writing Lord of the Rings. They mentioned his friendship with C. S. Lewis and how odd it seemed since Lewis was an atheist and Tolkien was Catholic. They two and the other Inklings had all been “traumatized” by WWI, and they were all seeking answers to the spiritual questions that arose form that experience. Nice clips of WWI footage, blended seamlessly in with clips of the Dead Marshes. One of their main influences for their writings was that there didn’t seem to be any answers in modern literature, so they had to write their own, and much of their inspiration ironically came from Medieval literature. They showed a shot of the Old English script of Beowulf followed by what I think was Tolkien’s own translation of it, I’m not sure. (Factoid: “Meduseld” was the name of Beowulf’s palace! I never knew that!) They played up the irony of this seemingly outdated mythology having such relevance to a war that was so characterized by modern technology. There were also a couple of thoughtful clips of Viggo Mortensen talking about Tolkien’s reinventing mythology that would be relevant to the modern world, if I remember correctly. Segue to Saruman and Tolkien’s reservations about technology: how Saruman desires to control everything and make it better according to his conception of progress and order, just as man does with ever-more-efficient killing machines. Except his plans get out of hand and start to control HIM, etc, etc.

And in the end he’s destroyed by the forces of nature: segue to Tolkien’s obsession with trees. Wise, old, nurturing ents and the beautiful woods of Lothlorien vs. creepy Fangorn and Old man willow. They showed an EE clip of Merry and Pippin getting sucked down by the boa constrictor-like roots of a big tree, presumably in Fangorn. I’m sure it’s no surprise to those who’ve read the EE reviews, but it was new to me, and very cool to watch!

Then they went into Tolkien’s actual writing: how he had to write the first few chapters of Fellowship three or more times before he was satisfied (no word processors to just cut and paste), and the various “blunders” he made as an amateur author. They mentioned things like the 15,000-word interludes where people just talk and nothing happens, abandoning important characters for 200 pages at a time, having main characters with absolutely no development (loooooong shot of Arwen as they say this), doing pivotal scenes like the downfall of Isengard in flashback, etc. One of the speakers (the scholar I’ve forgotten) said, “They teach you in Creative Writing 101 not to do that, and no professional writer would have done that. But professionals don’t know everything; sometimes inspired amateurs know something.” And the wonder is that in spite of all these “blunders,” LotR is a huge success and draws new fans all the time and never gets old. Or something like that.

They talked a little about the movies, how the name “The Two Towers” is ambiguous as to exactly which towers it refers to (I always thought they were Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul, the “paired” towers), and why they’ve done away with the master-servant relationship between Frodo and Sam. They talked modeling Sam after the tradition of batmen (is that spelled right?) in the British army, and their unwavering loyalty even desperate situations when they know that the high-ranking officers they serve may not have any better idea of what to do than the batmen themselves. They said (“they” being Phillipa Boyens, mainly) that they thought the friendship between Frodo and Sam was the really important thing, and they didn’t want Frodo to be “superior” to Sam, though he’s obviously of more “aristocratic lineage.”

That's all I remember right now, and right after the film we all went out and bought books. Everything was 30% off, although they only had maybe four copies of the photo guide. Friendly staff, nice venue—a very nice way to spend my lunch break!


Lorie writes: I Went to the Houghton-Mifflin event at Barbara's Bookstore last night. Couldn't pass it up when it was happening right in my own home town -- particularly not after flying to NY last year to see the Fellowship EE, and checking neighboring states for Trilogy Tuesday tickets. Besides, after seeing the first HM documentary on the DVD, I was positive this one would be worthwhile, too.

It was a small gathering, maybe twelve people. The store had chairs set up by a TV, but the display of the newly-released books was pretty small (I walked right past it at first), and though they had a lot of posters hanging over their Tolkien section, the selection was rather disappointing. I'm hoping they get more books in for the holiday season.

The documentary was great, full of interesting information and spoilerish shots from (I'm assuming) the Two Towers EE. But the best part was talking to other fans, which is always amazingly easy despite my usual shyness. Despite the small crowd, there was a reporter and photographer there, and I think they said they were from the Chicago Tribune, not the local Oak Park paper.

After the video everyone stuck around, talking about the movies, the DVD release, and the upcoming premiere. Basically we took over the store and had a big fannish conversation, with the reporter taking notes.

The kids who were there with their parents were really enthusiastic and opinionated about the books and movies. I can understand why those who've seen the cast at appearances always note they seem very kind to the young fans. They're a delight, so intense and funny and intelligent, too.

I my books and really enjoyed myself. It was a great way to spend the first part of a weekday evening, and I'm very grateful to the store and the publisher for setting this up.


Dawn writes: But it was actually a pretty light attendance from what I saw, which turned out to be a good thing in the long run. The video I'm not sure said much more than anything that hasn't been said before. The friendship he had with C.S. Lewis, and how he may have been the inspiration for Treebeard's voice. The affect of the war on such authors. Which led them to bring back a form of medival literature, such as Beowulf. A discussion on how some names from Beowulf made into LOTR. Also, included was a discussion of the books were seperated, and how they got their individual names. This led into a discussion of which 2 towers are being referred to in the title of "The Two Towers." There were 3 suggested pairings, 2 of which Tolkien at some point made reference to. Tolkien and his love of trees was portrayed.

We didn't have the newsletter that was mentioned in the Colorado Springs report (I'm bummed), but we did get an advertisement bookmark and had a raffle. Prizes were a shoulder bag, baseball cap, half standee of Aragorn, and 3 banners (2 sided 3 x 1.5 ft, which my 2 friends and I managed to win.). And then when there was only 1 person left who hadn't won anything, the employee went and got him the Gandalf standee. So everyone came out a winner. And everyone got what they wanted most amazingly.

The banners I think have been out for a while probably FOTR, with the logo, over a side view of the fellowship on the ridge of a mountain. Mine had pictures of Gandalf the Grey on one side and Saruman on the other, a second had a Ringwraith on horse on one side and Frodo wielding Sting on the other, and then the third had Aragorn and Galadriel.

I was surprised not to see the new books, and the employee apologized for that.

New York

Georg writes: The report from Earwen on the event at the Media Play in Colorado was excellent and shared a lot of similarities to my experience as well. Here's my take:

When I first saw the post about this event on TheOneRing.net I scrolled to see if there was one happening in NY. "Hey," I thought, "there IS one, and only one, in NY! Hamburg? Who ever heard of Hamburg, NY?" I figured it must be outside NY City, downstate, where all the action always occurs. I live in Rochester, NY, upstate, 350 miles away, where nothing Tolkien occurs. But I decided to Mapquest Hamburg and, lo and behold, it's outside of Buffalo, only 77 miles away. "Heck," I figured, "if it's that close, I have to make a night out of it. Probably there will be a mad rush, with people showing up in costumes and lines outside the store hoping to get in to sneak a peak over everybody's shoulders who are crowding the store.

Standing room only. Make mental note not to get trampled to death." Given the mad frenzy about Trilogy Tuesday ticket buying, I wasn't going to take any chances! I would make sure to get there early. Maybe a whole 15 minutes or so.

Well, I got out of work a little late, got into some rush hour traffic, and started to panic about missing the start and getting shut out of the store due to the throngs of eager fans. I barreled down the Thruway as fast as I could, listening to a BBC recording I have on CD of Tom Shippey discussing Tolkien and how his life influenced his work. At 6:40 pm, feeling ever more sick from my brewing panic, I cleared right through Buffalo and headed toward Pennsylvania, without being yet at my Mapquested exit. I thought:

"This can't be right! I'm in the middle of nowhere. It's got to be
centrally located in Buffalo to accommodate all the eager fans. I better turn around and go blindly to every mall in Buffalo and look for where all the people are congregating." But I was locked on to the highway with the next exit who knows how far away. And since the next exit was supposed to be the one Mapquest had told me to take, I put my trust into all the powers that got me to where I was now, and headed on.

Sure enough, at the exit all the directions I had scrawled down matched with what I was doing. I was on autopilot. A higher purpose was guiding me.

Was I driving this car? In my daze, thinking "I'm almost there, and it's starting in 8 minutes!" I chanced to look out the window at my darkened surroundings. "This is East Zombie Ville. Where am I?" This place did not look like Rochester. It felt weird. The roads were crooked. The curbs were high. There was an eerie glow from a mall ahead, but no dealerships, no fast food places, no other cars. My car glided into a parking spot in front of the most mega Media Play store I had ever seen. This was the Supercenter of Media Plays. I got my digital camera ready and, giddy with anticipation, I tried hard to avoid breaking out in a run toward the entrance. But where were the throngs? Where are the lights, the sounds, the costumes? Where is the rider? How did it come to this?" Taped to the entrance door was a letter sized paper stating "Join us for a Lord of the Rings party at 7:00 pm."

"Aha!" I rejoiced, filled for a fleeting moment with hope and joy that the world is fine. "I have arrived! Four minutes to spare." Looking around, hearing the drone of music wars from diverse regions of the store, and seeing maybe only six other customers, my moment of confidence quickly wilted into the surreal sense that I did not belong here. I nervously squeaked to one of the red clad employees "Which way to The Party?" Over in the corner yonder, by the big screens.

To be continued... I have to run to pick up Elanor from daycare.

Trilogy Tuesday News: Ireland
Xoanon @ 2:08 pm EST


Leading up to the December 17 Irish release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final film in Peter Jackson’s epic dramatic trilogy, Abbey Films will release one 35mm print of the Special Extended Editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in the Ster Century, Liffey Valley.

From December 5 – 11, the Special Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring will be released, with this being replaced on December 12 – 15, with Special Extended Edition print of The Two Towers. Then, on Tuesday, December 16, there will be a one-time-only marathon of both Extended Edition prints. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will open on Wednesday, December 17th.

New Line Cinema presents the epic drama The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, co-written, directed and produced by Peter Jackson. The third film in the highly acclaimed trilogy, is produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh and Jackson. The screenplay is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Jackson based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Returning cast-members include (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Bernard Hill, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Noble, Miranda Otto, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Karl Urban, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, and Elijah Wood.

The film is co-produced by Rick Porras and Jamie Selkirk. Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne are the executive producers, along with Mark Ordesky. Produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is based on the Book by J. R. R. Tolkien. The screenplay is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson. The film is directed by Peter Jackson.

Wood Branches Out With Music Label
Xoanon @ 2:02 pm EST

From IMDB: Movie star Elijah Wood is planning to branch out into music in a big way - by setting up his own record label. The Lord Of The Rings star has recently moved from Los Angeles to New York, and the music scene in the big apple has inspired him to do something for emerging bands. And now he's planning to sink his movie money into a new label. He says, "I want to start a record label, and find bands and release records. I've thought seriously about that. I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of people that I respect, in the music industry, that I feel will be a good guide for me to get started. I've got a good base. I don't know when I'll start it, but it is something that I will start, at some point." And one artist he'd love to have on his roster is his Lord of The Rings castmate Viggo Mortensen. He adds, "I actually just recorded on a record of his - Dom Monaghan, Billy Boyd and I went into the studio and played music on Viggo's new album. It's amazing."

Landmark pub goes on sale for £1.2m
Xoanon @ 1:43 pm EST

by Rosalind Miles

Famous Oxford inn The Eagle and Child has been put up for sale for £1.2m.

The landmark St Giles pub - popularly known as "The Bird and Baby" - was the favourite watering hole of writers CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein, and has belonged to University College since the 16th century. The college is selling The Eagle and Child, two adjoining shops and flats, as fully let investments, earning £90,950 per year. The pub and the shops will continue to trade as normal.

Frank Marshall, the college's estates bursar, said: "The college is looking afresh into its investments and is rebalancing its portfolio."

Rupert Sheppard, of Oxford estate agent James Styles & Whitlock, which is handling the sale, said: "It's rare for properties so full of historic interest to be made available for sale."

The building has been a pub since 1650. It was named in honour of the Earl of Derby, whose family crest features a coronet with an eagle and child.

It belonged to a Thomas Gold of Oxford, who left it to his son on thecondition he if he ever sold the building, the buyer should be University College.

From 1939 to 1962 'The Inklings' - JRR Tolkein, author of The Lord of the Rings, and CS Lewis, creator of the Chronicles of Narnia, and theirfriends - gathered every Tuesday morning in a parlour known as the Rabbit Room. The area towards the back of the pub now has a plaque, photos and mementoes of the writers.

During the Civil War the buildings were the pay house for the Royalistsoldiers of Charles I, when Oxford was his temporary capital.

TV Watch: Viggo Mortensen on 'Otro Rollo'
Xoanon @ 1:32 pm EST

Mithveaen writes: I'm sending you a transcription and some photos from Viggo Mortensen in Otro Rollo, a Mexican show.

My impression is that despite the little knowledge from Adal Ramones (Otro Rollo's host) about Viggo's career and The Lord of the Rings movies (he presented RoTK trailer as TTT scenes), it was a delight watching Viggo very relaxed and having fun, speaking Spanish in a very strong Argentina accent. Personally I found quite lovely when he used expression and gestures very characteristic from Latinoamerica people.

Here is my translation with some comments and my pics. Sorry for the poor quality!!

*After being introduced by Adal Ramones, Viggo enters to the set using those stairs. Adal welcomes Viggo and both sit down*

Adal: Viggo, you are... your father is from Denmark.

Viggo : Yes, my father is Dutch and my Mother is from US.

Adal : But it turns out that you speak a perfect Spanish, because you had traveled a lot, obviously because of your family.. because of your father specially, have you been long time in Latin America as well right?

Viggo: Yes, *points his microphone* Speaking with this you can understand me? *chuckles*

Can you hear me?

Adal: Yes, perfect... in the movies is different, in the movies is different *this honestly doesn't make any sense*

Viggo: Yes, I grew up in Argentina, I lived there until I was 11.

Adal: Yes, but why did you traveled so much Viggo? Was your Dad a diplomatic person or??

Viggo: No, he had different jobs, I also lived in Venezuela, we lived there one year... later I lived 10 years... 9 years in Argentina.

Adal: Because of that when you speak a fluent Spanish with that accent obviously.

Viggo: Yes, it has stayed with me.

Adal : The movie Perfect Murder... I was amazed to know as you played a painter, that the paintings on the movie are yours.

Viggo : *drinks water* yes, it's true, well... more and less.... all of them were (based on) photographs, I knew better this..

Adal : A combination of paiting and photos.

Viggo : Yes. yes.. they gave me a couple of weeks and I got into that.. and I liked it very much... *insists with his microphone with audience* can you hear me??

Can you hear me??

Adal : Of course we can hear. Can you hear him well? (*audience exclaims yes and Viggo laughs*) or should we increase the volume?

Viggo : No. no..

Adal: Tell me how you got this role in this LoTR trilogy, because it's one of the most box-office grossing movies in the movies history.

Viggo: Well, it was luck, there was another actor, and at the end, I don't know.... he couldn't do it... and when I arrived they had started shooting and the others actors had been already there for few months in NZ.. and I don't know... I got it for pure luck... but no... it's not like... I mean nobody knew that it was going to be so sucessful you know?? *this "you know?" is a very typical Argentina expression* Now it seems to be something of pure luck, but it was risky for (New Line Cinema) company .

Adal: it was an experiment.

Viggo: yes..

Adal: And now.. your situation in the first 2 movies.. *more nonsense from Adal* because let me Viggo tell to our audience that when you shoot some scenes, and maybe the director decides to remove them from the film, and you think you are in the film, but you are not..

Viggo : Mhm.

Adal : Then, I read in your biography that you worked with Woody Allen, and you weren't in the scene, in the film, he cut it, and for an actor, suddenly, watching the film and saying "Gee, I was supposed to be there"

Viggo: Well, if they don't tell you in advance then you are a little bit embarassed.

Adal: But if they tell you... but just imagine, you take (to the theather) all your family your friends.. nad you say "This is my scene.. this is my scene.... hey what happened??"

Viggo: Well, they called me liar, my family, I told them several times, it comes a movie... I am in a movie una pelicula and they go to see it... the first one, the second one.. the third one.. and they tell me "Well what are you doing in New York?? Drugs or what??"

Adal : *laughs*

*Adal introduces by mistake RoTK trailer as TTT scenes, it seems Viggo says No.. and someone corrects Adal. They see the trailer*

*watching trailer*

Adal : Tell me something...

Viggo: Let's see if this (RoTK movie) is a goodie...

Adal : It's a must see...

Viggo : I haven't seen it as well. (here Viggo makes a Spanish gramatical mistake very common, instead of saying "Neither" he says "As well.")

Adal : Haven't you seen it?

*pointing at stairs*

Viggo: No... tell me.... have someone ever fell down from those stairs??

Adal : Yes, someone has fell down.

Viggo: Really?? Really?? Who??

Adal : Well I don't know... but yes, some people has fell down... *audience laughs*

Viggo: A lot?? Live?

Adal : I... I have fell down...

Viggo : Yes?

Adal : Yes, I fell down once.

Viggo: And you get in here rolling around yourself?

Adal: Yes.

Viggo: And what happens next?

*checking again the stairs*

Adal : Why???

Viggo: Naw, just curious. *audiences and Adal laughs*

Adal : Hey tell me something... I know you made a lot of the stunts... what does your agent tell you?? because there are people who represent the actor, and they tell him "Don't do this, you can hurt yourself".. but why this desire from you to do it..

Viggo: Mhh...

Adal: Why?

Viggo : I don't tell anything to my agent.

Adal: You don't tell him anything..

Viggo: No.. and later they see the film...

Adal : And when they see the film they say "What were you thinking!!" Hey and you had sword teachers, I imagine myself that is like being in a theme park.

Viggo: No... it's quite funny, as any children I played with wooden swords and pretented to be the hero and all that.. .

*Note: with these "no" he's not denying what Adal says... it's a way to speak some Latinamerican countries have like saying "Yeah, you can't imagine that..."*

Adal: And now as an adult doing it again... imagine, when you are a kid you did it..

Viggo : Mhhhmmm *again that very lovely noise he makes but this time noding*

Adal : And as an adult doing it again..

Viggo : And it's a great story

Adal : Yes.. it's a great story.. and what other projects do you have?? Because this movie was already shot.... what upcoming projects Viggo Mortensen has?

Viggo: Well, I have had some photo expositions in Cuba, US, Denmark, I have another one quite large now in NZ at the end of this month... and a movie we made the last year... the name is Hidalgo, not the Hidalgo from Mexico (our Independence National Hero's name is Miguel Hidalgo), but it's the name of a horse... a story that will be released next March... and it's a nice story, interesting in these times we live... because it's about an American, a NorthAmerican that travel... to what is called now Irak and Siria.. that zone... very interesting.. a true cowboy, not the one who pretends to be

Adal: A Cowboy there..

Viggo: and pretends to be a cowboy, and goes there to do other things, the one I play he goes there to make a horse race, and to learn, not to conquest and steal the oil to nobody, he goes there, do his things...

Adal : It's his way to connect with the people there..

Viggo : and he comes back home, it seems to me that is a good example, specially for the US young people.

Adal: And now I know.. and I love it... that besides of being a painter, photographer and actor... you are also a poet..

Viggo: Well...

Adal: Do you like to be with yourself? To enjoy your own company?

Viggo: Poetry, paiting, photography, all those things... I don't separate them... they are the same as acting... that is a way to communicate with yourself and ask questions about what is around you... I don't know.. a way to figure out things..

Adal: Hey Viggo, now coming back to the scene *points the TV where RoTK trailer was shown* I was watching your face when the dragons were flying *please don't flame me, Adal knows nothing about RoTK and he called Dragons to the Nazgul* I was watching your face like saying "Wow.. that looks great..." of course when you are shooting you don't see the Dragon, actually the Towers aren't even there.. a lot of things are CGI.... do you amaze yourself watching you on the screen?

Viggo :Yes.

*praising Peter Jackson*

Adal : You are still amazed with that magic..

Viggo: Yes, and though I know the book very well and I know what we shot, the director (Peter Jackson) alwasy amazes us, so we can't wait.. all who made the film... we're curious to see what he (Peter) did.

Adal : We're very happy than an actor from your league is here in Mexico and in our show, but above all, to see you like this because I got this vibe from you, as a person very human, humble, down to Earth, and of course quite creative and intelligent.

Viggo: Thanks for inviting me to your show.

Adal: No, the pleasure is ours... we're leaving but... un cojin, all the International starts... I would like you sign this to Otro Rollo

*Adal takes the microphone*

Viggo: Let's see how do you feel with that *points the microphone, because it was quite obvious that Viggo wasn't very happy with the microphone in his hands. When Viggo says this, he nods his head in a very particular way we Mexicans have.. in a very challenging way like saying "Ok, now it's your turn to do this"*

*and grins to the audience who laughs*

*and he also laughs*

Adal: Ladies and Gentleman, our dear Viggo Mortensen... and don't miss RoTK!!

Houghton Mifflin Bookstore Report: Colorado Springs
Xoanon @ 1:06 pm EST

Earwen writes: I just wanted to give a quick report on the Houghton Mifflin sneak preview event. I was surprised and excited to learn one of the screenings was being held in my town of Colorado Springs, so there was no way I was going to miss it. Including myself and my mom (who gets credit for not only giving birth to me but to my Tolkien obsession as well since it was she who read the books to me all the time when I was growing up until I was old enough to do it myself...THANKS MOM!!!) whew, sorry about that digression. Anyway, my original point was, including myself and my mom there were a total of only 5 or 6 people who showed up for the event. I think the fact that the weather turned very cold and it was the middle of the week kept some people away. That is alright though since it made for a nice cozy atmosphere.

The screening was held in a corner of the Media Play store that had been all decked out in posters and displays for the purpose of this event. There was a tv with several comfortable chairs set in front for us to sit in. We were each given a newsletter of sorts that contained information about the various editions of the book that are available through Houghtin Mifflin, and two bookmarks. The documentary itself was contained on a cassette tape in a plain black box that was not likely to give away what was inside. It was about half an hour long, and I noticed that the employee who put in the tape ended up staying to watch the whole thing, even though he was obviously not a huge fan of the trilogy. When I looked behind me I also saw that several other employees had stopped what they were doing to watch the documentary.

As for the documentary itself, it was all about the origins of various aspects of Tolkien's world. For example, the battlefields of WWI with their dead bodied strewn about was the inspiration for the Dead Marshes, and his friend C.S. Lewis's booming, harooming voice was thought to be what Tolkien imagined Treebeard sounded like. It was a very well put together and interesting documentary, with some things I already knew and some I did not. It's quality is exactly of the high level one would expect after the appendices material of the Extended Edition of FOTR.

I can remember only three brief clips from the upcoming Extended Edition of TTT being included in this documentary. One occurred when they were explaining the origins of Eowyn's name (Eoh = old english word for horse, Eowyn = "horse joy" or "one who takes joy in horses"). It showed Eowyn walking through the horse stables at Edoras and coming up to a brown horse (Brego?) who nuzzles her face. The second occurred when they were talking about Tolkien's portrayals of evil. It showed what appeared to be Uruk Hai or wildmen punching someone in the stomach and throwing them to the ground, and then killing someone else with a sword or spear of some sort. This looked like an extension or addition to the "wildmen destroying Rohan villages" scene. The third clip I remember was the longest and was the Merry and Pippin being swallowed by Old Man Willow scene, which I must say had me grinning from ear to ear, and almost laughing out loud. There may have been more clips, but I did not notice any.

After it was over, the employee who seemed less than enthusiastic at the beginning, was asking when the next movie came out, and how big a fans did we consider ourselves to be? December 17th, and obsessive we replied, smiling and giggling :) Everyone left pretty soon afterwards since it was cold and dark, with the ominous presence of work looming in the morning. I did notice and inquire about two cardboard cutouts of Gandalf the Grey and Aragorn which the employee gave to me (Eeeeeexcellent!). This made me most ecstatic since I have been trying to get a hold of some of these for ages. Also, he had heard me talking about the awesome time I had at the Two Towers: One Party last year, and asked how he could get tickets. I happily explained about TORn and wrote down the address for him. He thanked me, and so ended a lovely evening of Tolkien fandom, as well as this overlong (see second sentence) report.

P.S. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin and to Media Play for hosting this and taking the time to decorate and make it nice.

11-05-03 Latest News

Games Workshop announces opening of new Hobby Centers
Luthien @ 9:06 pm EST

In a recent press release, Games Workshop announced that it has just opened three new Hobby Centers this past weekend, bringing the total to 50 Hobby Centers throughout the United States. These Hobby Centers are staffed and run by teams of enthusiastic Games Workshop gamers, and are totally dedicated to the Games Workshop product line.

The three newest Hobby Centers are:
Games Workshop SunValley near San Francisco at the Sun Valley Mall
Games Workshop Natick Mall near Boston in Natick Mall
Games Workshop Third Avenue in New York City’s Upper East Side

...and three more are excepted to open before the end of the year (look for new stores in Atlanta and St. Louis). The company is on track to double this number in two years to over 100 stores in America, meaning that by then roughly one quarter of all Games Workshop Hobby Centers will be in the USA.

“The plan is to continue with the ongoing expansion in the USA, with at least 20 more stores coming in 2004” said CEO of Games Workshop America John Stallard. “This will be a quite exciting year for Games Workshop in many ways,” he went on to say. “We’re launching our third game for The Lord of the Rings right now, and have several more major releases for 2004. You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

To find a Games Workshop Hobby Center near you call 1-800-394-GAME or visit the Games Workshop website here

Trilogy Tuesday News: UK
Xoanon @ 11:41 am EST

Begthelion writes: Here is a little update on scrrenings from UGC cinema in UK. Just got this in my e-mail:

We will be showing the first two Lord of The Ring films; Fellowship of the Rings and The Two Towers on the following dates at the cinemas listed below:

Fellowship Of the Rings: Wednesday 3rd December
The Two Towers: Wednesday 10th December

Enfield, Aberdeen, Belfast, Bolden, Bolton, Crawley, Dundee, Hull,

Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Newport, Northampton, Rochester, Slough, Stockport, Wigan, WIQ.

To book tickets for these performances please visit our website where details will be available from November 15th on how to book tickets.

We may also be showing an extended version of all three Lord of The Rings films on December 16th and 17th. Confirmation of this will be posted on our Website as soon as possible.

UGC Customer Services

Trilogy Tuesday News: Ireland
Xoanon @ 11:20 am EST

Lord of Moria writes: I see you have a few updates regarding Trilogy Tuesday in the U.K. Unfortunately that doesnt help out us Irish very much. So here is an update as far as the UGC in Dublin is concerned

There are no concrete plans as of yet regarding Trilogy Tuesday. I work for the cinema myself and we are waiting on word from our head ofice in the U.K. before we move ahead. As it stands we have two options

(a) Run FOTR EE for a week two weeks before Dec 17th then followed by TTT EE for a week before Dec 17th and then open with ROTK


(b) run with Trilogy Tuesday.

By that stage UGC Dublin will have 17 screens so it would be brilliant if they reserved 4 or 5 screens for triolgy tuesday but i'd say that is unlikly as they think there isnt that much interest for Trilogy Tuesday in Dublin. So PLEASE all patrons of UGC Dublin on your next visit PLEASE tell the staff at the Box Office how much you want Trilogy Tuesday. Dont be afraid to tells us because we all want it as much as you do.

P.S. if you see someone wearing a suit with a UGC pin wrestle them to the ground and dont let them up until they agree to Trilgy Tuesday

More On Viggo in Mexico
Xoanon @ 10:52 am EST

Mithveaen writes: I'm sending you this from CNI Newsletter I get everyday. I'm sending a translation but since I'm at work I did it using Altavista (I cleaned it up the best I could -Xo), I hope it makes sense!!

Aragorn´ promotes epilogue of the Lord of the Rings

© CNI in line. - American actor Viggo Mortensen arrived on Monday at the Distrito Federal to promote the last part of the trilogy "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of King", of which he emphasized that the best thing is the human dimension of the story, not the special effects.

Interviewed in Mexico City airport, "Aragorn" was received by a multitude of fans who tried to obtain an autograph or a photo with him, causing a rukus.

When he was asked about his impressions about the special effects on the film "The Return of the King", that will be released next December in US, the actor assured people that the relations between the characters is the most remarkable part of the film.

"Of course that (the special effects) they are best, but I believe what is going to last during many decades is the relationships that exist among the characters", said the actor.

Mortensen joked that the only thing he knows from Mexico is that the soccer team of Toluca "plays very well", after loosing badly by the USA team 6-0 last weekend.

Malaysian Premiere and Trilogy Marathon News
Demosthenes @ 9:15 am EST

Ringer Spy Alex writes that Starbucks Malaysia will be hosting two RoTK events in Kuala Lumpur in December.

The first is the RoTK Charity Premiere. This will be happening on 17th December 2003 from 7.45pm. It will be held at the TGV cinemas at KLCC and 1-Utama. Tickets are priced at RM$39 and will include a Starbucks beverage voucher and a Starbucks mug. The charity premiere tickets are available from Starbucks outlets from 10th November onwards.

The second event is the LoTR Trilogy movie marathon (Extended Edition). This will be happening on 19th December 2003 from 11pm to 10am the next day (yes! its an all-nighter!) and will be held at the TGV cinemas at KLCC and Sunway Pyramid. Tickets are available now at Starbucks outlets and are priced at RM$43. Each ticket includes two Starbucks beverage vouchers and a "Survival" certificate at the end of the screening.

11-04-03 Latest News

Tony Wolf in Chicago Report
Xoanon @ 12:40 pm EST

Emma writes: I got a very few of my Tony Wolf photos up last night, from his demo last night. I haven't had time to write anything up on the page yet.

Tony was fantastic--very articulate and with a lot of opinions about what stage combat has been, is, and could be. His method for teaching it is along the lines of "teaching them to fish" so they have the tools to figure out the details themselves, rather than "giving them a fish" which is only good for one specific instance. It was also interesting to hear that in NZ, there is much less of a division between those working in the theatre, in feature films, and in television, than there is here, so that he has done work in all those mediums.

He talked about his job on LOTR, which as fighting styles designer, saw him working in preproduction alongside those people designing the costumes, weapons, etc. He had to design, from scratch, the fighting styles for 8 different peoples (Rohirrim, Elves, Gondorians, Ors, Moria Orcs, etc.) which involved taking what was known about those peoples--their history, their physical aspects, their culture--and coming up with a style that would arise out of the combination of those things.

After his talk, he worked with two women from our *excellent* local female stage combat troupe, Babes With Blades, to demonstrate how he might choreograph a fight for two specific characters--and he chose the characters so he would know something about them, as he doesn't choreograph generic "fights" but needs to make the fighting style specific to the characters and the situation. So the ladies were Buffy and Faith, which proved to be a lot of fun for both the ladies involved and the audience.

Mega Tolkien Event in Brussells next March
Tehanu @ 5:08 am EST

The Italian Tolkien Society is proud to announce that the great event dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the first two volumes of The Lord of The Rings will occur in the European Parliament of Bruxelles between the 22th and the 28th of March, 2004.

Tolkien Societies from every part of the world (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Philippines, Germany, Japan, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Spain, United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Hungary, Turkey) already announced their adhesion to the event. For the Tolkien Societies which haven't confirmed their adhesion and are interested, they can write at this e-mail address: tolkien.bruxelles@email.it (Oronzo Cilli Event organizer)

This week dedicated to the English writer will be full of events. First, there will be several panels with Tolkien experts from different countries. Between the people contacted (we hope everybody will answer positively at our invitation) there are Brian Sibley, Tom Shippey, Patrick Curry, Christopher Garbowski, Stefano Giuliano, Gianfranco De Turris, Adolfo Morganti, Paolo Paron and Chris Crawshaw.

During the week, a painting exhibition will show the works of artists as Ted Nasmith, Alan Lee, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, Roger Garland, Luigi Enzo Mattei, Tom Cross, Donato Giancola, Luca Michelucci, Angelo Montanini, Anton Spazzapan, Pascal Yung, Stephen Walsh, Randy Asplund, David Wyatt, Roger Thomasson, Maria Distefano, Peter Gaber, Stefano Baldo, Timoleon Kouimtzoglou, Danny Staten, Ed Beard Jr. and Catherine Karina Chemiel. We hope also to have John Howe (who already participated at our events) as our guest.

On Tuesday, 23, a concert of celtic music and a stage performance called Gollum's Ring will delight the audience.

Among the institutions required for a support, there are the European Parliament ˆ Italian Office, United Kingdom Government, New Zealand Government, Region de Bruxelles Capitale, Vice Presidenza Del Consiglio Dei Ministri, Istituto Italiano di Cultura ˆ Bruxelles, Ministero delle Comunicazioni, Ministero delle Politiche Agricole e Forestali, Regione Lazio.

The Tolkien event will be presented in Rome in mid january.

We hope to have more news and confirmations soon.

See youRobert Bernocchi - Italian Tolkien Society

11-03-03 Latest News

The Two Towers: Extended Edition DVD - The Film
Calisuri @ 2:09 pm EST

Pre-Order for November 18: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers DVD Collector's Gift SetI, like a lot of fans, didn't get a ticket to the Trilogy Tuesday screening for December 16th. Having just sat through 10 hours of TTT EX DVD bliss however, I'm glad! I'm not what one may call uber-athletic, and I'm not horribly out of shape either, but sitting in a theater/screening-room for 10 hours is near impossible. But, I took one for the team and managed to last until the very last documentary on the last disk. I gave up a few minutes into it! Sorry! I just had to get outta there.

While I didn't get to see that last documentary, I did soak in the entire DVD set that is making its way to stores November 18th. This set, like the FOTR EX set is going to blow your mind. I'm one of the most antsy people in the world, and to stay in a chair for 10 hours meant my brain was thoroughly engrossed in what it was receiving.

Today I wanted to give you my brief synopsis of the actual The Two Towers Extended Edition film and my thoughts on its merits. In the coming week, I'll discuss some of the highlights of the third and fourth discs as well.

First and foremost, The Two Towers Extended Edition is, like FOTR Ex, a far better piece of cinematic magic than the original theatrical release. It is unfortunate that we live in a time where the general movie going public, and the theater economic structure, does not allow this nearly 4 hour masterpiece to make it into all cities in every country. This is obviously the true vision of the filmmakers, and it shows.

When I first saw TTT in early December 2002, I loved it, but not as much as FOTR and, based on the extreme difference between FOTR Ex and FOTR, I came away with the knowledge "Yeah, there was a lot cut out" and I'll see it in the Extended Edition. You could simply feel it when you watch the movie. Where did Brego come from? Why in one scene are 400 elves still alive and in the very next cut they are dead and we have 12 people in the Helm's Keep. It was obvious to me that there was a lot missing, so I knew the Extended Edition would fill those holes, and it did.

What I did not expect was that there was a lot portions of the story to flesh out. I"m going to try and list the scenes that I saw, as briefly as possible, since I'm not a big fan of spoiling it for everyone.

Frodo, Sam, Gollum and Faramir

There is a lot more of Gollum, Sam and Frodo. One of the key scenes that come to mind is a conversation Gollum has with Smeagol right after Frodo releases him from the elvish rope. As Gollum flees the scene and the hobbits run to follow, Gollum has the first internal battle of the film, and it is just amazing. At one point, Sam is furious after it looks like 'Gollum' won over the internal debate and has convinced Smeagol to bolt. It makes for a very good addition to the narrative, establishing the dual personality of Smeagol early on.

Previous to TTT, I had heard rumors of a scene in which Faramir's men beat the living snot out of Gollum after his capture at the pool. I did not expect to see the sequence in TTT EX, simply because the description relayed to me sounded excessively violent. Much to my surprise, we do get a brief glimpse of Gollum being beat to smithereens. In fact, in TTT EX Gollum is treated by men, especially Faramir, in a very violent manner. While this is another liberty taken by the filmmakers, it adds even more sympathy for the character. Whatever chance he had of keeping Gollum at bay and forgiving Frodo and Sam for allowing him to be captured, is long gone. At least from our perspective. There is even an apology sequence in the sewers of Osgiliath. Sam, trying to buddy up with Gollum, tells him how Frodo was only trying to help his situation and did not want to betray Gollum. Gollum puts on an act and seems to accept the apology. Little do poor Sam and Frodo know what is in store.

Denethor and Boromir
Denethor's Disdain
Faramir gets the long awaited 'explanatory' scene added in, in which Denethor's lack of affection for his son, and the lack of confidence in him, comes across loud and clear. The keywords 'prove his quality' are delivered by Denethor as a step-father would to an unwanted son. We are truly now prepped for Faramir's character development in TTT.

Denethor comes off as power hungry and cold hearted. (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ROTK - HIGHLIGHT TO READ) I can now understand how Faramir, seeing his father despise him so much, would voluntarily ride to what is almost certain death.(END SPOILERS).

It was also great to see Boromir back in all his glory. Being a huge Sean Bean fan, and feeling that he should have at the very least been nominated for his role in FOTR, it was great to see the favored son of Gondor on the screen. He defends his brother against Denethor's onslaught and then argues with Denethor about travelling to Rivendell. Boromir feels it is his place to stay in Gondor instead of being an errand boy. This is when Faramir speaks up and asks to take Boromir's place. Denethor just outright tells him he wouldn't trust such an important mission to a failed son.

Merry, Pippin and Treebeard

Merry and Pippin also have a significant amount of added scenes in TTT EX. My favorite, as strange as it may sound, is when the party of Uruk-hai meet up with the Mordor Orcs. In the original release, we're never told how these Uruks meet up with the scraggy likes of Grishnakh. TTT EX has the Uruks come to a halt (as in the theatrical release), but instead of smelling 'man flesh' right away, they smell other orcs. This is when Grishnakh and his crew come out of hiding. Additionally we see Pippin begging for their captors to give Merry some water. Merry is barely alive on the back of an Uruk. In response, and much to Pippin's horror, the Uruks force Orc ale down Merry's throat. Merry sputters and chokes on the obviously disgusting brew. Pippin is then warn to keep quiet or he'll have the same treatment.

Merry and Pippin at Treebeard's home
Who's Taller Now?
In the added sequence near Treebeard's home Merry and Pippin have a great comic scene in which they argue about who is taller. Pippin has been drinking from the ent draught supply and seems to 'grow' in front of Merry's eyes, with a series of tree-like creaking sounds emitting from his body. The argument leads to Merry grabbing the water vessel, and attempting to drink some of the draught himself. During the scuffle, they fall into the roots of a large knarly tree, only to find themselves fighting for their lives. The tree is...Old Man Willow! Granted the reference is a little out of place in the film version, it is a nice aside to add more to the Merry and Pippin storyline. Treebeard returns and coops some of ole Tom Bombadil's lines to free the Hobbits from the roots of the tree. Its a nice little 'shout out' to Tom and Old Man Willow.

And of course, Merry and Pippin, after the flooding of Isengard, provide even more comic relief as they discover the storage closet of Isengard. Complete with FOTResque 'leaf' inferences.

Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas

As with the other story lines, a lot has been added back in.

The now infamous 'Aragorn Cliff Diving' sequence gets a little more added context as we find out where the heck that horse comes from! In the original release, I just assumed it was the horse he was riding on the previous Warg Battle, and the Men of Rohan just left it wandering. (Rather unlikely considering their love for horses and I'm sure they needed every horse they had) The real story is fleshed out with an added scene inside the Rohan stables which sets up Eowyn's growing infatuation with Aragorn and Brego's eventual coming to Aragorn's rescue. As Aragorn and the others prepare their horses, one horse in particular is causing quite a stir. I believe one of the mean of Rohan say it has gone mad. Aragorn slowly approaches the creature speaking in an elvish tongue and is able to calm Brego down. Eowyn overhears and inquires about the language, only to find out that Aragorn was raised for a time in Rivendell. He orders Brego to be freed to the wild, since he had already served his time in battle for Theoden's son, Theodred.

King Theoden leads the Mourners
Theodred's Funeral
Speaking of Theodred, we do see Eomer's discovery of his body on the banks of a stream, filled with slaughtered orcs and men. The subsequent funeral is added into TTT EX and proves to be an even more heart-wrenching scene, than just seeing Theoden outside the tomb. The entire city of Edoras comes out for the funeral. The Men of Rohan carry Theodred's body to the burial ground, while the women wait by the tomb to mourn. Eowyn becomes the soloist of a very sorrow-filled song, sung in Old English without subtitles. I was slightly surprised when she started singing, but the performance was amazing, and quickly was engrossed into the emotion of the moment.

As the people of Rohan and our key characters travel to Helm's Deep, Eowyn also finds out that Aragorn is 87. The news obviously blows her mind, but at the same time, we get the distinct impression that it is yet another piece that will add to her love for Aragorn. In fact, in one scene, in the streets of Helm's Deep, she all but confesses her love for him.

The Battle of Helm's deep, while amazing in the first film, manages to be even better in TTT EX. The differences from the theatrical release are not obvious, but some do stick out. One of my personal critiques in the theatrical release was the sudden disappearance of the entire Elf army. In the TTT EX version we get a few more sweeping shots of the battle, showcasing the slow but steady decline of the Elf army numbers.

The tension of Helm's Deep was also heightened by a few more women and children shots inside the glittering caves. If I remember correctly, we see them reacting more to the uruks about to break in.

Gimli Wins!
Gimli Wins!
My favorite addition to the battle is the 'final kill' count exchange between Legolas and Gimli. The scene has Legolas conversing with Gimli as he sites, perched ontop of a dead Uruk (see the images). Legolas claims victory with a final kill count of 42. Gimli, in his typical manner, agrees that 42 is a big number, but his 43 kills beats it! Legolas, in a probably not-so-tolkien moment, reacts by firing an arrow directly into the orc on which Gimli is situated. "43," Legolas says. Gimli directs Legolas's gaze to his axe in the Uruks head and explains he was already dead. It makes for a great comedic moment. Of course my description does not do it justice!

The most significant Helm's Deep change is the addition of the correct ending: The orcs running from battle into a forest of Huorns. What is described in the book as a few lines, comes across on screen very effectively. Lets just say its really cool to see the Uruks run into the forest...and after a significant dramatic pause, the trees start tearing into them. Why this, literally less than 60 second addition, didn't make it into the theatrical release, the world may never know. I have a feeling it had more to do with special effects not being done, than just simply being cut. Thats my guess anyway.

Theoden Banishes Eomer
Eomer is Banished
Before I forget, another hole that always bothered me was Grima's banishment of Eomer from Rohan early on in the film. In the theatrical release, the impression is that Grima somehow has the authority to make such a dramatic decision. In TTT EX we see that he does not, but managed to convince poor possessed Theoden to sign a document for the purpose. This is just another example of the little holes being filled throughout the storyline.

There are a slew of more scenes added in, that I can't recall from memory. The additions are dotted all over the place. The end result however is a much better Two Towers film and something that we can all be proud to add to our DVD collection on November 18th. As kiss up as it might seem, we need to once again thank the filmmakers and New Line Home Entertainment for providing fans with this opportunity to see the masterpiece in its entirety. If there is one thing we can say about Tolkien fandom and our relationship with the filmmakers, we are treated very well. (Unlike those poor Star Wars fans, like myself. We just know Lucas will NEVER release the original uncorrupted Star Wars films on DVD.)

I also had the chance to see the last 2 discs of the Extended Edition Set. I'll be posting my thoughts on the documentaries and other features in the coming days.

Pre-Order for November 18: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers DVD Collector's Gift Set

Houghton Mifflin Special Event Nov. 5
maegwen @ 11:28 am EST

20 Bookstores nationwide to host Lord Of The Rings book and dvd events on November 5

To celebrate the publication of three of Houghton Mifflin's THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING film tie-in books on November 5, twenty bookstores around the country will host special, one-time-only video events featuring exclusive content from "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" Extended Edition DVD, to be released by New Line Home Entertainment on November 18. Stores will debut a documentary from the DVD entitled "J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-earth."

Houghton Mifflin's three film books THE LORD OF THE RINGS: WEAPONS AND WARFARE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING VISUAL COMPANION, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING PHOTO GUIDE offer an exclusive sneak peek at the final film in the award-winning trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," six weeks before its December 18 theatrical release.

The books and the special video preview of footage from "The Two Towers" DVD are sure to please LORD OF THE RINGS fans around the country.

Below is the complete list of bookstores debuting the featurette:

San Mateo -- Barnes & Noble, 11 West Hillsdale Blvd., Hillsdale Shopping Ctr., 7:00 p.m.

Colorado Springs -- Media Play, 7720 North Academy Blvd., 7:00 p.m.

Barnes & Noble, 555 12th Street NW, 6:00 p.m.

Tampa -- University of South Florida Bookstore, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, 4:30 p.m.

Oak Park -- Barbara's Bookstore, 1100 West Lake Street, 7:00 p.m.

South Bend -- Notre Dame Bookstore, Eck Center, 7:00 p.m.

Lawrence -- Hastings, 1900 W. 23rd Southwest Plaza, 7:00 p.m.

Boston -- Barnes & Noble @ Boston University, 660 Beacon Street, 12:00 noon

Bloomington -- Suncoast Motion Picture Co., Mall of America, 126 E. Broadway, 5:30 p.m.

Brentwood -- Borders, 1519 S. Brentwood Boulevard, 7:00 p.m. Columbia -- Columbia Books, 22 South Ninth Street, 6:00 p.m. (Nov. 6)

Bozeman -- Hastings, 1601 W. Main, Hastings Shopping Ctr., 7:00 p.m.

Hamburg -- Media Play, McKinley Mall, 3701 McKinley Parkway, 7:00 p.m.

Portland -- Barnes & Noble, 1720 N. Jantzen Beach Center, 7:30 p.m.

Nashville -- Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 4007 Hillsboro Road, 12:00 noon

Canyon -- Hastings, 205 N. 23rd Street, 7:00 p.m.
College Station -- Barnes & Noble, 711 Texas Avenue, 7:00 p.m. Dallas -- Borders, 5500 Greenville Ave, 7:00 p.m.

Salt Lake -- Borders, 50 S. Main Street, Crossroads Mall, 7:00 p.m.

Seattle -- University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 3:00 p.m.


ISBN 0-618-39100-2, $18.95 paperback; ISBN 0-618-39099-5, $29.95 cloth


ISBN 0-618-39098-7, $8.95 paperback

11-02-03 Latest News

TTT:EE DVD Review!
Xoanon @ 10:59 pm EST

The One Cut: Review of The Two Towers: Extended Edition

By Susan Thea Posnock

The movie versions of The Lord of the Rings could never match the book. And that isn’t a bad thing. They are visionary filmic achievements that I believe honor the book, without being a strict paint-by-numbers retelling. The Extended Edition of The Two Towers is a great example of why some scenes—that perhaps make fans giddy with delight—really should be left to the cutting room floor.

That’s not to say it isn’t a wonderful, rich, textually deep version of the film. When it comes out on November 18 I’ll buy it and I’ll hold it in equal esteem to the theatrical version. But watching a preview screening of it Saturday morning, I was struck by just how successful (and necessary) the cuts in the earlier incarnation were. It is truly a gift to fans to be able to get these scenes back, but for the most part, I agree with Peter Jackson’s decision to keep them out in the first place.

Taken as individual scenes, most of the new material is excellent. Perhaps more importantly, it sheds light on Middle-earth and its history. Things like Ents, Aragorn’s lineage and Faramir’s motivation are seen more clearly.

Watching all these moments, there are a few that I wish had made it to the final cut. Without going into any specific spoilers, these include a more detailed establishing scene before Frodo and Sam encounter Gollum, a Frodo/Gollum moment that reinforces their connection through the ring, and a scene in Helm’s Deep between Eowyn and Aragorn that I believe takes dialogue from Return of the King and demonstrates the pain of her unrequited love for him.

The one scene that stands above the rest among the new elements is the flashback involving Boromir, Faramir and their father, Denethor. It features some of the finest acting of all the films, with John Noble’s performance as Denethor adding depth not only to Faramir in this film, but Boromir in Fellowship of the Ring. Sean Bean reminds us what a driving, powerful force he was in that film. Bust most importantly, the scene sets up the changes in Faramir’s character. While I still ultimately disagree with these, at least the inclusion of the flashback gives the “new” Faramir substance, versus his just being an obstacle in Frodo’s way.

Of the scenes that I’m glad didn’t make it into the theatrical version the one that sticks out the most is a pure nod to the fans. It is one with Merry and Pippin after the fall of Isengard. My problem with it isn’t so much the scene itself, but its placement after the climax of the film, when the emotions are the highest. It cuts into that feeling in the last 10 minutes. The theatrical version, from Gandalf’s return to Sam’s speech to Gollum’s final inner struggle is, in my opinion, flawless.

Oh, and I haven’t even gotten into the extras…Without going into details, all I can say is the obsession that went into making these films is at least equal (and perhaps surpasses) the obsession of the fans watching. I seriously doubt that geeks can ever expect a better, more beautiful, more faithful (at least in spirit) adaptation. These are cinematic masterpieces, every stroke made with love.

Halloween Party Images
Xoanon @ 9:30 pm EST

Bud writes:

Halloween Party at the Sunnyvale Community, Ca.
Click for more images

Wanted to send you some photos of our Halloween party held at the Sunnyvale Community Center in Sunnyvale California

Attached are some photos of the sets my wife, some friends and I made for the party which include, a flaming Mount Doom complete with lava, a Baggend with Bilbo peeking out the window, A 14 foot Orthanc Tower, A glow in the dark door of Durin and a Lothlorien

All these were made form cardboard and packaging materials and took three weekends to produce. Many photo's were especially taken at Baggend.

I personally thought that the Door of Durin with the glow in the dark engraving was the most impressive but most turned their attention to Baggend. A group shot was also taken of those dressed in LOTR Characters.

More pictures will be put up on our web page www.swdance.com in a couple of days.

My wife Deborah was dressed up as Arwyn (in the dream sequence dress with red sleeves)and I as Aragorn with Orthanc. My wife is a die hard Tolkien Fan and eventually got me to enjoy the LOTR Trilogy.

Lord of the Rings Musical: Composer A R Rahman
Tehanu @ 2:13 am EST

Curious about the music for the LOTR musical that is being planned for London's West End? Ringer spy Kalki was kind enough to send us not just this link to composer A R Rahman's website, which includes a biography, [More] but he has also written a knowledgeable and very interesting summary of who A R Rahman is and how his work is admired by those who know it, and why we should be excited about his involvement in the LOTR Musical. Kalki writes:

Who is A.R. Rahman? Too put it in a few words, he is probably the biggest thing that has happened this generation, in the Indian world of music. The Indian music scene is almost entirely dominated by film music. Just about every commercial film made is a musical, with characters breaking into syrupy songs and gaudy dances every few minutes. Just for your information, the songs are actually sung by play-back singers‚ in studios and are dubbed into the film with lip sync!!! The success of films depends largely on the songs, which play a larger role in marketing than anything else. Cheesy, no? But this tried and tested formula has been producing some brilliant music since the 40s, and continues to do so. Each major language has its own film industry and the Tamil film industry is one of India's most thriving entertainment industries. Not only does it have world class directors and actors, its musical talents are second to none. Sadly, this music rarely left the borders of the Tamil Diaspora, who form a small part of the Indian race. Despite a fine feel for music and lyrics, the Tamil music scene simply lacked sophistication. Especially, in choice of musical instruments. Westernised tunes, especially, sounded extremely lame, when played unimaginatively on electronic keyboards. That was during the pre-Rahman era.

In 1992, a film by legendary director Mani Ratnam was released. It was called "Roja." Generally speaking, a film by Mani Ratnam, is considered to be a film not to miss. But, despite the expected high quality of the film itself, the biggest news on everyone's lips was the music. The songs pandered to every taste, ranging from village folk, to stirringly patriotic. Modern, but very cultured. The music director was a simple Tamil Muslim by the name of A.R. Rahman. "Roja" raked in virtually every music award to be won, including the National Award [India‚s most unglamorous but most coveted film award].

From then on, there was no looking back, for Rahman, or for Tamil music. He said that he had received 25,000 Rupees for Roja [that's US $650, BTW], but you can be rest assured that his asking price shot up pretty soon. Entire films would become mega hits if his name appeared in the credits. Award upon award came to him. The younger generation was entirely at his feet, but that is not to say that he couldn't bring a tear or two to an old gaffer's eyes.

Fusing tunes and instruments from different cultures is Rahman's forte. India being one of the most diverse countries in the world [in every way imaginable], he really should have had an easy time mixing melodies from the hundreds of different languages and lands, not to mention the different religions. He, however, was also adept at bringing in Western music from every genre into his work. Another special touch possessed by Rahman was his ability to bring out the best in the play-back singers. He not only has an uncanny ability to "discover" unknown singers, but also adds new dimensions to the voice of anyone who sings for him.

Quite often, Tamil films get dubbed in different Indian languages, to be released in different states. It was through this method, that Rahman initially achieved national fame. Before long, he was being roped in to do work in Hindi, India's national language. His first Hindi movie was "Rangeela," and needless to say, its soundtrack won over all audiences. Within no time, Rahman became a household name throughout India - and any place in the world where Indians lived.

And his rise to international fame? Probably, it started off when he created an album called Vande Mataram, which was a patriotic album to celebrate India's 50th Independence Day. The album was a great success, but what was equally important was that it was produced by international giants Sony Music. This probably helped accelerate the inevitable.

He sung a bit in Michael Jackson's Invincible album. Last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber staged a play called "A. R. Rahman's Bombay Dreams." As I understand it, the play received luke-warm response. Also, Rahman's songs were largely recycled [on Webber‚s request] and, in my opinion, came across as rather dilute [for lack of a better word]. Rahman himself seemed a little unhappy with having to adapt his old work with English lyrics. But finally, India's music whiz kid was firmly on his way to international stardom. Very recently, he got his first break in the international movie scene. Not in the most expected of ways though. It was in the Chinese [!] movie Warriors of Heaven and Earth. Its producers, Sony, figured out that Rahman would be perfect for the job, since the film is about the Silk route‚ which involves China and South Asia [India, Pakistan, etc.].

I shall not risk naming his best efforts in the Tamil film industry, as I cannot speak for the entire Tamil community [BTW, I'm not even Tamil in the first place]. Everyone has their own favourites. My favourite film with Rahman's music is "Bombay." Again, it was directed by Mani Ratnam. I'll not even start about the film, but Rahman's music - both the background score and the songs - were simply breathtaking. Somehow, it seems that Rahman always saves his most potent magic for Mani Ratnam, and it is a partnership that never fails.

And so what is Rahman, the person, like? I've seen a few of his interviews and he appears to be simple and rather reserved. But it is clear, that he is a very spiritual person, a deep believer in Sufi Islam. He is undoubtedly hard working and sincere. And despite his work taking him further and further away from his home, he still stays true to his mother tongue - Tamil, and the Tamil film industry, which made him a star. Even this year's National Award for Best Music went to Rahman for the Tamil movie Kannathil Muttamithal. And no prizes for guessing who the director is. Yerp, Mani Ratnam.

Some Indians out there might accuse me - and every other 18 year old - of being too fanatical about Rahman, and I know that I might have made it look like he is the only music director in the whole of India. I must say that there are several other Indian musicians who deserve to be called geniuses. But I don't think that anyone can argue that the consistency, sophistication, and variety of Rahman's music, began a new era in Indian cinema history. In fact, in Indian music history. So, pardon me if I have described his music as something sacred. And anyway, looking at the way these TORNers write about Tolkien - well, you get the idea :).

And coming to Tolkien, and The Lord Of The Rings. I'll not waste anyone's bandwidth by talking about his works. I'll just say this: he wrote The One Book, the greatest book ever. 'Nuff said. And as for Peter Jackson's movies, W-O-W!!! I fall at the feet of the great, hairy man. Now, they‚re trying to make a stage play out of the story. It should be obvious by now how much I love Rahman's music and Tolkien‚s literature.

So you can imagine what a delightful shock I got, when I read that A. R. Rahman is going to score music for a West End adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings. Now I know what Eomer must have felt, on the Pelennor Fields, when he realised that the ships from the sea carried not new enemies, but heralded the return of the King. The very same astonishment and victorious joy. It was so unexpected to see Rahman‚ and LOTR‚ in the same sentence. Too bad that LOTR is almost unheard of in India, so very few are going to share my euphoria. Anyhoo, fellow Tolkien worshippers know a thing or two about healthy obsessions :), so they'll probably understand my feelings. On the bright side, Rahman's fame might expose more Indians to Tolkien. Well, I think I've raved enough about Rahman, so joining all of you in anticipation of December 17th, namarie malor.

Regards, Kalki

11-01-03 Latest News

On a Ring and a Prayer
Xoanon @ 10:17 pm EST

From Entertainment Weekly: Less than two months before The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's Dec. 17 opening, even the most wary and sequel-burned of moviegoers assumes the third Tolkien installment will be a masterpiece. And why shouldn't they? It was shot concurrently with the other two near-flawless installments, which were mostly faithful to the same written epic that King will be concluding. But let's consider this heresy: What if something goes horribly awry? Don't forget wrong turns by other fanboy-fave series in round three: What if cutesy animals or tykes rush in to save our Middle-earth heroes, like Return of the Jedi's Ewoks or Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome's lost children? Or Frodo shaves his head before luring Shelob into a molten-metal jacuzzi and committing suicide, ¨¤ la Alien3? And if Gandalf somehow ends up in the Old West like Back to the Future Part III, we¡¯ll tar and feather Peter Jackson. Sure, this is all unlikely, and King will probably rule, but it never hurts to lower your expectations. Nobody wants a relapse of The Matrix Reloaded heartbreak.

Hall of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 4:02 pm EST

Return of the King Bk 6, Ch VI - Many Partings

The time has come for the Hobbits to travel home to the Shire. They leave Minas Tirith in the company of the nobility of Rohan and Gondor, and their comrades of the Fellowship of the Ring. With them ride Celeborn and Galadriel with their folk, and Elrond and his sons. A great company following Theoden Thengel's son home from the field of Gondor.

Theoden is burried with his ancestors and the greatest feast in the
History of the Golden Hall is held in Edoras, and there Eowyn of Rohan and Faramir of Gondor are trothplighted before all.

The company leaves Rohan and continues North. On the way, old and new
allies and friends part from eachother, and at Isengard they find Saruman gone. In the end the Hobbits reach Rivendell and are re-united with Bilbo.

Why do you think that Treebeard let Saruman free? How does Tolkien show how the world is changing into a new Age? What does Saruman mean by the Wise having 'pulled down their own house'? We shall debate the many partings in this chapter, and take a closer look at that strange and wonderful place; Rivendell. Join us in #thehalloffire as we explore Chapter VI of The Return of the King; 'Many Partings'.

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
AET = Australian East Coast

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Advanced ROTK Screening on December 5th
Xoanon @ 12:54 pm EST

KB writes: A friend of mine who works for KCET (L.A.'s public television station) sent on this information about an advance screening of ROTK, December 5, in Palm Springs (about 90 minutes' drive from L.A.). Andrew Lesnie will also be there. This is a fundraiser for KCET. I've included the details below. I didn't see this up on KCET's website yet but I imagine it will be there soon.

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

With special guest Academy Award winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie

at the
Camelot Theatres
2300 Baristo Road, Palm Springs

6:00 PM - reception 7:00 PM - screening
Includes a discussion with Andrew Lesnie, and KCET's Cinema Series
Host, Pete Hammond

$50 per person
To purchase tickets by credit card, call (323) 953-5800
Email reservations accepted at KCETspecialevents@kcet.org

Make it a Weekend Getaway Special KCET hotel rate available at the luxurious Le Parker Meridien Hotel in Palms Springs, for reservations call, (760) 770-5000. Unwind and enjoy the hotel's exquisite Givenchy Spa, rated one of the top five spas in 2003 by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.

Generously hosted by Ric and Rozene Supple * Camelot Theatres * Le Parker Merdien Acqua Panna & S. Pellegrino

All proceeds from the event benefit KCET Public Television for Southern and Central California

EA's UK Press Launch for the ROTK Game
Xoanon @ 12:03 pm EST

EA's UK Press Launch for the ROTK Game
EA's 'Return of the King' Game

Irascian writes: Here’s a short report on tonight’s UK press launch of the EA console game “Return of the King”

EA used the prestigious Science Museum as the venue for the official launch of their “Return of the King” game, scheduled to be launched for PS/2, Xbox, Nintendo and PC on November 14th in the UK, just four days ahead of the release of the extended edition DVD of TTT.

Press representatives were treated to seemingly never-ending wine, beer and canapés, free pass to the LOTR exhibition and a generous goody bag that comprised a CD press kit, TTT DVD. TTT Howard Shore soundtrack album, paperback copy of “The Lord of the Rings” novel and an “exclusive limited edition” Smeagol poster. It’s a hard life attending events like this, but I guess someone has to do it! The game itself was available to play on a number of two-player consoles scattered around the venue and showcasing the various platforms the game will be releases on: Nintendo, PS/2 and X Box.

EA's UK Press Launch for the ROTK Game
An amazing rendering of Sean Astin as Sam

Company spokespeople were clearly fans of the game and book and movie, as one eager assistant explained that although the first movie hadn’t been made available as a game by EA on the Xbox, another company had released a version of Fellowship that he’d bought and enjoyed as a different type of game to that which EA offered with their TTT and ROTK console games. Refreshingly, the company admitted that they realised many sales went to hard-core fans, rather than real games players, who are apparently keen to get their hands on the advance footage and “behind the scenes” material included in the game. Not that the game itself is a poor show – in fact the graphics and motion are so impressive I found myself wishing the guys responsible for the game had been allowed to do that “Legolas digital double jumping off the cave troll” scene from the first movie. Unlike the game for TTT which was a single-player offering, the new game is a multi-player offering where you can play a friend, although, as we soon discovered, it helps if you work together rather than trying to head off in different directions! The game starts with Gandalf’s appearance at Helm’s Deep and moves on, if you’re clever and skilful enough, to the destruction of the One Ring itself in the cracks of Mount Doom. Admittedly neither myself (playing Boromir) nor my partner (playing Aragorn) would pretend to be, in any shape or form, games players, and indeed various orcs soon put paid to our efforts to destroy them, but I think the fact that we both admitted we’d be buying the game when released on November 14th says all you need to know about what’s on offer here. The graphics are amazing, and if you can persuade a chum to join you the game is great fun even if working out what all those buttons do can get a bit confusing at times.

Comparing the different versions it became clear that if you have access to an X-Box this is the platform to go for. The game is basically the same on all platforms, but on the PS/2 the graphics just didn’t appear quite so sharp or fluid, presumably because the platform is somewhat older.

Many of the products launched “Under license from New Line” have been of somewhat dubious quality. EA’s “Return of the King” certainly isn’t one of them and if it’s state-of-the-art gaming you want, with the added benefit of “behind the scenes” footage and exclusive commentary from the original movie cast, this is one movie tie-in product that should be high on your wish list. I’ve already placed my advance order!

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