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November 25, 2004 - December 03, 2004

12-03-04 Latest News

Warren Reviews the EE: More SPOILER-Packed Details
Tehanu @ 5:34 pm EST

People wrote in with a few questions for Ringer spy Warren, whose report we posted a few days ago. Warren answered these questions as well as adding more responses to the review from Robert at Bad Taste

One reader asked "Was there any adult content or offensive language in the Easter Eggs or anywhere else in the Extended Edition?"

Warren: "There was no adult conent or offensive language in the Easter Eggs (Elijah does swear at Dominic after Dominic reveals his identity, but I recall that it was bleeped out), or anywhere else in the movie. I have not had the time to watch the film with any of the commentaries, nor the Appendices."

Second question: "Do we get to find out the fate of the Disfigured Orc General?"

Warren: "YES!!!!!! The extended scenes during the Battle of Pellenor Fields is phenomenal! In addition to simply more of everything, Eowyn and Merry get thrown from their horse. Once on the ground, we see both engaged in fierce battals slaying Orcs left and right. We then cut to Theoden who sees Eowyn fighting...a smile and look of admiration adorns his face. Merry kills Orc after Orc. Then Eowyn fights the Disfigured Orc, and wounds him (in the leg). Right then, Theoden gets caught by the Witch King and Eoweyn runs to help. After she kills the Witch King, has her emotional moment with Theoden who passes away, we see the Disfigured Orc crawling toward to try and finish her off. Eowyn, injured from her fight with the Witch King crawls away and tries to get Theoden's sword. It doesn't look like she'll make it, but Aragorn and Gimli come through and just whack away at the Disfigured Orc, saving Eowyn.

When the Battle is over, we see the scene where Eomer finds Eowyn who is slack due to her injuries, cradles her in his arms and cries over her. Also, Pippin comes out to the battlefield and finds Merry's cloak with the elven brooch. He frantically searches for Merry. Later, it is dark out and we see Pippin finding Merry, and promising to look after him.

What make this scene more poignant is that earlier, there is an extended scene when Pippin is whisked away by Ganalf toward Minas Tirith. When Merry runs to the top of the lookout tower to watch him leave, Aragorn follows. Merry then explains to Aragorn how he and Pippin were like twins, always together. Merry says that he always got Pippin into trouble, but was always there to get him out. "Who'll look after him now?" he asks Aragorn. Thus, roles are reversed as it is Pippin who now says he will look after Merry.

Another additional scene I forgot to mention in my last email.

I talked about how Gandalf explained that the White Tree of Gondor signifies hope, that it will one day blossom when the King returns. Well, there is an additional scene where Denethor marches along in a funeral procession carrying Faramir to the tombs where he is to be burned. Denethor's madnes is more fully realized as he says "there is no hope for men. Better to die sooner than later." However, as the scene pulls back from the procession, we see the White Tree...with one single blossom on a branch. Hope returns.

From here, I'll continue as I did in my last email and comment on Robert's observations."

Robert: 56 - The Houses of Healing
One of the most eagerly-awaited scenes, because people who hadn't read the book did not know exactly what had happened to Eowyn. We witness Eomer's harrowing tears, and his hug to his sister. Then we move to the Houses of Healing. Aragorn nurses her attentively, though we can see how tired he is. Eomer watches them, worried, but then Eowyn opens her eyes. After a fading sequence, we see her in bed: she wakes up and finally sees Faramir standing beside her. It looks like a dream sequence, but it's actually an amazing, speechless moment. Definitely the best out of all the new scenes.

Warren: Nothing to add. Very emotional and beautiful.

Robert: 60 - Aragorn subdues the Palantir
Aragorn is in the throne room; he opens the Palantir. Though he experiences agonising pain, with fierce determination he manages to show the sword of Elendir. He sees Arwen in the Palantir and throws it away. In doing so, his Elvish brooch unfastens and falls to the ground, shattering into a thousand pieces.

Warren: A little more detail. During the debate between Eomer, Gandalf, Aragorn, etc. about attacking Mordor. Gandalf asks Aragorn how he knows that Sauron will take the bait. Thus, Aragorn goes to the Palantir. He shows himself to Sauron saying "Long have you searched for me and long have I eluded you." He then shows Sauron the sword of Elendir and we see Sauron in the Palantir getting his hand chopped by that sword. In return, Sauron shows Aragon Arwen lying on what appears to be her death bed. The shock causes Aragorn to drop the Palantir, and in the process, breaking Arwen brooch, as it falls to stone floor. So later, when Aragorn sees Arwen at his coronation, the moment is more powerful.

Robert: 61 - Faramir and Eowyn
Eowyn, looking dejected, says the whole city has fallen into silence. Faramir tells her this darkness will not last long, and he takes her hand in his. She eventually smiles and leans on him. Nice sequence, but it falls within the realm of classic "comforting" scenes.

Warren: Agree.

Robert: 62 - With the Orcs
Sam and Frodo, disguised as Orcs, meet the troops that are making their way there; they crouch down, hoping not to be seen. But they are captured, whipped and taken into the group. We quickly get to see Aragorn's troops, only to get swiftly back to our heroes. An inspection takes place. Frodo cannot stand on his feet, which causes the commander to notice them both. Frodo and Sam pretend to fight one another and take advantage of the confusion that ensues to flee unnoticed. Frankly, their flee is quite unbeliavable, so I think it was a good idea to not insert this scene in the theatrical version

Warren: Accurately described. This scene explains how Frodo and Sam crossed the plains without being noticed. They didn't. They were noticed, not recognized, and escaped.

Robert: 64 - The Mouth of Sauron
The Fellowship moves toward the Black Gate, while Frodo is looking more and more drained and exhausted. The gate opens and the Mouth of Sauron comes out to welcome them. Aragorn acts in an arrogant and conceited manner. The Mouth of Sauron asks who, among them, has the authority to negotiate; but Gandalf challenges him saying that Sauron must give up the land. The Mouth of Sauron shows them Frodo's coat of Mithril mail, telling them that the hobbit has suffered horribly prior to his death. Aragon moves closer and, upon hearing the Mouth's words, kills him without a second thought, which makes the scene too much ironic (a charismatic character as the Mouth of Sauron doesn‚t deserve to die so abruptly). 'End of negotiations', comes Gimli's ironic comment. Aragorn tries to console everyone, assuring them he does not believe the Mouth's version of events.

Warren: Here's a more embellished version. Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Eomer, Gimli, and Merry and Pippin all ride to the Black Gate. It opens and the Mouth of Sauron comes out, riding on an armor covered horse. He is completely covered in garb with a helmet that covers all except for his mouth...which has no lips and bares rotted teeth. He askas who has the authority to treat with him, and Gandalf says there will be no treaty and that Sauron must be exiled. The Mouth of Sauron then says that his master has bidden him to show them this...and he holds out Frodo's mithril coat. When Pippin and Merry exclaim horror and sorrow, (Gandalf starts to tear) Gandalf tries to shush them, but the Mouth notices and plays on the fact the "halfling was dear to you." He then describes Frodo's death as exceedingly painful. As Aragorn then approaches, the Mouth of Sauron comment, "So this is Isildur's heir. It takes more than a sword to..." which is when Aragorn abruptly chops his head off. " I don't believe him!" he shouts. "I won't!" The Black Gate then opens further and we see the 10,000 orcs heading their way. When Aragorn says a bit later (after his Henry V speech), "For Frodo." we understand the emotion of the hobbits, Gandalf and the rest a great deal more.

Last extended scene that I recall. There is an extended fight sequence between Gollum, Sam and Frodo on Mount Doom. At one point, Gollum has Frodo by the throat, and Frodo manages to eke out..."But you swore, Smeagol. You swore on the precious." And in a look that is all Gollum, he replies..."Smeagol lied." Of course at that point Sam hits him with a rock and the fight ensues.

That's all I've got. Hope it helps.

Christopher Lee Rocks
Xoanon @ 11:12 am EST

Bjoern writes: Here's some news regarding Christopher Lee, it has been published today by GMX Online Magazine:

Here is a translation (made by myself):

For outsiders it is perhaps a bit bizarre, that actor Christopher Lee (Count Dooku, Saruman, Dracula) starts his musical career with a metal band. But as yesterday in cologne-ehrenfeld (germany) suddenly many musician, technicians and actors appeared, this seemed to be the most usual thing in world.

For the epical-metal-formation Rhapsody (Italy) Lee took over the role as narrator and kept with his voice their album "Symphony of the Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret" together. But then came the idea to record the song "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" with a big choir and orchestra again, but this time as duet with the more classical oriented ex-Dracula. And because for those curiosities there are only a few experts, it was no question to make this production with Joey DeMaio (Manowar). He had much to do, the single had to be finished before starting the video production.

It was a bit difficult to fit into the amazingly accurate timing of a rock production, Lee mentioned. Freestyle wasn't asked in his duet with Rhapsody singer Fabio Lione. In addition the song was recorded in four different languages - italian, english french and german. And always there were problems distributing the text, Lee complained. The sound differs from his personal taste, but the young audience likes it, that's the main thing.

The official Rhapdosy homepage added a small note regarding their new single, saying...

RHAPSODY has just confirmed that they will enter the recording studio together with film legend Christopher Lee, to re-record the song "The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream" from their latest release "Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret".

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 3:22 am EST

"I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us." (The Hobbit, Chapter 1) We have finished going through The Hobbit, but who, or what, exactly, are hobbits? Perhaps the only fantasy creature which can truly be called the creation of J.R.R. Tolkien, where did they come from and where did they go?

Although all of his published works seem to revolve around this dear and funny race of little people, Tolkien gives us very little actual information about their history and origins. Considering the lengthy material written about elves, dwarves and men, hobbits are relatively obscure. They seem to have the most modern society in Middle Earth, yet the least ambition of any of the free peoples.

Was Tolkien just not interested in hobbit society? Or did he assume that people would relate to and understand these creatures, making extensive explanation unnecessary. Join us this weekend in #thehalloffire when we will explore the world of the Halflings as we look at "Concerning Hobbits: Everything you ever wanted to know about those little guys"

Upcoming topics:

12/11 and 12/12:
David Salo to take a seat in The Hall of Fire.

We are pleased to announce that Tolkien language expert David Salo will be our special guest during our scheduled HoF chat on Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 P.M. EST.

Mr Salo was the primary language consultant for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. He will be talking about Tolkien's languages (especially Sindarin and Quenya), about how the languages appeared in the movies, and a bit about his new book, "A Gateway To Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings", as well as answering chatter's questions.

This will be a moderated Q & A session, and HoF staff are now accepting questions. If you have a question, please submit it to the staff at thehalloffire@theonering.net prior to the event.

(The chat on Sunday, Dec. 12 will center on reactions to the Salo chat, as well as exploring Tolkien's languages)


#thehalloffire on theonering.net IRC server. Need instructions? Go here:

Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm EST (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday morning Australian summer time]

Sunday Chat:
8:00 pm (20:00) CET

[also 2:00pm (14:00) EST and 6:00am Monday morning Australian summer time]

EST = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AEST = Australian East Coast

Hof-announce mailing list
Hof-announce@theonering.net http://www.theonering.net/mailman/listinfo/hof-announce

12-02-04 Latest News

Images from Astin Booksigning Event in Bloomington, MN
Xoanon @ 10:11 pm EST

Astin Booksigning in Bloomington, MN
Click for more images

From the folks at the Minnesota Tolkien Society:

Sean Astin's down home goodness was no greater than when he spoke with and signed autographs for the crowd of over 700 people last night at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. Stephen, a manager at Barnes and Noble, the host of last night's event, said that alot of celebrities come through, but none more genuine and friendly than Sean. Even one of the Mall Security assigned to escort him and his family noted that he was just a real nice guy.

Sean had just returned from New Zealand last week, and had brought his family with him to Minnesota. While Sean talked, they went on rides in Knott’s Camp Snoopy indoor theme park.

Sean was excited to receive a shirt from the Minnesota Tolkien Society (promoting the Return of the Trilogy event), and wore it the whole night, even after he finished signing over 700 autographs for 3 hours straight.

The Return of the Trilogy showing tickets on New Year’s Eve are available here.

12-01-04 Latest News

More on the EE: Clarifying Robert's Review
Tehanu @ 4:04 pm EST

Warren wrote in to tell us about the Extended DVD and also to respond to Robert's review which we posted yesterday:

"Hello, since I saw the ROTK EE last night, I though I'd throw my two cents in. First, for all those in NYC, you can purchase the ROTK EE DVD at a video store on the corner of 40th St. and 8th Ave. (across from the Port Authority south building). Take the stairs down leading to the subway and the store is right there (Warning! Lots of adult titles as well). Price is $39.99.

"Also, in terms of Easter Eggs, there are two (both in the same places as in the FOTR EE version). On the first disc we have the interview with Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood via satelitle, with Dom pretending to be a German journalist and asking Elijah outrageous questions. Very funny. On the second disc, we find the clip from the MTV movies awards where VinceVaugh and Ben Stiller pitch a Lord of the Rings sequel to PJ. Hysterical!

"Now, onto the extended/new scenes. Note I've only commented on a number of them since it's too difficult to recall everything that clearly (I was up until 3AM watching). Still here goes..." [From here, I've left Robert's review as is, and put Warren's comments in quote marks - Tehanu]

4 – The Voice of Saruman
Even though Gimli's rush, Gandalf states he wants Saruman alive. Saruman appears from the top of the tower and offers peace to Denethor. But the king, with fervor, recalls the deads and the pain caused by Saruman's actions and concludes saying that peace will be only when him hanging from a pitchfork. Saruman becomes again haughty, while Gandalf asks to turn himself on their side. Saruman predicts that Aragorn won't be King and their death, accusing Gandalf of betraying his friends to catch up his aims. Suddenly, he attacks with an enormous ball of fire Gandalf, who not only is safe, but destroyes Saruman's staff with an enchantment.
Then Theoden speaks to Grima, proposing to him not to follow Saruman. But the raging wizard states that Wormtongue will never be free and hits him. While Saruman offers a barter to Gandalf, Grima stabs him two times, just before being hit by Legolas. Saruman throws down and gets impaled as we all seen in that picture many years ago. As the mill revolves, the corpse slips into water and loses the Palantir.
Much ado about nothing. Frankly, after seeing it, you can guess why they cut the scenes a year ago. While the official justification was that 'it slowed down the action" (and it's true), on the other hand the visual effects are really tawdry. Moreover, the scene lacks of the charisma and the fascination which we all expected. Far away from the fight between the two wizards in "The Fellowship"...

Warren: "I completely disagree with the reviewer. First, we needed some closure on Saruman. Second, Theoden's speech is fiery and emotional. More importantly, after his speech Saruman angrily taunts him as a "lesser son" noting how it was not Theoden who won the battle at Helms Deep. This adds to Theoden's disappointment in himself as we see when he mentions this point to Eoywen, and further clarifies his sense of pride, accomplishment, and being worthy, before he dies on the battelfield. Grima's expression of being betrayed by Saruman is noteworthy, which drives him to stab Saruman in the back. Last, the question of how the palantir gets into Pippin's hands is answered when, after having fallen from the top of Orthanc, Saruman lands on the wheel, the palantir slips out of his robe and falls into the water."

5 – Return to Edoras
It's a scene we know very well: the one about the celebration of the victory. But there's a nice addition: a drink game, in which Legolas and Gimli bet who will drink more. After tens of jugs, Gimli first farts, and then says "It’s the dwarves that go swimming with the little, hairy women"; finally belchs. Legolas seems to give away, but when Gimli begins to claim victory – it's him who falls down shattered. "Game Over", says the elf.

Warren: "I agree. It's a great scene. One addition not mentioned is that just before Gimli keels over, Legolas says "Wait! I think I'm beginning to feel a sensation in my fingertips." In addition, as Merry and Pippin are dancing on the table, Pippin glances over at Gandlaf (thinking about the Palantir perhaps) who gives him a knowing/warning look, causing Pippin to pause in the middle of the song and dance. Merry has to chide Pippin into continuing."

7 –Eowyn's Dream
While everybody sleeps, Aragorns goes into the hall where Eowyn rests and tucks in her blankets. She takes his hand and tells a dream she's just had, with a terrible wave and the darkness which covered her. He consoles her. A scene which doesn't add anything important.

W: "I agree here...doesn't really add much other then showing how it is that Aragorn was outside when Pippin steals the Palantir from Gandalf."

12 – The Decline of Gondor
Gandalf is angry after a debate with Denethor and foretells misfortune for Minas Tirith, telling the story of Gondor and explaining why the ancestry of the Kingdom finished - and the white tree withered. He and Pippin hear thunders from Mordor, but Gandalf supposes it's all a trick of Sauron to cover the Sun and make the march of the orcs easy. Pippin jokes suggesting to flee away, but Gandalf says it's impossible and that they need an help.
A very powerful scene, especially for the spectacular views of the White City, but not so important for the flow of the events...

Warren: "I disagree again. Yes it's a powerful scene, but it also adds an element to the story as Gandalf embellishes a bit on Denethor's madness, and how Denethor is using his grief over Boromir's death as a cloak to disguise his lust for power. Also, the scene does talk about the White Tree and how there is hope that it will one day blossom again, when the king of Gondor returns. Moroever, the reviewer got it wrong. Gandalf does not assume the thunder is a trick from Sauron. Rather, he tells Pippin that the gathering clouds is Sauron's way of blocking out the sun so that the orcs can travel better. He notes that when the sky is completely dark from Mordor to Osgiliath, then the war will begin."

13 - The Cross-roads of the Fallen Kings
While Sam says something about the right time to have a cup of tea – in decorous places – Gollum answers they surely aren't in decorous places. Frodo is very pessimistic, and thinks he won't never be back in the Shire, but Sam as usual cheers him. Meanwhile, they find themselves into the ancient possessions of the King of Gondor, filled with enormous ruins from the past. When they notice a big stone-head with a crown of flowers, they read it as a good sign, saying that "the King finally found his crown". It's a beautiful scene, but not an essential one, mostly because there are many scenes like this during the trip.

Warren: "Actually, the way the scene plays, Sam tries to cheer up Frodo although somehwat unsuccessfully. It is only when a ray of sunlight hits the stone head (lying on the ground), which illuminates the flowers that Sam says "look Mr. Frodo, the king has his crown." However, the clouds cover the sun and the illumination fades leaving the statue dead and dreary. Frodo's mood which lightened when he saw the crowned statue, fades as well."

16 – The Warning of Sam
Sam menaces Gollum asking what will they find into the tunnel, after having heard the chat between Smeagol and Gollum. Then he push the creature against the wall warning him that he'll keep always an eye on him, and everything will happen to Master will be paid back.
Frodo begins to distrust Sam (we understand it by his glance), and Gollum is visibly pleased.
A short scene which anticipates the abandon of Sam by Frodo, but not so useful, considering that we’ll see many similar moments later…

Warren: "I disagree (notice a pattern here). The scene gives further motiviation for Gollum deciving Frodo by sprinkling the Lembas bread on Sam's jacket. Due to this scene, Gollum now knows that he must "get rid of" Sam."

22 – The Wizard's Pupil
Denethor criticizes Faramir because he released Frodo with the Ring, even if he says he would have never used it. Faramir well knows the power of the Ring, because says he would never use, not even if Minas Tirith falled down. Denethor's voice is very sweet, but he obviously can't avoid the umpteenth comparison between Faramir and Boromir: he thinks his beloved son would have brought him the Ring. Faramir answers that Boromir would have kept the Ring and coming back he would haven't been the same any more. Denethor is furious, and he seems to see a smiling Boromir behind Faramir. When he realizes it's an hallucination, he asks to be leaved alone. As many other scenes, this one should deepen the relationship between Faramir and Denethor. But do we really need it? And I must add that the scene of the vision of Boromir is really bad...

Warren: "Yes we need it. Denethor claims that Boromir would have been loyal and brought him a "kingly gift" and that the ring would have been hidden in the deepest vaults for use only in the most dire of circumstances. Faramir claims that Boromir would have succumbed to the power of the ring and would never have handed it over, shattering Denethor's illusion. When Denethor hallucinates and see Boromir behind Faramir, calling out "my son," the expression on Faramir's face as he first thinks Denethor is calling for him is painful to watch as it slowly fades from hope to despair as he realizes his father has just simply gone mad."

25 – Peregrin, Soldier of the "Tower of Guard"…
Pippin is sad and names himself as a stupid because he offered his services to a man of power.
Then comes Faramir, who is pleased by the hobbit's availability. He says he will put him as guardsman of the Tower. Also, he gives him an uniform belonged to a boy who wasted his time killing dragons: himself. Then begins a speech about Boromir, who was the true soldier and was similar to his father, obstinated but strong of heart. Pippin says that one day his father will appreciate him. Frankly, it could be better done than that…

Warren: "Possibly. Pippin tells Faramir that he has a different kind of strength."

35 – The Paths of the dead
It's not a "new scene", it's “only” an extension, but it's so interesting and significant that deserves to be mentioned in this list.
After entering into the Black Door (original version), there's a plenty of new material. They see hundreds of skulls...and became a bit nervous, also because Legolas sees shapes of horses and men. Gimli is visibly worried, but as usual is playful about it. When they are surrounded by smoke that seems to have vague human shapes, he jokes blowing on that smoke-hands to make disappear them. He becomes less ironic when finds himself walking on skulls. Then they arrive in that enormous hall we saw in the theatrical version. But the scene doesn't end here. After Aragorn asks to the army of the dead what are they intentioned to do, they disappear: we believe they are refusing what Isildur's Heir offered. But suddenly, predated by an alarming sound, we see thousands of skulls falling down from the high: our trio is almost sweeped away. A spectacular and efficacious scene, one of the best, in a "Indiana Jones" style. They come out from the tunnel, and see the Corsars. Aragorn falls on his knees, despaired. All seems to be lost, but the King of the Dead arrives from back and pronunce two simple and effective words: "We Fight".

Warren: "Not much more to say...great scene."

45 - The Lord of Nazguls
Gandalf orders troops to withdraw: thus begins a truly spectacular scene. Several parts of the city are ablaze, women running, Trolls fighting and extreme violence. So we come to the much-awaited confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch-King; the former is about to succumb, his stick having been broken. Luckily the Rohan troops, announced by the sound of the horn, save the day. An interesting scene, definitely, and a pessimistic one.

Warren: "As Pippin and Gandalf rush to stop Denethor from killing Faramir, we see the encounter between the Witch King and Gandalf (remember the Witch King swooping down in the preview of ROTK on the TT DVD)? The Witch King tells Gandalf that he has failed and breaks his staff, answering the question of where it went in the Theatrical version (Gandalf had to use a spear to stop Denethor). Just as the Witch King is about to kill Gandalf, we hear the horns of Rohan. The Witch King, thinking Gandalf can no longer affect things since his staff is broken, takes flight to do battle."

Additional/Extended Scenes Not Mentioned in Robert's Review

Warren: "Merry offers his services to Theoden, who gladly accepts and names him a squire of Rohan.

"In Osgiliath, we see Faramir and his men prepare for an Orc attack. They think the attack will come from the North. When a lookout is killed by an Orc in one of the boats on the river, there is a mad rush for the Gondorians to get to the river side and prepare for battle. The killing of the lookout is what prompts the disfigured Orc to command everyone to row faster (since their sneak attack has been given away, stealth is no longer required).

"Pippin prepares his speech swearing his fealty to Denethor.

"At the Battle of Pellenor Fields, the Orcs cannot break the door of Minas Tirith using a regular battering ram. Archers from above the door are just picking of Orcs at eas, and the bodies begin to pile in heaps. The disfigured Orc then calls for "the wolf." As it approaches, all the Orcs cheer it on."

Many thanks to Warren, who stayed up all night to finish this!

11-30-04 Latest News

David Salo Answers Your Language Questions In Hall of Fire!
Demosthenes @ 6:08 pm EST

If you're even casually interested in the languages Tolkien created, you'll want to join us in Hall of Fire on December 11 at 5.30pm EST when we'll be joined by Tolkien language expert David Salo for a moderated question and answer session.

David was the primary language consultant for Peter Jackson's adaptation of Lord of the Rings. David wrote Elvish dialogue, and created Dwarvish inscriptions for Moria, as well as the inscriptions for Aragorn's sword - Anduril - and Frodo's sword - Sting.

David also wrote Elvish lyrics for the movie soundtracks.

He did similar work for the now-defunct Iron Crown Enterprises -- the creator of the Middle-earth Role Playing system.

David will be discussing Tolkien's languages - particularly Sindarin and Quenya -, how the languages appeared in the movies, and his new book: "A Gateway To Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings" that traces origins and variations of Sindarin.

All are welcome to join us.

David is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received his MA in 2002 and is continuing work on his Ph.D. Read an interview with David here, or check out his website to find out more about him.

This will be a moderated question and answer session, and HoF staff are now accepting questions. So if you have a question, and you don't think you can make it on the day, feel free to e-mail us at halloffire@theonering.net.

The details

What: David Salo moderated Q&A
Date: December 11, 5.30pm EST (US East Coast)
Place: #thehalloffire on the TORn IRC server
Getting there: Go here
Questions: halloffire@theonering.net

BFI Compilation Ranks Trilogy in Top 22
Xoanon @ 12:21 pm EST

Timothy writes: Thought you might want to know the results of the BFI compilation. The British Film Institute compiled a list of the top hundred films viewed in the UK, a genuinely interesting list of the films that sold the most tickets, that's actual bums on seats.

A six-hour (in two chunks) TV list fronted by John Cleese made fun, and often unusually interesting viewing, if only to see Christopher Lee doing a very enthusiastic impression of Doc from Snow White.

Click here for complete results

But to skip to the chase,in order of lowest to highest,

TTT ranked at 22
ROTK clocked in at 19
Fellowhip did best at 16

Yes, they made sure we all knew that LOTR fans were "nerds", and Star Wars fans were "saddos", which is a bit rich in a six-hour show about a list.

The top five were:

5 "Spring in Park Lane"
4 "Star Wars"
3 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
2 "The Sound of Music"
1 "Gone With the Wind"

11-27-04 Latest News

More Astin Booksigning Reports
Xoanon @ 11:26 am EST


I'm happy I finally have something to report on! So this past Tuesday was Sean Astin's book signing at the Mall of America. I got there bright and early at 7:30am because the Barnes and Noble people had me thinking that they were going to run out of wristbands fast (turns out they had a ton). When I got there, there were already about 20 people in line and eagerly waiting. So I bought a book to read and sat down in line...and waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally around 5:40 Sean came out. He was wearing a Minnesota Tolkien Society shirt that some fans had passed along to him. (my Barnes and Noble friend said that when they showed it to them, they didnt even have to ask if hed wear it. apparently he just saw it and said "cool! i have to wear this!") So he started out by singing part of a Christmas song-noting the decorated trees on either side of the stage. Then he took a few questions from the audience (nothing really new-just the normal questions about lotr). Then it was time for signing. Since I was pretty far ahead in line, my time came up fast. I got up on the stage and he signed my book. Then, in a shaky voice I said something like

"I...wrote you a letter because...I didn't think I'd have time to get to say what I wanted to." He smiled and thanked me I think. Then I said "I would really appreciate it if you would read it." He smiled and said that he would. I had written a note just because he wants to direct and I want to work on movies and I wanted to offer my services to him. It sounds kind of dorky but I figured that I'd give it a shot. My friend went after me and said that Sean was skimming the letter when he was signing his book. That made my night that he was so devoted to his fans that he would actually take his time to read it. My friend and I walked around the mall for a while and came back at 8.

I was waiting for my friend at Barnes and Noble to come off the stage when I saw Sean's wife and kids come on. The oldest one stuck by her dad and the youngest one was running around in circles. It was really cute. So that was my day. Sean Astin really is as nice as everyone says he is and if you ever get a chance to meet him, don't pass it up. It's nice to see that not all actors take themselves so seriously and that they can be down to earth. Send good vibes out that he'll write me back or even that I get to be hired on one of his projects. That would be the best!



I attended Sean Astin's book signing in Bloomington, MN on Tuesday the 23rd. I was very very pleased with the outcome! He only showed up about 20 minutes late and when the woman on stage announced him the crowd went wild! I didn't even recognize him either because he was wearing a baseball cap and a baseball tee. He just looked like a regular guy.

When he got up he complimented the Mall of America (biggest mall in the country, mind you) and then noted the earliness of the Christmas Trees.. Then, he sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" which I was a bit confused by. Then he answered a few questions from the audience like how he trained for Rudy and what a 'typical' day was on the set of LOTR, but since I wanted to get up there fast and get my book signed, I yelled out "go watch the DVD!"... After a while the signing started and it went relatively fast.

He stopped to give people hugs and autograph non-book items and take pictures with people. He was a really generous guy. When I went up to see him he shook my hand and said "hi" and I think I just about died. I said "Hii.." kind of nervous-like. And he said "are you okay?" With a smile. He then signed my book and I said I was a huge fan of his, and he looked up into my eyes and said "Thank you! That's so sweet of you!". Then I told him that my sister loves Rudy and she was sorry she couldn't be there (she also told me later that she was a huge fan of Patty Duke's show, stayed up until midnight just to watch it, and also is a fan of his brother and the Addams Family!) and he said that he was sorry she couldn't be there too and thanks for the support. He was really an outstanding man and I really enjoyed the few moments I had with him. If the rest of the cast is anything like him, I cannot wait to meet these guys!

11-26-04 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 8:36 pm EST

'All that had happened after he was stunned, Bilbo learned later; but it gave him more sorrow than joy, and he was now weary of his adventure. He was aching in his bones for the homeward journey.' Tolkien wraps up his tale with more poetry and pathos than one would expect in a children's tale.

We see the result of the Battle of Five Armies, and learn what has become of Thorin and his company, as well as the men and elves. But perhaps we, like Bilbo, have had enough of adventures, and long to turn home. However, Tolkien is never one to finish a tale with a simple 'And they lived happily ever after, the end.' No tale is ever really finished, they just carry on with new characters.

Join us this weekend in #thehalloffire as we finish our long journey through The Hobbit when we look at The Hobbit: Chapter 18: The Return Journey and Chapter 19: The Last Stage

Upcoming topics:

12/4 and 12/5: Concerning Hobbits Everything you ever wanted to know about those little guys.
12/11 and 12/12: David Salo to take a seat in The Hall of Fire.

We are pleased to announce that Tolkien language expert David Salo will be our special guest during our scheduled HoF chat on Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 P.M. EST. Mr. Salo was the primary language consultant for Peter Jackson s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

He will be talking about Tolkien's languages (especially Sindarin and Quenya), about how the languages appeared in the movies, and a bit about his new book, "A Gateway To Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings", as well as answering chatter's questions.

This will be a moderated Q & A session, and HoF staff are now accepting questions. If you have a question, please submit it to the staff at thehalloffire@theonering.net prior to the event.

(The chat on Sunday, Dec. 12 will center on reactions to the Salo chat, as well as exploring Tolkien s languages)

#thehalloffire on theonering.net IRC server. Need instructions? Go here:

Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm EST (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday morning AEST]

Sunday Chat:
8:00 pm (20:00) CET
[also 2:00pm (14:00) EST and 4:00am Monday morning AEST]

EST = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AEST = Australian East Coast

Hof-announce mailing list
Hof-announce@theonering.net http://www.theonering.net/mailman/listinfo/hof-announce

Live in Birmingham? Wanna Meet Billy Boyd?
Xoanon @ 1:50 pm EST

Philippa from Virgin Megastores UK writes: Actor Billy Boyd (Pippin) will be making a Public Apperance at the new Virgin Megastores in Birmingham (Pavillions Mall). Billy will be joining us at midnight (9-10th of December) for the UK official release of the extended Return of the King Boxset (The UK official release date(10th) is different from the USA).

The store will be specially opening so fans can be the first to get their hands on the extended addition and be able to meet Billy Boyd while getting their copy signed!

There will also be a costume competetion operating-and we encourage fans to get dressed up as their favourite Lord of the Rings character-we will be awarding a prize to the best costume on the night.

We are very excitied to be having Billy Boyd and hope fans will be able to join us for the event!

One Ring Awards Announcement!
Xoanon @ 1:05 pm EST

It's time to open the nominations for the One Ring Awards, to be held at The One Ring Celebration in Pasadena, CA on January 15, 2005. Half the awards will be for events held at the convention, such as the Art Show, Fan Film Festival and the Costume contest. The other half will be voted on by you, the best LOTR fans on the net. Please send all nomination submissions to: OneRingAwards@theonering.net using the format asked for, thank you. Entries will only be accepted until December 10th, 2004.

1 - Best Tolkien based Lecture or Paper presented at an Academic function (i.e. Marquette, Oxenmoot, etc) in 2004. Please list the event presented at, name of the scholar presenting and if known, the title of the paper or lecture. If you do not know the exact title, summarize the lecture or paper.

2 - Best Tolkien themed book published since the release of FOTR. Please provide the name of the author and provide the title of the book. This would be for any book released between December of 2001, until November of 2004.

3 - Best Performance by a LOTR actor/actress in a Motion Picture (LOTR Trilogy excluded). Please provide the name of the actor/actress, the film, and the role played. This can be for any film released between December of 2001 and November of 2004.

4 - Best Performance by a LOTR actor/actress in a TV series, Made for TV Movie or Mini-Series on TV. Please provide the name of the actor/actress, the TV series, movie or mini-series title, and the role played, as well as the network and/or country the show airs on. Eligible shows will be from December of 2001 to November of 2004.

5 - Best Fan Fiction (PG-13 or lower, no Slash). Please submit link to the story, the title, and the name of the writer. If possible, how to contact the writer should also be included. This should be a Fan Fic that is currently available on the web so that other fans can view it and then vote on it.

6 - Best Fan site dedicated to a LOTR actor/actress. Please provide a link, and the name of the site and actor/actress it focuses on. This should be a website that is currently in existence so that other fans can see it and vote on it.

11-25-04 Latest News

Bruce Hopkins Starring in "A Christmas Carol"
Quickbeam @ 5:21 pm EST

Greetings -- Quickbeam here.

Happy Holidays to all the RINGER fans across the world.

Those lucky Kiwis on the North Island still have the opportunity to check out the new stage production of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" starring our very own Gamling BRUCE HOPKINS! The show continues until December 12, 2004.

All the details are found below.

We hope Bruce is having a fantastic birthday today as he prepares for this weekend's performance as the underdog Bob Cratchit who ultimately discovers the benevolence of the Christmas spirit arrives from the most unexpected place -- Scrooge himself!



Auckland Theatre Company brings oodles of Festive cheer to theatre goers with it’s new family show, A Christmas Carol, previewing at SKYCITY Theatre on Thursday, 11 November.

This exciting new take on Charles Dickens’ classic, adapted by renowned New Zealand comedy writer Dave Armstrong (TV’s Spin Doctors, Skitz, Semisi Family and Niu Sila), interweaves a traditional Victorian Christmas with contemporary Kiwi humour.

“Dickens’ A Christmas Carol shows that there is still a place and time for classic stories that lift our spirits. The time for A Christmas Carol will always be the magical season of Christmas,” says director Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

Mark Hadlow (Wind in the Willows, Noises Off and TV’s Willy Nilly) breathes new life into old miser Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s joined by a top notch cast of popular TV and stage performers. The Cratchit family is headed by Jackie Clark (Mum’s the Word, Christmas in the Park) and Bruce Hopkins (Lord of the Rings, Spin Doctors), with Jonny Hair (Street Legal) and Morgan Reese-Fairhead (Power Rangers, Jacksons Wharf). Eddie Giffney, the eleven year old star of Christmas in the Park, makes his debut with ATC as the youngest Cratchet, the crippled Tiny Tim.

The boisterous Chatchit family is joined on stage by Shortland Street’s Kate-Louise Elliott as Deirdre, Cameron Rhodes (Goldie, Ladies’ Night) as Jacob Marley, and Hori Ahipene (The Semesis, Skitz) as all the other ghosts!

Narrator Paul Barrett (Caligula, Shortland Street) creates an enchanting atmosphere with Dickensian storytelling throughout the performance.

A perfect way to usher in the Christmas season, A Christmas Carol will delight adults and have children looking at the on-stage spectacle in wonderment.

“I like to think that if Dickens were alive and in Auckland today, this is how he would have written A Christmas Carol…well more or less!” says Ward-Lealand.

A special Tiny Tim Family Pass (2 Adults and 2 Children) is available for $139.


Mark Hadlow -- Ebenezer Scrooge
Hori Ahipene -- The Ghost of Christmas Past, Present & Future
Paul Barrett -- Narrator / Dickens
Cameron Rhodes -- Jacob Marley
Kate-Louise Elliott -- Deirdre
Jackie Clarke -- Lorraine Cratchit
Bruce Hopkins -- Bob Cratchit
Eddie Giffney -- Tiny Tim
Jonny Hair -- Pete Cratchit
Morgan-Reese Fairhead -- Belinda Cratchit

Director -- Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Musical Director -- Grant Winterburn
Designer -- John Verryt
Lighting Designer -- David Eversfield

A Christmas Carol: Performance details

Thursday, 11 November – Sunday, 12 December at the SKYCITY THEATRE

Tuesday & Wednesday at 6.30pm
Thursday - Saturday at 8.00pm

Saturday at 2.00pm (20 & 27 November, 4 & 11 December)
Sundays at 4.00pm (21 & 28 November, 5 & 12 December)

Preview performances: Thursday, 11 November at 8.00pm
Starship Charity Performance: Friday, 12 November at 8.00pm – adult $55, child $29

A Reserve $58
B Reserve $49
C Reserve $29
Child (15 years and under) $29
Tiny Tim Family Pass (2 Adults and 2 Children) $139
Bookings: Through Ticketek on (09) 307-5000 & www.ticketek.co.nz
Booking fees may apply

WEBSITE: http://www.atc.co.nz

Much too hasty,

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