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December 07, 2003 - December 13, 2003

12-13-03 Latest News

Simon Tolkien Accepts BBC Big Read Win
Strider @ 5:53 pm EST

Tonight at a live ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, The Lord of the Rings was announced as the winner of the BBC's Big Read and is officially Britain's Best Loved Book. With 23% of the public's vote or 174 thousand votes, LotR was a clear winner with 39 thousand more votes than second-placed Pride and Prejudice and more than His Dark Materials, The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Harry Potter combined.

Simon Tolkien, who attended the event, was visibly pleased with the result. "I think it's just an unbelievable honour to be here today, and for my grandfather to be so loved in this way, and I'd like to thank everybody who voted for him, and I'd like to thank Ray (Mears, Lord of the Ring's celebrity book champion on the show), who I thought his program was quite stunning, it was one of the best short programs about The Lord of the Rings I've ever seen, that really brought it across, and I think it would mean an enormous amount to my grandfather. There was just one thing that I wanted to say, which was I was looking through things that he said and just before he got his book published he said, 'I'm dreading the publication, for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at'. There's been a lot of shooting over the last fifty years, but there's also been an enormous amount of love and I think that comes through today. So it's been a wonderful moment. Thank you."

The BBC in conjunction with Harper Collins plan to send a copy of The Lord of the Rings to every second school in Britain to honour J.R.R Tolkien's masterpiece - more than 6,000 copes in all.

There and Back Again: A Return to Middle Earth, Part I
maegwen @ 11:48 am EST

TORn's very own Jedi Hobbit Pippin Skywalker writes in with the first of six reports on her trip to New Zealand:

Hello my dear hobbits, friends and general Middle Earth countrymen! If you will lend me your ears for a time many a joyous tale will grace your ear that hardly any elf would hope to tell. Here I will tell of my adventures in New Zealand the modern name of Middle Earth and what it was like for a hobbit like myself to travel home to the place of my birth.


Pippin Skywalker introduces Wellington
View all pictures

Great joy came when I found out I would be able to attend the World Premiere of Return of the King in New Zealand, and to ride the venerable airline to Middle Earth, Air New Zealand. I start my tale by saying that a lot of love and sacrifice was involved in my attending this Premiere and once again I have BOTH my parents to thank for this wonderful and memorable trip that was only made imperfect by their not being able to make it themselves due to my mother's health and other matters.

So it was arranged that I would have a friend of the family go as a guardian and protector on the trip -- my very own Samwise Gamgee. With all these matters settled it was decided I would depart for Middle Earth the day after Thanksgiving with another hobbit companion. It so happened that around this time another friend had won a contest to go to the Premiere--Hilary, who was a finalist in the AOL Red Carpet Contest won it all becoming the youngest to win a contest like that. She is only 13 and she won the chance of interviewing the cast on the Red Carpet. We had worked it out that we would meet up in NZ since we were to be taking different flights.

On November 28th I took a flight from New York to LA with my Guardian and arrived in the evening in to LAX airport. To our surprise while getting the boarding passes to the next flight with Air New Zealand we saw Sala Baker waiting to get tickets in line. I did a double take. I'm a hobbit and there is the dark lord of Mordor! I decided not to bother Sala then since he was just trying to get his ticket.

Later on me and my friend met up with him and he was shocked for a second when we said his name (he doesn't get recognized much), but then he turned out to be really nice and chatted with us a bit. We were all on the same flight so that was neat. He wanted to know where we were sitting which was unfortunately pretty far from him. It was still fun though...kind of the last VIP flight to do with the Premiere going out. He signed both our books and gave us friendly handshakes and bows and then we got ready to board the plane.

At this point before I got on one the people at the airport stopped me and said: "You have an important call to be answered before you board the plane." So I was about to call my dad to see if he had called my cellphone. Sala saw the airport employee stop me and joked "Are you in trouble?" lol. As it turns out everything was fine... My dad had just tried to call earlier. So now finally I could get on board the plane! As I waited in line to enter the aircraft I see Sala heading back out of the line (probably forgot something) and I got him back for his joke earlier saying "Are you in trouble now?" :)


For Hobbits Only

At last all hobbits and Middle Earthlings were on board and were ready for the long journey towards the lost isles of Middle Earth (And to my relief Sala made it back on the plane). Now I must drop a word about Air New Zealand as an airline. This airline puts all other airlines to shame (sorry Delta) and is truly the airline to rule them all. On each and every seat in economy is a white cloth that says Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King- Air New Zealand- Airline to Middle Earth. Now that is COOL! Definitely the only airline that would do something like that.

The other marvelous thing I noticed was they feed you like a hobbit on those flights and the food? The food puts all other airplane food to shame (Are you listening other Airlines?). They give you a delightful hot meal (I had a Lasagna) and a five course breakfast (omlette and nice bacon weee!). And the people are so friendly and nice and they give everyone hard candies toward the end of the flight (what service! read and weep ye other airlines!).

To add to all these wonderful things they have some radio stations you can listen to on the plane and channel 8 is the Middle Earth channel! It is a little airline radio thing narrated by Ian Mckellan and talks about the making of Return of the King and the inspiration for the movies and the books. We hear Peter Jackson, Howard Shore, Phillipa Boyens,the Cast,and many others talking about the books and films--it was Awesome! And of course we can bear to listen to Gandalf narrating any time. ;)


New Zealand through the clouds


Overall it was a long but wonderful flight full of wonder and expectation. I felt like I was going to another world--a hobbit returning home again. The clouds passed by, night faded and day awoke and at long last the deathlessly fair, misty shores of The North Island of New Zealand began to appear and I began to be pierced by its beauty which was made stronger and more ethereal by the light of the early morning. It was like looking upon the shores of Valinor for the first time and I will never forget it.

I felt something like what Columbus must have felt seeing land in the West for the first time.

The plane landed in Auckland where we had to get on another flight to Wellington. I saw Sala again at the baggage claim, said hello, and after a short chat he was going to see if he could get on our flight (since his was much later). We boarded a 9:00 am flight to Wellington and got into the Wellington Airport at 10:00 am. I could almost make a separate report on what I saw at the airport but the pictures should tell the story.







Bag End Display at Airport LOTR Armor at Airport

I had already begun to see LOTR banners in Auckland but Wellington topped it all. They had statues of armour worn by various characters in the films (orc armour, easterling armour, hobbit clothes and the like). There was also a special place behind glass where props and certain rooms from the movies were on display. We saw the palantir on its pedestal, the inside living room of Bag End, an Elvish study and King Theoden's throne. And of course no visit to the airport is complete without seeing Gollum grasping for the ring near where the planes are (he looks like he needs coffee BADLY).

After leaving the airport we went to the Inter-Continental Hotel to check in (and this happened to be where a lot of the cast were staying) and then proceeded on to the Chocolate Fish Cafe, a beautiful place on Wellington Harbor where the cast loved to eat while they were filming LOTR. So we got to the counter to order our goodies and I notice out of the corner of my hobbit eye Alan Lee sitting down at one of the tables. I tell my friend, who is a big Alan Lee fan, but didn't want to bother him then. So we sat down and presently Alan comes out and my friend (who is a student film director) goes up to him and say hello. What a fun little adventure to start our day!

Later on, returning to the Hotel I hear screams erupt every five minute while I'm in my room -- apparently that was the day of the press junket (held in the Inter-Continental) so the cast were all piling in ( the place was crawling with press too). It was something else. Later in the early evening we hop into a cab to head over to TheOneRing.net's party at the Skyline Restaurant.

While we are in the cab on the way there my guardian Ben tells me he MET John Rhys Davies in the Lobby just then. Suddenly my heart stops. I remembered my wonderful meetings with him from two years ago and how kind he was. I told the cab to turn around and take me back to the Hotel... I had to seize the chance!

I walk back into the lobby and there in the lounge is the man himself! I boldly go up to him and tell him my name and that I met him twice to years ago. He remembered, and fondly taking my hand he recited a poem about the name Grace written by Ben Johnson which he did the first time I met him TWO years ago!

After this I still was not sure if he remembered and so said "I doubt if you remember me" to which he answered "How could I not remember you!" I was delighted. He is such a dear man and I felt so honored to meet him again. I asked if he was well, to which he was replied he was and he asked after my family and how I had come to New Zealand. He also introduced me to his wife and his assistant while I was there. After a short chat I got back in the cab without a picture or an autograph but filled with memory, that blessed thing which burns deeper than fire.

I arrived at the Skyline Restaurant and got in the long line into the building. About 95 percent of the people there were in costume and while we were waiting outside there were games afoot with men in full Rohan armour with swords dueling (probably to impress the fair maidens there).


Gandalf Parties

After about 20 minutes I was face to face at the ticket counter with my old friend Erica Challis who I was meeting for the first time in person. She is a delightful and sprightly person with a lovely kiwi accent and a tender heart who asked after my mother. She gave me and my friend free tickets since their previous owners were not able to attend, so I got these lovely blue tickets that said TheOneRing.net on them.

From here we went on in and what a sight met our eyes! A feast was laid out in Medieval style and dozens of hobbits, Rohirrim, elves (and a balrog!) were roaming the place. I stepped into another room and there saw Quickbeam (Cliff Broadway) standing and talking to someone. I went up to him and introduced myself as PippinSkywalker, not thinking he would know me (since we had rarely chatted online).

To my suprise, when the entishly tall and deep-voiced fellow heard my nickname he smiled, shook my hand, and gave me a hug exclaiming "PippinSkywalker!" To my surprise he did know me since I had sent him a few emails ages ago (which I didn't even remember). He was very nice and courteous despite the fact he was very busy. A real gentleman of an ent if I may say so. :)

The night went on and to the surprise and wonder of us all Ian Mckellan, Sean Astin, Laurence Makoare, Bruce Hopkins and Richard Taylor all arrived to stir things up a bit. The greatest appreciation went to Sir Ian Mckellan as he did his fantastic Gandalf voice for us all and then said the TheOneRing.net gives the best parties!

Later on the magnificent and kind John Noble stepped onto the podium but sadly not as many people recognized him (you will NOT be able to miss him after you see the Third LOTR film). He has wonderful presence and a kind heart and led the auctions that were to raise money for organ donations. He was very passionate and led the auction well (he really stirred up the crowd!). Many items were sold including a broken Anduril, many signed books, and a new Zealand sweater done by a company called Lothlorian (hmmm ;) ).

Overall it was a very enjoyable night and it was an honor for me to get to meet some of the fine people who run this site. Thank you Erica and Cliff for your kindness and courteousness.

So ends Part I of a Hobbit's Tale by me Pippin Skywalker the Jedi Hobbit. Tune in next time for the wondrous tale of the World Premiere in Wellington and
a lots of photos!

PippinSkywalker

Thirty Years of Waiting: The Return of the King
Xoanon @ 11:37 am EST

By Michael Marano

From The Charleston City Paper, 12/17/2003
(c) 2003 Michael Marano

I've been waiting thirty years for this. Now that it's here, I almost don't know what to do or feel. But yeah, it's been three decades since I first picked up Tolkien's The Hobbit. Thirty years since I first tranced into those maps of Middle-earth, utterly convinced that Professor Tolkien had found a secret cache of manuscripts and was letting me in on some hidden history of the world; to my nine-year-old mind this made sense, ‘cuz he was, like… some kind of genius professor over in England, somewhere. Thirty years since Tolkien first changed my world-view so that, in my utterly mundane reality of growing up in Buffalo, NY, I couldn't walk through the park and see a vine-covered statue or bit of masonry and not think of lost kingdoms. In my head, I imagined a Lord of the Rings adaptation with the dark flavor of a Hammer movie (even as a kid, I was a berserk fan of horror movies), and I thought how cool it would've been to have Peter Cushing as Gandalf and Chistopher Lee as Saruman. Well, after all this time, to have even one person from your ideal cast in the movie you dreamed about is pretty freakin' tremendous. But wow… Return of the King is here.

It's worth the thirty years' wait.

Fellowship of the Ring choked me up for a number of reasons. A friend of mine who's an internationally respected expert on fantasy fiction confessed to me that she cried during those opening shots of the Shire in Fellowship. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had a brick-sized lump in my throat. I was in awe of the love that director Peter Jackson and his co-screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens had for material that I love, too. I was moved in the way that I am when I see a musician perform a piece he or she loves. And Mike, 'Mr. Hot-Shot-Professional-Movie-Critic', melted right down to drooling Fan-Boy; I saw Fellowship many times in the theater. I liked The Two Towers, but a lot of the Fellowship magic wasn't there for me. Towers was too stuffed with action to allow Jackson and Co.'s love of Tolkien to shine through; though that was fixed, I thought, in Jackson's magnificent DVD Extended Edition of Towers.

Return of the King is dense with action and love for Tolkien. Jackson said that Return of the King's climactic Battle of the Pelennor Fields would make The Two Towers' Battle of Helm's Deep seem like a skirmish. That worried me, because the endless Helm's Deep scenes in the theatrical cut of The Two Towers drowned out the emotional impact of the film. Well, Return of the King's Battle of the Pelennor Fields is thicker with emotion than it is swordplay. It's exciting. It's full of spectacle and awe. And it's full of melancholy and sadness and hope and desperation. Just like Tolkien's novel. There's a sense of loss to the action, the feeling that, no matter what the outcome of this vast War, an Age is withering. That sense of loss eclipses any technical innovation Jackson brings to the movie. Hell, it IS the movie, in a lot of ways. The film begins with a loss that is terrifying and touching: an almost Biblical Fall. The conflict behind that Fall flavors the whole movie; it echoes through the narrative. King has moments of doom and terror, but the doom and terror on a grand scale are defined by the loss embodied in the smaller, quieter scenes.

Jackson and Walsh and Boyens aren't slaves to the source material. There are changes to Tolkien's plot, but they are changes that seem made to increase the tension of certain moments. I don't think all of them work, but they are valid changes, and don't seem arbitrary. Also, King has many endings, as any story of this length and complexity should; how many endings does David Lean's Doctor Zhivago have, and that puppy is one-third the length of Jackson's trilogy? Not all the endings work, and more than one of them are groaners. As has been widely reported, Jackson had to cut a number of plot points that he filmed (some major), and as a result, quite a bit of the movie feels abrupt and choppy. In certain scenes, characters bear wounds, both emotional and physical, the infliction of which is not depicted. Loose ends dangle.

But these are ultimately quibbles faults I'm sure Jackson will fix in his Extended DVD Edition. Fans who have not waited thirty years for this, but only the three years since those first trailers hit, will probably be as apoplectically overjoyed as was this berserk Tolkien dork for Return of the King.

Horror writer and novelist Michael Marano is such a pathetic Tolkien geek, he understood what the Orcs were chanting as they marched on the Pelennor Fields. www.mindspring.com/~profmike

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 7:29 am EST

The repairs after 'Sharkey's men' go well with thousands of eager Hobbits working hard to clean up their homeland. The four Travellers contribute in different ways; Frodo act as Deputy Mayor, Merry and Pippin chase out the last ruffians, while Sam is busy all over the Four Farthings with the Gift of Galadriel. The following year 1420 is a marvellous year in the Shire. The harvest is bountiful, numerous children are born and there is something else in the air; a glimpse of a beauty beyond Middle-Earth.

For Frodo there is no lasting Peace on this side of the Western Ocean though. In the autumn of 1421 the Ringbearer sail from the Grey Havens with the bearers of the Three. Sam, Merry and Pippin watch the Old world leaving the new, taking their friend with it.

What does this chapter tell us about Hobbits? Why is Frodo not given the same fame as his companions? What does the gift of Galadriel have to do with the year 1420 turning out the way it does? Join us in #thehalloffire as we take a look at the last chapter in The Lord Of The Rings - The Grey Havens.

Times:
Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (09:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (05:00) 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
halloffire@theonering.net

12-12-03 Latest News

Ticket Exchange Concludes -- with a Bang!
maegwen @ 8:55 pm EST

...I regret to announce that this is the END. Tonight is our final night of Ticket Exchange offerings for the Trilogy Tuesday marathons. In the last 5+ weeks we have put nearly 90 tickets into the hands of fans at FACE VALUE. After tonight that number will be closer to 120. I would like to thank all of our ticket sellers, and everyone who has participated. LOTR fans are great people! For our final night of Ticket Exchange, we have 22+ offers on the table!!!!

BEFORE going ahead to the ticket exchange listings, PLEASE READ:

You are responding to offers for tickets to Trilogy Tuesday. These tickets are for PURCHASE. You are not winning tickets, but the opportunity to be put in contact with a seller holding tickets. The priced and individual special circumstances, if any, are noted on each offering.

DO NOT RESPOND to a ticket offering if you are not 100% certain that you can afford to purchase the tickets, pay for overnight shipping (which may cost upwards of $20), and obtain free time to attend the marathon.

There is NO more time for sellers to find new buyers, and they cannot run the risk that you will back out at the last moment -- depriving them of making back their money, and depriving other fans the opportunity to "win" these tickets. Please do not let your enthusiasm win out over common sense.

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Albany, NY: WE HAVE WINNERS! No more e-mails please!
NOTE: I have ONE set of FOUR tickets, and ONE set of TWO tickets.... I will break these up on a first-come, first-served basis. If I receive first 2 e-mails asking for TWO, then only TWO tickets will remain. If I receive a request for TWO and FOUR, then no tickets will remain. Etc. You get the picture.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Regal Crossgates Mall 18 in Albany, NY. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $70 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Absolutely Want Albany Tickets." Please state whether you need TWO or FOUR tickets

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Chicago, IL: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
NOTE: Seller is willing to meet purchaser at theater to avoid snail mail snafus/anxiety and/or save postage fees.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, IL. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $31 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Calling for Chicago Ticket."

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Columbia, SC: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the AMC Dutch Square 14 in Columbia, SC. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Crazy for Columbia Tickets."

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Concord, NC:
NOTE: Seller is willing to meet purchaser at theater to avoid snail mail snafus/anxiety and/or save postage fees.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Concord Mills AMC 24 in Concord, NC. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25 each + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Concord Mills Ticket, Please."

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Edina, MN: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the MegaStar 16 Cinema in Edina, MN. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Excited about Edina Tickets."

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Franklin, TN
NOTE: This seller is offering ELECTRONIC TICKETS. The buyer must be prepared and willing to meet the buyer at the theater on 12/16 to exchange cash/tickets. Please do not request these tickets if you are uncomfortable with this scenario.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 in Franklin, TN. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $36 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Find me Franklin Tickets, Please."

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Jacksonville, FL: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Orange Park 24 in Jacksonville, FL. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Just Jacksonville Tickets."

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Madison, WI: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Marcus Theatres Point 16 in Madison, WI. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $68 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Mad About Madison Tickets."

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Madison, WI: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Marcus Theatres Point 16 in Madison, WI. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $71 including postage. The subject line MUST read: "Make Mine Madison Tickets (too)."

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Manchester, CT: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
NOTE: Seller is willing to meet purchaser at theater to avoid snail mail snafus/anxiety and/or save postage fees.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the National Amusements Showcase 16 Buckland in Manchester, CT. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50. The subject line MUST read: "Manchester CT Tickets, Please."

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New Brunswick, NJ: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Loews Cineplex New Brunswick 18 in New Brunswick, NJ. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $35 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Need New Jersey Ticket."

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North Canton, OH: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Cinemark Tinseltown in North Canton, OH. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $51.50 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "North by North Canton Tickets."

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Rochester, NY: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Tinseltown Theater in Rochester, NY. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25 + $18 overnight postage. The subject line MUST read: "Rochester Ticket Please."

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San Jose, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Century Oakridge 20 in San Jose, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $26 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Send Me San Jose Ticket."

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San Jose, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Century Oakridge 20 in San Jose, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50.50 (which includes the special "Orc Feast" package) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "San Jose Orc Feast Please."

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Tucson, AZ: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
NOTE: Cash only. Seller wishes to meet buyer at theater to exchange tickets. Please do not request these tickets if you are uncomfortable with this scenario.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Park Place Century Park Theater in Tuscon, AZ. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50. The subject line MUST read: "Tickled About Tuscon Tickets."

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Valley View (Cleveland), OH: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Valley View Cinemark Theater in Valley View (Cleveland), OH. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Valley View (or is it Cleveland?) Ticket!"

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Winston Salem, NC: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Carmike Wynnsong 12 in Winston Salem, NC. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $26+ postage. The subject line MUST read: "Wishing for Winston Salem Ticket."

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CANADA


Richmond, BC, Canada
This offering is for TWO ticket to the Silvercity Riverport in Richmond, BC, Canada. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $100 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Richmond BC Tickets."

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Mississauga, Ontario: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!
NOTE: Large groups, I know of a seller with THIRTEEN tickets. E-mail me for details
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $49.95 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Pair of Ontario Tickets."

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Good luck everyone! And, Thanks!

The Big LOTR Cast Projects Of 2004: Part 2
Strider @ 1:51 pm EST

Yesterday we had a look at what 2004 had in store for us in the absence of The Lord of the Rings, and focused on five of the biggest movies coming soon involving LotR cast members. Today, we round off the list with another big five and take a look at some other movies which may prove to be suprise hits next year.


HidalgoHidalgo

USA: March 5th - UK: April 16th - Official Site - IMDb - Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson, Louise Lombard

From the director of Jumanji and Jurassic Park III, Viggo Mortensen once again finds himself on horseback in this true story detailing the life of Frank T. Hopkins, a courier who in 1890 travelled from the US to Saudi Arabia on his horse Hidalgo and competed in the internationally reknowned, 3000 mile-long "Ocean of Fire" race across the African desert. Disney executives believe that after The Lord of the Rings's success, the name 'Viggo Mortensen' alone should be enough to recoup the film's $80m budget and secure a rare success for the Mouse House after a recent barren patch: we think so too.


The Life AquaticThe Life Aquatic

Worldwide: November 2004 - BVEntertainment.com - IMDb - Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston

The next West Anderson Project, The Life Aquatic centers around Bill Murray's oceanographer Steve Zissou and his documentary team on their quest to capture the camera-shy Jaguar shark on film. With The Royal Tenebaum's darkly comical take on the bizarre life of an insanely gifted family one of the cinematic highlights of 2001, the mind only boggles at what Anderson could do with a ship containing a group of oceanographers, a bank stooge, the illigetimate son of Bill Murray's character and a heavily pregnant reporter played by Cate Blanchett.


TroyTroy

Worldwide: May 21st - TroyMovie.WarnerBros.com - IMDb - Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

You'd think after The Lord of the Rings the cast would be eager take a long break from swords, shields, large-scale battles and armed warfare in general. Try telling that to Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean, as the pair reunite to star in Wolfgang Petersen's blockbuster historical epic portraying the events leading up to the Battle of Troy with Pitt starring as the great Greek general Achilles. Bloom stars as Prince of Troy who kidnaps the legendary Helen, wife of the King of Greece, and Bean as the warrior Odysseus who originated the Trojan Horse plot.


Van HelsingVan Helsing

Worldwide: May 2004 - Official Site - IMDb - Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham

While recent franchises such as Blade and Buffy have both added an interesting new twist to the monster mythology, it's been a while since the movie-going public have seen baddies who are more bark and bite then one-liner and witty retort. Cue Van Helsing, Hugh Jackman's next project on the back of X-Men 2 which sees him in the title role of the expert monster hunter who travels to 19th Century Eastern Europe to lead the fight against evil. David Wenham is the friar who guides Jackman's character through the countryside, as this gritty monster movie looks set to do some serious damage at the box office.


WimbledonWimbledon

USA: September 24th - UK: August 27th - WorkingTitleFilms.com - IMDb - Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Neill, Bernard Hill

Not to be out-done by her Spider-Man co-star's recent role in feel-good movie of the year Seabiscuit, Kirsten Dunst stars as the bad-girl love interest to Paul Bettany, a washed-up tennis player who looks like the end is nigh for his professional career but gives it his all in his last ever chance to win the most coveted tournament in the world of tennis: Wimbledon. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?

Other Noteworthy Projects Of 2004

Haven - Orlando Bloom is the British native who commits a crime set in motion by two businessmen (Gabriel Byrne and Bill Paxton) who flee the US for the Cayman Islands.

Jersey Girl - The last time Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez teamed up, the result was..well..horriffic frankly. Hopefully for Liv Tyler the result this time around isn't more of the same.

National Treasure - Sean Bean goes head to head with Nicholas Cage in search of a war chest hidden by Washington, Jefferson and Franklin during the Revolutionary War.

Slipstream - A scientist plots a bank heist with his newest invention - a time travelling device. Sean Astin headlines along with footballer cum actor Vinnie Jones.

The Day After Tomorrow - Sir Ian Holm features in the latest apocalypse film, as Dennis Quaid tries to figure out a way to save the world from global warming. Jake Gyllenhall also stars.

The Great Raid - A group of US Army Rangers including Marton Csokas attempt a daring rescue mission to evacuate 500 POWs from a Japanese camp during World War II.

The Last Unicorn - The story of the last unicorn in existence who travels across the land to find the rest of her kind. With Christopher Lee adding gravitas as King Haggard.

UK Media Reviews ROTK
Xoanon @ 1:30 pm EST

Winterpool sends us a breakdown on what the UK media has been saying about ROTK:

'The Times (of London)' remarks:

The film is not great art. Its a Herculean assault course that runs the emotions ragged for an exhausting 3hrs 21mins. That said, it would be churlish not to gift the film the full five stars.

'The Guardian' also has their review posted online. Their reviewer had more ambiguous feelings about the conclusion, confessing both admiration and relief.

Because on the one hand, The Lord of the Rings is undeniably a landmark in cinema history, a creation of demented, kamikaze passion that all logic suggested should never work and yet somehow did. And on the other, I can't say I'm sad to see the back of it. There are only so many elves a man can ogle in his lifetime, only so many bravura battle scenes one can sit through, and a finite amount of cod portentous dialogue one can endure without wanting to plug your ears with cement....

...In fact, for about four fifths of its run, I had The Return of the King confidently filed as a masterpiece - a big, stirring orchestral epic of a movie, full of blood and heroism and sacrifice and soul. The trouble is that it is also hellishly long, frequently preposterous and as humourless as a cat. By the end I couldn't help feeling that it had overstayed its welcome by a whisker. Loitering for a half-baked epilogue, it bows out with a whimper, not a bang.

'The Guardian' also has a more general cultural piece on an issue that's long interested me: how 'nerds' have come to dominate the imagination of pop culture.

12-11-03 Latest News

Warrior Woman
Xoanon @ 10:51 pm EST

By Nazz

After earning top accolades and awards for prolific Australian film and stage work (including Love Serenade, The Well and Doing Time With Patsy Cline), chameleon-like NIDA graduate Miranda Otto, will next have a pivotal role in The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King as the feisty princess Eowyn who refuses to stay home while the boys go off to fight in the ferocious battles between good and evil. The daughter of Australian acting icon Barry Otto, has also made impressions in overseas films such as What Lies Beneath with Harrison Ford; Terence Malick's The Thin Red Line; and The Last Days Of Chez Nous. Don't be surprised if the porcelain-skinned Miranda becomes the next Australian actor recognized internationally, a la Nicole Kidman or Toni Collette.

Here Otto tells Attitude about the appeal and challenges of her role as Eowyn/Dernhelm, in two films of this multi-million dollar making film trilogy of The Lord Of The Rings as well as the mammoth amounts of work she manages to fit in between filming.

Dernhelm in The Return Of The King

So glamorous and wonderful

"In some ways my character seems glamorous, but she's also gritty as well. The costumes are made of wool and heavy fabrics so it's not just like the ephemeral, floaty elf look of Liv Tyler's Arwen because my character is human. Ngila Dickson is a wonderful costume designer. When I got there, I didn't know how they were going to turn me into this iconic character from the book. There were a lot of questions, like: how would she look, and how what that work. It was really due to her work and the detail she put into the clothes that really formed the character for me. I work a lot from the costume and it's very important to me that the costume is right. And that I feel right within it.

"Some people would say it was glamorous I suppose, what with the flowing wig and the costumes; but in other ways she had, for instance, flat shoes and flat leather boots that were made for me, and that made it feel like a strong costume. That's my idea of glamour! I prefer that to all the [maciage - sounds like mach-ee-aje] and bouffant hair [laughs]."

Your costumes change quite dramatically between The Two Towers and The Return Of The King.

"Oh yes! I fight in The Return Of The King, so the costumes get much heavier. I'm wearing a special chain-mail they developed, which was a little bit lighter than regular chain-mail but still quite heavy. We all had armour made for us and swords and helmets. So, yeah it's very different! The Two Towers was the dress-wearing' film and The Return Of The King is the pants wearing' film. That's how I differentiated between the two from day to day. If I was in pants, it must have been The Return Of The King!

"It's great. They hand-made all of those things for us. It was kind of like a rite of passage really, when they handed them to you it was like an enormous gift they were giving you of this armour they had worked on for so long especially for each actor.

Can we talk about your preparation and training even your sword work as it will play such a big part of this film.

"Well, I originally found out about the sword-fighting from Liv. In the original script that I read, there wasn't as much. And then the script started to change to go much more back towards the original book, for both my character and Liv's. It was Liv who warned me saying, you're going to have to be able to sword-fight and all these other things.' So then I went out and sought out the swordmaster and started to get some training.

"Then when I came back to do the shooting in August of 2002, I had three weeks to work with them for three hours a day. Then I would just individually do it for each move as we choreographed for the fights. They'd work on each section of each fight and we'd work on them from there.

Many were waiting for you to break out the sword in The Two Towers.

"I know! It's kind of a big lead-on isn't it? I heard that from a few people, that they were disappointed it didn't happens but just you wait. Originally there was a little bit of sword-fighting in The Two Towers [Miranda shot a scene where Eowyn defends the women and children hiding in the Glittering Caves from some marauding orcs who've broken through the defenses at the Battle Of Helm's Deep. It was deleted], but that wasn't taken from the books. In the books, she really does have to wait until The Return Of The King and the Battle Of Pelennor Fields to get to do it."

They've picked a big enough opponent for you! Your main battle is with a character portrayed by massive Maori actor Lawrence Makoare isn't it?

"Lawrence was there. He is a big boy isn't he [laughs]. But there were a few different guys on different days playing the same character. When we were shooting, it got just so frantic that sometimes you wouldn't have the actor who normally played the role available."

How much time did you spend in production on The Lord Of The Rings?

"I was in New Zealand for about five or six months. I managed to fit in six things after shooting principle photography on The Lord Of The Rings. First of all I went to London and did a BBC production of Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now with David Suchet, which has already been on television in Australia. Then I did an English film called Doctor Sleep alongside actor Goran Visnjic, and then went to Poland to do a film with Agnieszka Holland called Julie Walking Home. At the same time I was doing that, I was also doing a film in Italy and in Italian. Then I came back to Australia and did a play, The Dollshouse, at The Wharf. Then I did Danny Deckchair. I did all that after The Lord Of The Rings then decided to have a break. We all need a breather sometime! I wanted to have a rethink to decide on what I was going to do next and how I was going to approach the next couple of years.

"I think I'll go back to the states in January 2003 and look at what's around there. I haven't done anything in the States for a while as The Lord Of The Rings was filmed in New Zealand as you all probably know. The last thing in did in the States was Human Nature which was also with Danny Deckchair's Rhys fans.

"It will really depend. I'm also very interested in what they're doing in England and stage work. It will depend on what the best thing that comes up is.

"I'll do some pick ups in May and June of 2003 for The Return Of The King; just some bits and pieces. At this stage I couldn't tell you what work there will be for me on the films. I believe for The Return Of The King, there's just two shots at present that they need. But anything can happen between now and then.

"They've already told me to keep some time aside for them in May/June, but then they'll work around me. For instance, if I'm only available in the first week of May, they'll use me then. The time taken on the pick ups themselves could be a long time, but the period they might work with me might be only two to three days which may only result in two or three shots. For other people, it might mean two or three weeks of solid work. It just depends on what they need. At the most, I think they might require me for a couple of weeks.

"When you see the DVDs for both The Two Towers and The Return Of The King, you might see some of the pieces we've been shooting. For instance, with The Two Towers, there were some things we experimented with that were showing, in some ways, a lighter side of Eowyn's character that unfortunately haven't ended up in the theatrical release of the movie. I'm quite happy they didn't actually, because I prefer the aloof, strong and cold Eowyn; even though in some ways, some people might think that's less accessible for the audience. I really admire that part of her.

"There are some things that are very Eowyn that we shot that didn't end up in The Two Towers for different reasons, ie: there just wasn't enough time. They might turn up on the extended DVD edition."

As one of the few females on the set of The Lord Of The Rings, did it feel as though you'd joined a boys' club?

"In some ways it was a boys' club because there's horse-riding and sword-fighting it was a masculine environment. But they were very friendly and open. There are also a lot of women working on the production; from the top such as [screenwriters] Fran Walsh [also wife of director Peter Jackson] and Phillipa Boyens who I'm quite close with; as well as so many people on the crew. Our main Assistant Director is also a woman. It was good to have them around.

"I guess, working on a film like this is an adventure. It's an adventure story and actually being in it is another adventure. It's not just a film for men it's for the women as well. It's just as much fun for a girl to get out there and do all those things. But it isn't about sitting around, painting your nails although I enjoy getting together with the girls to do girlie' things, I also like getting in the dirt."

Was it a tough environment to work in?

"I think the hardest part was for other people. For instance, the shooting on the Battle Of Helm's Deep took four months; at night, in the rain and fighting with swords for five to six days a week. That pushed a lot of people really close to the edge, being so physically demanding, in the cold and wet in the middle of the New Zealand winter. Very hard.

"Some sets were easier than others. Sometimes, when we were working in the studio, it was really easy. Then other times, like when we were on the outdoor set of Edoras [the Rohirrim palace where we first meet Eowyn], the wind was very strong. I also ran into some other problems along the way, being flooded and snowed out. There were environmental factors but it some ways it made it more fun. It got particularly frantic in the last three weeks of shooting but, at other times, it was much easier."

If what we see onscreen is any indication, your chemistry with Viggo Mortensen [the handsome actor who plays Aragorn, the returning king of the title] was very good. Is that the way it felt for you?

"Viggo's a really terrific person to work with. He knew so much about the story and knew his character so well. My character was more evolving', in terms of what sides we would show of her at what times. For instance, when you try to work out at which point onscreen you'll show when someone becomes fascinated with another character [as Eowyn does in star-crossed fashion with Aragorn]. The scene that gets that across the most is the one where she's practicing with her sword and he interrupts. We didn't shoot that and it wasn't even written until the second to last week of the shoot.

"So it was a constantly developing thing in terms of what the actual chemistry would be. Originally when we approached it, we had more things where I was not idolizing him but me looking at him and being in a sort of awe. Then we realized we needed to make her stronger and more distance, and be able to hold her own ground. That was important."

For such a huge production, much seems to have been in constant flux.

"If you saw some of the scenes that were in the original script, you would just die because they're so different to what we ended up shooting. But they told me that from the moment I got the part. They said, forget about the script for your character because we're really changing it.' For other people it stayed much the same but mine had gone a fair way from the book in the original draft that had been done.

"Basically, Liv's character was more action-based and that meant that mine wasn't as much. Then her character became a lot more like more like the Arwen of the book's appendices much more of a strong feminine presence and less of a warrior princess. I suppose they had thought, at one stage that was the way they'd have to go to integrate her. So we both changed to become closer to the way our characters were in the book."

Did you have fun working with Brad Dourif (the slimy agent of evil who has an unsavory interest in Eowyn)?

"Brad's terrific! I loved working with him. He puts so much energy into it and as someone else said, he pushes himself even harder when the camera is on you instead him. He's that giving. I just really enjoyed doing our scene together because I was really interested in the energy between those two characters. Even though he's an evil character, you kind of feel sorry for him because he is in love with her and she's not in love with him.

"I was also interested in the fact that no one listens to Eowyn at that point or understands her. Her brother has vanished and she's really alone. Someone like Grima can get to you under those circumstances and lure you in. The minute you start to listen, it's like when you've broken up with someone and you go to some other guy who's a friend for advice, and then in the middle of consoling you, they try to make a move. It's that kind of thing of opening yourself up because you're alone. I can't say that exact scenario has happened to me before but it's very easy to put yourself in those shoes.

"It's important to see that Grima Wormtongue has a power through [the evil wizard] Saruman, which has wielded over King Theoden. In some ways, you have to endow him with that.

"Brad's a fantastic character actor. He's done terrific work before. But people don't often realize how humble and a sweet person he is and he's very happy to do that kind of work. He has this fantastic trick of being able to make his eyes run and snot constantly drip from his nose [laughs]!"

Now the chemistry between yourself and David Wenham's character, Faramir, comes into play in The Return Of The King. How was that?

"That's a big section of the book, but when we get to that part of the film, there are so many other things going on, I don't know how big a part of the film that say, the Houses Of Healing where they meet, will have. There are so many more cataclysmic things going on at the same time, that it probably won't be as long of a section as it is in the book."

Were you able to draw on your friendship with David for the scenes you have together?

"That's a funny thing, because David and I haven't worked together since we did a radio play ages ago and that was a really small thing. I've known David for a very long time but this was the first time we'd really been able to work together since then.

"It was great. It's always nice to work with someone you know, someone who's an Australian."

In a few words, how would you sum up your experience working on The Lord Of The Rings?

"It's hard. It was incredibly exciting from the moment I arrived and saw what they were doing. I couldn't get out of my head that it was like working on The Wizard Of Oz or something one of those films that would stay and stay. It has that same element of the fantastical to it. I could hardly sleep when I was there because I felt I would be a part of something that I felt would last; that was so big and yet, somehow, so intimate. Then when I was there, I just wanted to stay and soak up the experience. It was really incredible.

"I saw The Two Towers for the first time on November 31, 2002. It was just before we started the press junket in New York."

How does t feel having a doll made of your character?

"That was definitely surreal [laughs]! You can't help but think of all the horrible things you did to your dolls when you were younger. I keep thinking I'll be walking along the street and see one with its nose chewed off and arm amputated.

"I'm wary of people asking me to sign these things for them. I've already had people hanging outside my hotel room in New York asking me to sign things. I thought they were fans, but it turned out they were just putting them on the internet and selling them and making ridiculous amounts of money from the fans. I won't fall for that again!"

The casting seems to have been very exacting. Did you get any sense from Peter Jackson why he chose you and why you were identified with the Eowyn character?

"I don't really know what he saw in me. I think one of the first things you needed to have for the role was a sense of being able to play in something that was period'. Not playing a model person but a person that could be from another era. She also had to have both a masculine and feminine side to her so she could look like a graceful and elegant woman but also be a fiery and strong person underneath that with physical abilities. I hope he found those things in me!

"It's hard for me to tell. I've been with a few audiences to watch his, but I don't know what the audience and fans of the book have thought about the character and whether they feel she's been realised'. Now the film's out, maybe I'll learn more.

"Peter Jackson gave me a lot of room to move and knew what he wanted. He doesn't say huge amounts to you. I can think of one scene in particular that's not in there and him saying one thing to me about not thinking about being sad so much as being nervous. Things like that made for a very clear and specific direction."

Rob Inglis Interview on Audiofilemagazine.com
Xoanon @ 9:11 pm EST

Jenn writes:

Thought your readers might be interested in our short (but interesting!) interview with actor Rob Inglis, who has narrated unabridged audiobook versions of THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Also includes reviews of his audiobook performances. [More]

We also have a comprehensive "Listener's Guide to Middle-earth." (It requires a password to access, but TORn readers can temporarily get in for free with the password AccessEars. Scroll down to the bottom of the main Access page for the Tolkien article. [More]

It features in-depth information on the many versions of LOTR to be found on audio, and a complete Tolkien audiography with selected sound clips and reviews of everything from the BBC's dramatization of THE LORD OF THE RINGS to Martin Shaw narrating THE SILMARILLION and Derek Jacobi reading Tolkien's wonderful LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS.

Thanks for all you do with TORn--it's an indispensable resource!

Ticket Exchange Battles On
maegwen @ 8:58 pm EST

Everytime I try to get out, you guys keep pulling me back in! ;) I arrived home to find EIGHT more Ticket Offerings in my inbox. If there is anyone else out there thinking "I'll just wait until last minute and then send them in," THIS is the last minute. Friday night is the last opportunity offer tickets in time for Trilogy Tuesday. All sellers and buyers from here on out MUST include their phone number in their e-mail, in order to be participate. And now, on with the tickets!

Please include your e-mail address, real name, AND PHONE NUMBER in your response.

* * *

Boise, ID: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please!

This offering is for TWO tickets to the Boise Stadium 21 in Boise, ID. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $70 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Bring on Boise Tickets."

* * *


Vancouver, BC
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Capital 6 in Vancouver, BC. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101.90 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Vancouver Tickets Please."

* * *

Rochester, NY: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Tinseltown Cinema in Rochester, NY. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The subject line MUST read: "Ready for Rochester Ticket."

* * *


Fresno, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for THREE tickets to the Edwards Frenso Stadium 21 in Fresno, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $108 + 8.40 postage. The subject line MUST read: "Finally! Fresno Tickets!."

* * *


Chicago, IL: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for TWO tickets in Chicago, IL. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $60 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Crazy for Chicago Tickets."

* * *


Tampa, FL
This offering is for TWO tickets to the AMC Veteran's theatre in Tampa, FL. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $51.50 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Time for Tampa Tickets."

* * *


Orange, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the AMC Block in Orange, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $30 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Oh, Orange Tickets!"

* * *


Richmond, BC, Canada
This offering is for TWO ticket to the Silvercity Riverport in Richmond, BC, Canada. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $100 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Richmond BC Tickets."

* * *


OK, Good luck everyone!

The Big LOTR Cast Projects Of 2004: Part 1
Strider @ 4:37 pm EST

Though every fan will hate to admit it, the thought of what will become of the cinematic universe post-Lord of the Rings has at one time or another crept into the mind of many a hardcore fan ever since The Two Towers credits began to roll and we collectively realised that we only had one more film between us and the world after The Lord of the Rings. Hence, just like last year, we at TOR.n have decided to turn our attention to next year's cinematic line-up and see what the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings have in store for us in 2004.


50 First Dates50 First Dates

USA: February 13th - UK: May 7th - SonyPictures.com/50FirstDates - IMDb - Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Sean Astin, Rob Schneider

A story best described as what happens when a rom-com meets Groundhog Day, 50 First Dates sees Adam Sandler as the guy unlucky enough to fall in love with a girl who suffers from short-term memory loss and as a result must woo her over on a day to day basis. With Sandler riding high last year on the successes of Punch Drunk Love and Anger Management, critical and box-office respectively, could Sandler make it a hat-trick of hits? More importantly, can Sean Astin pull off some laughs with a script that contains not one reference to him as 'the fat Hobbit'.


The AviatorThe Aviator

Worldwide: December 2004 - WBMovies.com - IMDb - Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Sir Ian Holm

If one were to look at the list of movies for the coming year and had to pick candidates for the Best Picture Oscar at the 2005 awards, it would be hard to look past Martin Scorsese's bio-pic of entrepeneur Howard Hughes. Beginning with Hughes' life in the early 1930s and concluding with the test run of the Spruce Moose in 1947, the film portrays both Hughes many and varied business ventures his many and varied romances, with celebrities such as Cate Blanchett's Katherine Hepburn and Kate Beckinsale's Ava Gardner. With an ensemble cast so stellar it has to be seen to be believed and a director who has so far been criminally ignored by the Academy, this film's future looks blindingly bright.


The Bourne SupremacyThe Bourne Supremacy

USA: July 23rd - UK: September 3rd - UniversalPictures.com - IMDb - Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Joan Allen, Karl Urban

After the success of the first installment, Matt Damon returns to reprise his role as Jason Bourne, the CIA operative who comes to terms with his past life as a trained assassin for the US government after he regains from his temporary amnesia. The second installment in the series sees Bourne's life once again in danger as the Chinese government believe him to be the man behind the assassination of the Vice-Premier. Bourne soon finds himself in a race against time to prove his innocence and find the actual assassin who is killing using his identity - played by Karl Urban.


The Chronicles of RiddickPitch Black 2

USA: June 11th - UK: August 20th - PitchBlack.com - IMDb - Vin Diesel, Dame Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Karl Urban

When Pitch Black completely snuck under the radar in 2000 and proved itself to be one of the best science fiction movies of 2000, it instantly gained cult status and a devout following. On that basis, Vin Diesel returns to star as the surgically enhanced anti-hero Riddick, in what will now be the second in a four-part saga. Based five years after the events of Pitch Black, Riddick not only has to contend with being once again on the run from the law but inadvertantly finds himself embroiled in the middle of a Galactic war between two rival factions, with Karl Urban featuring somewhere in all the chaos.


Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless MindEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

US: March 19th (Limited) - FocusFeatures.com - IMDb - Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood

The latest masterpiece from the desk of Charlie Kauffman, who cemented his reputation as one of the finest screenwriters in Hollywood with recent efforts Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Adaptation, which was frankly robbed of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar at the Academy Awards. Focusing, on a man (Carrey), who after discovering his ex-girlfriend (Winslet) had all memory of him wiped from her mind, decides to undergo the same procedure, the movie is as intricate as you would expect from a Kauffman script, with the narrative constantly jumping from one timeline to another. With a quality cast, including Elijah Wood in his first role after Mr.Frodo as the memory-wiping scientist, 'Sunshine looks certain to be a fantastic film, but can Carrey & Winslet bring Kauffman into the mainstream?


Check back tomorrow to see the second half of the must-see list, including Viggo Mortensen riding horses in Hidalgo, Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom doing battle in Troy and David Wenham fighting evil in Van Helsing. Nice to see the cast branching out after The Lord of the Rings, isn't it?

Viggo Mortensen and his fellowship fulfill their destinies
Xoanon @ 4:37 pm EST

By Amy Longsdorf

As the regal warrior Aragorn, Viggo Mortensen finally fulfills his destiny and ascends the throne of Gondor in ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.''

In real life, Mortensen is finding his destiny, as well, as a Hollywood A-lister. But being a star is about the fartherest thing from his mind.

''I only start to think about work when I run out of money,'' he says quietly. ''Whatever I'm looking at when I need to pay the rent, that's what I do. Then every once in a while you get lucky. Every once in a while you get a phone call about a movie in New Zealand."

Ah, New Zealand. Mortensen has grown so found of the country where he and his fellow Middle-Earthlings spent 15 months filming the ''Lord of the Rings'' trilogy that he'd rather rhapsodize about the Land Down Under than talk about himself and his career.

Not for nothing is this guy nicknamed ''No Ego Viggo'' by his castmates. In person, Mortensen is unassuming. When he arrives for an interview at a Beverly Hills hotel, he's carrying a backpack, a steaming cup of Starbucks and a big silver pipe filled with greenish tobacco.

He is wearing a Fruit-of-the-Loom tweed shirt carefully tucked into his brown Wrangler cords. His hair is a few inches shy of a buzz-cut.

True to form, Mortensen points out that ''The Return of the King'' is, like ''The Fellowship of the King'' and ''The Two Towers,'' an ensemble movie. But there's no denying that in this grand finale, Mortensen's Aragorn is king.

Aided by his buddies Gimli (John Rhys-Davies ) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Aragorn awakens the Army of the Dead and joins forces with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and his traveling companions Sam (Sean Astin) and the duplicitous Gollum (voiced by Andy Serkis) continue on their journey to destroy the ring. Only when the bauble is hurled into the Cracks of Doom can it be annihilated.

Based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, ''The Return of the King,'' opening Wednesday, is the third and final chapter in a series that has netted 17 Academy Award nominations and six Oscars. ''Fellowship'' earned $860 million globally, while ''Two Towers'' raked in $919 million. ''Return,'' the longest of the movies at 3 hours and 20 minutes, is an epic in itself.

In ''The Return of the King,'' Mortensen assumes the mantle of leading man. With his long hair whipping in the wind, brandishing a sword forged by elves, Aragorn saves the world.

Leave it to Mortensen to illuminate Aragorn's weaknesses along with his strengths.

''Aragorn is very unquestioning in his willingness to sacrifice himself for the common good, but nevertheless he's afraid many times in the story,'' notes the actor. ''It's how he deals with his fear, and overcomes his personal reservations in order to do what's right for Middle Earth -- that's what we can learn from.''

In many ways, Mortensen and his fellow cast members have become their own private fellowship. They vacation together, and visit each other on movie sets. Many credit Mortensen with imbuing the production with his one-for-all, all-for-one spirit.

''Viggo leads by example,'' notes Dominic Monaghan, who plays the hobbit Merry. ''He was so physically good at everything he did, he raised the bar for all of us. He's also unassuming and quiet, yet very commanding. He brims with dignity.''

Ironically, Mortensen was a last-minute addition to the cast of ''The Fellowship of the Ring.'' Director Peter Jackson was three days into shooting when he realized that Stuart Townsend wasn't working out as Aragorn. Jackson made a phone call to Mortensen, who was wary of the long commitment.

The deciding factor for Mortensen was his then 11-year-old son Henry's comments that the trilogy was ''too cool'' to pass up. Mortensen repaid Henry, whose mother is the actor's ex-wife, punk rock legend Exene Cervenka, with getting him a role in ''Return of the King'' as an Orc.

Jackson recalls Mortensen's first day on the set. ''He arrived in New Zealand and had 24 hours to get over his jet lag before he had to shoot the Weather Top scene where he defends the Hobbits. It was one of the bravest things that I've ever seen any actor do.''

Not unlike Aragorn, who seems equally at home with humans, Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and Hobbits, Mortensen considers himself a citizen of the world.

Born in Manhattan to a Danish father and an American mother, Mortensen moved with his family as a boy to Venezuela, Argentina and Denmark. When his parents split up, the actor, his two brothers and mother moved to upstate New York.

Before becoming involved in the Tolkien trilogy, Mortensen was best known for his supporting roles in diverse movies. He made his film debut as an Amish farmer in Peter Weir's ''Witness'' before playing a gas-station cowboy in ''Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' and a troubled Vietnam vet in Sean Penn's ''Indian Runner.''

Next, Mortensen landed a showy role as Demi Moore's uncompromising sergeant in ''G.I. Jane.'' He was the con-man artist who romanced Gwyneth Paltrow in ''A Perfect Murder'' and the bohemian blouse salesman who swept Diane Lane off her feet in ''A Walk on the Moon.''

Up next for Mortensen is ''Hildago,'' the $80 million real-life story of Frank T. Hopkins, a cowboy and dispatch rider who competes in a 3,000 mile race across the Arabian Desert. The film is due in March.

At 45, Mortensen has suddenly become a sex symbol, although he tries to downplay the buzz.

''Doesn't the sex symbol business happen to anybody in a popular movie?'' muses the actor, who's single since his split from Lola Schnabel, 23, the daughter of painter Julian Schnabel.

An avid poet, photographer and painter, Mortensen recently started a small company called Perceval Press to publish artwork by himself and others.

Director Peter Jackson says Mortensen's artistic ambitions are very much in keeping with his determination to live in the moment and create art out of everyday experiences.

Ian McKellen, who plays the Wizard Gandalf, was surprised at Mortensen's degree of dedication. ''He was very protective of Aragorn. He slept in his costume and kept his sword in the back of his car on days when he wasn't filming. It was quite remarkable, really.''

With ''The Lord of the Rings'' at its end, Mortensen is unwilling to let Aragorn go.

''You hear a lot of actors saying, 'Oh, I can't wait to get rid of that character.' Well, we're all going to forget things. We're all going to lose our memories. That's just what happens in life, right?

''So why be in such a hurry to forget, especially if you've learned something valuable.''

Return of the One Party Info!
Xoanon @ 11:03 am EST

TORN broke the internet yesterday. Sales for 'The Return of the One Party' went on sale at exactly noon PST time yesterday and we sold out in about 15 minutes. This, needless to say, was unexpected. Last year it took us 2 weeks to sell out. We are currently swamped with processing orders.

However we have made it through half of the approvals and people who hav ebeen approved will be receiving an email from TORN in the next day or two. So please be patient.

We have another half to go. If people didn't make the cut off, they will be added to the waiting list in the order they came in and we will email them to update their status. Remember, we all work on this in a volunteer capacity, we all have full time jobs, wives/husbands, or babies/pets. We will get to you soon.

As for double orders, refunds, or anything else please see our FAQ Section or email oscarparty@theonering.net. Please be aware that we will take a while to get back to you.

Thanks!

Lord of the Pins
Xoanon @ 10:33 am EST

Badali's 'TORN LP3' Pin
Badali's 'TORN LP3' Pin

The last two telecasts of the Academy Awards have featured, if fans looked closely at Peter Jackson's jacket lapel, two "good luck" pins from TheOneRing.net made by the hand of Paul Badali.

Badali is a long-time fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's books and has always been fascinated with the Middle-earth jewelry.

"Near as I can remember I was 15-years old when I read the Hobbit." He discovered later in life that he had dyslexia as a child. "The Hobbit was the first book I ever read that I wasn't required to read in school. It was an impressionable age to be reading Tolkien. It captured imagination and heart."

Tolkien's magnum opus caught Badali in college sparking a life-long love affair with fantasy and science fiction, but the love of jewelry stuck with him from his teen-aged first exposure to Middle-earth.

"That is part of why I became a jeweler." A college course and friendly competition with another student prompted the pair to open a shop. Badali changed his business model several times but never his passion. "I choose to do what I love."

Susan and Peter JacksonJim and Randy
Peter Jackson, Jim Rygiel & Randy Cook wearing Badali Pins at TORN's 'The One Party' in 2002

His love of Tolkien and jewelry prompted him to take a "crude" stab at the One ring in 1975. Later he acquired the licence from Saul Zaentz to make the rings into fine pieces of art which he continues to do. It was natural then for Badali to find TheOneRing.net and tap into the Tolkien on-line fandom.

He doesn't hold the rights to reproduce any of the jewelry in the films and that doesn't bother him at all.

"The jewelry I design is the way I envision Tolkien having envisioned it when he wrote the books. I believe our customers are book-reading, life-long, true fans. I am used to real quality jewelry - heavy enough to be worn. I don't care if I am making it in brass or silver. People producing movie replicas are producing movie souvenirs for people who say "oh that is cool"."

Badali, who lives in Layton, Utah has been a part of the TORn line party activities since they started two years ago for "Fellowship Of The Ring." This year, he felt that he wanted to do something a little bit extra so he created a comemorative pin for the thousands of TORnados who participate in line party activies around the globe.

Singing Gandalf with Dan HennahLord of the Pins II
Dan Hennah, Joe Letteri, Randy Cook & Ethan Van der Ryn
with Badali Pins at TORN's 'Two Towers: One Party' in 2003.

"It is more a labor of love than a project I thought I was going to get rich off of. I wanted one myself and I was in contact with folks making it happen and folks participating."

So he created a quality pin at an affordable price for LP3 events the world over and a slightly different version for Salt Lake City, the line he participates in.

"I guess the reason I am doing two different pins, a little bit of home grown pride. Several of the other people that are running line parties are envious of Salt Lake for having its own pin. It might be the folks here in Salt Lake don't appreciate what a good line party we have got." (Thanks Paul!)

He sent a few around the U.S. as a line party prize along with some of his rings and offers the rest at a website. So far Salt Lake City's pin is being outsold at a pretty brisk pace.

"Why are we doing this? Why jewelry from (Tolkien) and why are we making line party pins? This is not the biggest audience. I choose to do what I love to do.

"I guess basicly making the good luck for TORn for them to give to the folks that did the movie the last couple of years, it seemed like that was for the important people, but fans wanted to have something too. First for the line party in Salt Lake, we have had so much fun with those things."

The doing is not easy. He sends the design to a photo engraver in Los Angeles who does the original in magnesium while Badali does the winged helmet in the center of the pin by hand. Later he joins the two parts together to make the original piece. Then it is molded and cast in bronze and finally gold plated, by hand.

"Clean-up is all done by hand," he said. "The kind of jewelry that we make is what we call hand-crafted mass production or mass-produced hand crafted. It is made in quantity but finished by hand. If there are little flaws that need to be done by hand to bring it up to quality, the mass producers miss it. During the last 10 to15 years people are used to accepting stuff that way. People have been lulled into accepting less than excellent. We feel jewely needs to be finished by hand and inspected closely to get it as closely perfect as possible."

12-10-03 Latest News

ROTK TV Watch
Xoanon @ 10:15 pm EST

With ROTK around the corner the promotion wagon is going full tilt. Here is a quick rundown on all things Rings on the small screen leading up to the release!

All appearances are subject to change.

December 13th: Elijah Wood to host 'SNL' on NBC (11:30PM)

December 14th: LOTR on 'Page to the Screen' BRAVO (6:00AM & 3:30PM)
December 14th: Ian McKellen on 'Inside the Actors Studio' BRAVO (1:00PM)
December 14th: Cate Blanchett on 'Bravo Profiles' BRAVO (2:30PM)
December 14th: Cate Blanchett on 'Inside the Actors Studio' BRAVO (8:00PM & 12:00AM)

December 15th: Liv Tyler on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' CBS (11:35PM)

December 16th: Liv Tyler on 'Good Morning America' ABC (7:00AM)
December 16th: Liv Tyler on 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' ABC (10:00AM)
December 16th: Liv Tyler on 'TRL' MTV (5:00PM)

December 17th: Elijah Wood on 'Good Morning America' ABC (7:00AM)
December 17th: Elijah Wood on 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' ABC (10:00AM)
December 17th: Elijah Wood on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' NBC (12:35AM)

December 18th: Elijah Wood on 'The Early Show' CBS (7:00AM)
December 18th: Sean Astin on 'Good Morning America' ABC (7:00AM)

December 19th - 21st: Starz will be airing nothing but LOTR Movies

ROTK Clip Aired During Smallville Tonight
Xoanon @ 9:30 pm EST

Lea writes: Hey guys! Just wanted to give you the skinny on the clip which premiered during tonight's episode of Smallville:

Frodo and Sam and struggling up a cliff; Frodo manages, with great difficulty, to wrestle himself onto a ledge. Gollum helps him up, all the while whispering to him about how the "fat hobbit" secretly wants to take the ring. He hisses "The fat hobbit will ask for the precious very soon, you will see..." or something to that effect. Frodo is evidently so ill and overtaken by the ring at this point that he believes Gollum's lie and casts a suspicious glare down at Sam. Both hobbits, especially Frodo, looked appropriately exhausted.

Thanks for the awesome work! Only one more week to go!

LP3 Shirts Shipped!
Xoanon @ 9:15 pm EST

The t-shirt department of TheOneRing.net reports that as of yesterday, all shirts ordered by Dec. 7, were shipped via U.S. priority mail.

Most shirts should arrive by Thursday and if they don't show up by Friday, please email Tshirts@TheOneRing.net to check your order's status. We can track all packages but please be sure to include shipping date and purchaser's name with all inquiries. Due to high demand, we were sold out of the original run of shirts and just received the new printing Monday, so some orders were delayed. We apologize for that, but all shirts are now in the mail.

There are still plenty of shirts remaining in blue and white in medium, large, x-large and xx-large but none in size small. They may not arrive in time for line party activities but they look fantastic and will be wonderful for 2nd, 3rd and 4th showings!

Ticket Exchange Continues
maegwen @ 9:01 pm EST

More tickets have showed up in the inbox. So... here we have it, ELEVEN ticket offerings, including some VERY BIG CITIES.

PLEASE READ EACH TICKET ANNOUNCEMENT CAREFULLY! Some of our offerings have "special circumstances."

Please include your e-mail address, real name, and phone number in your response.

* * *

Mississauga, Ontario
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $49.95 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Mississauga Single Ticket Please"

* * *

Mississauga, Ontario
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $49.95 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Pair of Ontario Tickets."

* * *

Woodbridge, Ontario
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Colossus in Woodbridge, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101.90 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Wishing For Woodbridge Tickets"

* * *

San Francisco, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Loews Theaters Metreon in San Francisco, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $60 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Pair of Tickets in San Francisco."

* * *


San Francisco, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Loews Theaters Metreon in San Francisco, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $30 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Single Ticket in San Francisco."

* * *


Nashville, TN: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 Cinema in Nashville, TN. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $45 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Take me to Nashvile."

* * *


Vancouver, BC: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Capital 6 in Vancouver, BC. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101.90 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Vancouver Tickets Please."

* * *


New York, NY: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Loews E Walk 42nd Street in New York, NY. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $60 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Take Me Out to the NYC Trilogy."

* * *


Boise, ID
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Boise Stadium 21 in Boise, ID. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $70 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Begging for Boise Tickets."

* * *


Memphis, TN: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Malco Paradiso in Memphis, TN. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25.37 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Must Win Memphis Tickets."

* * *


Spokane WA: WE HAVE A WINNER! No more e-mails please.
This offering is for ONE ticket to the AMC Theatre in Spokane WA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $26 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Seeking Spokane Tickets"

* * *

Ok, that's it! Good luck everyone.

ROTK Screening at Palm Springs Report
Xoanon @ 1:49 pm EST

Ringer Reggit writes:

I love the site and wanted to contribute a report about seeing the ROTK preview screening on Fri Dec 5th in Palm Springs, CA (a KCET benefit event). I also have a small concern about the movie that I hope you can forward to the appropriate people involved with the film.

1st my concern about Return of the King: There were quite a few scenes where the characters were speaking in Elvish and there were no english subtitles on display. I'm not talking the obvious lack of subtitles when Aragorn says "Thank You" in elvish. I'm talking about major sequences (ie: multiple sentences) between Aragorn & Elrond, and another scene between Elrond & Arwen.

The Sir Ian McKellen Report: We were treated to a wonderful 60 minute discussion with Sir Ian McKellen, and he was charming! The highlight of the interview came when Ian was asked to perform some Shakespeare "on the spot"...he was very game and did a great job.

The Movie Showing: The highlight of this evening was to see Return of the King with others who love this epic film as much as I do. The audience was so excited, clapping & laughing & crying. It was a wonderful experience. Shelob's lair is better than the book, in my opinion!

Talking Tolkien on Eve of ROTK
Xoanon @ 1:40 pm EST

Dr. Amy Sturgis, a Belmont University professor of science fiction/fantasy studies, media studies, and Native American studies, will present a very special multimedia talk on J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, on the evening of December 11. Dr. Sturgis teaches a course at Belmont titled J.R.R. Tolkien in History, Political Thought, and Literature. The public is welcome to attend at no charge.

"The link that some draw between childhood and fantasy is, according to J.R.R. Tolkien, an accident of recent history," says Sturgis, previewing her December 11 presentation at Belmont, titled Tolkien's Fairy-Stories: A Higher Form of Art. "As a scholar, J.R.R. Tolkien studied the history and purpose of the genre he termed 'fairy-stories' and found it to be the best vehicle for communicating serious, adult, even life-changing truths."

Sturgis's presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., December 11, in the Multimedia Hall in the Bunch Library on the Belmont campus.

Dr. Sturgis graduated with her B.A. from Belmont University and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University. She has written two books and co-authored a third in the field of political history and has presented research in the field of science fiction/fantasy studies before such organizations as the Media Studies Working Group, the International Conference on Medievalism, and the Mythopoeic Society. Her articles have appeared in several journals and magazines. She also regularly teaches summer seminars at various colleges across the United States such as Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College.

She has been named a Scholarly Guest of Honor for The Gathering of the Fellowship event in Toronto, Canada in December 2003. This event, the largest of its kind, will bring together over 1,500 participants from more than twenty nations to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Guests include scholars, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and stars of the recent Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy of films. At The Gathering, Dr. Sturgis will present her talk entitled "Harry Potter is a Hobbit: How J.R.R. Tolkien put the Adult in Children's Literature," and she also will participate in the following academic panels: "Teaching Tolkien at the University Level," "The Lord of the Rings - The Film vs. The Books," and "The Women in Middle-earth."

12-09-03 Latest News

LOTR Day on QVC UK
Xoanon @ 10:38 pm EST

Darren writes: There is a QVC Lord of the Rings Day on the 17th December on QVC UK. They have exclusive interviews with some of the cast that they will be playing throughout the show. They have teaser trailers that will be played throughout the day. They are launching the show with an exclusive set of 9 lithographs that are exclusive to QVC and are unavailable in the stores. Amongst some of the products that will be available as some EXCLUSIVE QVC UK products that again are available no-where else:

Cate Blanchett - Galadrial Signed Lithograph
Ian Holm - Bilbo Signed Lithograph
Return of the King - Isle of Man Coin Ltd to 1000 Pieces
Topps - LOTR Trilogy 60 Cards QVC Set of Trading Cards Ltd to 1000 Sets
Artbox - LOTR Return of the King Lenticular Uncut Sheet set of 60 Cards Ltd to 99

ToyFare Magazine's Complete LOTR Photo Guide!
Xoanon @ 10:29 pm EST

Zach Oat, Editor of ToyFare Magazine writes

ToyFare magazine will be doing a 16-page visual price guide on all of Toy Biz's Lord of the Rings figures in an upcoming issue, and we were wondering if you would want to report on it on your Website. If so, feel free to use the promotional description, as well as the attached sample page, which shows what the format of the guide will be like. The issue, #78, goes on sale in comic stores on Wednesday, and hits newsstands later on in the month.

TayFare Magazine's LOTR Collection

TOYFARE 78 TO FEATURE COMPLETE LOTR TOY PHOTO GUIDE

Intimidated by the sheer number of Lord of the Rings action figures on the market today? Does a trip to the toy store feel more like a trek to Mount Doom? ToyFare has the solution for you.

ToyFare #78, due out this week, features their first-ever complete viaual guide to Lord of the Rings toys. Focusing on the new Toy Biz line, this 16-page visual guide showcases all of the releases, including the mail-away Uruk-Hai, the ultra-rare cloth-capes Fellowship boxed seteven the first two waves of figures in 2004!

That's over 70 photos, with pricing info for each one! We'll also help you out by identifying any packaging or paint variations that exist, as well as calling out the best versions of each of the main characters! We even spotlight the best toy in the entire line!

You can pick up ToyFare #78 (with either a Batman or Transformers cover) in comic stores on Dec. 10, or on newsstands Dec. 23. To order online, visit www.wizarduniverse.com.

Ticket Exchange Redux
maegwen @ 8:55 pm EST

Of course, as soon as you declare something "over," you find it's NOT-QUITE-YET over... Following yesterday's post there was an influx of tickets, so we are having another "Last" Ticket Exchange post, this time with EIGHT ticket offerings. We will continue tomorrow if more tickets surface. There will be a post either way, to let folks know. And now, on to the tickets....


PLEASE READ EACH TICKET ANNOUNCEMENT CAREFULLY! Some of our offerings have "special circumstances."

Please remember to include: your e-mail address, your real name, and a phone number if possible.

* * *

Calgary, Alberta
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Paramount Chinook in Calgary, Alberta. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Calgary Tickets Calling"

* * *

Mississauga, Ontario
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $49.95 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Mississauga Single Ticket Please"

* * *

Woodbridge, Ontario
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Colossus in Woodbridge, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101.90 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Wishing For Woodbridge Tickets"

* * *

Washington, DC: We have a winner! No more e-mails, please!
***IMPORTANT NOTICE*** These tickets are for the Uptown Theater, which sold tickets to each film in the trilogy separately. This offering is for one ticket to 'The Two Towers' and one for 'Return of the King.' It DOES NOT INCLUDE a ticket to FOTR. Please do not ask for these tickets unless you possess a ticket to FOTR or do not mind missing the first show.
The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $18.50 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Uptown - I understand that this is not for the Complete Trilogy."

* * *

Albany, NY: We have a winner! No more e-mails, please!
This offering is for ONE ticket to the Crossgates Regeal Cinema 18 in Albany, NY. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $35 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Albany Ticket Please"

* * *

Edina, Minnesota: We have a winner! No more e-mails, please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the MegaStar 16 Southdale in Edina, Minnesota. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Make Mine Minnesota Tickets!"

* * *

Colorado Springs, Colorado: We have a winner! No more e-mails, please!
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Cinemark Carefree Circle Theater in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $50 + postage ($5.40 for overnight posting). The subject line MUST read: "Calling for Colorado Tickets."

* * *

Mississauga, Ontario
This offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101.65 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Pair of Ontario Tickets."

* * *

Thanks again, everyone! And GOOD LUCK!

Royal Selangor Hooks Up with TORN's LP3!
Xoanon @ 5:06 pm EST

MrCere here with some more LP3 (line party 3) goodness! We have a great new line party sponsorship with Royal Selangor and the good news is, this isn't just for North Americans but for the world-wide LP3 participants. They require individuals to register and then attend an LP3 event, where winners will be announced and the prizes are fantastic! Read on.

www.royalselangor.com, an award winning website with more than 600 pewter gift ideas, offers the Lord of The Rings fans a wonderful opportunity to collect coveted Middle-earth inspired pewter designs. The wide selection consists of beautifully sculpted character goblets, shot glasses, wine glasses and tankards. To add to the excitement this year, there is now a new release of commemorative plates and flutes.

The set of four commemorative plates capture the many classic moments from The Hobbit, The Fellowship of The Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of The King. They feature scenes such as the Battle of the Five Armies at the Lonely Mountain, the Council of Elrond in Rivendell, the Entmoot in Fangorn Forest and owyn's battle with the Witch King.

The War of The Ring chess set is a true collector's piece for chess aficionados and fiction lovers. The good side is sculpted in pewter while the evil side is copper-plated. The good side is led by Strider as the King with Galadriel as his Queen. Naturally, the evil side is led by the dark lord Sauron, accompanied by the Great Spider Shelob as his Queen. Each piece is intricately sculpted and a game of chess with this set will transport you into the heart of the battlefield between the forces of good and evil in Middle-earth.

To stand a chance to win these sought after designs, simply click here to register. Remember to fill in the LOTR line party that youre attending at the section - Which LOTR Line Party Are You Attending to qualify you as a valid participant. Winners MUST be part of an ACTIVE, particpating line party event.

To check if youre a winner, attend the LOTR line parties near you. Prizes will automatically go to the next winner if not claimed during the party. There will also be 100 consolation prizes, which will be given out in select locations on a first-com-first-serve basis during the line party.

Forward this page to your friends and youll have more chances of winning!

12-08-03 Latest News

UK TV Watch
Xoanon @ 10:08 pm EST

TRM writes: I found theese programme listings for the UK and thought you might like to put them on the front page to let people know.

13th Dec
BBC radio 4
5.30pm Back row - Richard Taylor talks about designing the visual effects for LOTR

-------

16th Dec
Discovery channel
2.00pm Bilbo and Beyond

BBC1
11.35pm
Film 2003- Return of the King special

Live in NYC? Wanna Meet Andy Serkis in Times Square?
Xoanon @ 7:34 pm EST

Join us as Andy Serkis, the voice of the tortured Gollum from The Lord of the Rings feature films, makes a special personal appearance as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King hits theaters nationwide. Beginning December 10, if you purchase The Lord of the Rings MONOPOLY, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, RISK or Chess* you will receive a ticket to meet Andy Serkis and get his autograph during a private signing event. To receive your ticket, please bring your receipt to Personal Shopping on Level Three.

Plus, beginning December 10, guests have the exclusive opportunity to view a display of eight authentic props from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and have the opportunity to enter to win Wormtongues dagger**. Lord of the Rings fans can also win one of the eight film props when they enter Hasbro's "Win the Sword of Aragorn" Sweepstakes. Fans can get more information at hasbro.com/lotr or inside specially-marked packages of LOTR MONOPOLY, RISK and TRIVIAL PURSUIT.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17

Private Signing Event: 1 5pm, Level Three

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17

Prop Display: Store Hours, Level Three

*Please note: One board game purchase of Hasbros versions of The Lord of the Rings MONOPOLY, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, RISK or Chess from Toys R Us Times Square is required for the private signing event. Limit one ticket and one autograph per purchase, per guest. Andy Serkis will only autograph movie posters supplied by New Line Cinema. Tickets are available while supplies last. Only 750 tickets are available for this event on a first come basis.

**Drawing will take place at 5pm on Wednesday, December 17.

PJ & Fran Drop In On BNAT5
Xoanon @ 7:02 pm EST

Funyun writes:

Looks like you don't have a report on this yet, so I thought I'd write in: Peter, Fran, and Philippa all made an appearance in Austin TX yesterday as part of Harry Knowles' fifth annual Butt-Numb-a-Thon. For those who don't know, Butt-Numb-a-Thon is a 24-hour movie marathon at a local dinner theater, typically showing a mixture of older films and brand-new not-yet-released films.

This year it was no surprise to anyone that Return of the King would be one of the selected films, but we all figured it would come at the end of the 24-hour marathon. Imagine our surprise when they interrupted the second film mid-scene, and with no warning whatsoever the New Line Cinema logo appeared on the screen. Everyone flipped out in the theater, and settled in for a phenomenal film-going experience. (I won't waste any space with my personal review, except to say it's like Fellowship meets Towers with whipped cream and a cherry on top.)

At the conclusion of the film there was a minutes-long standing ovation that lasted through much of the closing credits. Then Harry Knowles walked up front and confirmed our wildest dreams: "Please welcome Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh." The audience lit up like a firecracker as the production team walked in the theater and took up their mics.

For about 20 minutes they took questions from the audience, covering their problems adapting the stories; why they cut some scenes and kept others; a status update on King Kong (they're into building maquettes at the moment, if that's how you spell it); and more on The Hobbit (he'd like to do it, but the legals need to be cleared up first).

So there weren't any groundbreaking revelations from the trio onstage, but more than anything we were elated that we got to thank them in person for such a spectacular set of films. Everyone that got up to ask a question fell over themselves to compliment the filmmakers, and Harry himself teared up while issuing his own thanks for the movies.

They stayed for the next film showing - Buster Keaton's "The General" with a live score by local artist Guy Forsyth and his band - then it was off to Berlin for their next press junket.

Not too often that you get to meet such luminaries with an audience as few as 300! Everyone got a signed poster and had a great time. Just thought you'd like a report.

Final Ticket Exchange: SIX locations
maegwen @ 6:54 pm EST

For over five weeks we have been offering tickets to Trilogy Tuesday via Ticket Exchange. These tickets, sold by fans at face value to other fans, have come to represent to me all that is good in the world of Tolkien fandom. Conversing with the sellers, the buyers, and those who just hoped to get their hands on a ticket has been really uplifting. I only wish that there were tickets for everyone.

Tonight marks the end of the Ticket Exchange program, barring any last minute ticket offers. Should more sellers emerge, we will continue posting. At this time however, these are the final six ticket offerings.

Much thanks to everyone who has participated!

Please be certain to include in your e-mail: Your Name, your e-mail address, and a phone number if possible.

* * *

CHICAGO, IL: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
Tonight's ticket exchange offering is for ONE ticket to the AMC River East in Chicago, IL. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $31 + postage. The subject line MUST read: "My Kind of Tickets, Chicago is.."

* * *

ONATARIO, CANADA: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
This ticket offering is for TWO tickets to the Famous Players Coliseum in Mississauga, Ontario. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $101 (Canadian) + postage. The subject line MUST read: "Oh, Ontario Tickets Please!"

* * *

SAN JOSE, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
This ticket offering is for TWO tickets to the Oakridge Century 20 in San Jose, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $81 + postage. This price includes the "Hobbit Snack" advertised by the theater. The subject line MUST read: "Send Me To San Jose."

* * *

FRESNO, CA: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
***IMPORTANT NOTE***: These tickets are electronic tickets. The seller is looking to find someone who will meet them at the theater the day of Trilogy Tuesday to arrange a cash/ticket swap. Anyone responding to this offer should provide their phone number so the seller may contact them to make these arrangements. Anyone uncomfortable with this scenario should not respond.
This ticket offering is for TWO tickets to the Edwards Stadium 21 in Fresno, CA. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $72. The subject line MUST read: "Fresno Tickets Wanted."

* * *

MANCHESTER, CT: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
***IMPORTANT NOTE***: This ticket is an extra from a group of 3 people who are looking for a 4th person who would be able to go to the theater early in the day and save seats (if possible) for the group, who cannot arrive until the start of the Trilogy showing. Interested parties should be prepared to discuss this with the seller.
This ticket offering is for ONE ticket to the Buckland Hills Showcase in Manchester, CT. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25. The subject line MUST read: "Mad for Manchester Ticket."

* * *

CLEVELAND, OHIO: WE HAVE A WINNER. No more e-mails, please.
This ticket offering is for ONE ticket to the Valley View Cinemark in Valley View (Cleveland), OH. The first person to e-mail maegwen@theonering.net with the following subject line will be put into contact with the ticket seller. The price is $25. The subject line MUST read: "Oh, Ohio Tickets Please."

* * *

Ok, that's it folks! I hope everyone enjoys "Return of the King!"

Only In Wellington
Demosthenes @ 5:12 pm EST

Im hurrying back to the media pen from my hotel for the big Return of the King premiere parade. But I know Im not going to make it. Im on the wrong side of the road and theres too many people lining the route for me to get to the crossing point.

In fact, I altogether fail to recognise the landmarks and end up walking way too far. I end up almost at the Beehive NZs parliament house and the beginning of the route. When I begin to hear the screams and cheers, I give up and go with the flow.

The scenes near the Beehive arent nearly as chaotic as later on at Courtney Place (near the Embassy), but people are still lined six deep along the barricades.

But theres also hundreds (thousands?) of people up in office buildings, leaning out windows, lining the multistorey car parks of inner-Wellington and even hanging off trees.

Even the citys stores seem to have shut down temporarily many workers have dragged out chairs and stools to stand on so they have a better vantage point over everyone else.

The noise swells as each open-top car rolls past. I spot strategically placed tickertape cannons on many rooftops. Occasionally one goes off, dumping streamers on everyone below.

I miss many of the cast and crew, but spend a lot of time watching a group of four or five Black Riders, jogging alongside them. Apparently they were hugely popular at the parade for Fellowship, and their appearance is greeted by many ooohs this time round as well.

Ooohs turn to gasps as one of the riders reaches out a gauntleted hand and menaces the crowd. If theyd shrieked as well, I reckon my day (and that of many others) would have been complete, but sadly they do not.

Theres a palpable something about the crowd. A depth of feeling that makes my spine tingle. Sure, theres a fair share of foreigners, Elijah groupies, Orlando swooners or whatever, but from Wellingtonians, there seems to be a huge sense of communal pride in the achievement that Rings is.

Part of it is parochialism for the success of the local boy (Peter Jackson), but I think a large part derives from the fact that so many people know someone who worked on the production.

Sean Astin also hits on something when he says on the Red Carpet:

There is so much darkness and villainy in the world that this city and this country are a beacon of hope your huge smiles and friendly faces.

The love and adoration of the New Zealand people, the look on [your] faces. Its incredible. God bless you.

Estimates put the size of the crowd at upwards of 100,000 not a bad turnout for a city of less than 500,000 people.

I wish you could all see the film tonight, Jackson tells the crowd.

We should have just played on this screen, he says, to huge cheers. But we cant.

Theres too many video cameras and youd just pirate it. And it would be available on the corner of Cuba St tomorrow morning.

Im sorry.

The emotional outpouring of the crowd is matched by the response of the cast and crew.

Orlando Bloom tells everyone his shirt says it all. It reads: I love NZ.

This has been, hands down, the single most amazing time of my life, he adds. Thank you so much, I hope to come back soon.

Even Gollum is eventually forced to concede to the occasion.

Wellington sucks, he mutters.

Smeagol breaks in. No, no precious, we loves you. Wellington is our friend!

Okay, just this once.

The parade concludes with a pair of abseilers walking down the Embassy Theatre faade. Carl Orffs Carmina Burana (O Fortuna) plays over the speakers. When the abseilers reach the balcony rooftop, they unfurl a pair of banners.

They read in Maori and English: Only in Wellington.

Sounds about right to me.

12-07-03 Latest News

'Sound and Spirit' of Tolkien
maegwen @ 7:54 pm EST

Sharon writes:

Tonight on Public Radio International the show "Sound and Spirit" did an hour-long overview of Tolkien's lyrics, both spoken (recordings of the beloved Professor himself) and sung, performed by numerous artists including Shadowfax, The Tolkien Ensemble, Glass Hammer, The Hobbitons, and Donald Swann.

There's even a wonderful original song on the Return of the King, sung by Tom Smith in the style of "The King." And a nod is given to Led Zeppelin's preoccupation with all things Tolkien.

This link leads to the playlist:

http://www.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/pri/spirit/shows/059play.html

There are other links on the page for listening to the entire archived show online (RealPlayer), and links to some of the websites of the performers featured. On the 'listen online page there are links to a bibliography and a transcript of the show. [Listen Online]

Enjoy!

Trilogy Tuesday: Italy
Xoanon @ 7:17 pm EST

Vincenzo writes: Medusa Film (the distributor of the LOTR movies in Italy) announced the plans for the theatrical re-realase of the movies (in the extended version) and the "Wopping Marathon" of the Full Monty version of the LOTR (the three movies back to back, with the extended editions of the first two before "The Return of the Kings").

The cities are:

Milano
Roma
Cerro Maggiore
Bologna
Livorno
Torino
Montebello della Battaglia
Lecce
Salerno

And the dates are:

January, 9-15 2004: The Fellowship Extended
January, 16-20 2004: The Two Towers Extended
January, 21 2004: the Big One!

Price for the Marathon is 20 Euro (about $22), and it will include a gift of 5 original posters and an "undisclosed" additional surprise. The Main Event, on Jan 21, will be around 11 hours long. Medical assistance wii be provided if needed!

ROTK Action in South Korea
Xoanon @ 7:08 pm EST

Haejin writes:

The extended editions of Fellowship and Towers are being screened at the moment in Sang Am CGV theater in Seoul from December 5th to the 15th. I booked tickets last week for 2 viewings each, and "danced around like a mad thing" a la Gollum. Then, I saw a newspaper article that said the two extended The Lord of the Rings films set a new record in Korea when the tickets were sold out in ONE HOUR!! The Lord of the Rings are insanely popular here, I knew that, but when I thought about how if I had been even thirty minutes late, I realized with a shudder how I would have missed the chance to see the extended editions on the big screen. According to the article, the poor souls who were a bit late are now crashing the official Korean Lord of the Rings site demanding a longer screening period, and now, the folks at Sang Am CGV theater are seriously considering a re-release.

There was another article that showed how hard Ring-mania has hit the world over. There will be a special advance screening of the Return of the King in Seoul on December 9th, but only for executives and industry people. The article said that the security surrounding the print of film was something out of "a 007 James Bond movie", where security officers with guns and everything will be guarding it from the minute it arrives in the airport and until it reaches the projection room, and even during screening. The viewers will also be searched and stripped of cameras, watches and even their cell phones, because most cell phones in Korea have little video camers attached to them.

ROTK LA Premiere Full Coverage
Xoanon @ 1:34 pm EST

Here is a roundup of all the images we've collected from the Los Angeles Premiere of The Return of the King held on December 3rd 2003.

Peter Jackson

Press Junket

Theonering.net chats with the actors and production team on the LA premiere day of The Return of the King.

Orlando Bloom at the LA Premiere

thepete.com Gallery

Some great images from thepete.com of the Return of the King premiere in Los Angeles, California.

ROTK Premiere: Los Angeles - Elijah Wood

LA ROTK Premiere Gallery

An assortment of images from the Return of the King premiere in LA.

LA Premiere post-movie-party

Post-Movie Party Gallery

Images from the after-Premiere Party.


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