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February 11, 2003 - February 17, 2003

2-17-03 Latest News

New Towers Collectibles From Sideshow
Demosthenes @ 4:52 pm EST

Sideshow/Weta very recently released its second series of statues and busts from The Two Towers. The busts feature Gandalf the White, a Galadhrim Soldier, Grishnakh and an Uruk-Hai Berserker. The figures consist of Ugluk, Grima Wormtongue and Galadhrim Archer. All of these are incredibly detailed. Interestingly, plot theorists may note the Wormtongue's right hand wrapped around what appears to be a knife hilt.

Highlight below to read possible plot spoilers:
Many people have written to us over the past few months speculating that Grima will slay Saruman at Orthanc with a knife. Evidence for this includes the famous Grima Toy Biz figure with "knife-slashing action" and a picture on page 122 of "The Making of the Movie Trilogy" by Brian Sibley. It shows Grima lying on what many believe to be the floor of Orthanc. He appears very angry and has a dagger in his hand. More evidence, or just coincidence?

Anyway, check out these great pictures! You can also check the Sideshow Collectibles website for more information. [More]

Busts - Figures
[Gandalf the White] - [Ugluk]
[Galadhrim Soldier] - [Grima Wormtongue]
[Uruk-Hai Beserker] - [Galadhrim Archer]
[Grishnakh] -

2-16-03 Latest News

Toyfair 2003 TTT Pics!
Xoanon @ 9:38 pm EST

From: action-figure.com

A Brief News Recap
Pippin_Took @ 6:51 pm EST

I just wanted to take a moment to recap the answers to some of the very-frequently-asked questions that we receive from readers via email:

Thanks for your attention! We make a courageous attempt to personally respond to each reader email, but we get flooded with so many redundant questions that it can be very difficult to keep up. We sometimes feel like the Ents at Isengard, digging in with our toes to keep from being washed away by the flood!

Taking another look at Oscar nominees
Xoanon @ 11:06 am EST

Academy Awards' impact reaches beyond box office

By Michael Wilmington
Tribune movie critic
Published February 16, 2003

Last Tuesday's Oscar nominations were both exciting and intriguing -- and only intermittently outrageous. But they remind us that Academy Award races are usually taken seriously for the wrong reasons (their possible commercial effects) and not seriously enough for the right ones (their lasting cultural achievements).

There were cultural achievements justly applauded on Tuesday: "The Pianist," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Gangs of New York" would be exceptional movies in any year. And though I wasn't knocked out by either "The Hours" or "Chicago" -- the gaudy Bob Fosse-inspired movie musical based on the 1942 noir comedy "Roxie Hart" -- motion picture academy members apparently are. The front-runner so far, with 13 nominations, "Chicago" joins another 2002 Oscar juggernaut: parent studio Miramax, which racked up an awe-inspiring 40 nods for six films.
There were other early winners: Little Focus Pictures (home of "The Pianist" and "Far From Heaven") took the spotlight and so did the competitors in all of the acting categories, especially the unusually strong female ones. There were controversial nominees: notably Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski. Indeed, the best picture in this year's Oscar race, "The Pianist" suffers from the fact that director Polanski is too controversial: widely seen as a felon and fugitive unworthy of honors. And the best director, Scorsese, has been nominated for a film so disliked by some that his probable win has already been stigmatized as undeserved payback for past efforts.

Still, an Oscar contest in which Scorsese and Polanski are controversial nominees and Meryl Streep gets squeezed out of the best actress lineup the same year she breaks the record for most nominations in a career. is not in bad shape. As for Miramax, their success only proves that blitz publicity works -- and that it also helps to make the kind of movies critics and Oscar voters prefer.
The nominations this year gave the lie to charges that those critics suffer a disconnect in taste from the audience. If they do, it's a disconnect also suffered by filmmakers themselves. All five of the best picture nominees were among the 11 best reviewed movies of 2002, according to Moviecitynews.com.

What do the nods mean?

So what does it all mean? Will an Oscar night victory for "Chicago" (Miramax) help spark a renaissance of the movie musical? Will a win for "The Hours" (also Miramax, with Paramount) inspire more literary subjects and stories about women? Will a director's trophy for Scorsese (Miramax again) mean he finally gets the Oscar monkey off his back?

Far too many articles are churned out pondering how Oscar nominations will impact the box office and far too few grappling with the artistic or social merits of films like the ones just mentioned -- and "About Schmidt," "Adaptation" and "The Quiet American." Or, even "Chicago" -- which, after all, has very pointed things to say, expressing through its razzle-dazzle numbers a massive genial cynicism about the justice system and the media.
This year there is also an unusually large cargo of backstage drama -- including Michael Caine's successful battle (despite Miramax) for his "Quiet American" nomination. In Polanski's case it's sordid drama that has already cheapened some of the discourse about the great film that got him back in the limelight. Without downplaying the gravity of the charges against him -- Polanski, now 69, fled the country to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to a statutory rape charge involving a 13-year-old girl -- we should recognize, here as elsewhere, that the art and the artist are separate. Polanski's past really shouldn't affect consideration of the merits of "The Pianist": for me, the best dramatic feature ever made about the Holocaust and an achievement that will long survive its maker.

Of course, the scandal will affect the vote; for many in Hollywood, honoring a convicted rapist may be comparable to genocide. They forget that great art sometimes is produced by people of dubious character, morality or sanity. Yet Richard Wagner's operas or the novels of Louis-Ferdinand Celine or Knut Hamsun are not diminished because the first two were virulent anti-Semites or the last a fascist collaborator, and we don't trash Christopher Marlowe's plays because of his criminal character, or the music of Schubert or Delius and the paintings of Manet because the artists may have died of venereal diseases. Polanski's past is not irrelevant to the law's treatment of him, but it shouldn't count against the superb movie he made, partly by distilling his own horrific past as a Jewish boy from Krakow eluding the Nazis during the Holocaust years. "The Pianist" is easily the best movie in competition -- unless you count all three parts of "Rings" as one film -- but it probably can't win.

Scorsese probably will win, but he has been subject to abuse as well, just not for his private life, but because some writers detest "Gangs of New York" and believe that -- like Bette Davis' 1935 "Dangerous" Oscar, Al Pacino's for "Scent of a Woman" or John Wayne's for "True Grit" -- any "Gangs" Oscar would be sentimental compensation for past efforts,

Delayed Oscars tradition

But would that be bad? Delayed Oscars are as much a part of Academy Award tradition as long TV shows and egregious omissions -- and the fact that Scorsese was beaten out before by John Avildsen (for 1976's "Rocky"), Robert Redford (for 1980's "Ordinary People") and Kevin Costner (for 1990's "Dances With Wolves") in the years he was up for "Taxi Driver, "Raging Bull" and "GoodFellas" doesn't mean that the mistakes should never be addressed. Nor should he suffer the same unjust fate of well-deserving directorial non-winners such as Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, Charlie Chaplin or Stanley Kubrick.

I happen to think "Gangs of New York" is a terrific film -- if a flawed one -- and I suspect it's being attacked in part for the same reasons "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "GoodFellas" were trashed in their day: because some voters feel it's too profane, violent and disturbing, even if they claim it's bad storytelling that offends them.

What about the slight suffered by another director, the unnominated Peter Jackson, whose ongoing "Lord of the Rings" trilogy is the most popular with audiences? Here, more than likely, many voters deferred on "Rings" as a work in progress.

"This year, it's `Chicago,'" my smartest movie-reporting friend told me right after the announcements. "Next year, `The Lord of the Rings' runs the table."

Ripple effect

What's most interesting about the race may be the ripple effect of the possible victories. I think "Chicago" is overrated -- a great musical show vividly translated but lacking great musical performances. But I'd welcome its victory if it sparks more interest from the studios in movie musicals, a form sadly moribund since 1972 and the movie "Chicago" most copies: "Cabaret."

On the good side, we can applaud the wealth of great female performances in the acting categories -- something not as notable even five years ago. On the bad side, isn't a foreign language film process that continually eliminates films such as Brazil's "City of God" and Spain's "Talk to Her" (made by surprise best director nominee Pedro Almodovar) -- and that nixed past classics such as "Persona," "Ran" and "Three Colors" -- drastically in need of reform? (A suggestion: Add five discretionary picks a year by the academy itself, so films such as "Talk to Her" or "Ran" aren't penalized if their countries fail to submit them.)

Finally, we should note the sheer formal and stylistic daring of many nominated films. Some have gutsy content (documentary "Bowling for Columbine"), some are technical marvels (feature cartoon "Spirited Away") and a number play excitingly with the idea of narrative, stripping bare storytelling mechanisms with admirable panache -- like "Adaptation" (a movie about writing movies), "Far From Heaven" (a movie pastiching other movies), "The Hours" (a three-stranded narrative in which life duplicates art) and even "Chicago" (a bravura theatrical piece that may take place inside the anti-heroine's mind). The public generally dislikes such film experiments -- just as critics often love them -- but this year the moviemakers liked them as well.

2-15-03 Latest News

Hall of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 8:43 am EST

Hall of Fire for this weekend will make a late topic adjustment following the recent announcement of the Oscar nominations.

Previously we'd scheduled a chat on Acting in the Two Towers, however, instead we'll be hosting a special Oscar Nominations Roundup.

This year, Towers snagged six nominations. Only one - for best picture - was in what many consider to be the major award groupings. The remainder were in more technical categories, such as editing and sound.

How do we rate the film's chances of picking up gongs in these categories? And did Jackson's reluctance to play the "schmooze" game this year lessen the opportunity for Towers to receive critical acclaim from the Oscars Academy?

And what of the nominations that Towers did not receive? In which categories was it worthy - and overlooked? Contrastingly, what were the categories it didn't deserve a nomination for? What do folks think?

Join us this weekend for what's sure to be a most interesting debate!

Upcoming Discussions:

Feb. 22-23: Acting in the Two Towers
March 1-2 : RoTK Book V, Ch2: Passing of the Grey Company

#thehalloffire on theonering.net server; come to theonering.net’s chat room Barliman's and then type /join #thehalloffire .

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

Sunday Chat: 7:00 pm (19:00) CET [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 4:00 am (04:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe

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

2-14-03 Latest News

FEBRUARY 22nd and 23rd: Battle of Helm's Deep Pre-Release Event!
Lao_of_Gondor @ 2:46 pm EST

Just a reminder: There are only 4 days left! The pre-registration area for the Battle of Helm's Deep pre-release on DGMA.com will CLOSE FEB 17th at midnight. If you haven't signed up for the event, please visit DGMA.com and do so by midnight this Tuesday. After that, you will only be able to purchase a spot on the day of the Tourney - either Feb, 22nd or 23rd - as a walk-in first come, first serve registration.


For all of you who live in Southern California or nearby, you have the opportunity to attend TWO pre-release tournaments! This DOUBLE-HEADER weekend is indeed a very special circumstance and here is all of the event information at this time:


FEBRUARY 22, 2003: WIZARDS OF THE COAST - Westminster Mall (Westminster, CA)

The WIZARDS OF THE COAST Store in the Westminster Mall, Westminster CA is the Official Pre-Release Tournament location of TheOneRing.net! This tournament will be held SATURDAY, Feb. 22nd. Here is a link for all of the official tournament information for this pre-release: [EVENT DETAILS]

FEBRUARY 23, 2003: SQUEEZE PLAY - Tustin, CA

There will also be a second Pre-Release Tournament at SQUEEZE PLAY in Tustin, CA on SUNDAY, FEB 23rd. Here is a direct link to the Battle of Helm's Deep Pre Release at Squeeze Play: [EVENT DETAILS]

Thanks all for reading. Don't forget...Pre-Registration CLOSES FEB 17 at midnight!

More to come...

Lao of Gondor

Howard Shore Report #6
leo @ 6:09 am EST

And they are still floating in.. ichi also attended the concert and was fortunate enough to shake hands with Howard Shore himself after the show!

The concert had been going since 3 with other acts, but we were only interested in Howard so we didn't go in until the last interval. We took our seats and waited.

The London Philamonic began to take their seats, once they were in place a boys choir came in the back, closely followed by a male choir and finally a female choir. Then the moment we were all waiting for Howard Shore came onto the stage to a fantastic response, the applause went on for ages. Howard was clearly flattered.

Everyone settled down and it begun, from the moment the female choir began 'The Prophecy' my draw dropped, it was really happening and the sound was just a joy to hear. The Prophecy was more in keeping with the film than what we hear on the CD, I have to say I do prefer that version. The whole sound was mindblowing, I'd say it was CD quality, but it wasn't, it was better than that, mindblowing!

It then smoothly went into Concerning Hobbits, this was the moment I had been really looking forward to above anything else, I adore the strings in that track and throughout the build up to the day that was foremost in my mind. I wasn't to be dissapointed. The emotions were really running high by now, you know that feeling you get in your chest when you're about to cry? It was all pure joy, I don't think I've ever witnessed live music and felt like that, with the possible exception of David Bowie at Glastonbury a few years ago.

I'm not sure if it was just me enjoying it too much, but we seem to get to Rivendell really quickly if you get my meaning. the whole Black Rider, knife in the Dark, flight to the ford sequence was quite abridged. Not that it was the slightest bit bad, just a bit quick. Howard cleverly hinted to the bits with enya, the whole Rivendell part was beautiful, especially the rousing Fellowship theme that comes in when frodo says 'I will take the ring to mordor' That bit is probably my favorite part of the film, pretty much because of what the soundtrack does, I will never forget that sound.

Then the big surprise for me, the Moria Sequence. Yes I've always liked it, but I've prefered other parts of the score more. I don't know what it was or why but this whole section affected me more than the rest of the concert, cue the tears, and it wasn't in the usual 'gandalf falling moment' If I remember correctly it was when they got into the great hall. Then the big solo after the fall. Obviously this was one of the big expectations of the concert, and the kid singing was clearly nervous as hell. But all credit to him he hit the notes perfectly, sure he didn't hold on to them quite as long as the original but it was still a great performance.

'Lament' of course was beautiful, The female soloist was stunning, and the way her voice linked with the Sitar (I think that was what it was I couldn't see it properly) was incredible, a real other worldly sound without any digital effects. By this stage I was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience, every note from all the different instruments was such a pleasure to the ears. The last few songs were wonderful (Amon Hen inparticular but I'll mention that later) building up to the climactic finale with 'In dreams' The young soloists nerves seem to have calmed and he did a fantastic job of it, with the orchestra and the choirs working off his voice it created such a fantastic ending, it was no surprise that Howard and the LPO recieved a standing ovation and Howard came back on stage three times, boy did they deserve it.

So that was it, it was over. we were left with an incredible mix of emotions from joy to bemused disbelief that we'd actually just witnessed that incredible display. It really provided and insight in to the genius of the man, he conducts with such incredible passion you can see the love with every movement of his arms. And how he came up with the ideas to create some of the sounds is beyond me, for instance stroking some sort of asian cymbal with a violin, created the most bizarre screeching sound that was perfect for moria. Or during Amon Hen, listen carefully to the CD, you can hear what is like the sound of armour clincking but it seems musical somehow. Well that was the percussionist with metal chain wrapped around her hand, hitting the open strings of a harpsichord (not a piano as reported elsewhere). If you ever get the chance for the love of god go and see it, I'm desperately hoping that I will be here next year reporting on the TT concert.

Well that was it, time to go home, but there was one last highlight remaining................

Time to head to the station then, thinking the day was over. We were heading for the station and we had to walk round the back of the hall to get there. I suddenly noticed a group of posh cars waiting, members of the choir, people walking away with harp shaped cases and a group of 'rings' fans. Obviously we'd stumbled upon the artist's exit, so we stuck around. We hadn't planned on making an effort to get an autograph, but we'd had brought with us the special edition TT soundtrack just in case. It seemed it was worth it.

We waited quite a while, and it was freezing, still a dedicated fan must do what a dedicated fan must do. Once all the choir and orchestra members had gone it was just a small group of fans waiting. We started chatting to another couple, no idea who they were but hey, I'm a talkative kinda person. One of them was grilling Howard's chauffer for information The grilling was successful, we were now getting good information when he'd be out.

Then we saw him through the window, and he was out. No mad panic up to him, everyone just calmly walked up to him and he seemed more than happy to stay for a while and not. He chatted with everyone, stood in for photos (I'm still annoyed I didn't bring my camera!:grr and signed anything that was put infront of him. When it was our turn, he signed my cd book, we had a short chat, congratulated him on the concert etc, thanked him and that was it. Brief but unforgettable, and a perfect end to a perfect day. Howard is a genius and a really nice person to boot, and kindly added his name to my growing LOTR autograph collection.

2-13-03 Latest News

Elvish Language Lesson #2
Jincey @ 10:08 pm EST

Our second lesson on "How to Construct a Sindarin Sentence", which concentrated on articles, took place Wednesday, Feb 12 in #TheHallofFire. We'd like to thank our guest, Barliman's regular and self-taught language expert Elostrion. Here's the transcript of the log:

[Elostrion] Welcome to "How to Construct a Sindarin Sentence: Lesson Two"
[Elostrion] We will be covering Articles.
[Elostrion] They are very simple.
[Elostrion] In Sindarin, there are no indefinate articles (a, an).
[Elostrion] Only definate (the).
[Elostrion] However, there are four forms of "the".
[Elostrion] Sindarin "the" has two distinct divisions:
[Elostrion] Singular and Plural
[Elostrion] Each has a seperate particle article and a suffix form.
[Elostrion] Singular:
[Elostrion] The Sindarin Singular "the" is "i, -n"
[Elostrion] The "i" stands alone
[Elostrion] The "-n" is suffixed onto the preceding word.
[Elostrion] Obviously, if there is no word preceding the article, than we cannot use the suffix form.
[Elostrion] I prefer to use the suffix form in all cases I am able.
[Elostrion] However, be careful not to suffix onto consonants that cannot be followed by an "n", e.g. "m, etc."
[Elostrion] Plural:
[Elostrion] "in, -in"
[Elostrion] The same rules apply.
[Elostrion] We have more liberty with the suffix "-in" because it begins with a vowel.
[Elostrion] As I stated last lesson, Sindarin articles always precede their noun.
[Elostrion] Here are a few examples:
[Elostrion] The bull...
[Elostrion] We would use a singular article, becuase there is only one bull.
[Elostrion] And since "the" is not preceded by another word, we have only one choice...
[Elostrion] "I vund..."
[Elostrion] ...abandon the birds...
[Elostrion] We would use a plural article, because there is more than one bird.
[Elostrion] "...awartha i filig..."
[Elostrion] The change in the article is explained by Consonant Mutation, which we will cover soon.
[Elostrion] We have also another choice...
[Elostrion] "...awarthan filig..."
[Elostrion] I am ready to take questions
[Elwen] i would just like to now if the same consonants apply in Sindarin as in Quenya as far as not being able to suffix -n to them
[Elostrion] There are of course different rules that apply; however, in this case, most are concurrent between the two languages. Such as:
[Elostrion] 'b'
[Elostrion] 'l'
[Elostrion] etc.
[Elostrion] Next question please.
[JulieOh] is the article always required, or can it be understood? e.g., would "I like books" have to be translated to "I like the books"?
[Elostrion] Sindarin is unique in that you have quite a bit of freedom on matters like these.
[Elostrion] In situations such as Noun Declinsion and such the article is always understood.
[Elostrion] It is more common to write the article; however, if it is not wanted/needed you may leave it out.
[Elaran] question: we dont have any examples of a article being suffixed to the word before it. only combined with prepostions....
[Elostrion] That is true; however, this theory arised after many years of hard study and a collaboration of minds.
[jincey] could you tell us who the scholars are?
[Elostrion] We have come to the conclusion that it is probably possible to do so.
[Elostrion] Ryzsard J. Derdzinski is a wonderful mind
[Elostrion] As is Helge E. Fauskanger
[Elostrion] And, of course, we cannot forget David Salo, the leading Elvish expert in the world.
[Elaran] ask : why do you believe that it is possible?
[Elostrion] I have come to trust these men over my studies. I have not delved too deep into the issue myself, seeing it as already resolved.
[Arodriel] wheres the best place to find verbs in elvish?
[Elostrion] ardalambion.com, run by Helge Fauskanger, has a wonderful new page up with suggested conjugations of Sindarin verbs...
[Elostrion] however, I am not sure I agree with everything that is contained inside.
[Elostrion] The document is not perfect. Don't take it as canon.
[Elostrion] Another question?
[Eravial] question: could you give us a couple more examples of plural artcle usage?
[Elostrion] Absolutely!
[Elostrion] "The bulls..."
[Elostrion] "I vund..."
[Elostrion] Again the change is explained by consonant mutation
[Elostrion] Is there another?
[Darkfyre] Question: Is there an example that doesn't use consonant mutation?
[Elostrion] LoL
[Elostrion] "The strikes..."
[Elostrion] "In draimm..."
[Elostrion] Are there any more?
[jincey] i think we are ready to open the floor now. Looks like there is some debate on what is canon and what is conjecture : )
[Elostrion] Thank you all for coming...I hope to see you next week.
[Raven_Tindomiel] thanks, Elostrion
[happy_eirien] will we be learning characters during these lessons?
[JulieOh] thanks Elostrion! Can't wait for next week
[Thevina] Argh!
[Not_Maedhros] What is the article "ir" for?
[Menelmacar] thank you very much
[Halladaliel] thanks
[Elostrion] It is my pleasure Raven
[Darkfyre] thanks Elostrion
[aislinn] thanks!
[Eravial] thank you
[happy_eirien] thanx
[Thevina] Elostrian... I am so sorry I missed your class! :(
[Arodriel] whats the next lesson gonna be on?
[Jeremy] can someone give an example of Singular articles usage?
Not_Maedhros is unhappy that he missed it.
[Elostrion] LoL, u-moe edaved.
[TheRedSunRises] 3Cuio nin mellon Elostrion
[TheRedSunRises] and thanks!
[Elaran] Elostrion... we have examples of -in being used with a plual subject, Fauskanger notes this, any comments?
[Elostrion] Excuse my lack of accents.
[Elaran] sorry Singular subject
[Elaran] _erin dolothen ethuil_ on the eight day......
[Lembas_n_Cram] thanks Elostrion!
[Elaran] I do not think it is safe to assume that we can use -in in reference to plural subjects only
Thevina the incredibly behind the times asks if these lessons will be each Wednesday?
[Elostrion] There are very many attested examples like this, applying to different areas. Tolkien kept changing his mind about Sindarin, so it is hard to see which version is the final.
[Elassar] am i the only one who can't understand elvish?
[Not_Maedhros] Nope
[tigere47] no
[Eravial] no
[Elaran] Yes but Fauskanger says that no rule can be reached
[Arodriel] no
[Not_Maedhros] I cannot understand... most of it.
[Not_Maedhros] Hehe...
[aislinn] i am getting there
[Primula_Hornblower1] no Elassar
[Guest] i can say some basic words
[Elostrion] That is true to some extent
[Elaran] yet you presented it as if it was fact that -in was used in reference to a plular subject
[Not_Maedhros] Elostrion, what is the difference between present tense form of say... gâr and garir?
[happy_eirien] will we learn how to use characters?
[Not_Maedhros] happy_eirien, chgaracters?
[Not_Maedhros] If you mean the Tengwar, I can help you there...
[Elassar] when's the next lesson?
[Arodriel] and what is it on?
[happy_eirien] cool!
[Eravial] will the lesson be posted like the first one?
[Elaran] garir means "they hold" gar means "hold"
[Elostrion] Every Wednesday at 7:00pmEST
[Smoky] Elostrion...could you tell me what mutation to use in a phrase like "leaves of the trees" ??
[Thevina] thank you, Elostrion! next week I won't miss it altogether...
[Elostrion] Smoky, e-mail me and I will be glad to help.
Not_Maedhros feels sorry for poor Elsortion
[Guest] is the lesson over
[Elaran] Elostrion, in your example _i vund_ you used lenition instead of nasal mutation... any comments?
[Smoky] ok ....thanks !!!
[jincey] we are taking general questions now
[Elostrion] In fact, if any of you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at elostrion@hotmail.com
[Guest] ok
[Thevina] Really? You don't mind being inundated?
[Arodriel] what a nice boy
[Thevina] I'm translating an English phrase to Sindarin, using a PDF Sindarin dictionary...
[Primula_Hornblower1] :D
[Elostrion] Hiswelokë!
[Primula_Hornblower1] thats cool Thevina
[Elaran] Elostrion - whose theory is it exactly that you can suffic -n to the end of the previous word?
[Elaran] *suffix
[Thevina] Thanks, Primula. It sounded Elvish even in English- wanted to translate it for her for fun. Plus I was sure it would look gorgeous in Tengwar.
[Arodriel] is there a book souly based on how to speak elvish?
[Guest] elostrion, are you the teacher
[Elaran] Elostrion???
[Primula_Hornblower1] Tengwar is not easy
[Elostrion] I am Guest
[Elostrion] I pm'd you Elaran
[Guest] oh ok
[Elaran] uh, how do I check pms?
[Thevina] Tengwar isn't too bad... just put the symbols to the right in Sindarin, to the left or right above in Quenya... basically...
[Elostrion] Arodriel, there are none available in the US
[Thevina] (to represent vowels, that is)
[Arodriel] that stinks
[Arodriel] write one
[Elassar] is there any books I can find that teaches Sindarin
[Arodriel] :)
[Elassar] ?
[Thevina] There are some online lessons for Quenya, if memory serves...
[Elassar] where?
[Elostrion] Elassar, there are no reliable books on the shelf
[Thevina] A chap in Finland has them.
[Thevina] sorry... that's probably not very helpful! :P
[Arodriel] how much longer are you gonna be on Elostrion?
[Elostrion] A few minutes
[Guest] there are some basics for tengwar and some other stuuf in the back of the book the return of the king
[Thevina] Okay... Elostrion, thank you, and I'll be here on time next week.
[Arodriel] same
[Tauriel] Online Quenya lessons are at http://ardalambion.com
[Guest] same
[Arodriel] i had to babysit and i missed it yet again
[Thevina] Tauriel!
[Tauriel] Hi :-)
[Arodriel] i gotta go eat so thanks elostrion, namarie!
[Elostrion] You're welcome
[tigere47] namarie arodiel
[Elostrion] Navaer mellyn nîn!
[Elassar] thank you!
[Halladaliel] thanks again and see you week!
Lembas_n_Cram opens the door, waves, and walks out into the night
Elostrion has left #thehalloffire

Blizzard Announces WarCraft Expansion
Flinch @ 6:32 pm EST

IRVINE, Calif. - JANUARY 22, 2003 - Blizzard Entertainment®, a division of Vivendi Universal Games, announced today plans for Warcraft® III: The Frozen Throne?, the expansion set to the fastest selling PC game ever*, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos?. Since the game's release in July 2002, Warcraft III has now surpassed 2 million units sold worldwide. *

"We are very pleased by the success of Warcraft III," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "Our plans for the expansion set include increasing the strategic gameplay possibilities and depth of the Warcraft universe by introducing a wide array of new Heroes and units, specifically designed to enhance each race."

Following in the tradition of previous Blizzard expansion sets, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne provides gamers with a vast new chapter in the epic Warcraft saga. In the single-player campaign, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the battle of Mount Hyjal, yet a new threat has arisen throughout the land.

The evil Lich King Ner'zhul has been imprisoned inside the Icecrown glacier, deep within the arctic continent of Northrend. Although the former Orc Shaman lacks physical form, his soul lives on, forever seeking a means to escape his icy prison. As the saga continues, it is revealed that both the Night Elf renegade, Illidan, and the traitorous Death Knight, Arthas, seek the Icecrown glacier and the mysterious powers found inside. While it is uncertain as to what is being sought inside the icy tomb, players must traverse uncharted lands and battle treacherous new enemies to uncover the schemes of these nefarious beings, and save all of Azeroth from the forces of darkness.

Key features include:

- One new Hero per race, each possessing powerful spells and magical abilities specifically designed to enhance each race

- A host of new units, each equipped with new abilities and spells, giving players the opportunity to create diverse strategic and tactical forms of combat

- 3 new tilesets featuring extraordinary new lands to explore, complete with numerous creeps and critters to wage war upon

- Player-built shops, unique for each race, equipped with items carefully designed to improve and aid the units of every race

- Neutral buildings, which will provide players with numerous new upgrades, items and abilities

- Neutral Heroes, available for recruitment by all players, that can supplement and strengthen a player's army with all new spells and abilities

- An advanced world editor that allows players to create their own custom campaigns, complete with cut-scenes and voiceovers

- Many new multiplayer maps

- Expanded multiplayer options over Battle.net® including multiple new game types, clan and tournament support

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is currently slated for worldwide release in the summer of 2003, and is expected to retail for approximately $35.00. The game is expected to receive a Teen Rating from the ESRB.

Since its debut in 1994, the #1-selling Warcraft series has won industry acclaim and has shattered sales records worldwide with over 8 million copies sold. In 1995, Blizzard followed the well-received Warcraft: Orcs and Humans? with the critically acclaimed Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness?, which won multiple Game of the Year awards and is still considered by many critics to be one of the best games ever made.

Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes seven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service Battle.net reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.

'Celebs' Use Stardom to Promote Army
Xoanon @ 2:27 pm EST

WASHINGTON -- Actor Sean Astin and wrestler Bradshaw are among celebrities who are using their stardom to increase troop morale and keep the military fresh in the minds of Americans.

Astin, who is known for his roles in "Rudy" and the "Lord of the Rings," visited the Pentagon Jan. 30 to record public service announcements thanking troops for their service and re-emphasizing America's trust in its military.

He also narrated an announcement to promote the Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, and asked interested soldiers to apply to the command if they are interested in becoming a CID Special Agent.

"There's a lot of different people and voices in America, and I don't mind letting my voice be heard," Astin said during an interview conducted at the Pentagon. "I learned from reading about Vietnam that no matter what you think politically about certain deployments, as a good citizen and a patriot it's your duty to appreciate that there are soldiers using their lives on your behalf as a citizen."

Although many may know that Astin has appeared in more than 25 motion pictures, few know that he has served as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army since 1995. He served under Togo West, Louis Caldera and now the current Secretary of the Army Thomas White.

For protocol purposes Astin, as a civilian aide, is ranked just below a three-star general and is considered to be the secretary of the Army's personal representative in the California region. Part of the basis of a CASA's appointment is his ability to increase the public's understanding of the Army, and Astin said he tells the Army story to anyone who wants to know it.

"I'm in a position where I do whatever I can to support the Army," Astin said. "I've visited installations, and took the time to write 'thank-you' letters to business who had reserve-component soldiers to be mobilized."

In an unofficial capacity, Bradshaw has conducted countless interviews, worn Army apparel on TV and used his weekly program sponsored by World Wrestling Enterprise as a venue to talk about how the war is affecting its troops.

Bradshaw visited the Pentagon Feb. 4 and soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who are recovering from wounds inflicted while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was one of three performers who accompanied Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack Tilley on a USO tour to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kuwait during the Christmas holiday.

"During the USO trip, I told Sergeant Major Tilley that I regret not being a soldier," Bradshaw said. "He told me that, 'everyone has to find his own role and do what he can to support troops.'"

Both in and out of the ring, Bradshaw said his niche is telling Americans what life is like for soldiers on enemy territory.

"Video games have gotten so realistic now a lot of times people believe that soldiers are in some type of high-tech video game over there. That's not the case, we're putting men and women in the way of bullets.

"Despite the fact the Army does everything outstandingly well to take care of these soldiers, they're still out in the desert, away from families, and I don't care if they're staying in the Hilton, it's no place they want to be."

In the future, Bradshaw said he wants to film public service announcements also.

Astin's announcements will be seen on Armed Forces Radio and Television Stations.

Painting Competition Update
Flinch @ 3:05 am EST

Over double the number of stores participating from last year (over 450 for 2003). Over 5,000 entries!

Here's the Timeline to keep you in the loop.

HEAT 1 - Local
Now! - Thousands of hobbyists are putting the finishing touches on their models as we speak in preparation for this weekend's judging. Saturday, Feb 15 - The end of the first Heat sees the judging of all THREE categories. Winners move on to the STATE finals and HEAT 2.

HEAT 2 - State
Saturday, March 1 - The three winners from each shop travel to their state's HEAT 2 representative. Winners from this round are the 3 best painted The Two Towers painted miniatures in their state! A real honor in itself.

HEAT 3 - Regional
Saturday, March 29 - Things start to get really serious now! There are only SEVEN regional judging sites in the entire country. The winners from this round will move on to the NATIONAL finals!

HEAT 3 - Nationals
Friday, April 18 - GWUSA Headquarters - Glen Burnie Battle Bunker sees the National Finals of the 2003 LotR National Painting Competition! If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and congratulate all the entries.

All the latest news and information will be here.

We'll have some very special prizes that have never been released before!

2-12-03 Latest News

The Faramir Changes: Arguments Against.
Tehanu @ 11:13 pm EST

A few days ago we posted Teri's letter which was a spirited defense of the way Faramir was portrayed in the movies. Though I received a great many emails that agreed enthusiastically with her point of view, it's well worth posting some of the many rebuttals we also received.

With Faramir we have an example of a theme in the books that the filmmakers decided to change, namely the contrast between Faramir's incorruptibility and strong will, and his brother Boromir's fatal flaw. I think the most important point people offered was this: Tolkien wanted to make it clear that a strong will and pure heart COULD resist the Ring. PJ's team decided to elaborate a different strand: That Mankind is particularly susceptible to the Ring for, as it says in the prologue to FOTR it is Men 'who above all things, desire Power.' Not everyone thinks this change serves the story well, and I'm posting some of their points below; I hope the writers will forgive me that I've edited them a bit.

Felgund writes, "Okay, for me the whole Faramir issue comes down to one thing: the action he takes regarding the Ring. I'm not concerned with the "color" of his character/actions, because that can be a matter of perception -- whose eyes we are viewing him through. Every action Faramir takes BEFORE gaining knowledge of the Ring can, in my opinion, be "tweaked" with no serious damage to his character. Osgiliath (with the intent to take Frodo & Sam to Minas Tirith) could have easily replace Henneth Annun as a destination -- as long as he didn't know about the Ring before hand. As soon as knowledge of the Ring is revealed to him, his entire character is shaped by his response to that knowledge.

"The point is (to rebut Teri) that Faramir *doesn't* do what you or I, or Boromir, or "anyone" might have done. Even Boromir had underlying noble intentions for wanting the Ring -- to save his city. Faramir's character is made manifest by the fact that (in the book) he is not even tempted to take the Ring. He does not need to be shown the right path (as with the ridiculous face-off between Frodo & the Nazgul in the movie) -- he *knows* what the right thing to do is and he does it. No questions asked. It is no more in his nature to take the Ring than it is in mine to torture children & small animals (which , I assure you, it isn't!) He is able to see the Bigger Picture."

Robert in Colorado writes, "Peter Jackson has done a lot of damage to the Tolkien philosphy and message in the book when he sought to reinterpret the character of Faramir. Some try to defend this misinterpretation based on the length of the movie. However. he could easily have cut out the parts where Strider falls over the cliff (which is nowhere in the book) in order to get the "time" to interpret Faramir correctly.

"...One of the major themes in LOTR is the ability of the good characters to realize the consequences of their actions, and it is this realization that gives them the strength to resist the temptation. The Jackson interpretation of Faramir does not allow any such foresight on the part of the character. In the movie one does not even know why Faramir lets Frodo go. Faramir simply watches an encounter between Frodo and a Ringwraith, and because of this, he lets them go. The question is Why? Jackson does not give us any answers consistent with Tolkien philosophy.

"Finally, the characters Faramir/Boromir in the book gives us two different psychological profiles that complement each other. With Boromir one can find hope that even though one can "fall" into the temptation of the Ring he can "redeem" himself if he does not fall too far. With Faramir one can find the hope that when temptation comes one can successfully resist it."

Tiel argued that the theme of faith and trust was very important to Tolkien, and didn't deserve to be excised from the movie: "People have been arguing that Faramir's behavior in the movie is what you would _logically_ expect from a war captain who comes across two suspicious characters in enemy territory, while his behavior in the book is unrealistic. I agree this is probably true. But Tolkien would have known that; he was a soldier after all.

"One of the themes that continually runs through LOTR, particularly in the later sections, is the contrast between decisions based on logic and decisions based on faith. From an objective ("logical") point of view, the quest of the Ring really is pretty hopeless-- Boromir is right when he refers to the plan as absurd. Similarly, Denethor's despair in RotK is perfectly logical: Gondor could not possibly survive against Mordor by force of arms. "Despair" is a key word here, because to a Catholic like Tolkien, despair is a profound sin.

"If logic leads to despair, what are the grounds for hope? Elrond and Gandalf both tell Frodo that he was meant to be the Ring-bearer, and that this is a hopeful thing. Why? Because it means that _someone_ up there (Iluvatar himself, or one of the Valar-- it comes to the same thing in the end) is guiding events, and it's not the will of this being that Sauron should succeed. So we're not in this alone, and we've received pretty clear indications that supporting Frodo in his quest-- no matter how illogical it may seem-- is the right thing to do. This is an awfully big leap of faith. Boromir is not willing to take it. Denethor in his turn rejects it. But Faramir accepts it, even though logic would tell him that letting the hobbits take the Ring towards Mordor is the height of folly.

"I believe Tolkien meant to contrast Boromir and Faramir, and later Denethor and Faramir, in terms of Faramir's willingness to be guided by faith. I think this has gotten lost in the movie. (Let me pause here and note that I'm not myself religious: however Tolkien was, and I think that should be taken into account whenever we think about what he may have intended. Overall I think that Peter Jackson and his team have shied away from this aspect of Tolkien.) I believe that humility is what allows Faramir to be so guided, rather than an arrogant trust in his own reason-- for an example of his humility, compare his reaction to Aragorn with Denethor's and Boromir's (Boromir in the book never really comes around to accepting Aragorn's claim to kingship, and we can only speculate how events would have gone if Aragorn had arrived at Minas Tirith while B. and D. were both still alive).

"Finally, I'd like to take issue with Teri's claim that Faramir knows nothing about the Ring. Faramir was Gandalf's pupil while Gandalf was in Minas Tirith researching the history of the Ring: he inferred that Isildur took it from Sauron's hand at the battle of the Last Alliance, and he seems to have known a great deal about its properties-- enough to make the "not if I found it by the highway" statement before he even knows where it is. And once Sam reveals the presence of the Ring, Faramir realizes the implications immediately. Unlike Boromir, he doesn't have to be told that it's not possible to wield the Ring without turning to evil."

Natasha mourns the loss of another of Tolkien's themes: "There are many themes that run through the book, and I suppose every reader would have some that he'd place more emphasis on than others. For me, I have to say that the words of Galadriel (I think) that the travellers would find friends in unexpected places, represents a big theme. There will always be those who oppose evil, and wherever we/they may go we/they may encounter such allies unexpectedly. To me, in the book, the whole Faramir episode,(coming right after the whole desolation in front of the Morranon bit, and with the growing weight of the ring and the evil of the environs of Mordor becoming ever more palpable to both Frodo and the reader) offers a respite from all the perils that the hobbits face and from the heaviness of their burden. As is Ithilien, so is this whole episode a relief from the evil of Mordor, and a break well needed in order to make it possible for the hobbits - and me as I read - to continue. To therefore have it cruelly turned into yet another trial for Frodo and Sam, is my chief objection to this change, great cinematography though it may be."

ElanortheEldest replies to Teri's points one by one; here are some:

Teri: Faramir in the movie was a little more stern and moody in his attitude, and took the hobbits with him to Gondor. What's the big deal? Why is everyone freaking out about it? The changes are very minor and don't really take away from the story, so why is everyone getting all bent out of shape over it?

ElanortheEldest: "These changes affect both Faramir's character _and_ the story. Faramir of the book was never interested in the Ring, no matter what the reason. Having him march the hobbits to Osgiliath would never have entered his mind - not to mention marching them roughly along & not even bothering to answer their pleas. If, as you say, he were only interested in saving Gondor, and no evil thought occurred to him, then why could he not explain this to Frodo & Sam?

"This change affects the story in another way: it was essential to the success of the quest that the whereabouts of the Ring be kept secret. Now that we have Frodo just about putting on the Ring in front of the Nazgul (another drastic change, I might add) we are left with two equally dissatisfying alternatives:

1 - Sauron now knows where the Ring is, which will mean a mucking up of more events in RotK


2 - The Nazgul didn't even see the Ring, which would make him much less evil than he really is."

Teri: Number one, in Tolkien's original portrayal of Faramir in the book, he was kind and gentle to the hobbits..." and "He was never too suspicious to begin with, and befriended them immediately."

EtheE: "Here is the first area where I'm not sure you looked closely at the book. Consider:

"... make haste to declare yourselves and your errand,' said Faramir. 'We have work to do, and this is no time or place for riddling or parleying. Come! Where is the third of your company?... the skulking fellow that we saw with his nose in the ool down younder. He had an ill-favoured loko. Some sying breed of Orc, I guess.'

Or - "... a strange stern look came into his face."

"Later he questions Frodo hard about his mission. All this does not denote softness, but a fair-minded attitude that we don't get in the movie (apart from the fact the Ring was evil, it would _never_ have been his to use)."

Teri: "He was not evil and did absolutely nothing wrong in the movie. People act as though he tortured Frodo and Sam and treated them like dirt, but that's not the case! "

EtheE: "Excuse me - he did much wrong in the movie. No matter how much I try, I can not get the image of his holding Frodo at sword point in the caves out of my mind. That was cruel & un-necessary. He had the hobbits where they could do him no harm, and he still just played around with his sword?

"This scene also, btw, directly contradicts something he says in the book: he does not love the sword because of its sharpness, or the arrow for its swiftness - he uses them because he love that which he defends. How is he defending anything when he plays with the Ring on his sword point with Frodo?"

Brian also saw a cruel streak in the film's Faramir: "The mood in TTT (the movie) was that Faramir had a cruel streak in him (the strange smile on his face when Gollum was captured was rather unsettling, among other instances), and shared much the same weakness as his brother. This is contrasted by Tolkien's description of Faramir as the "fair" brother who listened to Gandalf, and showed a hint of the glory of Numenor, not its weakness."

GAMING: Decipher Announces Tower Draft Packs
Xoanon @ 12:29 pm EST



(Norfolk, VA, February 12, 2003) - Booster draft for players of The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game is about to catch up with The Two Towers set with the all-new Tower Draft Pack. Following on the success of the Fellowship Draft Pack last October, Decipher will release the Tower Draft Pack in mid February.

The popular booster draft format, where players pick cards from a common pool of cards, brings deck diversity and a level playing field to players of the award-winning TCG. While sharing similarities with sealed deck play, booster draft relies on a participant¹s deck-building skill and play style in order to choose‹and counter-choose‹cards wisely. In this balanced play environment, players will have to utilize different strategies every time they play, creating a new experience with each game.

With booster draft for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, players select cards from a regular booster pack one card at a time, making a deck from the cards they collect and adding the following: a ³Frodo² companion card; a One Ring card; and an adventure deck of nine site cards, all from the Tower Block. During the draft, each player will receive one Tower draft pack containing 29 cards in addition to three 11-card booster packs in one of the following configurations: three from the Two Towers set; or two Two Towers and one Battle of Helm¹s Deep. When Ents of Fangorn, the next expansion set for The Two Towers, is released in July, the following configurations may also be used: two Two Towers and one Ents of Fangorn; or one Two Towers, one Battle of Helm's Deep, and one Ents of Fangorn.

The Tower Draft Pack, which will be available in February for a MSRP of US $4.50, contains 29 cards: 1 random Two Towers rare and 28 cards from The Two Towers block. The King Draft Pack will follow in late 2003.

Howard Shore Concert Report #5
leo @ 4:54 am EST

Please folks; stop emailing me how lucky I was to be able to attend Howard Shore's concert because I wasn't there. Ryan was however, and you can read what he had to say about the event here!

I visit your fantastic site at least twice daily, hoping to get the latest news and reviews of everything concerning The Lord of the Rings and the vast history of middle earth that surrounds it. But yesterday I did not visit the site. And the reason? Because I, like the three who have already posted their comments, attended the UK premier of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Indeed, it was through theonering.net that I heard of this great bundle of joy when you posted an article about someone who was selling their tickets to the event on eBay. I’d never bid on anything before, and was a little concerned about possible fraud etc. that always looms over these kind of things. But I thought what the hell and bid for the pair of box seats and, surprisingly, won. So, first and foremost, thankyou for posting that article on the site, cause otherwise I would had been totally unaware of the event.

But enough of the complications of how I got there, on to the juicy stuff – how good the event was. On the whole, it was fabulous. The first of the four main events was a Celtic inspired set of pieces from Ireland titled The Lost Music of the Gaels. It was performed by a small band of eight headed by (and written by) Luke Daniels. The music reminded me of that from Titanic when all the Irish folk are dancing below deck. They were all enjoyable, energetic pieces with clever use of the instruments. After a 20-minute interval was a performance by a small group of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. They played The Soldier’s Tale by Igor Stravinski, live to the short animated story by R.O. Blechman. The tale is about why it’s never a good idea to make deals with the devil, here voiced by Max Von Sydow (recently seen in Minority Report). Playing live to a film in front of an audience is never an easy task, but the orchestra played brilliantly with spot on timing from the conductor and excellent sound. After another twenty minute interval was Tannoura, an Egyptian styled series of pieces with a lot of drums. They were performed to the dance of the dervishes, a whirling art which has been practised for many a century. Once again the sound was excellent with energetic rhythms and dancers of whom you wonder how the hell they don’t fall over (they were spinning round on the same spot for a good 30 minutes a-piece).

But the Lord of the Rings specifically, was beyond amazing. Throughout the whole of the hour long performance, I had this huge grin plastered over my face. I was there, in the presence of the great Howard Shore, listening to one of my all time favourite scores being performed live. The excitement was incredible – like that you once felt as a kid. The symphonic arrangement was mostly the same as what can be heard on the soundtrack, with a few bits chopped out here and there to meet the 45-minute odd playing time. But I also noticed the inclusion of small bits of score not featured in the soundtrack, either used from the film or as bridges between the main themes. Talking about main themes, they were mostly all there. From the minor keyed ring theme at the beginning in The Prophecy to the triumphant Fellowship theme shortly after they leave Rivendell. And man did they should good live. I say mostly because I did notice the absence of the minor keyed Fellowship theme when Gandalf rides to Isengard, and the heart-stopping music as Gandalf falls at the Bridge of Khazad Dum. But these are incredibly minor quibbles which can be done without, and were especially forgotten when my personal favourite part was played – The Breaking of the Fellowship. I had shivers of joy going down my back throughout the whole thing, but when that track was played, live, in front of my eyes, that was the climax for me, and what a climax it was. Watching Howard Shore conduct was also a highlight of the evening. With no conductor’s wand, he eloquently and majestically conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, who themselves were more than worthy to play the material. The sound in the hall from the orchestra was fantastic, one of the best I’ve heard, and the three choirs (male, female and young boys) each contributed beautifully to the sound of the orchestra. How good the whole thing was, was clearly displayed by the audience (some of whom had paid the full amount of a ticket just to see this one performance) with most standing up, cheering and all clapping for a good quarter of an hour. Unfortunately there wasn’t any mike for the man himself to say a few words, but the audience was so appreciative that he had to return to his conductor’s spot twice to take a bow – only then would the audience start to leave the hall.

And so what was one of the best nights of my life came to an end, but there’s no doubt that I will be going back for the next two instalments of his grand contribution to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, and I’ve already started saving for the World premier of the whole performance.

So the verdict? Absolutely, stunningly, emotionally, audibly and visually amazing. And then some.

Best Wishes.

Battle Games in Middle-earth
Flinch @ 12:02 am EST

A new LotR product has hit the UK and Spain and may be coming to a country near you in the near future. 'Battle Games in Middle-earth', is a serialized gaming supplement based on Games Workshop's The Lord of The Rings tabletop strategy battle game.

Games Workshop and New Line cinema have granted DeAgostini a sub-license to distribute 'Battle Games in Middle-earth'. The early packs are a great introduction to The Lord of The Rings strategy game with tips on how to paint the miniatures, build terrains and re-enact the battles from Peter Jackson's trilogy. However there is plenty in it to excite and enthral the experienced hobbyist too with later packs to include details on how to set up and run campaigns, features on detailed modelling projects as well as introducing new painting styles and techniques.

The product will not be sold through Games Workshop stores or mail order but you will be able to find it in most high street newsagents in the UK and Spain.

Make sure you look out for the television adverts that accompany the launch!

To find out more visit the 'Battle Games in Middle-earth' website:


2-11-03 Latest News

Astin/McKellen Articles On SciFi.com
Xoanon @ 5:24 pm EST

Astin Likes Evil Angel

Sean Astin, who directs the upcoming "Soulless" episode of The WB's Angel, told the Zap2it Web site that he loved working with star David Boreanaz. Astin's episode, which marks his directorial debut in a one-hour network series, deals with Angel's evil counterpart, Angelus.

"When you're working with David, and he's into Angelus, he's got so many layers and so many different shades and qualities, you want to keep exploring them and mining them and pulling them out," Astin told the site. "It's such a rich, meaty character for him to do. He's good at evil. It's a little creepy, yeah."

Astin, who is best known as Sam in the Lord of the Rings films, got the directing gig through his friendship with writer/director Dan Petrie Jr., who is also friends with former Angel executive producer David Greenwalt. "Soulless" aired Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

McKellen: King Rocks

Ian McKellen, star of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, told the Empire Online Web site that the upcoming third installment will not disappoint. Speaking at the Empire Awards, where Two Towers picked up honors, McKellen told the site, "In an e-mail I got just now from Peter Jackson, I asked if he was coming tonight, and he said no, he can't, but he's recorded a video message, and then he put a p.s. at the bottom. It said: 'And Return of the King is looking very, very good!' So I tell you, if Peter Jackson's boasting how good the third film is now, then we'd all better watch out."

McKellen also confessed that the filmmakers worried how the second Rings movie would be received. "We did worry a little bit, even after the success of the first film, that the second film might have a bit of a difficult time," McKellen said. "Because, after all, it doesn't have a beginning, and it doesn't have an ending. The story doesn't finish until Return of the King in a year's time. But the public has taken it to its heart, no doubt because they liked the first film so much." Return of the King opens in December.

Press Release: Tolkien Art Exhibit in Italy.
Tehanu @ 6:12 am EST

The fantasy event of the year has arrived! A journey through the Middle Earth with more than 130 works of art by the most important illustrators of "The Lord of the Rings" from around the world, including Angus McBride, Ted Nasmith, Roger Garland, the Brothers Hildebrandt, Alan Lee, Lode Claes, Donato Giancola, Rob Alexander, Angelo Montanini, Luca Michelucci, Capucine Mazille, April Lee, Stephen Walsh, Randy Asplund, David Wyatt and others. It is the most complete exhibition on the theme of "The Lord of the Rings" ever put together. Throughout the period of the show there will be various related events, as enclosed. All the information is on the exhibition website

Exhibition opening times: Morning: 10:00 -13:00. holidays; weekdays upon reservation Afternoon: 16:00 - 20:00. holidays, weekdays: 16 :00- 19:00. Closed on Mondays Info and reservations: Marche Meeting: tel. 071 7931484; e-mail info@marchemetting.it

The show was launched in Riccione, Italy, in the medieval Agolanti Castle during the month of August and it was proposed again to the Italian public: in Forl?, Palazzo Albertini from 19th December 2002 to 6th January 2003. Visited by over a thousand people during the 15 days. in Rome, Castel S.Angelo from 13th January to 2nd February 2003, under the patronage of the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Visited by over 15.000 people.

Thanks, Best regards, Davide Martini

PS. In order to give the exhibition a social purpose and not just an artistic one, we have also decided to contribute to the setting up of a fund entitled "All children need to dream" (UNICEF manage this fund). Arte20 has created this fund specifically for the occasion and 10% of the entire takings deriving from the sale of tickets to the exhibition will go towards it (www.childrenmustdream.org)

Go back to Special Reports Archives