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February 18, 2003 - February 24, 2003

2-24-03 Latest News

Gameplay Talks TTT DVD Release
Xoanon @ 9:09 pm EST

Dave writes: gameplay.co.uk had this to say about the two towers dvd release:

"Coming June 2003 we have part 2 of this epic saga on DVD. No details are available yet, however we can expect to see the same pattern of DVD release as with Fellowship.

Expect the DVD of the standard movie to be released in June, with a extended edition released in early November. We hope to be taking pre-orders for this Movie shortly so keep your eyes on this spot"

This websites very reliable about dates and i have pre ordered many things from it that have arrived at the specified release date so this is probably a reliable source.

The Two Towers Walkthrough
Flinch @ 7:20 pm EST

So you want to beat EA Game's The Two Towers, eh? Stuck along the way? You've come to the right place. I'm just the guy for all your Two Towers needs. I'll start in the beginning.


The beginning of the game. You watch a short cut scene from The Fellowship of the Ring and then it switches to game play. Isildur shouts "Kill them all!". So guess what you get to do? This level is very simple and was made just so you can get used to the controls. Just follow the controls it gives you and you'll be fine. After a little bit, you watch a cut scene of Mt.Doom erupting. Then when the game play returns, you get to face orcs with shields. Fun. use the fierce attack to break their shields then knock them down and finish them off by pressing R2. You watch another cut scene that shows Sauron killing Elendil (Isildur's father) and Isildur cutting the ring from Sauron's finger. You watch a little bit more of the movie and then it cuts to a close-up of virtual Aragorn's face (which looks very much like Viggo Mortenson) and he says something like "I am Isildur's heir, not Isildur himself." Then it shows him telling everyone to go to Helm's Deep. Another cutscene shows a Ringwraith and you enter the next level......


You get to be Aragorn! But you do have to fight Ringwraiths. They are so incredibly easy to beat. All you do is light your torch by going over to the fire and pressing triangle. Once you've done that, just swing away at those nasty Wraiths with the triangle button. After you hit enough you watch another cut scene showing Frodo putting on The Ring and getting stabbed by a Nazgul. Now, it's very important that no matter what you do, DON'T LET THE NAZGUL GET TO FRODO. If Frodo's health meter is depleted, the mission is over. Just keep hitting them and eventually they will "die". You watch a little bit more of Fellowship of the Ring. Then you get to see an awesome cut scene showing Helm's Deep. The graphics are stunning. It shows Aragorn talking to Eowyn and it leads to the next mission.

Gates of Moria

Very cool level. You get to face your very first boss. Later. There is a short cutscene from Fellowship of the Ring. You begin the level by just following the path that is given to you. Some orcs will run down a slope to your right. They are very easy to kill. Hit them with a couple of fierce attacks and they're gone. You run a little bit down the path and the mountain next to you explodes and more orcs pop out. Just use the same strategy as you did with the others. Be sure to get the red vial that they drop if you're low on health. Another mountain explodes and still more orcs come out. After you're done with them, run a little more down the path. You will see a pretty cool cutscene showing Legolas (or Aragorn depending on who you are) picking off an orc with an arrow. Some archers will appear. DO NOT GO ANY FARTHER DOWN THE PATH. Pick the archers off from where you are, then run ahead. Some more orcs will pop out, and when you're done, run across the bridge to your right. You see another cutscene showing Gimli telling Legolas (or Aragorn) that they should go through Moria. An archer steps out and lets a couple fly. Your character parries the arrows, and you go back to the game. Take out the archers and kill the orcs that come to you. Go towards where the archers were and more orcs will climb out of the gorge. Kill them and continue on. Be sure to get the treasure chest to your right to get more arrows (or axes). Keep going a little ways and you run into two more archers. Kill them and kill the orcs that run up behind you. Run ahead and you run into more archers and orcs. Once you're done with them, you enter a swampy marshy type area. A couple of orcs will pop out here and there, but nothing big. When you face the four archers, there is a chest to your left. Hit it and health pops out. Now for the boss.....

The Watcher at the Gates

This is the easiest boss in the entire game if you know how to beat him. All you have to do is stand about knee deep in the water and start parrying. His tentacles will pop out and hit you. If you keep hitting square, they won't hurt you. Wait until all three tentacles are up in the air and run up and slice one of them. The body of the beast will pop up and stay there for a second. Hit it with your ranged attack. The beast will lose health and go under water. Repeat as many times as necessary. He will die and the rest of your companions will join you, and the level's over.

Balin's Tomb

The level starts off with a short cutscene. It then puts you in the middle of it all. Don't stand right next to the door, but more back and off to one side. All you do is kill all of the goblins that come near you. Then, you face a troll......

The Cave Troll

This is pretty easy, but it takes a while. You watch a cutscene of your character jumping up to the side and then you get to face the troll. Just keep running around and when he swings, stop and let off a couple of ranged attacks. Watch out for the goblins that will come out from time to time. After a very long while, the troll will die ( don't worry, the other trolls don't take this long). You watch a cutscene and the level is over.

Amon Hen

In this level, you just got to let the ranged attacks fly, or the combos work for you. All you have to do in the beginning is take out all of the Uruk-Hai and follow along the path to the right. Kill all of the Uruk-Hai you see, because you have to kill 75 of them. Do it fast, because they'll kill Frodo if you aren't quick. After you fight a little bit, your companions join you. After a little bit more fighting, you face Lurtz.


Lurtz is pretty easy if you know the trick. At first, you engage in an archery battle with him. Just parry his attacks for a little bit and he will give up and pick up a sword. Here's where you get him. Run behind a statue when he comes for you and his sword will get stuck in the statue. Hack away with whatever you can. Combos, fierce attacks, ranged attacks, anything. Do this some more and he will die.

Fangorn Forest

This level is probably my favorite because you don't have a time limit, you don't have to protect anyone, and it doesn't take long to do. You watch a cutscene of The Two Towers and then you split up to look for Merry and Pippen. Start walking down the path and some orcs will come out, but they're easy. Step into the hollowed out log and start walking. A berzerker busts through and starts swinging. Berzerkers are really annoying because they have huge swords and swing them around a lot. All you do is parry his first swings and he will stop and just stand there for a second. when he does this, start hacking. when you knock him down, go up and stick your sword (or axe) through him by pressing R2. After you kill him, walk a little more and two orcs will come flying out of the forest. They were thrown by a forest troll. Just what you need. When you step out into the open, a forest troll jumps out. Trolls are pretty easy when you know the secret to kill them. Start running around him and when he swings, hit him with a fierce attack. When he tries to hit you, quickly press L2 to jump back. When he misses, run up and hit him with another fierce attack and repeat until he's dead. Walk some more and you watch a cutscene of a bunch of orcs standing around a hole. One of the orcs gets pushed in and they all celebrate. Luckily, when the cutscene ends, you're behind them and they don't see you. Start off with a ranged attack. Be sure to charge it up before you throw it by waiting until your player starts shaking. You killed one, now they all want a piece. Kill them and continue on. You get ambushed at the river by some archers and some orcs. Kill them and continue down the river just to get ambushed by some underwater orcs. At the end of the river there is a cave. When you walk in, the is another troll. Use the same strategy and continue forward. You get ambushed by another berzerker and some orcs a little farther down. Then, you walk in on two trolls. Break the logs that are blocking your way and use the same strategy to kill them. Walk to the cave in the back and the level is over.

The Plains of Rohan

When you start off, kill the Uruk-Hai that are in the village and Gandalf will break down a door and teleport somewhere else. Walk into the building that got the door blown off. Be sure to hit the barrel next to the fire that trapped the people to put it out. Wait for awhile and you watch a cutscene of an Uruk slashing a guy over a ledge and his body falls on the fire that is blocking the stairs and conveniently outs it out. Another Uruk comes through the door. Kill him and go up the stairs. Hack away at all of the furniture that is blocking your way and kill all the Uruk-Hai that are there. Continue out the door and you have to kill a berzerker. After he's dead, run up the roof with the crossbowmen on it. Kill them and keep going. You come to a bridge with burning the debris blocking it off. Use your ranged weapon to blast the barrel next to it and go on through. quickly kill the Uruk-Hai and go through the door to your right that the burning villager came out of. Go down the stairs and out the door to meet up with Gandalf. Kill the Uruks and be sure to pick off the berzerker that is on the house. Hack away at the debris blocking the bridge out. Go to the house that you saw in the cutscene and free the villagers. Then, kill all of the Uruks that are there. When you're done, the level is over.

The Westfold

This level is pretty self explanatory. Just keep blowing up the explosives and killing the suicidal Uruk-Hai. When you get to the place where you have to cross a big river that has archers and explosives on the other side, just run across, killing everything that stands in your way. As soon as you get into arrow (or axe) range with the explosives, shoot one of the wagons. This will trigger a chain reaction and the level ends.

Gap of Rohan

This level is pretty self explanatory, too. The easiest way to kill the wargs is to hit them with a couple of ranged attacks. When you kill all of the wargs, go through the debris blocking the exit and you are on your own with the warg rider.

The Warg Rider

This boss is nearly impossible if you don't know what to do. When he charges you, just keep hitting square until he is passed. Then he will do one of three things: 1) charge again 2) send another warg to kill you or 3) the warg will stand up on its hind legs. If the warg stands up, hit him with a ranged attack. It will be stunned for awhile, and while it is, go and link together some combos to take off the most life. Repeat until he is dead. When he's dead, the level ends.

Helm's Deep: The Deeping Wall

The first of the Helm's Deep levels. This level is pretty easy, but don't underestimate it. Keep watch of the ladders on the wall with the diagram on the top-right of your screen. When you see a ladder come up, quickly run to it and kick it down by pressing circle. Be sure to kill any orcs/Uruks that climb up the wall. After awhile of defending ,the level ends.

Helm's Deep: The Breached Wall

This is one of the more difficult levels in the game. Your mission is to protect the door that separates the Hornburg Courtyard from the attacking army. The enemy will come in waves, so you get a little bit of a break between attacks. The first wave is Uruk-Hai bombers that you can just take out with ranged attacks. The second has a bomber and some orcs. Take out the bomber and the explosion should kill the orcs. The next wave is the same thing, so use the same strategy. The next two waves are also the same. The next wave isn't the same. It's some unshielded orcs and they are easy to kill. That wave is followed by some more bombers and some shielded orcs. Some more bombers follow and a pack of unshielded and shielded orcs. Bombers follow them, too. The next wave is huge. It has Uruk-Hai, bombers, and orcs. A wave of Uruk-Hai and berzerkers follow, so be ready. A cutscene of a line of crossbowmen starting to shoot makes it that much more difficult. A berzerker starts off the next line and bombers and Uruks follow. Hit the bombers as soon as you can to take out some of the archers. A cutscene shows a catapult being brought up. Some more bombers come. Kill them and use ranged attacks to pick off a few more archers. Then a forest troll jumps out with bombers behind him. Take out the troll and the bombers and continue to kill archers. Another cutscene shows the catapult being pulled onto the field. Great. Just what you needed. Kill the Uruks that rush you. Go straight to the catapult, ignore the orcs. When you get close, start slashing the orcs and Uruks. Start hacking away at the catapult's armor. When the armor is gone, you watch a cutscene of the catapult collapsing and the level is over.

Helm's Deep: The Hornburg Courtyard

The last level of the game. It is one of the most annoying levels of the entire game. Your job is to keep the wall separating the Hornburg from the rest of the people from being brought down. You start in the middle of the battle, so start swinging. Use combos and fierce attacks to keep the mass away. After awhile, you will see a cutscene of Aragorn (or Legolas) calling for help. Quickly run up the stairs behind you and run along the wall to where he is. Kill the Uruk-Hai that are attacking him and run back to the wall. Keep killing the attackers until you hear someone say "There are archers on the wall!". When you hear this, run up to the wall and pick off the archers on the other side. When you're done with that, return to the wall. Fight hard until you see another cutscene of two cave trolls coming over the wall. Kill them as quickly as possible. When you do, you will see a cutscene of the troll bodies falling and breaking the wall. You watch a pretty long scene from The Two Towers. Then, you see the credits. Congratulations! You have beaten the game! Now you get to do all of the secret levels!

- Mithrandir24

Mithrandir24 is one of Gaming Havens most trusted posters on the Gaming Forum. Head on over to the Gaming Board with any further questions and he and our Helpers will surely have an answer!

TTT Nominated For 4 'Alties'
Xoanon @ 1:36 pm EST

Heard of the 'Alties'? Neither have I, but hey, I'll eat anything once. Take a look at the slightly odd categories you can vote TTT for.

New World Order Award: Films whose atmosphere/subject matter portrays or feeds off of the post-9/11 paranoia of our times, with its uber-patriotism, anxiety and fear.

Guilty Pleasure Award: The critics panned it, but you loved it anyway. Guilty pleasures aren't about lasting relevance or redeeming value, just a rollicking good time.

Best Soundscape: The best soundtracks are inseparable elements of the plot, nearly characters unto themselves. This is music that stays with you long after you've left the theater.

The Big Award: When you think back over all the movies you saw in 2002, inevitably one, a true favorite, stands out. This is the King Altie. And the award goes to...

Now go and take a nice spoonfull, pinch your nose, close your eyes, open your mouth and vote!

2-23-03 Latest News

Elijah Misses Charity Hockey Event
Xoanon @ 7:51 pm EST

TORN Staffer Thorongil gives us the details on why Elijah missed the event (See Wood Slaps On Skates For Charity):

It seems Elijah couldnt show up because of production scheduling. one of the girls that was running event told me he didnt make it, as I didnt see him out on the ice so I asked. I was really excited to see if he could skate, and then play hockey.

Media Watch: Film Score Monthly
Xoanon @ 7:23 pm EST

Ringer Spy Condorman sends along these scans from Film Score Monthly, featuring an in-depth look at Howard Shore.

Media Watch: One Magazine Talks To Liv Tyler
Xoanon @ 3:17 pm EST


Liv Tyler doesn't hide that the shooting of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was very tiring for her and sometimes painful. But the 25 year old actress would never refuse to play in those films.For us, Liv returned to her shooting experience...

Wasn't living 15 months far from home too difficult?

I admit it was sometimes tiring. I missed my home, my family and my friends, that's why I tried to come back and see them when I had time between shootings. Sometimes Ithought:"How did I accepted shooting like this?!!"...But I often came back to the U.S. I didn't have to be at shooting all the time because my character only appears briefly. So I didn't live in New Zealand all the time,but Elijah and Viggo did.

What were your first impressions when you came to New Zealand?

When I arrived there I settled in a big house near a cliff. It was a bit difficult because I'm used to living in big towns. I was totally lost and I was depressed. One night, I woke up in sweat. I heard noises near the front door, it was only the wind, but it was very scary. And while shooting LOTR, I had many nightmares. It was horrible...

How did you manage to get in Arwen's skin?

It wasn't so easy. In Tolkien's books, Arwen isn't a developed character,so i had to think carefully how to play her. The first time Iput the costume on and had an Elf make-up, I felt very vulnerable, particularly because of the ears, they were loud. I don't like it when people are watching my ears. So I'm always hiding them behind my hair.And when I was without my ears there was always some glue on my skin. One week after the end of shooting, I was in a party and I felt that Ihad some glue in my ears(laughs).

Weren't you too busy to learn Elvish?

It was easier that I thought. It wasn't as if I had to learn Italian or French. I had to memorize the sounds. In fact, it was like learning the lyrics of a foreign song. It was fun. After a while, I could pronounce the words naturally.

You worked with a lot of actors at this shooting.But who did you prefer the most?

I loved working with Ian McKellen. He is one of the nicest people I've ever met. In spite of his career, he stayed humble.

Has your father, Steven Tyler, seen The Fellowship of the Ring or The Two Towers?

Yes, he came with me to a private screenig of The Fellowship of the Ring. I was very ashamed...He brought a big bag with candies, and he didn't stop eating them. He made a hoorible noise with these candies...I thougth that Ian McKellen would kill him! And then he fell asleep.I think that he hoped I appeared more in this film!!(laughs)

Did you see the figures of your character?

Yes, and the first time I saw one, it was scary...It was very srange to see yourself in this mini size.But it was funny, the hand of the figure fell all the time.

Do you have good memories from the shooting?

Yes. Today I remember all this months of shooting, but I remember only the good ones. It was like after a love story, you remember only the good moments. I'm very proud to be part of this project. It was the best film I've ever shot!

News On Sean Astin's First Feature
Xoanon @ 11:11 am EST

Xoanon here: If Sean's plans to make a film about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 pan out, we chould be in for one hell of a picture. This storm killed more than 6,000 men, women and children, and among the dead were 10 sisters and 90 children from the St. Mary's Orphans Asylum. Judging from his introspective and brooding episode of Angel he recently directed, we could be in for a mammoth disaster movie with characters we actually CARE about. Take a look at Rasputin's report:

This is Rasputin the Evil Balrog reporting in from the Lone Star State. Sean Astin was in College Station, Texas, today at the Texas Film Festival to present his short film "The Long and the Short of it." His film was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Short.

In addition to a moderated discussion, a Q&A, and a look at clips from Sean's prevous films, Sean surprised the audience by telling us that he "wanted to make an announcement." It seems that Sean's film company, Lava Entertainment, has optioned the rights to make a film about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. He says it is going to be a large-scale film "of epic proportions", and (hopefully!) he'd like to film in Texas. Yeehaw!

I took notes throughout the event, which included some really great stories from Sean and his insights into filmmaking. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to write them up in full and get some pictures online within the next couple of days.

2-22-03 Latest News

Hall of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 7:56 pm EST

This weekend Hall of Fire crew will be examining the quality of the acting in the Two Towers.

We'll look at who delivered the outstanding performances of the film, and who - in an acting sense (as opposed to script!) - was less than effective in their part?

Overall, what did you think of the quality of acting in Two Towers? Was it merely acting - or were the cast actually interacting with one another? And finally, how did it compare to the performances in Fellowship?

Join us at one of our sessions this weekend!

Upcoming Discussions:

March 1-2: RoTK, Bk 5, Ch 2: Passing of the Grey Company
March 8-9: Isildur
March 15-16: RoTK B 5, Ch 3: The Muster of Rohan.

#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.

2-21-03 Latest News

Elvish Lesson #3 Transcript
Jincey @ 8:24 pm EST

Here's our latest Elvish language lesson, covering pluralization. Thanks Elostrion, for offering these lessons!

*** Log file opened: 2/19/2003 7:02:20 PM

[jincey] ok folks we're ready to start
[Not_Maedhros] Okay
[jincey] i am going to moderate the room for a bit
[jincey] you won't be able to speak in the room
[MasterH] Eruner, ma ná sinomë?
[jincey] elostrion will talk, then take questions
[Eruner] nan sinomë
[jincey] if you have any questions for elostrion, PM them to me and i will post them for him to answer
[jincey] ok?
[Eruner] tancave
jincey sets mode: +m
[Elostrion] Before we begin, I will need to clarify a few things.
[Elostrion] First of all, welcome to the third Sindarin Lesson. We will be covering Sindarin Plural Patterns tonight.
[Elostrion] I have prepared a very useful chart that will help you with Sindarin pluralization.
[Elostrion] If you would kindly e-mail me, I will e-mail you a copy of that file.
[Elostrion] For now, there is a temporary chart available at the following URL:
[Elostrion] http://www.theonering.net/barlimans/elvish/
[Elostrion] If you missed previous lessons, there are transcripts available at the following URL:
[Elostrion] http://www.theonering.net/barlimans/index.html
[Elostrion] Keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen, tonight we are covering BASIC pluralization.
[Elostrion] There are very many attested examples in Sindarin.
[Elostrion] And many irregular plural forms...
[Elostrion] For a more detailed analysis of these, please visit:
[Elostrion] http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sindarin.htm#Heading11
[Elostrion] Now we shall begin
[Elostrion] Sindarin pluralization is carried out by changing the vowels in that word.
[Elostrion] Sindarin pluralization occurs on any plural noun AND any adjective that modifies that noun.
[Elostrion] The chart that you see very clearly lays out the rules for Sindarin pluralization.
[Elostrion] Here is an example...
[Elostrion] Adan = Man
[Elostrion] If you look on your chart, it says that the Vowel A umlauts (changes) to E in a non-final syllable.
[Elostrion] And the vowel A umlauts to AI in a final syllable.
[Elostrion] So...
[Elostrion] Edain = Men
[Elostrion] If we were to say the...
[Elostrion] Abhorrent men
[Elostrion] abhorrent is an adjective describing a plural noun.
[Elostrion] So we would also need to pluralize it.
[Elostrion] abhorrent = thaur
[Elostrion] If you look on your chart, the diphthong AU umlauts to OE in all positions.
[Elostrion] So "abhorrent men" would be...
[Elostrion] "...edain thoer..."
[Elostrion] If you look on your chart, there are also groups of vowels that change.
[Elostrion] Simply follow the rules on the chart and you will be fine.
[Elostrion] As I said before, I have a much more presentable version of the chart available.
[Elostrion] Please e-mail me at elostrion@hotmail.com to attain it.
[Elostrion] I will take questions now.
[jincey] if you have any questions pm me with them
[Elostrion] If there are not, we shall move onto the next section.
[Elostrion] Class Plurals
[Elostrion] Class pluralization is very irregular.
[Elostrion] We can divide the class plural into two sections...
[Elostrion] The collective and general
[Elostrion] Collective refers to a noun "embracing all things of the same name"
[Elostrion] Such as...
[Elostrion] The host of the stars, would be "elenath"
[Elostrion] To form the collective/group plural we simply add "-ath"
[Elostrion] HOWEVER
[Elostrion] There are many rules that accompany this plural form.
[Elostrion] To access these please visit this URL:
[Elostrion] http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sindarin.htm#Heading11
[Elostrion] The next Class Plural is the general form
[Elostrion] The general plural is formed by adding "-rim" (people) or "-hoth" (host)
[Elostrion] So..
[Elostrion] "Nogothrim" is said to be the Class Plural of "Nogoth" (Dwarf)
[Elostrion] "Nogothrim" means the "Dwarf-host/people"
[Elostrion] Are there any questions?
[Elostrion] I will gladly take them now.
[Eruner] what sorts of irregulars are there?
[Elostrion] That depends on whether you are speaking of the Class Plural or Basic Plural
[Elostrion] Class Plural involves several rules...
[Elostrion] For instance...
[Elostrion] When you add "-ath" to a word ending in "-nc" you must change the "-nc" to "-ng"
[Elostrion] For phonological reasons.
[Eruner] and basic plural?
[Elostrion] Basic Plural simply involves several attested examples.
[Elostrion] There are a great many of those.
[Elostrion] Next question please
[Lothenon] On plural of A: what about "narn" ] "nern"? The 'rule' of changing to E before consonant clusters?
[Elostrion] Note: All of those can be found at this URL:
[Elostrion] http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sindarin.htm#Heading11
[Elostrion] Give me a moment...
[Elostrion] I have just reviewed Helge's article Sindarin: the Noble Tongue
[Elostrion] It seems that he is arguing amongst himself about this issue...LoL
[Elostrion] There seems to be no final decision.
[Lothenon] -iath is added when there is an "i" in the word. see "minhiriath" [ min sir -ath
[Elostrion] If you will e-mail me Lothenon, I will be happy to answer the question more fully.
[Elostrion] As for the rest of you, I will answer it next Lesson.
[Elostrion] Are there any more questions?
[jincey] oh btw we will open the floor for discussion in a little bit
[Not_Maedhros] What exactly is "host". Does that mean just a group of Dwarves? Like the Quenya partitive?
[Elostrion] It means the Dwarf-people, as in Americans
[Elostrion] or the English
[Elostrion] Is there another?
[jincey] here is a translation question:
[Strider_The_Ranger] amin ella lle, does that mean 'i love you'?
[Elostrion] I would be happy to analyze that fully if you will e-mail me Strider
[I_love_Legolas] I was wondering if you have to be realllllly smart to learn Elvish or just have alot of dedication, Elostrion???
[Elostrion] Both of those aspects would help; however, I've found all you need is a love for language.
[Elostrion] Is there another?
[JulieOh] Is the only difference between a general and collective plural the question of whether we're talking about living beings or inanimate things?
[Elostrion] Absolutely not, the Collective Plural can also refer to an organization per-say.
[Gilthoniel] is the general plural mainly for "peoples" and class for objects or does it merely depend on the rules?
[Elostrion] The general is usually only applied to peoples yes
[Herdir] Shouldn't _elenath_ rather be _elath_? _elen_ is Quenya...
[Elostrion] "Elen" is the plural of "star"
[Elostrion] Next question please.
[Iavas] Can you tell me when you would use -ath verses -hoth?
[jincey] oops hold up
[jincey] back to that last
[Lothenon] no, it´s the archaic form
[Lothenon] poetic
[jincey] ?
[Elostrion] Yes?
[Lothenon] yes, as well as êl can be used for quenya too
[jincey] i am going to open up the floor now, so herdir and Lothenon can talk more easily
[Elostrion] You are correct; however, I believe that "elen" is an attested example of Sindarin pluralization.
[jincey] folks please don't inundate.. wait your turn ; )
jincey sets mode: -m
[Herdir] Elostrian, how would _êl_ become _elen_ in the plural?
[jincey] and be nice : )
[Elostrion] I believe it is an attested example...
[Herdir] We'll do :)
[Herdir] Where?
[Elostrion] Give me a moment, and I will check...
[Herdir] Okay
[Elostrion] My memory is not so good these days
[Herdir] Okay, I would just like to know so I can make sure it's valid
[Elostrion] That it is, I was mistaken. It is derived from the Archaic Sindarin "elen".
[Herdir] I see
[Elostrion] Now, if you will excuse me. I must be going.
[Herdir] Go ahead
[Elostrion] Navaer mellyn nîn!
[Herdir] Namárië
[Not_Maedhros] Navaer, mellon.
[JulieOh] Navaer, Elostrion. Hannon le.

Viggo Wins 'Sexiest Male Star'
Xoanon @ 10:52 am EST

Viggio Mortensen, with 79.7% of votes for sexiest man of the year at Hollywood.com:

How He Did in Our Poll Last Year: He didn't. This year, however, Viggo rules with a landslide victory over every other guy in our 2003 poll. Just goes to prove that when it comes right down to it, forget the baby faces--we like our men manly.

Sexiest Role: Hands down, his stoic, brave Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings movies--he only seems to get better with each one. (Although he was sexy as hell as a jealous, passionate artist in A Perfect Murder)

Best Quote: "It's always strange when you're lying there in bed naked with someone you don't know very well. In my opinion, actors who say that is an unpleasant thing are all full of s***." -- from the Chicago Sun-Times, May 31, 1998

Sexiest Scene: Forget the particulars, he does it for us in just about every close-up in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, but there was one moment shot in slo-mo that captured Aragorn galloping uphill atop his stately steed, hair streaming across his face as he looked over his shoulder at the enemy closing in. Breathtaking.

Physical Feature We Love: It's a tie between those piercing baby blues and the rock-solid square jaw that lends him a tremendously commanding, if slightly sinister, presence.

In His Future: Look for Viggo this fall starring in a movie called Hidalgo, the true story of Frank T. Hopkins, a long-distance horse rider in the Pony Express who traveled to Saudi Arabia to compete in a dangerous, global race for an enormous prize. Then of course there's his final appearance as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Media Watch: HorseTrader Magazine
Xoanon @ 10:44 am EST

Thain Brandybuck writes:

"Nazghul horse for sale"

The Black Horse is actually an 8 year old Thoroughbred gelding, born and raised in Aoteaora/New Zealand and is up for sale now. As the ad states the horse is "untried competitively ... due to movie committments". But the horse is said to show a "bold jump" - probably acquired after avoiding stepping on Hobbits for 2 years?

VARIETY: 'Towers' looms over F/X nods
Xoanon @ 10:22 am EST

Pic nabs 8 awards including actor, character animation


"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" towered over the competition Wednesday night, winning eight of the nine Visual Effects Society awards for which it was nominated. Among TV entries, "Dinotopia" picked up four awards, the only other multiple winner.
Award program was the first for the 6-year-old org, which comprises about 800 f/x specialists worldwide. Four panels of VES members slogged through dozens of entries in movies, TV, musicvideos and commercials in January to pick nominees in 20 categories. Then, roughly 100 members spent the first weekend in February watching demo reels from 56 noms across all the categories.

Towering triumph

The resulting selections were an overwhelming endorsement of the work by New Zealand-based house Weta on "The Two Towers." Their only loss in nine categories was matte painting in a motion picture, nabbed by Industrial Light & Magic for "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones."

"Towers" rung up wins for special effects, effects art direction, visual effects photography, models and miniatures, performance by an actor in an effects film, character animation in a live-action motion picture, compositing and visual effects in an effects-driven motion picture. In most cases, it beat out ILM.

"I'm blown away," said "Towers" f/x producer Dean Wright, who traveled with effects supervisor Jim Rygiel and models and miniatures specialist Paul Van Ommen from New Zealand to attend the event.

Rygiel, who won an Oscar for the first "Rings" movie and is nominated for the second, said he was stunned when he and others at Weta, which created most of the film's f/x, had been notified of its nominations. He was named with Weta's Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke for the visual effects in an effects-driven picture.

But, Rygiel insisted, "if we didn't win a single award, I am so proud of this film. The rest is sort of meaningless to me. It's all about the work."

Wright quickly chimed in, "That being said, it's a fantastic honor, and we can't thank our peers enough."

Taking spotlight

The two, and others, said they particularly appreciate that the VES kudos honor so many different slices of their industry, so that professionals in different corners of the fast-expanding effects business could have a chance to be honored for their work.

No one from Framestore CFC was present to pick up the awards the London-based house received for work on the "Dinotopia" mini and TV series. "Dinotopia" lumbered to wins for visual effects, character animation, matte painting and compositing.

Other winning projects include the following:

"Stuart Little 2," and Sony's Imageworks unit, for character animation in an animated motion picture.

"The Sum of All Fears," whose work was lead by Rhythm & Hues, for supporting visual effects in a motion picture.

"Firefly" pilot episode "Serenity," for visual effects in a series.

"Enterprise" episode "Dead Stop," for models and miniatures in a televised program, musicvideo or commercial.

The Xbox "Mosquito" ad for visual effects in a commercial.

The Adidas "Mechanical Legs" ad for effects art direction in a televised program, musicvideo or commercial.

"So to Speak," by Astropolitan Pictures, for visual effects in a musicvideo.

TTT/FOTR Win 5 Cinemarati Awards
Xoanon @ 10:17 am EST


(New York City) -- Cinemarati: The Web Alliance for Film Commentary today chose *The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers* as the Best Film of 2002 in the third annual Cinemarati Awards. Winners in 26 additional categories, recognizing the best cinematic efforts of last year, were also named.

*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers* garnered four awards, including Best Film, Best Ensemble Cast, and Best Director for Peter Jackson. Also highly honored were Todd Haynes’ *Far From Heaven,* picking up five awards, including Best Lead Actress for Julianne Moore and Best Supporting Actor for Dennis Quaid. Dylan Kidd’s *Roger Dodger* won three awards, including Best Lead Actor for Campbell Scott, and Spike Jonze’s *Adaptation* received two awards: Best Supporting Actress for Meryl Streep and Best Adapted Screenplay for Charlie and Donald Kaufman.

Roberto Benigni’s *Pinocchio* was doubly dishonored, named The Worst Film of the Year and Benigni himself bestowed with The Jar Jar Binks Award, for the "year's most inexplicable cinematic creation," for his 50-year-old boy-puppet.

The complete roster of awards appears below.

"I’m delighted that the Cinemarati Awards have recognized some genuinely worthy films of the year that haven’t received the attention they deserved," said founding member MaryAnn Johanson, of FlickFilosopher.com, "such as our Orson Welles Award to new director Zacharias Kunuk for his wonderful fantasy *Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner).* And it’s great to be able to point out the ascendancy of film criticism online, as with our Best Film Web Site winner, The Onion’s AV Club."

Unlike other professional awards, the Cinemarati Awards are chosen through Cinemarati’s signature, one-of-a-kind "showdown" process, where nominees go head-to-head in matchups voted on by its Member Critics and held in full public view at Cinemarati’s international home on the internet (http://www.cinemarati.org).

The 2003 Cinemarati Award Winners, as announced on Friday, February 21st, are listed below. Discussion on the winners and also-rans continues at the Cinemarati Roundtable (http://www.cinemarati.org/roundtable.)

2003 CINEMARATI AWARD WINNERS (Available online Friday, February 21st, 8:00AM Eastern at http://www.cinemarati.org/features/awards2003_winners.shtml)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Y Tu Mamà También

Spirited Away

Bowling for Columbine


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(Platinum Series Extended Edition)

THE JOHN WATERS AWARD For the Year's Guiltiest Pleasure
Undercover Brother

THE JAR JAR BINKS AWARD Dishonoring the Year's Most Inexplicable Cinematic Creation
Fifty-year-old Roberto Benigni as Pinocchio

Campbell Scott, Roger Dodger

Julianne Moore, Far From Heaven

Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven

Meryl Streep, Adaptation

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Jesse Eisenberg, Roger Dodger

Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

THE ORSON WELLES AWARD Honoring the Year's Best Directorial Debut
Zacharias Kunuk, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)

Pedro Almodovar, Talk to Her

Charlie and Donald Kaufman, Adaptation

Dylan Kidd, Roger Dodger

Edward Lachman, Far From Heaven

D. Michael Horton and Jabez Olssen, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Far From Heaven

BEST SONG (Original or Adapted)
"Aaj Mera Jee Kardaa," Monsoon Wedding

Elmer Bernstein, Far From Heaven

The Onion AV Club (http://www.theonionavclub.com/)

Minority Report (http://www.precrime.org/)

Amy Taubin, Film Comment

(chosen by the participants of the Cinemarati Roundtable) 25th Hour

2-20-03 Latest News

Sean Astin At Texas A&M Saturday
Xoanon @ 11:35 pm EST

From: robogeek.com

Actor-director SEAN ASTIN has been confirmed as Guest of Honor for this year's 10th Anniversary Texas Film Festival, which is currently taking place this week at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Thanks to some truly heroic schedule-juggling on his part, Sean will present his acclaimed short film "The Long and Short of It" (which recently premiered at Sundance) at noon this Sat., Feb. 22, in Rudder Theatre on the Texas A&M campus. In addition, Sean will discuss highlights of his career (accompanied by a retrospective of clips), and participate in a Q&A.

Tickets are only $6, and are on sale now at the Rudder Theater Box Office (11am-8pm) in person or by phone -- 979-845-1234 or toll-free at 888-890-5667.

For more information on the Texas Film Festival, click here. [More]

Media Watch: Viggo in Max Magazine
Xoanon @ 7:05 pm EST

May sends in these scans from Max magazine, take a look!

More Toy Fair 2003 Pics
Xoanon @ 6:56 pm EST

Skynet sends along these truly amazing pictures from Toy Fair 2003! Take a look at that elven archer...me wants me wants!

Tolkien Reading Day
Tehanu @ 5:03 pm EST

The Tolkien Society wishes to announce to the world :

Tolkien Reading Day!

25th March is to be "Tolkien Reading Day", an event aimed at encouraging the use of Tolkien’s works in education and to get schoolteachers and library staff to participate in reading Tolkien to their classes and in their libraries. 25th March already has a significance to Tolkien’s readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the ‘War of the Ring’ in "The Lord of the Rings".


Tied into the Tolkien Reading Day event is the recent completion of the Education Section within the Society’s website TolkienSociety which Tolkien fans in education (pupils and teachers) can use to assist learning and teaching. The pages can be downloaded and printed off free of charge by educationalists. Please note the texts on these pages are copyright of the Tolkien Society and East Lothian Museums. The Education pages comprise a range of ideas for teachers of Citizenship at Key Stage one (infants) using "The Father Christmas Letters", to ideas for university lecturers working on Middle English texts like "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". Some of the information has been developed from our responses to questions the Society has been sent by schoolchildren from around the world. Many other questions fit better in the Frequently Asked Questions section and so have been left where they are easy to find.
Who can use it?

Which age ranges is it aimed at?
5-years old to postgraduate level

Which educational systems?
Non-specific, English and Scottish

How much is transferable?
All of it, apart from the quotations from the English National Curriculum, for which copyright permission is needed before ‘translating’ it to another educational system or language.

Press Contacts
Tolkien Society Publicity:

Ian Collier, 45 Caldew Maltings, Bridge Lane, Carlisle, UK.
e-mail publicity@tolkiensociety.org
Telephone 07974-987340

Tolkien Society North American Representative:
Mike Foster, Rt. 5, Box 315, Metamora IL 61548, USA.
e-mail americas@tolkiensociety.org
Telephone (Work) 309-694-5349; 309-367-2772.

Tolkien Society Australasian Representative:
Michael Kennedy, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
e-mail pacific@tolkiensociety.org

Any queries regarding this Press Release should be addressed to:
Ian Collier, Publicity Officer, 45 Caldew Maltings, Bridge Lane, Carlisle, CA2 5SW UK
e-mail publicity@tolkiensociety.org

2-19-03 Latest News

More Toy Fair 2003 Images
Xoanon @ 1:49 pm EST

Action-Figure.com once again comes through with these great pictures from Toy Fair 2003 in New York City. Take a look at these Warg-Riders and men of Rohan!

Media Watch: Cinescape Magazine
Xoanon @ 1:31 pm EST

Lisa sends along these scans from the latest issue of Cinescape Magazine. Take a look!

INTERVIEW: Battle of Helm's Deep
Flinch @ 10:50 am EST

Hey gang...Lao of Gondor here with a major exclusive!

Have you ever been curious to learn exactly how things evolve in a trading card game? Are you interested about the future plans of our beloved Lord of the Rings TCG? Well then, here's your chance to sneak an exclusive peek behind the curtains at Decipher and see why their slogan "The Art of Great Games?" fits as nicely as a Hobbit in a Hobbit-hole.

I recently had the great opportunity to pick the brains of senior Lord of the Rings TCG designers Tom Lischke and Joe with a host of questions regarding the soon to be released Battle of Helm's Deep expansion (and more).

Here's what they had to say:

Lao: During the design stage of Battle of Helm's Deep, how would you describe a typical day on the job? Who would you meet with and what would be the goals of the day?

Joe: Depends on the day. Some were spent on our own, figuring out a minor mechanic or getting an individual card to work. Other days involved meeting with other designers in order to pass some roadblock we've come across. Other days we could be spending much of our time with our lead playtesters listening to their feedback on cards.

Tom: Or playing a few games with those playtesters.

Lao: What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome designing Battle of Helm's Deep? Do you find it difficult to keep ideas fresh and exciting to avoid certain design pitfalls and redundancies?

Tom: Definitely Gollum. We probably tried six or seven different approaches on him. Normally, there will be incremental improvements on a given issue, but with Gollum, we were back at the drawing board several times. Frustrating, but it all turned out ok.

Joe: Yeah, it?s safe to say that Gollum was the big obstacle for the set. I wouldn't describe him as difficult though. It's more of a challenge that I enjoy working on everyday. Whenever something new comes along, I enjoy trying to create something new and fresh for it.

Tom: I?m glad someone enjoyed it, ha ha.

Lao: Is it important for you to work closely with the actual graphic designers in order to achieve a successful synergy between mechanical design and artistic design?

Joe: We don't communicate with them on a daily basis, but when the time comes around for image selections, we do tend to be in contact with them a lot.

Tom: We also did a fair amount of work with them on the Gollum templates. That is actually when we have most of our contact with them, when it is time to come up with a new template.

Lao: Was there a significant amount of unused material from The Two Towers premiere set and did any of those extra resources spill over into designing Helm's Deep?

Joe: Absolutely - most of the Sauron Orc cards from the set were originally designed for The Two Towers premiere set. There were other cards that got pushed forward here and there, but the entire Sauron culture was the major block of cards that got pushed forward.

Tom: We also pushed some of the effects-heavy shots, as we didn?t see them until very late in the design process for Towers. Those will be sprinkled all over Battle of Helm?s Deep and Ents of Fangorn.

Lao: Do you feel that there is more at stake now in designing expansions sets like this; trying to anticipate the players' demands?

Joe: I don't really see it as 'more' at stake. I feel a lot is at stake every time we put out a set. We want players to be excited about the cards and it's our job to make that happen.

Tom: I?d agree with that. Every set we try to get a little better with how we do things, give players good gameplay.

Lao: How often do you use direct examples from either the books or the films as inspiration and direction for card design?

Tom: It is pretty unavoidable. At the most basic level, every card has to have a picture on it, and the gameplay can?t be completely unrelated to that image. That being said, it is usually really fun to do cards that are based off of my favorite moments from the book or movies.

Joe: I'm not sure I can give an actual percentage. I do know there are times when I want to try and capture a certain story element in a card, and other times cards are created solely for mechanical reasons. It does happen though, quite a lot in the sets I help design.

Lao: Where do you draw inspiration for the creation of mechanics such as DAMAGE +1, VALIANT, FIERCE, AMBUSH, SITE CONTROL and other such dynamics?

Tom: We try to separate out the different cultures in the story. Each of them needs to have their own feel and these keywords are one of the tools to accomplish this.

Joe: This actually somewhat connects to the previous question. Site control had a strong story feel behind it. We wanted to capture the feeling of minions 'swallowing' Rohan. On the other side of the spectrum you have something like ambush which is more mechanical-based. The cultural strength of Raiders revolves more around pool adding, and ambush is one of the ways they accomplish this.

Lao: How many different creative teams are involved in creating a card set either as large as the 365 card Two Towers premiere set or the smaller 128 card Battle of Helm's Deep expansion?

Joe: Let's see, we have a team designing the cards, a team playtesting the cards, a team creating titles and lore for the cards, and a team working on the images for the cards. That makes 4. Tom did I miss any?

Tom: No, I think that covers it.

Lao: What was the most outrageous card ever designed for Battle of Helm's Deep? In other words - what was the one card which at the concept stage seemed like a great idea, but over the course of the development became far too powerful?

Joe: Others may recall things more outrageous, but for me I had a companion that said, 'Each time you assign this companion to a wounded minion, you may heal him.' This basically read that this companion took no damage from minions with zero damage bonuses! The lifespan of this card was less than 48 hours.

Tom: I liked the bomb that exerts every character. Oh wait, that made it into the set.

Lao: When you're not designing cards, how do you like to spend your free time?

Tom: I?m a devout fan of the Packers, Brewers (mourn for me) and the St. Louis Blues. I?ll also muck around with the occasional computer game.

Joe: Playing cards, whether it be TCGs or Poker, and the occasional night out with friends.

Lao: Did you choose to release the WARGS and WARG-RIDERS in Battle of Helm's Deep as opposed to The Two Towers premiere set, or was this a decision made by New Line Cinema in order keep certain elements secret until the film's release?

Joe: Pretty sure it was New Line's call on this one.

Tom: Even if we had wanted to do it for The Two Towers, the effects shots just weren?t in our hands in time. Not a big deal, as there were plenty of other things to show.

Lao: Do the card images supplied by New Line Cinema play a large part in the overall concept behind the card? Or are the images you choose for the card complimentary in spirit rather than in function?

Joe: Depends. Most of the time image selection comes after we design a card, but sometimes we'll see an image and gain an idea from it, in which case image selection comes first.

Tom: Yeah, it really does depend on the situation. A general rule is that if we do a mechanic that involves there or four cards, we?ll do the card first, and match the images later. If we have a picture of just one important character, we sometimes design a card around that picture.

Lao: What was your inspiration behind creating the dynamic among Frodo (Master of the Precious), Sam (Nice Sensible Hobbit) and Smeagol (Slinker)?

Tom: Uh, sure. We wanted to give players the tools to put together a Frodo/Sam/Sméagol deck. We didn?t want to spoon-feed them a strategy, but just let them consider the strategy. This really dictated that the functions on them had to be at least somewhat compatible.

Lao: With Battle of Helm's Deep, there are now a significant number of cards that enhance the corruption strategy. Was there a consensus among the designers to elevate burden-building and why?

Joe: I think burdens took a back seat in the Two Towers premiere set, so I know I personally wanted to bring it out more as a theme in this set.

Lao: Victory through corruption has never been hailed as a "winning" deck archetype compared to throughout the Tournament circuit. Do you think that corruption is now powerful enough to compete in the tournament scene?

Joe: While it's definitely possible, I think you'll see more people using burdens as a trigger for other powerful cards, such as Gollum.

Tom: The thing about corruption and burdens is that it doesn?t have to be a game ender by itself. It is enough that it slows an opponent down and denies them tactical options by attaching a burden cost to them.

Lao: The Easterlings from The Two Towers premiere set and now Gollum: Stinker from Battle of Helm's Deep truly enhance the corruption strategy more than ever before. Was this a conscious design decision on you part - in order to emulate how the ring weighs even heavier on Frodo in The Two Towers.

Tom: I?ll let Joe talk about this, as he is the Easterling guy.

Joe: I never thought of it on that level, but like many things in LotR TCG we try to emulate certain story aspects. Since Easterlings and Gollum were two separate 'burdensome' scenarios to Frodo in the movie, you now have these two themes coming together to simulate the greater burden Frodo now bears in this movie.

Lao: Are you concerned about how powerful certain Fellowship of the Ring expansion cards like Ulaire Enquea, and Enduring Evil have now become due to the new enhancements created for burden-building strategies?

Joe: Not really, in fact we're excited that these cards will get a second look due to new burden strategies in this set.

Tom: It is fine if new cards give some new and different dimension to past cards. It just makes deck building more fun.

Lao: Why were Legolas and Eowyn chosen to represent the pre-constructed Starter Decks for the Battle of Helm's Deep expansion?

Joe: We wanted a Rohan and an Elven companion for the starters this set, since it has a Helm's Deep feel to it. Legolas then became an obvious choice. We had already used Théoden and Éomer was slated to be in Ents of Fangorn, so that left Éowyn.

Lao: Beginning with Battle of Helms Deep, Starter Decks will now come with three FIXED Alternate Image rare cards as opposed to the 3 randomly inserted rare cards. Why was this decision made?

Joe: We wanted to have more control over the starters. When new players were buying starters they'd get rare cards that would be little to no help to them at that point in their LotR TCG life. Now those new players will receive rares that not only help them, but will be a whole lot of fun to play with!

Tom: One thing to keep in mind is that the primary role for the starters is to help new players take a jump into the game. It is nice if old players buy a copy or two to get the AI cards or the premiums, but we really need to focus those for new players. Also, the $10 purchase level is a big deal, and this is the only way we could reach that.

Lao: This is Orlando's (Bloom) second time gracing the cover of the coveted Starter Deck box. Is it safe to say that Decipher is aware of Legolas' appeal to the youth?specifically female youth?market?

Joe: Actually I don't think this has anything to do with that. I'm sure you'll see everyone getting their fair share of starter deck fame in the future.

Tom: That being said, if someone is going to appear more than their fair share, why wouldn't it be Orlando?

Lao: Several ROHAN Companion cards with the Keyword VALIANT have the ability to play possessions after the Fellowship Phase. Does Valiant somehow relate directly to this ability and will this be revealed in Battle of Helm's Deep?

Joe: It's somewhat related, but not directly. It's a very loose relationship.

Lao: What are the more prevalent criticisms about the card game up to this point and what steps have you taken in order to fix them for the current and future expansions?

Joe: I feel the biggest issue we have at the moment is a tournament environment without enough different deck types. Players are frustrated at having to play the same decks over and over again. Since we want players to be excited about tournaments and other events, we are looking into ways to create this excitement.

Tom: That is really the big one. We are dealing with a Free Peoples half decks where players just play the best cards from each culture. We have to undo that a little bit (have a look at Gríma).

Lao: If somebody asked you, "What's the hardest thing about learning how to play this game?" - what would you tell them?

Tom: Hard to say. I don?t think there is any one thing that really sticks out in my mind.

Joe: Understanding the adventure path. The path isn't even that complex to begin with, but from what I've heard it's the thing people are having to think twice about when learning the game.

Lao: After Battle of Helm's Deep comes Ents of Fangorn. What can we expect to see in that expansion?

Tom: Fell Beasts.

Joe: Cave Trolls, a Balrog and other large minions.

Lao: Have you started the process of designing Return of the King and its subsequent expansions or is that still too far down the line?

Joe: In my head it's already begun, but nothings on paper yet.

Tom: We?ll pick that up right after Ents wraps up at the end of February.

Lao: Tom, Joe...thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I know that all of the loyal readers on TOR.n's Gaming Havens will truly appreciate this opportunity to really understand how dedicated The Lord of the Rings TCG design team truly is. It is comforting to know that Professor Tolkien's literary work and Peter Jackson's visionary film are in such respectful and trustworthy hands. Keep up the great work. We can't wait to see what's next!

Tom/Joe: My pleasure!

2-18-03 Latest News

Building Hobbit Holes
Tehanu @ 7:33 pm EST

This appeared in Australia's Herald Sun:

Hobbitat could be habit forming

J. R. R. Tolkien wasn't only a brilliantly eloquent and imaginative writer, he was avant-garde and a visionary -- though he probably didn't realise it.

According to one world-renowned dwelling designer, Tolkien's vision of a hobbit-hole, the partially sub-terranean dwelling of the creatures in his novels, was revolutionary and, frankly, we should all be living in one.

Roger Dean, an English artist turned industrial designer, says a hobbit's residence personifies comfort and provides preferable living conditions for those of us accustomed to living above ground.

For almost three decades, Dean has been designing and studying houses based on the principle of "defendable space", the concept of living in which people feel strong and completely secure.

His research, which focuses on eco-friendly construction, led to him design a dwelling that looks not unlike Tolkien's ultra-comfy hobbit-hole. It is curvy, earth-sheltered, grassed over and based on small, partially underground chambers built from rows of domes -- as a typical hobbit's residence might be.

"Round doors might have been a problem -- they tend to trip people up -- but Tolkien was writing for a fairytale, so he didn't bother solving lots of the little problems, like ventilation. If he'd drawn instead of written he'd immediately have seen the issues," says Dean, who rose to fame in the 1970s for his fantastically weird album covers, most notably for the band Yes and, recently, Pink Floyd.

"You could build something that looked like Tolkien's descriptions and drawings that would function perfectly well. There's no reason why, from an engineering standpoint, you couldn't. It would have to be built to a human dimension, but it would be a fine house, not ideal, but it would be warm, dry and safe."

Dean's current project is a village of similarly comfy "domes", located in Bishop's Wood environmental education centre in Worcestershire, England.

Each of the homes, which look strikingly like a cross between the Tellytubbies' dwelling and that of a hobbit, is touted as being far more environmentally friendly and healthier for human habitation than conventional above-ground housing and far easier to construct.

Inside, there are no harsh lines, there is no darkness and, most importantly, no harsh chemicals such as those found in the paint and wooden foundations of modern homes.

Lines of undulating walls, gentle, rounded windows and low ceilings give the illusion of space, when in fact none are markedly bigger than a typical four-bedroom home.

Everything is rounded, or "curvilinear", as Dean, 69, prefers to describe the style.

"These aren't underground, they're buildings above the ground, which are grassed over," says Dean.

"They offer incredibly stable internal temperatures: they're warm in winter and cool in summer," says Dean.

"Such dwellings are not only viable, they're desirable. Every time we build a house we're concreting over the country. From an environmental point of view, these buildings are healing the country."

While Dean's vision of 21st century living sounds a little far- fetched, he is in excellent company. Some of the architecture world's greatest minds, including the late Buckminster Fuller, espoused similar partially subterranean dwellings.

Even Turkey's 1400-year-old Hagia Sophia, which has withstood more than 15 major earthquakes and hundreds of minor ones, is based on similar principles to those of Dean's buildings. Its use of intersecting domes, considered the strongest form of construction in the world, is what Dean tries to offer, on a grander, larger, above-ground scale.

More than 300,000 people, some queuing for up to three hours, have visited Dean's prototype village. Dean says that the cost of creating one of his eco-friendly homes is identical to creating the equivalent home above ground.

His semi-subterranean village includes a 150-bedroom hotel, health spa, schools, even, ironically, a petrol station. Sustainable power sources such as wind and water power the village, but there isn't a solar power source to be seen anywhere. The decision has nothing to do with Britain's lack of sunlight. Instead it offends Dean's aesthetic sense, he didn't want to spoil the beauty of his pristine village with "ugly solar panels".

But while Dean takes an academic, environmental view of the benefits of living like a hobbit, there are many, many Tolkien fans whose interest is spurred purely by their love of his books and desire to live like the most famous hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, whose home was reputed to be the cosiest of hobbit-holes.

One avid Tolkien fan, who dubs himself Storm Bear, has set up BagEnd 2, a website devoted to building a hobbit-hole in a suburban back yard.

Storm Bear has researched the logistics and costs surrounding building a back yard hobbit-hole and shares his theories on the process with equally zealous fans, many of whom regularly visit the website.

After a year's research, Storm Bear has discovered the most cost-effective way to create his own hobbit home: dig a dirty great hole, whack in a few concrete pipes, cover it over and, voila, you've got yourself a cosy home.

Unfortunately, Storm Bear appears to have forgotten to address one issue -- ventilation.

Roger Dean: RogerDean.com

Bag End 2: BagEnd2

Media Watch: Billy Boyd in 'The Union Jack'
Xoanon @ 9:22 am EST

Lostfiniel sends in this article from 'The Union Jack' about Billy Boyd and his mission to help young actors.

BILLY BOYD, an actor in the Lord of the Rings movies who grew up in one of Britain's poorest areas, said last month he wants to reduce the obstacles the indigent face in entering his profession.

Billy Boyd, 34, who portrays the Hobbit Pippin in the films, said he has been in talks with the acting union equity in a bid to get more disadvantaged children involved in acting.

"It's difficult enough getting into acting, but when you come from a place like this, your chances are even more limited," said Boyd, who grew up in Easterhouse, an area of Glasglow, Scotland, that is one of Britain's most deprived areas. "There's definitely a stigma when you want to take up acting or drama, and I hope this can change."

Boyd spoke to reporters after returning to his roots to view an exhibition in the John Wheatley College Library in Easterhouse that features his achievements to date.

The display, by local residents, looks at the history of the poor area os Glasglow and includes information on various celebrities from the area, including Billy Boyd and actor Gerard Kelly.

Boyd said he was flattered to be described as a local hero and used his visit to encourage youngsters to follow in his footsteps. "I am living proof that you can make it if you try," he said.

The actor, who studied at Glasglow's Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, recently landed a role in the forth-coming movie Master and Commander, costarring with Oscar winner Russel Crowe.

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