Go back to Special Reports Archives

June 04, 2004 - June 11, 2004

6-11-04 Latest News

Ebert Apologizes for 'Get a Life' Comment
Celeborn @ 10:44 am EST

In his most recent review of 'The Chronicles of Riddick,' Roger Ebert has apologized for his comments earlier that LOTR fans need to 'Get A life.'


Films like "The Chronicles of Riddick" gather about them cadres of fans who obsess about every smallest detail, but somehow I don't think "Riddick" will make as many converts as "The Matrix." In fact, I owe an apology to fans of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

When Richard Roeper reviewed the current two-disc DVD of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" on TV, I noted that a four-disc set of the movie was coming out later this year. He observed that the complete trilogy will come out on "an accordion size set that will take up the next six years of your life." I observed that "LOTR" fans should "get a life." I meant this as an affectionate ironic throwaway, but have received dozens of wounded e-mails from Ring devotees who believe "LOTR" has, indeed, given them a life, and after seeing "The Chronicles of Riddick," I agree. They have a life. The prospect of become an expert on "Riddick," in contrast, is too depressing to contemplate.

6-10-04 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend!
Demosthenes @ 7:07 pm EST

Galadriel/Nerwen Artanis: Ring-bearer and the Lady of the Golden Wood :

Raised in Valinor as Galadriel, one of the Noldor’s highest, wisest and most powerful children, she leaves the Blessed Realm to seek a kingdom of her own.

Noble and proud, the motivations behind her actions are complicated and mysterious -- Tolkien himself never settled on a single, definitive version of her story.

Why did she leave Valinor? What was her role in the kinslaying? What was her true role and purpose in Middle Earth? How important was her relationship to Celebrimbor?

How important was she in the unfolding of Middle Earth’s history and significant events?

And why was she so sympathetic to Gimli?

Join us this weekend in #thehalloffire as we discuss one of Tolkien’s most bewitching characters.

Suggested reading:

Unfinished Tales: The History of Galadriel and Celeborn.
The Silmarillion: various sections.
The Fellowship of the Ring: Lothlorien, The Mirror of Galadriel, Farewell to Lorien.

Upcoming topics:

June 19 and 20: Themes in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Now, if you have a topic you'd love to see in Hall of Fire, drop us a line! Or maybe you'd like to see one of the topics we've done in the past revisited.

Either way, we'd love to hear from you, and though we might not always reply, all the suggestions we receive go into the topic melting pot. E-mail us at halloffire@theonering.net today!

Past topics update:

If you haven't visited the Hall of Fire page for a while, you might be surprised to see that we recently updated the logs for the last six months. Wander over and check out what everyone had to say for topics such as 'Little Engimas of LoTR', 'Villains in RoTK' or our fiery 'Denethor' chat of late last year.


Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

6-09-04 Latest News

Billy Boyd Q&A at the SFX Awards
weetanya @ 11:51 am EST

Ringer Marysia wrote this excellent report about Billy Boyd's Q&A at the SFX Awards.


Billy Boyd was a very last minute addition to the SFX Awards Event
lineup after several major guests dropped out at the last minute. He was also the only LotR guest, the other guests being Dominic Keating
from Enterprise, Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf, Dean Haguland from
X-Files, David Palffy from Stargate, Kristen Dalton from The Dead Zone
and SuAnn Braun from Stargate. Andy Serkis appeared at the Awards
ceremony only.

Billy made a flying visit in between filming in Glasgow for his new
movie On A Clear Day, arriving in London in the afternoon on Saturday
and departing half way through the awards ceremony on Sunday evening.

He did two question and answer sessions of about 45 mins in length to
an audience of about 150 at the extremely under-attended event as well
as signing autographs and posing for photos. The low numbers meant he
could really take his time in the autograph sessions and everyone who
wanted to got to have a nice chat and some extremely lengthy
personalisations. Among the presents he was given at the session were
two diving toys (referring to the script he and Dom are working on), 4
plastic dinosaurs (see the Q&A info below) and a framed sketch of he,
Dom and Elijah at the SAG Awards.

The Q&A was a little awkward at first, there can't have been more than about 150 people there (far fewer than the room could hold) and the
audience was a little reticent on the asking questions front. As a
result Billy decided to ask the audience questions. He started off
asking trivia questions about the cast and including Dom's birthday
and Elijah's sisters name.

He answered a few questions about Master & Commander and then told us
about "Instant Credit", the short film he has just completed work on.
It will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in
August and also on ITV (though I suspect Scottish ITV only). The plot
concerns a Scottish chef who meets an obnoxious rich man and
accidentally ends up with his credit card. Knowing the man will be in
transit for the next day he takes advantage of his good luck. The film
was shot in Glasgow and Paris and is made by the same people behind
Sniper 470.

Billy has no theatre work planned at the moment and when asked about
pantomime said that he had done a lot of it before he became well
known and hadn't forgotten how tiring it was yet. So maybe in the
future but not this year.

His current interest is computers and as well as trying to learn how
to use them properly he also hopes to make his official site the
worlds first smell-o-vision website. He plans to start with the smells
of different cheeses. Another personal project is to sail round the
west coast of Scotland with friends on a surfing tour of the islands.

When asked what the most extreme thing a fan had done to get his
attention was he replied that hadn't always used false names at
hotels, but he found people would phone him at 7am and ask him to come
down into the lobby and sign stuff. He thought it was weird how some
people didn't consider that you might have something else to do, like
sleep, rather than sit and wait for their call. Someone then asked if
he'd ever been flashed as a followup. He said no but if the girls on
the phone had proferred that he might have gone downstairs.

When asked about his music he said he was getting distracted a lot by
trying to learn more about computers, but he was hoping to arrange a
gig soon with the musicians he's been working with. The gig will most
likely be in Glasgow and the band are currently doing cover songs. The
gig may be announced on his website but he's not sure yet. In a
related question he said the most star-struck he's ever been was
meeting Prince as he is a huge fan of his music.

When asked what his most embarassing moment on set was he couldn't
think of one, but then remembered something from primary school and
decided to use that instead. At assembly when he was about seven, the
headmaster/mistress (I forget which) was telling the girls off for not
flushing the toilets and he started wonder if the boys should flush
them or not since she just seemed to be singling out the girls. He
didn't actually put up his hand and ask but he came incredibly close
to doing it and still feels embarassed today thinking about what would
have happened if he had asked.

He would love to see Crime and Punishment, a favourite book of his, as
a movie and said there was an adaptation floating about he'd like to
be in.

At his second Q&A on Sunday he talked a little about how much he liked
Robert Burns and that he wouldn't mind playing Burns, unfortunately
the role has already gone to Gerard Butler (a fellow Glaswegian). He
then proceeded to lead the audience in a complex discssion of the
functioning of light sabres, having them vote on whether they worked
using the force, or by a button, or by pressing a button using the
force and whether the colour was dependant on the morality of the user
or pre-programmed.

when asked about his current movie, On a Clear Day (directed by Gaby
Dellal) he gave us two possible options as to the plot. Either it was
about a couple of young guys who want to swim the English Channel or
it was about a dinosaur detective trying to teach another dinosaur how
to use the internet. I suspect the truth may be that it's about a
dinosaur who wants to swim the English Channel.

When asked about the script he and and Domhave been working on he
seemed a little frustrated that it wasn't proceeding as fast as he
liked, but he said they were still working on it and it would get

At the Awards ceremony he arranged for the organisers to move him to
the same table as Andy Serkis so they could have some more time to
talk before Billy left. The ceremony was hosted by Chris Barrie and
LotR won several awards including Best Director and Best Film. Billy
and Andy went up together to accept the Best Director Award and
claimed that together they weighed the same as Peter Jackson. Andy
accepted the Best Film award alone as Billy had already left.

6-07-04 Latest News

Ringer Review of Mythic Journeys
weetanya @ 4:04 pm EST

Ringer Rosie wrote this excellent review of the Mythic Journeys conference.


What more could a Lord of the Rings fan ask for than to meet Alan Lee and Howard Shore in the same day?

A dear friend and I attended the Mythic Journeys conference for the specific reason of seeing Alan Lee. Saturday we attended his workshop, and it was everything I could have wanted. He spent about an hour showing slides of his artwork and photos of behind the scenes of LOTR, talking about what was on the screen as he clicked through them all. He showed quite a few drawings from his book, Castles (making me kick myself for leaving it in the car when I decided that the poor man couldn't possibly autograph everything I'd brought with me), and he showed quite a few drawings from LOTR that I had not seen before - mostly sketches, which he explained were sometimes the beginnings of ideas of how they wanted things to look, drawings in the planning stages of things.

He seemed not to want to leave when his talk was over and asked if anyone had any questions. Of course, there were several of us who did. While answering, he hopped down off the stage and came to stand right in front of the audience (which was surprisingly small, though that made autographs easier for us later). I confess that I don't remember a lot of the questions and answers (including one of my own!) because I was awestruck by having Alan Lee standing five feet away from me. I do remember that he said his preferred work is in books, that he enjoyed doing the movies but felt that books were what he enjoyed most. I asked him where his Oscar was, and he said it was on his mantel and he felt that he might build a little shrine to it - a very cute answer given with a shy smile.

Finally a woman asked if he could sign her book so she wouldn't be late to the Howard Shore concert, and we all got in a vague line to get autographs. He was so gracious, listening to each person as they told him what they wanted him to know about how much they loved him and his work. He signed my first edition Faeries for my daughter, and he signed my copy of Fellowship (the one illustrated by him) for me, all the while listening and thanking me as I told him that we had come to the conference specifically to see him. He seemed touched by that, and gave both of us kisses and hugs.

To us, every penny of that $275 each that we spent was worth it. Alan Lee is a charming, lovely man, and I feel truly honored to have been able to speak to him and be in his presence.

So, on to the concert! Others have already given the information about what was played, and I am too unfamiliar with musical instruments or terms to do a proper review of all that, but I can say that it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Howard Shore received a standing ovation when he first appeared on stage, an ovation that was loud and enthusiastic. All of the singers were wonderful, with the possible exception of the gentleman who sang Aragorn's song from the Coronation - he did it well, but his voice was not what I expected since he didn't sound in the least like Viggo. Sissel was very compelling, she has a beautiful voice that seems perfect for this music. The young boy who sang was also as close to perfect as you could want.

But, of course, the main reason I was there was to watch Howard Shore. I was sitting in the first row of the balcony and from my viewpoint, he almost appeared to dance with his music. It could be seen that he was completely engrossed in what he was doing, and was very energetic. This was my first symphony experience but I've seen conductors on tv, and I've never seen one who so wholly dramatized the music in his movements as Mr. Shore. Even with just the view of his back, it was easy to see that he was doing something he loved passionately.

There were, I believe, three curtain calls for him. He brought back Sissel, of course, and he also brought out Alan Lee whose art was shown during the concert. He gestured to all of the orchestra and singers so that they had their share of the applause, and did this several times.

And then it was over and we left the building, hoping to find where Mr. Shore might come out so that we could meet him. Luckily, we found a group of people who were waiting where he had signed the night before, and we were eventually rewarded with his coming up the steps. Everyone applauded when he appeared. He seemed to be in great spirits, joking with the crowd about what they wanted. He, too, was gracious and friendly. My friend and I were able to get autographs on our ROTK cd booklets, which made our day complete...one of the most magnificent days we've ever had, thanks to these two lovely gentlemen who have already given us all so much.

One other side note: During the intermission at the concert, we spotted Mr. Lee in the lobby below. It appeared that he was in line, possibly for something to drink. He was approached by several people while we watched, and signed for a few people. It impressed me because he was not surrounded by assistants (or anyone at all) to protect him - he was standing there alone, as if he were an unknown nobody. [Ringer On Stage adds: Actually, there were two of us acting as Alan Lee's escorts at the concert. We were from Mythic Journeys and attended the concert with him.] You just have to love these men for their approachability and gentle graciousness to the fans.


Boston Museum of Science Ringer Moot
weetanya @ 3:50 pm EST

Ringer Tamara writes:

This is an invitation from co-leaders Tamara and
Mariella of the TORn Boston Line Party. Since the
Oscar Party, we have been making plans to organize a
Ringers Moot over Labor Day weekend, including a group
visit to the Boston Museum of Science to view the LOTR
exhibition and would like to invite our RingerSibs to
join us. Tickets for the exhibition are on sale now
(617-723-2500 or http://www.mos.org/lotr/). We are
suggesting Ringers purchase their timed tickets for
Saturday, September 4th at 2PM- or as close to that
time slot, as possible.

As we become more organized, additional information
will be available on Mariella?s website,
Expectopatronvm.com (The page focusing on the Ringers
event at the MOS is located at
http://www.expectopatronvm.com/mos.html) and forum.

We have already included some preliminary information
on the website, but the major planning has only just
begun. Now, we really want to start brainstorming and
form our volunteer team. We plan to offer a whole
weekend of possibilities from September 3-6, so don't
panic if the 2 PM time slot is sold out!

A small number of potential side-trips are posted on
the website, but we welcome more suggestions about any
different events Ringers are interested in. Also, the
earlier we know how many people are coming, the sooner
we can contact hotels about getting a discounted group
rate- the same with tickets or tours. Many Boston
Ringers have offered to use their influence via family
or work to get discounted passes to local museums,
theatres or concerts, so we can pass those savings on
to you. Please visit the website and join in the
discussion at the forum and we'll go about giving you
a great trip to Boston!

Frodo-esque's Review of TORnsib Moot Atlanta
weetanya @ 3:36 pm EST


I thought I'd send in a report from the Atlanta TORn Moot this past weekend. It was a pleasure being one of the planners of this wonderful weekend and it was certainly a weekend of special magnificence! Pictures of the event should start filtering in soon, but in the meantime here's an account of the whirlwind exciting weekend! The excitement (for me) began on Friday evening, the day of my Howard Shore concert tickets (he was conducting three shows that weekend). Haunting, moving, wonderfully emotional, and exhilirating. I could not believe it was Howard Shore standing there right in front of me (I had fantastic 3rd row tickets from the stage), and what a treat to see him conduct! It's obvious the man loves his music, his entire BODY is into the conduction, he's got this wonderful smile on his face, and oh, the soloist. She was incredible. He received not one, not two, but three standing ovations at the end--absolutely deserved.

A definite highlight of that weekend was the opportunity to meet Alan Lee in person at the art exhibition center where some of his original work was being displayed. A fantastic TORnSib Fiver (who was a member of the press at the adjoining 'Mythic Journeys' Conference where Lee was a speaker) was able to personally ask Lee if he wouldn't mind making a visit to the art center in order to meet members of The One Ring.net who were in town for a Moot. Alan Lee unbelievably agreed, and drove down with Fiver on his own time just to personally meet members of TORn!! We were humbled at his kindness.

Alan Lee is one of the nicest, most cordial, kind-hearted individuals I've ever met. It was such a joy to see how humbled he was when we professed our admiration and love for him and his work. He was so personable, stopping to speak to each of us, looking us in the eye, and signing anything given to him. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us, and we were ones humbled to have had him there with us. After that we all gathered outside under the bright, warm Atlanta sun and took a TORnSib group photo--with Alan Lee smack in the middle. :-)

Fiver also had another surprise for us, We were also in for a surprise, Fiver also brought with her Dr. Verlyn Flieger, a world-renowned Tolkien expert who was also here for the conference! It was an unbelievable treat.

A total of 42 TORnSibs attended the Dinner Moot later that evening at a local restaurant in Midtown Atlanta. We began the evening by introducing ourselves (what our TORn nicks were, where we were from, and how long we've been posting on TORn), and playing a couple of ice breaker games that got everyone off their seats and chattering< away--luckily my partner-in-crime Sib ltlberr was able to round the troops with her commanding voice whenever we needed to organize everyone back again.

Thanks to TORnSib Kally, we were incredibly lucky to have as a guest speaker for our Dinner moot, Ms Karen Wynn Fonstad, author of "Atlas of Middle-Earth". Ms Fonstad was an incredible speaker, who enthusiastically shared with us the journey she took in planning and writing her legendary book.

As dinner arrived, we broke off into groups and with yours truly playing the role of "Alex Tribeck", we played a rousing game of Tolkien trivia. I did my best to stump the Sibs, but failed (these folks are brilliant!) The evening ended as many sibs had to leave right before 8pm to attend the last Shore symphony, but not before enjoying dinner, eating a gorgeous Elf leaf shaped cake (thanks to Shuya's baker friend!), and grabbing some goody bags. :-)

On Sunday morning, about 25 (very tired) TORnSibs crammed into my apartment to enjoy a bit of breakfast along with a group viewing of ROTK. It was incredible sharing the magic of ROTK alongside other die-hard fans. :-) It was a tearful goodbye at the end, everyone having to head home, for Monday (today) was an inevitable workday.

Oh and one more thing! We had ATL TORn Moot t-shirts made, and guess who became honorary recipient of them? HOWARD SHORE and ALAN LEE!! Some sibs caught up with Shore after his 8pm symphony, and he was so pleased to hear that there was a TORn Moot underway at the same time, that he requested to have a picture taken with any members of TORn who were in the area!

On a personal note wanted to send a deep thanks to fellow ATL sibs Ringers reprise, Shuya, and EowynWannabee for helping make this Moot a total success.



6-06-04 Latest News

Orlando Bloom gets a chest wig
Xoanon @ 9:00 pm EST

Hobbitangel writes: I just found this little article in my local paper, thought it might be of some interest!

Orlando Bloom gets a chest wig

Orlando Bloom has been told to wear a chest wig to look 'more manly' for his new film. Movie bosses want the screen hearthrob to cover up with the hairy rug for his new lead role in the Crusades epic Kindom of Heaven.

Director Ridley Scott reportedly believes the actor, who stars as Paris in Troy, needs to cover up his hairless chest to make a more convincing hero.

The 28 year old has also been bulking up for the part, revealing that he has been spending more time in the gym 'builing up' to play the farrier-turned-warrior in the upcoming film.

Enter Stage Right: Alan Lee
Xoanon @ 8:54 pm EST

Izzy writes: I attended the Saturday evening performance of Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings Symphony in Atlanta. I have been to many orchestral performances in my life, but this was by far the best. Watching Howard Shore conduct was an honor that I won't soon forget. The biggest treat came the last time Shore came out for a curtain call and brought Alan Lee (who was in town for the Mythic Journeys conference) out on to stage with him. Everyone was surprised and, if possible, the applause and cheers in the audience grew even louder. I didn't have my camera on me so hopefully another Ringer was there and got pics!

6-05-04 Latest News

Urban's 'Riddick' Review
Xoanon @ 7:11 pm EST

Rosie writes: I saw the Chronicles of Riddick last night at Universal City walk in LA. I wish I had some pictures to send. Karl Urban is amazing in this film. If he and Judy Dench weren't in this movie, this movie wouldn't be worth much. I had the privilege of talking to Karl after the show. He looked great! He is very funny and incredibly humble. It was a pleasure meeting him. Karl Urban fans will enjoy this movie; he has a lot of screen-time. I don't want to include any spoilers, which why I am not saying much about the film or story. I recommend this film to Ringers because Karl's performance makes this film worth your time, but Sci-Fi fans may find this film leaves them wanting.

Brad Dourif Con Round up
Xoanon @ 7:06 pm EST

The enigmatic P sends along these names, dates and loctations where you can find Brad Dourif and many others this summer.

6/5/04 to 6/6/04 Adventure Con at the Knoxville Expo Center – Clinton Highway. Knoxville,TN. Guests scheduled to appear include: Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Jackson Bostwick, Felix Silla, Kathy Garver, Tanya Roberts, Dick Durock, Richard Hatch, Brad Dourif, Kate Jackson, Alex Vincent, and many others.

8/13/04 to 8/15/04 Horrorfind Weekend at the Mariott Hunt Valley Inn – Hunt Valley, MD. Guests scheduled to appear include: George Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne, Barbeau, Jeffrey Combs, Kane Hodder, Brad Dourif, Barbara Crampton, Butch Patrick, Pat Priest, Brinke Stevens, Dee Wallace, and many others.

6-04-04 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 7:34 pm EST

After capturing Thorin, the Wood-elves capture the rest of the Company and save them from starvation. Luckily for the Company, Bilbo evades them with help from his new ring and follows the elves in secret as they take the dwarves to their underground kingdom.

The Hobbit: Chapter 9: Barrels Out of Bond

Bilbo spends many days wandering Thranduil's realm - then realises that it is up to him to save everyone. Still wearing the ring, he lets the whole Company in on his position and then eventually comes up with a risky plan for their escape.

Although not the most comfortable means of escape, escape they do -- each dwarf stuffed in a barrel that the elves usually fill with wine for trading with the men down the river.

Does Bilbo's personality seem different in this chapter? What could be the effects on Bilbo of wearing the ring for several days straight? How are Gandalf and Bilbo similar in this chapter? How are the Wood Elves different from the elves in Rivendell?

And why doesn't Bilbo ever think of leaving the imprisoned dwarves
behind and going home?

Come join us this weekend in #thehalloffire as we discuss The Hobbit:
Chapter 9: Barrels Out of Bond.

Upcoming topics:

June 12 and June 13: Galadriel/Nerwen Artanis: The Lady of the Golden
Wood and Ring-bearer. June 19 and 20: Themes in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Now, if you have a topic you'd love to see in Hall of Fire, drop us a line! Or maybe you'd like to see one of the topics we've done in the past revisited.

Either way, we'd love to hear from you, and though we might not always reply, all the suggestions we receive go into the topic melting pot. E-mail us at halloffire@theonering.net today!

Past topics update:

If you haven't visited the Hall of Fire page for a while, you might be surprised to see that we recently updated the logs for the last six months. Wander over and check out what everyone had to say for topics such as 'Little Engimas of LoTR', 'Villains in RoTK' or our fiery 'Denethor' chat of late last year.


Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

Fiver and Niofiel's Report: Mythic Journeys
weetanya @ 6:41 pm EST

By Ringers Fiver and Niofiel

Day One

Tonight was the official kick-off for the Mythic Journeys conference in Atlanta, Georgia. On Wednesday night we attended a special reception at the Defoor Centre Gallery which is currently featuring a special exhibit entitled "Ancient Spirit, Modern Voice: The Mythic Journeys Art Exhibition." The exhibit displays the work of artists from all over the world. These artists include Alan Lee, Virginia Lee, Brian and Wendy Froud, and Terri Windling.

The guests in attendance were given a special welcome by Michael Karlin, president of the conference. It was wonderful to be in the room with so many talented people that have had such an influence on our lives.

The conference which continues through Sunday will explore the influence of Joseph Campbell, and the importance of storytelling in our society. Over the next several days, there will be an exploration of this influence through readings, discussions, and music. Tomorrow we will be attending a workshop entitled "A Myth for the 20th Century" given by Dr. Verlyn Flieger, Alan Lee, and Dr. Ari Berk. We will be reporting on that seminar as well.

Day Two

After last night's successful opening reception at the Defoor Centre gallery, Today was the start of the Mythic Journeys Pre-Conference. We had the wonderful opportunity to attend a workshop entitled "A Myth for the 20th Century". The discussion was led by Dr. Verlyn Flieger, Alan Lee, and Dr. Ari Berk.

Dr. Flieger opened the session with a reading from the Lord of the Rings. The passage dealt with Frodo and Sam discussing how they were in a story. In particular, how sam felt that it was better to listen to a story than be in one.

The discussion brought up such topics and theories as: Frodo as the reluctant hero, the possibility of Gollum seeing himself as a hero, and how Sam can be seen as having feminine characteristics due to his role as a nuturer.

On a larger scale, many qualities of Tolkien's works were discussed. One was his ability to make an epic story feel personal to us. Dr. flieger pointed out how "Middle Earth" extends beyond us and puts us in the center of whats going on. One audience member reminded us that LOTR does not allow us to externalize sacrifice by thinking that change must begin with the powerful sacrificing their power. Instead, the change and sacrifice must start within ourself.

All in all it was a very enlightening discussion that opened up many new facets of Tolkien's work and mythology in general. Alan Lee pointed out how myth shows the whole world more clearly by letting us see history's pattern of repetition. After discussing this, it seemed that acknowledging this pattern can help us take the responsibility to make those sacrifices ourselves.

Tommorrow Alan Lee, Brian and Wendy Froud, Terri Windling, and other artists will conduct an informal workshop called "Drawing Down the Myth".

Day Three

Today was our third day at the Mythic Journeys conference. The conference doesn’t officially start until tonight at 7pm, but we’ve been enjoying pre-conference workshops. This morning we attended a workshop entitled “Drawing Down the Myth” led by 15 artists. These presenters included novelists, illustrators, puppeteers, sculptors, and basically creative people from all areas. It was a very informal setting consisting of about 40 people sitting in a circle on couches, chairs, or the floor. The setting encouraged open discussion and led to some very honest sharing by all the artists.

Discussions ranged over a variety of topics that primarily dealt with the artists early influences. In a way, the audience became like eavesdroppers as the artists communed with each other sharing their personal struggles and influences over the course of their career. However, the audience was also a part of the discussion. One particularly touching moment was when a young woman, through her tears, expressed her fears of sharing her work with the world and the hurdles of trying to be published. The artists leading the discussion immediately began encouraging her and offering advice and moral support. Alan Lee shared how he had his own struggles as a young artist and that he also had to overcome a lack of confidence in his abilities as a young man. Brian Froud added, "one has to honor one's own work before anyone else can."

Another big part of the discussion dealt with the influence of landscapes on an artist's work. Brian Froud related a story of a time in Paris at a Dark Crystal screening many years ago when someone asked why Lord of the Rings (as illustrated by Alan Lee) and Froud's art on The Dark Crystal shared a similar look. He came to the conclusion that since both he and Alan Lee live in the same town and share the same landscape they therefore share the same influence.

Overall the experience was very special. It was amazing to be able to sit in a room and listen to some of the greatest fantasy authors and artists of the last 20 or so years talk so openly and freely.

Tomorrow’s (day four) report will cover a workshop with Tolkien scholar Dr. Verlyn Flieger entitled "Why Tolkien, Why Now?"

Day Four

Part 1

Today we had the unique opportunity to take part in a TORnmoot gathering that was in celebration of Alan Lee’s art exhibit and Howard Shore’s symphony performance. This gathering was made possible by the hard work of Frodo-esque (Shalini). For the past several months she has been organizing this get-together with fellow TORn fans, and many people traveled from around the country to come for this moot (one came from Switzerland!). Alan Lee happened to be in town for the conference, so the PR team of Mythic Journeys saw this as an opportunity for him to meet some of his fans.

Mr. Lee graciously accepted the chance to meet some of his fans, and he was greeted by over 40 people from the TORnmoot. Many of the people were glad to have an opportunity to express how much his work means to them. Several of the guests were teachers who relayed how they wished they could inspire their students ashe has inspired them. Mr. Lee spent over an hour signing books and greeting fans before moving outside in the hot Georgia sun to pose for pictures. Everyone was given the chance to personally talk to him, and he took his time speaking with each one.

In addition to Mr. Lee, Dr Verlyn Flieger and Karen Wynn Fonstad were also present to talk to the group. Dr. Flieger is a professor of English at the University of Maryland. She has published many papers concerning Tolkien and his works. Ms. Fonstad is the author of The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Atlas of Pern, and many others. They were both available for questions, and many people were happy just to meet them.

Part 2

After an amazing morning at the art gallery with Alan Lee, we both split up to attend two different workshops. Niofiel attended a session given by Alan Lee and Charles Vess. I attended one with Peter S. Beagle giving a reading. ( I ran into Jincey from TORn while I was there!)

Mr. Beagle's session was a reading of the first two chapters of his new book "Summerlong". The characters in the story presented themselves with a lot of personality, and we were left hanging at the end wanting more. Mr. Beagle's book will be available for purchase in the near future on his website at www.peterbeagle.com. His website is currently getting a makeover, so you can join an e-mail list to be notified when it is up and running.

While Fiver was over listening to Peter S. Beagle’s reading, I attended a slide show presentation by Charles Vess and Alan Lee called “Part Scene, Part Imagined.” Mr. Vess presented for the first half of the program and Mr. Lee for the second half. Mr. Vess showed slides of his early work and also slides of artists that had influenced him. He said that many years ago he designed the cover for an issue of the comic book “Swamp Thing.” During that process he bought a book on runes planning on using them on the cover to give it a sense of history. Mr. Vess began laughing as he related that he ran out of time and his deadline was approaching. So two hours before it was due to the publisher, he grabbed Alan Lee’s illustrated version of Lord of the Rings and copied the runes on the cover of the book. Months later he received a letter from a fan of the comic asking him “What does ‘One Ring to Rule them All’ have to do with Swamp Thing?” Everyone enjoyed laughing along with Mr. Vess.

Alan Lee’s turn came and he also showed us slides of his early work. He described his ideal picture as one without characters but with “lots of mood.” He enjoys doing illustrations that have a sense of possibility and something “about to happen.” He also said that many of his pieces use a combination of styles. He enjoys doing pictures with pencil borders and watercolor interiors. Mr. Lee went on show us photographs and conceptual art from the Lord of the Rings films. He showed photos of production, for example: Peter Jackson directing, the backside of the Golden Hall, as well as himself doing a bit of gardening in Hobbiton. The photos were great. He also showed us conceptual work, some of which isn’t in the DVD features. It was he that designed the look of the place in Moria between Dwarrowdelf and Khazadum. He also said that early on they were going to show the Balrog at that point, but decided to hold off until the bridge.

It is fun and interesting to look at the conceptual work on the DVD, but it is infinitely better to be looking at it with the artist there providing commentary and having the ability to ask questions. Mr. Lee told us that he is working on a few more drawings for RotK EE and that last night he had a conference call (I’m assuming with Peter Jackson and others) that lasted over an hour and a half. He also said that is was he that drew the beautiful sketches that appear at the end of RotK. He told us that it was Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh’s idea to put them in the credits. Mr Lee said, “They wanted the final film to have a different feeling.”

The presentation ended and Mr. Lee stayed afterwards to sign many books. The attendees from the TORnmoot really enjoyed themselves and were so thankful to be invited to attend.

After our panels, we both had to race off to get ready for Howard Shore's concert at 8pm with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Many of the TORnmoot folks were going to be attending that night's performance, and some of our family members as well.

Part 3

Tonight was the Howard Shore Concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Woodruff Performing Arts Center. We had the privilege of escorting Alan Lee to the concert. It was great timing that he was in town at the same time as the concert.

Upon arriving, Mr. Lee was recognized by several groups of people and warmly greeted those that approached him. He signed many programs and ticket stubs as well as ASO posters commemorating the concert.

The concert was beautiful and moving. It was incredible to hear the music we have loved for so long performed live. Howard Shore was greeted with a standing ovation before the symphony even began. Soloist Sissel performed both “Gollum’s Song” and “Into the West” and well as the other female solos. Her interpretation of the songs gave it a unique quality that set her apart from the original singers.

The symphony was presented in six movements, one for each book (remember each book is actually two) with an intermission between the first two movements and the remaining four. The video montage of Alan Lee and John Howe’s art work made the performance even more moving.

At the end, Howard Shore received another standing ovation which required him to return to the stage twice because the audience simply didn’t quit clapping. Upon his first return he brought Alan Lee out onto the stage with him and introduced him over the cheers. And yes, the applause got even louder.

After the show, Mr. Lee spent more time with his fans, signing autographs and talking about the show. We even heard that Howard Shore signed some autographs and even asked where the TORnmoot people were. We were able to get a picture of Mr. Lee with several of our friends. All in all it was a memorable night!

Ringer Reviews: Shore at the Atlanta Symphony
weetanya @ 6:30 pm EST

Ringer Wee Little Elf writes:

I just wanted to drop you guys a line about yesterday's performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra of Lord of the Rings in Six Movements. This was the first "real" symphony that I've attended and it was awesome! I'm sorry but I didn't have the foresight to take any pictures of the event... but even pictures wouldn't have done justice. The music was beautiful and breath-taking. The performance of "The Breaking of the Fellowship" was perfect! My eyes actually became bleary half-way through the performance when I finally realized that I had barely blinked at all! LOL.

There were several standing ovations for Howard Shore at the end of the performance, I've never clapped so hard or long in my life. Sissel was awesome, her singing was so etheral, it has made a fan out of me. If you can attend any of the Upcoming performances of Lord of the Rings, please do, you will never forget it. It was an enchanting 2 hours of wonderful music and it was worth every penny too.

Ringer Katherine writes:

I just got back from seeing Howard Shore perform the music from the Lord of the Rings with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Opening night in Atlanta was fabulous!!! And being able to see Alan Lee's sketches added depth and magic to the emotion of the music. (Did you know that Viggo Mortensen wrote the melody for Aragorn's Coronation?)

Tonight's opening performance in Atlanta, also featured the North American debut of the multitalented, multi-award winning, and verly lovely Danish soloist, Sissel. Her voice was pure and clear as liquid gold. The whole night was a wonder to behold. Howard Shore holds nothing back. You can tell that Mr.
Shore is passionate about his music and delighted to share it with us.

If you live in or near Atlanta, I hear that there are still a few seats available for Friday and Saturday nights performances. You can get more information by directly calling the Woodruff Arts Center at (404) 733-5000. It's a night of music and magic that you won't soon forget!

I also want to encourage all of you who may be thinking about going to see the Lord of the Rings Exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science from August 1 - October 24th to go while you have the chance. Having moved to Atlanta from Boston, I can tell you that The Boston Museum of Science is noted for their excellence. They have a reputation for sparing no expense. It will be a red carpet, 'pull out all the stops' event. Your eyes, ears, nose, fingers, and feet will be filled with joy and wonder as you see not only the original props from all three films, but also have the chance to discover first hand what you would look like Hobbit sized. So if you're able to get away - if only for a weekend - take the trip! Not only will you be treated to a once in a lifetime exhibit (the exhibit is only coming to Boston, MA), while your in Beantown you might also want to learn about the midnight ride of Paul Revere!

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