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June 23, 2003 - June 30, 2003

6-30-03 Latest News

Viggo’s Poetry reading at Magasinet, Denmark
Xoanon @ 5:38 pm EST

Ringer Spy Saga writes:

[Click here for the images!]

Viggo was just as humble and altogether nice as everyone says he is. From the moment they pulled the curtains at Magasinet in Odense he made everybody smile and cheer for him, and for his poems. Also for pulling out an UN flag and arranging it across the table in front of him. Even though he spoke mainly in Danish he managed to get the message through to everyone. People had come from all over: Denmark, Sweden, Germany, England, USA and even Japan!

I, as a Swede, had no major problems understanding his Danish – though he himself, was abit unsure of his poems, that someone else has translated into Danish. When he read in English the meaning was clearer. But he made better jokes in Danish!

Then he said that he’d promised to read something in Spanish, and all of a sudden he burst into singing the song/poem “Silencio”. It was a magic moment… Then reading some work by New Zeeland poets, then some lines fro H.C Andersen and then some more of his own material.

Going on for a good 45 minutes it was all over much too soon. But the book signing started immediately and starting from the back my friend and I got up among the first. Asking everybody where they were from, he signed my books in Swedish(!), and then offered everyone a piece of Swedish chocolate. Letting everyone take as many photos as they wished and being the sweetest person I’ve ever met he made it an unforgettable day!

If you can make it to Denmark before the end of September, check out Viggo’s exhibition “Ephëmeris” at Brandts Klaedefabrik in Odense! Definitely worth a visit!

[Click here for the images!]

'Pirates' Premiere Report
Xoanon @ 12:31 pm EST

'Pirates of the Caribbean' Premiere'Pirates of the Caribbean' Premiere'Pirates of the Caribbean' Premiere

Celefinniel writes:

When we checked into the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel, they even gave us a huge poster and written instructions on how to attend. They told us we must have been in the park Saturday prior to the official closing time and have a hand stamp to prove it. We had other commitments on the big day, so we went over to the park at 6:30 AM that morning to check things out and received a special pin for the event, and the crucial hand stamp.

We took plenty of pictures the day before of "the doings". Being old hands at Disney, we even got a good look at the seating set-up from the pilot house of the Mark Twain steamboat, since we knew to ask for a ride with the captain. She told us that even park employees were not going to be allowed back in to view the red carpet arrivals. We also saw the "Columbia" tall ship outfitted with speakers, instruments and a special stage for the party band. The screen was still furled, but we could see that it would be huge, covering the entire front of Tom Sawyer's Island where the Fantasmic show usually plays.

When we returned at about 4:30 PM we were fortunate to fall into
conversation with some nice people from Victoria, Canada who were big fans of Johnny Depp, and had been in position since 9 AM. They were more than willing to share their front-row position and to support my desire for an Orlando autograph, if I would return the favor, by waving the Johnny Depp section of the poster and shrieking for them. Posters were hot items. I could have sold mine at any time if I had been willing. Only hotel guests and those who ate at the Blue Bayou restaurant in the Pirate attraction on the day, were able to get them.

We also had a marvelous juggler on stilts who stayed near our part of the line and entertained the stars so we could sometimes get good photos. The other side of the street was entirely blocked by media reps, and the fans stuck behind them had no opportunity for autographs at all.

We saw many famous people including Gene Wilder, Ozzie Smith, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Stamos and his wife Rebecca, Raquel Welch, Oded Fehr, David Hasselhoff, Jon Voight, Jane Seymour and Chloris Leachman - many were very gracious to the fans and signed autographs. Several brought their children and some had gone to the trouble to dress in pirate-themed costumes.

Johnny Depp and Orlando were the last to come at about 9:00 PM. Orlando was wearing a very plain black T-shirt type top and black trousers, but had a colorful pirate sash-like belt to dress up the outfit. The media kept trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy over Johnny Depp, but we stayed focused on whoever seemed mostly likely to respond to our calls. Unfortunately for our Canadian pals Johnny passed us by, and didn't even finish doing the carpet before his handlers pulled him out of there saying that he was late for some appointment. But Orlando DID stop and signed my poster (Yay!) since our entire area was chanting Or-LAND-DO!! steadily in an attempt to get his attention.

I include a photo of Orlando since he is probably the star of greatest interest to the TORn family. I wish it was better, but my 'official photographer' was too busy looking at Orlando to take one when he was closer to us, even if he could have with all the heads in the way. He said later that it would have been impossible.

I never thought I'd hear my husband say he thought another guy was actually "great looking".

More important however, Orlando was just plain nice. He didn't have time to talk, but did seem to be trying to make eye contact with everyone he signed for, and was doing it at lightning speed to get in as many autographs as possible before being hauled back to the media tables.

The only remaining mystery - some new pedestals have been added at the entrance to the Pirates attraction. They were covered when we were there, and we couldn't get back to see what they were after the unveiling. Park staff wouldn't comment, but maybe someone who went on Sunday could fill us in.


Variety Talks ROTK
Xoanon @ 11:45 am EST

Variety has a mid-year Oscar column... you need a subscription to read it, but www.oscarwatch.com has the article on the front page in full. It includes this little tidbit:

"Most of these films are not finished, so at this point it's really a guessing game. There is one film, however, that always figures in the guessing, even though no one's seen it: New Line's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

"It's their year. It's the film we're all waiting to see," said an awards strategist from a rival studio. Director Peter Jackson hit home runs with the first two "Rings" pics, and the third offers the most personal and emotional story. But, the Oscar campaigner noted with a word of warning, the film's years-in-the-making momentum and Hollywood's anticipation means "it's also the one that everyone's going to try to knock down."

WETA Workshop Magic
Xoanon @ 11:18 am EST

7ft Statue

Daniel Cole writes: I thought you might like to see a photo of Weta Workshop's creation of Lurtz. He is one of only (3) 7- foot scuptures in the world. I have the one shown in my theater room and the other two belong to New Line Cinema. According to the president of Weta, he took over four months to build. I have also sent you an email I received from the president of Weta Workshop, Richard Taylor, about the creation of my Lurtz statue and the efforts that went into making him. I had originally contacted Weta Workshop to ask if they had any photos of Lurtz during the fabrication process. Here is what he wrote:

Hi there Daniel:

I am thrilled that you are happy with your Lurtz. We don't even have one in our workshop, so you are very lucky.

To create your Lurtz was quite an affair. It took about four to five months of pretty consistent work. Bill Hunt and Jamie Beswarick sculptured it, Jason Docherty supervised the mold-making (done in fiberglass and silicon), Jason Harvey skinned the creature and foamed the interior. An armature was welded up and then Les Nairn and Gino Acevedo painted in along with adding eyes and teeth. Mike Grealish made the costume, which I finally assembled.

We've made three life size Lurtz to date. One that is used at Trade Shows with our Sideshow Weta collectibles line, Games Workshop have one in the UK and you have the other.

Unfortunately we didn't take any photos during the process, so the only ones can be the great ones you take with you and your family of Lurtz.

Look after him well, or he may just bite your hands off!


Richard Taylor
Weta Workshop

Designer Diary #2 – Multiplayer
Flinch @ 2:11 am EST

Designer Diary by Level Designer Paul Pettross.

I'm responsible for the paper design and scripting of several levels in The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, as well as some general design duties. This covers everything from early level design and planning to actually assembling the levels in the game environment.

Paper design is an early stage of level design in which we map out the general game space and plan the player’s experience in various sections of the level. We’ll go so far as to specify enemy types, special props, and combat setups. This stage of level design is really exciting because in our heads we start to see the levels and the surprises they’ll hold.

Scripting involves actually implementing the things we call for in paper design. We use an in-house tool that works in conjunction with a 3D authoring tool to place elements in the level. We’ll place enemies and plan their movements as well as placing animated doors, bridges, catapults and other objects the player can interact with.

One really exciting aspect of The Return of the King is the co-operative multiplayer (co-op) gameplay, which I’ve been working on. I wrote the documentation for co-op play, and I’ve been testing new co-op features as they come online. We built a special level just to show off the multiplayer action, and that level was featured in the demo at E3.

Players will be able to fight co-operatively against hordes of enemies as they make their way through the game. They’ll have the ability to choose characters that complement each other's fighting styles, and we’re even discussing the possibility of offensive combo moves and defensive back-to-back positions that players can deploy together. Players will also be able to help each other out by picking up power-ups that boost the other player.

We'd also like to have certain props in the game that both players need to work together to activate, such as large gate winches and powerful projectile devices like ballistae or catapults. However, since we know a lot of siblings are going to play the game, we decided that some objects that are activated by one player should be able to inflict damage on another player. This will lead to some good "gotcha" moments and slightly competitive gameplay.

I think co-op gameplay will have a tremendous impact on the game’s "fun factor." It will allow players to truly immerse themselves in the experience—because they will not only “live the movie” themselves, but also share those moments with friends. It’s certainly a hit with our team. It’s been a treat to see other team members shouting and laughing as they play co-operatively and fight off swarms of Uruk-Hai. They're obviously having a good time, and the experience is only going to get better and better as development continues.

I hope you found this informative. It’s always a pleasure to share my work with the people who love it, and to generate some excitement for a great project like this.
Stay tuned for next month’s design diary!

Flinch @ 2:08 am EST

My name is Glen Schofield and I am the Executive Producer on The Lord of the Rings™: The Return of the King™. I’m here to tell you a little about what I do and the work we’ve done on the The Return of the King demo that was shown at E3.

My responsibilities change from time to time but right now I am directly responsible for getting the game levels designed and completed. The process we go through to create levels starts with a great design and then continues with pre-production for each level. We recently finished designing the levels and are starting the process of building them.

Here’s an example of the steps we take to build a level. First, we look at the movie script and determine what the highlights from the film will be for that level. Then we determine what mission or missions will be included and how much action we want for that particular level.

Once we’ve determined what elements will be in a level, we sit down and have many brainstorming meetings. After throwing around a lot of ideas, we determine the main bullet points for the levels, design a map, create many drawings, and grab all the references from the movie. Based on these ideas and references we create an animatic for the level, which is like an animated storyboard showing the level’s key moments. We try to do as much design as we can on paper so that when we get into the building phase we have most of our questions about the gameplay answered. This also allows us to troubleshoot a lot of problems in advance.

Right now, the biggest challenge we are encountering is just trying to match the breathtaking look and feel of the movies. The movies are so grand and beautiful that we need to create something just as spectacular to do the films and Peter Jackson, the movie’s director, justice.

The focus on movie authenticity has been challenging because it enters into all aspects of the design process. Because of this, we’ve been working very closely with New Line Cinema, getting the actual reference photos, drawings, models, and other props from the movie and using those as our guide. We go so far as to get lighting studies and motion-capture data from the creators of the movie themselves. We even hired the same stunt doubles from the movie to help us render the most realistic movements in the game. We are always trying to outdo the work we did on the last game.

Our work on the E3 demo was difficult, but rewarding. Like I said, we are always trying to create a bigger, better game experience than ever before. For E3, this meant that players got to see even cooler moments, more expansive scenes and levels, incredible explosions, a brand new lighting scheme, and a state-of-the-art camera design. I think we blew people away.

This year the E3 demo featured six playable characters instead of three. We have added Gandalf as a playable character, complete with his own range of magic effects and weapons. We have even added a two-player, cooperative mode. These new features, we expect, will be huge, and we’re definitely very excited about them.

Obviously we hoped to impress any E3 attendee that experienced The Return of the King demo but we also hoped that attendees walked away from the demo thinking we have created one of the most spectacular games they have ever seen. For us, the hours are long and the work sometimes seems endless, but everyone knows the rewards are worth it.

Well that’s about it from my end. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this fantastic game we are building and the steps we took to bring fans the exclusive demo for E3. Stay tuned for next month’s designer diary!

6-29-03 Latest News

TTT Extended Edition Special Features Announced
maegwen @ 9:29 pm EST

The Two Towers DVD ContainerThe Two Towers Extended Collector's Edition Boxed Set
Pre-Order Sites
Amazon.com: Extended Edition Only
Collector's Boxed Set
LOTRShop.com: Collector's Boxed Set

The official site has announced the specific features on the 4-disc package to be released in November. In addition to all the goodies below, the Platinum Series Collector's version will also contain an awesome Gollum statue from Sideshow/Weta Collectibles!


FEATURE (approx. 214 minutes)
A new version of the second installment in the epic trilogy! The film includes over 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage incorporated into the film, made especially for this video release:

-- Widescreen (2.35:1) version of the Special Extended Edition

-- Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound

-- DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound

-- Stereo Surround Sound

-- Four audio commentaries by director and writers, the design team the production team and the cast featuring more than 30 participants including Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom and Academy Award® winners Richard Taylor, Howard Shore, Randy Cook…and many more

-- Some speculation on what the extra 40 minutes footage might include


Two discs with hours of original content including multiple documentaries and design/photo galleries with thousands of images to give viewers an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

-- Adapting the book into a screenplay & planning the film

-- Designing and inspiration for locations in Middle-earth

-- Storyboards to pre-visualization

-- Weta Workshop visit - See sculptors in action as they create the weapons, armor, creatures and miniatures from the film

-- Atlas of Middle-earth: Tracing the journey of the Fellowship

-- An interactive map of New Zealand highlighting the location scouting process

-- Galleries of art and slideshows with commentaries by the artists

-- And much more!

-- Sending actors to battle - preparation for sword fighting

-- Principal photography: Stories from the set

-- Digital effects including motion capture and "Massive" (a program to create armies of Orcs)

-- "Bigatures" - A close-up look at the detailed miniatures used in the film

-- Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and personal cast photos

-- Post-production - editing it all together

-- Sound design demonstration

-- And much more!

DVD-ROM CONTENT: Includes access to exclusive online features

Remember, pre-ordering through TheOneRing.net sponsored links will help TheOneRing.net stay online and pay our bandwidth bills coming December! Thank you in advance!

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon.com: Extended Edition Only Collector's Boxed Set
LOTRShop.com: Collector's Boxed Set

6-27-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Frode @ 9:50 pm EST

The One Ring. The most powerful of the Rings of Power, forged by Sauron in Orodruin with one charge: to dominate all others. The Dark Lord let much of his original power pass into the Ring and with it he secured the foundations of the Dark Tower and subjugated the possessors of the nine rings to his will. It served as a focus for Saurons power, and yet, by infusing the One Ring with the bulk of his power, he had also devised a way for his enemies to destroy him.

The Rings of Power were created in collaboration by the smiths of Eregion and Sauron. Did Sauron get the idea of rings from the elves in the first place? Why was Celebrimbor immediately aware of Saurons plan when the One Ring was made? Did Sauron bring it to Numenor? Was it simply an extension of Sauron or did it have some measure of self-determination?

During the Third Age, Sauron took physical shape again and grew slowly back to full power. How could he do this withouth carrying the Ring? And perhaps the most frightening question of all: what would have happened if he had regained the One? How powerful would he have become? What would have happened to the bearers of the Three?

Join us in #thehalloffire as we discuss why the making of the Rings of Power was both Saurons greatest triumph and his greatest mistake.

Suggested reading:

Silmarillion - Of the rings of power and the third age

Upcoming discussions:
July 5/ July 6
The Importance of Trees in Tolkien

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

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 3:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

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

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at halloffire@theonering.net.

Anduril's Hilt Inscription
Demosthenes @ 2:38 am EST

I'm sure many out there already know this information, but a few of you will probably look at the inscription on Andúril from the Teaser poster and wonder what it says - and maybe wonder if it's the same as the inscription on Narsil.

I recently got in touch with elvish expert David Salo and asked him.

Aragorn And Anduril

I showed him a blown up version of the image above of Aragorn with Andúril, and asked if he could try and translate it.

He replied: I can make out on the right hand side "...l meletya telchar" and the whole inscription should start on the left-hand bottom of the triangle.

This is part of the full inscription, which reads: "Narsil essenya macil meletya; Telchar carnéron Návarotessë" (My name is Narsil, a mighty sword; Telchar made me in Nogrod).

There's also a full translation and explanation of the characters inscribed on Narsil (and other weapons used in LoTR) on Elvish.org here.

Update: I also noticed just before that the hilt length of Andúril in the teaser poster is far shorter than in other shots we've seen. In fact, Andúril's hilt looks like a one-handed sword in the teaser poster, as opposed to the much longer two-handed hilt in the picture above.

I guess it's possible - likely even - that the designers mucked about with the perspective. Or that they even digitally lopped out a bit of the hilt to make everything fit the constraints of the poster - and to make everything *look* better/perfect for the poster.

In the end, it's not earthshattering, but the obviousness of it seems very surprising to me.

6-26-03 Latest News

"Images from the Middle Earth" In Italy
Xoanon @ 11:43 am EST

The fantasy event of the year has arrived!

Images from the Middle Earth returning to Forll at the request of the city council that was impressed with the number of visitors during the successful exhibition there last December.

A journey through the Middle Earth with more than 100 works of art by the most important illustrators of "The Lord of the Rings" from around the world, including Angus McBride, Ted Nasmith, Roger Garland, the Brothers Hildebrandt, Alan Lee, Stephen Hickman, Lode Claes, Donato Giancola, Rob Alexander, Angelo Montanini, Luca Michelucci, Capucine Mazille, April Lee, Stephen Walsh, Randy Asplund, David Wyatt and others. It is the most complete exhibition on the theme of "The Lord of the Rings" ever put together. Throughout the period of the show there will be various related events, as enclosed.

Web-site with all information: www.imagesofmiddle-earth.com

Exhibition opening times:
Afternoon: 18-23
Closing day: Monday
Info: e-mail info@arteventi.it

The show was launched in Riccione, Italy, in the medieval Agolanti Castle during the month of August (3.500 people) and it was proposed again to the Italian public:

In Forll, Palazzo Albertini from 19th December 2002 to 6th January 2003. Visited by over a thousand people during the 15 days. In Rome, Castel S.Angelo from 13th January to 2nd February 2003, under the patronage of the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Visited by over 15.000 people.

In Ancona, Mole Vanvitelliana from the from 15 February to 23 March 2003, Visited by 3.000 people.

Best regards,
Davide Martini

6-25-03 Latest News

Sideshow/Weta Low Quantity Warning!
Calisuri @ 10:34 pm EST

Sideshow/Weta Collectibles just sent out notice that the following items are about to sell out. It seems some of the more popular pieces will be retired very shortly, so we thought we'd alert you to the situation. Here is the list:

Arms of the Fellowship, Col 1 ( < 17 pieces left)
Arms of the Fellowship, Col 2 ( < 70 pieces left)
Arms of Gimli ( < 36 pieces left)
Arms of Aragorn ( < 31 pieces left)
Arms of Lurtz ( < 67 pieces left)
The Cave Troll Statue ( < 13 pieces left)
TTT Series 1 Bust - Galadriel ( < 35 pieces left)

And on the bad news front, the Uruk-Hai Berserker Bust, from Series 2 The Two Towers is completely sold out.

Sideshow/Weta Collectibles is our official sponsor, so any purchases you do make through these links will help pay for our bandwidth and other expenses as we get closer to ROTK. Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Nexus to publish 'LOTR: WOTR' boardgame worldwide
Xoanon @ 7:06 pm EST

Nexus to publish "The Lord of the Rings - The War of the Ring" boardgame worldwide

Camaiore, Italy
June 23rd, 2003

Nexus Editrice is proud to announce the acquisition of the boardgame rights from Tolkien Enterprise/Sophisticated Games to publish worldwide a wargame based on "The Lord of the Rings".

"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien has sold millions of copies worldwide and has been acclaimed as one of the best literary achievements in the XX Century.

Sophisticated Games has been publishing a series of "The Lord of the Rings" boardgames since 2001, which have been exceptionally successful. The most successful game in "The Lord of the Rings" series, created by Reiner Knizia, sold over 1 million copies worldwide. None of the games previously published, however, enabled players to simulate the grandeur of the battles raging across Middle Earth narrated in the Trilogy.

Sophisticated Games entrusted Nexus with the production and worldwide distribution of the "War of the Ring" boardgame after examining a series of project on the same theme presented by some of the top boardgame companies in the world.

"'The War of the Ring' will be the game that Tolkien's fans all around the world have been waiting for," commented Roberto Di Meglio, CEO of Nexus Editrice. "The players will have a wide choice of strategical options, and at the same time the game is very faithful to its background and Tolkien's vision of Middle Earth."

Robert Hyde, Sophisticated Games' founder and CEO, declared: "Our decision to license this game to Nexus was based upon a careful analysis of the various LOTR wargames that were proposed to us. The Nexus game seemed to us to lead the field in every way, with its perfect combination of Middle Earth atmosphere and exciting wargaming mechanism. We have worked together with Nexus on other Tolkien games and have every confidence that the company will make this game a huge success worldwide."

"The Lord of the Rings - The War of the Ring" will allow for a re-enactment of the events in the book from the departure of the Fellowship from Rivendell up to the battles between Mordor and Gondor and the (possible) destruction of the Ring.

The boardgame will also be exceptionally rich in content, with hundreds of playing pieces, a huge color map of Middle Earth, and more than 120 cards, to display on the gaming table the full scope of Tolkien's epic tale.

Nexus Editrice, now celebrating 10 years in the gaming industry, is one of the leading game publishers in Italy. Nexus produces board games, role playing games, card games, miniature games, publishes magazines devoted to games, with original products and licensed editions of major international brands. Nexus games, like the award-winning X-BUGS series, have been licensed all around the world and Nexus' plastic figure range, ATLANTIC, is distributed in four continents.

Sophisticated Games, based in Cambridge, England, is a developer of high quality boardgames based upon recognised and respected literary properties. Although the company is only five years old they have published games based upon Sophie's World, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings which have been critically acclaimed international bestsellers in 16 languages.

Contact Information

Roberto Di Meglio - demiurgo@nexusgames.com
WWW: http://www.nexusgames.com

Going To Comic Con?...Moot Here!
Xoanon @ 6:58 pm EST

Greetings Unto All Ringers attending Comic Con in San Diego this year

There will be 2 Moots for Ringers to meet at Comic Con
Both will take place at The Field Irish Pub and Restaurant two blocks north of the Convention Center, 544 5th Ave . The Field is a wonderful Irish Pub with a great atmosphere. (they have Guinness Stout on tap)
*Please note the room we will be in is on the second floor and there is NO Elevator. *

Their web site is Web site http://www.thefield.com. If you have any questions please contact me at eridana@cox.net and not the restaurant

The first Moot will be a Welcome to Comic Con Moot following preview night July 16 from 9PM to midnight. The Wed July 16 will be a buffet and the cost will be $20 not including drinks (except Iced Tea). The limit is approximately 75 people for the buffet.

We will have a raffle of donated items (we have some good things already promised, if you have a mathom to contribute, please bring it along)

The buffet menu consists of
Vegetable tray
Shepard’s Pie
Fish and Chips
Rasher and Cheese boxty (potato pancake with bacon and cheese)
Vegetable Boxty (vegetarian)
Iced Tea

The Sunday Goodbye Moot will be from 1PM -3 PM with a limited menu for $16. They have live music and dancers that we are welcome to stay for, but we will need to share the upstairs room after 4PM. The estimate for this Moot is 50 people.

The limited Sun menu consists of
Vegetable tray (for everyone)
Chicken sage boxty
Corned beef sandwich
Marinated chicken sandwich
Veggie Burger (vegetarian)
Iced tea

If you have any food questions please contact me at eridana@cox.net

Let me know off list if you wish to attend and I will send you my mailing address. I would appreciate a check by July 10 ($36 for both Wed and Sun).

Tehanu @ 1:15 pm EST

- Eleventy-One -

18th - 21st September 2003, St Hugh’s College, Oxford

- Thursday to Sunday, longer this year in honour of Tolkien’s 111th Birthday -

Registration (GBP) £32.50 members, £37.50 non-members

until 31st July!

This year’s highlights include:
Professor Jane Chance of Rice University will present a paper on "Tolkien’s Women (and Men): The Film and the Book"

Regia Anglorum, the Anglo-Saxon Re-enactment Society, will be giving weapon demonstrations and living history displays

Dr. Theodore J. Sherman (Editor of Mythlore) giving his paper on "Tolkien and the Fairy-Story essay and its application to Tolkien’s own fiction."

Caspar Reiff of the Tolkien Ensemble, (noted creator of the CDs "An Evening’, ‘A Night’
and ‘At Dawn’ in Rivendell") will be giving a talk on the ensemble’s musical interpretation of the poems from "The Lord of the Rings."

Dr Lynn Forest-Hill (TS Education Officer) and Marella Sands (American author) will present seminars for writers.

Merry & Pippin’s Dance Workshop (Back by popular demand!) Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck. They will show folks of any size how to perform the Springle-Ring and other dances that the denizens of Middle-earth would ‘probably’ enjoy. Perfect performances not required: come along and participate for fun.

Alex Lewis (co-author of the book ‘The Uncharted Realms of Tolkien’) will give a talk on ‘Tolkien and the Physical Universe’

Welcome Dinner on Friday night (featuring Lothlórien Terrine, Bucklebury Tart, Gondorian Fowl, Yavanna’s Passion Pastry with Ælfwine Sauce). Party and costume masquerade on Saturday night

Colin Duriez will be talking about his new book "Tolkien and CS Lewis" due out in December.

Richard J. Finn "Arthur & Aragorn: Arthurian Influence in the Lord of the Rings."

Tolkien Quiz. Quizmistress Angie Gardner (writer of The Tolkien Trivia Game). Brace yourselves for an action-packed two hours! Attendance for the full event is by no means compulsory – but you may feel inwardly compelled as the tension mounts

Sales Room featuring Tolkien Society Trading, Daeron’s Books, Rene Van Rossenberg and the Book Wyrm.
Register Online here

Registration and Accommodation Information:

The Bookings Officer (Oxonmoot), 28 Loverock Crescent, Rugby, CV21 4AR, United Kingdom or

e-mail bookings@tolkiensociety.org

Media Contact

Oxonmoot Publicity, 26 Loverock Crescent, Rugby, CV21 4AR, United Kingdom or e-mail osc.publicity@tolkiensociety.org

What is Oxonmoot?

Oxonmoot is the Tolkien Society’s major social event, providing both our members and the public with the opportunity to gather together and celebrate Tolkien’s life. Originating as an informal gathering of friends to pay their respects at the grave of the late Professor Tolkien, it is now one of the country’s longest established events of its kind. Held annually on the weekend closest to the fictional birthday of Bilbo Baggins, the event traditionally takes place in central Oxford because Tolkien spent much of his professional life here and his grave is nearby. The venue this year is St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, as we have had to move to a larger college venue to fit in the expected numbers attending this extended event.

What happens at an oxonmoot?

This year’s weekend actually starts on Thursday, but either way, usually people arrive at the college in the afternoon to settle in, greet old friends or make some new ones, and if time allows fit in some sightseeing. In the evening, there’s an informal meal at the college, where those new to Oxonmoot can get to know the regulars, and of course chat in the bar. Events, papers and talks begin on Friday morning. To allow for many attendees having work commitments the ‘Welcome Dinner’ will be on Friday evening and some items such as ‘Merry & Pippin’s workshop’ will run twice. Many of the events are listed above, but in addition to these there will be an art show open displaying the works of both amateur and professional artists such as renowned fan artist Anke Eissman and Tolkien illustrator Ted Nasmith. There is also a sales room with several dealers offering a wide variety of Tolkien related items, ranging from collectors’ editions of Tolkien’s works to merchandise from Peter Jackson’s film adaptation, plus our own Tolkien Society products. On Sunday there is Enyalië, a ceremony of remembrance at Tolkien’s graveside.

Who are we?

The Tolkien Society is an independent educational charity devoted to furthering interest in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Founded in 1969 membership has grown to in excess of 1,200. The majority of our members are based in the UK, but many can be found as far afield as Australia and Latin America, and we enjoy close ties with other Tolkien Societies around the globe.

Tolkien 2005:

The Ring Goes Ever On

Aston University, Birmingham UK,
11 – 15 August 2005

Any queries regarding this Press Release should be addressed to:

Ian Collier, Publicity Officer, 45 Caldew Maltings, Bridge Lane, Carlisle, CA2 5SW

e-mail publicity@tolkiensociety.org

Poll Results and ROTK Movie tie-in Edition Images!
Calisuri @ 11:41 am EST

Clay Harper and everyone at Houghton Mifflin sends a hearty thanks to the fans who participated in the poll to pick the cover for the special edition which will be included in the Book and Bookends Set. Rivendell was a clear winner with 43% percent of the 13,500 votes cast -- a percentage that stayed remarkably constant from the very first hours the poll was open. Entries are being tabulated and the ten random winners of the set will be announced on July 15th.

The Lord of the Rings Movie Edition Cover Sleeve Frontpiece Map of Middle-earth

Meanwhile, check out the latest movie tie-in one-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings which starts shipping this week! Houghton Mifflin has sent us these exclusive images for your browsing pleasure. They've pulled out all the stops to make this edition as handsome as they possibly could. The cover features Sauron's gloved hand in glorious detail with an embossed Ring and logo (The LotR actually ON the LotR? What an innovation!). The paperback has flaps with a color gallery of seven characters, a color photo of JRR Tolkien, and the flaps fold-out to reveal color versions of the original maps on the inside. It also has a color frontispiece with the full Ring Legend and Tolkien's monogram. The hardcover edition has the color maps on the inside of the cover, too. And from what we understand, you should look for displays featuring Eowyn to land in stores in just a few days.

If you would like to pre-order this edition from Amazon.com, click here!

An Elf conquers the hearts of the Fans
Xoanon @ 10:16 am EST

[Click here to view the scans (in German)]

One of the most moving moments in "The Lord Of The Rings - The Two Towers" is the death of the Elves Warlord / Leader of an Army (?!) Haldir, who catches a last glimpse of his fallen people while dying. Fear, horror and sadness mirror equally in his face - the immortal people, slain. Haldirs death became a symbolic act for director Peter Jackson.

"That's definitely the biggest movie, I ever participated in", tells Craig Parker in an interview with SPACE VIEW. "I was already involved in the early stages of the process and back then I was totally enthusiastic about the concept and Peter Jackson's vision, to make this movie."

When the New Zealand actor Craig Parker tells about his experiences at the shooting of "The Lord Of The Rings", his eyes start to glow and the 32-year-old is becoming a little boy again.

Perhaps, it's precisely this natural charm, but perhaps it's also his teasing look, which since a short time melts away some woman-hearts, cause since his big-screen appearance in the fantasy epic "The Lord of the Rings" the open-minded New Zealander faces big popularity among the fans.

"Peter Jackson’s vision is simply unbelievable."

Craig Parker was involved in the mammoth production since the beginning and felt the energy and passion, with which this story was filmed, from the first hour on. Craig Parker spoke the Hobbit Frodo, his personal favorite, in the early animated storyboards. But to be involved in the shooting, he would have done anything, according to himself, even cooked coffee on the set.

It should not come to cooking coffee - Craig got the role of the elves march-warden Haldir.

In the novel "The Lord Of The Rings" Haldir greets the fellowship at the edge of the Elf wood of Lothlórien und leads them blindfolded - under the protest of the Dwarf Gimli - to Lady Galadriel, the Lady of the wood.

Actually that would have been the end of his appearance, but director Peter Jackson had something special in mind for Haldir: The ordinary march-warden became the warlord / leader of an army Haldir and in contrast to the novel of the second part Haldir leads an Elf-army to the endangered fortress of Helm's Deep to help the Men of Rohan there and battle against the terrible Uruk-hai.

And even if the most followers of the Tolkien-epic look very critical at most of the changes, Haldir's death at Helm's Deep is one of the successful ones. "To all the fans who like the books, it's good that the basic intention of the novel was preserved in the movie.", tells Craig Parker in the SPACE VIEW interview. "Naturally some of the story arcs were changed and some of the characters do not appear, but the basic intention did survive. And I believe that's why the movie is accepted by the fans. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh (script) and Phillipa Boyens (script) were aware, that the basic idea must remain. They love the story, too."

"A Aragorn in Dúnedain istannen le ammen"

For the role of the noble Elf Craig did not only have to learn some sentences in the Elfish language of Sindarin, but also undergo some sword training and wait up to three hours per day in the make-up, cause not only the pointy ears were naturally not real, but the long blond hair was real neither.

In spite of the hardship he likes to remember that time: "The filming was great fun, we had to fight hard often. We filmed once for an entire month in the winter out in the rain when we had to fight against the Uruk-hai. That was truly wonderful: You go to work and fight against men who are 2, 10 m tall [~ 6.9]. And you kick their butts. That's very exciting, but very hard, too."

It seems to be thanks to director Peter Jackson that everyone on set worked with unconditional passion and enthusiasm on this no matter the hard circumstances. "Peter Jackson knew the entire time exactly what he wanted. He always sat surrounded by at least three monitors, which sew him via satellite the pictures of other sets. A he always knew exactly, how he wanted the shots. And he always stayed calm. It was great fun to work with him."

"The Dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark."
As Haldir Craig does not seem to be always so sympathy on screen, yet he is never the less fascinating. Haldir symbolizes in the movie the superiority of the Elves that seems to Men, Hobbits and Dwarves often like arrogance. Thus, the Fellowship is not welcomed friendly, but with drawn weapons and only after long negotiations and some quarrel they are brought to Galadriel. Haldir always seems reserved and condescendingly. "The Elves with their arrogance remind me of the British colonials in India. Perhaps it's good that they leave Middle-Earth.", describes Craig his interpretation of the role.

"Haldir for President"

In the past, Craig was mostly seen on New Zealand TV-screens, for example in the daily-soap "Shortland Street" or in the show "City Life". But fantasy-fans could already admire Craig's guest appearances in the shows "Xena" and "Young Hercules".

But "The Lord Of The Rings" brought the break-through. Since then Craig receives daily fan-mail from all around the world and tries to answer as many letters as possible. At conventions like the Ring*Con in Bonn he's admired by fans, who wear t-shirts with the inscription "Haldir For President", and even in the internet the name "Craig Parker" has become a common search-term. But the countless websites make Craig a little nervous: "I avoid watching the fan-sites about me, because as you can read really nice things there about yourself, you can also discover really terrible things. The best thing is, if I don't know too much about what people do behind my back."

Imagining that his face appears on collectable cards or that there's a Haldir-tin figure for a table-top-strategy-game is a little bizarre to Craig. He's humble and hopes that he's not recognized too often in public. Yet, he's open to his fans and finds them according to his own statement "wonderful" [I find it odd, that they would quote a single word, even if it fits to please the fans ... but I thought that perhaps he said it in German, since he learned some German words before visiting Ring*Con].

Unfortunately, he's not in the third part of the Ring-legend, that's why all the Haldir-Fans hope that in the Special Extended Edition DVD of the second movie (will be released in November 2003) will be more of Haldir, as it was in the first movie.

"Originally the film took five to six hours. And there were loads of scenes that got cut out", he reveals, "and of course many members of the crew are disappointed, when a scene is cut into which they put a lot of work. But that's why DVDs are something beautiful."

At this time Craig is shooting for the new season if the New Zealand TV-show "Mercy Peak", where he will most likely move as doctor son Alistair Kingsley some other woman-hearts.

Thanks to Michelle for the translation!

[Click here to view the scans (in German)]

6-24-03 Latest News

Live In or Near The TWIN CITIES? Read This!
Xoanon @ 12:51 pm EST

Adam Ruben
Executive Producer
Drive Thru
(612) 338-4656

I am seeking devoted fans for a very special reason. In mid-July, my company will be filming a TV commercial to advertise the release of the LotR DVD. The commercial will be filmed in the Twin Cities and will feature real people speaking about the movie. It will be a fun commercial and we are seeking energetic, enthusiastic men and women (ideally the commercial will feature one of each!) to talk about the movie, act out scenes - convey their excitement in any way that seems applicable and appropriate. Participants must be at least 16, and if they are 16 or 17 they will need to have signed permission from a parent or guardian to be considered.

If you or anyone you know from your area or anywhere within or surrounding the Twin Cities might be a good candidate (the selected participants will need to transport themselves to the Twin Cities for the shoot and possibly for a casting session in which they will be videotaped and pre-interviewed), please have them email me at this address soon - time is of the essence because the selected people must be approved well in advance of the filming.

click here to send an email to Adam!

6-23-03 Latest News

ROTK Trailer & Poster News!
Xoanon @ 6:27 pm EST

This bit of news was first spotted on DarkHorizons, however people are sending this to me from various sources. The folks from 'Secondhand Lions' did contact me recently to confirm this bit of news in regards to the trailer, so who knows!

Return of the King media release schedule:

Teaser Poster - First of a series of characters posters is supposed to start in middle of June. The first of them will be Aragorn. Then approximately monthly begin to occur the working posters with other characters. The cinemas will or replace already hanging posters with everyone by subsequent creative, or, that is more probable, will collect all collection down to autumn."

Teaser Trailer - The short trailer prepares for start in middle of the summer. From the point of view of general campaign of representation of film it is important, that it differed from impression made by a working trailer of "Two Towers".

Final Poster - Idea in connecting all teasers together and to connect them in a final one-sheet, which will appear at the end of autumn. On the final poster there will be not so many characters, as it was on last poster of "Two Towers"

Final Trailer - Full-length final trailer with special effects for the first time will appear in September pasted to copies of "Secondhand Lions"

A Fan Letter about the LOTR TCG
Flinch @ 1:54 am EST

This letter comes to us from ElfStone, who is having a difficulty keeping up with all of the rules and changes to Decipher's Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. Take a read:

Dear Havens,

I have seen the link to voice my opinions many times on Gaming Havens and finally decided it was time to make my voice heard.

Last year at the TOR.n oscar party I received two starter decks, for the trading card game, in my goodie bag and grabbed a handful of booster packs from a large punch bowl. Of course at the time i had no idea what the cards were for I just liked looking at the pictures and oohing over the foils.

A couple weeks later I decided to find out what these beutiful cards were actually for. so i took a rule book form a starter deck and sat down to read it. i even got the cards out so i could follow along. Well within a few pages of instructions I was thoroughly confused. and I know I'm not a stupid person the rule book was just impossible to follow, and I was not the only one who thought so.

Well not totally discourged yet i went and bought a few more booster packs and collected a few more cards and finally I was taught how to play. I loved It! it was fun and a great game. I began collecteing more and more cards to build more decks and attended a weekly leauge in my area.

However as more and more expansions came out and rules began to change, or get added, and cards like Sting became illegal to play, I was finding it more and more difficult to keep up with. Not only was i supposed to be learning new rules and new cards every few months but often times there were disagreements over the meaning of the card text. And soemthing that once was fun for me was no longer fun and i found myself no longer wnating to play, or even collect the cards.

And I am not the only one who found that having a life meant it was impossible to try and keep up with the game. I simply cannot put the tiem and effort into soemthing this complicated. And while I would
love to someday play again, as long as the game remains confusing and complicated there is no way that i can.


Well Elfstone, hopefully our resources here at Gaming Havens can shed some light on the cards and some possible tactics, but if you're looking for a card game thats easier to understand but still has the same fantasy feel of the Lord of the Rings, you might want to try WarCry, which is made by the creators of the upcoming LOTR Tradeable Miniatures Game. We actually just posted our WarCry review today, it can be found here. Hope this helps!

Are you having trouble with a game? Want to share your comments with the readers here at Gaming Havens? We want to hear what YOU have to say! Send in your comments to Havens@TheOneRing.net today!

Thanks Elfstone for writing in!

PREVIEW: LOTR Tradeable Miniatures Game
Flinch @ 1:30 am EST

This week I had the joy of traveling to Seattle, WA, to learn about a very exciting new Tradeable Miniatures Game based in Tolkien's Middle-earth that’s slated to hit stores shortly before Return of the King. What is a Tradeable Miniature Game? Well, unlike the existing Strategy Battle Game from Games Workshop, a Tradeable Miniatures Game will feature pre-painted miniatures that you buy in Booster Packs and Starter Sets similar to your favorite card games. The Game is being developed by our new friends at Sabertooth Games, and has been designed by Ryan Miller, who’s work you can see on their Warhammer Collectible Card Game: WarCry. The first expansion set will contain about 120 40mm miniatures including Frodo, Aragorn, and the rest of the Fellowship, and fan favorites like Eowyn, Arwen, Saruman, and many more. I asked about Haldir and Gamling, and it looks like they're being held for the second expansion.

So how does it work? If you're familiar with grid games like HeroClix and Mage Knight, you should take to The Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game (TMG) quickly, but even if you're new to this genre the easy to understand design will have you involved in no time. Unlike HeroClix or MageKnight, the LOTR TMG is played on a Hexagonal Grid, and to go along with this each figure is attached to a Hexagonal Base that fits on the grid perfectly. Each base describes the attributes of the character, and each character is given a points value based on their usefulness in battle. Aragorn, being the tank that he is, costs more than say, a Gondorian Soldier. The attributes tell anything from the number of attacks the character has, to the number of spaces he can move in a turn. The Game is played on a fold-out grid that comes with your starter box. When you lay out this grid along side a friend’s grid, it creates one massive Hexagonal Grid to deploy your miniatures on.

The Game itself will come in booster-pack form, featuring 1 Rare, 1 Uncommon, and 2 Common miniatures, and a specially designed Starter Set will include a set of miniatures that you won't find in the boosters. Sabertooth, in their dedication to the players, wanted to make sure you didn't end up with more copies of a miniature than you wanted, so they chose good starting miniatures to go into the Starter Set, with a rarity separate from the Rare, Uncommon, Common scheme you'll find in the boosters. The exception to this is Minions, which will remain the same in both the starter and the booster packs, while starter packs will contain special heroes and main characters that are not available in the booster packs. The Heroes in the starter deck have a special colored slider that indicates whether they came from the Starter Set, but minions like Easterlings and Rohan Soliders will be colored normally, which makes sense since you will definitely want to find as many of them as you can to field against your friends.

While magic plays a roll in the LOTR TMG, the emphasis is on Combat and the fateful acts of the heroes on both sides. For example, Gimli being very well armored has a defense of 6, meaning that in combat the only way your opponent can wound Gimli is to roll numerous sixes to wear him down. One version of Gimli even has the ability to attack in a 360 Degree arc via a Berserk Attack that can hit adjacent models without him facing them. Archers and Ranged Combatants play a heavy roll in the game, as well as Spearmen who don't need to be adjacent to an enemy to strike, and can add 1 attack to a friendly model it’s adjacent to that is engaged in combat. A Standard game of the Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game takes about an hour, or longer depending on how many points you wish to deploy.

The Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game is planned to hit stores in November, and we'll have all the details for you as we get closer to the release date. If you have any specific questions, or even just comments that you'd like us to hear, then shoot an e-mail to Havens@TheOneRing.net and you just might find it posted in our Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game Mini-Site!

REVIEW: The Warhammer CCG: WarCry
Flinch @ 1:08 am EST

Warhammer has been challenging hobbyists for years, the lore and world behind it has been carefully protected by the master designers at Games Workshop, so trying to create a Customizable Card Game based around this game of Elves, Dwarves, and Orks is a project that promised to challenge even the most seasoned game developers. So Games Workshop summoned the Designers at Sabertooth Games, Seattle based Development company behind the Warhammer 40,000 CCG, as well as the upcoming Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game. Shortly after, WarCry was born.

If you're familiar with card games, you're also familiar with the pages and pages of rules that accompany even our favorite games like Decipher's Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game and Magic: The Gathering. Well when I opened my Grand Alliance starter box, the rulesheet that unfolded in my hands is only one double sided page, slightly longer than your average sheet of printer paper. These short easy to read and easy to understand rules explained what each characteristic of a card did, and how to understand the tactics described on my action cards. Thanks to a demo from WarCry Designer Ryan Miller, I walked away with a basic understanding of the cards, so to make sure we're all on the same page, let's take a look at some of the great features that WarCry has to offer.

Just the Starter Box alone is a tribute to the great artistry behind WarCry, when you take your Grand Alliance Starter Box and set it next to your Hordes of Darkness Stater Box the combined artwork on the two boxes create one grand scene of Men, Elves and Dwarves going to battle with Orks, Dark Elves and the armies of Chaos. Inside the Grand Alliance Starter Box is 30 Unit Cards, the heroes and soliders of your army, and 30 Action cards, which when luck sides with you can tilt the tide of battle in your favor. Let's take a look at one of our hero cards, one of the more stunning cards in the set, also happens to be one of the rarest.

Imrik, Dragon Prince of Caledor is a favorite Miniature of many a Warhammer Hobbyist, and also happens to be a very beautiful Foil card in WarCry. Starting off, Imrik is a Flying Unit, which allows him to block cards regular Infantry and Calvary cards cannot. Imrik's Strength is 5, a very respectable value, he has 6 Tactic Points, and a Leadership Value fit for a Prince: 5. Not only will his 5 Strength allow him to start off ahead of your average Infantry and Calvalry, but with 6 Tactic points you will be able to play numerous Action Cards to put more of a scare into your opponent. Lets take a look at some of those Action Cards.

Strength of the Forethought is an Action card that fans of our man Imrik will greatly appreciate. Basically, this card rewards you for using it alone as your Combat Tactic. It costs 1 of your Tactic Points to play, and gives the unit +1 Strength for each Unspent Tactic Point at the end of the Tactic Phase. On our bud Imrik, if you only play Strength of Forethought during your Tactic Phase, you can get +5 Strength just by playing this card and sitting back sipping your Starbucks. How does combat work? What is Strength and why do we want to keep our strength as high as possible?

The Combat phase is a very unqiue and very special element of the WarCry Collectible Card Game. On the table is a strip with the icons for the dark, and light side strength bars, when you begin a combat, you move a counter up towards your opponent or closer to yourself depending on the strength of your unit, verus the strength of your opponents unit. As you play Action cards the token can move either way, as strengths rise and special abilities play out, this is an amazing way to simulate the struggle of battle and a feature that sets WarCry appart from other games of its kind. So our man Imrik, in a battle with the Dark Elf Flyer the Archon of Twilight, would start off with an advantage of 1, as Imrik's Strength is 5, and the Archon's strength is 4. From there action cards can make Imrik bend the Dark Elf to his will, or leave Imrik wishing he'd stayed out of the battle. As soon as both sides have played out their action cards, each player "rolls" by drawing the top card of their action deck. There is a die logo on the bottom left corner, you add your die roll, and the total strength of your unit, against your opponents, and the higher player is victorious. A tie ends with the slaughter of both units.

Overall the WarCry CCG is a great easy to learn Collectible Card Game that really captures the struggle of war that Warhammer Hobbysts demand, yet still be an experience that new fans to the Warhammer way can easily enjoy again and again. Designers Luke Peterschmidt, Ryan Miller and the rest of Sabertooth Games really built a great system that anyone can pick up and enjoy for hours at a time. You can pick up WarCry in your local Gaming Shop, and when you do shoot us a line with your thoughts on the game and we'll post em up right here on Gaming Havens at TheOneRing.net.

until next time.......

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