Go back to Special Reports Archives

July 08, 2003 - July 16, 2003

7-16-03 Latest News

Elvish lesson #3 Transcript
Jincey @ 7:27 pm EST

Here's the transcript of Elvish lesson #3

*** Log file opened: 7/9/2003

[Gorlab] Aiya!
[Gorlab] Elvish are real languages…
[Gorlab] They have a comprehensive structure...meaning...
[Gorlab] Really they are best termed a simulated language...
[Gorlab] A lesson in linguistics and code...
[Gorlab] More than some "practical" speech of an existing language in the primary world...
[Gorlab] It may be odd when you think about it,
[Gorlab] but Tolkien created his languages first and then created stories based on it...
[Gorlab] not the other way around.
[Gorlab] So as a work of art, the elvish languages have an absolute validity towards studying them...
[Gorlab] as one would study a piece of music by composers...
[Gorlab] Hello everyone!
[Gorlab] And welcome to another zany installment of Elvish 101…
[Gorlab] Tonight's episode: The Elvish Noun!
[Annatar] Greetings
[Gorlab] Tonight Kris Nelson, (as Gorlab) and Paul Dunne and Jeff Sherrill (as Injvstice_Annatar) will conduct tonight's chat...
[inJvstice_Annatar] Excellent
[Gorlab] We are zoning in on the Noun tonight.
[Gorlab] Nouns, of course, are Person, Place, or thing....
[Gorlab] Idea, Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable...
[PippinSkywalker] I wonder what category I fit into
[inJvstice_Annatar] Nouns operate by very different systems in Sindarin vs. Quenya
[neitmol] probably idea
[Gorlab] The source for most Nouns can be found in the "Etymologies"
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya they are heavily inflected, whereas in Sindarin there is very little inflection
[Gorlab] Quenya nouns are full of affixes...
[inJvstice_Annatar] btw, the Ardalambion site is also a good source for noun lists
[inJvstice_Annatar] go ahead Gorlab
[Gorlab] These are letters or groups of letters inserted into different places in a word
[Gorlab] pre-fix = before the word
[Gorlab] in-fix = in the middle of a word
[Gorlab] suf-fix = at the end of the word
[Gorlab] Quenya nouns are "inflected" by "case" forms...
[inJvstice_Annatar] and by number
[Gorlab] There are 10 cases that have different endings attached....
[inJvstice_Annatar] there are 8-9 cases...
[inJvstice_Annatar] or 10
[inJvstice_Annatar] *-)
[Gorlab] with one mystery case… but that's not important right now...
[Gorlab] The UN-inflected form of the noun is the noun itself...
[Gorlab] The Nominative form
[lotr_chick] is Sindarin difficult to learn?
[Gorlab] "house" is a noun
[Gorlab] Not too difficult, no....
[PippinSkywalker] harder or easier than Quenya?
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes because of the phonological changes
[Gorlab] None of the Elvish languages are when you get used to the rules...
[inJvstice_Annatar] basically in Sindarin phonological changes denote a change from singular to plural
[inJvstice_Annatar] however, Sindarin does not use case ending, per se
[lotr_chick] oh
[Gorlab] It seems like a lot of information, but really it is simply a reorganization of the way information is presented within a language...
[inJvstice_Annatar] noun relationships depend on word order and prepositions
[neitmol] like Spanish...
[Gorlab] you see, what the case endings actually are, are the prepositions of English...
[Gorlab] We would say "book"
[Gorlab] In Quenya, it is "parma"
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya these relationships are determined by case, such as the Nominative, to return Gorlab to the subject
[Gorlab] In English, I would say "on the book"
[Gorlab] But Quenya only has one word for it:
[Gorlab] "parmasse"
[Ide] no more complicated than German, really.
[neitmol] how would you say that?]
[Maeglin_Lomion] Or Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] That is an example of the Locative case
[Gorlab] the "-sse" ending is the Locative case...
[lotr_chick] what part of parmasse is book then
[Gorlab] parma
[inJvstice_Annatar] which function for in and on
[Gorlab] Pahr-MAH-seh
[neitmol] hmm
[neitmol] so this is Quenya
[Gorlab] Yes, Quenya grammar is similar to Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] -sse- would then be the Locative affix
[Gorlab] Sindarin grammar is similar to Welsh
[inJvstice_Annatar] though Quenya actually cases than Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] or about as many
[inJvstice_Annatar] Actually Sindarin mutation (phonological) is like Welsh
[neitmol] So what would be more functional of the two forms of Elvish?
[neitmol] Sindarin?
[Gorlab] Either and Niether...
[inJvstice_Annatar] Quenya is more 'ready made'
[neitmol] right…
[inJvstice_Annatar] but Sindarin is what you get in LOTR
[lotr_chick] so they are just as hard to learn?
[Gorlab] Niether language can be spoken in complete fluency...
[lotr_chick] oh
[Gorlab] Even Tolkien was not a native speaker...
[neitmol] except by the elves of course
[PippinSkywalker] LOL
[neitmol] :)
[inJvstice_Annatar] lotr_chick, the difficulty is up to you
[lotr_chick] ok
[inJvstice_Annatar] there are generally more and easier to understand means to learn Quenya
[neitmol] if one has a grasp of both forms
[neitmol] one can actually...figure it out
[inJvstice_Annatar] however, you get more Canonical Sindarin
[neitmol] from both forms
[Gorlab] But you CAN learn to read, write, and write in Tengwar with a certain degree of fluency...
[neitmol] ok
[inJvstice_Annatar] back to the noun, We've mentioned the Nominative and Locative case
[neitmol] let us move back to nouns then
[inJvstice_Annatar] We'll get to Tenqwar another day
[Gorlab] Yes, indeed...the Dative case...
[Gorlab] is the ending (or suffix) "-n"
[Gorlab] it functions as the prepositions "for" or "to"
[inJvstice_Annatar] such as
[inJvstice_Annatar] in English that would be the 'indirect object'
[Gorlab] ni = "me"
[Gorlab] nin " "for me"
[neitmol] or "to me" ?
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes
[Gorlab] (Perhaps the Knights of Ni were shouting "me me me" the whole time?)
[inJvstice_Annatar] *gives neitmol a star*
[lotr_chick] so is the n for?
[Gorlab] (sorry)
[Maeglin_Lomion] :) Gorlab
[snuh] lol
[neitmol] to indicate whether the subject is for or to something...
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Sindarin the noun is made Dative by place by placing it directly after the subject
[inJvstice_Annatar] an example Onen i-Estel Edain
[inJvstice_Annatar] in this case 'Edain' is the indirect object
[inJvstice_Annatar] the direct object is i-Estel
[neitmol] hope
[Gorlab] Yes…
[inJvstice_Annatar] So to correct my earlier example you have Onen (I gave), i-Estel (the hope), Edain (to the Dunedain)
[Maeglin_Lomion] What is the nominative form of Edain?
[neitmol] edai?
[Maeglin_Lomion] I was wondering that too, never seen Edai used.
[neitmol] I remember in the extended edition of Fellowship
[neitmol] Edai was used
[neitmol] by Haldir
[neitmol] in a flet
[neitmol] mentioning Aragorn of the Edai
[neitmol] n
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Sindarin Edan is singular, Edain is plural
[inJvstice_Annatar] sorry Adan, not Edan
[neitmol] okay
[Maeglin_Lomion] Now, that's confusing! :)
[neitmol] :)
[Gorlab] Which corresponds to Atan in Quenya
[Gorlab] Atani plural
[Maeglin_Lomion] Ni, nin - Adan, Edain?
[Maeglin_Lomion] Quenya nouns seem easier to learn.
[inJvstice_Annatar] that is an example of plural mutation in Sindarin
[inJvstice_Annatar] Maeglin, Quenya sentance structure is harder to learn
[inJvstice_Annatar] Since the case causes all sorts of things we do not do in English
[Gorlab] Speak like Yoda you will if Quenya learn you must...
[neitmol] heh
[Gorlab] the Ablative case...
[Maeglin_Lomion] Ahhh.... now that's not difficult. Also similar to Latin or German sentence structure. OK, thanks.
[Gorlab] has the ending "-llo"
[Gorlab] and means "from out of"
[Gorlab] "Sindanoriello"
[Gorlab] "from out of a grey-land"
[Maeglin_Lomion] Sounds Italian
[inJvstice_Annatar] it does a bit
[neitmol] pronounced?
[Gorlab] The stress and phonology IS a bit Italian sounding...
[inJvstice_Annatar] sin dah NOR yellow
[neitmol] So this is still Sindarin?
[Gorlab] sinda = grey
[Gorlab] norie = "country"
[Gorlab] -llo = "out of"
[inJvstice_Annatar] you'll find this example in "Namarie" in FOTR
[inJvstice_Annatar] any questions here?
[Maeglin_Lomion] So "Singollo" (Thingol) would be "of the grey cloak?"
[inJvstice_Annatar] approximately
[inJvstice_Annatar] it is short of Sindacollo
[inJvstice_Annatar] oops that is short FOR Sindacollo
[Maeglin_Lomion] So there are a lot of elisions and mutations here...?
[Gorlab] Got your ablative mixed up with your dative...:)
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes very much so
[Gorlab] A few elisions in Quenya...
[inJvstice_Annatar] that can bring us to Dative case
[Gorlab] Sindarin has most of the softening characteristics of mutation..
[Gorlab] did Dative first...
[Gorlab] -n
[Gorlab] ni = "I"
[Gorlab] nin = "for me"
[Gorlab] Ladies and Gentleman...the Dative...
[inJvstice_Annatar] lets move on to Genitive
[Gorlab] Plural forms of the noun are added on afterwards...
[Gorlab] ah..Genetive case...
[Gorlab] has the ending "-o"
[inJvstice_Annatar] the Genitive case reflects possession or more precisely being of someone or thing
[Gorlab] and generally seems to correspond with " 's "
[inJvstice_Annatar] in English
[PippinSkywalker] I though ni was me?
[Gorlab] ni changes to "me" in the Dative...
[PippinSkywalker] oh ok
[inJvstice_Annatar] thus Roma or "horn"
[Gorlab] "the book's red words" in English...
[inJvstice_Annatar] the horn of Gondor
[Gorlab] becomes "i parmo carne quettar" in Quenya...
[inJvstice_Annatar] "Romo Gondor"
[inJvstice_Annatar] of "I romo Gondor"
[neitmol] so ni turns to no...
[inJvstice_Annatar] of=or
[Gorlab] no = " being's"
[neitmol] or "one's"?
[inJvstice_Annatar] or "its"
[inJvstice_Annatar] however Sindarin does this job without cases
[Gorlab] Yes, although there are different endings for possessive pronouns...
[inJvstice_Annatar] for example, (from FOTR) Ennyn Durin Aran Moria
[inJvstice_Annatar] "Doors of Durin, King of Moria"
[inJvstice_Annatar] in this case Durin and Moria are genitive, but they take no case
[inJvstice_Annatar] word order is enough to reflect possession
[Maeglin_Lomion] So proper names don't change for case?
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya yes, in this case of Sindarin no
[Maeglin_Lomion] How would a person's name change in Quenya.... example?
[inJvstice_Annatar] again from Namarie
[Gorlab] Vardo
[inJvstice_Annatar] "Vardo tellumar"
[inJvstice_Annatar] "somes of Varda"
[Maeglin_Lomion] Meaning "Varda's?"
[inJvstice_Annatar] "domes of Varda
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thank you.
[Gorlab] Speaking of the Namarie poem...
[Gorlab] We have a phrase that everyone here...
[Gorlab] should be able to use in a bar or other eating establishment...
[Gorlab] "Si man i yulma nin enquantuva"
[Gorlab] "Who now shall refill the cup for me?"
[inJvstice_Annatar] "yulma" is an interesting stem
[Gorlab] it is the nominative form of the noun "cup"
[Gorlab] a similar verb derivation....
[inJvstice_Annatar] because as a verb it indicates more than simple ingestion of liquid...
[inJvstice_Annatar] but rather the kind of imbibement associated with carousing
[PippinSkywalker] was the cup line Sindarin?
[inJvstice_Annatar] Quenya
[Gorlab] Namarie is a poem in Quenya...
[PippinSkywalker] ok
[Gorlab] because Galadriel was the last of the Noldorin exiles to stay in Middle Earth...
[Gorlab] which is why her people spoke Sindarin...
[inJvstice_Annatar] perhaps they said it on Gondolin after a hard days work
[Gorlab] but she still knew the speech of the blessed land of light..
[inJvstice_Annatar] Gondolin
[Gorlab] yulme is the verb "to drink"
[Gorlab] but specifically to drink with carousal in mind..
[Gorlab] simply to ingest fluid is "sucin"
[Maeglin_Lomion] Connotative ;)
[Gorlab] exactly, its connotation is different!
[inJvstice_Annatar] Remember, "c" is "k"
[Gorlab] So, at this point I must wish you a toast to the fair people of Elvish 101...thank you so much for coming.....
[Maeglin_Lomion] Tolkien had a sense of humor :)
[inJvstice_Annatar] he did indeed, the stem for cat is apparently "miauo"
[Gorlab] we will have another exciting installation of Tolkien's humorous in-jokes in one week's time...
[Gorlab] doves are called "cu"
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thanks for the lessons, I'm logging these chats for person reference.
[Gorlab] Namarie!
Gorlab has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
[jincey] : )
[inJvstice_Annatar] in the meantime,, look up the derivation for Smaug, not Elvish, but funny, Namarie
[Maeglin_Lomion] Smog? Dragon-breath? ;)
[inJvstice_Annatar] Goodnight, "Mara Lomme"
inJvstice_Annatar has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
jincey asks how are y'all liking these lessons?
[Maeglin_Lomion] Love 'em! Thanks for bringing these guys to us, jinc.
[PippinSkywalker] great grammar by Elvish! LOL
[jincey] i wish y'all could see them in person
[jincey] they are great : )
[jincey] they do sessions at Dragon*Con
[PippinSkywalker] oh!

Hidalgo Speculation
Xoanon @ 11:21 am EST

After the news broke that Viggo Mortensen's 'Hidalgo' has been pushed back 6 months, fans have been speculating as to the reason why. Here is a rather informative and logical look at the situation. Thanks to Kathleen

Some movie premieres are pushed back simply because the film is a big stinker, but I can't imagine this is the case with "Hidalgo." I think it's likely that Disney moved it for strategic marketing reasons.

Imagine the potential box office for "Hidalgo" in October--BEFORE the Two Towers Extended Edition comes out--versus March, 2004, AFTER ROTK has premiered, out-earned FOTR and TTT, earned New Line a slew of Oscar nominations, and then won the Oscar for Best Picture, etc.?

I think it's a brilliant move. In March of 2004, Viggo Mortensen will be a bona-fide world-class movie star, far beyond the so-called sci-fi/fantasy "fringe." What better time to premiere another Viggo "product?"

If the premiere has been moved for some other reason (something related to post-production problems, etc.) I have to congratulate Disney for their good luck. I think they'll make a heck of a lot more money releasing this film in March than they would have in October.

As a fan, I'm disappointed that I have to wait, but we LOTR fans have learned to be patient. :-)

Sideshow /Weta Collectibles to Exhibit at Comic Con
Xoanon @ 11:05 am EST

Westlake Village, CA—July 15, 2003: Sideshow / Weta Collectibles is pleased to announce that it return to the enormously successful Lord of the Rings Pavilion at this year’s International Comic Convention in San Diego, California. The Comic Convention, held at the San Diego Convention Center will run from July 17- 20, 2003, with a special Preview Night on July 16, for pre-registered professionals, press and four day attendees.

This year The Lord of the Rings Pavilion will feature New Line Home Entertainment and seven of New Line’s LOTR licensees, including Sideshow / Weta, Houghton Mifflin, Electronic Arts, Games Workshop, Decipher, Sabertooth Games, and the Noble Collection. The LOTR Pavilion will also feature fan site TheOneRing.net, forged by and for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien.

With crowds expected to swell to well over 65,000 for the weekend, this show will be action packed to accommodate the fans. The Sideshow / Weta booth returns with its impressive display of Lord of the Rings merchandise, showcasing their new Return of the King products and large limited edition figures, environments, prints and bronzes. Sideshow's exhibit will be at booth #2529 in the LOTR Pavilion. Middle Earth will be re-created at the Sideshow Collectibles booth with looming Cave Troll display and life-sized figures of the Ringwraith on Steed, Gollum and a Goblin.

On hand this year will be Academy Award winner, Richard Taylor, Director of Weta Workshop, the special effects facility that brought Middle Earth to life on film. Richard Taylor will also be accompanied by several of the highly talented artists whose work also appears in the trilogy. The Weta crew will be performing a make-up demonstration on Saturday afternoon during a special presentation given by New Line Cinema. There will also by a costumed Sideshow / Weta employee who will be available for photo opportunities at the Sideshow booth (#2529).

The Lord of the Rings Pavilion will feature raffles and giveaways throughout the weekend. Tabletop gaming and electronic gaming stations will be available as well as New Line’s 20-ft. screen, which will feature clips and sneak peak from "Return of the King". Don’t forget to stop by the Sideshow / Weta booth to enter for a chance to win the coveted sold out, Balrog statue!

Sideshow Collectibles will be showcasing their core product lines including T3, The Simpsons, Star Trek, James Bond, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Universal Classic Monsters, Muppets and more. They will also debut upcoming products including a 1/4 scale Frankenstein figure, WW1 figures, Civil War figures, World of Froud Faeries, Live by the Sword -Pirates and more! The famed Creature from the Black Lagoon 12 inch figure will debut at this show, along with Q and JAWS from the action packed James Bond line.

**For more information, please feel free to contact us directly at PR@sideshowtoy.com.

**For more information about San Diego Comic Convention, please visit the convention website at http://www.comic-con.org

**New product images will be posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2003. Please visit our website at www.sideshowcollectibles.com for daily coverage of the show.

7-15-03 Latest News

'Ringers' LOTR-Doco Website Goes Live!
Xoanon @ 4:26 pm EST

The website for the Tolkien fan documentary "Ringers: Lord of the Fans" is now live!

[Ringers: Lord of the Fans Website]

The crew of Ringers is ready to take on the Comic-Con International 2003 in San Diego, which opens Thursday, July 17, 2003. In August we will also be filming LOTR fans at the amazing Dragon*Con in Atlanta.

If you've never been to one of these events, put on your furry feet and hurry on down.... you will surely experience the rush of Fandom at its height!

From July 17 to 20, deep in the heart of Comic-Con, you will find a great Lord of the Rings pavilion - and we will be there with cameras rolling in or around the booth for TheOneRing.net (please check Comic-Con's website for convention center details).

WE WELCOME FANS OF EVERY STRIPE TO ENTER OUR SECRET "CONFESSIONAL!" When you visit us at the LOTR pavilion, take a moment to step into our confessional booth, which is equipped with video and audio equipment just like in the "Big Brother" house. While inside you can speak directly to the camera about your love of Tolkien books, your obsession with Orlando Bloom, or whatever vibrant passion brings forth! All the footage we collect will be considered for Ringers: Lord of the Fans! You could be part of this great documentary, so be sure to come by!

[Ringers: Lord of the Fans Website]

'Ringers' Production Team

7-12-03 Latest News

Join us for a chat with Games Workshop!
Luthien @ 8:45 pm EST

Join us this coming Saturday (July 19th) for an exclusive chat preview of Shadow and Flame! Shadow and Flame creators Alessio Cavatore and Alan and Michael Perry will be joining us in #Havens to discuss their work on Shadow and Flame and answer questions about Game Workshop's latest expansion to the Lotr Tabletop Battle Game: Shadow and Flame!

The chat will be held at 1:00 pm EST (6:00 pm GMT, 10:00 am PST, and 3:00 am AEST for all you down-under night-owls) at #Havens in Barliman's chatroom, which is located at irc.theonering.net port 6667. For instructions on how to get to Barliman's, check out Barliman's homepage here. If you don't have an IRC Client and would like to connect directly through your browser, you can access #Havens by clicking here.

Bring your questions and enthusiasm. We hope to see you there!

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 8:56 am EST

There is no doubt that trees had a special place in Tolkiens heart. In Middle-Earth they whisper, they walk, and before Sun and Moon was made, two trees gave light to the world. The forces of darkness, like Saruman and his orcs delight in cutting the woods down, but in Middle-Earth the trees themselves can go to war, led by those most curious of Tolkiens creations: the shepherds of the trees.

Trees and Tolkien

Some of the most enchanted places in Tolkiens world, like Lorien and Ithilien, were covered with woods. Where else find Galadriel and the heart of elvendom than in a golden wood of Mallorn trees? And the elves were not the only ones who gave special significance to trees. The very symbol of the Numenorean culture is a White Tree. When Aragorn, whose name means 'royal-tree', ascends the throne of Gondor, a sapling of the White Tree is sought out and found.\par

It is therefor not surprising that when Tolkien set out to write an allegory about storytelling, he chose to compare a story with a Tree. Most fitting when considering how The Lord Of The Rings branches out as we move from the gardens of Bag End.\par

Join us this weekend in #thehallofire as we explore the importance of trees in Tolkiens writings.

Upcoming Topics:
July 19-20: Tooks and Brandybucks
July 26-27: What fascinates you most about LoTR and Middle-earth?
August 2-3: RoTK, Book 6, Chapter 1: The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
August 9-10: Tolkien and Canon
August 16-17: Colours in Tolkien's World
August 23-24: RoTK, Book 6, Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow.


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

Having trouble working out a time zone near you? Try this.

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at halloffire@theonering.net. And don't forget that you can check out previous chats here.

7-11-03 Latest News

July MEO Team Letter
Flinch @ 6:40 pm EST

Screenshots, interviews, it's a Middle-earth Online frenzy! Take a read through July's letter from the MEO Team!

Hi all,

Close your eyes and picture Bag End. Chances are that you can see it almost as clearly as many of the places that you go every day. The homes that Tolkien visits throughout The Lord of the Rings are described in such vivid and loving detail that they are almost characters in and of themselves. One of the tasks of the MEO team is to recreate these dwellings so that players can live as well as adventure in Middle-earth. This month we'll be sharing more information on the MEO housing system.

The first step with every aspect of MEO game development is to look at how a feature fits into the work of Tolkien. In this case one of the things that immediately springs to mind is that the races of Middle-earth live, for the most part, in distinct towns and regions, such as the Shire or Rivendell. At the same time, individuals of every race wander through the world, and frequently take up residence with new friends. To conform to this vision each race in MEO will have separate housing areas within the game, but any characters of any race will be able to stay close to their friends by purchasing housing in any town they can reach.

Another question that had to be addressed was the issue of who could claim a house. There had been some thought that only Kinships should be allowed to own housing. Ultimately, we thought that this system would be overly restrictive - after all Bilbo owned Bag End all by himself. So players in MEO will be able to inhabit individual houses, which they will have to pay individual rent on.

But there are some areas of the world where paying rent would conflict with our goal of staying true to Tolkien's vision. For instance, gaining a house among the Elves will be based on proving your usefulness to their cause and your importance among your peers, as measured by Kinship size, not by paying rent!

Those are just some of the issues that we wrestled with in designing the housing system of MEO. Each week this month we'll be releasing more info about the houses; their look and style, how they'll be rented, and even some artwork. Stay tuned!

-The Middle-Earth Online Team

So who wants to come crash at Camp Flinch? Middle-earth Online is just going to be one awesome Tolkien Gaming Experience!

CD Review: 'Rings - Il Decimo Anello'
Xoanon @ 3:46 pm EST

CD REVIEW: Arturo Stàlteri, 'Rings - Il Decimo Anello', Materiali Sonori Records, 2003

By Chris Seeman:

To the English-speaking world, Italy remains very much the terra incognita for Tolkien-inspired music. Boasting a spectrum that embraces traditions as disparate as nationalist rock and avant garde jazz, Italia is home to no fewer than twenty-eight Tolkien-inspired artists. The most recent addition to this growing edifice is classically trained pianist Arturo Stàlteri, whose concept CD, 'Rings - Il Decimo Anello', has just hit the stores.

"Unfortunately, the nine rings given to men by the Dark Lord in the past devastated their souls," remarks Stàlteri, explaining the title's subtext, "it is my hope that the new peoples in the future can forge a tenth that will perpetually renew love and respect amongst all the creatures of this living earth." 'Il Decimo Anello' delivers on this promise with an array of fifteen (principally instrumental) meditations upon LotR.

A true musician resists the temptation of reducing his art to a mere vehicle of personal promotion. Stàlteri shows his quality in this regard by sharing the spotlight - indeed, yielding it in many cases - to a fellowship of virtuosos who coalesce into a richly textured ensemble. Stàlteri's piano establishes the rhythmic foundation for a variety of strings and woodwinds (some of medieval or renaissance origin) to create a warm, robust sound that is both unfamiliar and attractive.

With the exception of two lyrical pieces sung (in English and Italian) by Jenny Sorrenti, 'Rings' presents itself as something akin to a gallery of impressionist painting, focusing upon broad contours rather than a precise narrative. Stàlteri accents this original collection with a striking new rendition of Bo Hansson's "The Old Forest," a track from the latter's pioneering 1970 concept album, 'Sagan om ringen'.

This 'hommàge' suggests a not unfitting comparison between the two works. Both are unique in their instrumentation, arrangement and underlying spirit. The first has become a milestone in the history of Tolkien-inspired music; the second deserves no less.

'Il Decimo Anello' can be purchased on-line through Materiali Sonori (http://www.matson.it/).

Review of JRR Tolkien's
Tehanu @ 4:34 am EST

A while back we featured a review of the Audio version of The Lord of the Rings. Now Jan has given us this review of The Silmarillion, a work that many people find more difficult to read. The verdict is that it is wonderful to hear it instead!

"The Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien - CD Audio Version

Narrated by Martin Shaw

Random House Audio

Oh, how I do enjoy listening to someone read the Silmarillion to me and Martin Shaw has just the voice to do it. Of course, Martin Shaw's narration would be nothing without the almost "biblical" language created by Prof. Tolkien. But Mr. Shaw, in every respect, pays homage to the Prof. Tolkien's creation by taking a mostly narrative book and somehow making you believe he is an observer recanting exactly what he has witnessed himself from the beginning of time to well into the Third Age.

It is the kind of narration that, to truly enjoy it, one must at least be in a secluded area where you can (maybe) close your eyes and concentrate. Mr. Shaw does more than just pronounce the names and places correctly, he is amazingly articulate with even the smallest words making the most ordinary of phrases sound like poetry. His deep rich voice is wonderful for quoting such characters as Manwe, Glamrung and Morgoth but he also manages to quote the feminine characters like Melian and Galadriel with enough lightness and strength to make you crave for more. His tone rises and falls so effortlessly that you almost don't see it coming. It just fits. I am sure Prof. Tolkien would be pleased with the lilting magic he applied to those wonderful words.

Anyone I have spoken to about the book The Silmarillion, has the same comment. They have either attempted many times to "get into it" and failed or somehow succeeded and have maybe returned to read it again. My attempts totaled 3 then I decided to have a listen to a clip of the audio version, sadly these clips are not the best quality but somehow I decided to purchase it in spite of that because Mr. Shaw did seemed to have a lock on pronouncing the hundreds of names and places, and that was enough for me. I was not disappointed and was extremely impressed by the CD quality of the final product. Those lyrical pronunciations of persons and places escaped my imagination completely when I tried to read it myself and I thought there was no hope for me until I heard them actually pronounced. I am on my third complete read so far and listen to part of it almost daily. It never sounds the same as there is way too much detail to remember. I always seem to hear something new somehow.

If I had to compare both Rob Inglis and Martin Shaw, Rob Inglis was the best match for both The Hobbit and LOTR. Those books were more story telling, including both humor and tragedy whereas The Silmarillion tends to explain the myth, majesty and history more. It is no less interesting or dramatic but tends to be more fact based. And both gentlemen do their readings with extreme flair.

[Purchase at Amazon.com]

7-10-03 Latest News

TheOneRing.net invades Comic Con 2003
Calisuri @ 7:11 pm EST

Comic Con 2003TheOneRing.net is proud to be an active participant in the 2nd annual Lord of the Rings Pavilion at Comic Con 2003, taking place next week, July 17th-20th at the San Diego Convention Center.

Our booth (#2429) will be alive with activity: live chats in our popular Barliman's chatroom; complete online access to TheOneRing.net website; a chance to express your love for The Lord of the Rings in our Tolkien confessional; watch exclusive interviews of cast and crew; and as always, free promotional items for your collecting pleasure.

And while you are there, stop by one of our two panel discussions:

• Thursday, July 17th - 4:30–5:30 TheOneRing.net: Lord of the Rings— TheOneRing®.net—Earth’s largest Tolkien website—presents a panel of "Tolkien experts" to answer all your burning questions. Topics will range from The Professor himself, The Lord of the Rings and other works both in and out of Middle-earth to Tolkien fandom over the decades and how LotR/JRRT is affecting life today on the Internet, in cultures across the globe, and of course, in the movies. Presenters will include four TORn staff, including Quickbeam and Ostadan, two contributing authors of The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien. If you miss the panel but want to get some TORn this weekend, visit their booth in the Exhibit Hall. Room 6A

• Sunday, July 20th - 3:00–4:00 TheOneRing.net Web site— The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is due in movie theaters this December. Panelists will take a good look at Return of the King images, cast, and characters and how the film will differ from the original text. You’ll also learn about what makes TheOneRing.net tick, how it grew from humble beginnings to daily visits from nearly 100,000 people, and its more than 1,000 pages of content in dozens of subsections. Room 6A

"But I can't make it to the Comic con!" you say?

Do not fret! We will be bringing you as much coverage from the event as humanly possible. In our Comic Con section we will be hosting a live webcam (Updated every 10 seconds throughout the entirity of the event), posting daily image galleries in our scrapbook, and, of course, bringing you the latest news and headlines you have come to expect from TheOneRing.net.

This year's Comic Con is shaping up to be a stellar event, so come on down!

For more information on Comic - Con 2003, visit their website at http://www.Comic-Con.org.

Australasian Cast News Roundup
Xoanon @ 12:47 pm EST

Jess writes: I'm sending some info about some of the southern hemisphere's splendid LotR stars.

Anyone in Sydney in October can catch Jay Laga'aia as Mufasa in the Aussie stage production of The Lion King. Oh, and for anyone who is wondering, you pronounce his last name "Lah-guy-ah".

Miranda Otto's new film Danny Deckchair opens in Oz on July 31. It tells the story of Danny, an idealistic cement contractor played by Notting Hill's Rhys Ifans, who decides to escape his humdrum life by strapping helium balloons to a fold-up chair. After an unscheduled journey across Sydney, Danny lands in the backyard of Glenda, played by Otto.

In the crime-comedy Gettin' Square, David Wenham plays Johnny "Spit" Spitieri, a crim trying to walk the staright and narrow after getting out of jail, but finds it hard to resist crime, the underworld and all things nefarious on Australia's glittering Gold Coast. It opens in Oz in October.

This article: "Cate a soft touch for green things" was in Sydney's The Daily Telegraph a few weeks ago:

Cate Blanchett has handed over a substantial donation to a US environmental group, Forest Guardians. Blanchett made the donation to the New Mexico-based group after filming Ron Howard's The Missing in the Desert State. "The gift to Forest Guardians is meant both as a token of gratitude for the crew's tireless contributions and also to help preserve the state's natural splendour for generations to come" she said. She must have developed a soft spot for those other forest guardians, the Ents, while filming The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand.

More Info on Laga'aia's Injury
Xoanon @ 12:28 pm EST

Even writes:

A couple of days ago you ran a small report about Jay Laga'aia being on crutches due to a broken leg sustained during fight scenes on some movie (See Laga'aia's Broken Leg Woes -Xo). The truth is a bit more mundane.

He actually dislocated his knee-cap while filming a light-hearted basketball segment for a low-low-low budget TV series here in NZ called "Pulp Sport". The joke was that Jay was up to go up against one of the stars of the NZ basketball team ("The Tall Blacks") in a game of one-on-one.

Jay went for a lay-up shot and then just crashed to the ground. The film crew showed a close-up of his knee and you could see the patella (knee-cap) sticking out to one side, clearly not where it was supposed to be.

They carted poor old Jay off in an ambulance. He seemed to be cheerful enough during the whole ordeal, but hey, the guys an actor after all. He must have been in agony.

Aftonbladet Article - 'Largest Battle of the Ring'
Demosthenes @ 11:26 am EST

Wow, I go to sleep for a few hours, and come back to dozens of translations in my inbox ... Anyway, here's a translation of the article for your reading enjoyment. Many thanks to the dozens of people who e-mailed spymaster.

One note - the bit about Aragorn fighting the dead is not a mistranslation. Hmmmm ....

Unique Pictures from the last "Lord of the Rings" film

Wellington. Now the last scenes are being filmed for "Return of the King". Peter Jackson has again brought together the actors and built up Middle Earth's environment. Aftonbladet is the only Swedish newspaper there. We go from Minas Tirith to the battlefields of Pelennor to Edoras.

"'The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" were just practice for this film" says Peter Jackson.

The Golden Hall in Edoras. It smells like a timber yard in the new building. Shouting extras have long hair like hard-rockers at a festival.

Aragorn walks amongst the Rohan soldiers. In front Gandalf looks on in amusement at a drinking contest. Aragorn draws pensively on his pipe while the two talk about the others in the company. What is Sauron thinking of doing?

New Scenes are recorded

Ian McKellan misses a line and they do another take. Viggo Mortensen gets help with keeping his pipe alight while the make-up artist sprays his hair with water.

New take. Everything goes well. Peter Jackson gives the thumbs up. The next scene is prepared in the studio close by.

"The third film has always been my favourite" says Peter Jackson " I enjoyed the shooting the most and this film has the coolest action and the strongest feelings. The third film is the reason that we did all this."

How long will the "Return of the King" be?

"I don't know yet. It will be what's needed, longer than the two previous films" says Peter Jackson "But it won't be anything silly. Not four hours."

What does New Line say?

"Before the two previous films we had a decree that they absolutely could not be longer than two and a half hours, which we didn't bother about. Now the order is that it can't be longer than three hours. So that's progress, ha ha ha "

After two episodes and six hours that have built up the tension, now its time for the resolution. Frodo will take the ring to Mount Doom. Aragorn must decide if he dares to be a leader. Gandalf shall steer the battle against Sauron's strength.

Many new environments. The battle of the Pelennor Fields where over 200, 000 orcs are mobilised. We get to see Minas Tirith. Frodo and Sam meet the terrifying giant spider, female monster Shelob. Aragorn fights against the dead armies.

More expensive than a feature film

Jackson devotes eight weeks of summer for completion. Only it costs more than a normal feature film. When he finished a rough cut of the film in January he saw what needed improving.

"This film is the one I will really be proud of" says Peter Jackson "the end must be as good as possible"

Most of the actors have come back to complete the film. A couple of lines here, a close up there, little clarifications.

But its difficult to work out the schedule. Orlando Bloom, who in the last year has filmed "Pirates of the Caribbean" and now "Troy", did his Legolas scenes in April.

From Aragorn to Cowboy

Viggo Mortensen has had a busy schedule with the film "Hidalgo", about a Horse-riding competition in North Africa in 1890.

"Yesterday evening I actually had some more voice coaching for Hidalgo here in Wellington" says Viggo Mortensen "So in the middle of playing Aragorn I could speak like a cowboy from 1890"

What do the new scenes with you and Gandalf provide?

"They try to celebrate with the others after the battle of Helm's Deep. But they know that many new dangers await" says Viggo Mortensen

"Is Frodo alive? They say one thing, but think another " says Viggo "Pretending to be hopeful, but they are actually worried. The undertext is interesting, and its good to do such a scene with an actor like Ian. Now I have to do a scene with Legolas and he isn't here. So I get to speak with a tennis ball"

Tennis Ball?

"Yes, sometimes it's a bit of tape or a cross on the floor. I have acted with many tennis balls"

Ian McKellan has returned to New Zealand for completion every summer, 2001, 2002 and now. It makes it easy to get it right.

"Like a rock"

"Oh, one never forgets a role. Gandalf is like picking up an old rock. Before we start we look through much of what has already been filmed to wake the feelings" says Ian McKellan.

What do you look forward to seeing in "The Return of the King"?

"The battle scenes. When Gandalf crushes orcs' skulls" says Ian McKellan "I have fought for gay rights for many years. Now I shall fight for the elderly. I like that the film shows an older man as a successful hero on the battle field."

Jens Peterson

EA's RoTK - Changes For PoTD, Cirirth Ungol And Sauron?
Demosthenes @ 3:49 am EST

IGN has a review of Electronic Arts' Return of the King game, and unsurprisingly there's some news that will only muddy the spoiler waters. The vibe for the game itself is extremely promising. You can read the full review here, but I've grabbed a few excerpts to discuss the parts which may affect the movie.

There's been a little bit of fuss about this article. First IGN amended its report (see below), now we have a statement from the EA Team working on the game via TORn Gaming Havens. Gaming Editor Flinch writes:

"As if this whole Sauron vs. Aragorn business couldn't get more confusing, we now know for sure that in EA's Return of the King you will not fight Sauron anywhere during the game. We have it on a relatively good authority that scenes were filmed portraying Aragorn fighting Sauron, but it was decided somewhere in the planning that a change like that wouldn't work, and it has since [assumably] been changed back to the way it should be, no physical Sauron kicking folks around. So to put the rumor to rest, the official word from the team over at EA is "The Player will not fight Sauron in the game."

As EA is dedicated to making this game as close as possible to the film, I think its safe to say Aragorn will not fight Sauron in the film either. If you have any questions on EA's ROTK, or any of the LOTR Games, feel free to e-mail Gaming Havens@TheOneRing.net."

That seems pretty conclusive news for fans of the game, and very promising for the Tolkien purists as well.

My original report below:

The game showed off some interesting twists that may reveal new things about the movie. For instance, in the Paths of the Dead level, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas must pass through a horribly dark underground passage in which they must fight the undead traitors from a previous war in order to earn their respect and thus get them to follow Elfstone to the enemy ships before Minas Tirith falls. But in the book, they don't fight the ghosts, Aragorn, being the true heir and rightful king, beckons them to follow and when they reach the ships, he unleashes the horde of ghosts upon the enemy.

I cannot recall seeing this previously as a substantial and credible movie rumour. That being said, Jackson may want to up the ante on Paths of the Dead, and make it even more dangerous. The logic could well run something like this: Baldor died attempting the Paths, why should it be less dangerous for others?

Some very recent news via Swedish paper Aftonbladet may give a little bit of credence to this.

In another little twist, we already know that Sam must rescue Frodo from the tower (in the Cirith Ungul level). But in book, he basically ascends the tower unscathed, because the orcs have already killed themselves over Frodo's mithril coat and other booty. But in the game he must sneak by and/or fight them to rescue Frodo.

Again, I can't dig up any previous rumours or set reports describing anything like this.

Update: Someone also wrote to remind me of shots from the Cannes 2001 screening of Sam fighting at Cirith Ungol.

From our own Quickbeam's report on the footage:
Sam bravely fighting Orcs in Cirith Ungol. "That one’s for me Gaffer!"

There's also a report from Joram from Ringbearer.org over at Tolkien Online. Less specific, it only says that there is an Towers/RoTK scene where Sam yells: Sam "that's for my old gipper!"

Interestingly enough, EA says there will be boss fights with predicable enemies such as Shelob and the Witch King (the leader of the Ring Wraiths in the attack on Minas Tirath), but more surprisingly, there is a "final showdown" with Sauron. What?!!!??!! That'll be interesting given that there is no actual face-to-eye confrontation with Sauron himself in the book…

By far the most controversial of the possible changes, but seemingly the least likely in the light of information we received just a couple of days ago that indicated Jackson is rethinking everything about Sauron physically appearing in Return of the King. Check out this report for the background.

Very important note: IGN has since removed from its article references to a "final showdown" with Sauron in the game, possibly at the request of EA. This could well mean there will be no Sauron showdown in the game - and hence no reason for movie purists to tear their hair out. Maybe we will get some definitive word on this from EA soon (word which we now have - Dem.) ...

It's wise to consider that Jackson is still patching the film together, and will be working on it up till the very moment he has to deliver it to New Line. Things must still be open to change. And remember that Jackson said in the last issue of the LoTR fan mag, that of the three films, RoTK would be closest to the book:

Q. How closely will you be sticking to the book in The Return of the King?

A. The Return of the King is quite close to the book. There are notable exceptions. The first thing with RotK is that we still have to wrap up The Two Towers. We have the Isengard sequence—in which they go to Isengard to deal with Saruman, who is imprisoned at the top of a tower—which is at the tail end of TT book. It is now at the beginning of RotK. Likewise, we don't have the scouring of the Shire, which is a major chapter at the end of the book....

...When the ring is destroyed at the end of RotK, that is really the climax of the film. Those two things are the notable major exceptions as well as Shelob [my emphasis], which is another spill-over from TT—Minas Morgul, the stairs of Cirith Ungol and into Shelob's tunnel are now in RotK.

When fans of the book see that sequence, I think they will understand immediately how impossible it would have been for it to be in TT. It feels so right to be where we've got it from a story point of view—for reasons I can't discuss now! At this point, we don't have Ghân-buri-Ghân, the Wild Man that the Rohirrim come across on their way to Minas Tirith in there. I don't know if this will change with us doing pickups, but I doubt it.

Having said that, the rest of RotK movie is going to follow the book reasonably well. What I like about RotK is that the story is the centerpiece of the film, more so than in the first two films.

Well, having put the Sauron rumour to bed for the moment, what can be said about the rest? In part, I stand by what I said - interpreting game scenes back into the movie is perilous stuff. Games scripts operate differently, and need much more action and conflict to drive them. These sorts of scenes are something I would expect to see in a game.

And - as several people have written in to point out - the Two Towers game diverged from the film in places (eg: a Orc/Troll battles in Fangorn Forest). So although EA does seem to indicate RoTK will follow the film more closely, it's probably wise to keep this in mind as well.

However, we do have a tiny bit of separate evidence for fighting at both Cirith Ungol and the Paths of the Dead. Perhaps strangely, I'm not worried about the former - I think it's a scene that could work in the context of the film and stay true to the book as well.

I think it's still way too early to conclude "the worst", but I am feeling a little bit anxious about Paths of the Dead.

7-09-03 Latest News

Veronica through Cate's eyes
Xoanon @ 12:36 pm EST

From www.unison.ie

'THERE is a unique responsibility when you play someone who died so horrifically and so recently. The grief is disseminated, but it's still there."

Listening to Cate Blanchett talk about taking on the role of Veronica Guerin, one thing is clear - the Australian actress is respectful of the memory of our Irish crime journalist who was murdered so brutally on June 26, 1996. This is not just another part, where Blanchett can flaunt her acting skills. This is more serious than that. This time the character is a real person, a hero, and one of our own.

"It was daunting to take on this role, because of the weight Veronica Guerin has with modern Irish culture and the culture of the media and the fact that recordings do exist of her. But that was the challenge," said Blanchett.

"Veronica has come to represent something, so in a way she has become iconic. It did make me approach it differently. In the end, not being Irish helped me. It sounds dreadful but I came to this as an outsider so I didn't have a preconceived notion of what all this meant. Obviously I knew of her, and I'd seen the Sixty Minutes interview that she'd done, but I'd never read an article that she'd written."

Blanchett is an award-winning actress who is renowned for her intelligent approach to her work. And she has the ability to transform utterly from role to role. She is a chameleon. Sitting down to watch the film Veronica Guerin , I was all set to see Cate Blanchett as Veronica Guerin. What was I not prepared for was the uncanny similarity between Cate and Veronica. Up on the screen, Cate was Veronica. The appearance, the manner, the walk, the accent - it was unsettling it was so real. So many film stars sail into Dublin and think that they will master the Irish accent and end up making a mess of it. Blanchett's accuracy was astounding. And she has nailed every detail. There was Veronica's athletic walk, the way she would always be well groomed with her hair done and small earrings on. Even when she was casual she was smartly dressed. There was the sense of fun, the cheeky impish charm, and still being a lady while working in a tough criminal world.

Watching the film, I didn't feel like I was watching a film - it was like the real story up there on the screen. Together with the director Joel Schumacher (who has to be lauded for standing up for the principles of accuracy) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (who was insistent on getting it right), and the entire team, they have made a powerful film. Watching Blanchett on the screen, one wonders how she managed to achieve such precision.

"First of all I wanted to know what the circumstances were. I'm not just playing a character and because Veronica had such a rich and varied life - like football was as big a part of her life as journalism was, as was her son. So it was important to saturate myself with all of that, to know what circumstances within which she was working.

"Then, very specifically, I watched repeatedly, incessantly, every single television interview she gave, listened to every radio interview she gave. It was part of the technical thing of learning another accent, I suppose. I found it fascinating learning the way she spoke; where her voice sat; how she took her breaths; when she paused; her omissions and self-censoring, what she couldn't say giving interviews; and subsequently finding out the circumstances of her own life and the danger she was in and the interview 'She was a human being, she wasn't a saint, she wasn't a crusader, she was someone with a very strong sense of injustice but also someone who liked to be at the centre of life. Everything she did, she wanted to be at the centre of it. What was the point sitting on the sidelines?'

she was giving at the time. It was the interface for me between what she chose to say, what she was allowed to say, and what was actually going on. I found that stress very interesting.

"She gave one interview on radio and it was a very intimate interview. There was something at the end, the interview just sort of trailed off, they asked her why she continued to do it. And she said: 'Until you understand a problem, you cannot hope to solve it.' I found that fascinating, as someone who really wanted to get inside somebody else's skin. Then she paused and said: 'I suppose that's why I do it.' And there was something about the way she said that, the pause before she said it, I could see her being lost for a moment. I could hear her as a 16-year-old, there was something fragile about it, and maybe it wasn't there but I sort of held onto that little moment."

As Blanchett talks, it is obvious that she was rigorous in her research. "Veronica was a phenomenal life force. I have never met so many people who said 'I met Veronica' or 'I had dinner with her once' or 'She and I were this close.' Everyone had opinions about her and that is an incredible positive for me as an actor.

"Somewhere between everyone's varying opinions of her lies the truth of who Veronica Guerin was. She was a human being, she wasn't a saint, she wasn't a crusader, she was someone with a very strong sense of injustice but also someone who liked to be at the centre of life. Everything she did, she wanted to be at the centre of it. What was the point sitting on the sidelines?

"I watched her when she was on Questions and Answers - this had nothing to do with the story of the film. She was hauled over the coals for the Bishop Casey story. Everyone was butting in but what fascinated me was that she just sat there. If someone was describing her character they would say that she would be talking over everyone else, and maybe she did at work but on this particular forum she took it on the chin and she listened. She really listened. Unlike anybody else on the panel she was actively listening and I found the quality of her listening really interesting.

"I was in the position of being able to delve into a specific time through the film. It was horrific and fascinating. The sad thing is that things change immediately in the wake of someone's death. At least something was achieved but she still died, the world moves on, the problem returns."

As for Blanchett herself, we do not know that much about the 34-year-old actress. She likes it like that. But there are slim sketches. She lives in London with her screenwriter husband and their baby boy Dashiel. On the day I met her, he had just taken his first steps. She studied fine art and had travelled the world before she went back to Australia and signed up for an acting course.

"I am not one of those people who say I always wanted to be an actor." To pigeonhole her, one could describe her as a character actress: "I'm not interested in making a part fit me. What fascinates me is what motivates other people. I'm not particularly interested in what motivates me." She remains a bit of an enigma. Having worked with her on The Talented Mr Ripley , the director Anthony Minghella said that he only knew three things about her. When I repeat this to Blanchett, she smiles and concedes that she is a private person. "I don't turn up on a set expecting to be everybody's best friend. There are many aspects to my life and acting is just one of them."

Cate Blanchett doesn't just act the role of Veronica Guerin, she becomes her. It is both heart warming and heartbreaking to watch.

Veronica Guerin is due to be released on July 11

7-08-03 Latest News

Elvish 101 Lesson 2 Transcript
Jincey @ 10:10 pm EST

[Annatar] hello, we're trying to connect a 2nd machine right now, this is paul, Kris will also be here, but not jeff
[Gorlab] This is Kris again, and I am now Balrog backwards...
[Gorlab] Today's lesson is full of perilous phonology, dangerous diphthongs, and phunny phrases....stay tuned...
[Gorlab] 8 O'clock....
[Gorlab] The ring of power is no trifle......or truffle...now the ring of Truffle is VERY tasty...
[jincey] mmmmm truffles
[Gorlab] Gandalf is no ordinary wizard, but part of a special group of powers.....like Silent Bob has in Mallrats....
[Annatar] elen sila lumenn' omentielvo
[[Gorlab] Elen Sila Lumenn Omentielvo fellow Elvish language lovers!
[Gorlab] Today's lesson oh fair people, shall cover some of the most basic principles of Elvish, which are instrumental in speaking both Quenya and Sindarin...
[Gorlab] Elvish has a common source.
[Gorlab] It is known as Primitive Elvish (or Primitive Quendian if you like)
[Annatar] fortunately, the Professor (tolkien) used essentially the same rules for "spelling" or transliterating both Sindarin and Quenya
[Gorlab] Exactly - owing to their common source...
[Gorlab] the first idea is that of the letter "c"
[Gorlab] Lots of early Elvish used the letter "K"
[Annatar] Presumably, they were both written in Tenwar in the "source documents" but in differing modes, however, when written in Roman alphabet, the same rules apply
[Gorlab] But the Professor wanted to make Quenya seem a lot more Latinized...
[Gorlab] so he adopted "c"
[Annatar] Tolkien decided that K was "uncouth"
[Gorlab] "c" is ALWAYS pronounced like "k"
[Annatar] unless combines with H
[Annatar] in which case youget the ch of German "ich"
[Gorlab] so, for instance Celeborn (husband of Galadriel) is pronouced "Keleborn", never "Seleborn"
[Gorlab] Next is "qu". "Qu" is the preffered spelling, never "q" by itself
[Demcoffee] it took me ages to catch onto the pronunciation sublties in the names
[Gorlab] Only Tolkien's earliest languages used "q" by itself.
[Gorlab] Next is "X" instead of "ks" as in "Helcaraxe"
[Annatar] However, it is not the Q of "iraq" but pronounced qu
[Gorlab] next is "N"
[Maeglin_Lomion] Pronunciation question: "Fingolfin"...is it Fing(ng as in sing) -ol-fin, or Fin-gol-fin?
[Elaran] is not gandalf from the mannish tongues?
[Gorlab] Gandalf is actually an old Norse word from the icelandic eddas...
[Elaran] indeed, just curious
[Gorlab] I believe he was a dwarf in that story...
[Annatar] I believe that it's fin-GOL-fin
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thank you
[Ks] question ?
[Gorlab] Yes?
[Ks] i live in israel.. does the elvish dudes got the het letter?
[Ks] i mean
[Ks] can they say
[Ks] het
[Ks] ç
[Ks] cant say it
[Annatar] pronouced?
[Ks] in english
[Ks] u dont use that sound
[Ks] so its hard to pronounce
[Annatar] arabic?
[Ks] hebrew
[Gorlab] you are reffering to the semitic/arabic idea of the sound in the back of the throat?
[Annatar] no, do they use it in arabic?
[Ks] yes they use it in arabic 2
[Gorlab] as in chutzpah?
[Ks] ken
[Ks] yes
[Gorlab] Not exactly...
[Ks] yes
[Ks] the first letter
[Annatar] what context?
[Ks] the first sound
[Ks] of chutzpah
[Ks] chu
[Annatar] that is the ch of evlish approximately
[Ks] okay
[Gorlab] Elves DO pronounce "hy" as an "ich-laut" and "ht" as an "ach-laut"
[Mo] is it kind of like a spitting sound in the back of your throat Ks?
[Gorlab] It's more of a germanic idea than the hebrew sound...
[Annatar] ich is unvoiced, ach is voiced
[Gorlab] The Elvish is a similar sound, but more in the front of the mouth...
[Annatar] let's talk about my fave -- "dh"
[Annatar] TH in English is pronouced 2 ways
[Gorlab] Ah! DH...found all over Sindarin...
[Annatar] in Elvish TH is voiceless ""thing"
[Annatar] DH is voiced "them"
[Gorlab] not as in "thought"
[Annatar] no
[Maeglin_Lomion] Aredhel - "soft" TH?
[Figgy] as in...?
[Annatar] D was Sometimes used for DH in Tolkiens early writings
[Gorlab] a good word seen in the LOTR movie I believe is Galadhrim...
[Figgy] oooh...cool
[Annatar] but he later smitched to DH for clarity in LOTR
[Annatar] in the 1st Editon of LOTR it's "Galadrim"
[Elaran] interesting
[Annatar] but he later changed it to "GalaDHrim"
[Gorlab] Try the soft "th" sound followed by the trilled "r"
[Dsthenes] ah, interesting
[Gorlab] it's a beautiful sound...
[Figgy] it sounds very nice :)
[GuestLastar] makes it easier to pronounce
[Annatar] "galad" is "light" "galadh" is tree
[Dsthenes] galathrim?
[Annatar] Galadriel has the "light" element like Gil Galad
[Elaran] Haldir is about the only person to pronounce Galadhrim correctly (in the extended version)
[Annatar] he's a good elf
[Gorlab] Yes, Elaran!
[Elaran] Gimli mutilates it ;-)
[Gorlab] Gimli WOULD though...
[Elaran] sorry to interupt!
[GuestLastar] ah. evil dwarves
[Annatar] GalaDHrim has the "tree" element
[Ks] tree?
[Annatar] tree people
[Elaran] galadh= tree galad = light
[Gorlab] The Galadhrim are the peoples of Lothlorien...
[Gorlab] Of the trees...
[Annatar] A great name with DH is Maedhros form the Silmarillion
[Maeglin_Lomion] That is a beautiful-sounding name.
[Annatar] 'cause, he also has the AE sound
[Gorlab] which brings us to long and short vowels...
[Dsthenes] Now I'm going to have to reform a heap of name pronunciations again. :)
[Gorlab] whenever you see a vowel by itself...
[Annatar] it's difficult to pronounce but it's like "I" in English
[Gorlab] it is pronounced "short"
[Lefolas] how many times have you guys done all of this? teaching people elvish
[Gorlab] but when you see a vowel with an accent mrk above it...
[2[Gorlab] that vowel becomes long...
[Figgy] example?
[Gorlab] short "A" is pronounced like "Han Solo". when we first meet him in Star Wars...
[Gorlab] long "A" os pronounced as in "father"
[Figgy] I see
[Indil] so, the circumflex accent always indicates a long vowel?
[Gorlab] Yes...
[Annatar] yes, but it's also used for visual effect in non-Elven tongues
[Lady_Samwise] hte a in father and in han sound the same though
[Legolas17] ok my question is ok now.... i guess
[Legolas17] the double l, like in 'mellon' -friend
[Maeglin_Lomion] So â would be pronounced like the a in "day?"
[Annatar] such as Adunaic and Khuxdul -- Dwarvish
[samgamgee7] yea, i got lost on that one too, Lady_Samwise...
[Elaran] they should sound the same, the only difference is the length
[Lady_Samwise] :-)
[samgamgee7] a lil further clarification on that one?
[Figgy] yeah
[Legolas17] is it not pronounced like in the back of the throat h
[Figgy] their length is different
[Legolas17] ?
[Lady_Samwise] oh IC...
[Figgy] maybe "cat" and "father"
[samgamgee7] ahhh, ok : )
[Gorlab] "Han" is more like "hand" than the "a" in "father"
[Annatar] for the AY in day you need EI
[Indil] I think like the a in man rather than han
[Lia_the_vampire] im a little confused
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thank you.
[Annatar] Okay from the top
[Gorlab] "man" will do fine...
[Annatar] A is the European "a"
[[Gorlab] short "a" is like "man"
[Gorlab] long "a" is like "Father"
[Elaran] as in british english? or are we refering to other celtic or Norse languages?
[Annatar] "E" is the Euro "E" not the American one
[Annatar] Italian is a good guide to Elvish vowels
[Maeglin_Lomion] Example? I'm American
[CloakedGuest thinks to pronounce the majority of vowels as they would be in Spanish
[Lia_the_vampire] im a vampire
[Gorlab] short "i" is like "pit"
[Annatar] and long is like Pete
[Gorlab] long "i" is like the one in "machine"
[Annatar] O is like "Lore"
[[Gorlab] short "o" is like "box"
[Gorlab] long "o" is like "sore"
[liam] We're talking Sindarin, right?
[Annatar] but not "Open"
[Annatar] same for Q and S
[Gorlab] these pronunciations are nearly universal for elvish...
[Annatar] Different in Tengwar, Same in the Roman Characters
[liam] Q doesn't make as much difference between long and short vowels, I understand.
[Annatar] not really, but the spelling in English takes care of that
[hobbit] wut does Falchrist mean?
[hobbit] short i, not long
[Gorlab] Sounds Old english...Annatar?
[Annatar] Coast Cleaver?
[Elaran] it means something on the order of "deep cutting ravine" or possibly "deep cutting cleaver"
[Annatar] Falas -- coast, Orcrist Orc -cleaver
[Eressea] Most of the r's seem to be trilled.
[liam] and hold the second o a little longer.
[Gorlab] actually, the "r' must be trilled in all positions...
[CloakedGuest] Also, from Old English I believe, the "Gan" part means "to wander" ... for I am descended from someone called Ganger.
[Mo] what is a trilled r?
[Eressea] Standard Elvish pronunciation to trill r's?
[Elaran] tis what gives the language part of its flavor =) Tolkien seemed to dislike the uvelar r that the french use
[Salquendor] from what i understand quenya vowels are like romance language vowels, from the site it seems to be all of my spanish vowels and the quenya vowels match (short form)
[liam] trilled r's are a bit like Spanish rr
[Annatar] it can be tappped, bur it is never the retoflex R of American English
[Guest1] whats hello in elvish?
[Indil] so the trilled r Ian McKellen uses to say "mordor" in the films is correct?
[[Gorlab] Yes, it is standard, although you don't have to get excited like Charro on the Love Boat...
[Brandalf85] Hello in elvish is "vendui"
[Brandalf85] well that is "Greetings"
[Guest1] oh thanks
[Gorlab] ABSOLUTELY!!! One of Ian McKellan's great pronunciations...
[liam] Yes, McKellen gets that dead to rights.
[Annatar] Tolkien said that he believed that Italian Vowels were the closest to Quenya
[Eressea] Who's excited?
[2[Guest1] how do you prononce it?
[Brandalf85] Ven Doo
[Gorlab] Or, "Aiya!" which means "hail!" or "Greetings!"
[Annatar] The Sindarin Y however seems to be Welsh
[Guest1] cool
[Brandalf85] yes Gor
[Salquendor] annatar, i dont know much italian, but they are close to spanish short vowels correct?
[[Brandalf85] Mckellen got Gandalfs voice from Tolkiens
[Indil] It cstainly sounds more impressive that way :)
[liam] the Sindarin Y is like German u-umlat.
[Brandalf85] i have some of tolkien reading on tape
[[Gorlab] Also, the fomal greeting is "Elen Sila Lumenn Omentielvo"
[Elaran] vendu? would we not see something from the roots _suilanna_ or _suila_?
[Guest1] is namarie goodbye?
[Brandalf85] yes guest
[liam] Say "ee" and then round your lips like you would for saying "o".
[Brandalf85] actually its "Farewell"
[Annatar] Since Sindarin was modelled on Welsh to a certain degree, this makes sense
[Gorlab] Namarie is indeed "Good-bye"
[Gorlab] from Na, meaning "is"
[Brandalf85] i have a website that gives like a whole list of elvish phrases
[Guest1] whats how are you?
[Gorlab] and "marie" meaning "it is good"
[Elaran] and Navaer is the deduced sindarin counterpart
[Gorlab] correct
[hobbit] namarie means be in good health, if i am correct
[Brandalf85] http://www.grey-company.org/Circle/language/phrase.htm
[Brandalf85] there
[Elaran] gah no!
[Brandalf85] for elvish phrases
[Gorlab] "be good" would be a possible literal translation for "Namarie"
[Eressea] I was under the impression that Grey Company Elvish was fan-devised.
[Annatar] okay, back to vowels
[Gorlab] I'm sure there are others...
[Annatar] AE and AI are very close
[Elaran] it is Eressea, its devised out of both Sindarin and Quenya for roleplaying purposes
[Elaran] hence my personal distaste for it
[Figgy] how is Eressea pronounced?
[Brandalf85] Eres Say
[Brandalf85] i believe
[[Eressea] Er - ess - ay - ah
[Brandalf85] or not
[Figgy] ah
[Figgy] good
[Eressea] It's spelled Eressëa with the funny accent on the third 'e'.
[Elaran] diaresis ;-)
[[Annatar] A is the "father" A, I is the sound in "meet" together you get "I" the english pronoun
[Gorlab] With the accent on the "ay" sound...
[Figgy] I've been saying it right then
[Eressea] Or as Eresseä if you're not talking about the island, but the word.
[Gorlab] a diaresis is used to 1:
[Gorlab] Clarify seperate pronunciation of vowels
[Gorlab] 2. for a final "e"
[Annatar] E is the A of "lady"
[Figgy] I see
[Gorlab] or 3 for vowel combinations.
[Eressea] Diaresis is the two-dots thing?
[Annatar] like Spanish Italian etc.
[Gorlab] two dots thingy, yup!
[Annatar] two dots, two sounds
[GuestLastar] oh. what is the pronounciation difference between ë and e
[Gorlab] "au" os pronounced as in "cow"
[Gorlab] Try pronouncing the God "Aule"
[Eressea] GuestLastar, iirc "ë" tends to take on the "ay" sound.
[GuestLastar] thnx
[Indil] Like "owly?
[Brandalf85] lol
[Annatar] We used to call the "dotted" E "Feanorian" it jest means to separate thevowles
[Brandalf85] i always pronounced Aule like "oo lee"
[Gorlab] Ow-leh
[Brandalf85] for some reason
[Gorlab] "eu" is pronounced like the name of the Peter Gabriel album "so"
[CloakedGuest thinks of the word lenguëta in Spanish as an example of how diaresis changes sound similar to what Eressea says
[Eressea] I was doing "Oh - lay" but I suppose, given "S ow - ron", it should be ow-leh...
[Annatar] diaresis is used the same way that is is in
[[Mo] would eu be like the french word for water then?
[Annatar] French E.G. "noel"
[Annatar] yes
[Gorlab] Sow-rahn, as in "cow-rahn", Dark Lord of Cattle...
[Eressea] lolol
[Maeglin_Lomion] :) Gorlab
[Gorlab] "iu" is pronounced like "yoo"
[Annatar] in lieu of
[Annatar] for example
[Gorlab] and, the skate-punk's fave: "oi" is pronounced as in "toy"
[Dsthenes] heh
[GuestLastar] umm... is there a between in meaning betwen, for example, faire and fairë becuz of the ë?
[GuestLastar] *difference
[Annatar] not to my knowlege
[Gorlab] final "e" always recieves the diaresis...
[Gorlab] it really just means that it is always pronounced seperately
[Gorlab] in fact, you almost don't need it...
[Annatar] speaking of stress . . .
[Annatar] Who here knows how it works?
[Gorlab] Which sylablle gets the "oomph"?
[Mo] is it the middle syllable?
[Elaran] I do
[Elaran] though it is somewhat complex
[Maeglin_Lomion] 2nd out of 4th, if 4 syllables?
[Indil] In Welsh it would be the middle...
[Gorlab] Well, what if you only have on sylablle?
[Eressea] Elvish is inflexive, is it not?
[Elaran] then it falls on the one ;)
[Annatar] basically, if there are more than one syllable, the 2nd or 3rd to last gets it
[Gorlab] Two syllables will ALWAYS be on the first syllable as well...
[Figgy] we got lots of training on stressed syllables in school
[Gorlab] EXCEPT for...
[Gorlab] one word: "Ava"
[Gorlab] it means "Don't!"
[Eressea] Ava, as in Avatar?
[Indil] or Avari, the refusers?
[Annatar] different language
[Gorlab] In Elvish, Avatar would be "Don't King"
[Annatar] yes
[Gorlab] Avari! Yes!
[Annatar] no
[Annatar] lol
[Eressea] Perhapts it's Av-atar, rather than ava-tar, then..
[Maeglin_Lomion] Haldir always seems to be pronounced Hal-DEER. Would that be an exception, or is everyone pronouncing it wrong?
[Elaran] it should be on the first
[Annatar] I think it's a mistake, and it's also why he seems a little annoyed
[Indil] lol!
[Elaran] the only time I can think of where one _might_ place it finally would be if the word incorporated a circumflex (possibly to mark it as irregular stress)
[Eressea] So how does one pronounce "Ancalagoth" in terms of stress?
[Annatar] AnCALagoth
[Annatar] not AncalAgoth
[Gorlab] Well, here's where our idea of long and short vowels comes in handy...
[Annatar] and single and double consonants
[[Eressea] So like Caribbean, then. :)
[Gorlab] If a word has 3 or more sylablles...
[Gorlab] many are stressed on the second-to-last sylablle...
[Gorlab] BUT
[Indil] so, MinDOLluin? Instead of MINdolluin?
[Gorlab] if this syllable is SHORT
[Annatar] if the 2nd to last Syllable has a "short" vowel or is separated from the last one by a single consonant, then it's too "weak to get the stress
[Gorlab] (Sure Oh cloaked one)
[Gorlab] A short syllable is one that
[Annatar] in which case stress moves to the 3rd to last syllable
[CloakedGuest] (thank you Gorlab)
[Gorlab] 1. Contains no long vowel and
[Gorlab] 2 is followed by only one consonant or no consonant at all
[Annatar] in technical terms the 3rd to last syllable is the "antepenultimate"
[Gorlab] If this sylablle is SHORT
[Gorlab] then the 3rd-to-last sylablle gets the stress...
[Eressea] What a word, "antepenultimate"...
[Elaran] lol tis better than antidisestablishmentarianism ;-)
[Eressea] Ante-pen-ultimate... that would be before-almost-last, yes?
[Eressea] Hence, third-last.
[Maeglin_Lomion] An example of this? I'm confuzzled......
[Gorlab] Annatar - an example?
[Annatar] ThangorOdrim
[Gorlab] As opposed to..
[Gorlab] ThangORodrim...
[Annatar] DR is bigger separation than G
[Eressea] Then GonDOlin over GONdolin?
[ohtar_i_anar] is there any stress?
[CloakedGuest] In fact, I've been saying GondoLIN.
[CloakedGuest] :-)
[ohtar_i_anar] there is no mark
[Annatar] no, ND vs. L
[Maeglin_Lomion] So have I. :)
[Indil] So Mindolluin, above, should really be MidolLUIN?
[Annatar] LL
[Indil] *MindolLUIN
[Annatar] MindOLLuin
[Indil] oh dear. This is very confusing :-0
[ohtar_i_anar] actually, when I say it, I find myself saying gonDOlin
[Annatar] not the boat
[ohtar_i_anar] I know
[Gorlab] This completes my time here in the Hall, thanks for listening...be here next week for more - Annatar might stay a bit...
[Annatar] or, rather like GONDola instead of gondOla
[Eressea] Thanks, Gorlab. :)
[Indil] Thank you gorlab. This has been very helpful!
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thanks, Gorlab.
[Annatar] follow the consonants, and when they don's help. look for accents
[Mo] Thank you Gorlab - cant' be here usually bacause of work, but i appreciate it
[Pippin] ok, so what form of Elvish are we learning exactly?
[furryfootses] where can i get all the info that i missed since these lessons started
[[furryfootses] sindar, quenya, etc.?
[Eressea] On the site, furryfootses, I believe there are logs...
[Annatar] The chat as a whole will try to cover Quenya and Sindarin
[Pippin] ok, cool :)
[Annatar] However, they overlap considerably
[Pippin is learning Quenya, but it kinda confuses her as the lesson planner uses big words
[furryfootses] thanks, eressea and annatar
[Annatar] if anyone has any germaine questions please ask, otherwise, my fingers hurt
[Legolas17] how is ll pronounced, as in 'mellon'?
[Pippin] like a normal l
[Pippin] not like spanish
[Mo] Do you know any examples for long and short E? i'm not familiar with more european styles
Gorlab has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
[Legolas17] i read somewhere that it was pronounced like a harsh h in the back of the throat
[Annatar] thank you every one I'll see y'all later
[Pippin] somewhere must have been referring to Gandalf's pronunciation of the word in the Bakshi edition of LOTR
[Indil] Thank you so much Annatar!
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thank you, Annatar.
[Eressea] Thank you, Annatar. :)
[Legolas17] thanks Annatar
[Dsthenes] thanks, Annatar. :)
[Mo] Thank you Annatar
[GuestLastar] thnx annatar
[Pippin] thank you Annatar

London LOTR Exhibition FAQ
leo @ 3:40 pm EST

If you are thinking about ordering tickets to the London Science Museum Lord of the Rings Exhibition, but have some unanswered questions, fear no more! Ringer Spy Isadora spent some time talking to the people from the Museum, and here's what she found out!

I just talked to the press office of the Science Museum in London in order to check out and clarify a number of details regarding the upcoming LOTR-exhibition in London. Thought you might be interested, so here we go:

Booking Hotline: Open seven days a week from 08.30 h to 18.00 h (local time). Due to massive demand during the first few days, lines will be open this week until 21.00 h.

During the first few days it will take you a lot of patience to get through in the first place (it took me several hours to succeed). Once you make it through, you will be asked to press “0” on your phone in order to book tickets for the exhibition. Once you have done that, be prepared to wait some more in the queue (another 20 min in my case).

The press office strongly advises to wait a few days before calling the booking lines to allow the initial demand to subside a little. This of course making it easier for people to get through and make their reservations.

Please have paper and pencil ready as you will be requested to write down the booking reference number for your tickets. Also please keep your credit or debit card ready at hand.

Booking process: During the booking process you will be asked for the date and time at which you will like to see the exhibition. You will also be asked for your name and postal code, and then you will be asked to give your credit card number and the validity date. Once reservation has been confirmed you will be asked to write down the booking reference number.

Booking price includes ticket price as well as booking fee.

Tickets will NOT be send to you. You will be asked to give your booking reference number at the entrance the day you wish to visit the exhibition in order to collect your tickets.

Tickets are timed tickets. If, for example, you asked for a ticked for 11.00 hours, you need to be there by 10.30. Please take into consideration that you very likely will have to queue at the entrance as well as the ticket booth, where you collect your tickets.

Booking in advance: The Science Museum accepts bookings up to January that means you will already be able to book tickets for the entire run of the exhibition.

Max. number of tickets? There is no limit as far as the number of tickets is concerned you would like to buy.

Exhibition catalogue? Sorry, there will be NO exhibition catalogue for the LOTR-Exhibition. However, you will be able to have your picture taken on Gandalf cart and take it home with you.

Can I bring my camera? NO. No cameras, bags and mobiles will be allowed in the exhibition.

How much time do I have to look around once I am inside the exhibition? There is no time limit. Press office suggests that you reserve about 1,5 hours for the entire exhibition.

Apart from the telephone hotlines will there be a chance to book tickets online? According to press office they are working on that one, right now they are dealing with a few technical problems, but hope to come up with an online booking option some time soon.

Methods of payment: Credit and debit cards are accepted, no DINER and VISA ELECTRON.

Demand for the tickets is HUGE! Is there a danger of the exhibition being sold out? NO. Press office would like people to know that there will be enough tickets at hand regardless of the massive response they have experienced throughout the past few days.

Miranda Otto: Doing it Her Way
Xoanon @ 10:52 am EST

Lord of the Rings star Miranda Otto is on the brink of international stardom, but that hasn’t stopped her putting love and her personal life ahead of her career.

After the break-up of her last serious relationship, The Lord of the Rings star Miranda Otto vowed she’d never go out with an actor again. They can be too high maintenance, too insecure and, sometimes, far, far too competitive. Yet, five months after tripping down the aisle with fellow actor Peter O’Brien following a whirlwind romance, she can only shrug and laugh ruefully. “Rules,” she happily exclaims, “are there to be broken!"

“Marriage? It’s just great!” she says now, talking publicly about her relationship for the first time. “It feels so nice to have made that commitment to somebody and to be able to move on with the rest of your life. It’s a great feeling that you’ve formed a partnership and are always ready to work through things together.”

The love affair smoldered in a slow start for the chameleon-like star of Australian films such as Love Serenade (1996), Doing Time for Patsy Cline (1997) and Dead Letter Office (1998), who has gone on in the past few years to forge a successful international career, topped by winning the strongest female lead in the second and third films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Working opposite 2003 Silver Logie award-winner Peter, one of the stars of Network Ten’s hit series White Collar Blue, in the successful Sydney stage production of A Doll’s House last year, she found herself attracted to him. Yet she had determined to never again go out with an actor after the end of her long-term liaison with fellow thespian Richard Roxburgh.

On the day the play closed, April 28 last year, Peter, 43, asked Miranda, 35, out. “I hadn’t even known if he liked me!” says Miranda, smiling softly at the memory. “I didn’t want to get involved with someone I was working with, as it can spoil the dynamic on stage, and I’d said I’d never go out with another actor. I did like him, but I had no idea he felt the same way.” “Yet if you meet the right person, it’s really very easy. From the beginning, we discovered we had so much in common. We feel the same way about things, and we like many of the same things. We were also both at a stage in our lives where we weren’t going to say, ‘I’d better keep shopping around. I might be missing out on someone else’.”

“ We were both ready to commit to somebody, but it did feel frightening. I’d been on my own for two years and it had been fantastic. I’d gotten to the point where I thought I’d never have another relationship. But then Pete came along…”

An engagement soon followed and, just eight months after their first date, on New Year’s Day this year, they walked down the aisle of Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral.

Even as her own career soars, with the much-anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, due to be released this December, and her latest movie, the new Australian comedy Danny Deckchair – in which she plays the stunning romantic heroine – on July 31, she’s reached the stage of thinking about starting a family.

“It’s something I want to do, but it’s a little scary” she confides “Having lived so much of my life by myself, it’s something I will do, definitely, but it’s such a big thing, it’s long-term. Being older, I think about it now and imagine finding it hard to keep up by the time they’re teenagers. But then I know nothing can really prepare you for it”.

Miranda gazes thoughtfully at the salt cellar on the table of the café we’re at in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, not far from the home she shares with Peter. A slight, waif-like figure in blue jeans and dark T-shirt, with a cascade of strawberry blonde curls, she’s just devoured a huge mid-morning plate of scrambled eggs and toast. She doesn’t usually eat this much, she explains apologetically, but she’s due at the gym soon and felt she had to prepare for the endurance test ahead.

Although filming of the three The Lord of the Rings epics in New Zealand finished some time ago, she is about to fly back over the Tasman to re-shoot some scenes. It means that a self-confessed physically lazy person such as Miranda, who hasn’t so much as looked at a dumbbell since the first shoot, is thrown straight back into a heavy gym regimen in order to match her previous physique. With her character, Eowyn, involved in so much swordplay – “It’s wonderful for releasing aggression, particularly since I have such a bad temper!” she purrs sweetly – that training is vital.

“But it is a bit of a shock to the body” she adds, sighing. “When I was in New Zealand for the six months of shooting, I did something everyday, so I got really fit. Now I’m trying to regain that, but it’s a year since I’ve even been for a run.”

Yet it’s precisely that kind of challenge on which Miranda thrives. She’s never gone for the easy options.

Growing up almost in the theatre as the daughter of award-winning actor Barry Otto and former radio and theatre actor Lindsay, she would have known the life of an actor wasn’t a comfortable one. “But I think it was in her blood,” says her dad, who worked opposite her for the first time in Dead Letter Office. “She was exposed to so much of it at an early age, it was easy to get the bug. Yet she kept it a secret from me for a long time that she wanted to act, although I’d never have tried to talk her out of it. Now I’ve seen her develop wonderfully as an actress into such a beautiful, charismatic figure, I see she has so much going for her.”

When her parents separated after seven years of marriage, Miranda went to live with her mother in Newcastle, and spent her time after school devising little plays with the children of other actors in their circle, such as Lucy, the daughter of John Bell of the Bell Shakespeare Company. At 16, in her HSC year, she took her first starring role in the movie Emma’s War, as the daughter of an alcoholic played by Lee Remick. She never looked back, attending the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, then winning role after role in film, television and on stage.

She has often been her own toughest critic, however. “I was looking at an old tape the other day of something I must have done 10 to 15 years ago, and all I could think was, ‘Thank goodness I went to NIDA after that!’” she says, laughing. “I had no idea what I was doing – and it showed. But I’ve never regretted any of my roles. Even if the work was bad, I might have met amazing people or been to an interesting place. You learn something from every single experience.”

After roles in so many Australian movies, including The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992), The Notradamus Kid (1993), True Love and Chaos (1997), The Well (1997) and In the Winter Dark (1998), in which she played opposite former beau Richard, she spread her wings overseas. She was John Cusack’s wife in the western The Jack Bull (1999), she did the thriller What Lies Beneath (2000) with Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, there was Human Nature (2001) with Tim Robbins, Patricia Arquette and Rhys Ifans, and a diamond commercial kissing Brad Pitt.

In among them were a few more eccentric choices. She went to Nambia for the drama Kin (2000) and to Italy for The Three-legged Fox (2001). She didn’t realise the film was to be in Italian, since her script was in English. In the end, she learned a smattering of Italian, then worked on the film, amazed by the degree of chaos on a Naples film set. “We’d been talking about the film for two years, but it wasn’t until much later that I learned they’d translated it all for my benefit, and even I would be speaking in Italian.” She says.

The Human Nature role came up after she narrowly lost out to Cameron Diaz for a lead in Being John Malkovich, and there she became good friends with Rhys Ifans, the Welsh scene-stealer Spike in Notting Hill. Last year, he was cast as the lead in Danny Deckchair and asked the producers to consider Miranda for the part of his love interest. At first, she refused. She’d been working for two and a half years and desperately need some time out.

Eventually, however, she agreed, both because she’d enjoyed working with Rhys, and because she loved the story of Danny the dreamer, who escapes his humdrum life by floating off on a garden chair tied to helium balloons.

Miranda plays Glenda, a tough, country-town parking inspector, whose garden Danny crashes into. While staying with her, he manages to reinvent himself into the local hero, while bringing out a side in Glenda no one realised existed, as she is transformed into a bewitching woman.

Producer Andrew Mason says Miranda was perfect for the role. “I think you should cast as the female lead someone you could be in love with yourself,” he says. “Everyone ended this film in love with Miranda. And she’s got such a great laugh, the kind that makes you know there’s something amazing, wicked fun happening that you really want to be part of.”

The role is perhaps another unconventional move for a woman on the brink of international stardom, but it’s this kind of endlessly varied, unpredictable, restless career that Miranda has always craves. She doesn’t particularly like the limelight or the glamour of fame, preferring to chose unusual projects, a heady mix of film, TV and theatre, or parts that she feels sure will challenge her.

She has just returned from a three week trip to the US, where she looked at scripts, but didn’t like most of them. “I find it difficult to find stuff I like in the States, and I can’t do it if I’m not interested in it.” She explains. “But I don’t get so many offers from there. I don’t seem to have that hard edge that a lot of women’s roles there have. I’m not really into that whole star stuff, either. That’s a very strange world full of dietitians, and you have very little control over your own life. I want the kind of career where you work in different places, and do small things, then occasionally big films, then some theatre. That’s the kind of career I have, and I’m happy with it.”

Also somewhere in the mix is Miranda’s resolve not to do anything that would separate her and her new husband for too long. Planning a trip to London together, where they could both work for a few months, they have agreed only to accept work on their own terms when they return.

“Being in a partnership changes you,” Miranda says. “You realise it isn’t worth going away unless something’s really good. There’s no point in being apart just to earn more money or to travel. I only want to do something if we both feel it’s worthwhile, and it works within our marriage.”

Miranda smiles, “I love good work, but my life is very important as well.”

London Science Museum LOTR Exhibit info!
leo @ 8:47 am EST

Here we go, some more information on what looks to be one of the most interesting Lord of the Rings-related happenings to hit Europe since Ring*Con last year.

Due to huge expected demand, advance tickets for The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition, a unique visitor experience based on the famous films, have gone on sale.

Call the booking hotline on 0870 870 4868. The lines are expected to be very busy so please be patient.

The family exhibition opens at the Science Museum in London on 16 September 2003, before the eagerly awaited final instalment of the film trilogy and will be the only chance for European fans to explore for themselves the fantastic world created for The Lord of the Rings films.

Hundreds of artefacts from the movies including models, armoury and animatronics will feature alongside interactive computer and mechanical demonstrations of the cutting-edge technology used to bring the story to life.

The fascinating exhibition includes:

Ø Demonstrations of special effects, including the combining of 'real' and 'digital' action and CGI (computer-generated-image technology)

Ø A scaling interactive allowing visitors to become Hobbit sized in a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring - and then buy a print of themselves

Ø A display on prosthetics including Hobbit feet, Orc teeth and the contact lenses used to give the Orcs their unique look

Ø Giant models including Hobbiton Mill, Treebeard and a cave troll

Ø An 'armour corridor' featuring weapons belonging to Arwen, Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn

Ø Outfits including Arwen's riding costume, Galadriel's stunning dress, and Gandalf's robes

Visitors will be transported into the world of Middle-earth where they will be met by Frodo and his Hobbit companions, the wizards, the Black Riders, the cultures of Middle-earth and the fearsome warriors - all in the authentic costumes created for the films.

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition will enable visitors to experience first hand some of the awe-inspiring special effects used to make the blockbuster films.

Head of the Science Museum, Jon Tucker, said: "This excellent exhibition provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at the science and technology which made the film trilogy possible - from the computer generated special effects to the development of the complex animatronics that created such stunning results."

The exhibition culminates with a face-to-face encounter with the central icon from the films - the One Ring itself.

· The Science Museum will be running a series of adult and family events during the autumn half term and Christmas holidays investigating traditional and state-of-the-art filmmaking techniques.

Exhibition: 16 September 2003 to 11 January 2004

Ticket Prices:

Monday - Friday: Adults £9.95, Children/Concessions £6.95
Saturday - Sunday: Adults £11.95, Children/Concessions £8.95

Well, anything that can make me look Hobbit-sized oughta be good! People who plan on calling from outside the UK would do wise to add +44 (England's countrycode) to the phonenumber listed above, otherwise it probably won't work.

Go back to Special Reports Archives