Go back to Special Reports Archives


September 11, 2003 - September 17, 2003

9-17-03 Latest News

New LOTR Games Workshop Book
Osyen @ 4:32 pm EST

LORD OF THE RINGS COMPILATION 2 $20.00 ($32.00 CAN)

LORD OF THE RINGS COMPILATION

This book contains all the best from White Dwarf magazine for The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, containing new rules, scenarios, painting and modeling tips, and more. Inside you’ll find:

Three mini-games, the first featuring Gandalf vs the Balrog as they clashed on Zirak-Zigel and the second of the mighty clash between Gandalf and Sauruman inside the tower of Orthanc! We also have The Race to Bruinen Ford, as Arwen carries the wounded Frodo to safety while being chased by the Ringwraiths.

Guidelines for creating your own new scenarios
Rules for the new Rohan Royal Guard
Ready-to-use banners for your Riders of Rohan models
Scenery tips for creating your own Helm’s Deep!
Lots of Battle Reports and painting master-classes
Articles on converting up your own Ents plus rules for different types of Ents!
New rules for Ringwraiths riding Fellbeasts, along with a new scenario featuring these foul creatures
Lots of new scenarios for The Two Towers, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the new Shadow and Flame supplement – including the awesome Watcher in the Water!
All this plus Questions and Answers, Golden Daemon winners on display, reference charts, and more - An essential addition for all players!

Check it out here: [http://us.games-workshop.com/thelordoftherings/us/]

Mortensen's 'Hidalgo' Review
Xoanon @ 3:21 pm EST

Tammy writes: Not sure if you are interested in reading a reivew of the film but Disney has started test screenings for Hidalgo throughout southern califormia and I was able to see it last night along with a theater filled with other very mixed demographics.

It's about two and a half hours long but very well paced. I wasn't familiar with the story at all but I think that made the suspense more exciting since I didnt' know what would happen to the characters at the end of the film.

The acting was superb, not just Viggo Mortensen's. The arabian desert was beautiful and the sets were wonderful. The story was well written with appropriate comedic moments scattered throughout the entire film.

The end of the Ocean of Fire race and the end of the film itself pay for the cost of admission entirely. I won't include any spoilers here because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who may want to be kept in the dark about what happens.

LA Baggins Birthday Celebration Update
Arwen @ 12:10 pm EST

LA Baggins Birthday celebration update

We hope to be joined by many Ringers on Sunday September 21st as we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo's Birthday. Here's all of the information you need. First of all, there's been a change of venues. The picnic will not take place at the Hollywood Camrose park as originally announced, but in Griffith Park at the Cedar Tree Picnic Grounds.

Time: 11am to 6pm (or until the Shadow comes)

Directions:

From the South: Take the 5 North to the Griffith Park Exit.
Follow the exit ramp to the stop sign, and turn right onto Crystal Springs Dr.

From the North: Take the 5 South to Los Feliz Blvd. West.
Take Los Feliz Blvd. to the intersection with Riverside Dr. Make a right. Riverside Dr. will turn into Crystal Springs Dr. as you enter Griffith Park.

From LA Proper: Take Western Ave. North toward Hollywood Hills.
Western Ave. will turn into Los Feliz Blvd. Take Los Feliz Blvd. to the intersection with Riverside Dr. Make a left. Riverside Dr. will turn into Crystal Springs Dr. as you enter Griffith Park.

On Crystal Springs Dr.
Take the road through the park. You will pass the Visitors' Center and a bunch of other structures on your right.
At the first stop sign, there will be a big sign for the MERRY-GO-ROUND. Follow the sign and make a left at that intersection. The party will be on the left in the Cedar Tree Picnic Grounds. Just look for the Rohan Tent.

Parking:

You can park anywhere along the street. If there's nowhere to park on the street, simply follow the street a little further up, and you will find the Merry-Go-Round parking lot. There is plenty of parking there. If you feel that your car is too far from the picnic area, and you can't carry all of your stuff, simply come over and ask some of the strapping young men to assist you.

If you get lost or attacked by Black Riders or end up on the slopes of Mount Doom, please call Sarumann (don't fear: our own Saruman is much nicer than his infamous namesake!) at 213-248-4994 and he'll guide you through the mists.

Here's a call to all hobbits, elves and men (and orcs too if they promise to behave): hobbits being famous for their appetite, we need a lot of food and drinks. Please contact Arwen at arwen@theonering.net to let her know what you will be bringing.

Apart from the eating and drinking (always so important!) we will have a costume contest so feel free to come dressed in your fanciest attire. We will also have a trivia contest, and since it was such great fun last year, an impersonation contest. The rules: pick your favorite character or your favorite line, and act out your best impersonation - the selected line must be either from Fellowship of The Ring Extended Edition, or from The Two Towers. Your efforts will be rewarded with great prizes!

We hope to have covered everything, but if you have any questions please contact Arwen at the above email address and she'll do her best to answer them.

9-16-03 Latest News

The Deal
Tehanu @ 7:03 pm EST

In January of 2003 my son came home from school upset about something. "Dad, can I see the Lord of the Rings movie?", he asked. Immediately images of Orcs and cave Trolls came to mind coupled with images and sounds of a 7 year old waking up at 2 in the morning screaming from nightmares. "Maybe when your older buddy", I replied. Of course my son being the great debater came back with the response" but all the other kids in my class have seen it" whether this was true or not I did not know. But I did know one thing was for sure 7 was just to young, but how oh how could I escape the "all the other kids get to do it" and "your not fair" complaining for months to come. A light bulb appeared above my head." I tell you what, if you read the book you can watch the movie." Satisfied with my response I began completing what I was working on thinking to myself well that will take care of him for a while. He won't finish that book until he is 13 or 14 an appropriate age to see the movie. If I had not turned I would have probably noticed a 7 year old with a face of determination, a 7 year old with a dream, a goal, something to shoot for, I would have seen the face of a child accepting my challenge with full charge. One week later my son came home from school as excited as could be. In his right hand he held one of those book order forms. Ahhh the scholastic book fair, I remember those with fondness. What a special day when the box arrives and the teacher begins handing out the books you had ordered. It is almost like Christmas at school. I still remember the book I ordered in 2nd grade "the celery stalks at midnight" Possibly 80 pages and maybe 1500 words. What a novel! What book would he want I wondered we could pour over it together. What fun! Immediately he opened up his order form "Look Dad, Look" He was pointing at a circled picture of the Lord of the rings box set including the hobbit. In my mind I remembered my deal, not being a rich man and not wanting to throw away 30$ along with possibly a discouraging memory for my son I tried to think of a way out of the deal, with only nano seconds at hand and hoping for the best, I grabbed my checkbook and wrote out the check.
Book day

My son 4-6 weeks later depending on shipping and handling came home as though he had won the grand prix. Holding his books proud he displayed them to his excited parents and brothers and sisters. He then ran upstairs to his room to begin reading. Within a couple of days it became apparent that it may be harder then expected. So I decided to do what any good dad would do, I helped him. I bought the platinum DVD with the 3 hours of special features and told him every chapter he finished he could watch a special feature. This fueled him to finish the book in 3months we watched and viewed every special feature put on those discs. The day he finished the book was the same day I had planned a hike with him up Mt. Si. There was a look out halfway up the mountain. The plan was to make it to the look out. He being seven drug me being 30 up to the top of the mountain, far past the look out. Quite a kid. Of course I was in reality hiking a real mountain while more then likely he was hiking Mt. Doom. This was driven home by him calling be Aragon my bearded friend Gandalf and reminded us to call him Frodo. We went home and watched the movie twice. The next day I presented him with a very expensive hard cover version of the book with a letter written on parchment paper and glued to the inside cover. I hope it becomes one of his life's treasures. Last week he completed the Two towers book, since it is not yet out on DVD I decided to take him to the website and show him some teasers to get him by until August 26th. While at the yahoo movies website I noticed that there was a link for show times and tickets. I clicked on the link and found that the next night would be the last night in our state that the movie would be playing at a theatre in Puyallup. The next day we gathered our snacks and gear and traveled 130 miles. Quite a long trip for a movie but the perfect adventure and reward for him. We watched the Two towers on the last night at the last theatre it was playing at in my state. He has now begun work on Return of the king. The plan now is to buy him a bow and arrow set along with archery lessons when he finishes the book. He has loved every moment of the books and the movies and overall this will stick out in his mind as a very fond memory.

I thought this might be an encouraging fan letter for you to read. I don't know if he would have been inspired to read the books if it wasn't for the movies and now that he has read the books and watched the movies, he cant decide which is better. He loves the movies but enjoys the books as much. Thanks to Tolkien, Peter Jackson and the Cast for being a huge part of my child's early academic and imaginative life. Oh by the way the only two things that scared him immensely were Gollums eyes in the fellowship and the shortcut to mushrooms scene with the black rider hanging over the tree with the hobbits right underneath. 4 months ago we brought home two male kittens. The grey one he named Frodo the White one Gandalf.

Decipher ROTK Press Release!
Osyen @ 5:07 pm EST

Get An Advance Look Into the World of Middle-earth on November 5th
When The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game Begins
A New Chapter with The Return of the King


Newest Base Set to Hit Stores Worldwide Weeks Before the Stunning Final Installment of the Epic Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy Unfolds on December 17th

(Norfolk, VA-September 16, 2003)-It all began with The Fellowship of the Ring as Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit friends embarked on a journey unlike anything they could have ever imagined. The journey then continued with The Two Towers as the Fellowship of Nine disbanded in various forms, each encountering adventures that would bring them closer to the evil lurking within Middle-earth. Now, J.R.R. Tolkien fans around the world anxiously await New Line Cinema's theatrical release of The Return of the King, the final chapter that is sure to be the most highly anticipated film of Peter Jackson's epic dramatic trilogy.


Decipher is proud to bring this electrifying chapter of the trilogy to life with the latest base set for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game: The Return of the King. Available worldwide on November 5th, The Return of the King will tell the tale of Aragorn - revealed as the hidden heir to the Kings of the West - as he joins with the forces of Gondor to take down the armies of Sauron, while Frodo races to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom. With breathtaking new images from the film featured on 365 new cards for new characters, sites, and themes, this set is sure to be a must-have for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson's trilogy, and TCG players alike.


The Return of the King also introduces exciting, new gameplay mechanics that represent the increasing threat of the shadow of Sauron. "Threats" are a new mechanic that presents players with an activated effect using wounds that threaten every Fellowship companion when just one dies. "Initiative" is an innovative new mechanic that activates powerful cards that key off of the cards a player has in hand. This will discourage the Fellowship player from playing every card possible to survive and will also add new discarding strategies for the Shadow player in order to win initiative.


"The Lord of the Rings trilogy has given us an opportunity to take an exceptional storyline and bring it to life in a format that can convey all of the dramatic twists and turns that are inherent to the plot," said Decipher Senior Game Designer Tom Lischke. "Although The Return of the King is the final chapter in the film trilogy, this base set is the beginning of yet another enlivening block for the trading card game - which introduces even more new characters and mechanics. And, unlike the film, it won't end here. We have plans for new expansions for The Lord of the Rings TCG for years to come."


Players will be able to participate in release day events on November 5th. Retail locations worldwide will participate in these tournaments where prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. In addition, a special Release Day card will be presented to all competitors.


This 365-card base set contains: 121 rare cards; 121 uncommon cards; 121 common cards; and two starter-only premium cards.


The Return of the King will be available in the following product configurations:


*63-card Starter Decks: Starter decks will be available in two versions, Éomer and Aragorn. Each deck has three random rare cards, 2 premium cards, and a rulebook. MSRP: US $10.99


*Booster Packs: 11-card packs will include 1 rare plus a mixture of common and uncommon cards. Foil cards will be found in approximately one out of six booster packs. MSRP: US $3.29


As with previous The Lord of the Rings TCG cards, all cards in The Return of the King will receive a foil treatment in a parallel set.


The Lord of the Rings TCG: The Return of the King set continues the mission introduced with The Fellowship of the Ring, which introduced the top award-winning trading card game of 2001 and 2002. Players try to win the game by advancing their Ring-bearer to the end of the adventure path; killing the opponent's Ring-bearer; or corrupting the opponent's Ring-bearer.


Just in time for New Line Cinema's December 17, 2003 theatrical release of the third and final
installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, look for the new base set of The Lord of the Rings TCG in November when The Return of the King releases in stores worldwide!


Release Dates:

Siege of Gondor - March 2004

Mount Doom - July 2004

Shadows - November 2004

Black Rider - March 2005

Bloodlines - July 2005

The Hunters - November 2005

Rise of Saruman - March 2006

Treachery and Deceit - July 2006

The Great Eye - November 2006

Shelob's Lair - March 2007

Age's End - July 2007

9-15-03 Latest News

London Science Museum Images
Xoanon @ 2:45 pm EST

London Science Museum Images - A 'Nuggie' from Lurtz
A 'Nuggie' from Lurtz

Irascian writes: I know Leo and Arathorn are doing a piece on the Science Museum LOTR Exhibition and don’t want to steal their thunder but thought you might appreciate these two exclusive pictures from the photo call in the morning that they weren’t able to attend.

The first one shows Richard and Laurence at the press call and the second shows John Tickle from the UK’s “Big Brother” show being attacked by Lurtz! Enjoy!

I will be putting up a full transcript of the Press Conference Q&A session (held in the morning) on my web site eventually but the Decipher fan club magazine article has to take priority. The magazine will be featuring some exclusive pictures from the exhibition that won’t be appearing anywhere else (photography is generally not allowed inside the exhibit other than at the press launch) – yes, that’s a plug for the magazine ;-)

Just a word of warning: demand for the exhibition is high and the organizers warned several times people should book in advance using the booking line number of 0870 870 4868. The exhibition leaves around January 10th and will be moving on to Singapore.

Anyone remotely interested in the films would be foolish to miss this exhibition – it is awesome. To quote one of the organizers “you will see things here you couldn’t see in the film”. He’s right![More]

Blanchett tipped for Oscar nod
Xoanon @ 11:36 am EST

Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Veronica Guerin is set to earn her an Oscar nomination, according to film industry experts. Movie magazine Screen International last week tipped Australian Blanchett, 34, to be one of those battling it out to win the Best Actress gong at the Academy Awards next February.

The magazine believes Blanchett's nomination is a certainty thanks to her "flawless Irish accent and awards-tailored performance". It wrote: "The film is already a huge hit in Ireland and has a powerful Hollywood pedigree behind it in producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Joel Schumacher.

"But it is Cate Blanchett as the crusading journalist who will make the awards' cut."

Blanchett was previously nominated as Best Actress for her role in Elizabeth in 1997. Veronica Guerin the movie attracted record audiences in cinemas around Ireland.

News on Astin's Premiere in 'Jeremiah'
Xoanon @ 11:29 am EST

Chris writes: I thought you would want to see below for the Sean Astin news.

'Jeremiah' Returns to Showtime for Second Season Friday, October 10 At 10:00

Series Stars Luke Perry, Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Sean Astin Joins the Cast

NEW YORK, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- SHOWTIME will premiere the second season of the sci-fi adventure drama series JEREMIAH on Friday, October 10 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT). With 15 new episodes, the series has added Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings" "Staying Together") to the cast. JEREMIAH stars Luke Perry in the title role, who rose to international fame as the brooding Dylan McKay in the television and cultural phenomenon that was "Beverly Hills, 90210".

Malcolm-Jamal Warner ("The Cosby Show") stars in the series as "Kurdy", Jeremiah's friend and partner in his quest to forge a new world order out of the chaos of a post-apocalyptic future. The series, from MGM Television Entertainment, is created for television by sci-fi icon J. Michael Straczynski, creator and executive producer of "Babylon 5". Luke Perry, also serves as executive producer on JEREMIAH.

In the new season, Sean Astin, known for his role as Samwise Gamgee in "The Lord of the Rings" hit motion picture trilogy, will play a colorful character named "Mr. Smith", who teams up with Jeremiah and Kurdy to forge new alliances in the hope of building a brave new world.

The series is set in a future post-apocalyptic world where, 20 years before, a deadly virus wiped out the world's adult population, sparing only those who hadn't reached puberty. Now, the oldest survivors of the "Big Death" must struggle to create a civilization out of the chaos that was left to them when the adult population was wiped out, along with the majority of society's collective knowledge.

During the first season, Jeremiah (Perry) sought to locate a mysterious place called Valhalla, which his father had claimed might hold some hope for the survivors. This personal quest was redirected when he met up with the loner and opportunist named Kurdy (Warner). Together, they discovered a group of highly organized survivors at a technologically advanced military facility called Thunder Mountain. It was there that Jeremiah and Kurdy were enlisted to orchestrate peace among the warring factions that often roamed the countryside or squatted in abandoned towns, and to work towards preventing the killer virus from returning.

As the second season opens, Jeremiah has been separated from Kurdy in the aftermath of a struggle with forces from the Valhalla Sector. He is being held in captivity and is about to be reunited with his father -- a mysterious figure he thought long dead, and who holds the answers to many secrets about Jeremiah's world.

JEREMIAH is based on Platinum Studios' comic book-to-film adaptation based on the award-winning comic book by Belgian author Hermann Huppen. The series is being produced by Jeremiah Productions Inc. in association with Lion's Gate Television and Platinum Studios and is distributed by MGM Worldwide Television Distribution.

Straczynski serves as show runner and executive producer, alongside Grant Rosenberg who has produced and written for "The Outer Limits" and "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." The executive producers also include Luke Perry, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (who developed the hit film "Men In Black") and Ervin Rustemagic.

MGM Television Entertainment handles television development and production for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. Its series lineup includes the smash off-beat dramedy Dead Like Me; Fame, MGM's successful foray in reality programming showcasing the ultimate talent search; the hit syndicated action-adventure series She Spies; the popular post-apocalyptic drama Jeremiah; the award-winning, critically acclaimed series Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits; and The L Word, the forthcoming ground-breaking drama. For more information on MGM, visit MGM Online at http://www.mgm.com/.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC xtra.

SNI also offers SHOWTIME HDTV(R), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV.

Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME EXTREME(R) is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

BIOS

LUKE PERRY (Jeremiah/Executive Producer) -- Prior to taking on the dual roles of star and executive producer for JEREMIAH, Luke Perry made his Broadway debut as Brad Majors in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." In recent years, he appeared in feature films including "Fogbound" and the spy thriller "The Enemy," opposite Roger Moore. His television credits include the miniseries "Johnson County War," the TBS thriller "The Triangle," and an eight-episode run as the Reverend Jeremiah Clouthier on the series "OZ" for which he received rave reviews.

During his years on "Beverly Hills 90210," Perry appeared in several independent films and major studio productions. These included Columbia's "Fifth Element," the SHOWTIME Original Picture "RIOT," "Normal Life", and "American Strays." He also co-starred with Chris Penn, Michael Madsen and Mary Stuart Masterson in "The Florentine." Perry made his feature film debut in the starring role of real-life champion bull rider Lane Frost in "8 Seconds," which he also co-produced.

MALCOLM-JAMAL WARNER (Kurdy) -- An Emmy(R)-nominated child actor for his regular role on "The Cosby Show," Malcolm-Jamal Warner has matured as an actor but has also received accolades in several new creative ventures: directing, playing bass for his band Miles Long, Performance Poetry gigs and civic-minded advocacy appearances.

His theater credits include "Cryin' Shame," "Freefall" at the Victory Garden Theatre in Chicago, the off-Broadway play "Three Ways Home," at the Astor Place Theatre, and in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the La Jolla Playhouse.

A seasoned director, Warner was the resident helmer as well as star on "Malcolm and Eddie." He also directed episodes of "The Cosby Show," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "All That," and a host of music videos. His film short "This Old Man" received critical acclaim on the festival circuit. Additional directing credits include the Saturday morning teen magazine "All Ax-S," featuring Jaleel White and Kriss Cross, Nickelodeon's "Keenan and Kel" and the AIDS awareness video "Timeout: The Truth about HIV, Aids and YOU." The video, which starred Magic Johnson and Arsenio Hall, earned Warner the NAACP Key of Life Image Award.

Always civic-minded, Warner has been involved in several programs that reach out to the community. He hosted the Emmy Award(R)-winning "Kids Killing Kids" and directed "Teen Files: Truth About Violence." Warner recently appeared at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in a theatrical production of his Performance Poetry entitled "Love And Other Social Issues."

SEAN ASTIN (Mister Smith) -- Sean Astin, currently appearing in "The Lord of the Rings," began his acting career at the age of nine, appearing opposite his mother Patty Duke in the ABC after school special, "Please Don't Hit Me, Mom." As a teen actor, he appeared in "Toy Soldiers," "The War of the Roses," and "The Goonies" among others. His more recent credits include "The Long Way Home," "Courage Under Fire," "Rudy," and the SHOWTIME Original Picture "HARRISON BERGERON."

In 1994, Astin produced and directed the Academy Award(R) nominated short film "Kangaroo Court." More recently, he directed "On My Honor" and, while filming the "Rings" trilogy in New Zealand, he directed the documentary short, "The Long and Short of It."

Tolkien and the Medieval World at SF State Uni
Tehanu @ 2:29 am EST

Yarrow writes, "A co-worker of mine came across a couple of interesting fall classes on the San Francisco State University (SFSU) Web site:"

"'Lord of the Rings' as Epic" (English Language and Literature 630) Students delve deep beyond the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, guided by English professor George W. Tuma, who has studied Tolkien's work for more than 20 years and taught English literature at SFSU for 33 years. Tuma, a Tolkien purist, has not seen either "Lord of the Rings" film because he is afraid the films would stray too far from the book. He also notes that Tolkien himself questioned if it was possible to transform the book into a quality movie.

The course description clearly indicates that the lecturer has not seen P.J.'s films, and almost seems to read, "don't even think about discussing the movies in this class."

And...here's another course that San Francisco Tolkien fans might find interesting, also at SFSU:

"Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval Europe" (History 640) Students study fantastic creatures and places, with an exploration of miracles, magic, charms, folk traditions, saints and relics. Taught by Assistant Professor of history Jarbel Rodriguez, the course also covers stories of ghosts and vampires and shows how the supernatural played a role in medieval society and what the beliefs reveal about the medieval world.

Scroll down to find the courses here

Andúril - Flame of the West!
Demosthenes @ 12:23 am EST

Andúril - reforged by elvensmiths from the shards of Narsil - is perhaps the most famous swords in the Lord of the Rings. This United Cutlery replica will be released in November 2003.

Andúril - Flame of the West!

Elrond said of the legendary blade: "The man who can wield the power of this sword can summon to him an army more deadly than any that walk this earth."

The inscription down the length of the blade on both sides is in the Tolkien language of Quenya, written in the runes of Eregion, that say "Nányë Andúril i né Narsil i macil Elendilo. Lercuvanten i máli Mordórëo". This translates to "I am Andúril who was Narsil, the sword of Elendil. Let the thralls of Mordor flee me."

The blade inscription features runes framed by stylised symbols of the Sun and the Moon, which represent Anarion and Isildur, the sons of Elendil, and seven symbolic stars that represent Elendil, who died wielding Narsil in battle against Sauron.

Inscribed on the pommel are runes in the Elven language of Sindarin that say Narsil essenya, macil meletya; Telchar carneron Navarotesse. This translates to "Narsil is my name, a mighty sword; Telchar made me in Nogrod."

NB: Some people have wondered why the blade inscription is in "Dwarven Runes" and not the Tengwar. Both the angular runes (known as the Cirth) and the more cursive Tengwar lettering were initially created by the elves. The Sindar elves of Beleriand invented the Cirth, while the Tengwar originated in Valinor and was "imported" by the Noldorin elves.

The Tengwar became the dominant form of writing for elves - only in Eregion (Hollin) did the Cirth retain its popularity. The elvish smiths of Eregion passed the Cirth on to the Dwarves of Khazad-dum, who adapted it for their own use.

So although runes were primarily used by Dwarves by the Third Age, they were still elvish in origin.

Additionally, Appendix E of LoTR tells that the Cirth was long used only for "inscribing names and brief memorials on wood or stone". It would have been ideal for a blade inscription.

Finally, when Eregion was overrun by Sauron in the Second Age, Elrond gathered the few survivors of the sack to himself. Afterwards, he retreated with them to Rivendell.

Could it have been that a few Celembrimbor's famed cadre of smiths survived to enter the service of Elrond and later reforged Narsil? Unfinished Tales does not reveal the fate of the Gwaith-i-Mirdain, although Celembrimbor himself was killed. But it could be that this is part of the logic as well.

It makes a nice unsupported theory anyway.

UPDATE: JO writes, "The simplest explanation for the presence of Dwarvish Cirth on Narsil (and of course Anduril as well) is this: it was made by Telchar, who was a dwarf. No more complex theory is necessary. "

9-14-03 Latest News

Viggo Exhibit in LA
Xoanon @ 8:00 pm EST

Mary writes: A great new exhibit of Viggo Mortensen's photographs from the "Hidalgo" filming opened yesterday in Los Angeles.

It's called "Miyelo", a Lakota Indian word, and shows about 20 wonderful, almost mystical, photos of an Indian Ghost Dance recreated on the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. These are huge prints, full of swirling vivid colors, and featuring luminous indistinct figures that could well be ghosts! It is a moving and inspiring exhibit!

Open through November 8th, at the Stephen Cohen Gallery, 7358 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. The gallery is open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and while there was no sign of Viggo there -- or any promise of future attendance-- the show is a rewarding experience which speaks eloquently for this artist!

There were a few obvious LOTR fans in attendance, and it was great to be one of them! I couldn't afford the signed monograph, which included a signed print, but the book "Miyelo" is available on its own. It includes copies of all the photos in the exhibit, as well as very thoughtful words, and a re-telling of the Wounded Knee story. [stephencohengallery.com]

9-13-03 Latest News

Going Nova In Brisbane
Demosthenes @ 10:21 pm EST

An SF convention! In Brisbane! Rare as hen's teeth, you might think. But Supanova has rolled into town from Sydney, and is set to keep Brisbane's geek collective - including myself - happy for a few weeks.

Unusually, though, I'm horribly disorganised and don't arrive at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane until midday. This is a Bad Thing(tm). Bruce Hopkins was supposed to hit the stage at 10.30am. As I wander through the gates, I console myself with the thought that he'll be on tomorrow and that maybe I can corner him for a few words during the afternoon.

The first thing I note is that there's quite an impressive crowd - I twist and turn my way through the press of people as I figure out where everything is.

Lots of comic stalls - every comic store (and hopeful artist) in Brisbane must be represented here. Ooooh, Borders. Must stay away, books could be excessively tempting. I hurry on without stopping.

Around the corner is the WETA stall. Now, I've been reporting on the amazing stuff WETA which dreams up for ages, but seeing it in the flesh (or is that polystone?) is something entirely different. These things are truly incredible. For starters, they're larger than I imagined. Most of the statues are two hands high, and the busts about half that. The colours are fantastic. Even the Frodo statue - which always struck me as a bit off in pictures - looks really good.

Standouts are the Watcher in the Water, an armoured Easterling and Gimli posing amid the ruins of Moria with his axe. I boggle at them for a bit - idly pondering the pile of cash sitting in my wallet. Even a rabid hater of dust collectors wouldn't mind owning one of those, surely. There's also several sets of tiny replica weaponary arrayed on a smallish plaque that are seriously impressive.

I introduce myself to the people on the stand, and chat with Bill Hunt (prosthetics expert with WETA FX) for a while. Bill tells me he has worked with WETA virtually since the inception of the film, but it's obvious he's lost none of his enthusiasm for the project. He's still like a little kid who's been handed the keys to a chocolate store. If this is typical of the enthusiasm, friendliness and dedication at WETA, it must be a remarkable place to work.

Our conversation covers a huge amount of ground, some of which he later raises again in his presentation and Q&A. I'm sure you're all salivating to hear what he had to say, but you'll have to wait for my fuller write-up tomorrow.

I wander on, stumbling across the Trading Card Game guys doing demonstrations and running a competition. I confess to Paul - the guy organising the comp - that I have no idea how TCG works. He tries to explain the process to me as he plays. The strategy aspect is fascinating.

I slowly get the feeling of how everything functions as he and his opponent take turns to attempt to corrupt/kill each other's Ringbearer (or reach the game endpoint) first. The balance of the game sways back and forth. Each player uses Fellowship companions to defend their Ringbearer, while using "dark" card to attack their opponent.

At Helm's Deep Paul's opponent, David, is unable to attack. He doesn't have the right cards, even though he's in a very strong position. It proves a critical point and Paul prevails a short time later, getting to the game endpoint and claiming the win.

I watch another game before I decide it's time to move on. EA's there previewing the RoTK game, as well as a couple of others. I watch people play for a while - it's very action oriented. Lots of hack and slash.

However, I only see the Paths of the Dead sequence, so it's difficult to gain any sense of the plotline. One thing I do note is the appearance of the Dead - robed, ghostly figures with large shields and halberds. I idly wonder if this is some sort of hint as to the appearance of the Dead in the film.

The person playing Aragorn "dies" mid-sequence, so I don't see the exit of the Paths. I'm too incompetent at Console games to have a go and humiliate myself before the assembled masses.

Over in another section of the building, Bruce Hopkins sits with the other special guests. There's an enormous line of people attempting to get David Prowse's (Darth Vader) signature. I don't really recognise the other guests - I need to work on my geekiness, I guess.

Bruce Hopkins is wearing a t-shirt that reads "Isengard Swim Club". He explains that it was given to him by some people from the United States. Appropriate considering the hours he spent on the flooded Isengard set. Even if the reverse does read "Team Elf".

I ask him how he maintains intensity and focus when (as is the case with acting) you sometimes have to do take after take. He replies that in the end, it boils down to the fact that it's what actors are paid to do. But he also adds that he finds a personal focus and inspiration from the enormous effort that goes on behind the scenes, where hours (or even weeks) might be spent creating a scene for him to come into just to say a few lines. He says it's his way of honouring their work.

I get the sense that this sort of attitude and incredible work ethic defines the cast and crew of Lord of the Rings. Bill Hunt says as much while describing the time when Viggo Mortensen lost part of a tooth during a battlescene and didn't stop to look for it until the scene finished.

"No-one wanted to drop the ball," he says simply.

The Supanova convention concludes today at the RNA showgrounds in Brisbane.

9-12-03 Latest News

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
maegwen @ 10:03 pm EST

"Here at the end of all things...."

With the attention of the Dark Lord turned outside his borders, Sam and Frodo make their way across the treacherous terrain of the Gorgoroth. Here, at the end of their journey and with no hope of return, the two hobbits resolve themselves for the final steps to Mt. Doom. Now is Sam's finest hour, forsaking food and water for his master, while determinedly making way for a destination he has no idea how to find.

With each step, the growing weight of the Ring becomes a burden and a torment to Frodo, until he loses strength for anything beyond mere endurance. Sam now carries Frodo part of the time, and the hobbits cast aside all but the most necessary gear in an effort to lighten their load.

Some way up the mountainside the hobbits are waylaid by a desperate and dangerous Gollum. Sam strikes Gollum to the ground, but in pity spares his life. Continuing on their way, at long last the Ringbearer enters the forges of Sauron. There, upon the edges of the pit, Frodo stunningly renounces his goal: succumbing to the power of the One Ring and declaring himself Ringlord in the heart of Sauron's realm.

As Sauron becomes instantly aware of the threat within Mordor, from the shadows Gollum attacks again. Biting Frodo's ringfinger off, Gollum dances around in brief triumph before stumbling into the fires of Orodruin, still clutching the Ring.

How does this chapter reveal Sam's growth since setting out from Rivendell? How does pity and mercy ensure the success of the quest? Did Frodo fail the quest? And finally, what do you think about the tragedy of Smeagol?

Join us in #thehalloffire as we debate RoTK Book 6, Ch 3: Mount Doom.


Upcoming Topics:
September 20-21: The relevancy of Tolkien to the 21st century.
September 27-28: RoTK Book 6, Ch 4: The Field of Cormallen
October 4-5: Leaf by Niggle

Times:
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.

LOTR Urban Legends
Xoanon @ 3:00 pm EST

Xoanon here with a little special item I like to call 'LOTR Urban Legends'. We here at TORN get a whole lot of email daily, in fact many of us get the same emails, spymaster@theonering.net for instance reaches many staff members. Over the years we've seen all manner of rumor or silly prank hit the net, and when they do the information spreads like wildfire and suddenly we are bombarded with hundreds of emails on the subject. Here are a few that keep rearing their ugly heads at least once every six months.

Bush and The One Ring

This clever little bit of political satire has been spotted in protest lines and on countless websites. Where it came from and exactly who created it we don't know. Emails with the subject 'Frodo has failed' will more than likely contain this image. We get waves of emails with this image from time to time. Needless to say, Bush and his politics are not something we cover here on TORN, so no flames please :)

Nimoy sings 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins'

We have also, unfortunately, all seen this odd little video featuring Spock himself singing a song about Bilbo Baggins. If you haven't had the pleasure...click here.

That Hobbit Trailer

This legend, beyond all others, has caused more excitement with fans than almost anything else I've ever seen. The folks at lathamfilm.com, a digital production house, pieced together scenes from other films to create an apparently realistic looking trailer for a film called 'The Hobbit'. Supposedly starring Ian McKellen, Ian Holm and directed by Peter Jackson, this film was set to be out in 2006. Well folks, this ain't gonna happen. Sorry to disappoint! Click here to view the trailer. [More]

Last 2 Pages of the ROTK Script!

Well, not really no. These 2 pages seen here are in actuality an April Fools joke let loose on the public. Without any explanation, these images sit on this site and are allowed to excite fans far and wide. Well this one isn't true either. It's all in fun.

Viggo Mortensen Not The First Aragorn?

Not really an urban legend, but more of an email topic that just won't die. Waaaaaayyy back in 1999 TORN was the first site to report that Stuart Townsend was set to play Aragorn. Ironically we were also the first to report that a week after principle photography had started, Townsend was off the picture. Viggo was quickly sent in as a replacement. Try looking in our archives from 1999 for more news on this.

Well, there you have it, it really does seem like LOTR has permeated deep into the pop culture psyche if it can create such legends that are seen (and *gulped* over) on the TORN message boards from time to time. Not to mention the emails...the countless emails...

*ping!* You've got mail!

In Defence of Tolkienshop.com
Xoanon @ 12:59 pm EST

Nick sends along this email in regards to some comments from another email we posted here a few days ago. He argues that the folks at tolkienshop.com have been nothing but professional and courteuous, we at TORN wish to add that we have nothing against tolkienshop.com, we are simply providing views of all sides in this debate.

Nick writes:

In a recent article about fake autographs for sale on the web, you also included a response from some other upset buyers. One of these people highlighted www.tolkienshop.com and it’s owner Rene Van Rossenburg as being unreliable.

I would just like to provide an alternate view of this great Tolkien Web Emporium. I have bought many expensive items from Rene over the last year and even got hold of the exclusive Weta Cave Troll bust, months before it was released here in the UK. All sales have been smooth and quick and the items delivered in excellent condition and excellently packaged.

Rene is always very courteous and helpful in all communications from enquiries about pre-orders and shipping to sales information. He is well-know in Europe and has spoken/displayed at many official Tolkien events.

I feel it unfortunate that a legitimate businessman with a great online store could possibly lose sales because of one biased opinion.

I know Rene is aware of the article and will no doubt be contacting you himself, but I felt that I must write to you to offer the story of a satisfied customer.

Dragon*Con 2003 Kids Pictures Posted
Jincey @ 12:56 am EST

One of the best experiences I had this year at Dragon*Con was the Kids Session during Tolkien's Middle-earth fan Track. We had approximately 15 kids ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 8 participating. Kids spent an hour drawing pictures, having their faces painted, making Elvish brooches, getting 'Sharpie' tattoos of their name or initial on their arm, and snacking on 'lembas' and apple juice. It is wonderful to see a new generation of Tolkien fans coming up! I took a picture of the session [here], and as you can see, the kids had a great time! As each child left, they were given a copy of the Two Towers Photo Guide (with stickers!!), courtesy of the fine folks at Houghton Mifflin. I'd like to thank Starlady for painting faces, Injvstice for doing the tattoos, and Maegwen for helping the kids make their Elvish brooches. Some of the kids left their pictures with me so I could scan them and post them here on TORN's scrapbook. So, you wonderful kids from all over... you're famous now!!! [Dragon*Con 2003 Kids Pictures!]

9-11-03 Latest News

Supanova Starts Tomorrow in Brisbane!
Demosthenes @ 9:58 pm EST

A reminder for Australian ringers that Supanova begins in Brisbane tomorrow at the RNA showgrounds. Events kickoff at 10am, going through until 6pm, and then everything starts up again on Sunday the 14th at the same time.

Supanova - a pop-culture convention that has enjoyed a lot of success in Sydney - is making its first venture into Queensland and LoTR fans will enjoy the chance to meet Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) and Bill Hunt (a prosthetics expert from WETA who helped give Lord of the Rings’ characters their super-real look). Both Bill and Bruce will be giving presentations on each day.

Additionally, Brisbanites will get Australia's very first look at EA's forthcoming Return of the King game. Since EA have been known to slip film teasers into their cutscene sequences, we may even see some new film footage. Here's hoping, anyway.

There'll be heaps of Trading Card Game stuff, including demonstrations, as well as piles of collectibles from Sideshow and Hasbro to ogle and paw. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the non-LoTR guests and attractions.

Full Guest list for Saturday

Seminar Room Upper Commerce Building

10.30 Bruce Hopkins - King's Right Hand Man: Gamling
11.20 Peter Mayhew - Episode III: Return of the Wookiee
12.10 Mark Bagley - Spinning Webs on Ultimate Spider-Man
1.00 Sandi Finlay - The Empire's Dealiest Woman: Sly Moore
1.50 Ashley Wood - Hellspawn to Popbot: An Artists' Journey
2.40 David Prowse - The Villainous Darth Vader
3.30 Ben Templesmith : 2 Days of Supanova: Hollywood & Beyond
4.20 Bill Hunt - Lord of the Rings Prosthetics Master
5.10 Undead crew - Live at Supanova

Anime & Comic Book Room Lower Commerce Building

10.30 Matt Sloan : From Animatronics Supervisor to Jedi Knight
11.20 Chris Sabat : Super Saiyan! DBZ's Piccolo & Vegeta
12.10 Anime Trivia Competition
1.00 Comic-Book Trivia Competition
1.50 Darren Dunstan : Yu-Gi-Oh!'s bad guy Maximillion Pegasus
2.40 Jon Sommariva : Rocketing in on Go Boy 7
3.30 Krome : The Latest : Greatest from the local gaming giant
4.20 Dillon Naylor : Gets Historical! In the Beginning, to Batrisha : Beyond
5.10 Eddie Campbell : Painting a Different Picture on Batman

TORn will be there to report on the event, and maybe we'll even score an interview or two. Stay tuned.

The Supanova Pop Culture Expo 2003 Brisbane

RNA Showgrounds, (Commerce Building) Gregory Terrace, Brisbane.
Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 September 10.00am – 6.00pm

Tickets:
Two-day Pass (only available from Ticketek)
Adult: $25.00
Child*: $15.00 (under 5 free)

Single-day Pass (through Ticketek or at the door)
Adult: $15.00
Child*: $10.00

Family Pass (2 Adults, 2 Children aged 5-12)
At the door: $40.00

Massive Nabs Academy Nom
Xoanon @ 8:50 pm EST

Dany writes: In case you haven't seen this yet. The Academy is considering Massive for a Scientific Achievement Award:

14 Scientific Achievements in Competition for 76th Academy Awards(R)

Beverly Hills, CA - Fourteen scientific and technical achievements have been selected for review by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for 76th Academy Awards consideration, Committee Chair Richard Edlund announced today.

"Publicizing the selections under consideration gives people or companies with a similar technology the opportunity to submit that technology for review by the Sci-Tech Committee. These additional entries are often also considered," said Edlund.

The deadline for additional entries to be submitted to the Academy is 5 p.m., Thursday, September 25.

The methods or devices selected by the committee and the individuals or companies submitting them are:

Ultimate Director's Finder (UDF); Kish Optics
Kinoton FP 30/38 EC High Speed Studio Projector; Kinoton America
Kodak Process-Surviving Film Antistatic Technology; Eastman Kodak Company
Influential Work in High Dynamic Range Imaging and Image-Based-Lighting; ICT Graphics Lab
Digidesign Pro Tools Digital Audio Workstation; Digidesign
"Massive" Animation System; Massive Ltd.
Subsurface Scattering Rendering System (SCAT); Industrial Light & Magic
ESC Entertainment Lighting Reconstruction Toolkit; ESC Entertainment
Truematch Compact Fluorescent Lamp Series, KF29, KF32 & KF55; Kino Flo, Inc.
Cablecam's Multi-Axis Systems; Cablecam International
Series of Four Separate but Integrated Macro/Micro 8/70 & 15/70 3-D Camera Heads; Image Quest 3-D Ltd.
Hot Gears Remote Systems; Salamati Productions, Inc.
Digital Hybrid Wireless Microphones; Lectrosonics, Inc.
Silicone Appliances (Special Makeup); Greg Cannom

A demonstration of selected achievements will be conducted on Tuesday, October 21, in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Awards Administration Director Richard Miller said the committee will meet on December 3 to vote on recommendations to the Academy's Board of Governors, who will make the final decisions. The Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented at The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena on Saturday, February 14, 2004.


Go back to Special Reports Archives