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September 22, 2000 - October 06, 2000

10-06-00 Latest News

Exclusive Look at a Rohan Shield!!!
Xoanon @ 8:43 pm EST

From Our Super Ringer Spy Glaurung comes our very first look at some armor!! It's a Rohan Warrior Shield!!

The emblem in the middle is the rear quarter of a horse (4 in a circle).

There is a strap with buckle to allow the shiled to be worn rather than carried.

There is a handgrip in the middle and a stirrup on the lower left quarter to allow protection while riding.

10-05-00 Latest News

Sean Astin interview in 'Pavement'
Tehanu @ 11:00 pm EST

The Oct/Nov issue of 'Pavement' has quite simply one of the best interviews I've seen with a Lord of the Rings cast member, in this case Sean Astin. This magazine is available in Australia and New Zealand; it'll be a few days before I know whether we have permission to scan the whole thing.
Meanwhile, here are some of Sean Astin's thoughts on his role, on acting, and on his experience with the Rings project.

"As I was reading the books, I was reading them with an eye towards Sam, but he's just got such a warm, honest, pure good-hearted essence. And that's his position in the film and in the book. It's to be a kind of barometer against which all of the adventure and evil is measured. Sam has an unfaltering moral compass. He always knows who he is. As all the different characters, with all their different complexities, change and evolve and grow or fail, Sam just is....good. He has a level of experience at the end of the trilogy that he didn't have at the beginning that informs his goodness. It makes his goodness that much more admirable. It's easy to be naive and innocent and good but it's another thing to have been embattled and, despite all of the trials and tribulations of an epic adventure, to remain good of heart."

Astin also notes that 'a movie and its characters don't have to be pure or improving but should contain some grain of truth....something contained within the film and the roles should be worth saying.'

He talks a little about how his career developed. The son of acting parents, he's acted since he was a child; he also writes scripts and has directed very successfully too. The interview gives a sense of how Astin weaves every part of his life together, family, work, education:

"Trying to suspend family life while I worked would mean I ended up never living at all." So his family's been living with him in NZ.
Astin says he was first drawn to the Rings project by his respect for Peter Jackson; he'd not read the books. However, with a degree in History and English, it's not surprising that his response to the books has been very insightful. His belief in Peter Jackson has been justified, and he comments 'that Jackson did more than choose a cast that would do justice to the books, he chose a group of people that would mesh well.'

Despite spending at least 72 hours a week in each other's company, amongst the cast he finds 'there's a level of fun, a level of joculariity, among people whose work is so respectable you want to put your dinner jacket on and be on your best behaviour.' Onset this familiarity might erupt into sudden snowball-fights; offset the four hobbits have followed up a commitment to all learn to surf while in NZ!

10-04-00 Latest News

New Minas Tirith Set Pic!
Xoanon @ 5:12 pm EST

New Zealand Website Stuff posted a great new pic of the Minas Tirith set, located at the same Haywards Hill quarry in Upper Hutt, where Helms Deep was also filmed.

MINIS TIRITH?: Construction is under way again at Dry Creek Quarry near Wellington's Haywards Hill in preparation for further filming the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Earlier this year the site was used to film battle scenes depicting the Helm's Deep sequence. Now speculation Internet is that the new set is Minis Tirith, the chief city of Gondor.

10-03-00 Latest News

A memoir of one of Tolkien's Proofreaders.
Tehanu @ 6:44 pm EST

Many of you will have read the volume of Tolkien's collected letters. Many of them dealt with the process of preparing the books for publication. A few days ago I was contacted by somebody whose father was one of those proofreaders with whom Tolkien corresponded. He kindly allowed us to post this:

"My father, Jack Liddament, was a proof reader for Jarrolds of Norwich in 1954 - coincidentally, the year I was born. He was given the job of reading LOTR and spent the best part of the year on the work. He remembers that many people thought at the time that the book was something of a curiosity and could not really see much of a market for it, but he thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it would be successful.

Proof readers are by nature fussy about accuracy and the correct use of words and my father was impressed by Tolkien's own attention to detail. I remember him telling me that the scholarship underpinning the invented languages in the book made the story very powerful and added depth and substance to the work. He recalls that some of his colleagues at the printers saw fit to correct Tolkien's use of "dwarves" for the plural of "dwarf" at the post-proof stage without consulting either proof reader or the author, which led to Jarrolds getting a pointed letter from Tolkien asking them to change the words back again!

As the proof reader, my father was expected to question any seeming inaccuracies or inconsistencies, marking them up on the printers proofs and then sending them to the author, who usually either crossed out the suggested changes or ticked them to signify agreement. Tolkien often went further than that, adding little notes and explanations in the margins of the proofs and enclosing small drawings and extra material. He sent my father a thank you note at the end of the work, saying that he was grateful for the effort that my father had put in at the proof reading stage.

My father continued working for Jarrolds through to his retirement about 15 years ago. Since then, he has pursued his own writing ambition in a very different genre - cowboy stories. Despite having never travelled further west than Wales, he has had five novels published and shows no sign of slowing down as he approaches 80.

He will be very interested in the films and will be keen to see how the power of the written language and the detailed mythology that Tolkien created transfers to the screen."

Thanks to Martin for that!

Stuntmen form union
Tehanu @ 12:16 am EST

It had to happen, with such a huge crew of stuntmen working together for such a long time. Rob Young, Augie Davis and Paul Shapcott, who comprise three of the Lord of the Rings crew, are organising an NZ Stunt Guild. It will be affiliated with the national union, Actors Equity. The NZ guild is modelled on the UK guild, and certainly the local stunties had the opportunity to learn a lot from swordmaster Bob Anderson (the guy who did Darth Vader the first time) and Rings' original stunt coordinator Greg Powell. They're both British. The US Stuntmen's Association also had useful input.

The guild wants to create an NZ standard for offshore productions. "This will meet international safety standards, and protect stuntpeople and producers," said Shapcott when interviewed by Onfilm.

Thanks to Onfilm NZ for the snippet.

10-01-00 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch: Oct 1-7
Xoanon @ 6:25 pm EST

Sunday, October 1

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) Psycho STARZ & The Thin Red Line ACMAX
Miranda Otto (Eowyn) The thin Red Line ACMAX
Elijah Wood (Frodo) The Faculty SHOWX
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) Au Pair FAM & The Trial of the Incredible Hulk SCIFI & Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam KUSI
Andy Serkis (Gollum) Topsy-Turvy TVND33
Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron) Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome WABM
Sean Astin (Sam) Harrison Bergeron WBKI
Christopher Lee (Saruman) Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow TMC & Gremlins 2: The New Batch WFXG
Bernard Hill (Theoden) The Mill on the Floss WOSU & True Crime MAX
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Mississippi Burning KCIT & Body Parts MAX
Liv Tyler (Arwen) Plunkett & MacLeane TMN

Monday, October 2

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) Boiling Point TNT
Liv Tyler (Arwen) Cookie's Fortune HBODT
Ian Holm (Bilbo) Mary, Queen of Scots IFRC1
Sean Bean (Boromir) Ronin TMC & Jacob ODSY
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) Windmills of the Gods RCN
Christopher Lee (Saruman) Private's Progress TMC2 & The Crimson Pirate AMC
Bernard Hill (Thedoen) True Crime MAXS & William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream HBOSIG
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Body Parts MAXS

Tuesday, October 3

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) The Young Americans ENCACT
Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) Elizabeth TMC2
Sean Astin (Sam) Bulworth MOMAX & The War of the Roses WLMT
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Progeny MAX & Color of Night
PETER JACKSON FILM Braindead Terrestrial TV, Channel 4 UK

Wednesday, October 4

Liv Tyler (Arwen) Heavy SUNDAE & Plunkette & Macleane TMN
Ian Holm (Bilbo) Alice Through the Looking Glass HBOF
Miranda Otto (Eowyn) The Jack Bull ACMAX
Elijah Wood (Frodo) North SHOWX
Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) Pushing Tin MAX
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) The Shadow USA
Sean Astin (Sam) Safe Passage TNTI
Christopher Lee (Saruman) The Three Musketeers AMC
Steve Coogan (Unknown) Alice Through the Looking Glass HBOF
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Death Machine KVVU & Color of Night MAX

Thursday, October 5

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) Witness TSO
Hugo Weaving (Elrond) The Matrix HBOPL
Dominic Monaghan (Merry) Hostile Waters TBS
Christopher Lee (Saruman) The Last Unicorn STARZ & The Man With the Golden Gun WTBSLOC
Bernard Hill (Theoden) Gandhi KCKA
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Urban Legend TMC & Trauma SHOWB & The Bride of Chucky TMN
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) Canvas TMN

Friday, October 6

Ian Holm (Bilbo) Shout at the Devil FLIX & Nicholas and Alexandra MOMAX
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) The Living Daylights WTBSLOC
Andy Serkis (Gollum) Among Giants HBOPL
Christopher Lee (Saruman) Dracula Has Risen From the Grave WAMI
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) Body Parts MAX

Saturday, October 7

Ian McKellen (Gandalf) Gods and Monsters TMC2

9-26-00 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch: September 26-30
Xoanon @ 11:17 am EST

Tuesday, September 26

Hugo Weaving (Elrond) 'Proof' IFC
Andy Serkis (Voice of Gollum) 'Among Giants' HBOSIG
Miranda Otto (Eowyn) 'The Well' Sundance
Orlando Bloom (Legolas) 'Wilde' Show2
Elijah Wood (Frodo) 'Deep Impact' Showtime2
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) 'Apt Pupil' TMC
Liv Tyler (Arwen) 'Plunckett and Macleane' TMN
Sean Bean (Boromir) 'Airborne' MAX

Wednesday, September 27

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) and Miranda Otto (Eowyn) 'The Thin Red Line' MOMAX
Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) 'Pushing Tin' HBOPL
Sean Astin (Sam) 'Kimberly' TMC & 'Toy Soldiers' MAX
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' SCIFI

Thursday, September 28

Ian McKellen (Gandalf) 'Gods & Monsters' Sundance
Sean Astin (Sam) 'Bulworth' Cinemax
Brad Dourif (Grima) 'Childs Play' TMN

Friday, September 29

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) 'The Great White' BET
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) 'Restoration' Encore
Ian Holm (Bilbo) 'eXistenZ' Showtime
Liv Tyler (Arwen) 'Cookie's Fortune' MOMAX & 'Plunkett and Macleane' TMN
Sean Astin (Sam) 'Boy Meets Girl' TMN

Saturday, September 30

Hugo Weaving (Elrond) 'Reckless Kelly' TMC
Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) 'Paradise Road' Bravo
Liv Tyler (Arwen) 'Armageddon' Starz
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) 'Gods & Monsters' TMN
Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) 'A Walk on the Moon' TMN
Sean Astin (Sam) 'Like Father, Like Sun' TMN

Thanks to Gamgee for the help!

9-22-00 Latest News

Boromir Squirrel Sketch Auction
Calisuri @ 10:41 am EST

Nona from the Compleat Sean Bean has sent us this interesting tidbit:

Hi guys,

Celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, the Duchess of York, Sir Michael Caine and Sean Bean have been showing off their artistic flair in aid of the endangered red squirrel in the UK.

More than 200 stars agreed to take part in a "scribble a squirrel" competition to raise awareness of the plight of the mammal, which could become extinct in England in the next decade.

The pictures are being auctioned on the Internet during Red Squirrel Week.

The auction will run for two weeks and will raise money for the North East Wildlife Trust and The Calvert Trust, charities which both work to raise awareness of the dangers facing the red squirrel in England.

The auction ends 29/09/2000 11:00 PM.

The QXL auction website is here, along with a list of all the celebrity contributors:


To place a bid on Sean Bean's sketch of a red squirrel, click here:


A copy of Sean's sketch is attached.



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