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May 07, 2003 - May 14, 2003


Xoanon @ 12:54 pm EST
M sends this along: (someone I know) was asked to participate in a music recording session for the ROTK video games (Playstation, X-box, etc.). They recorded various choral selections such as Gimli's War Chant and Forging of the Ring...lots of wierd stuff, he said, including some Black Speech. Cool and creepy. He was told the recordings would be also used for the upcoming Middle-earth online game, which the organizers of this recording session said would host up to 100,000 people at a time. He said there were other musicians there, including fiddles, flutes, etc. doing what he called "hobbitty stuff." Can't wait.


Learn More about Tolkien.
Tehanu @ 6:16 am EST
Katrelya sent us this link to the magazine Christian History [More] "Explore the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, as a Christian author in a modern time and place, shadowed by war; how his work is a response to the condition of his times. Learn how Tolkien developed creatively through his interaction with his children, often his only audience at times. Imagine first hearing The Hobbit as a father's bedtime story!"

If you live in Ontario, you can do this amazing course that Janet told us about: There is a Master's level English course on Tolkien and Jackson being taught at the University of Waterloo in Ontario this fall:

"ENGL 795 - Jackson's Tolkien: Choices Made in Adapting Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings from book trilogy to movie trilogy Instructor: Dr. Neil Randall This course examines Peter Jackson's recent film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The purpose of the course is to explore the decisions made by Jackson in adapting the film to the screen, analyzing those decisions (under the auspices of theories of semiotics and social semiotics) to determine the differences caused by the changes. Two of the films - The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002)-will be available for class viewing throughout the course, and we will examine each scene by scene in conjunction with both the published novel(s) and some of the supplementary material surrounding the novel, as published by Christopher Tolkien after his father's death. Our analyses will allow us to speculate on the nature of the adaptation of the third novel, The Return of the King, which will be released in December of 2003.

"You will be required to read the entirety of Tolkien's trilogy, including all introductory material and all appendices. In addition, you will read selections from Tolkien's other work, including The Silmarillion, The Book of Lost Tales, and the four-volume History of the Lord of the Rings (which shows the writing of the trilogy from its first drafts). Viewing assignments will include Ralph Bakshi's animated film The Lord of the Rings (1978), the 1991 BBC radio adaptation of the trilogy (okay, this is actually a listening assignment, not a viewing one), as well as all three Jackson films. Please note that the third movie in the Jackson series is indeed part of the course - its viewing and the assignment due the next day will constitute the final exam for the course - unless we have no way of doing so before the end of the Fall 2003 exam period. I will be trying to arrange a special advance viewing through Alliance Atlantis, the Canadian distributors of the film, in case the official release date occurs after this date."

A Few Silly Things.
Tehanu @ 3:46 am EST
OK, enough seriousness [like we're always so serious!].....these are some of the more weird and funny things that came our way in the past week or so.

Firstly, there's this site for getting to Mordor using Mapquest [More]

Secondly, this very nice LOTR-inspired music hall - a cosy hobbit-like venue for music. They are located in Bradford, Vermont, USA.
[a More]

Now, Sean thought other fans who visit TheOneRing.net might enjoy a short, satirical essay on bad grammar in e-correspondence starring Professor Tolkien. The article asks, how might the Good Professor have responded to the average email, if he'd lived to see the day? [More]

Morwen sent us this weird series from PBS - the Warrior Challenge. One to watch if you're in the States and have always wondered whether Vikings could beat the Air Force. [More] Would Aragorn make a good Marine?


ROTK Spoilers?!
Xoanon @ 3:23 pm EST
Ringer Spy Bregedalagos, who is new to us, and therefore cannot yet take everything a red, sends this in. So take this all with a mountainside laden with salt!

I managed to find some very interesting Return of the King spoilers info from a source very close to the film. Mainly, it regards the seige of Gondor, and events closely related to it.

When Denethor is on the pyre, burning, we see a closeup of the palantir that he grasps, and in it, we see a flash-ahead to the destruction of Barad-Dur, and the Nazgul falling in flames. Gandalf is there, as well as Pippin.

Gandalf says to Pippin, "Sauron could not conquer him like Saruman, but he concealed the true hope, and so Denethor was deceived." In response, Pippin says, "None of us are safe then." Gandalf's response is "We cannot be truly safe while Sauron rules."

Shortly after this, Beregond comes in, and sees Denethor's body. He simply says, "Such a waste of one so strong against the East."


Liv Tyler in 'B' magazine
Tehanu @ 6:59 pm EST
Lovely Liv Tyler Website has a picture of her face on the cover of B Magazine, and a link to a really interesting interview with her, where she says that she suffers from nostalgia, from an endless desire to capture the moment and make it last forever, resisting change. [More] What an extraordinary coincidence for an actor who played an Elf. Tolkien wrote of Elves, "The Elvish weakness is...to regret the past, adn to become unwilling to face change....They desired...to arrest change, and keep things always fresh and fair.' [Letters of JRR Tolkien, #181]
For me, the interview showed up weirdly so email me for a transcript if you can't read it.

Paths Of The Dead Spoilers!?
Demosthenes @ 3:18 am EST
Ringer Spy Kevin dropped us a line to tell us that IGN's subscriber only channel has some snippets already about EA's Return of the King film. What's very interesting is what these snippets may imply as plot spoilers for the film!

Kevin writes:

Now, the best place to find (film) spoilers may not be video game articles, but here's an excerpt from the IGN E3 preview of EA's Return of the King (the one based on the movies).

Here's the excerpt:

Gamers can defend the walls of Minas Tirith in the role of the white wizard Gandalf; lead a noble army of reluctant soldiers through the Dead Swamps and in doing so raise the Army of the Dead in Aragorn's, Legolas', or Gimli's boots; and, using every ounce of constitution left in your body, you'll deliver the ring to the fiery depths of Mount Doom as Frodo and Sam.

End excerpt.

Kevin writes that this seems to imply that while the "Army of the Dead" is in, the Paths of the Dead may be out; in EA's game at least.

The conclusion seems correct to me, in the EA game Aragorn will raise the Army of the Dead from the Dead Marshes. But whether that would apply to the movie as well definitely remains to be seen. I, for one, will await corroborating evidence from other sources before I accept that this is going to occur in RoTK the movie.


Well, I said I was unconvinced by a Gaming report alone, and here's a counter from a much more credible source. John points out that Brian Sibley's "The Making of the Movie Trilogy" contains a reference to Paths of the Dead on page 61. It says:

"Time to go on," says Richard, "time to take the paths of the Dead!"

And we are passing between sculpted rock walls in black styrofoam carved with a riot of ruined buildings -- steps, doorways, towers, and turrets -- all this way and that, and each numbered with a small yellow sticker and pained a luminous green for the purposes of digital photography.

Additionally, Argo from our Discussion Boards points out this Gamespot review of the same game.

From Gamespot.com, a very good gaming site;

"After the defeat of Saruman and the forces of Isengard, the attention of the broken Fellowship of the Ring has turned collectively toward Mordor and the final destruction of the One Ring. You'll be able to play as eight different characters in various areas taken directly from the movie, such as Gandalf as he helps defend Minas Tirith during the Battle of the Pellennor Fields; Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli as they traverse the Paths of the Dead; and Frodo and Sam as they strive to reach the fiery cracks of Mount Doom while opposed by the evil hosts of Mordor"

Perhaps IGN was mistaken?

Update 2: Ringer Spy Tar Anaclime sends this scan of a section of a map the NZ Film Commission produced which lists all the set locations from Lord of the Rings. Note it lists Paths of the Dead twice.

Lord Of The Rings Locations List

Unless something else emerges, I guess we can count the report of the deletion of the Paths of the Dead pretty much debunked ... for now.


John Rhys-Davies in Popcorn
Tehanu @ 6:40 am EST
Glyndwr wrote in: Just seen JRD's interview on S4C's entertainment show, "Popcorn". Talking to the interviewer in the Welsh Black Mountains, JRD looked very relaxed considering his recent accident. Apart from doing a passable impersonation of Gollum ("S4C lovesss us, my precious; no they don't, they hatesss us!"), and talking once again about the hours spent having Gimli's prosthetics attached painfully to his face, he said how he had been persuaded by his son to take the role of Gimli in the trilogy after initially being unsure whether it would be a success. As soon as he began work on the project, however, he knew that it would be massive.

"Living in Salisbury," he said, "my mum and dad found that I was getting mocked by the other kids, and they decided they would only talk to me in English... I don't speak Welsh any more, but the music of Wales is in my head."

Today's Welsh Daily Mirror also reported how JRD's big ambition was to play rugby in the red shirt of Wales, as his father had been a forward for Pontypool and had a Welsh trial in 1934. "In those days," he said, "miners would come out of the pit, have a bath, run down to the pitch and then hammer each other."

Perhaps today's Welsh team ought to take a leaf out of that book: they might actually win some matches!


ROTK Spoilers! Saruman, Grima & SAURON News!
Xoanon @ 12:31 pm EST
Angelus is not a new spy to us, he/she has sent along information and we KNOW she/he has insider contacts from all over the biz. Take a look at what he has to say, some interesting bits of info that I know some of you will hate to hear. Plus that spikey wheel returns (I cannot WAIT until I prove all you non-spikey wheel people wrong...we posted that story YEARS ago!). Anyways, as always take all this with a grain of salt, but know that this didn't come from a random fanboy....it has cred.

I have a friend who told me about Return of the King, first thing, Sauron will be standing off against Aragorn in hand to hand combat.

Men of Gondor surround them both and Legolas shouts "Aragorn!" as a warning, then Aragorn with Anduril in hand rushes the Dark Lord who looked like he was in different armor than when we saw him in the prologue. It is not an even fight and Aragorn is nearly knocked to death as the countdown to the destruction of the ring begins. I guess the goal is to make the audience wonder if the ring will be destroyed before Aragorn is smeared all over Mordor!

Another thing I saw was the death of Saruman. Grima slits Saruman's throat and kicks him over the edge of Orthanc where he is impaled on the wheel, then Legolas shoots an arrow high into the air and is laughed at by Grima as it soars over his head, as Grima is mocking the seemingly inaccurate Legolas the arrow comes spiraling down straight through Grima's skull!


Statues with TTT Collectors Edition DVD?
Xoanon @ 12:06 pm EST
This story has been removed per New Line Cinema request. Details of the extended DVD box set for TTT will be forthcoming.

TTT: Extended Edition Details?
Xoanon @ 9:34 am EST
A new spy in our legion, Iry sends along this info that he/she/it/they claim to be some of the missing scenes to be added into The Two Towers Extended Edition!

1) Boromir saying goodbye to Faramir and Denethor, a flashback obviously.

2) Faramir sees a ghost or a shadow of Boromir and understands that Boromir died.

3) After destroying the Haradrim, Faramir says: "Interesting, who is he, where is his home, his family. Is there evil in his heart.... why is he travelling so far from home?' (or something like that, dont renember directly)

4) Faramir showing the road from Olgiliath to Sam and Frodo.

Canberra News: FAREWELL FESTIVAL at Center Cinema
Tehanu @ 4:11 am EST
The Centre Cinema in Canberra is closing down, due to refurbishment of the building, however it will not re-open in the renovated building. As its swan-song the cinema owner is running a farewell festival of favourite films over the next couple of weeks. This cinema is some 36 years old, has a wonderful large screen and fantastic sound.

The following programme has been designed to give Center Cinema a big send-off. A full colour souvenir poster with the Festival programme is now available from the cinemas. (I have removed details of other films)

Friday 16 May at 7.30: THE LORD OF THE RINGS - THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (rated M). On the big Center screen, in response to many requests.

Friday 23 May at 7.30: THE LORD OF THE RINGS - THE TWO TOWERS (rated M)

All of the films in the Festival are 35mm, and are either new or believed to be in excellent condition."

Thanks to Lolly for the news!

John Rhys Davies at the Oxford Union.
Tehanu @ 3:14 am EST
From Wil Harris:

Thought some of you guys might be interested in the fact John Rhys Davis came to the Oxford Union tonight to speak...

Yours truly got some pics, and also spent a whopping 75 quid (I kid you not...I am so broke) on a charity auction for a signed piccie. Of course, the signed piccie was only half of it, so onto the pics :

Check them out: 1 The man himself in full flow. Much thinner than I remember on Sliders.

2 Doing his best Gimli impression.

3 The prize included drinks afterwards, so I took the opportunity to get a quick snap

4 Of course, this was what I wanted all along !

5 The actual prize. A little lame, but hey :)

So I'm desperately racking my brains for interesting quotes..

"OK first things first. No I do not have Orlando Bloom's phone number".

I asked him a quick Q about how he thought Sliders went, in front of the main chamber...he gave a quick answer, before saying "and if anyone asks me about it again, I'll kill them!"

He was one of these people that starts off on one topic, but that reminds him of something else, and 10 minutes later you're a mile away from where you started. Fascinating, and extremely funny, with a wicked sense of humour. It's hard trying to think of one hilarious thing that he said, because the whole thing was just so funny, but it is also clear he has a welath of experience and background behind him. His wife writes for Frasier and Seinfeld...he mentioned some of his wife's past exploits (apparently she danced in an Elvis movie) embarassing her, before saying "Well, it looks like I won't be getting laid tonight!"

We had a bit of a chat in the drinks afterwards which was cool, and he said well done to me and the other two guys that won the auction for being so generous for a good cause...he had also spent a long time in the chamber talking about how he was brought up by a 'welsh mother'...which anybody who knows a traditional welsh mother will understand It was funny, because all of what he was saying was 100% my mum...he laughed a lot when I told him that, and proceeded to take the mickey out of me in a Welsh accent.

So, overall, pretty darned good. We're spoilt at the Union this term...Ian McKellen next week (hopefully he will sign my LOTR DVD without me having to pay 75 pound) and, I'm informed, get ready to swoon, Viggo next term is confirmed :D

Thanks Wil, for that report!

Bing added, "John Rhys Davies was at the Oxford Union on Tuesday 6th May. He spoke about his career, LOTR and suggested that everyone should take a hanky when they see LOTR. He also tipped Sean Austin to recieve an oscar nomination for best supporting actor, next time around"

ROTK and Extended TTT DVD news.
Tehanu @ 2:54 am EST
Ah, remember 'spy reports'? Well this is a classic: An unnamed source sent:

"I talked to someone who saw some ROTK clips, including the ROTK preview for the TTT DVD and he said everything looks AWESOME so far (especially the battle at Minas Tirith), we have a lot to look forward to! I am not sure if this is going to be on the preview but one thing that he saw that stood out was his note on scenes that show Pippin becoming a "warrior." :)

"He also made a brief comment on the TTT extended DVD portion and says that a majority of it will be relationship focused and there will be much more on the Ents."

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