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September 15, 2003 - September 28, 2003


TORn Staff Answers Speculations -- And Adds Some More!
maegwen @ 11:09 pm EST
Some of TORn'S staff chime in with their thoughts regarding the rampant Trailer Speculations we've been posting today. More to come, hopefully!


Melian, head of Barliman's 'Hall of Fire' discussion group, writes:

This is a tough scene to speculate, which is all we can do, because -- no matter who Eomer is holding -- the scene is an obvious departure from the book by Peter Jackson.

In the published account, Eomer weeps when he sees Theoden die on the fields. However, Eomer doesn't hold the fallen King. Nor does he hold Eowyn -- or shed tears at her death:

"He stood a moment as a man who is pierced in the midst of a cry by an arrow through the heart; and then his face went deathly white, and a cold fury rose in him, so that all speech failed him for a while. A fey mood took him.
" 'Eowyn, Eowyn!' he cried at last. 'Eowyn, how come you here? What madness or devilry is this? Death, death! Death take us all!' " Eomer then "spurred headlong back to the front of the great host, and blew a horn, and cried aloud for the onset."

* * *


Demosthenes, TORn Senior Staffer, writes:

It's extraordinarily hard to make out this white outline. It seems to "flutter" like a banner would, yet it seems elevated quite high into the air. This could be a trick of the eye, since the camera is very close to the ground. Yet the shape is also extremely odd compared to all the banners that we've seen previously. It *could* be an orc banner - those are fairly tall. There's also definitely two Fell Beasts in the shot, flapping around. Could it be that this shape is a Fell Beast with it's wings folded back and stooping for a kill? ...Food for thought.

Presumably at Erech, Legolas says "He is here," obviously meaning the King of the Dead on the other side of the White Mountains.

* * *


maegwen, TORn jack-of-all-trades, suggests:

From "The Stairs of Cirith Ungol":
"But it was too late. At that moment the rock quivered and trembled beneath them. The great rumbling noise, louder than ever before, rolled in the ground and echoed in the mountains. Then with searing suddenness there came a great red flash. Far beyond the eastern mountains it leapt into the sky and splashed the lowering clouds with crimson. In that valley of shadow and cold deathly light it seemed unbearably violent and fierce. Peaks of stone and ridges like notched knives sprang out in staring black against the uprushing flame in Gorgoroth. Then came a great crack of thunder."

This is clearly seen at the very beginning of the trailer, as the red glow throbs on the horizon and a crack of thunder resounds. Later, as we see Frodo climbing, below him are the troops of the enemy issuing forth from Minas Morgul -- which is bathed in a "cold deathly light"

"And Minas Morgul answered. There was a flare of livid lightnings: forks of blue flame springing up from the tower and from the encircling hills into the sullen clouds. The earth groaned; and out of the city there came a cry."

As the light erupts from Minas Morgul, we see the winged beast go aloft -- bearing the Witch King?

* * *


mallorn, 'Hall of Fire' moderator, writes:

First, about the Witch King appearing on a winged fell beast: my guess is that Peter Jackson is keeping all of the Nazgul, including the WK, on winged beasts to be more consistent with the post-Ford Nazgul, rather than have the WK switch back to ride in on a horse to meet Gandalf, and then shift back to a winged beast to battle with Eowyn, as he does in the book. So, PJ may just change the WK's steed to eliminate any potential confusion from the non-book audience, and keep him consistently on a winged beast. He may also feel the winged beasts to be more dramatic. I also don't think personally this would take away from the drama of the moment, which is the encounter, rather than how the WK arrives at it (although personally I don't think the winged beasts are so well done).

As far as to why Pippin is behind Gandalf, I questioned that myself, and wonder what sequences may be changed to result in that. I hope that the WK encounter does not occur as soon as Gandalf and Pippin arrive in Minas Tirith, but I can see that could be a way to speed up things. I wonder if Gandalf and Pippin together discover what Denethor has planned for Faramir, rather than Pippin by himself. I see Faramir's goings back and forth as something that PJ will cut down considerably on, and he may reduce it to only one return that results in his serious wounding with the dart.

* * *

StarLady, site developer, writes:

Random things that occurred to me:

  • Aragorn to Gandalf: "What does your heart tell you?" -- Didn't we see this in a Star Wars: Episode I trailer a few years ago? ;) (Anakin's mom to Anakin, I think)

  • About halfway through, Legolas says "He is here." Who's he referring to? Aragorn?

  • The shaft of green light appearing out of Minas Morgul - could be "...and the magnitude of [Sauron's] own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame..." -- or -- could be what happens one page
    later: "Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down..." After all, we get a vivid description of what goes on in Mount Doom at the End, but not what is going on over at Minas Morgul. However, what descriptions we DO get (from the vantage point of the Armies of the West) all involve a giant shadow rising... definitely not a shaft of green light. So obviously I'm a little torn on this one. ;)

  • Why is Galadriel in this trailer?

  • It's gotta be Arwen in the red dress, in the next bit she's embracing Elrond -- that wouldn't be Luthien ;)

  • Sam's face illuminated by the fires of Mount Doom, screaming "No" -- pretty sure what that's about ;)

  • Gandalf galloping across a field with his gleaming staff held high -- that seemed really familiar to me, but I couldn't find it in the book.

    * * *

    WeeTanya, HTML-izer extraordinaire, writes:

  • Who is Eomer holding? The hair is very definitely Eowyn's.
  • Who is lying on the bed? Although the dress is Liv's, the figure is not Liv. The features seem different -- I'd buy Luthien.
  • Why is Arwen holding aloft Aragorn's sword outside the walls of Minas Tirith, is my question.

    * * *

    Mia, TORn artist, writes:

    1) If it is Shelob, she is indeed too small.
    2) Sam yelling "No!!" in red glow as the camera is falling away from him - if PJ decided to kill Frodo at Mt. Doom, I will enjoy the film more than I expected to until now, being increasingly dissapointed with the first two. This could actually save it for me, for reasons that would be too ranty atm.

    Maybe someday. :)

    * * *

    Have your own thoughts? Head over to Barliman's to hash them out with other fans!

  • Speculation, Get Your Speculation Here!
    maegwen @ 5:16 pm EST
    Being fans, we aren't content to just sit and observe -- We have to INTERPRET. So, to wile away the next 12 hours or so until we all get a clearer look at the ROTK trailer, TORn offers you a sampling of Fan Speculation.

    Coming soon: Responses from TheOneRing.net's Staff!

    KT: Notice that when Galadriel bends down and offers her hand to Frodo that Frodo's back clock has thick cobwebs on it. I just thought this was a nice touch, like the whole of what he is going through right at that moment (he's still in Shelob's lair) is still all over him. He looks tired and scared (and covered with webs), and that is why Galadriel has come to him in this very dream-like scenario, because he needs her help and encouragement. I can't decide if this is going to be a vision that he has when he first takes out the phial, or a dream when Shelob has knocked him out. Either way, I love Galadriel, so I'm all for it!

    * * *

    Who is Behind Aragorn?
    Osmbise: But I'm a bit confused as to the second-to-last shot of the trailer. Just before the shot of a fire-illuminated Samwise screaming "No," there's a quick pan with Aragorn's face in the foreground and someone/something standing behind him in the background; the camera pulls back and downward to show him. Who *is* that?! It seems as if Aragorn is on his knees with his back turned towards the mysterious stranger, much like the climactic scene in "The Patriot." Could it be the much-dreaded (by book-stickler fans) appearance of Sauron himself? Or perhaps the Mouth of Sauron engaging the future king in battle? Or are my eyes deceiving me? Is that really even a person?

    ANSWER: MJ12 writes, "As to who is behind Aragorn in the second to last shot of the trailer, it's Legolas. His face is hidden behind the text on the screen (if you can get it stopped at the very begining of the shot), but it's clearly his outfit as you can see the majority of his top, his arrows, the straps and buckle holding his quiver on, and his hair."

    And.. Who is Behind Gollum?
    Josholas: WoW, in the scene where Gollum hits the water and sais, "the precious will be ours" There is a reflection of someone behind him in the water to the right!

    ANSWER: Groveman writes, "When Gollum’s talking to his reflection in the pool. You can see Sam’s reflection next to him, as though he’s standing over Gollum listening. Interesting."

    * * *

    Shaft of Light from Mordor
    Lisa4TheShire: I believe there is one scene where we see Frodo and Sam having passed the Watchers and hiding as the Nazgul responds to the alarms sounded -- and they are witnessing the destruction of the gate where the watchers sat -- that is the greenish light rushing upwards and the trembling of some foundation maybe that we are seeing, as the will of the watchers was broken?

    FritoBandito: One thing I wondered about in the trailer was the massive green spiral coming from behind what appeared to be the Black Gates. Right after this shot, we see a ringwraith screaming and Frodo and Sam looking really scared with a greenish glow on their faces. My guess is that this is the final destruction of Sauron. What else could possibly create such a massive creepy explosion? The destruction of the ring comes to mind, but you would think that Frodo and Sam would be looking up from the slope of Orodruin and not across if they were lying on their backs.

    * * *

    Paths Of The Dead
    Jason: There is a brief flash of an interior cave with what looks like to be Aragorn in the Paths of the Dead, but there also looks like there is a bit of a confrontation going on. I know there has been a lot of speculation as to weather Aragorn will have to fight the army of the dead in order to prove that he is the rightful King, but it is a very brief frame on screen, and it is hard to pause it in order to see it well.

    Groveman: Pause the trailer 4 seconds in for the Paths of the Dead. You see a shot of Aragorn/Legolas, and possibly Gimli surrounded by ghouls. The frame is instantaneous, I had to slide several times through the file before I could see it. That is gonna be FREAKY.

    FanWithNoName: At the beginning of the trailer after Legolas is talking to aragorn about the enemy moving near we see a brief glimpse of what looks like orcs...they look like moria orcs, but after investigating it, I closed the blinds and shut off the light in my room, and played it in slow-mo and I found it is Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli with a white horse and brown horse (I've forgotten the names) in the Paths of the Dead! It was a very creepy looking shot and I thought I may have seen some of the dead in the shadows as well. It was an awesome shot!

    Happy Little Hobbit Spy Drogo: At the beginning when they show a glimpse of the Paths of the Dead, it looks as though zombie like creatures are following behind and you can make out the shapes of Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn (going left to right). On the left of Legolas is a horse with a soldier that looks to be in rags holding a lance. Ranger from the North? Dead Soldier? I am going with Dead soldier for the army behind Aragorn is very big and I doubt that the Rangers of the north will be in Return of the King for they have not much use in it except for more Armies since Elrond brings Narsil to Aragorn.

    * * *

    Arwen's Grace
    Paul: I have a strong hunch about what this whole thing with Elrond Saying "You gave away your life's grace" and Arwen saying "it is time" and this image of what looks like a dead Arwen (or Luthien) on the bed. We all know what the character Arwen eventually does in the books. However, Im betting that when Arwen nervously says "It is time" she then undergoes some kind of magical ritual/process whereby she gives up her immortality ("you gave away your life's grace.." The shot of what looks like a dead elf on the bed is either a flashback of Luthien (probbaly when Arwen conceives of what she will do), or it is Arwen where we atch her "die." Then later we see her in the trailer getup and fall into the arms of Elrond (very very brief shot). I think that Jackson will definitely dramatize the "mortalizing" process. Its a huge sacrifice and needs to be interpreted onscreen.

    Richard: I found it interesting that Elrond tells Arwen that she has "given up" or "given away" (I forget the exact wording) "her grace" and he can no longer help her. I have long speculated that this occurred at the Fords of Bruinen scene with Frodo when she says "Let what grace is given me pass to him." I always found that wording curious.This solves one of the problems the movie, as opposed to the book, created when Elrond tells Arwen what she has to look forward to if she stays with Aragorn. In the book she truly gives up her immortality, but the movie has her lingering forever, which is somewhat cruel of Aragorn. If, however my speculation is correct she has already given up her immortality, ie. her grace, to Frodo so he will take her place on the ship to Valinor, and she is committed to mortality in Middle Earth.

    * * *

    Winged Witch King?
    The Swede: I have a BIG CONCERN!! It´s about the Witch King confrontation during the siege of Minas Tirit. In the book the battering ram (Grond?) breaks the gate after the third try, and in RIDES the Witch King, his sword on fire and all. Only one horse is able to withstand the terror that he produces, and that is Shadow fax, and that is because Gandalf rides on him. "You will not pass!" he says. And they start a conversation. This moment is the most dramatic in the whole damn book! Almost as dramatic as Gandalf and the Balrog in Moria. However, when I´ve seen the material in the DVD it looks that they´ve skipped all that action, because now he rides on that dragon creature. It looks like the big confrontation will take place on some terrace in Minas Tirit with Pippin riding with Gandalf on Shadowfax. That is a big mistake if its true. Why? Because the dragon just takes away the dramatic effect! The Witch king is so damn powerful and terrorising, that he doesn´t NEED a dragon-creature to fly on. He only needs his horse. I can´t beleive it if Jackson missed that, because he´s done such a fantastic job so far. Any comments?

    * * *

    The White Beast
    The White Hand: After watching the trailer, I was confused as to what is that "White Dragon" that can be seen at 2:21, just after Aragorn says "We can buy Frodo a chance". My theory is that it's one of the Nazgul's fell beasts illuminated by Gandalf's staff, or that it's somehow in ghostly appearance ("Frodovision"), but that last wouldn't make much sense. However, a friend of mine argues that the plot could have been changed and Shadowfax transformed into a white dragon for Gandalf to fight the ringwraiths. I'd love to see some other theories.

    * * *

    Who Reforges Narsil?
    Nick; I saw the still of the elf in the cooling bath and can hardly tell who it is (although I definately think it isn't Elrond.) The only elf I can imagine would be Arwen, but at the same time it doesn't look exactly like her. Still, I think Arwen is the elf collecting the shards in one of the previous clips and therefore it definately won't surprise me to find her reforging the sword (or pulling it out of the bath). I was thinking that it would be odd to put some elf that no one even knows in the trailer in a short clip like that. Trailers generally have the characters that are important to the story, so I think it would be weird if the elf was some random elf that they chose to zero in on, although it could very well be. ... I would put all my money on Arwen though, since that seems the most logical choice.

    TrueNatural: Now, I don't know what you guys think, but there was one, or actually two characters that it reminded me of. I might be completely wrong, but I believe it could quite possibly be Elrohir or Elladan, one of the sons of Elrond. This is pure speculation though.

    Lisa4TheShire: Watching the trailer -- which on my laptop is hard to see -- being rather dark -- from what little I can discern I believe the image in the water is Arwen, if not Elrond. Reason tells me Elrond, my eyes think I'm seeing Arwen.

    Steph: The reforging went by incredibly fast, and I was kind of confused, but the elf in the water looked like Figwit to me. That was my first impression at least. The shot doesn't really look like Elrond, because the elf looks much younger...and not Arwen because the features (to me) look somewhat masculine.
    *So far, I've also received about a dozen e-mails from people insisting it is -- Eru, forbid -- the infamous Figwit!

    * * *

    Is That REALLY Shelob?
    Deagol's Bane: Hi! I just saw the ROTK trailer, and I just have to saw WOW!!! But one point of speculation, are we sure that the spider we see chasing after Frodo is really Shelob? It seems to me, from Tolkien's description of her in the book, that Shelob was MUCH bigger than what we saw in the trailer - like 5-10 times bigger. I was thinking about it, and I was wondering if what we saw was perhaps one of Shelob's spawn? A giant spider somewhat like what Bilbo might have encountered in Mirkwood. It wouldn't be inconcievable that there would be some of her children running around in the caves, would it? Kind of like in Aliens, with all the drone aliens running around the hive, and the Queen sitting in the middle of it all when Ripley stumbles into her lair. This is all speculation, of course, but it also wouldn't be beyond PJ to titillate us with a bit of spider action, but fool us all with it and save the BIG surprise for the film itself. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

    KT: This is a further comment on Trailer-Shelob. I was rather disappointed as well with her size, being on the rather small side. There was a theory that perhaps the spider we see is not Shelob herself, but a child-spider of hers. While I am not against the theory that PJ would "warm us up" to his mega-beast spider (he does, after all, have a strange but humorous love of creatures and expands their characters whenever possible; eg, the Watcher in the Water, Cave Troll), I am against the theory itself. "Shelob's Lair" has a paragraph describing Shelob's character, and it says, "Far and wide her lesser broods, bastards of the miserable mates, her own offspring, that she slew, spread from glen to glen, from the Ephel Duath to the eastern hills, to Dol Guldur and the fastnesses of Mirkwood." I think this implies that though her children spread, she killed them whenever she could. Would she really allow one of her own to share her lair?

    Unbeatable73: I more think the spider we see in the trailer is disorted because of the ca,era angle, as Frodo is way closer to the camera than the spider is.

    Tim: I was watching the Shelob part in very slow mode and i think that Shelob might actually have a head. I find it kind of weird because spiders arn't suppose to have heads that look human. Also she did seem kind of small.

    Frandalf: Yes I think it's Shelob. We only see a couple of eyes, some legs and teeth. I think this is only the front part of her body. The big belly probably can't be seen on it!

    * * *

    Who Is Eomer Holding?
    Cerys: I just watched the trailer! Through my profuse weeping, I noticed that Eomer is holding Eowyn, not Theoden (as many people have been speculating). Yes, I am speculating too, but I think I have a logical reasoning for my assessment. How did I come to this conclusion? I began to wonder about whose fall on the field of battle would cause so much anguish to Eomer? His sister of course. Naturally, he would be upset about Theoden's death, but would have been prepared that it may occur. I would think his response would be grievous but not the complete loss of composure (for lack of a better term) that is seen in the trailer. It would be upsetting, but not unexpected. But for Eomer, Eowyn was never supposed to be in battle. Not only is he dealing with the shock of seeing her on the battlefield, but with the lack of necessity in her possible death and the grief and fear of losing his beloved sister. ... Thanks so much for the trailer. I was eager before, but now I am not sure how I can withstand the next two and a half months!! I am crazy with waiting.

    Lisa4TheShire: I am so pleased to read others believe Eomer is holding Eowyn... the hair is so golden, as golden as Tolkien's own description of her, and I am certain beyond any doubt it is her, as he was distraught with despair when learning she had fallen.

    KT: Yes, I, too, think it is Eowyn, but I was surprised that this was not the opinion of all. Eomer looks in a weeping rage...which is exactly what he does when he finds Eowyn. From "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields":

    * * *

    Is That Arwen?
    Sir Daniel: I was curious about something in the recent ROTK trailer. About two minutes into the trailer there is an overhead shot of a black haired elf on a bed. But to me it didn't look like Arwen. Could this maybe be a shot of Luthien? This is boggling my mind and I'd appreciate your insight on it.

    Mazy Evenstar: I think it is definitely Arwen. In what I think was one of our first ever Lord of the Rings trailers, the one for all three films, we see the same shot. http://www.theonering.net/movie/preview/teaser04.html We see Arwen in the what appears to be the same dress, only with some sort of extra sleeves, in Rivendell, with Elrond walking away from her, shortly after. Again, in one of the last shots of the trailer, you can make out her in the dress jumping into Elrond's arms. In part of the Return of the King gallery on the official site, we again see Arwen in the same dress. All evidence points to this being Arwen. She appears in the dress many different times. It would be very hard to explain to people who have not read the book about Beren and Luthien, thus I don't think it would be included in the movie. Thought I'd share my thought about the subject with you.

    Renee: I think that it is Arwen on the bed... She just is sick or something... or sick unto death..

    Arashi_Leonhart: In the flashes of scenes at the end of the trailer, if you can pause it at the right moment you'll see Arwen lying on the same bed in the same dress embracing Elrond, so those guesses are wrong.

    Leyana: Since everyone has a mind of there own on the mater - who's the elf reforging the sword,let me pas to you something that came to my mind earlier when i saw the picture of the misterious elf...the thought that is now clear in my mind as I read the speculation of Sir Daniel when he mentioned Luthien ... Perhaps there is some story of Luthien polled into the ROTK and therefore The elf could be Arwen with the spirit of Luthien within couse she is doing this important task for her mortal beloved(as we all know the story of Luthien and Beren was simalar) (...I mean...Half of the face looks like it's Arwen but he other half looks like a reflection or some kind of a spirit and it defenetly looks like a montage..)We all remember the fantastic trick PJ did with the first look at Gandalf the White,where he literaly mixed both of Gandalf's and Saruman's face and voice where audience lesser acquainted with the books couldn't tell who it was....

    Have your own thoughts? Head over to Barliman's to hash them out with other fans!

    Armageddon Expo Wellington 2003
    maegwen @ 12:00 am EST
    Ringer Spy frodo’s girl writes in with this excellent report from Armageddon 2003, Wellington:

    They Have a Cave Troll!LOTR Armor

    According to the program, Armageddon is NZ’s biggest computer gamming and fantasy event. It was held at the Michael Fowler Center September 20th – 22nd (see http://www.pulpexpo.com for more info). This was the first year the convention went on for three days (it had previously been only two) and my second year to attend. The guests this year included Garret Wang (Ensign Harry Kim from Star Trek Voyager), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), two talks from Weta, and several Anime and wrestling folk. I saw Garret, David and Peter, as well as the Weta talks. Garret is a very amusing speaker and I quite enjoyed his talks on sat and sun. David has lived a very interesting life and even brought slides to show – I learned the interesting trivia that he is also in “A Clockwork Orange” (good geek cocktail chatter). We also found out from Peter that he will be reprising a young Chewbacca in Ep3.

    Weta Talks! Weta Talks!

    Lord of the Rings was quite well represented with two talks (one Saturday and one on Sunday), the Dymocks’ booth and Weta Workshops’ display. Dymocks had several Sideshow Weta figures, lots of LotR jewelry and all the books. The Weta display included the final troll maquette, the Lurtz statue that was in the Embassy Theatre’s lobby for FotR, several cases of weapons, two suits of Gondorian armor and an Elvish suit of armor, several helms (including Sauron’s), several Gollum facial maquettes, and a Moria Orc that was part of the LotR exhibition in Te Papa (NZboy already sent in a bunch of photos – I’ve include some too, trying not overlap too much). As mentioned, Weta also had two talks. Saturday was Gino Acevedo and Bay Raitt (with Lawrence Makaoare along) and Sunday was John Hammond (art director), Jamie Wilson (onset coordinator) and Luke Hawker (prothsetic tech/set dresser). Unfortunately since they are still so swamped trying to finish of RotK, these gentlemen couldn’t stay around for very long to chat to fans after their respective talks, and this year no one else from Weta made themselves known.

    Gollum Maquette

    Both talks were interesting. Saturday’s talk was all about Gollum. Bay had brought along a laptop with lots of amazing screen captures and video clips about the process to create Gollum. He showed us the original designs before Andy was cast, and then how the design altered after Andy was cast. We even got to see Andy’s audition clip. They really emphasized how they used all the different techniques to design Gollum – clay maquettes, wire frame models, sketches both in and out of the computer and of course Gino’s final design of the head in silicon that gave the completely finished look, which then had to be transferred back into the computer. (if you want to see the head that they brought along, check out NZboy’s pics). They showed us some screen captures of a few of the programs that they developed to create Gollum. They were very impressive. One helped with body animation and one with Gollum’s expressions. For that program they started with digitally sculpted facial expressions as morph targets. This allowed them to morph between different expressions with slider tools. You can morph only half of Gollum’s face (just the left or right or just the top or bottom). They had 935 key frame morph targets. Truly amazing. They talked a wee bit about rendering time, saying that a single frame took between 1 to 4 hours to render, and that that meant that the Gollum frames in Two Towers took something like 4 million hrs to render (good thing they have more than one computer, eh?).

    LOTR Axes LOTR Swords

    Sunday’s talk was a Q & A session. John, Jamie and Luke talked about how they each got involved in LotR and what they did on the sets, then answered a series of audience questions. It was all very interesting, and I’ll share some of the answers that I managed to jot down. All three agreed that the biggest challenge was Helm’s Deep without a doubt. Jamie’s favorite set to work on was Edoras, and for Luke is was Mt Ruapehu because he was proud and amazed by the work that was produced there with all the restrictions they had due to environmental issues. He and John talked about how they had to leave everything as it was before they came, including reseeding lichen and small plants that had gotten damaged by the cast and crew during the shoot. That they had to be extremely cautious about where they walked and that they hauled all the equipment and props up for the final leg where the trucks weren’t allowed. They told us tales about Bill the pony, and missing sets and props that were recovered. Luke noted that the most common repair tool on the set was mud, closely followed by blood and hair. One kid asked about the moth scene with Gandalf, and to my surprise I found out that there was a real moth involved in that scene. I had always assumed it was all digital, but Jamie informed us that though a portion of it is CGI, that there were actually live moths on set complete with moth wranglers – who would have thought? One of the final questions was “What happens to the props and sets when everything is done?” And the answer was that Newline owns everything and that the majority of it will get boxed up and shipped to L.A. PJ and Richard will get to keep some pieces (and we already know that a few of the fellowship actors have a piece or two), but the rest will return to Newline and most likely go into storage (think of the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”).

    All in all Armageddon was a brilliant again this year and I can’t wait for next.


    A Great Trailer and Great Fans!
    maegwen @ 8:31 pm EST
    We want to acknowledge the excitement of the MANY of you who have written in to tell us the details of your viewing the 'Return of the King' trailer this weekend. It's been an amazing 24+ hours to be a LOTR fan, made even more amazing by the sheer giddiness of each of you. So, first of all, we thank Peter Jackson, the actors, all the great folks at WETA, New Line Cinema, and all the crew, for the job they have done and for whetting our appetites for the most anticipated December ever! We also want to thank each of you for being part of the (very very happy) TORn family!

    Read on for a selection of some of the great comments (and speculation) sent to TORn in the last day and half!

    Deagol's Bane: Hi! I just saw the ROTK trailer, and I just have to saw WOW!!! But one point of speculation, are we sure that the spider we see chasing after Frodo is really Shelob? It seems to me, from Tolkien's description of her in the book, that Shelob was MUCH bigger than what we saw in the trailer - like 5-10 times bigger. I was thinking about it, and I was wondering if what we saw was perhaps one of Shelob's spawn? A giant spider somewhat like what Bilbo might have encountered in Mirkwood. It wouldn't be inconcievable that there would be some of her children running around in the caves, would it? Kind of like in Aliens, with all the drone aliens running around the hive, and the Queen sitting in the middle of it all when Ripley stumbles into her lair. This is all speculation, of course, but it also wouldn't be beyond PJ to titillate us with a bit of spider action, but fool us all with it and save the BIG surprise for the film itself. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

    Cerys: I just watched the trailer! Through my profuse weeping, I noticed that Eomer is holding Eowyn, not Theoden (as many people have been speculating). Yes, I am speculating too, but I think I have a logical reasoning for my assessment. How did I come to this conclusion? I began to wonder about whose fall on the field of battle would cause so much anguish to Eomer? His sister of course. Naturally, he would be upset about Theoden's death, but would have been prepared that it may occur. I would think his response would be grievous but not the complete loss of composure (for lack of a better term) that is seen in the trailer. It would be upsetting, but not unexpected. But for Eomer, Eowyn was never supposed to be in battle. Not only is he dealing with the shock of seeing her on the battlefield, but with the lack of necessity in her possible death and the grief and fear of losing his beloved sister. ... Thanks so much for the trailer. I was eager before, but now I am not sure how I can withstand the next two and a half months!! I am crazy with waiting.

    Dennis of Denmark: Hi! don't know if this is new or not... but I'm living in Denmark and was in a small local theater to one of the last showings of Tears of the Sun... and I was totally shocked to see the full ROTK trailer, in all its glory, so early over here... WOW!! it gave me gosebumps... shivers down my spine... there was so much in every single frame...to see Gandalf race along fields of Pelennor and his staff glowing up as he faces the Witch King... Shelob is in... only for a brief second though... but enough to have you craving for more of that disgusting spider... This movie will kick you so hard.. you never knew what hit you... Definitely gonna be some tear-provoking stuff in there....

    Susan: Being the hard core fan I am (and many readers are), I paid $5.50 to see the very first showing of the ROTK trailer on the first matinee of Secondhand Lions, but did not stay for the movie as I had no real interest in it. But the preview was worth every penny!! Im VERY curious to see how many people did the same as me, and how many stayed for the movie, or snuck into a diff movie after the trailer, or waited for the online trailer, or dont want any spoilers so are avoiding it etc....could you do a poll? Thanx! PS: It's very notable that this trailer was actually ADVERTISED in the newspaper, has that ever happened for a movie preview before????

    Mungo Foxburr of Loamsdown: The ROTK trailer is soooooo cooool!!!! I decided I'd like to have the soundtrack from it, so I recorded it — It's just as cool as the trailer, especially the part with the speech, "I see in your eyes the same fear that..." "...Ba da dum ba da dum da dum, dum duuuum da da ba ba bum... Hmmmm... But we can give Frodo a fighting chance... Da da dum ba ba bum ba bam bum da dum... (Sam part) NOOOOOOOO!"

    Aragorn's Girl: I don't think I have to say haw fabulous the trailer was, I'm sure you all know! I just wanted you guys know that there were people in costume at the movie, it was fantastic! I went and talked to them to tell them I thought it was great they dressed up just for the trailer. A lot of poeple in the theater started cheering after the trailer, and someone even shouted "We can go home now!" But I don't think anyone left. It was a really fun trailer experience!

    Danbo Brandybuck: Hello. I'm sure somebody has probably pointed this out already, but the music in the latter part of the ROTK trailer is kind of a stylized, beefed up version of the Gondor theme; first heard in FOTR when Boromir gets up at the council and says, "Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay..." The theme will also be further heard in the TTT Extended Edition. Cheers!

    Nob of Barliman's: Chances are you've seen the trailer! Well. I cleaned this up -- fixed the color and whatnot -- and to my shock Aragorn is CLEAN!!! I thinks it's worth a look at -- maybe a post with the quote "'We cannot gain victory through strenght of arms.' 'But we can give Frodo a chance.' " ... Clean Aragorn look weird, lol

    Martin: I read in one of the spy reports that 'MovieImp' tells about the reforging of Narsil, and how Elrond brings it to Aragorn. When he (or she?) talks about the forging the report says: "You can't really tell who is reforging the sword it went by very fast." When the sword is cooled, you can see a reflection of an elf in the water. I do not think it is Elrond... because of the -lack of- eyebrows... :-)

    Scott: I'm a projectionist and work for UCI Cinemas here in the UK. I iust wanted to let UK Ringers know that each UCI site has 3 ROTK trailers in stock (and it kicks much ass). I cannot emphasise how amazing this trailer is, some of the imagery is just beautiful...Everyone just has to get to their local cinema this week and see it on the big screen!

    Nick: I just wanted to comment on something. There are some reports that are questioning who it is that is reforging Narsil, etc. It seems clear to me that Arwen's reflection is in the cooling bath, in case they hadn't noticed, so she must have a lot to do with it, as does Elrond.

    Tim: There has been a little speculation on who Eomer is holding in the trailer. if you look very closely I think you would agree that it is Eowyn and not Theoden (which would fit better with the book as Theoden's death was not so much grieved as honored while Eomer was stricken with finding his sister dead on the fields).

    Dan: There will not be a dry eye in the theater after the Return of the King. If it does not win an Oscar, Hollywood needs to fall into the sea. Awesome trailer!!

    Cadiliniel of Gondor: After reading reports this afternoon that the trailer was showing befor Underworld, I swiftly told my dad that we were going to the cinema tonight! He phoned the cinema to ask if they were showing the trailer and they said no, not until next week. Well, I'm glad I'm the suspicious type because boy did they lie! Here's what I can remember, in no particular order (I took paper too write things down, but forgot most of it....it was that good!) :) (description of trailer)

    DiveTwin: I have just come back from seeing the ROTK trailer. Since everyone has already dissected this, I would just like to add these comments. It is astounding. I plan to pay another $6 to see it again today. I'm beginning to suspect that ElijahWood may have UNDERSOLD it by saying "it's better than FOTR and TTT combined" I guess we'll find out in December - but from what I just saw, the TRAILER could be a candidate for Best Picture by itself! Is that enough hype for you???? Man, am I jacked!!!!!

    Movie Imp: I work at a theatre and we loaded up the trailer really quick for a once thru last night. This is what I remember: (description of trailer) The music is different but the same feeling and it was stunning. It was very familiar yet different just like what they did with TTT. It has some same basic themes but seemed more on the dramatic rather than urgent side. It goes by really really fast but it is simply wonderful.

    Losille: I work in a theater and I saw the ROTK trailer when it was attached to Secondhand Lions. It is spectacular!!!!! You must see it in the theater! The sound is fantastic and I can't even describe the visuals! Seeing it on TV will not do it justice! It shows little snippets of the movie without giving anything away. PJ did a great job editing this. Be prepared to be excited!

    Feasul: I just wanted to point out that in the shot of Frodo climbing up the cliff with Minas Morgul in the back, you can actually see the army of
    the Witch King coming out of it. You see troops moving below, coming out of, I guess, the same gate that we saw in FOTR. I'm delighted that this scene is actually in the film because I loved it so much in the book and I think it is a very iconic scene from the trilogy. Not to mention that it is also a relief to see that Minas Morgul IS in the films, when it wasn't even on Faramir's map!

    Elvengirl14: "I just about hyperventilated when I saw that they were going to show a clip on E news live tonight (I hadn't checked the news for a couple of days here so I was very surprised.) Obsessing and glad for the company!



    A Trailer Report from the UK!
    maegwen @ 6:38 pm EST
    Ringer Spy Pat from St. Helens, Merseyside, writes: Hi - info about the Trailer for the Return of the King - I've just got back from seeing Underworld at Cineworld in St Helens where I live and the first trailer to be shown before the film was for the Return of the King AND it was not either of the two already described on the One Ring Site.

    Some of the bits I remember:

  • Shot of Frodo and Sam climbing to the top of a very high building...

  • Frodo getting to the top and Gollum suddenly seeing the Ring on Frodo's neck...

  • Arwen talking to Elrond about Narsil/Anduril and Aragorn needing it... showing the sword reforged...

  • Aragorn talking to Gandalf with Gandalf doubting Frodo's survival...

  • Aragorn making Gandalf feel stronger by asking what he 'believes/feels in his heart' (Sorry, I was so mesmerized I didn't take in the words properly)...

  • Aragorn making a speech to the army before the battle making them shout and cheer (you hear him but don't see him until right at the end of his speech)...

  • Eomer holding (possibly) King Theoden in his arms...

  • Frodo running up a passageway holding his light (from Galadriel) being chased by Shelob (I know this was in other reports of

  • Lots and lots of other bits and all the time the same quotes as already mentioned in other trailers. 'For every victory' etc.

    It looks absolutely fantastic and we sat there stunned. Whether the trailer is being shown with any other films showing at Cineworld I haven't a clue. It may be with all films being shown or only with Underworld. Perhaps they shouldn't be showing it at all yet?

    maegwen here: Could it be the trailers differ in the UK from the US?

  • 9-24-03

    MORE ROTK Trailer Descriptions!
    maegwen @ 7:55 pm EST
    From Ringer Spy Jon comes this "friend-of-a-friend" report on the upcoming ROTK trailer. Despite the roundabout way he got his information, some of it matches our earlier ROTK trailer report... and is VERY cool!

    • Gollum looks really angry talking to himself about the "precious" and something about wanting Sam to die...

    • Pippin in the dark with a teriffied look on his face, then saying: 'I saw him, Gandalf. He's coming after me.' ...

    • Gandalf telling the lord of Gondor about a huge force coming from Mordor, but the lord tells him his news is too late and he already knows. Followed by a closeup shot where Gandalf looks very suspicious...

    • Shot of what looks like Gandalf and others on horses passing through the ruins of Isengard.

    • The screen says: 'For every victory...'

    • Merry being put on a horse...

    • HUGE charge seen with lots of horses and men yelling...closer up it shows Merry pulling out a sword...

    • Flying Ringwrathes swooping around a city and over a field ...

    • A guy falls of his horse and someone else holds him in his arms.

    • The screen then says: 'There are great losses...'

    • Elrond saying that the sword that broke should be in the hands of the king again...

    • Lots of quick battle shots and scenes with Legolas and Aragorn fighting...

    • The screen says: 'For those who survive...'

    • Frodo running through that dark tunnel with the monster chasing him with the lightbulb glass in his hand...

    • Sam shouting in anger as he tries to stab something offscreen with his sword (maybe Gollum?)...

    • The lord of Gondor bending down over Faramir saying how he has lost both sons...

    • The screen says: 'Many will suffer...'

    • Pippin voice-over: 'Something's wrong with the lord. He's not in his right mind.'

    • Gandalf outside telling Aragorn about being the true king and need for his leadership. Then Gandalf looks across to Mordor and says how everything
      depends on Frodo's quest...

    • Sam on the ground in the cavern where the ring was made, yelling out to Frodo not to put it on...

    • Then just the dark screen where it says when the movie's coming out and whatnot...

    Xoanon @ 11:43 am EST
    Kjeft sends along word that he/she was able to see the ROTK trailer! He/she sends along a rough description of it! Take a look!

    Hmm.. well.. the trailer is fabulous! I actually dont remember so much of it, cause I was so suprised that they showed the trailer.

    We see Eowyn and Merry on a horse, ready to fight.
    Galadriel leaning against Frodo who is lying on the ground (it seems like it was a clip from a dream, that maybe Frodo has).
    Gollum who talks to himself about taking the ring.
    Sam who accuses Gollum for wanting to kill them, Frodo who kinda "protects" Gollum from Sam, and Gollum smiles in an evil way to Sam.
    Arwen and Elrond; Elrond says to Arwen that he can't protect her any longer (I dont remember.. but it was something about Arwen and a sword, and that the King should have it..).

    There are enormous battle-scenes!

    We see Eomer crying with a person in his arms (maybe Theoden?)
    Many Nazgul attacs.
    Legolas fighting.
    Frodo running inside Shelobs lair with the phial he got from Galadriel, and we se Shelob running after him!
    There's something with a blue flame.


    And some of the text that was in the trailer: 'In every battle there are great losses' (or something like that..)


    Aragorn Ad in EGM Magazine
    Celeborn @ 3:19 am EST
    Aragorn Advertisement

    Check out this great image sent to us by Ringer Mr. Frodo from the latest issue of EGM Magazine. This is one page of an advertisement for the upcoming EA Games release The Return of the King.


    More ROTK Reshoot Scoops!
    Xoanon @ 11:16 pm EST
    Our insider in the ROTK camp chimes in with some news on what has been filming lately in New Zealand!

    We are still filming background scenes for ROTK. Despite the fact that the schedule was due to finish mid-August, shooting continues apace. Mostly Orc material approaching Minas Tirith, charging out of the Black Gates of Mordor, being slaughtered by the Army of the Dead, etc. Corsairs have been busy; Army of the Dead likewise. What was originally meant to be two days ended up taking three weeks for the latter.

    The latest finish date is the end of this month. It has been making Weta Digital a bit nervous, cutting it this close to the release date, but otherwise everything is still going really well.

    There were also some reshoots inside the studios, so can't really say much about them.


    London Science Museum LOTR Exhibition - The Opening!
    leo @ 2:24 pm EST
    Today, Monday the 15th marks the opening of the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings exhibition in the London Science Museum. TheOneRing.net was there, got a chance to chat to all the VIPs present, shoot some footage and bring you this exclusive report!

    The exhibition opens for the general public tomorrow, today the press (gathered from all over the world!) got a sneak peak at the exhibit, which is said to have sold more tickets than anything else the Science Museum has ever hosted. No gathering masses around the museum today though, just lots of Finnish students, one or two tourists and a bunch of press people eagerly awaiting the launch of the first European LOTR-exhibit. Other then that very few people on the street seemed to be aware of the exhibit.

    Naturally TORn arrived early, about two hours early, but that was okay because it gave us a good chance to check our equipment, hobnob with the BBC and of course eat doughnuts. While waiting none other than Ringer Spy Irascian walked out the door. He was present at the 'UK' presslaunch whereas TORn of course was there for the 'international' launch, a bit later on the day. Enthusiastic is too humble a word to describe Irascian's opinion about the exhibit. He revealed that he took something in the region of 300 pictures and was going to write up a transcription of the press-conference that was given during his session. Hopefully that'll appear online within a few days!

    While still talking another familiar face turned up: that of Herr-der-Ringe-film.de webmaster Círdan. He flew in all the way from Germany that morning to report on the opening of the exhibit.

    Anyway, we are not here to talk about that, heheh.. The hour drew nearer when the exhibit would open its doors so we made our way inside the (huge) London Science Museum, up a flight of stairs, past some security people and right into the arms of.... the Argonath! The two giant polystone sculptures of the Pillars of Kings welcome every visitor to the exhibit, just like they welcomed the Fellowship into the final part of The Fellowship of the Ring. Crouched beneath the left statue was WETA Workshop's amazingly detailed Gollum-statue, which was quicky removed later on for reasons unknown. Apparently Andy Serkis was supposed to attend the presslaunches but he didn't show, maybe that's why they brought it out.

    To desribe the exhibit word by word would probably do it no justice. It is rich and detailed and has a little bit of everything (although sadly enough not a whole lot from The Return of the King, maybe next year?). Costumes like those of Arwen, Gandalf, Galadriel, Frodo, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and Theoden are displayed throughout the exhibit alongside the outfits of Orcs, Uruks, Rohirrim and pretty much every other character in the movies.

    The exhibit also features a wide range of props and weapons (ranging from Galadriel's gifts to the stuff on Sarumans desk in Orthanc). Highlights include a display with Frodo's 'gadgets'; the mithril shirt, Sting, the Phial, Bilbo's Red Book and Thror's map, lots of nice things to oogle over! Another display showed the piles of parchment, books and other assorted mess that Gandalf worked through in Minas Tirith.

    So what else was there? Highlights for me personally were the 'bigature' of the Hobbiton Mill-Set which looked absolutely fabulous. Another memorable item was the larger-than-life statue of the Cave Troll and Moria Orc and the model of Treebeard's head: magnificent stuff! Of course there were the items one would expect at an exhibit like these: The One Ring itself of course, lots of helmets and other weaponry, a huge statue of the Dark Lord himself and many, many other things. You'd best go and see it for yourself because there really is much more then one person can absorb in three hours' time.

    One last highlight was the very scaling area where two people could sit down on two parts of a cart against a green screen and then, by some magic camera- and computerimagery appear to be Hobbit-sized and 'Gandalf-sized'. Of course anything that can make me look Hobbit-sized is rather spectecular!

    Apart from various media-people from all over the world (ranging from Holland to Brazil) the London Science Museum had invited some very interesting guests. The above mentioned Andy Serkis unfortunately didn't show, as did Billy Boyd, however we still had the immense pleasure of running into Lurtz-actor Lawrence Makoare, WETA-founder and Oscar-winner Richard Taylor and British author and Tolkien Expert Brian Sibley.

    Lawrence Makoare was, for the largest part of the day, dressed up in his Lurtz-outfit, which must've been hellish given the warm weather. Richard Taylor also seemed a bit under the weather, though that might have been because of the long flight in from New Zealand the day before. Nevertheless both took some time out to answer a few of our questions. Expect to see some extremely cool footage of this event and these interviews later this week in TORn Digital!

    After three almost three hours of wandering around the exhibit it was time to head out (at least we didn't think so, but the people from the Science Museum really wanted to leave). Alas, three hours is far too short a time to spend amongst such admirable craftsmanship. Looking back on it now I still see pictures of the event (check them out in our scrapbook!) and remember not having seen that bit of the exhibit, which really is too bad.

    The London Science Museum Exhibition runs till January 11th and any information you want to know about the event can be found at the website: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk. European fans should be sure to check it out, as London is the only venue in Europe the exhibit will attend. Don't miss it!

    Update: All the photographs can be seen right now in The Scrapbook. Be sure to check back soon for the TORn Digital footage we filmed at the exhibition opening!

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