Tag Archives: The Lord of the Rings

Meeting Sir Ian McKellen

If, as the Mayans had predicted, the world had ended yesterday, I would have been in very good company. After all, it’s not every day that you get to spend the evening with a wizard. He may have even been able to protect us using his staff!

Gandalf 1

Last night, on Friday 21st December, my boyfriend and I joined 38 other people at a private screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and a Q and A session with Sir Ian McKellen in London.

This exclusive event was in support of Step Forward, an an independent charity based in east London that provides free and confidential services to young people. Sir Ian has been Step Forward’s patron since 2006, and, in a bizarre coincidence, my family used to live in the Tower Hamlets area of east London in the 1850s!

My attendance was a long story that I won’t bore you with, but it was down to eBay, a pleading message on Facebook and good old fashioned luck!

My boyfriend and I arrived at London Marylebone about 5.30pm and then started our journey across London by tube to get to the Genesis Theatre in Stepney Green. We were aiming to arrive at 6.30pm, and when we got out at Stepney Green about 6.40pm, there was a fantastic firework display going on at a block of flats behind the tube station. We jokingly said to each other: “That’s Gandalf’s work, I bet!”

Arriving at the Genesis we were given our VIP packs with our passes (above) in, a couple of postcards (which would prove very handy later!) and information about Step Forward. We then waited to be called into Studio 5, the Genesis’ deluxe screen that has a seating capacity of just 40. We settled into our seats, which were gloriously comfy armchairs with a cushion and throw each, and had a glass of bubbly, our first of two complimentary glasses.

After an introduction from Step Forward’s CEO Jennifer Fear and a video about the work that the charity does, the man himself appeared, armed with several props from the The Lord of the Rings and An Unexpected Journey. Perhaps you recognise them?

Gandalf 2After revealing that the fireworks were, sadly, not down to him, Sir Ian then launched into the Q and A session. You’ll have to forgive me because I can’t remember all his answers, but there were several that stood out. A few people asked their questions before I asked mine. Their questions were rather more serious than mine, so when Sir Ian asked for my question I started by saying: “I’ve got more of a lighthearted one for you…”.

As my boyfriend and I were sitting on the back row, Sir Ian couldn’t hear me very well so started walking towards me. Without thinking, I got out of my seat, walked to the end of the row and started walking towards him. Within seconds he was in front of me and I started my question again: “I’ve got a lighthearted question for you. Which five characters from the Middle-earth universe would you invite for dinner?” His answer? “Ah, good question. I’d invite Merry, Pippin… Frodo, my favourite dwarf and Galadriel, as long as it was Cate Blanchett who was embodying her.”

Other answers that stand out include Sir Ian’s response to what it’s like performing in front of a green screen. “It’s just like performing in a theatre. There isn’t really a castle behind you, of course, while you’re acting on stage.” That’s something I’d never thought of, but, of course, he’s completely right.

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Sir Ian also revealed how he always preferred playing Gandalf the Grey compared to Gandalf the White as Gandalf the Grey is much more humane. “Gandalf the White is a commander,” he said. “He has to save Middle-earth.” Other Gandalf-related snippets included revealing that Sean Connery and Anthony Hopkins had also been in the running to fill his boots before Sir Ian took the role. He also revealed how whenever he was late on set, which was quite rare, Peter Jackson would always say: “Where’s John Hurt got to?”

Sir Ian then spent a good half an hour taking photos with everyone. My boyfriend went first, and took the opportunity to ask his question: “Out of the props that you kept from The Lord of the Rings, which is your favourite?” He answered saying that he kept Gandalf’s hat, though he didn’t particularly want that. He also has the keys to a certain hobbit hole, though we can’t tell you which one!

Gandalf 4I then had my photo taken with Sir Ian. He held his staff and I put Gandalf’s hat on, though I wasn’t sure it’d fit! “It never really fitted me either,” Sir Ian said. Then, grinning like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, I returned to my seat.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think that my photo (pictured left) hadn’t come out that way, so my boyfriend and I then joined the photograph queue after everyone else had been to have my photo taken again and to have the postcards that were in our VIP pack signed. When I revealed why we had come back again because the photo hadn’t come out that well, Sir Ian very sweetly said: “Well, that won’t do.”

Sir Ian then bade farewell and left us to watch An Unexpected Journey. Sadly, we had to leave before the film had finished so we could get back to Marylebone and catch our train home. But, that was a small price to pay.

On behalf of my boyfriend and I, I’d like to say a big thank you to Step Forward for organising the event and to Sir Ian for attending. He truly was everything I’d hoped he would be: friendly, smiley and answering questions very thoughtfully and thoroughly. It was an absolute pleasure.

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[Trilogy Thursday] LOTR

Max and I are back with another edition of Trilogy Thursday. This week we take a look at The Lord of the Rings, which features Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

As many of you already know, The Lord of the Rings are my favourite film series. I think I saw The Fellowship of the Ring either three or four times at the cinema. It could be more, though!

Since then, watching all three films over the course of a day or a weekend has become an annual occurrence.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Claire The opening of Fellowship invites you into the glorious world of Middle-earth, which is home to all manner of fantastic races, from wizards to elves and hobbits to ents. From a rather gentle beginning where we are introduced to the world of the hobbits, the pace picks up and soon we’re accompanying the Fellowship on their quest to destroy the ring of power, a corrupt weapon created by Sauron.

After watching Fellowship I immediately started reading the books as I was dying to know what happened next. In fact, I skipped ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and went straight to ‘The Two Towers’! Fellowship was an excellent introduction to the The Lord of the Rings universe and I was completely hooked. The scenery took my breath away – I’ve been saving for a ticket to New Zealand ever since.

Max Frodo Baggins lives an insular life. While he loves the adventures of his Uncle Bilbo and the wizard Gandolf, he never imagines that adventure would find him in the shire. Then one day his uncle’s prized procession, his golden ring, gets passed to Frodo and begins a tireless journey to secure the safety of the entire world. Fellowship of the Ring is the beginning of one of the best trilogies of all time and it helps that this chapter is the strongest. It’s able to focus on a single storyline since the characters are in a fellowship for most of the film. There’s also the dramatic death of one of the fellowship that had me shocked. I had never read the books, so everything was new to me.

I only decided to see the film on opening night due to the buzz. I had been disappointed by too many fantasy movies in the past. This film changed all that and proved that fantasy could be done right if it was the hands of a capable and loving director. I’m not certain any other director could’ve brought this vision to the big screen other than Peter Jackson. He put everything into this trilogy and shows because the work before it and after it hasn’t come close to approaching this story.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Claire The Two Towers picks up right where Fellowship left off, and the split story telling really comes into its own. The Fellowship has become separated and we now see the quest through several people’s eyes. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are together and on the hunt for the kidnapped hobbits, Merry and Pippin, while Frodo and Sam edge ever closer to Mordor.

As we are introduced to more characters, namely King Théoden, Éomer, Éoywn and Faramir, I became even more in awe of JRR Tolkien’s rich Middle-earth and Peter Jackson’s fantastic interpretation. After reading the books I knew what would happen, but seeing it on screen was every bit as awesome as I expected. I don’t use the term ‘awesome’ lightly either – the battle of Helm’s Deep is one of the finest battle sequences ever captured on screen, and a shiver runs over me whenever I watch it or hear the music played during the scenes.

Max Frodo and Sam continue their journey to destroy the one ring in the heart of Mount Doom. Now joined by one of the most impressive CG companions in Gollum, their bond will be called into question as the perilous quest continues. The fellowship has disbanded and the other hobbits, humans, elves, and dwarfs must unite to fight the enemy. The Two Towers has the unfortunate task of being the middle chapter. While some trilogies have proven that the second film can be the strongest, it was already determined that The Two Towers would neither have a beginning nor an end. What I remember most from The Two Towers is of course the siege on Helm’s Deep. The scope of the battle had never been seen before as thousands of computer generated characters raided the stronghold. It also features the return of a character that was thought to be loss from the earlier chapter. The Two Towers was amazingly able to replicate the strong storytelling and pace of the original, without sacrificing much.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Claire The quest reaches its epic conclusion and evil has, once again, been destroyed. The lives of several characters are changed forever and, for some, it will not be as easy to adapt to their previous lives. Our heroes, particularly the hobbits, have experienced something utterly life changing. We experience yet more of JRR Tolkien’s mysterious and magical world, and the true horror of Mordor is revealed.

As I said earlier, the battle for Helm’s Deep is incredibly atmospheric. Though I don’t feel the same high emotion as when I watch Helm’s Deep, the final battle in Return is pretty spectacular. Helm’s Deep has every key ingredient to get your heart racing: it’s the classic David vs Goliath tale that takes place over a dark night drenched in rain. Return on the other hand offers all the bizarre creatures that Middle-earth has to offer, from the gigantic oliphant to the hideous flying fell beasts.

Max The finale of The Lord of the Rings saga has always been questioned for having one too many endings. While it was written that way in the book, maybe it didn’t work right for the theatrical version of the film. Part of me thinks they could’ve been left on the cutting room floor until the Extended cuts came out. That being said… Return of the King follows the end of Frodo’s adventure to destroy the one ring. Some of the material from The Two Towers was moved over for to this film and it plays better because of it. Otherwise the audience would be waiting for the epic fight sequences that occur 2/3’s into the film for some action. At the heart of The Lord of the Rings is determination and friendship. Those are the elements that help defeat the evil that plagues Middle-Earth.

Final thoughts

Claire Though it is incredibly hard to choose, my order of preference would be 2, 1, 3. The Two Towers features some of my favourite scenes and favourite characters. I remember seeing Rohan for the first time and thinking how beautiful it looked. The music that accompanies it – a very poignant sounding fiddle – adds to this medieval ambience and, though an elf at heart, I would love to live there.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy deserved every Oscar that it was nominated for. It is a visual masterpiece that is pure escapism, and I adore it.

Max I’m not going to shy away from the reality here. The Lord of the Rings is one of the finest movie trilogies ever made. While the second and third parts have their points of weakness, all three movies are incredible. The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite film of the franchise and one of the only films I’ve seen in theaters three times during its theatrical run. For the record I believe both the theatrical and extended versions of the films have their merits. While some scenes should never have been cut, sometimes the shorter run time helps the flow of the films. It goes without saying that if you haven’t watched and fallen in love with The Lord of the Rings, what are you waiting for?

Films featured in the Trilogy Thursday series so far:

Toy Story 1, 2 and 3
The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum
Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3
The original Star Wars trilogy
American Pie
Indiana Jones

24 Reasons Why I Love Films

Today, ladies and gents, is my 24th birthday. To celebrate I thought I’d list my 24 favourite things about films. From going to the cinema to my annual The Lord of the Rings marathon, there’s plenty of reasons why films are my passion. Ruth over at Flix Chatter was my inspiration for this post with her ‘59 reasons why I love Roman Holiday‘ post – check out her fantastic 5 for the Fifth posts as well.

1. Escapism – Though this list isn’t in rank order, this would be No 1 if it was. When I watch a film, particularly at the cinema, I stop thinking about everything else and just concentrate on the film – I really am a ‘sitting on the edge of your seat’ kinda girl when I go to the cinema.

2. The cinema – Thanks to Orange’s fantastic 2-for-1 Orange Wednesdays offer, going to the cinema every week is quite a regular occurrence for my boyfriend and I. On the odd occassion you do get chatterboxes who talk the whole way through the film but, for the most part, I always have a great time when I go to the cinema.

When I saw The Woman in the Black a couple of weeks ago literally two thirds of the audience – myself included – jumped when one of the characters turned a tap on. After we realised it was just a tap everyone started laughing. At that moment I thought to myself: “That’s why I love coming to the cinema.” The surround sound and giant screen are also a big plus, of course.

3. Locations – I’ve been very fortunate to have gone on many wonderful holidays abroad. However, there are still lots of places I’d love to visit. Through cinema I have been able to travel all over the world, from the lush green of New Zealand in The Lord of the Rings trilogy to the ancient ruins of Petra in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

4. Special effects – My favourite genres are fantasy, sci-fi and adventure. By their very nature these genres rely on special effects. From CGI to animatronics and pyrotechnics to bullet time, these effects make the impossible possible. A scene evolves from the very ordinary to the extraordinary.

5. Costumes – When I wrote my Troll Hunter review I remarked on how well the costume team did. Hans, a Norwegian battle-weary troll hunter, really did look the part. In my opinion, great costumes are as important as a well-written script. If a character doesn’t look the part it would be difficult to believe in the film, if that makes sense.

6. Make up and prosthetics – As with the above, good make up and – if used – prosthetics are of vital importance to a film. Though the film itself did drag on a little bit I was amazed by Brad Pitt’s transformation in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Johnny Depp is an actor who regularly spends a lot of time in the make up chair for his films. From a wild Caribbean pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean series to a mysterious 19th century barber in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Depp has undergone many transformations.

7. Soundtracks – While writing this post one of the tracks that I listened to was How To Destroy Angels’ cover of ‘Immigrant Song’, which is featured in the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack. A good soundtrack adds to our viewing experience, and enhances a scene rather than stealing our attention. A good soundtrack stirs our emotions and stays with us long after the film has finished. Three examples for me are John Williams’ ‘Welcome to Jurassic Park‘ theme, Clint Mansell’s Lux Æterna from Requiem for a Dream and Howard Shore’s ‘The Bridge Of Khazad Dum‘ from The Fellowship of the Ring. They are three different pieces of music that are emotive in very different ways.

8. Award ceremonies – Love them or hate them, award ceremonies are always a big talking point. Though I may not always agree with the results, or who in fact are the judges, I always look forward to the awards season. My girly side comes into its own as I cast my sartorial eye over what everyone is wearing. Come the end of February I am relived when the season is over, though. We can all move on and start commenting on the current year’s films.

9. Kate Winslet – Ms Winslet is one of my favourite actresses, and for this reason she is the figurehead for No 9. Where would our Hollywood hunks be without their leading ladies? Over the years there have been some very strong, iconic women. From Greta Garbo in the 1930s to Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s, there have been some extremely talented women.

The extraordinary Meryl Streep is undoubtedly one of the greatest actresses of all time, in my opinion. She has been nominated for an Academy Award 17 times and has won three, the most recent of which was for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady at this year’s ceremony.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio – As with the above, Mr DiCaprio is one of my favourite actors, which is why he is the poster boy for No 10. For me, he is consistently good. I’ve seen 10 of his films, though I can’t decide which is my favourite: I’m torn between Catch Me If You Can and The Departed. Other actors who fail to disappoint include Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges and George Clooney. Clooney’s star began to rise after a longstanding role in ER. He is now an Oscar-winning actor and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director.

11. King Colin – While I do adore Mr Firth, No 11 is more about British actors and actresses in general. The UK has produced some very talented people over the years from the illustrious Colin Firth to the incomporable Christopher Lee, and from the ravishing Helen Mirren to the superb Helena Bonham Carter. One of my favourite Brit flicks is Calendar Girls, which is based on the true story of the ladies of the Rylstone & District Women’s Institute and their nude calendar. Heart-warming and wickedly funny, this is a fantastic British enseble film that features the likes of Julie Walters and Helen Mirren.

12. The fantasy genre – One of my favourite genres, if not my absolute favourite, No 12 goes hand in hand with Nos 1, 3 and 4. The fantasy genre cover a range of films from Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth to Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride. From the comfort of my own home and local cinema I have seen a myriad magical and wonderful creatures, and journeyed to such fantastic places as Middle-earth, Narnia and Pandora.

13. The sci-fi genre – As with the above, No 13 also ties in with Nos 1, 3 and 4. For me, the world of film would have been a much more boring, plain place without the likes of Alien, The Matrix and Blade Runner. Closely entwined with the fantasy genre, the sci-fi genre lets directors and writers run wild as they think outside the box, as far away as other planets in fact.

14. Conventions – While I’ve only been to Empire Presents… BIG SCREEN and Memorabilia so far, one day I’d like to head over to San Diego Comic-Con and experience it for myself.

15. Nights in – Wednesdays and Fridays are date nights in our flat, and they are normally spent going to the cinema or watching a DVD. It’s a chance for us to unplug from the internet and X-box and enjoy something together. Secretly he always wants us to watch horror films because he knows I’m a baby and will always let him cuddle me in bed!

16. Good writing – As I was reading Rodney’s ‘the top 10 greatest film lines of the modern age‘ over at Fernby Films the other day I was thinking about how iconic some quotes have become – those screenwriters sure are clever, aren’t they? Writing a good script doesn’t require a degree or qualification, just the ability to tell a story.

17. T-shirts, jewellery and more – While not everyone is a fan of movie merchandise, there is some pretty cool stuff you can buy. I’m a frequent shopper at Forbidden Planet, and I can happily spend an afternoon looking around its Shaftesbury Avenue megastore in London. From movie-related t-shirts to Han Solo ice cube trays, I’m pretty sure you would be able to find anything you wanted at Forbidden Planet and the various other movie merchandise companies.

18. Trailers – Whenever I’m at a loose end I always end up on the iTunes Movie Trailers website, and I normally watch most of the trailers whether they’re my type of film or not. Scott over at Front Room Cinema has a theory: if he likes the trailer then the film will be awful! I

19. Artwork – Again, when I’m at a loose end I like having a look at old posters. From finding posters to accompany my James Bond posts I think that posters from the 1960s are my favourites. If mounted on the wall they really would look like paintings!

20. Summer blockbusters – When the days start getting longer and the sun is out, I head to the cinema! Not every day, of course, but May to August is when all the big blockbusters come out. This summer I’m particularly looking forward to The Avengers, Prometheus, Brave, The Dark Knight Rises and The Bourne Legacy.

21. DVDs – By day I’m an editorial assistant on a couple of hobby magazines. When people asked me if I collect anything I used to say that I had an ever-growing collection of DVDs. Now, thanks to the LOVEFiLM rental service, my collection has slowed down, though it still hovers around the 200 mark. Naturally DVDs reflect what type of film lover you are, and I love taking a quick peek at other people’s collections.

22. Movie marathons – Recent additions to my DVD collection – well, I should say my joint collection as it is mine and my boyfriend’s collections put together – include the Back to the Future trilogy and the James Bond Ultimate DVD Collector’s Set. As well as watching the four DVDs sent out to us by LOVEFiLM every month, my boyfriend and I have movie marathons. Currently we’re going through the James Bond Ultimate DVD Collector’s Set and are about to watch number eight, Live and Let Die. Over the last 18 months we’ve watched the Alien quadrilogy, the Bourne trilogy, the Jurassic Park trilogy and the Back to the Future trilogy.

23. The Lord of the Rings – Aah, my beloved The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ever since The Return of the King came out in 2003 watching the trilogy over the space of a day or a couple of days has become an annual event. As I explained in this post about my 10 year relationship with The Lord of the Rings, the trilogy is my absolute favourite series ever. If I had to name a favourite – which I’m sure I will do when Max and I tackle the series for Trilogy Thursday! – it would be The Two Towers followed by The Fellowship of the Ring. I think it’s important to revisit your favourite films and these are three films that I will never get tired of.

24. Talking point – It is because of my love of films that I set this blog up. Since I started writing it in September 2009 I have met some fantastic, friendly bloggers from all over the world. I’m part of a fantastic movie blogging community, and that’s what makes blogging so rewarding.

My 10 year relationship with… The Lord of the Rings

This post was originally written to coincide with Hobbit Day, which is 22nd September. However, I though it’d make the perfect conclusion to my special The Lord of the Rings celebration. Happy reading, everyone! I hoped you enjoyed this mini series all about my beloved trilogy.

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Happy Hobbit Day, everyone! As many Tolkienites know, 22nd September is Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday, though quite a few years apart, of course. With this in mind, I thought it was the perfect time to write a post on my 10 year relationship with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, after reading Nick’s fantastic post, My 25 year relationship with Top Gun, over at Anomalous Material.

Just to put this post in to context a bit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is my absolute favourite franchise. It beats out Star Wars and Harry Potter – two of my other favourites – put together… As I said in my post about the Harry Potter franchise, Harry was forgotten as soon as Frodo entered the scene.

Yours truly, as an elf, with my mum at my 15th birthday party.

2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is released in cinemas across the UK in December. I would have been 13 at the time and I remember going to see it a good three, possibly four, times with my school friends.

Sometime in December/January, my mum and I went to Disneyland Paris. Disneyland is another big love of mine, and in the past 10 years I’ve been to Disneyland Paris four times. What can I say, I’m a big kid! We went on a coach trip and all the way there, and all the way back, I was reading The Lord of the Rings – I had to find out what happened next.

2002 – In between The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers being released, I started collecting the associated memorabilia. In my collection I had the books, the original soundtrack CDs, a replica One Ring, an Elven leaf brooch and, the most prized of all, Arwen Undómiel’s necklace. I’m not sure where the books or CDs are, but I still have the brooch and necklace plus a rather fantastic pewter ‘Aragorn’ goblet by Royal Selangor.

When The Two Towers came out, it was pretty much a repeat of the previous year. I must have seen it about three or four times.

My fantastic Royal Selangor goblet.

2003 – Going to the cinema every December to see the latest The Lord of the Rings film certainly became a tradition. Again, I went to the cinema numerous times to catch The Return of the King, and it certainly was a bittersweet finale. I remember that the world premiere for The Return of the King was held in Wellington, which was very fitting. It must have been a strange experience for the actors to finally hold the premiere for it seeing as how principal photography took place October 1999-December 2000!

Gandalf the White and Frodo, also known as my grandparents.

For my 15th birthday – which I realise now is actually quite old to be having a themed party! – my family and I had a The Lord of the Rings party. My mum and I were elves, my dad was a man of Gondor, my brother was one of the Nazgul, my grandad was Gandalf the White and my nanna was Frodo. My other nan didn’t come as a character but looked very nice nonetheless.

Sometime towards the end of 2003-early 2004, my family and I went to see The Lord of the Rings exhibition held at the London Science Museum. Though I can’t remember everything that was on display, I do remember the dummy Boromir lying in his funeral boat. Being a lifelong Sean Bean fan, walking past such a lifelike copy of him was very upsetting!

2004 – When, aged 16, I went to sixth form, the obsession dwindled as I got intereted in other things. The cardboard DVD display in the shape of the Argoath that my mum had pinched from WHSmith plus my Legolas cardboard cut out were dismantled.

2006 – It wasn’t until I went to university that I started getting back into the films. One of my housemates loved the trilogy, too, and we watched one after the over a few days. We then started working our way through the Pirates of the Caribbean films as well. We were English graduates, six/eight hours of lectures a week, so quite a lot of spare time for ‘reading’!

2009-present – I started this blog in September 2009 as it was a requirement for my magazine journalism diploma. I carried it on as it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing. It also made me realise just how much I love films.

It’s also given me an outlet to track the progress of The Hobbit, or rather The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The films are planned to premiere on 14th December 2012 and 13th December 2013 respectively, and I am very excited to head back to Middle-earth.

The total shoot is expected to last 254 days – just 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Weta Workshop and Weta Digital will, once again, be putting the magic together.

On the Weta website there is this extraordinary snippet of information about the amount of work that went into creating the trilogy: “Over the course of the entire trilogy, Weta made over 48,000 individual items in all, among them 10,000 prosthetic facial appliances, over 3,500 pairs of Hobbit feet, 2,500 foam body suits, 1,200 suits of armour, 2,000 weapons and 10,000 arrows. 72 miniatures were built to visualise the epic scaled environments and cities of Middle-earth.”

The Lord of the Rings trilogy truly was an epic, in more ways than one.

What would your answer be?

Today’s blog post has taken inspiration from one of my favourite websites, TheOneRing.net The website was founded in 1999 by fans of Tolkien for fans of Tolkien. To use their own words, TheOneRing.net continues today in bringing fans the latest news on the beloved figures involved in the making of the wildly popular Lord of the Rings movies as well as the newest information available on upcoming productions, Tolkien-centered events, new publications and fan gatherings.

As well as following the website, I also like TheOneRing.net on Facebook. Most days they post a ‘question of the day’, which are always great fun. For today’s post I have pinched some of their questions and provided my own answers. They have asked so many fantastic questions that I was struggling to find some of my own!

Enjoy the Q and As and, as always, leave a comment – I’d love to know what your answers are.

What do you get Gandalf for Christmas?
Now this is a toughie. I think I’d get him some pipeweed, perhaps a barrel of Longbottom Leaf or Old Toby. I’d probably get him a nice new pipe to go with it, something decorative that he can use for special occasions. I’d buy him a few pairs of good quality socks as well. He spends a lot of time outdoors and some warm walking socks would be very, very useful. I imagine his current pairs are quite holey!

Finish this sentence: “Dear Legolas, I…”
Dear Legolas, I would love to know the secret of your luscious golden locks. Is it just good genes or do you use a certain product? Whatever it is, you certainly have a very impressive head of hair and you could definitely start in a shampoo advert or two. Many thanks, Claire.

You inherit Sting. The first thing you do is…
…check whether it’s glowing blue because if it is, it’s definitely time to start running! If there’s no time to run then I’d stand my ground and kills as many orcs as possible!

Some Middle-earth characters now have a Facebook page, what are some of their status updates?
Pippin: I can’t wait for lunch. I wonder what we’re having? It seems like ages since I had elvenses. And second breakfast. And I can barely remember what I had for breakfast!

Gimli: Banging headache this morning, that elf can certainly handle his drink but don’t tell him I said that!

Three excellent ones that people posted at TheOneRing.net were:
Aragorn created an event: Going Underground.
Legolas is attending.
Gimli commented: An Elf will go underground where a Dwarf dare not?

Witchking of Angmar: Going to war today. No worries though, no man can kill me!
Eowyn has been tagged at Pelennor Fields with Meriadoc Brandybuck.

Elrond created an event: Rivendell secret council

Gandalf vs Dumbledore – who would win?
Hmm, I’m not sure what they would be fighting about. If it was a friendly arm wrestle then I’d definitely go for Gandalf as he is much more physical than Dumbledore. Dumbledore stays within the comfort of Hogwarts most the time while Gandalf is out in the fresh air on Shadowfax travelling the length and breadth of Middle-earth!

You are given free reign of The Hobbit set – what do you check out first?
Now this is difficult! My first instinct would be to visit Rivendell or Lothlorien. However, Bag End is so homely and packed full with trinkets that I’d hate to not see it. The set design crew did such a fantastic job with Bag End in the trilogy. It’s very inviting and I’d love to have a snoop about and have a look at Bilbo’s belongings.

You are given the choice of entering Middle-earth as either a Human, Hobbit, Dwarf or Elf. What do you choose and why?
Easy peasy: elf. I’ve always felt myself more akin to the elves. They are such a strong and graceful people, and I’d love to be among them and soak up the atmosphere. Visually I kinda look the part, too. I’m 5’9” and have long, blonde hair, which my ears frequently peek out through!