Sunday, June 11, 2017

Welly-moot #6.3 report - Forgot to discuss the theme. Oops.

The group met at the Embassy Cinema today, and although our intentions were to discuss the set theme of Reality vs Metaphor (were Bilbo's Rock Giants real or were they a metaphor for something entirely different?), in the end we kinda never got around to it. The discussion went a lot of different ways instead, everything from politics (VERY briefly), various educational models around the world, Bela Lugosi's role in early horror films, and yes, some Middle-earth.

The group was pretty relaxed about it all. Coffee was drunk, cake was demolished. Last week was Armageddon, so that was a nice catch-up since most people had been to it - Wellington's annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention at the Westpac Stadium. And speaking of Sci-Fi, the Wellington Sci-Fi group came and sat beside us in the cafe and started their monthly meeting as well. Looks like a good place to hold these things, I guess.


We'll be meeting again in a few months, perhaps we'll get around to the theme then! The silver lining of today's meeting - it's great to see that this is such a social event, and I hope it always stays that way.


Till next time!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Final date change - Welly-moot #6.3 will be held on June 11 (not June 4).

Due to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention Armageddon being held over the same weekend as our original Welly-moot scheduled meeting, we've decided to change our moot day to June the 11th.

Apart from the date change, we now also have a fun theme for the discussion:


Reality vs Metaphor
In The Hobbit, the Rock Giants are portrayed as real in the films, but many believe they are just metaphors - what are are thoughts on this? And are there any other instances of this in the stories?

Rock Giants - are they real or did Bilbo imagine them?



So, if you're keen on a good fun afternoon with a bunch of fellow coffee drinkers and cake eaters, come join, and add your $0.02 worth to the discussion - or just come and sit back and enjoy the bun-slinging.

Usual time, usual place: 2:00pm, upstairs at the Embassy cafe. Entry is free and gives lifetime membership as a Welly-mooter, but bring money for coffee and cakes.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Last night's Royd Tolkien charity event for MND(NZ) was a success!

Royd Tolkien talks about his brother Mike
Royd Tolkien's event at the Roxy Cinema last night was a great fun evening, with some very exciting auctioneering from Jed Brophy as well. The Roxy had put out a delicious spread of hors d'oeuvres, which were excellent as always.

The first part of the evening was basically a meet-and-greet with Royd and Jed, as well as with Wellingtonians Peter Hambleton (aka Gloin!), and prolific stuntman/suit actor Shane Rangi. Some speeches followed, where Beth Watson from MND NZ spoke about the disease, and Royd spoke about his brother Mike, and the challenge of his bucket list. The sobering speeches put the evening back into perspective.



Deep in the Woods, by Rieko Woodford-Robinson (2014)

 The auction began halfway through the evening, with the non-Hobbit/LOTR items. The crowd was pretty intent on spending money on this very deserving charity - the money will go to the support of people suffering from Motor Neurone Disease (aka ALS disease). Some very good prices were reached for the items. One of them, a gorgeous giclee print by Rieko Woodford-Robinson titled "Deep In The Woods" went for around the $1000 mark, much to the delight of Rieko herself.

Also under the hammer went a lovely bottle of wine, the last one made by Stefano Guidi, chief winemaker at Heron's Flight, before he was diagnosed with MND in May last year.





Three prints by Weta's artist Gino Acevedo were up next, and one of them was snapped up by Troy, who I had the pleasure to take on a tour to the Paths of the Dead a few weeks ago (aka, the Putangirua Pinnacles). Troy is travelling around New Zealand for a year, taking in as many LOTR locations as possible, so he was enjoying the evening especially!



"A tour for two people to THAT MAN over there" -Jed
The LOTR Tour for two people that my employer Rover Tours Group had sponsored went well - I didn't get to meet the lucky winner of that one, but I suspect I will soon.

Everybody seemed hungry for the big prize of the evening - the Orc Mask, which was not only worn by Royd Tolkien, but was molded from Shane Rangi's head. The bidding was fast and furious, especially since we knew there were some quite high overseas absentee bids already on the table. Sorry Kylie, it wasn't to be - the mask ended up going to Tom, from Weta Cave. He's pretty much changed his life around a number of times, just to live in Wellington, and is definitely one of the biggest LOTR fans I know, of both the movies and the books. I think he may be broke for some time though - the look on his face when he put in his final bid spoke volumes.

Well done, Tom, and everyone else who was successful (I wasn't!), and to all those who missed out; better luck next time!


Jack, Royd, and Alex
A big thank you goes out to Royd Tolkien, to his brother Mike Baker who spurred Royd on to complete this mission, to the organisers of the event, the people at MND (NZ), the good folk at Roxy, Weta, and the other sponsors. Last but not least, to the overseas bidders who certainly helped get those bids high - you may not have won your items but you helped all the same!

  - Jack

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fabulous Prizes!

I've received more details about the Royd Tolkien charity event at the Roxy next week. The charity auction, run by Jed Brophy, will include some fabulous items that may never be offered for sale again.

For the overseas fans: I may be able to accept absentee bids on your behalf, but let me know well in advance, so I can arrange the necessary paperwork etc. Email me on jack@welly-moot.com if you're interested. As soon as possible please - time is of the essence, and tickets are limited!


Royd getting into Orc mode.
  • An actual Orc mask made by Weta Workshop as seen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Worn by Royd Tolkien during filming of the Bucket List documentary. Just so we're all clear, this is the first time I've EVER seen an actual Weta Orc Mask up for sale, let alone one worn by Royd Tolkien.
Estimated value: priceless. I honestly have no idea how much this would go for; I've never seen one go on sale before (in 17 years!).




  • A VIP Weta Workshop tour package for four people, including a personal meeting with Weta Workshop founder Richard Taylor or Tania Rodger, a Weta Cave Workshop tour, introduction to the company and a Thunderbirds Are Go experience, plus a signed book (allow 3 hours). Valued at $800




  • A Full day LOTR Tour for two people around the Wellington region, courtesy of Rover Tours Group. Tour includes a visit to the Weta Workshop, including the famous Weta Cave Workshop tour (lunch included). Various LOTR locations - Outer Shire, Rivendell, Isengard, River Anduin, and others. Also includes a gift map created by Daniel Reeve, Middle-earth's official cartographer. A total value of $380, the tour can be booked anytime in the next 12 months.



Furthermore, also these amazing items:
  • Gandalf statue signed by Sir Peter Jackson
  • Legolas Greenleaf statue signed by Sir Richard Taylor
  • Lady Eowyn of Rohan statue signed by Sir Richard Taylor
  • The Art of Film Magic - 20 Years of Weta book signed by Sir Richard Taylor


Weta Workshop, Rover Tours Group, and Sir Peter Jackson have all really come to this party, in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease NZ charity. It's a worthy cause, so let's do this. All in all it promises to be quite the evening. Get your tickets soon please - they need to know how much wine to get for the evening. If you can't attend, but would like a shot at the auction items, contact me, at jack@welly-moot.com !

For more details about the event, check our earlier post:

  http://www.welly-moot.com/2017/03/royd-tolkien-coming-to-wellington-at.html

For tickets ($75) or sponsorship, please email Jodie at jodieattard@hotmail.com

See you there!

  - Jack

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Welly-moot #6.2 report - Eowyn's Choices

The second Welly-moot meeting was held at Embassy café today. Alongside of regular members, we have new visitors; Maria and Logan, both are big fans of Tolkien’s world.

First, we started with updates and news around the table – the upcoming charity event with Royd Tolkien on April 12 (http://www.welly-moot.com/2017/03/royd-tolkien-coming-to-wellington-at.html), news about Wellington Movie Museum (ie, no news, more delays), and new movies; especially “Ghost in the Shell” with both Jack and Alex as Extras.

--
Today’s theme was "Eowyn's Choices" - a theme we received from Astrid from Austrian Tirol Tolkien Smial. Astrid is asking different groups some Tolkien themed questions, and is collecting answers, possibly to be published at a later stage. We'll keep you updated!


In The Return Of The King, Theoden King had laid the faith of their people into Eowyn's hands. However, she secretly fought alongside with Kind and her brother and she could have easily died.

Questions;

(1) What is she now? – Is she a traitor, a rogue, just a huge egoist, irresponsible or what?
We all agreed that she is none of them, and certainly not a traitor. Ryan and Kay spotted the excellent point - if Eowyn was a male, King Theoden would have asked to stay at home? It is obviously not because all men were expected to fight with the King.

As everyone knew that the fight had no hope to win and everyone was expected to die during the battle. If everyone died in the battle, then all women and children who were left behind would be killed by Sauron anyway, so there was no point to remain as the successor. Eowyn chose to die alongside with the King and her brother to try to protect the world and people. Maybe she betrayed her King but not her people.

Alex brought a more romantic answer; because Eowyn was heart-broken by being rejected by Aragorn, she lost her hope to live and she chose to die.

An interesting question members pointed out – “Was it irresponsible of her to take Merry with her to the battle?” After some discussion, we concluded that it was not irresponsible. She was going to be left behind and so was Merry who both wanted to fight for their love ones.
 
A quotation from the movie, when Aragorn asked her what she was afraid of, then she answered “a cage”. If she did as King asked, she was like being a cage without freedom or her own will.

(2) Is she a great heroine of her time, after all?

We all agreed “Yes”. However she had to disguise herself to be in the battle and killed the Nazgul. She is a heroine and a fighter. She did far more good in the battle than she would have if she'd followed the king's orders.

(3) To WHOM did she pass on her responsibility for the Rohirrim? Especially as it had to be operated in secret? Any optional leader at hand was to join Theoden's army, after all.
As like other stories, there is always someone to inherit the throne; maybe descendant of Hamma or Gamling, or second/third cousin of Eomer and Eowyn.


We had a great discussions about Eowyn today and it was so much fun. We have decided to have this kind of discussion with different themes and topics for future meetings. If you have any ideas, topics, or questions you want to ask Welly-mooters to discuss about it, please email to Jack (jack@wellymoot.com). We welcome anyones’ participation.

Finally we had an announcement. Jack and Alex have decided to remain at the helm Welly-moot and we are having a new committee member, Kay who has attended all meetings since last year and been supporting us. Jack will lead us as the President of Welly-moot, and Kristi, Alex, Cinnamon, Daniel, and now Kay will support him and the group as Committee members.

The next meeting is on Sunday 4 June. See you there.

Jack & Alex

Friday, March 17, 2017

Royd Tolkien coming to Wellington, at the Roxy on April 12, charity event for MND association.

Technically, I understand that he's already here, but Royd Tolkien, the great grandson of our favourite author, actor, film producer, and brother of the late Mike Baker who died from Motor Neurone Disease (MND), has returned to New Zealand to "make a dick of himself" in honour of his late brother.

As you may know, Mike left Royd a bucketlist to finish on his behalf, and Royd is going out of his comfort zone to finish it, and to raise some funds for the MND association.

There's a good interview about it on the Wales Online website (it's a couple of years old but still good).

Royd is also filming his adventures, and this is being made into a documentary, There's A Hole In My Bucket.


MND New Zealand invites you to an evening with Royd Tolkien at the wonderful Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington. Tickets can be purchased for $75 each.

Canapés and drinks will be served for main duration of the event

Royd Tolkien and his brother, Mike, great-grandsons of J.R.R. Tolkien, were not just brothers, they were best friends. When Mike, the adrenalin junkie younger brother who loved excitement and adventure, realised his MND would never let him complete his bucket list on the other side of the world (New Zealand), he left it for Royd to complete. A challenge indeed given Royd says he hasn’t a “thrill-seeking bone in my body”.

There’s a Hole in my Bucket is a documentary starring Royd and is being filmed in New Zealand now. Royd says, “it is a journey of discovery and inspiration” intended “to remind people how precious and important life is and to make every second count.”

Join Royd at this event to hear about his experiences completing the 50 bucket list challenges his brother left him, most of which he will have completed by April 12th. There will also be some fantastic items and experiences up for auction, to be revealed in the coming weeks.


The Wellington event is hosted by the Roxy Cinema, on April 12th, and tickets are available for $75.

To find out more about the documentary, watch this YouTube clip (4 mins).

For tickets ($75) or sponsorship, please email Jodie at jodieattard@hotmail.com.


More news as it comes to hand!
 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Theme for Welly-moot #6.2 - "Eowyn's Choices". March 26, 2017.

Way back in December 2011, Welly-moot had a visit from Astrid from the Austrian Tirol Tolkien Smial (at Welly-moot #0.6). She's been back in New Zealand in 2015, and amongst other things,  visited Rivendell:


Unfortunately she wasn't here for our picnic last month, but she has set us a challenge for our next meeting. Astrid has started a little Tolkien project of her own. She is asking different groups some Tolkien themed questions, and is collecting answers, possibly to be published at a later stage.


(Astrid:)

As Tolkien seems to kind of forcefully "sneak back" into my life lately, I decided to start a little project. I raise a question, concerning things Tolkien that left me curious for some time, and collect answers and ideas...

Here is my challenge for WELLY-MOOT fellowship:

Reading LotR about Eowyn leaving for Minas Tirith among the riders, I was wondering about two unexplained facts:

First – beside any motive Tolkien had displayed for her action… there remains the fact that she ignored her responsibilities!
After all she had been second in line after her brother in royal hierarchy since her cousin had been slain on the battlefield. And Theoden King  had laid the faith of their people into her hands before when she had led them to Dunharrow (book version!). So in her decision to join the battle on Pelennor, just in case she would have died alongside her King and her brother – most likely outcome in opposite to the final story, she would have ripped her people of leadership entirely!
So I ask myself -  what is she now? A traitor, a  rogue, just a huge egoist, irresponsible…??? Or is she a great heroine of her time, after all?
Second – to WHOM did she pass on her responsibility for the Rohirrim? Especially as it had to be operated in secret? Any optional leader at hand was to join Theoden's army, after all.



So, there it is; a theme for our next meeting. We're going to need someone to take a few notes from our discussion, so we can send her our findings afterwards. In any case, it sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, with lashings of coffee and scones. Come join us!


The meeting will be held, as usual, upstairs at the Embassy Cinema, starting at 2:00pm. All are welcome, including non-members. Bring money for coffee (but lifetime membership is free, as always).

Friday, March 3, 2017

Finnish Tolkien Society Kontu - WorldCon announcement


Finnish FlagWhile we're announcing international Tolkien events we're invited to, there's a cool few things on in Finland later this year as well. The New Zealand Tolkien has enjoyed a great friendship with the Finnish Kontu in the past, and we would very much like to continue that relationship!

I received a message from them a little while ago - check it out!



Greetings from the Finnish Tolkien Society Kontu!

As you most likely know by now, the 75th Worldcon will be held in Helsinki, Finland from the 9th to the 13th of August. It is quite probable that many Tolkien enthusiasts from around the world are going to attend the con, so we thought that it could be fun to organize something for our international friends. The plan is to have a big picnic at Suomenlinna (http://www.suomenlinna.fi/en/) to which we'll invite every Tolkien fan that attends the con. It's a great and easy opportunity to meet Tolkien fans from all around the world, and we hope that you could inform your society's members about this.

The picnic will be held on Tuesday, the 8th of August. We chose the day before the con because people will be a bit too busy during the actual con to have time for an extra activity – and many people are arriving to Helsinki on the previous day anyway.

Suomenlinna is really easy to access from central Helsinki, and provided that the weather is good, it's a really nice place for hanging out with friends – in fact, our society goes there once every year with other speculative fiction groups! So while additional information will be given later (I'll create a Facebook event soon!) it'd be nice if your society could mention this to its members – we hope to see plenty of international Tolkien representation at the con!


With warm greetings,

Janne Seppänen
Secretary of The Finnish Tolkien Society Kontu
sihteeri@suomentolkienseura.fi



So let me know (or email them directly!) if you have any interest in attending this event!

  - Jack

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tolkien Society UK announcement - Oxonmoot 2017

Just for the record - any members of the Welly-moot Tolkien group here in New Zealand are automatically invited to a lot of the annual events hosted by the UK Tolkien Society, including the Oxonmoot.

Oxonmoot is an annual event hosted by The Tolkien Society which brings together around 200 Tolkien fans, scholars, students and Society members from across the world. It has been held annually in Oxford since 1974 on a weekend close to Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday (22nd September) and is the key event in the Society’s annual calendar – if you want to come to any Tolkien event, come to Oxonmoot.

For more details, check their website here:

https://www.tolkiensociety.org/events/oxonmoot-2017/


Let me know if you're interested in finding out more!

  - Jack

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Moot Report: Welly-moot #6.1 - Picnic at Rivendell

The first Welly-moot meeting in 2017 was held today at Rivendell. We had a bit of wind but otherwise very summery weather for our picnic, with plenty of sunshine. We enjoyed meeting up with friends and families along with Welly-mooters. Kay was the first to arrive, and she had brought a lovely Hobbittish basket full of food. Thanks Kay! And since everyone else did the same, there certainly was plenty to go around!

After we enjoyed sharing in everyone's scrumptious treats and conversation, and singing with guitar by Daniel, we took off for a mini-tour of Rivendell, guided by Jack. We enjoyed the summery afternoon with sunshine which we hadn’t had for a long time in Wellington.

Thanks to everyone who came today. And anyone who couldn’t make it today, see you at next meeting at the Embassy Theatre on Sunday 26 March. We will post more details next month.

Meanwhile, check out the photos!

Always beautiful at Rivendell


 

Food looking good, ladies! Also: Food! Looking good, ladies!

Heroically sucking in my stomach

Just a quiet cup of coffee, and a nice spot to drink it

Ever the tourguide

Through the sun shimmering - a vision, as a mirage, appeared at the gates of Rivendell. Lo, it was the lady Arwen herself!

We moved the tables back into the shade a number of times.

Always nice to have a bit of live music, guys! Thanks for bringing the guitar!

Weather looks good, Picnic is on!

The forecast for today is for cloudy spells, windy but little chance of rain - that's good enough ! See you all there!

Hang on to your capes. :)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Picnic this Sunday 29th - get ready!

Heya everyone!

The Welly-moot picnic at Rivendell is on this weekend! At this stage everything is going ahead. It looks like the weather is being kind to us - the Upper Hutt forecast is for dry weather, if a little windy. There should some sun, even. I know we could all do with some of that, lately!


I would love to hear from you if you're thinking of turning up - just to give me an idea of the numbers.

 So, if you're thinking of coming, can you drop me a line on jack@welly-moot.com please?



The plan is to meet at 11:00am, at the Kaitoke Regional Park, at the grassy field beside the Rivendell filming area.

However, if the weather is a bit wet, we're moving it to the camping area - I will try get some signs up, pointing the way once you get the the park. The ranger will also be made aware of our plans.


If you need directions, there's a Google Map at the end of this blog post.


Bring the following:
- Lunch
- A barbecue (we're not sure if anyone is bringing one yet, so PLEASE email me!)
- A costume if you have one,
- Soft swords (ie, not metal) if you have some, (no projectile weapons please!),
- As many people as you can find :)

Also, I will have the "Middle-earth" road signs with me - if you haven't preordered one, there will be spares there but please get in quick, as they will most likely sell out.  $15 for members, $20 for non-members.


If the weather turns REALLY bad, we may cancel, so please do keep an eye out on the blog or the facebook page before you come out. We will confirm in the morning, before 9:00am.

Hope to see you all there!

  - Jack


Oh, and PS - here's the map!




Bring

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Welly-moot Picnic coming up January 29th! Loads of stuff happening!

On Sunday, January 29th (at the end of this month!), the Welly-moot #6.1 will gather in Rivendell, in the grass fields beside the filming location. Essentially I'm planning for it to be a noisy, messy, chaotic gathering of as many of us as can make it there. Come in costume if you can (and if the weather is up to it).

We plan to start setting up around 11:00am on the grass, to ensure we have the spot. The rangers have made it clear that it's a first-come-first-served spot, so let's all get there early!

We have a few activities planned, but only loosely. If anyone has (soft!) cosplay weapons, I gather we have a few people with skills to show us how to protect Imladris from the darkness. No projectile weapons please (except perhaps Frisbees!)

If anyone has a barbecue, that would be most welcome as well. Can everyone keep me informed as to what we're all bringing - I'm happy to act as a go-between if you want to bring extra meat etc but don't have a BBQ yourself, or vise versa. KEEP ME INFORMED though please! At this stage I've not got a Barbecue confirmed, so check first. Really.

It'll be a usual kiwi/Welly-moot picnic - bring a plate; which means bring enough food/drink for yourselves, and share it around if you wish to. As long as everyone does this, I'm sure there will be plenty to go around.

So, can everyone let me know if you're intending to come to the party, either leave me a message on the facebook page, or via email at jack@welly-moot.com. I don't check the google+ page very often (is anyone actually using that, btw?).

--

Something different - I've now sourced a cool souvenir if anyone is interested - a lovely yellow AA-styled roadsign pointing the way to Middle-earth. I managed to get some for a good price, and will pass them on to our members. Please send an email to me at jack@welly-moot.com if you'd be keen on having one. They measure around 45cm long, 10cm high. I will have a small box of them with me at the picnic, but first come first served if you didn't preorder.

Middle-earth sign, 45cm x 10cm (made from MDF) - $15 for Welly-moot members


The cost would be $15 each. They will (barely) pay for the various Welly-moot expenses that I've racked up over the last 6 years, so drop me a line if you want a cool sign.




If you're not yet a Welly-moot member, simply turn up to the picnic, and you will be one (make sure you come and talk to me about it though - I won't do a head-count on the day!). Membership is free, and for life.


Anyway, expect a few more posts in the next few weeks, with more picnic details. See you all there!

  - Jack