Saturday, May 4, 2013

Welly-moot 2.2 (April 28th, 2013) - Dual Themes

We had our second meeting this year, on Sunday, 28th of April. All the regular members attended: Jack, Alex, Kris, Martin, Ash, Cinnamon, Ben, Iain, Ryan and Jennifer with Hawk, Annabel, Kumi, and one new visitor; Kate from Germany.

We started with Jack opening the moot. He mentioned two projects; Mt Tolkien (the renaming of the mountain in South Island) and Riventroll (a statue in Rivendell (Kaitoke Regional Park)). Unfortunately the naming of Mt Tolkien was not successful at this time. However, we will continue to try to rename a New Zealand feature officially – we might be able to do some local renaming (perhaps formalise Rivendell). We will keep everyone informed. Regarding the Troll statue, we have applied for the Art Grant from Creative Wellington NZ for Riventroll’s funding. We are still waiting for the contract from them in the end of May. Fingers crossed!

Some updates from the members; Cinnamon showed us the photo of herself with a large group of the Hobbit’s cast, including Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), from this year’s Supanova in Brisbane, Australia.

Welly-moot member and jeweller Annabel has finished creating a gorgeous badge for our group. The introductory price for members at the meeting was $16, and it will shortly be available on our website for $20 (not including P&P). An announcement for that will be made soon.

Another great piece of news is that local LOTR touring company Wellington Rover Tours has granted us a special discount of 50% off for Lord of the Ring Full-day Tours for Welly-moot members. At this stage the discount will go all winter, so book in over the next few months. Send Jack a message and he can arrange the tour at the special price.

So, come and join our Welly-moot meetings, and enjoy this VERY special deal! Ben will be the first of our members to enjoy this, as he's booked in later this week. Hopefully we can get him to write a quick update about it afterwards.

Some other news:

Kate mentioned that a German Sword Trainer is coming to Auckland in May. She suggested if we have enough people we can have the workshop in Wellington as well. However it was too short notice and we didn’t have enough time or resources to prepare for this. Hopefully in the future we may have another opportunity like this.

The Themes:

Finally, it was time for our discussions. The main topics were “What is your favourite part in Hobbit book?” and “Tolkien’s other tales and short stories”. To allow for a more active discussion, we divided the groups into two smaller circles and we had exciting, and fun discussions, with appropriately high geek-levels.

Theme 1 – What is your favourite part in The Hobbit?

A lot of people liked the moment where the Dwarves come Bilbo’s place, because it is so funny. Alex likes Gandalf and Bilbo’s first encounter – Gandalf said “What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that…..”. It is a very “unexpected” reply, and from this conversation onwards, unexpected incidents happen continuously to Bilbo, which is one of the main elements.

Part of the group - Martyn on the left, Cinamon and Ash at the top. (that's Kate's arm to the right, and Kris's head at the bottom)

Kris read the part of the book with her nice low tone to make people concentrate even harder. Even young Hawk was completely drawn in...

Theme 2 -Tolkien’s other tales and short stories

In addition to his mythopoeic compositions, Tolkien enjoyed inventing fantasy stories to entertain his children. (Wikipedia) – Alex did her home work
  • The Father Christmas Letters - annual christmas letters from Father Christmas for his children
  • Mr. Bliss
  • Roverandom
  • Smith of Wootton Major ( Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major, like The Hobbit, borrowed ideas from his legendarium)
  • Leaf by Niggle (part of Tree and Leaf)
  • On Fairy-Stories (part of Tree and Leaf)
  • The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
  • Farmer Giles of Ham
Kris recommends “Roverandom”; it is easy, shorter, and fun. We agreed that the stories have fairytales, giants, wizards, dog which talks, magic, etc, and it is not only children but adults can enjoy these stories. Other opinions are that adults tend to analyse the stories but children don’t and they just accept them and enjoy them. Why shall we not enjoy them rather than analysing or criticising? Overall it was fun discussion and we will do it again.

Ben, Ryan and Jack debated whether the shorter stories could be interpreted as being fairytales told within Middle-earth by its own denizens – potentially a post “war-of-the-Ring” Middle-earth, long after the elves are all but forgotten. Certainly Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major could be read as such, while Leaf By Niggle is more of a “meta” work, a story that perhaps describes how the other stories came about.

Ben on the left, then Ryan & Hawk, Jenifer, Annabel, and Jack at the bottom (wearing the Finnish Tolkien Society's t-shirt)

An interesting point arose when sympathy was expressed for both Tolkien as well as for Peter Jackson, who have both described originally as creating their works for themselves, but have later also both said that the can’t read/watch them again (references?). Iain suggested that this echoed Frodo’s predicament in saving the shire, but finding himself unable to stay there afterwards. Interesting.

Welly-moot this year

We are based in Wellington NZ and so, will most likely have great opportunities to get involved locally especially next a couple of years because of the Hobbit 2 & 3.

  • Welly-moot will be actively looking to join any event and hopefully won’t miss any opportunities! Because of that, we want to organise Welly-moot parties in December 2013 and 2014.
  • Movie marathon – LOTR 1, 2, 3 and Hobbit 1 at Embassy Theatre before Hobbit 2 would be great idea. Jack will look into this in before the next meeting.
  • We will invite people from in film industry in Wellington to our meetings.
As Jack was too busy talking to others, the meeting was closed by Kris and Alex. The next meeting will be on Sunday 14 July 2:00pm. We usually have meeting every two months, however this June, Jack and Alex are going to Japan, where they might be able to visit Tolkien Society in Japan! Expect a report if this ends up happening!

We will keep everyone informed on this website when any activities we will do. All posts here are automatically placed on our Facebook page as well as on our Twitter account.

  - Alex

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