Saturday, November 2, 2013

All Fan Event Tickets are now gone - sorry if you missed out!

Sorry if you missed out - but congratulations if you're in! We're looking at being present at the centre of The Hobbit universe on Tuesday the 5th of November!

If you are one of the lucky ones, I've taken your name, email address, and mobile phone number. The organiser's ticketing team will send each email address a link to click on for rsvp-ing, and then their system will spit out a personalised ticket with barcode to download and print, or have on their smartphones to have scanned in on entry..


I'm hoping there will be plenty of cool costumes on the day - please feel free to leave the civvies behind and come in full Middle-earth attire! Alex & I will be costumed, and I understand quite a few others will be as well. Come join us, don't be shy. :)

Today (Saturday) we paid a visit to the Costume Cave on Wakefield Street; an excellent source of costumes. On Monday, the TV crew will go back with us, to film us selecting the costumes (I know, we cheated, and selected them today). If anybody wants to join us for that, please let me know; I've got a few others there as well, but if you wanted a shot at fame, now is your chance! The TV crew will likely look for us on Tuesday as well. I'm thinking of bringing my full-sized Narsil blade (unbroken). Not sure if I'll get it past security though.

Let's have a great fun day on Tuesday! This is a unique occasion! Don't waste the opportunity!

  - Jack

Friday, November 1, 2013

Welly-moot 2.5 report (somewhat belatedly)

NB - Due to all the excitement around the Live Fan Event earlier this month, it looks like I never hit the "Publish" button on this report. My apologies, so here it is. Some of the items are somewhat late but better late than never, right? ;)

The Welly-moot group met on 27th October. As usual, we started with catch-ups between members, and we exchanged some news and updates.

From left front, clockwise: Kris, Jack, Martyn, Wayne, Annabel, Francine (hands only), and Cinnamon. As usual, Alex, managed to avoid the camera by taking the pictures. Also present were Annabel's two hobbits.

Jack talked about the Hobbit Fan Event on 5th November at the Embassy Theatre. The Welly-moot group has been invited to attend by the organisers RoadShow Distributors. There will be further announcement on this website in the next few days..

The was a report about the Auckland Armageddon fantasy convention from Cinnamom. Also, we have a new member; Franziska, from Germany. She has always loved Tolkien's stories and has finally made it to New Zealand, which was a childhood dream of hers.

Cinnamon and Franziska

The main discussion today was about King Thranduil's history (Legolas’ father). We had interesting discussions about him. Who is he? How did he get to Mirkwood? Where is Legolas's mother?

Everyone brought their books and we took turn to read the parts related to Thranduil, or to his father Oropher. The skant information available about them makes this a fascinating part of the histories.

Martyn and Wayne

Jack had scoured the net for some more information about Legolas' mother, but nothing concrete was found. He did stumble on a Yahoo Q/A, where someone named "Celtic Druidess" had this to say (slightly paraphrased):

Who is Legolas’ mother / Thranduil’s wife?

Tolkien never really created a full family tree for Legolas. We can trace his lineage back on his father's side to his grandfather, but no further.

It is possible that Thranduil’s wife was one of the Silvan Elves (Thranduil being a Sindarin elf), which is made clear in in the History of Galadriel and Celeborn (in Unfinished Tales), where there's a brief account of the arrival of Thranduil's father Oropher among the Silvan Elves of Greenwood the Great.

It's made obvious there that Oropher and his small band of Sindar merged themselves completely with the Silvan people of the Wood, leaving behind their Sindarin inheritance. By this time, Thranduil had already been born, and in order to link themselves to the Silvan elves, it is likely that Thranduil had been married to one of them. But this is never dwelled upon, and so is just an educated guess.

The extended discussions were about the "real world" Kings in England, The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. In the real life, the kings are not exactly blood line, however in Tolkien’s world the Kings are totally blood lines ("blue blood???"). Aragorn was an exile and eventually becomes the King, merely because of the blood in his veins.

After the Tolkien discussions, we returned to the Hobbit 2 movie release. We have agreed what we would like to do something in December when the Hobbit 2 (Desolation of Smaug) will be released. We will contact to the Embassy Theatre to watch Hobbit 1 on 12th December evening, then we will watch the Hobbit 2. We also have of a party on 12th at the Embassy if we can. We will announce the details on this Website. It can be a costume party as well.

We will update this blog about the Event on 5th November. Keep your eyes open!

  - Alex & Jack

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IMPORTANT: All Welly-moot members - please read and respond ASAP!

It looks very much like the Welly-moot members will be given a limited number of tickets to Peter Jackson's Live Fan Event on Tuesday November the 5th.

I will be in charge of distributing them to our members, so, please check the following list AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and get back to me! This will definitely be a "First In, First Served" occasion.

  • You are a fan of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth movies
  • You are a member of the NZ Tolkien group Welly-moot
  • You are in Wellington on November 5th
  • You are able to attend this event starting at 11:00am
If ALL of these conditions are true, please email me ASAP.

Please let me know if you need any extra tickets - we may be able to accomodate those as well, but Welly-moot members who attend our meetings will be given priority.

My email address is still

  - Jack

Saturday, October 26, 2013

IMPORTANT! Fan Event Announcement at Welly-moot 2.5!!!

Hopefully everybody's heard about Peter Jackson's announcement about the Live Fan Event.

I guess everybody is trying to get some of the free tickets that is giving away. It looks like Welly-mooters won't need to worry about those...

If you're a member of Wellington's Tolkien group, please make sure you come to the meeting this Sunday the 27th, since I have a special announcement to make there, which will affect all Welly-moot members in the Wellington region during the event.

If you're not already a member, this would be an EXCELLENT meeting to attend and become a member. Membership is STILL free, but you do have to attend a meeting.

I'm not able to make any promises at this stage, but things are looking very good right now. Come to the meeting to find out more.

Sunday 27th of October, 2013, at 2:00pm.
Embassy Cinema, Upstairs at the Cafe.

Come one, come all!

And please feel free to email/retweet/facebook-post this link to anyone else who needs to see this in the next 17 hours.

  - Jack

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Next Welly-moot theme: Thranduil, father of Legolas (moot 2.5)

The next Welly-moot isn't far away, it's time we had a theme for it! With the second Hobbit movie not far away, we're focussing on one of the characters from it - Legolas' father King Thranduil of the Woodlands Domain. Who is he, how did he get to Mirkwood (or Greenwood the Great, as it was called in the olden days), and why haven't we met Mrs Thranduil?

Reading material (if you feel enthusiastic) will be from The Hobbit; the last part of the chapter "Flies and Spiders", and the first half of "Barrels out of Bond". If you have any other material relating to him, please bring it.

The meeting is at the usual place and time - Sunday the 27th of October, at 2:00pm, upstairs at the Embassy Cinema. Bring coffee money.

See you all there, and bring a friend!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Report - Welly-moot 2.4: Rivendell

(Apologies for the late report - if anyone wants to volunteer to write these after every meeting, please let me know).

Welly-moot met on August the 25th, and we discussed Rivendell. The homework was to read the Rivendell chapters in The Hobbit, plus the sections in LOTR, and for the super-keen among us, watch the movie versions of Rivendell one more time as well. Attendance was good - all in all, 13 people enjoyed the coffee at the Embassy. Kris, Alex and myself were met by Wayne and Hillary, and Miranda. Annabel had brought Lucy and Sophy, and Hawk was there with mum & dad Jenifer and Ryan. Sadly, it is likely their last meeting as they will be leaving our shores to return back to the USA in a month or so. Also we had a new member, Caitlyn. Welcome to our little group, Caitlyn!

Pic: (from the back of Ryan's head in fron, cw to the left): Jenifer, Annabel, Hillary, Wayne, and Miranda

Since our last meeting, Welly-moot has had a small identity crisis - the group was fast on its way to becoming a Peter Jackson fan club instead of the chartered Tolkien fan group. The problem of course is that we're pretty much all  big fans of both, and a large percentage of the group was on the set of The Hobbit movies as extras, so a lot of the discussion has been about the movie versions in the past.

Today's discussion brought us back to the roots. There was a good sized stack of books present; to the point of some not getting discussed. [Wayne, I did notice that you had a copy of "Defending Middle-earth" with you. Please bring it again next meeting - we WILL get to it!]

Kris had brought a beautiful postcard from her travels to Switzerland's Lauterbrunnental, which was one of JRR Tolkien's inspirations for Rivendell. She also brought her print of Alan Lee's Rivendell for comparison, and indeed, there was more than a passing resemblance. This has been noticed by others as well. Kris also had her copy of "The Art of Tolkien" with her, which was enjoyed by all.

Hillary had recently been to a reading by the Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum from the London School of Jewish Studies, on the topic of "The Torah of the Lord Of The Rings". We discussed this briefly (thanks for the copies of the notes you passed out, btw!), and the topic of translated Tolkien works came up. Alex had brought her Japanese copy of The Hobbit with her (and her English one as well)

Soon we were back to Rivendell. In chapter 3 of The Hobbit, Bilbo thinks to himself "Hmmm! it smells like elves!". After discarding and possibility of B.O. from the elves, we decided it must be like spring or summer, a refreshing smell.

There is also a lot of talk of singing in all the books - not just from the elves but also from the dwarves, the hobbits, the men, some of the animals, and yes, even the orcs sing. Singing is a very powerful thing in Middle-earth. In the Silmarillion it is said that the world of Arda is sung into existence, and all things were created by their own song from the Valar (the deities). Singing is a magical thing. These days the mass-media has changed all that, probably beginning with the onset of radio. When once everyone could sing (apparently), nowadays you have to be better, or at least as good as, anyone on radio, and therefore few attempt it in public anymore. Although the sound of singing is still commonplace through our myriad devices, it's rarely live singing anymore. Is it a loss? The quality is better usually, but there's plenty to be said for live impromptu performances.

There the discussion turned to the atmospheric difference in the Rivendell from The Hobbit to that in the Lord Of The Rings. In The Hobbit, the elves at Rivendell are playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, eating, even hunting. In LOTR, there wasn't so much happening, and a lot less elves to be seen at all. This has to do with the symbolic autumn of the elves throughout the sagas (in fact, the season in LOTR was autumn when the fellowship arrives at Rivendell). The elves are leaving at that time, to return to the Lands in the West - Valinor. During The Hobbit, that autumn has not yet started.

Peter Jackson's movies certainly reflect this change as well, which shows his attention to such details. There are stories that his set-builders stapled 400,000 fake autumn leaves to the trees in Rivendell's LOTR filming locations - a necessity since it was filmed in an evergreen rainforest area.

What we can see in Peter Jackson’s movies is not necessary the same from own images from books however the movie's Rivendell is beautiful and comfortable. Our own images are mostly ‘Homey place’; there is fire place, plenty of food and drink on the table - all in all comfortable and safe.

Alan Lee’s drawings are closer to the book. Rivendell is built in a hidden place and elves must have had plenty of time to create arts, songs, and stories.Rivendell was a place to relax.

From there, the discussion veered briefly off Rivendell. Was the movie accurate in its portrayal of the characters from the books? Was the casting done well? We all had images from the characters after reading the books. For example, Orlando Bloom matched most people's vision of Legolas from the books, however neither Aragron nor Boromir were as well cast. Not to say they were badly played though. I've recently finished the books again, and although I saw Legolas very much like Orlando's portrayal, Boromir and Aragorn were different in the books for me. Different, but not better or worse.

Pic: (left to right) - Hillary & Wayne, Miranda, and Jack in full swing.

Too soon, the afternoon was at and end, the coffee had run out, and people started to leave. We'll have an other meeting at the end of October - watch this space!

One final thing - Kris picked up a pair of glasses left behind by someone - if it was yours, please get in touch with either myself or with Kris.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Many Meetings Moot

Many Meetings Moot - August 25 

We've talked dwarves and dragons. Now let's talk elves. Rivendell has always been my favourite spot in Middle-earth. Elrond's Last Homely House would have suited me just fine.
"His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."

For this moot, before the meeting we're reading The Hobbit, chapter 3: A Short Rest. 
For those who want to take it a bit further, please also read The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, chapter 1: Many Meetings, and chapter 2, and the first pages of chapter 3 if you have time. 

"Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea....Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness."

That sounds pretty perfect, doesn't it? Find your favorite passages about elves and Rivendell, and we'll go through the chapters and talk about what we think Tolkien was trying to establish about elves and their importance in Middle-earth. We  can also discuss how well the films matched our vision of Rivendell. 
Bring any illustrations you have to share, yours or other artists. Have you written any poems or songs worthy of the Hall of Fire? We'd love to hear them - and we promise not to fall asleep. ;D

As usual, the moot will be held upstairs at the Embassy Cinema, at 2:00pm. See you there!