Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

There And Back Again: A Geek's Adventures In Middle Earth! CHAPTER SIX!!!

Ah, my time departed from you has been spent in quite a violent adventure.

As I uploaded the last installment to you folks around the globe, my writing and accounting of my adventures here in Middle Earth were so Earth Shaking that … well… AN EARTHQUAKE occurred here in Middle Earth… I shook the very foundations of the Earth itself with my prose… either that or I rolled out of bed.

But let me tell you about the EarthQuake… I have never ever experienced an EarthQuake before. So I was up on the seventh floor of my hotel… I had just clicked the UPDATE button in the administration area of the site… when suddenly the entire room began swaying side to side… I instantly began wondering about the Ice Cream I was given at the Weta Workshop… Was this the beginning of some poison taking affect… but then I noticed the pins on my desk rolling about….

EARTHQUAKE!!!

I’ve never been in one of these before, so I stood and I thought… Hmmmm…. Perhaps I should stand in a doorway… but then I thought, "Well… if I stand in a doorway, and there is any sort of trouble at all… and I’m on the 7th floor… I’m screwed. So then I pick up the mattress off my bed and run into the bathroom… hopping in the bathtub and cover myself with the mattress.

A couple of hours went by, and I thought… Do I come out? Is it safe? Is this like one of those Wile Coyote cartoons… I pop out of the tub and zzzzziiiiiiiirrrrrrrrr BAM…. Flattened Harry Burger!

Suddenly the phone rings, well… the lines are still working. I pop out of the tub… no fall to the death… and make it to the phone to hear that I will be joining Richard Taylor and a whole ton of the WETA WORKSHOP crew for dinner and DRINKS!!!!

So I place the "Please Make Up My Room" sign on my door handle and giggle thinking that the poor lady that makes up the rooms will look at the mattress in the tub and ponder exactly what I was up to.

I take a cab to this restaurant/drinking hole on the waterfront called SALT! Much to my surprise, Randy Cook and Andy Serkis are there… (two very significant parts of GOLLUM) along with the Weta Workshop crew. I get there and am instantly forced to order a drink… I choose this New Zealand beer (it is that Rome thing dahlink) called SCHOETZ or SPEITZ or something like that…. Just so long as it isn’t the talking chin beer! That’s some scary shite!

Randy Cook and I instantly hit it off when he begins to try to sing the song from GIANT GILA MONSTER, and I instantly begin singing it perfectly… "The Lord said Laugh children Laugh, the lord said Laugh Children laugh…" ahhhhhh… then I mentioned WONDERBAR and he began singing GOIN TO HEAVEN ON A MULE! Well, twas love I tell ya… Next thing you know we begin talking about THE WRONG MAN and I CONFESS… The original Green Print of FRANKENSTEIN… what happened to the original Mighty Joe Young skeleton… and stuff like John Wayne’s THE BIG TRAIL… Many of the other good folks at the gathering stare at me and Randy like we’re aliens from another world.

We talk about the LORD OF THE RINGS work and they all have this gleam in their eyes… they know it is special. Meanwhile, more and more of that blasted beer arrives and disappears before me… All in impossibly tall glasses. Chip the glasses and crack the plates, just like me and my mates!

Soon I end up in a car with a pair of Dutch Weta Guys that drove me home… carried me up the 7 flights of stairs (on account of the Earthquake) having to listen to me sing, "I come from the land down under!" It was messy. Well, I awake today with a clear head and an known agenda. I was going to make my way to the coronation. This was filming in a place called… THE LOWER HUTT! I know about Huts… they’re an intergalactic organization of gangsters and Mafioso types!

I signal a cabbie, and tell him to take me to "THINGEE ON PAPER" and I get in. About this time… the moment my ass hit the cushion of his backseat, I realize that I don’t have a LORD OF THE RINGS yearbook.

What is a LORD OF THE RINGS yearbook? Well… funny you should ask. You see, ever since I arrived, I’ve seen people running around with various editions of THE LORD OF THE RINGS and having everyone sign the dang thing. Not only that, but write comments in the book about their drinking adventures, their eternal friendships, the time they woke up with all the sheep…. That sort of thing.

Well, dang it… I tried to suppress that geek in me that wants autographs… but I couldn’t do it this morning. After that blasted trip to WETA… I am a blithering neanderthal in love with this film right now. A Pure Born Again Tolkienite!

"Take me to BOOK STORE on the way!"

The Cabbie looks at me confused. "Any bookstore will do."

He nods, and we are off. We begin dodging in and out of buying districts all the way from my hotel in the center of Wellington to this Lower Hutt place. Butcher shops, appliance shops, massage parlor, magazine stand, bar-b-que shop, photo shop, hair salons, Mail shops… and on and on and on… Nearly at the end of our quest, there was this little book store in a little burg… not 5 minutes from this set I was headed to. I walk into the store… and there is this GIGANTIC LORD OF THE RINGS display. However, no hardcover edition… however there was this excellent boxed set with Alan Lee illustrations!!! Hubba hubba hubba! I buy it and head to the set… Heheheheh… the Coronation of Aragorn… ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE THERE! Hehehehe, a coup…

I arrive on set, my computer bag over my shoulder, my 40 pound set of Tolkien in the left hand, my hat in my right hand… and I’m walking along with Melissa, who is taking me to set… We’re chatting away, walking along… minding our own affairs… when suddenly my eyes catch the TREE OF GONDOR!!!! In my absolute worst Jerry Lewis/Steve Martin pratfall, I tumble… ripping the left knee open… blood mixes with the earth of Minas Tirith.

Just so you know, when you are watching the film… 3 years from now… After Aragorn is crowned and he turns from Arwen… 30 yards to their west, I’m falling and bleeding on the grounds that spilt the blood of many an orc.

All of a sudden, it is this HUGE PRODUCTION! Harry has fallen… he’s bleeding on the ground… They bring over the crane… wrap the belt around me… I’m like a flipped over tortoise with a stuck pig hindleg… Medics are called to the scene… drugs are taken… everybody wants to take off my pants… My pride is officially hurting about a 1000 times more than my knee. I mean… CRIKEY… I bet Viggo didn’t get this much attention when he chipped his tooth during battle.

I wave off medical attention… I’m a Texan! We’re built tough down in the country of Texas! Blood… dirt… HAH I say. Why, my buddies didn’t die in Nam so folks could cry over my bloodied knee… When Charlie over ran Point 34 Alpha 2 this isn’t what they intended. So like Lon Chaney… I untwist my legs, and with the help of the crane… I regain my normal height.

I round the corner into the key area of filming, and I head back to the monitors. I figure, now with a bleeding leg, I should have no problems getting autographs… hehehe… this is the same ploy I did with my hand in THE FACULTY to gain the attention of Salma Hayek. Hehehehe… Old tricks rule!

As I grab a seat behind the crew, I spy Liv Tyler… She is wearing a wonderful key lime green luminous dress with this Elvish headpiece… quite lovely… Her skin is so fair and with the ears… she is quite Elvalicious… Yummy. She comes over and I point to my leg and make doggy whimper noises… I hand her my book, like little Timmy in the hospital would… and she signs it, "Dearest Harry, Thank you for being so kind to us and coming to visit. LOTS OF LOVE from pointy ears! Liv Tyler X" BLUSH BLUSH BLUSH! I am simply not worthy. I have questions about Arwen, but she’s called back into action quite quickly… so I hand the book to Philippa Boyens… LOTR Goddess and grand orchestrator of the sun and moon rising. Hehehe… She writes, "In the beginning there was Harry… for your support – ‘Im gwennen le’ We probably had fate on our side… With love – Phil" Awwwwww… blush blush blush I so don’t know what that ‘Im Gwennen Le’ means… 10 to 1 it is Elvish for, "Marry me Stud" but I am gonna have to find someone else fluent in Elvish before I respond. Eyeing the Droolalicious Miranda Otto, Eowyn, I decide to line up three babes in a row! Miranda is in yet another amazingly gorgeous dress… Man, the costume designer on this thing is so gonna get a little gold statue. I’m telling ya. Miranda is smiling and impossibly adorable smile at me as she hands me my book back and I read the caption, "Dear Harry, Love my new Word. Thank you for coming to my wedding! Lots of Love! Miranda Otto XXX" Faint.

A while later I come too and David Wenham is standing over me… and not just that, but he’s David "Sexiest Man In Australia" Wenham… Sorry Dave, that was a special request from a secret admirer of yours. Again I thrust out the book… this is Faramir! "Harry, An Absolute Pleasure to Meet You! Best Wishes, David Wenham"

I stand up, and I look around for Viggo… He’s gone, he was just there… Right there… I saw him.

And like that… he was gone.

There were about 300 extras in costume… Viggo has already been crowned and this is a different scene I believe, perhaps after the crew from Rivendell rode in with the Scepter… I suppose… Earlier I was feeling the bark of the great tree of Gondor…Nimloth descended from the tree of the High Elves, Galathilion… It’s white petals in bloom…. An ancient tree… old beyond description… the roots gnarled and the tree itself is a vegetation of Legend.

Aragorn and Arwen are there… and while watching the beautiful Liv perform her last scene in this epic…. I ask Philippa Boyens a question that many of you have been pressing me to ask Peter… How different is Arwen from the book?

Other than the scene you’ve seen of Arwen on the horse… it is exactly as she is portrayed in the book and in Tolkien’s appendix at the back of the book. From talking to Philippa, the horse riding scene was done as a cinematic change, to make a scene play better on screen. Just as a reminder, Philippa is one of the screenwriters on the film, that made sure that Tolkien is well represented on set. The other day I was watching her on the BLUE SCREEN set and there was a moment that she felt unsure about the scene they were shooting… so she pulled out her books, and went right back to the actors and the Blue Screen Director and problems were solved.

Speaking of Blue Screen… I left the Minas Tirith set to goto the Blue Screen stage, cause I love those guys and gals down at Blue Screen so much, and the set is always the most action packed thrill ride you ever did go to!

To tell the truth, I heard that Legolas, Pippin, Merry and Aragorn were all going to be there and my sacred texts needed their illuminations.

While here, I decided to check out and fondle some fellowship weaponry… Legolas’ bow, his quiver and arrows… his short swords/daggers. 4 of Gimli’s five axes. And Aragorn’s reforged from the shards of Narsil, the sword that cut the ring from Sauron’s hand, and is now Anduril ‘the flame of the west’. OH BABY WHAT A SWEET SWORD! Man, I begin swinging it around… OH HELL, this reminds me… I held the ring the other day! It was chained to Elijah’s neck, but the second I saw it, I moved with the speed required to capture my precious…

Now I know the ring holds no power… I know that this ring was made for a movie… BUT DUUUUUUDESSSS!!! The vibe I got off of holding that ring… I seriously did not want to let go. I mean that. Elijah, a fella I consider my friend, had this frightened look on his face… I had it in my clutches… security was beginning to make their move… I COULD TAKE EM! I KNOW IT! The ring is as described simple and perfect. Gold and evil. Watching Elijah tuck the ring beneath his shirt… was sooooooo cool.

But anyways… back to today, The weaponry for these three members of the Fellowship were awesome. Gimli’s axes are of another age. I have some quite old axes at home… a couple that are 400 years old plus… and these look older and more practical and formidable. John Rhys Davies and these Axes would KICK ASS!

All of Legolas’ stuff is ornate and Elven as it should be. Masterful crafts-elf-ship!

As soon as Orlando Bloom arrives, slaps me on the shoulder and does the, "Hey hey hey Harry, how ya doing." Bit… I ask if he’ll sign my book and he says sure, but after the scene… That’s cool. That is when Viggo arrives and he asks me, "Is that your book?" Heh… "Yes" and he takes it from me. I haven’t really met Viggo much on set while I’ve been here. It’s probably because his character awes me. ARAGORN/STRIDER is just so kickass… and in costume, he really really looks the part. He has a hard face and steely gaze. He takes the book and begins writing, "Dear Harry, I don’t know you very well, nor am I well-versed in internet sites, but I can see in your eyes that you love this story. I hope we won’t disappoint you in our telling of it. Viggo" and then he drew the TREE OF GONDOR! Alright, Viggo drew the Tree Of Gondor in my LOTR book… He rules. He rules hard!

About this time, Orlando signals me over and shows me something AWESOME.

Sunday afternoon…. The actors that play Gandalf, Gimli, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn and Legolas… set out with an Elvish design created specifically for them by ALAN LEE and had it tattooed on them. There is one stat of this design left. Orlando Bloom has been charged with returning and finding Sean Bean… Boromir… and having him tattooed as well with it. For all time, the Nine actors that played the Nine that set out… They are joined by a tattoo that only they carry.

When I saw the design, I will not break the trust and reveal what it is… but folks… After I saw it, I went to an area and just teared up. That is how much these folks believe in what they have done. When I asked if Sean was going to get his, Viggo and Orlando shared a look… a smile…. And yes.

This year and a half they’ve spent in these characters… they feel attached for all time now. There is a brotherhood between them… a sense of purpose. Can you imagine? I mean… They care enough to get tattooed forever with a shared marking.

The scene they are shooting is as Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas are luring the Corsairs in while the Army of the Dead begin firing their arrows all around them and they capture the ships… I suppose… at least I think that is what happens here.

This is a dramatic somber kinda forebodingly lit scene… of course it is all against blue screen… but it’s still creepy looking!

Meanwhile, as they are shooting that, Billy Boyd/Pippin has just arrived and is all ready to shoot a new scene as well. First thing out of his mouth, "I heard you had a bit of a tumble" ARGH! So I tell him the truth… "There was this Earthquake yesterday and I was doing some free climbing on some of the Wellington cliffs when my death grip on the side of the ancient rock… and I plummeted. However, due to the ingestion of much milk, no bones were broken… only the tearing of me flesh."

He just stared at me. I hand him my book and he writes: "Harry, Great to meet you, Hope you enjoy the movies ‘Lang may yer lumb reek’ Ton of love, Billy Boyd"

Then Dominic Monaghan arrives… I hand him Book Two: THE TWO TOWERS as FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS has filled up on the cover page. "Harry, It was great to meet you, and I look forward to hooking up with you in the States…. Its been a hugely enjoyable experience to chat with such a learned guy and to read a Fantastically witty and informed website. My Best, Dominic Monaghan (Merry The Hobbit)" and a little drawing of Merry the Hobbit off to the side. I notice though that my hat no longer fits my head.

We talk about CHARLIE’S ANGELS which he loved, I begin going on about Cameron Diaz’s magical swirling ass… he stares at me funny… I guess he’s thinking, "Did I write Witty and Informed?" Suddenly he and Billy are called over to do a scene in the sleeping quarters of EDORAS. Again this is all blue screen, so I can’t really tell what is going on… as they have no dialogue here, and it’s just one waking the other.

In all this wasn’t a grand day of key scenes really, but damn… I got to play with all those weapons… gaze upon the beautiful Arwen and Eowyn… and VIGGO ROCKS!!! Tomorrow I rejoin Peter’s crew… where I understand Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are working the Clacker Boards! Isn’t that cool. OH… and as Orlando promised… here’s what he wrote in my edition of THE TWO TOWERS: "Harry, A pleasure to meet & party, I hope you liked what you saw of our Middle Earth madness. Take Care, I’m sure we’ll meet again somewhere over the rainbow till then, all the best… Legolas – Orlando Bloom"

By the way, I’ve decided when I get back home to scan all these signatures so you can tell what a real signature looks like from these people so you don’t get snookered at a fan convention! Well my injuries call for sleep… I hope you enjoyed this my latest rantings and ravings…. I’m beginning to lose sanity here….

Cheers mate

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 20, 2000, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Another Classic

    by drew mcweeny

    Harry... I'm afraid I've decided that you need to spend all your time posting to us from film sets of projects that you are madly in love with. Of course, there's few projects that will equal this one. Hmmm... I guess that just means we're going to have to make everyone work harder, since it seems to have brought out the best in you as a writer. Can't wait to see you in Australia, buddy.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 1:59 a.m. CST

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    by Mad Dog

    But dude, I know you saw that 40 minutes from the Fellowship at the party. And a little bit of advice is to lock those autographed copies up somewhere very very very safe for the future. These reports are surpassing each other unbelievably, I don't think even if I sat at home and made shit up about what I did 'on the set of LOTR'it could be more interesting than this stuff. Hmmmmm...Jealous, Excited, amazed, respect and Good luck

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:05 a.m. CST

    I can't help feeling jelaous

    by manicdepressive

    Harry you are lucky and you really don't know how lucky. (I gathered that much from your chronicle like stuff)

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Arhhhgghhhhh!!

    by Snulle

    I envy you ... What I would do to be in your shoes ... :o

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Speights Mate, Pride of the South

    by Boffo

    Speights is all well and good Harry, but be sure to drink some Macs before you leave! Oh...and good report. That tattoo thing is pretty damn cool.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Ow, ow ow

    by Rosie_Cotton

    Yeesh, Harry. *_* Sounds painful. Worth it, though, isn't it? ^_^ -- Yes, we must hear about those forty minutes please! Even at least an opinion. Something, anything. -- Oh, great Harry, if you can somehow, someway, get some info about Rosie I will send you a check for a million dollars...I really must know. -- Not too incoherant right now, it's 5.10 AM and I'm ready to drop. Good-bye everyone...hm...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:46 a.m. CST

    The tattoos and other stuff.

    by PrivateerLunatic

    This is cool. I mean, this is really cool. I've never heard of castmates getting tattoos to mark their time together in a film. I hope this'll be as cool as it's looking like. Oh, and sorry about your leg or knee or whatever it was, Harry. ;) Gotta be worth it though. Only thing cooler than that book would be a book signed by Tolkien himself. And lastly, I haven't even seen Viggo M-whatever in anything before, I hope he's as awesome as you say. Basically, I just pray to death this is as awesome as it sounds. =p

  • I just spent the last 12 hours counting them :) Na, but I was going to print them out for a friend as he doesn't have an internet connection over Xmas as he's back from Uni (hope that doesn't break copyright laws or something, sorry. I'm sure you'll understand he needs to read these reports one way or the other.) and I ran the word count. I was going to run the spell checker but I won't bother :) hehe. Anyway I agree the tattoos are a cool touch which just about sums up this amazing production which seems to have been a journey in itself. O.k. Now just gotta wait for the right opportunity to print this stuff out, ar there ya go my boss is just on his way out the door. Later ;) And heres to the next 17thousand!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:56 a.m. CST

    mmmmmmmmmmmm . . . . . flattened Harry Burger

    by ol' painless

    Harry, you brought a tear to my eye, big fella. Earthquakes, getting muntered on Speights, getting lost in Lower Hutt . . . . ah, memories . . . . make sure you try to get out and see more of NZ before you wing it back to Texas. Are you going to end up spending Christmas in NZ? Because my Mum's offer of the Christmas roast is still open . . .

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Jeeeeezus!

    by greenleaf

    Wow! I cannot contain my excitement, and believe me, in my case, that's a real feat! Thanks again Harry, but pleeeease don't push us too far, I mean, there's still one whole year left and,and,I..I. sob.sob... Oh cripes, here I am getting all emotional again. Is there no end to THIS??? Is there no SALVATION?!?!!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:59 a.m. CST

    scans...

    by Mrhviid

    Harry, we cant wait to see those scans. Go buy a new scanner...NOW DAMMIT...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3 a.m. CST

    oh, and one more thing . . .

    by ol' painless

    I WANNA TATTOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3:09 a.m. CST

    You're lucky, Harry. But you're still fat!!

    by The Equalizer

    I'm surrounded by Geeks. Why can't you lot go and wank over a porno movie instead of a fantasy film? And cut all of this "I want an LOTR tattoo on my cock" shit. Man, you are a sad bunch of losers. Still, great report from Harry. And I can't wait to see the films.

  • Screw the packages under the tree - - I'll take Harry's LOTR reports! Thanks jolly old Saint Geekolas!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Hey Equalizer

    by Krackbaby

    Hey The_Equalizer, It's 4:00 AM EST, and your posting on a Geek movie rumor/news web site, guess what that makes you?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3:37 a.m. CST

    The Equalizer

    by ol' painless

    What a charming person you are. So kind of you to share your thoughts with us all. The impression I have gotten for most AICN talkbackers on the LOTR that they are not the Simpson Comic Book Guy, dressed in authentic(tm) Elvish costume you apparently despise with such graphic vigour, but people who "can't wait to see the films" also. Whichc includes me also. But again, let me offer you my gratitude for you sharing the thoughts which boiled out of you with such obviously irresistible force that it drove you to your keyboard to record them.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3:44 a.m. CST

    fantastic

    by Y282

    I'm sure this event must have made creating this site feel extremely worthwhile and if we're this excited reading it, how must Harry feel having been there? Kind of difficult to come down from, I'd imagine. And btw, we NEED to see that tattoo design ASAP (I've waited 15 years for an appropriate design to come along, could this be it?) Well done Harry, outstanding work.

  • I bet my sweet ass that Harry is having the time of his LIFE! Enjoy, Big Red - And keep the good stuff coming!....NUXX OUT...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 4:49 a.m. CST

    ...about the 40' footage...

    by panpil

    ...Harry if you were present in a certain projection of a 40' footage of LOTR give us some information for christ sake!...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5:13 a.m. CST

    This is better than getting the trailer early

    by Sepulchrave

    These reports have stilled the little voice of doubt in me for a while and are the best thing going, considering that a year yawns like an abyss before us and this film is waving from the opposite side. So close... Trailers have let me down before, but on set reports from people who, if I don't trust them, I can at least accurately gauge their tastes and priorities, they rock hugely. This NZ thing has officially made up for everything silly Harry's ever said and everly bad review he's ever posted. His gut instincts better be right, though, if this sucks, veangeance will swiftly follow. That is not my doing. I merely foretell.. PS: UK and Irelanders; note that Christopher Lee is appearing on BBC 2 to read four of M R James' excellent ghost stories over the Christmas period starting Saturday, listen to the voice of Saruman of many colours.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5:18 a.m. CST

    These journal entries *have* to be preserved

    by jazzuk

    Harry - talk to who-ever you need to talk to. Shout if necessary. Because when I hand over my cash for the undoubtedly perfect DVD issues of these films, no New Line edition of such masterpieces would be complete without these works of yours. I'm envious of your experiences, but not jealous. By being there and doing what you are doing, you take me there too. And for that I am forever in your debt. <gush-gush>. Roll on 2001!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5:53 a.m. CST

    THIS is why AICN fucking rules.

    by Nocturnaloner

    It's all about the love, ladies and gentlemen. And if you don't get it... you just don't. Thank you, Harry.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Happy days!

    by Rosie Lass

    I have always been sorry that I was too young to appreciate the excitement of Star Wars coming out but this definitely makes up for it. Harry your enthusiasm is infectious. Even if the film is a disappointment it would still be worth it. It's nice that (nearly) everyone in the talk back section is so positive too. There's a really good vibe about this movie. Peace and love man!!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 6:08 a.m. CST

    to XenArwen or not to XenArwen

    by sjmaatta

    Did you just read the same bit about Arwen, directly from the mouth of Ms. Boyens?? Arwen is the same as in the books (incl. Appendix??) What the ****? What about Helm's Deep?? As a famous member of Tolkien fandom would put it: the mind boggles. What does this mean?? I cannot keep my expectations at any reasonable level for much longer if this continue. Why oh why is it not Xmas 2001 yet?? PS. I'd like some of that beer, right now!! Why don't they import it to the frozen tundra?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Scoop of the Century (Live from Middle Earth)

    by guitartist

    Harry, Your journal is the highlight of the wait for these wonderful films. You have completely not only comforted fears, but taken us where no other journalistic effort could: To the scenes behind Middle Earth, which is so much more desirable than our own (even though we make our private choices to cast away or be consumed by our own rings of doom day by day). I agree with a previous post that suggests these reports be archived, maybe even given there own little space on the web complete with images and countdown to release. Just reading of your sights and insights causes the Hobbit within to yearn for the homeland....

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:06 a.m. CST

    I Can't Stand It!

    by The Hoopah

    Harry, I have got to say, I think you spooge way too often. (To your credit, you freely admit this.) HOWEVER, your reports from Middle Earth are nothing less than outstanding. I feel as though I have been there myself! Thanks for the incredible job! PJ is doing the job the way it needs to be done. The right actors, the right style, the right attitude. I cannot wait to line up at the theater with my wife and kids to finally see this masterpiece in the making. The magic the LOTR crew has experienced is a once in a lifetime thing, I think. From the enthusiasm to the tattoos, it is almost too perfect. I wish them all well and much happiness! Thanks for sharing, thanks for the insight, thanks for everything! (The Hoopah is now guilty of spooging himself. I bask in my own hypocrascy. :p ) The Hoopah

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:37 a.m. CST

    2 weeks

    by DozenedDirty

    Just learned of the movie 2 weeks ago, got the book, finished the Trilogy last night and have been reading Harry's reports. If only I had decided to find this new hobby 2 weeks before the movie came out and I would have been spared of this year-long torture. This stuff is infectiously exciting.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:40 a.m. CST

    If Harry falls down in Middle Earth and no one's around, will th

    by moviet00l

    Apparently, we will. :) I've tried my best to remain cynical, but that bit about the cast members getting tatoos . . . okay, that's special. THAT got to me. These reports have been great, Harry!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:03 a.m. CST

    If you think 1 year is bad, just imagine 2

    by MikeO

    First to DozenedDirty... look on the bright side. You could have been me - I first heard about this movie about a year ago. Its taken an eternity to get through this first year and I imagine this next one will seem even more painfully long. I've found a good way to cope is tell all your geekier friends about it so they can suffer along with you. And Harry... Never thought I'd be envious of someone of your girth. But between this and that Holloween party at the Playboy mansion... man, you have all my envy and then some.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:05 a.m. CST

    I weep...

    by MR.CHRISTIAN

    The dedication you described today Harry, sweet Jesus man, this must have been what it was like on "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Citizen Kane" or "Ben Hur". Are we talking classic here, oh great Rotund one? Is this transcendence above LOTR geekdom? Out of the realms of adolescent filmmaking and into what will be pointed to as one of the greats?... On another note, with these reports from Wellywood my big bruised buddy...I might just have to get a tattoo of your enormous bearded red face on my skinny little bum! Incredible, you unbelievable beer swilling, fan freak bastard!... For all of these reports you have conveyed, two words will only suffice; "YOU RULE!"

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Folks need to get off my ass about the spellchecking

    by Pallando Blue

    <Prof. journ. entry #4>For crying out loud--and I have, often, the last few days--I haven't slept since the layover in LAX. I've been copyediting non-stop these genius ravings of a maddened film geek, whom I still haven't met in person. The prose is brilliant, but the assembly is a nightmare; some typos will get through! MAN! *** Anyway, the situation is getting a little ridiculous. I finally got a moment of peace (meaning no boxes of notes delivered from Harry in the past fifteen minutes) and curled up on the bed with my Plush Pallando(tm) doll. I shut my eyes, and a damn earthquake hits. What are the odds. Smacked my head falling on to the dresser. Five minutes later my door opens, a flurry of notes are thrown in, and I hear feet stomping away down the hall. The man writes like a jackrabbit f*cks, I swear. Back to work. *** (12 hours later) The latest drop has to be his most impressive stuff yet. He apparently found the stationery I left for him, which has made copyediting the material much easier for not having slept or eaten for four days. (Room service said they'll only accept cash from me. Damn bellman.) The bloodstains were a little unsettling, though. Great to read about Arwen! Really! JUST like the books, eh? Amazing; can't help but be dubious, what with the past year's contradictions to such. But still, heartening. I can't wait to meet Liv! I'm sure I'll get to the set eventually. At least the wrap party, right? I'll leave a note on Harry's door. And on the Arwen thing, ask him to check on the Elves at Helm's Deep. *** This has been exciting, but it'll be nice to get back home to the TB. Fond birthday wishes to Miami Mofo. I wonder if he realizes he'll be the Big 5-Oh next year! Maybe I'll say something like that in the card. *** Time for some shut-eye. I hope. Now where'd I put my doll...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Auntie says:

    by AuntieMeat

    Only Harry would sing Men At Work while drunk in Kiwi-land. Heh heh. Harry, you seem to be having a blast, I am envious, and we're doing horrible things to your seat at The Drafthouse while you're away. Oh, and I got a nasty scratch/gash while having a tumble last week on my left knee as well... when you get back to Austin, we'll have to compare and see how twinkie-like we've become. Keep safe and don't get too drunk out there... we want you back here in Texas whole! Hugs 'n Such, Auntie Meat.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Nice one mate!

    by Fragar

    These reports have completely capture my attention. Definately the best LOTR reporting on the net. One question: Will the trailer be released in the UK at the same time as the US? Keep up the good work Harry. I wish I was there!!!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Liv Tyler Has Been Filming For 12 Months!

    by AncalagonBlack

    Liv Tyler has spent a cumulative 12 MONTHS filming in New Zealand. By contrast, Cate Blanchett, whose "Galadriel" has a much bigger role in the books than "Arwen", spent a total of 10 DAYS filming. Liv Tyler filmed at the Helm's Deep set on and off for five months, and she was quoted in E! Online saying that her character swung a sword at Orcs, and there have been numerous eyewitness news reports of scenes of Arwen as a "cloaked archer," riding her horse against a charge of Orcs, and wielding a sword. So, unless most of Liv's scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, how can Philippa Boyens say that Arwen's part in the films is pretty much what was in the books?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:25 a.m. CST

    You scan those autographs soon...

    by Lord Trevor

    I'm waiting......... I'm still waiting..........Still here........ If this is how I feel about those autographs, how do you think I feel about these movies?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Envy

    by Golasgil

    Man am I jealous

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Of all the things I have heard to make me feel great about this

    by _bullet_ride_

    I have never, ever heard of anything so wonderful taking place in the filming of a movie, that represents the way a cast feels about their work, and I got a user ID just so I could voice how completely and utterly exhilerated, delited, and relieved by this bit of information...more so than any other news of this movie, however impressive. I am in awe of this movie, or should I say phenomenon

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:44 a.m. CST

    yes.

    by Eriol

    That is all the needs to be said.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Something Wonderful

    by DrLocrian

    I'm (practically) speechless. Fellowship Tattoos. Wow. You are my hero, Harry. And I'm thinking that Liv's non-canonical scenes may *have* been cut; perhaps the PJ and the screenwriters reviewed the clips and decided they just didn't work for the films. It's weird, though, since I had admittedly accepted the idea that Arwen would have an expanded role.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 10:16 a.m. CST

    BY THE VALAR!!!

    by Dragonfire

    This is incredible! these movies cant possibly be bad. If they're bad then the world will collapse on itself. Every member of the cast realizes the importance of what they're doing. This isn't just a 'job' for them, they're going to remember this for the rest of their fucking lives. The members of the fellowship each got tatoos! Thats gotto be one of the coolest things I've ever heard! They're all legends, each and every member of the cast (especially Viggo). Bloody hell!!! You got to hold anduril, Harry. You got to fucking hold anduril!!! AAAARRRGHHHH!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Arwen again

    by sjmaatta

    Yes, o big black winged fiery worm, that's the thing. I guess she was talking about "the character" of Arwen being somewhat the same (perhaps incorporating lines and situations from the appendix to be spoken and happening in the movies?), as in contrast Arwen doing (or actually more like not doing) "the same things" as in the book. So if she's not XenArwen, but pops up at Helm's Deep, speaking something lifted from the appendix, Ms. Boyens' claim was right? Only in 2 years will we see. It's a long time, lonely lonely etc.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 10:42 a.m. CST

    *Posting with tears in her eyes!*

    by Solstice007

    Oooh, so emotional right now, I think I'm going to throw up! Harry, what you described about the Fellowship's tatoo...that is beautiful, just too perfect! Oh man, they ARE the Nine Walkers, through and through! BTW, if you see Elijah again, tell him: "Meg loves you!" *Random Character gives Meg a funny look* What????????????

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 10:52 a.m. CST

    All I got to say, is that in a year from now, I am going to be b

    by IAmLegolas

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Does that mean that even Sir Ian got the tattoo?

    by wintermute100

    Man, If Sir Ian got the "tattoo of the Nine", that's really saying something. I mean the other 8 are kinda young and not really huge stars yet, but if a man with the maturity, reputation and "class" of Ian McKellen got one too, then it bodes well for the film.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Alan Lee

    by skiprat2000

    Does anyone know a site I can see some Alan Lee illustrations?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Wise indeed...

    by SCFOOL

    "the talking chin beer", that would be Lion Red, glad to hear you are a sensible drinker. You might want to know that Lower Hutt I believe is where Anna Paquin is from. I really have nothing important to contribute so I shall stop now.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Thank you for clearing up that stuff about Arwen, I can now rest

    by brokentusk

    I'm so glad that Arwen's character isn't being changed too much. This is perfect. These films will rule, the cast rules, every one of them. Did you guys see that pic of the hobbits on TheOneRing.net? They looked amazing, one of the best pics I've seen from the films thus far...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 11:37 a.m. CST

    I Always Knew Jackson Would Go Epic.....

    by mrbeaks

    ..... even when I was in Junior High subjecting myself to repeated viewings of BAD TASTE. This film has been a long time coming, and your all-encompassing articles are *not* making the wait any easier, Harry. Good work, Head Geek!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 12:14 p.m. CST

    My head's going to explode!!

    by Witchiepoo

    These reports are GREAT!!! Straight from the Harry's mouth and much better than that E! crap -- we're finally getting some concrete information on what will really be in there. But HOLY CATS! Arwen as she should be from the books! Autographamania!! Everybody's getting tattoos!!! THE RING!!!!!!! (keanu) Whoa. (/keanu) I was just about in tears as you described the ring... how it's sort of become a mirror for the one in the book -- possessing a power of its own... chilling and amazing! I'm breathless as you describe being there with such fervor and love for your surroundings and circumstances (except the earthquake -- you wuss! I've lived in California all my life and I'd have an earthquake over a twister any day! Heehee...). Pictures! Pictures man! Where are the PEEECTURESSSSS? I can't wait to see the autographs at any rate. I don't know how I'm going to stand waiting an entire year for the first movie! This is torture! Thank you Harry, hubby and I love your site and read it faithfully (GeorgeLiquor2 is my hubby). Hey, that was my first talkback... heehee... 8-)

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Three words...

    by Nazg

    Oh my God! I would give soooooooo much to be in Harry's shoes right now. Gar!...

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Harry, you can fondle my weapon any day haw haw!

    by Roosterbooster

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2 p.m. CST

    Beer

    by BBSloth

    Drink lots of VB Harry, it's good for you! (That's Victoria Bitter for those not in the know...)

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:07 p.m. CST

    It is INDEED cool

    by Tulkas

    I found AICN a couple years ago looking for LOTR movie stuff, and this past week of Harry's reports have been incredible! I feel guilty getting it for free. Harry - I saw a billboard for earthlink just outside San Francisco today with your likeness in this funky Partridge family-esque style.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Christmas Present

    by Violet21

    I opened my bestfriend's Christmas gift to me earlier than usual this year. Much to my delight it was a collector's edition of LOTR. Bound in Red Leather w/ a Red Leather case it was by far one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I realized as I held my new precious that I needed to be involved in this story. I work in television production and have worked in post production. How do I get a job on this movie? Harry or whoever help me. :)

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 2:26 p.m. CST

    First time talker, long time reader

    by Talaka

    Harry, I have never officially signed up on this site to be able to talk back. I just did so and even used my real personal info (which I NEVER done before)! I grew up reading and re-reading the LOTR books-as many of you probably have. I always told my folks that God is a sham and that my Heaven is a pipe and a comfy chair in Bag End. My friends and I all use LOTR names and places as passwords (though they may prove to be ineffective because of the overwhelming success that I KNOW will come of these movies). I just wanted to let you know that you have made my decade and I will never forget that. In closing, I have never had a tattoo. There has been nothing I have seen worthy enough to put on my precious skin, but if that Fellowship tattoo is half as amazing as you say, I, too will tattoo myself and forever be part of an incredible fellowship! Now, WHO'S WITH ME, GODDAMNIT!!!! Post that picture of the tattoo Harry! 'Elbereth Gilthoniel!'

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 3:25 p.m. CST

    re:Beer...

    by SCFOOL

    yuck Aussie beer, please don't kill the man.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5 p.m. CST

    Sterling Work Harry. You justifiy us.

    by Roger U. Roundly

    This is why AICN is the best website in the world. By the way, anyword on what rating these moobies will be getting PG13 maybe? Any thoughts?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Boromir

    by MCVamp

    Sean Bean kicks ass, and this is another good notch in the LotR's belt. Anyone else wish that 006 would have kicked the living shit out of 007 in Goldeneye?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 5:54 p.m. CST

    sob!

    by Brangwen

    I WANT...can I have it...must have tatoo...must have signed LOTR books...must have it all...need to have it all...not fair!

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Boromir & Mr. Bean

    by Red Scare

    No, not THAT Mr. Bean... MCVamp is right on the money--Sean Bean's an excellent actor. I've enjoyed his work in everything I've seen him in, from Patriot Games to Sharpe's to Ronin, etc. He's definitely underrated, almost as much as my fave and yours, Bruce Campbell (though in very different genres...). I can already picture the kind of intensity he's going to bring to this role. What a great cast, all around...I can't wait.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:34 p.m. CST

    cautiously giddy

    by vinceglortho

    Count me as another one who has not felt the need to chime in until I read these reports -- and I

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:34 p.m. CST

    This past week has been incredible

    by Dan42

    So much coolness oozing from everywhere, it's overwhelming. There is only one word to explain my state of mind: <keanu>whoa...</keanu> (I *really* loved that, Witchiepoo ^_^) Over the past year, I felt that Harry had dropped in his LOTR fervor, but in a single week he managed to regain the title of best LOTR fansite on the net. That writing style of yours, Harry, it's truly contagious. You really know how to transform us geeks into smiling drooling idiots. I say you are the most powerful force for geek mind control on the planet, so much that it's dangerous. ;-) And I agree with the opinion that's going around : you GOTTA tell us about the 40 minutes of footage you saw. We NEED it, yesssss my precioussss we doesss. ***** MikeO: if you think 2 years is bad, just imagine 3 (the Horror, the Horror...) Fortunately, I had the chance to have other cool geek stuff over which to obsess. I really feel sorry for those of you who don't have anything like that to lighten up the waiting.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Something's been bothering me for a while...

    by Dan42

    How do you pronounce "Knowles" ?

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Nice Report Harry, but there's one subject you've totally left o

    by Reverendz

    When, if ever, were you gonna talk to the sound guys? And I DON'T mean the soundtrack (the music). Most folks totally overlook the sound design. Do they think that some guy just pulls together a couple of SFX and throws them in the film? ****PLEASE HARRY, TALK TO WHOEVER IS IN CHARGE OF SOUND AND GET AN INTERVIEW WITH THEM!! I want to read about what approach they are going to take to the sound design for the films.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:24 p.m. CST

    I think it's pronounced like "canollis"

    by vinceglortho

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Exactly What Body Part Is Getting Tatooed? Oh, Yes, And Aragorn

    by Buzz Maverik

    I've got this cool looking, pissed off bumblebee with a cigar clamped in his jaws on my arm. I wonder if the Ringers' tatoo is anything like that.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Three Rings For Elven Kings Under The Sky...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Seven for the dwarf lords in their halls of stone, Nine for mortal men doomed to die. One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in darkness bind them. Twenty one years since I read LOTR and I can remember off the top of my head. Not bad considering all the magic potions I've ingested.

  • Dec. 20, 2000, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Translation of "Im gwennen le"?

    by asthra

    Harry, you're such a lucky guy. Well, I pieced together a translation with the help of the Ardalambion website. Phil wrote in Sindarin, the noble tongue, and what I believe she wrote was "I am bound to thee." Maybe she's into bondage ;-) Oh, by the way, has anyone told you you're a lech? (yay, this was my first talkback!)

  • Dec. 21, 2000, 12:51 a.m. CST

    As columbo would say, " Oh, Just one more thing..."

    by Roger U. Roundly

    That Tatoo Story is beautiful. As for Sean Bean, Yes! heis sooo under-rated. SB is fantastic as 'Sharpe', and it's hard to remember anyone who shines so much in that type of genre role in the 90's. Bean's got something irrepressable going for him which makes him hard to ignore on screen. When he's in a scene, you can't-not look at him. That's what he brings to LOTR, intensity. Can't Wait. Can't stand the sheer torture of reading Harry's amazing reports, knowing it'll be years before I see it all on the big screen. In that respect, Harry makes me feel like a junkie. NOT FAIR!!! (ps, Dan42, it's pronounced the same as noles or Knolls, as in: The third gunman must've grown up in a town full of grassy knolls etc, etc)

  • Dec. 21, 2000, 1:02 a.m. CST

    head over heels in love

    by shatop

    I ran out of words a good while ago... but now I know that I have gone totally mad. I'll never be the same again. Think, people: could there be anything more cool than living through this seemingly-endless wait for the movies? (other than being in harry's shoes, of course) I mean.. often the wait is even better than the catch. And oh boy do we get to wait. And thanks to Harry, we get to drool and drown in our tears while we wait. I want no life. I want Middle-Earth. And about the tattoo-thing: that should stay as the priviledge of the Nine Walkers. Us mere mortals shouldn't go get a cheat copy of the sacred tattoo on our foreheads...

  • Dec. 21, 2000, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I don't get it...

    by Blitzern

    How can "Im gwennen le" mean that? Could you explain that a bit more thoroughly, Asthra? "Im" is "I", from "Im Narvi hain echant" on the doors of Moria, and "le" is supposed to mean "thee", but what about "gwennen". "-enn" is allative or ablative or something, but what is it doing there, on "gwen-", which must, the way I see it, be a verb? What is happening?