LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of the cinematic debut of The Fellowship of the Ring. This is totally cliche, but where did that time go? 20 years!

I remember all the anticipation. A few years prior, it was announced that a little-known New Zealand director was going to film LOTR. I thought, well that will be interesting. As the release date for the first movie slowly approached, a series of trailers expertly built more and more anticipation. And finally, the big day came. There were many aspects of the adaptation that were brilliant and a few that were annoying, but it hit more than it missed, and eventual extended cut was even better. We all had all sorts of fun debating the movie, acquiring collectibles, and generally eating, sleeping, and dreaming LOTR. And then The Two Towers came along, and finally The Return of the King.

In commemoration of this momentous anniversary, what are other folks' recollections? And do you still watch these movies very often? Do they still hold up for you?
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

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The movies came up in a recent discussion about the movie based collectibles.
Both Idril and I were in agreement that the movies no longer do much for us (if they ever did with her).
I mentioned that I got over them about 10 years ago, in so far as watching the entire thing (talking strictly about the EEs here), either separately or in marathon viewing.
I watch select scenes where PJ got it right, very right.
Lots of scenes from the Fellowship: the shire scenes (especially Bilbo) , Rivendell (bigature), Caradhras, Moria, Balrog and battle with G. (dead on nailed it), Lothlorien, and the Argonath scene (of course!)
Two Towers: Chase scene and Rohirrim and... AND all the Treebeard scenes, every single one. Battle of Helms Deep. Not so much the Journey of Sam and Frodo to the Morannon, nor the scenes with Faramir. The parts with Faramir were not very well translated to screen, and casting David Wenham as Faramir was a big mistake, total miscast.
ROTK: BAttle of the Pelennor Fields was well done. Most of Sam and Frodo's journey through Mordor (we shall draw a veil over the "Go home, Sam" fiasco). Journey to Mount Doom extremely well done, as well as the Crack of Doom scene, and the rescue.
All the rest of it, until the journey to the Grey Havens is forgettable. The book is so very much superior from the Mt Doom rescue onward.
So, I keep the original EE set for those scenes. Also to use as reference when making ME related things (artifacts, clothes , weapons, etc).
But I cannot imagine watching the movies in their entirety ever again.
Yet I read all three books every 18 months or so.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

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I am on board with most of what you said. I don't agree however, that David Wenham was miscast. I liked him as Faramir, setting aside the awful "give me the Ring" change, for which I don't hold him accountable. I especially liked him in ROTK, where he so captures the pain of being the unloved son.

I do still watch the movies once a year, just before Christmas, in commemoration of when they came out. I won't say I pay rapt attention...I've developed a bad habit of being unable to watch anything at home without my phone in hand. One thing I definitely don't do, however, is watch them all in one marathon. I did that once, probably the year the EE of ROTK came out. Despite being lodged on a comfy couch, by the end of the day, I felt like I had walked to Mordor and climbed Mt. Doom. That's just too much TV for anybody. But I do watch them individually, greatly admiring all the things they got right, and skipping over or mentally tut-tutting the things they really screwed up. Despite the much decried story changes, they did a good job of taking a big, sprawling story and making a reasonably cohesive set of movies out of it. I know this is not an apples to apples comparison, but compare them to the Star Wars sequel trilogy....what a mess! Of course, Jackson had a roadmap, whereas the Star Wars folks didn't even have a clue. I guess what I'm trying to say is that they were quite an accomplishment. Has there been anything in the past 20 years that matched these three in scope? The only thing I can think of, and again not necessarily apples to apples, is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially in its culmination with the last 2 Avengers movies. Endgame was the kind of finale that Star Wars deserved and sorrowfully did not get.
The book is so very much superior from the Mt Doom rescue onward.
So you prefer the book's telling of the coronation, with the comedic touch of the old lady giving commentary to her country cousin about what is transpiring? I suppose that works well in the book and I always enjoyed it there, but it could definitely be argued that it deprives the coronation of the solemn gravitas it deserves. The way the movie handles things from the rescue onward, though not perfectly faithful to the book, is pretty close to perfection in its own right. I tear up every time Aragorn bows to the Hobbits and that wondrous Shire theme swells. And the way the Arwen storyline is included and paid off, though not a full wedding as in the book, is a wonderful way to end it, lest PJ be accused of introducing yet another "ending" to ROTK.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Wonderful thread, thanks for starting it.

As an aside, over at FoU, everyone was in a frenzy to see what Weta would release on the 19th as a surprise for the 20th anniversary of Fellowship, but the big reveal was on the 9th... and Weta said "Uh... that was the date of the premiere, in London, remember?" So... there you go. I know it comes as a shock to many of us, but the world does not revolve around North America. :D

Onto the movies. Interesting that you mentioned the trailers. I don't think I've thought of them in 20 years, and I realized that, like Gandalf, "I have no memory of these trailers." I assume they are included in one or more of the video releases and I'll have to watch them again because now I'm curious to remind myself of what they were like. I do recall being high on anticipation, and seeing FOTR five times in the first two weeks of the release. I even kept all my ticket stubs for it and the ones for the next two movies, though being printed on thermal paper, they are now nearly faded beyond legibility.

As for watching them, I think I sit somewhere between you two, Olorin and Deimos (and that invokes an image of the three of us in a movie theatre, with myself in the middle - hands off my popcorn, Deimos!). I don't watch them every year anymore (though this week it's in the plans, including - prepare to cringe here - the Hobbit trilogy - but when I do, it's the entire EE thing. However, my brain does switch off a bit during certain parts, mainly because after so many viewings, I now feel they drag on and there's no need for me to devote my full attention to them because there's nothing I fear missing. Mainly, a lot of the overly 'talky' scenes with Frodo and Sam, and nearly all of Gollum's inner monologues. My wife begs me to hit fast forward when he comes on, but I resist because it feels like a violation of the movie experience, though I agree that he bores me to death now. The other changes that annoy me, I can take or leave nowadays, but just grit my teeth and power through them, like Arwen at the Ford, the Elves arriving at Helm's Deep, and the needless Osgiliath road trip, complete with douchy Faramir (whom I did like in the role). If there is a slog somewhere, I find that a lot of Two Towers is the weighty interlude for me, which reminds me of the issue of the soundtrack. After so many viewings, I find it grating and repetitive now, especially the overuse of the Shire and Rohan themes... gah... I'm dreading hearing those over and over again. Wonderful at the time, and still expertly composed, but in hindsight, the movies needed a tad more variety in the musical score. The Nazgul theme is another one that makes me wince. Too much of a good thing-syndrome, I suppose.

Well, not much else I can add that hasn't been discussed ad nauseum over 20 years, but it is fun to examine where we're at with these movies today. I'm in no hurry for a remake, because given the current atmosphere in Hollywood today, I think we would get something far less faithful and way more controversial for book fans than what we got from PJ, and that's a huge part of why my excitement for the Amazon series is currently flat-lined at zero on the dial.

One last observation for Olorin on what Deimos said, I think that her preference for the books after Mt. Doom over the movies stems from the existence of the Scouring of the Shire, am I right? With all the time PJ spent on all his fake endings, I almost feel he had enough time to film and include most of the Scouring, but it is very arguable what that would have done for the structure and flow of the movie at that point, the importance to the story and the Hobbits' personal journey notwithstanding. Took me years to get over it, but I think PJ made the right decision in excluding that. What I still lament is the leaving out of the Old Forest, Tom, and the Barrow Downs. Oh, and Glorfindel and Imrahil. :'(
This Space for Rent

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Wonderful thread, thanks for starting it.
You're welcome. I've been planning this since summer, so thanks for validating my anticipation in starting it.
Interesting that you mentioned the trailers. I don't think I've thought of them in 20 years, and I realized that, like Gandalf, "I have no memory of these trailers." I assume they are included in one or more of the video releases and I'll have to watch them again because now I'm curious to remind myself of what they were like.
The trailers for each are included in the supplements of the theatrical editions. One trailer that was woefully excluded was the original internet trailer for the project, which came out well over a year prior to the first movie, and broke the internet (though its record has probably now been broken as well). This is the one where they demonstrate people walking on stilts (a discarded concept) and PJ says, "Now's the time." You can only find it online, and with some difficulty.
As for watching them, I think I sit somewhere between you two.
The only parts I make it a point to skip over are both in the EE of ROTK, and those are the bloated and silly Paths of the Dead, and the abominable Gandalf/Witch King confrontation. As for Gollum, I still enjoy him for the most part, but if he has worn thin for you, hopefully rewatching the first Hobbit movie will renew him. I felt the Riddle Game scene in that movie was one of the very best parts of the entire Hobbit move trilogy and on par with some of the best scenes in LOTR for giving me the feels, that "wow they actually got this right" sensation. And I do rewatch the entire Hobbit every year also, typically in November. That allows sufficient time for my palate to be cleansed before watching LOTR. To me, the Hobbit movies are very much the proverbial Curate's Egg; parts are rotten, but parts are excellent. Truth be told, the LOTR movies are like that also, though the ratio is much more strongly tipped toward excellent. Anyway, Gollum is very good in the first Hobbit movie.
If there is a slog somewhere, I find that a lot of Two Towers is the weighty interlude for me.
For me also, but in truth the Two Towers book was always the hardest for me to get through.
... which reminds me of the issue of the soundtrack. After so many viewings, I find it grating and repetitive now, especially the overuse of the Shire and Rohan themes... Wonderful at the time, and still expertly composed, but in hindsight, the movies needed a tad more variety in the musical score.
Personally I find the music to be the single most successful aspect of the whole endeavor, and one which never grows old. But try putting them in a new context. Think about John William's Star Wars scores for the sequel trilogy, which were sonic wallpaper. I can't even recall a single new theme. Now, which would you prefer, bold themes somewhat overused, or unseasoned mashed potatoes, LOL?
One last observation for Olorin on what Deimos said, I think that her preference for the books after Mt. Doom over the movies stems from the existence of the Scouring of the Shire, am I right?
I wondered about that myself, but like you, I felt PJ made exactly the right decision in excluding it. I remember the first time reading the book and getting to that part, to find that despite everything, the Shire had been essentially destroyed. I found it very depressing, to the extent that no amount of magical Galadriel garden dust could cure. I believe that Tolkien felt it necessary to show that the Hobbits were all grown up now and could surmount any challenge without outside help, but still.... People nowadays like to suggest that LOTR was light and fluffy because they were no real stakes, as very few many characters died and one who did was resurrected. I think they totally overlook the fact that the entire reason the Hobbits got involved, to save their homeland, was in vain because of what happened. That was an all-too-depressing reminder of the real world, where things happen like Britain wins the war, but huge swaths are reduced to rubble by German bombing. In any event, for PJ to have included that would have confused audiences, especially those who had never read the books. The charge of fake endings hung on the actual movie would have been as nothing to the outcry over the Scouring.

I may have said this before, but I think the cry of "fake endings" would not have arisen, or at least to the extent it did, if PJ had faded to black between them. Artistically, it looked great, but for people unfamiliar with the story, they were confused. And confused people get angry.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Wasn't sure where else to post this but I'm in Calgary right now for the Fan Expo that is on for four days (attending all four), and on Saturday there's an event called Return of the Hobbits, and I will get to meet and have my photo taken with Wood, Astin, Boyd, and Monaghan. :thumbs_up

Oh, and tonight some guy named William Shatner is on as well. Anyone heard of him? Getting a photo with him too. :coolsmile
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Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Valkrist wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 7:47 am Wasn't sure where else to post this but I'm in Calgary right now for the Fan Expo that is on for four days (attending all four), and on Saturday there's an event called Return of the Hobbits, and I will get to meet and have my photo taken with Wood, Astin, Boyd, and Monaghan. :thumbs_up

Oh, and tonight some guy name William Shatner is on as well. Anyone heard of him? Getting a photo with him too. :coolsmile
Sounds awesome!!! Have fun!

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Valkrist wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 7:47 am Wasn't sure where else to post this but I'm in Calgary right now for the Fan Expo that is on for four days (attending all four), and on Saturday there's an event called Return of the Hobbits, and I will get to meet and have my photo taken with Wood, Astin, Boyd, and Monaghan. :thumbs_up

Oh, and tonight some guy named William Shatner is on as well. Anyone heard of him? Getting a photo with him too. :coolsmile
William who? Was he Han Solo....?

That's awesome! Have fun Val! I was actually going to do a roadtrip to that Expo for the same reason lol. But, 1) Stuck with Covid, and 2) Prairie Winter Storms... :(
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum!"

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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Valkrist wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 7:47 am Wasn't sure where else to post this but I'm in Calgary right now for the Fan Expo that is on for four days (attending all four), and on Saturday there's an event called Return of the Hobbits, and I will get to meet and have my photo taken with Wood, Astin, Boyd, and Monaghan. :thumbs_up

Oh, and tonight some guy named William Shatner is on as well. Anyone heard of him? Getting a photo with him too. :coolsmile
That's pretty cool! I always wanted to have Sean sign one of my Shire salt boxes. Hope you have a great time!

Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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I'm sure you'll have a great time! During the period circa 1990-1992, I went to a ton of Star Trek conventions, during which I saw all members of the original series except DeForest Kelley and all members of TNG except LeVar Burton. Most of them (though not all of them) did an autograph session, so it was very cool to meet them and get their autograph in person. High point of that undoubtedly was meeting Patrick Stewart. Browsing through the dealer's room was always fun, too. I don't think I ever actually bought anything but it was fun to look, and you could never tell what sort of off the wall things you'd see in there. Probably the zaniest was a figurine that was a sendup of those horrid Precious Moments figures. This figure was having an Alien Chestburster, and the Chesterburster had the same dopy look on its face that the main figure did. Inspired! In some ways the biggest highlight of the convention experience would be a guest speaker who would give us the lowdown on upcoming movies and TV shows, and show trailers for some of them. In those days just before the dawn of the Internet, that was a big draw.

The intended ultimate convention experience was supposed to be seeing the entire TOS cast on-stage together at a huge convention in Los Angeles in 1991. This was put on by Creation Entertainment, who does a lot of conventions. Unfortunately, they were completely disorganized and never really accounted for the number of people that were turning out for the all-cast appearance on Sunday afternoon. Precise times escape me now in this distant time over 30 years later, but let's just say that the whole cast was supposed to be on stage together at 4:00 p.m. The line to get into the place was so long and so slow that we ended up having to leave to catch our flight back to Chicago without ever getting in. It was a crushing disappointment, needless to say. We heard later that cast appearance didn't finally begin until something like 9:00 p.m. And overall, I saw very little of what was supposed to be a 3-day event. We saw a few things on Friday evening, of no great note. I think the guest stars that appeared then were William Windom who played Commodore Decker in the Doomsday Machine, William Marshall who played Doctor Daystrom in the Ultimate Computer, and the lady from Spock's Brain who said "Brain and brain! What is brain!" The events schedule for Saturday sounded rather like duds, so the friends I went with talked me out of going to the convention that day. We instead went to the beach and to Universal Studios. So all in all, it was on ok trip to Los Angeles but a really awful convention experience. After that, I avoided any conventions put on by Creation, as their cons really were "cons." There was another convention company in those days whose name escapes me now, but it was something like Dream Quest. I saw a few of their conventions in late 1991 and 1992, but after that, the desire to go to conventions faded from me. I still have some pretty fond memories of those days, a treasured time in my life. Later on, there were conventions for other things, like the X Files, Star Wars, and so forth, and I was intrigued by the idea, but not enough to make an effort to go. And certainly nowadays, the pandemic has done such a number on my perceptions that I don't know that I'll ever again be comfortable being indoors with a large number of people. I used to be someone who loved going to concerts and blockbuster movie openings, but I'll never be able to look at those experiences quite the same way again, even if I ever go again.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

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Olorin wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 3:08 am Tell us of your adventures!
You asked for it... :thumbs_up

My experience at the Calgary Fan Expo.

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow.

I could just stop there, but I feel I need to share more.

How we got there: a fellow Canadian poster of ours (TMcLim) very casually threw me an invite to come out to the Expo because, not only would the four Hobbits be there, but also William Shatner, whom everybody pretty much knows by now is a childhood hero for me. So, thinking this would go nowhere, I jokingly asked my wife if she wanted to take the time off work and jet off to Calgary for five days, and to my big surprise, she immediately said absolutely. In a way, I guess being cooped up at home without travelling anywhere appreciable for the last two years due to Covid made this a no-brainer in the moment. Not that her and I feel that we’re out of this by any means, but with so many of us now protected by vaccines and still practicing good safety, it was a chance worth taking on many levels.

I’m so happy to say that the decision did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded our expectations on many levels.

The experience was, to say the least, transcendent. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get to stand next to the legendary Captain Kirk, have him look me in the eye and warmly say hello, and then have our photo taken with him. It was beyond cool. I’d seen him before at two previous events in the past, but this one topped it all, and at his age, I figured I not only needed to see him one more time, but to take the plunge and have that photo taken, if only for the opportunity to stand next to such a massive pop culture icon. He had two panels on different days and we attended both. He is always so very entertaining to listen to, very stream of consciousness in his approach to the things he says and the experiences he shares with his fans, and a riot when it comes to Q&A time. Just … amazing.

Also got to see and listen to John de Lancie and Brent Spiner on stage, two other awesome Star Trek alums that I greatly enjoy.

Smattered in there, we attended panels with Katee Sackhoff and Carl Weathers (Mandalorian and so many other things), Robert Englund (the inimitable Freddy Kruger), Michael Rooker (Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy), and some of the cast from Cobra Kai (the Netflix follow-up series to the Karate Kid movies).

Then came the main event, of course: The Four Hobbits!

Prior to leaving home, I had not intended to do the autographs with them, only attend the special ticketed evening event with all of them, as well as have the photograph with all four. Part of that had to do with not knowing what I could take with me that I would have them sign. As I don’t collect art prints in general and only have a couple of posters, that wasn’t going to do it. I then thought of taking my wall plaques for Sting and Sam’s sword, but dropped the idea as impractical in the moment. Then I thought of taking the bases of various Weta statues, but that didn’t work either, not with four characters, and you have to understand, when you’re flying in, many things are simply not practical. So, the whole notion was dropped, but it all changed when we walked through the autograph area and saw all four of them there. I just had to have their signatures and it seemed silly to squander this incredibly rare opportunity. They all had photos of themselves available for signing, of course, but everything seemed very generic. Having previously spotted a great art print that featured all four Hobbits at one of the many booths throughout the convention, I ran back to pick one up. From there, it was just a matter of lining up and then try not to gawk like an idiot at these guys when my turn came up.

My experience with each:

Elijah Wood was first. To say that I was star-struck would be an understatement. He was genuinely warm and friendly, with that famous smile and those huge blue eyes. He did seem a little exhausted (I think the travel and the event itself takes a lot out of them), so I tried not to take up too much of his time. Nevertheless, I thanked him for this wonderful opportunity; he absolutely loved the print that I had brought for him to sign; and he even commented on really liking my T-shirt (Law & Mordor). Thinking back, I wish I could have thought of something more to say, and was kicking myself when minutes later, I watched TMcLim talking to him for much longer and even shaking his hand. Damn, that takes some stones, but I was not only happy for him, but determined to try and be a little braver with the other three.

Next was Billy Boyd, and man is he a cheerful fellow! He too loved the art print I brought (this became a common theme), and we chatted for a good bit. I pulled up my phone (as my lovely wife had suggested) and showed him a photo of my MC Treebeard in my collection room, and told him that was the best likeness of him that I’d seen so far. He was stunned when he looked at it and told me he’d never seen that and wanted to know where I’d gotten it! I said it was from Weta, only 333 existed, and that if he didn’t have one, he needed to make some calls, including one to Richard Taylor. He was very impressed and wondered where they had put the original Treebeard that he and Dom had sat on for shooting. We both guessed it was back in PJ’s house somewhere and laughed together. So awesome!

In between those two autographs was the photoshoot with all four of them, and I will just say the lines were long, but thank heavens for pre-purchased tickets. Unfortunately, due to the time constraints and the sheer amount of people there, it is a very quick, blink and you’ll miss it thing, which is hard not to because the moment, when it happens, is utterly surreal. They tell you need to move quick, stand in for the shot, then run out, and that you’re not supposed to talk to them beyond saying hello kind of thing. So off we went, though my wife wanted this to be a moment for me alone and opted to only watch. Unfortunately due to current circumstances, Elijah had asked that a thin clear plexi shield be used to separate them from the fans at the photoshoot, but it was perfectly understandable and I don’t begrudge them that layer of safety. In any case, you are literally inches from them. Dom and Billy were standing up next to me, and Elijah and Sean were seated in front of them. They recognized my shirt and Dom shouted “Look, it’s Law & Mordor”.

Smile! Flash! And the memory of a lifetime is captured forever. Worth every second and every dollar.

When they returned to their booths, it was time for Sean Astin’s autograph. This guy is just so warm and personable, you instantly feel like he would be one of those friends that you just want to hang out with all the time. He gushed over the print I brought, asked me where I’d gotten it, and immediately called his assistant over and requested that she go and buy four of them because he wanted each of the guys to sign them for each other to take home afterwards. I did find out later in the day that that particular print sold out fast, so I hope Sean got his in time. I got so many compliments on it while standing in line that I think a lot of people went to pick up one. I then showed Sean a photo of my SSW Bill and Sam statue in its place of honour among my Shire display, and he was shocked and emotional when he saw it. He said he hadn’t seen that statue in years and told me how his mom, the famous Patty Duke, had that very same statue, but after she sadly passed away, no one could find it. Sean very much wanted it and asked if he could take a photo of the picture on my phone because he was determined to figure out where the statue had gone to. Needless to say, I happily let him, and now Sean Astin has a picture of my collection on his phone! I almost wonder if I should contact him somehow and offer him that statue…

Last came Dominic Monaghan. He’d had his individual talk panel earlier (which we attended, of course), and so it was a little easier to chat him up having listened to him talk on stage for almost an hour. Super cool guy who’s done and seen so much, including contracting Covid just three weeks ago, which thankfully didn’t interfere timing-wise with his appearance. I couldn’t imagine this event without him. He groused about the troubles with his favourite football team, Manchester United, and conceded that my favourite all-time player, Cristiano Ronaldo, is definitely an asset to the them. Like Billy, I showed him my photo of MC Treebeard, and as before, the reaction was the same: “Where did you get that?!?” My wife was actually surprised that the actors don’t seem to be contacted for these things, but I told her that they basically sign away their likenesses when they do these film projects. Anyhow, he was very impressed by how it looked, how few of them there were, and asked me in all seriousness how much it cost me originally. I told him, but didn’t have the heart to tell him how much they cost now, though in hindsight, I think price won’t be an obstacle to someone like Dominic Monaghan if he wants to get his hands on one.

And that was my brief but altogether awesome brush with Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin.

Later on came the event that everyone was waiting for, the Return of the Hobbits panel, which was the only stage event that required special tickets, and was done at the end of the evening after the rest of the convention had shut down so that only the ticket holders would be in the building.

If I’m overusing the words ‘surreal’, ‘awesome’, and ‘amazing’ in this post, you’ll have to forgive me, but even as a writer, I can’t find better terms to describe how it felt to be watching those four actors up on stage together, teasing one another, laughing about their experiences on set, remembering so many moments with fondness, playing Q&A games with each other, and just generally having a great time with themselves and the audience. At the end, Billy Boyd stunned the crowd with a haunting guitar solo and song of The Last Goodbye, which is the song that closes out The Hobbit movie trilogy. Even if you dislike those movies, do yourself a favour and listen to it if you have not. It’s a great tune, and Billy’s voice and performance were outstanding. I daresay it rivals Annie Lennox’s Into the West at the end of ROTK, and given that it marked the end of their time on stage for the night, it was a fitting way to do it, and the sense of melancholy and the theme of saying goodbye in the words of the song really hit home as we bid them all a fond farewell.

On the final day, Elijah and Sean each did individual panels, so after the sense of sadness and loss of the previous evening with Billy’s song, it was uplifting to hear and see these two the next morning. As expected, they were great, and giving them individual time to shine on their own as they spoke of their personal experiences beyond LOTR was such a joy. These are the memories one carries with them forever.

So… there we are. Five wonderful days in Calgary, four of them spent at the Fan Expo in the company of the greatness of one’s screen heroes, and the opportunity to meet two fellow forum users was just the icing on the bonus cake.

Since returning home, I’ve felt a bittersweet combination of feeling sad that it’s over and that you can’t go back, but also knowing that you were there, it was real, and will always have a photo and their autographs to remember this special time by.

P.S. - I'm not posting my picture with Shatner because my wife is in it as well and I want to respect her privacy.
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Re: LOTR movie trilogy 20th anniversary

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That was truly awesome and I am so happy for you that you got to have such a grand time. The only thing I've done that approaches that is when I got to meet Patrick Stewart, and I'd forgotten how I felt about that until you described the same feeling just now.

With all the emotions of those few days, I'm surprised you weren't on the floor sobbing when Billy sang the Last Goodbye. I knew I would've been.

Crop your wife out of your Shatner picture, or put pixels over her face, or something. We want to see it!

Again, congratulations for such a fantastic experience. I would say how jealous I am, but my fear of Covid would never let me have done something like that, so there's little point for me to be jealous. I can just vicariously enjoy your experience, so well told in your post.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."
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