The Hobbit – Start of Production Video Blog

This week saw the release of the first video blog from the New Zealand set of The Hobbit.  The long awaited follow-up to The Lord of the Rings, and my most anticipated two films since The Return of the King.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a couple of movies.  And the coolest thing is that they’ll definitely live up to my expectations.  Knowing that many of the same creative team has returned, and that they’re putting the same detail and care into the project, would be a shock if they didn’t measure up at all to The Lord of the Rings.

When I watched the first production video blog that Peter Jackson put together, it gave me the familiar feeling of The Lord of the Rings behind the scenes.  The familiar music added an emotional weight to the video that conjured up memories of the films that have become so familiar to me, while also getting me really excited to hear the new music that Howard Shore is composing for these new adventures.

The video also made me want to build both Bag End and Rivendell at my house.

There hasn’t been a better writer than J.R.R. Tolkien, nor a better book than The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit is part of that world.  Watch the video below.

I love how it ends with what was likely the first shot they filmed for the film: a hand picking up the One Ring, followed by a shot of Bag End.

The Hobbit to be Two Films

The HobbitAfter much talk about the Hobbit film being shot as one film, with a second film to bridge The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings, a final decision has been made. Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro have made an announcement about the make-up of the Hobbit films to be made:

‘We’ve decided to have The Hobbit span the two movies, including the White Council and the comings and goings of Gandalf to Dol Guldur,’ says Del Toro.

‘We decided it would be a mistake to try to cram everything into one movie,’ adds Jackson. ‘The essential brief was to do The Hobbit, and it allows us to make The Hobbit in a little more style, if you like, of the [Lord of the Rings] trilogy.’

This is a sensible decision and I’m glad that they went this route, rather than attempting to craft a second film that might have largely been their own invention for a bridge film. This is excellent news.

As far as future films in the saga, The Children of Hurin and The Silmarillion are both ripe for the picking!

The Hobbit release dates are as follows:

The Hobbit – Part 1: December 2011
The Hobbit – Part 2: December 2012

Song: This Man by Jeremy Camp || Lord of the Rings

A song today… it’s been a while since I’ve posted lyrics, and after a long long long post, I think it’s time for a short one. This song, although simple, is very deep at the same time.

This Man
Jeremy Camp

In only a moment truth was seen
Revealed this mystery
The crown that showed no dignity he wore
And the king was placed for all the world to show disgrace
But only beauty flowed from this place

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

He held the weight of impurity
The Father would not see
The reasons had finally come to be to show
The depth of His grace flowed with every sin erased
He knew that this was why he came

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

And we just don’t know
The blood and water flowed
And in it all He showed
Just how much He cared

And the veil was torn
So we could have this open door
And all these things have finally been complete

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands,
from his hands, from his hands, from his hands…


And here is a great explanation I found for those that consistently get the Lord of the Rings WAY wrong. It always ticks me off as Sam is my favorite character. So eat this:
“Samwise and Frodo Aren’t Gay; yes, I have had that argument many times with my friends. No, they certainly were not gay (J.R.R. Tolkien, a lifelong Catholic, would be shocked that people think so). But there is a quintessentially British class relationship known as “master and man.” It is a relationship that no longer really exists in the modern world, but up to World War II there is a body of literature that depicts the relationship between a hero (usually but not always, upper class) and his faithful servant (usually, but not always, lower class). It was assumed that the lower classes were ignorant of, and possibly immune to, the “finer feelings,” and that it was the duty of the upper class to provide examples for them to live up to. And it was the duty of the lower classes to demonstrate loyalty and provide a practical grounding for the hero. After all, you can’t expect a hero to slay the dragon and also polish his own sword or think about such mundane matters as tonight’s dinner. That’s what the faithful servant was for.

Later, between World War I and World War II, this was twisted into the comedy routine of the bumbling upper-class twit and the (much smarter) servant. See Jeeves & Wooster or more recently Spamalot, with its hilarious number “I’m All Alone,” sung by King Arthur as his servant visibly wonders, “What am I, chopped liver?” Arthur, of course, means that there is no one of his own social rank present to share and understand his (upper-class, kingly) feelings. In a class-based society, this counts as “alone,” even if there are a hundred servants standing around.

Anyway, to return to the point, the relationship of “master and man” is not a gay one … it is simply two people who would be best friends, if it were not for the limitations of their different classes.

And it is a symptom of our modern-day cynicism that we can’t see deep friendship and respect between any two people without assuming that sex is involved.

Jessica S. Lucens

Catholics ARE Christians… nuff said

Posted this in a forum, just wanted to post it here:
Let me start by saying that this will be my only post in this thread as I will say all that I feel that I need to say here, very shortly.

1: Catholics ARE Christians….regardless of what anyone may tell you, if someone says otherwise, then they clearly do not know anything about the Catholic Church and need to be re-educated. This isn’t slander, it is the truth.

2: Catholics put the Bible together, yes, the very book that you’re all quoting to say that Catholics are wrong, well, we put it together.. even Martin Luther attested to that

3: History reveals early Christians doing an early version of the Mass: Letters from around 100 AD that clearly describe what can only be compared to the Catholic Mass have been found. Don’t ask for them, I don’t know where they are, just that they exist. You might be able to find out about them at

4: Christ wants UNITY and to continue this argument without honestly looking at things from both sides and remaining ignorant and continue to argue based on rumors, hearsay and misconstrued slander against the Catholic Church would just be ridiculous. So please, get yourselves educated on Why Catholics Do That

5. Read anything by Scott Hahn, G.K. Chesterton, Peter Kreeft or even, yes, J.R.R. Tolkien. All of them are smarter than I am, Chesterton and Tolkien are probably smarter than most of us combined. Chesterton and Tolkien were GREAT influences on C.S. Lewis. Yes, he read them, and was great friends with Tolkien. Perhaps we can all take something from their examples.

6. Arguing in a Forum goes Nowhere: because there is enough stuff already out there on both sides. If you truly wish to argue against something like Protestantism, or Catholicism, or Mormonism… go to the source and learn about them first. Do not make assumptions and accusations about things that you know little to nothing about. No matter how much you think you know, I guarentee you it is not enough.

Thank you

If you would like to contact me, you can reach me here or here.

Tolkien vs. Rowling

At, someone posted a Harry Potter versus Lord of the Rings thread. While I did enjoy the third film, I don’t believe Potter holds even a burnt out candle to Lord of the Rings. Here’s what I said:

J.R.R. Tolkien was a professor of language, who didn’t take a real place and make a false place or a parallel dimension or any such thing.

Tolkien, in The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings created a WHOLE WORLD, with histories, and races, and wars, and all sorts of incredible characters and they even had their own languages. Languages that fit logically with the characters. The Black Speech of Mordor is very harsh, while the Elvish tongues of Sindarin, etc. are very beautiful. Tolkien’s novels were released 50 years ago this year for the first time. While the Silmarillion was started in the trenches of World War I, I believe in 1917, it wasn’t finished or published until 1976, after Tolkien passed on. The Hobbit was out in the mid-30s. It took Tolkien 15 YEARS to craft THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Tolkien carefully crafted the entire book to the full. It is something that people of nearly any age, with a brain, can get into and enjoy. If you can’t, I feel sorry for you.

J.K. Rowling, like it or not, needs to tighten up her writing. Remove all of her “said Harry angrily’s,” and “said Harry really angrily’s,” and replace them with simply “said Harry.” Not only will that save ink, but also paper. The Order of the Pheonix has about 20,000 of those words. That is the length of a short story. No wonder the book appears to be so long. It’s not really. It’s just got a lot of extra wording padding it, making it appear longer than it is. The problem isn’t that she USES those explanations for how a character is talking. It’s that she uses them ALL THE TIME.

Also, given that Potter hasn’t yet ended, to compare the entire SEVEN BOOK Harry Potter to the ONE BOOK Lord of the Rings (as intended, although LOTR is actually SIX Books, with an appendix of what happens next as well), is foolish. You do not know what will happen at the end of Book Seven, and the whole series is dependent on that, like it or not. The end of The Lord of the Rings is perfect. You are happy, but sad as well, because you realize the price of freedom and at what price everything they fought for had. You see all the other people that were untouched by the war, that you don’t know if they even care or know anything about the hardship you went to to bring that peace. You want to read it again, to have these adventures and meet these friends, and you can, because the books are so long that you can’t possibly remember every little thing at first. And the films compliment the books wonderfully. They capture the spirit of the story written by J.R.R. Tolkien. You can sit down and watch all three in roughly 12 hours depending on food breaks and what not. Or you can spend a few weeks on the books, and travel with the characters, and you end up investing yourself in at least one of the characters. The one that you see yourself in the most. For me, reading it for the first time years ago, that was Sam. I realized this when I got to “The Choices of Master Samwise” and he had to make the decision to take the Ring and go the rest of the way alone.

Harry Potter hasn’t had any of that as of yet, and I don’t think it’ll end up being more than Voldemort making one last try at returning, and being stopped for the last time, no more than a typical evil wizard story told time and time again. Granted, it should be bigger than this, but that we won’t know for probably 3 years.