No, you’re not looking at some never-before-seen screen test for Liv Tyler as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings. This is a doll that was repainted by Noel Cruz, a versatile and distinguished repaint artist in the doll community. He is most recognized for his character and celebrity based dolls due to their uncanny resemblance to the people they portray. Click here to see his deviantART gallery of LOTR characters, including Galadriel, Legolas, and Aragorn. His website, ncruz.com, showcases all of his amazing repaints and portraits. (Myla)
Facebook user Gloin, son of Gróin has started a series of in-depth analysis of the weapons used by the dwarves in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. His most recent post, titled “Kili and his Weapons – Deadly At Every Range” discusses Kili’s bow, delving into its material, strings, and arrows, as well as looking closely at Kili’s sword. Gloin plans to write about all of the dwarves’ weapons, and has already completed Gloin, Thorin, and Fili. (Lily Milos)
Bilbo Baggins, a band who saw chart success in the 1970s, have been told they will not be able to reform under their original name because of possible brand confusion with The Hobbit films. The band’s former manager, Henry Spurway, was taken to court by the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) for copyright infringement after they discovered he was attempting to get the band back together. The Intellectual Property Office ruled in SZC’s favour and told Spurway he cannot register the name because it is “too similar” to that of the iconic Hobbit character, played by Martin Freeman in the recent film. Former lead singer Colin Chisholm, the former lead singer of Bilbo Baggins has described the legal action taken by SZC as “like using a mallet to squash a fly,” and says it won’t stop him attempting to get the band back together for some comeback shows in their hometown. (Evie Bowman)
This was the first major sand sculpture Joseph C Alvernaz ever did–a replica of Minas Tirith from Return of the King! The entire sculpture is made from sand and water with no reinforcement or adhesives added, save for a single brace added in the top tower since it kept getting broken by birds. (thanks to a tip to our @MiddleEarthNews Twitter from @JaviAguilar91)
From January to April, holiday arrivals into New Zealand were up 10% on the previous year. Visitors from the US were up 23% on 2012. Tourism New Zealand says these numbers are the result of marketing New Zealand in association with The Hobbit trilogy. “This increase in holiday arrivals over January-April perfectly coincides with the release of the first Hobbit film and a significant increase in our efforts to promote New Zealand as a holiday destination off the back of it,” said chief executive Kevin Bowler. Surveys conducted by a Tourism New Zealand monitor showed 82% of respondents said the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign increased their interest in the country, and 73% said it made them think more highly of New Zealand. (Evie Bowman)
Hundreds of singing students will take to the Rose Theatre stage in the Kingston Festival of Primary School Choirs that will take place Tuesday, June 18 to Thursday, June 20. The three day event boasts choirs from schools all over the borough, including Tiffin School whose boys sang on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey soundtrack. Sarah Lee, head of Kingston Music Service, said, “We are excited to bring together all of our primary choirs for the festival and celebrate the successes of the programme. We have some talented young singers within our borough so it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work.” (Evie Bowman)
This beautiful arrangement of Lord of the Rings music for the harp was created by YouTuber rockimmer by ear! Sit back and enjoy! And if you like this, check out her cover of Arwen and Aragorn’s love song. (Lily Milos)
Every week, our Middle-earth News reporters seek out Tolkien/Hobbit/LOTR goodness and tag their finds with their names. If you have something to contribute, please submit it using the Got News Precious link at the bottom of the page.