This is Fantastic

To make the connection to Richard Armitage, please use your imagination, and when you see what has been done, it won’t be hard.

Maddie Brindley has made a miniature of Bag End:


An explanation and more views are here, and you will be sorry if you don’t look at the wonderful detail.

Thanks to Eagle-Eyed Editor for this find!

And I realize it was done in 2010, but I’ve been immersed in so much Tolkien memorabilia, that I flat missed this wonderful work and think some of you may have as well.

Watching The Hobbit Premiere On Free Live Stream


Yes! You can watch The Hobbit Premiere live and get your fix of Richard Armitage even if you’re not in New Zealand and don’t have a cable connection. Doesn’t matter. There are places around the web which will offer live, free streaming of the event. The Red Carpet will begin at 4:30pm Wellington Time with streaming coverage beginning at 3:50pm. If you’re not sure when that is your time, you can check out this clock.

Most of these are facilitated by Warner Brothers streaming through NowLive, so yeah, the NowLive link is direct. But I think most of you know which one I’m going to access. :D


Middle-Earth Network

The Hero Complex

Now Live


Cinemaxx (Germany; not sure it’s free but it should be)

I’m currently looking for other sites and will add as I find them and correct links as needed. Additionally, if you find some, please feel free to let me know, and I’ll update.

Also, please note that some of these streams will offer replays as soon as the event is done, so no worries if you can’t watch it live.

Not Being a Dumbass

We have all done something dumbass although there are some who would never admit it. I couldn’t manage to cover all the stupid things I’ve done. Thankfully, most of my dumbass moves haven’t been published for the whole world to read — as if the whole world would even be interested. Billy Connolly maybe not so fortunate. He was recently interviewed about his involvement with The Hobbit, and either Billy was drunk or really is an idiot or the reporter chose to take comical remarks and disparage him by highlighting them as if they tend toward sincere, or the reporter is an idiot too. Whatever was happening, there’s dumbass going on somewhere in this exchange about Tolkien’s work:

So, how many times has Connolly read The Hobbit? “I’ve never read The Hobbit. Never.” What about Lord of the Rings? “Never read Lord of the Rings,” replied the 69-year-old Scottish actor. “I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable … I didn’t read [the books], and I normally don’t like people who have! The people who love it, they’re kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail.”

Yeah, I’m gonna go with drunk. :D Surely Billy knows it’s dangerous to make sarcastic remarks to a journalist. Okay, I will give him the idea that some of the Tolkien fans do spout things unrecognizable to 99% of the population, and before I took the time to seriously read Tolkien and get to know some of his fans, I was also prejudiced and thought it was odd. But at least I had the good sense to keep my mouth shut about it, and I’m not even beholding to any of them for part of my living.

Wait! Billy sobers a bit, er, I mean comes to his senses toward the end:

How, then, does Connolly plan to deal with Tolkien fans who will lob at him obscure questions about The Hobbit for the rest of his life?

“Usually I just make stuff up because I don’t know what I’m talking about,” Connolly admitted. “But invariably, there seems to be a sector of the press that is consumed by The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and it’s indicative of that notion, that it’s the Grail. So whatever I say is rubbish, but then I become answerable for it! People get all upset, they get terribly upset about anything that has to do with it, as if it were real! It’s a story! Just relax! It’ll go away and you’ll be just fine. Don’t panic.”

read the rest here if you dare :D And don’t even bring up his comments about 48fps. LOL! Yes, I really am laughing.

Dealing with the press is almost like a contact sport where you have to keep from getting boxed in and hopefully can emerge with no bruises, so I’m not really down on Connolly, and he may be more clever than he appears. It’s doubtful journalists or others will be on his back with questions about Tolkien when he comes with answers like those. I also appreciate the belly laugh he gave me this morning. But all of this has reminded me I’m so glad Richard Armitage is not an idiot.

Dear Rich,

Thank you for being intelligent and thoughtful and well, for not being a dumbass, and especially for never going out in public drunk –at least not that the public is aware. And I’m confident you had the good sense to stay away from reporters. Hell yes, I’m biased. What do you think this blog is about?

Of course you do have an obvious advantage over Billy. When you look like this:

you can get away with almost anything. And given that, you’re still kind to your fans. Amazing.

One of your crazy fans who would forgive you for sticking your foot in your mouth but glad I haven’t been tried on that yet. :D

P.S. And thanks again for not letting us in on your politics. I really don’t want to know. It’s just one less thing to process.

No, don’t even bring up how completely insane I am for knowing so much about some guy from the U.K. who is going to be in a Peter Jackson production. What?! Yeah, sometimes it hits me that our guy Richard may actually make it big, may actually be a movie star despite his protestations, and you and I have been along for the ride.

Anyway, this insanity is still fun even if a few of us are infected with APM at times. :D

edit: speaking of dumbass, I published this under the wrong user name, which I’ve now corrected.

The Hobbit Audio Book II

I’ve been thinking Harper Collins is “the powers that be.”  This was my thought yesterday before posting, but I wanted to cover all the bases.  Given the fact they’ve acquired the book rights, I can’t imagine they neglected to obtain rights to the audio book.

April 14, 2011

Attn: Audio Book Procurers
Harper Collins Publishing

Re: The reading of The Hobbit for release in conjunction with ‘The Hobbit’ movies

Dear Sirs or Madams:

Since my last letter to you, I realized I may have been unfair in assuming your interests are purely pecuniary. So I come with an appeal to your humanitarian inclinations, your desire for the greater good.  The beauty of this proposal is it will not only create goodwill of the humanitarian kind, but it will make some so lighthearted and free that their purse strings will be opened wide — among other things.

Do you know what happens to women when Richard Armitage speaks? I will be happy to educate. He’s been known to make them write verse and fantasies, draw and paint pictures, create masterful videos, obviously take up blogging, but most notable has been his ability to make ovaries explode.  Hopefully, I don’t need to put a fine point on that. Suffice to say he puts women in a good mood, and in case it’s not clear by my presence here, he is an addiction and we must get our fix. Yes, I admit that’s what this letter is really about.   We need our fix and would love it if The Hobbit were available to help. Just think what this would do for the greater good to have that many smiling women.

In the meantime, I will be happy to send you samples of Richard’s work. This would be for the Madams since it would probably be lost on you Sirs.

Thank you for considering, and I am sure all of the significant others would thank you as well.

One of Richard’s fans who hopes you realize I’m teasing — unless you’re seriously considering!

P.S. Pssst, if you are already locked into someone else reading, could you get Richard for something else?  We just want to hear him read.  May I suggest this book which is in the public domain.


Peter Jackson
United Agents
The Addict List

This one gets the public service tag.

The Hobbit Audio Book

Talk at TheOneRing about the book ties-ins to ‘The Hobbit’ has trebled my passion for Richard Armitage to read the book! But I fear it will never happen. More than likely the contracts have been signed, and Peter Jackson, or Harper Collins or Middle-Earth Enterprises, or whoever is considered “the powers that be” have selected a more well-known reader. I so want to be wrong about this, but my infernal gut is rather dismal today. So this post is a vent. Or maybe I’m looking for someone with a positive outlook.

If it would make a difference, I would raise an issue on an LOTR site or two. I suspect they would probably dismiss me as nothing but a rabid fan with little or no objectivity. And to that I would ask: have you listened to the man’s voice?!

Oh well, in lieu of pestering the Tolkien fans, maybe a fake fan letter to alleviate my angst?

Dear Sir Peter or Harper Collins or MEE, Anyone with any sense:

The thought of Richard Armitage reading The Hobbit is sheer bliss only to be exceeded by the thought of his reading North and South…………………. Oh, sorry, I blacked out for a moment. Ahem. You really need to know that every book he’s read is wonderful. I may sound like a silly fan who would be happy with his reading of the phone book, but you would be wrong. On second thought, you might be right since I would be willing to pay money to hear that. You read that right. I would pay bucks for that. There might be a few others who feel the same. :D

And you do know more women buy books than men? I’ll give some documentation if you need it. Somehow I think you already know this. But more than that, have you heard the man reading a book? Then what are you waiting for? He is perfect. Yes, I know what I’m talking about, and someone is going to eventually cash in. Why not you and why not now?

Thank you for considering,
One of Richard’s fans who knows what women like and would love to help you make some money more money.

P.S. I realize you may not be the bottom line, Sir Peter, but hope you have some influence in this matter or at the least could have Richard reading some phone book entries in the next vlog. ;-) Surely that wouldn’t violate any contracts or anyone’s privacy — especially if the names are fake. Hmmm. My mind is flooding with the possibilities. Really, I don’t care what you have him say. Just let him say something in the next video!
P.P.S I’ve never written a post script so long, but hell, this is worth it.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Richard Armitage’s audio work, I have several samples in my FanstRAvaganza pieces from last year including RA doing American, and you can find additional excerpts here and here.

Also, I still have a little stockpile of audiobooks to give away. Some are courtesy of the BBC, and I have to say again how much I appreciate that! Need to get on the giveaway since SO keeps wondering why they’ve been on his desk for over a year.

Note: the wrap-up piece I promised is coming. Since that may be the most important writing I publish on this blog, I want to get it right.

What a Life!

Hobbiton! What a wonderful tribute to Tolkien and a magnificent playground for Peter Jackson and his crew. I became tickled at witnessing the descriptions of the village and couldn’t help thinking it a massive toy. But I mean no disrespect. I envy Sir Peter’s ability to do what he loves and bring such affirmation and adulation to a place he adores — New Zealand. And who wouldn’t love what we’ve seen? It’s lush and yet firm — the velvet rolling hills and jagged mountains peeking through at times and then overwhelming to remind of their solidarity and unrelenting pursuit of the sky. How many places on earth have those qualities? It’s a special place. And it struck me that those qualities are often manifest in Richard Armitage. It’s almost as if this place was made for him.

The Misty Mountains Call

[note: mp3 download at bottom of the post]

Who knew the dwarves singing would be absolutely wondrous by evoking such a keen sense of adventure? It’s telling how the song pervades my spirit and immediately demands an identification with 13 guys from a fictional place. At less than one minute, I’m hooked and ready to go with them. Bravo! Peter Jackson and Howard Shore and Tolkien of course! Bravo! But then comes the let down that the wait will be a year. Thankfully, a few things are occurring to alleviate the withdrawal. I’m reading Tolkien. Read The Hobbit again a few months ago, and pictured Richard Armitage marvelously as Thorin. Thank you again, Peter Jackson! I’m also starting the trilogy and heck, I’ve purchased all of Tolkien’s works including the non-fiction (more on that later) and some of it in more than one format. Several are duplicated on my Kindle. Yes, sometimes I really am insane. Oh, and I’ve purchased this as well as reading lots of excellent sites which give literary analysis of Tolkien.

As if that weren’t enough, I’ve downloaded Over the Misty Mountains Cold (a longer version) to my iPod where I will listen to it until I have learned every measure and their dynamics, and hopefully, get tired of it and then grow to love it again before the movie is released. And I found this video of it on YouTube. Phew, is it fun to surf around today! If you haven’t tried it, go for it. Lots of interesting things to read and watch about ‘The Hobbit.’ Good thing I’m on vacation. Just don’t get caught up on stuff like this as I did.

Tolkien obviously loved music, and his passion abounds even now. He’s inspired countless others with his sense of the epic. Here’s another site I found surfing around awhile back. Wonderful! And be sure to check out the last guy on the list. He and his band are an old favorite — Tolkien inspired songs or not. If you don’t know him, check this out, and I’ll stop there as I feel a tangent coming on. Yeah, I know some of you remember that song. :D

In the meantime, here is an mp3 version for those who need a regular fix.

edit: bccmee made a version of this that I love: