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Tag: Lord of the Rings (1-10 of 37)

This Week's Cover: Stephen Colbert goes to Middle-earth and back again

Does Stephen Colbert know the world of J.R.R. Tolkien?

Was Faramir the first Prince of Ithilien? Are the Dúnedain descended from the Númenóreans? Does Beorn the bear defecate in the woods?

Seriously, does he? We don’t know the answers to any of these, but we’re willing to wager all the gold in Erebor that Stephen Colbert does. He’s that big of a fan. Which is why we asked him to write this week’s cover story for the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, the final film in Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy. It hits theaters next Friday. READ FULL STORY

Burning questions about 'Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,' answered

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The world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings hasn’t left the same mark on the video game medium that it has in film, though many attempts have been made. The Battle for Middle-earth strategy games? Good, but the series lasted for only a few years. The Rings Lego games? Also fun, but the Middle-earth setting is just one of several major properties to be Legoized. Even the games connected to the original trilogy films have their upsides but were never critical darlings.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor hopes to change that. The game has received plenty of buzz leading up to its release on Sept. 30, promising an original story in Tolkien’s world that explores the deep lore while innovating on familiar gameplay mechanics.

So what exactly sets this adventure apart, and will it make Mordor the one game to rule them all—or at least rule the fall season? That question will be answered when the game debuts later this month, but there are plenty more worth asking about why Mordor is worth Rings fans’—and newcomers’—time. Here are answers to some swirling questions about the game, which should give players all they need to know going into the game’s launch.

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Pop Culture Pet Peeve: 'British' is the universe's only accent

Don’t get your knickers in a twist, mate! I know that technically, there is no such thing as a “British” accent. But what else would you call the English-ish dialect that’s long been used as a catchall in American-made movies and TV shows set anywhere ancient, foreign, and/or magical?

The fantasy thing, at least, makes a certain amount of sense. That genre has its roots in stories like J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia; naturally, those authors’ homelands (and, therefore, their way of speaking) are associated with the stories their work has inspired.

Perhaps more importantly, made-up fantasy lands tend to have cultures and customs based at least partially on those of medieval Europe — and even if people in medieval Europe didn’t sound remotely like denizens of present-day London, using modern British inflections makes fantasy characters’ speech sound more authentic to most people’s untrained ears. Hearing knights and princesses speak like they were brought up in Cincinnati just seems wrong — possibly also because the United States has existed for only 237 years.

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Orlando Bloom dishes on his dream role, pre-performance routine

You may think you know Orlando Bloom but we learned a few new fun tidbits today when the actor  stopped by EW for a Google+ hangout.

Which debonaire secret agent would Bloom want to play? Which character he’s ever played is his favorite? Read on to hear his answers to these questions and see what else we learned about the heartthrob actor who’s currently making his Broadway debut in Romeo and Juliet!

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Martin Freeman says farewell to Bilbo Baggins -- PHOTO

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Here’s a bittersweet bit of second-breakfast dessert: A few hours ago, Peter Jackson revealed that Martin Freeman had just shot his last scene as Bilbo Baggins.

This marks the end of the Sherlock actor’s two-and-a-half-year journey to and from Bag End — and nearly the end of Jackson’s own Tolkien immersion as well. “We have said goodbye to our elves, humans, wizards and now the hobbit. We now enter our final 2 weeks of pick-ups,” Jackson writes on Facebook. The good bad hairy news: From here on out, he adds, “it’s wall to wall dwarves.” (Dwarfs are very upsetting.)

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'Big Bang Theory' star Kunal Nayyar takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test at Paleyfest 2013

Big Bang Theory will hit the stage at PaleyFest tonight, but tonight’s event is also a special one.

It marks the first time a Paley panel will be streamed live from select theaters across the country. (See participating theaters close to you here.) To celebrate the occasion, EW asked Kunal Nayyar to participate in our Pop Culture Personality Test.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before we start, how are you feeling about being on the big screen?
Kunal Nayyar: At this point I can only speak for myself. It doesn’t make me nervous. If it was just me, and it was all this big stuff, it would probably make me nervous. But having the cast and producers there, [it will] feel like we’re just hanging on set. There’s a kinship and a friendship [among us]. We’re a family, so when we’re all on stage together, it’s just fun and a chance for people to see how we are off-screen.

Well, appropriately, I’ll start off your quiz with a movie-themed question: What was the last movie you saw on the big screen?
Argo. I loved it. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t love it. READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: Go inside 'The Hobbit'

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If you think all of the amped-up anticipation and feverish speculation surrounding Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth with The Hobbit has been intense — well, just imagine being Martin Freeman. From the moment he was cast as the reluctant hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins in Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, the British actor has been doing his best to shut out all of the noise for his sanity’s sake. Going on-line to eavesdrop on the fans’ expectations and armchair-quarterbacking of The Hobbit is “a suicide mission,” he tells EW. “If I read one bad thing about me — it can be one person’s opinion in Idaho — I’m like, ‘Jesus, why does everyone hate me?’ ” he says. “If you read four of those, you think, ‘Everyone in the solar system hates me!’ Then even if you read 80 people saying, ‘I think he’s wonderful and I really want to f— him,’ you’re still thinking, ‘But that person in Idaho…’ ” He pauses and adds drily, “In short, I don’t really seek out the Hobbit stuff.”

With the Dec. 14 release of the first installment, An Unexpected Journey, finally almost here, this week’s issue of EW goes deep into “the Hobbit stuff,” exploring the film’s long, difficult road to the big screen and the critical, sometimes controversial creative decisions Jackson has made along the way — most notably, his surprising decision to turn the planned two-film adaptation into a full trilogy. That decision took even Freeman aback at first. “At first, I must say, I was like, ‘Why?’ ” the actor says, adding that he quickly came around. “You kind of think, ‘I’ve already put this much of my life into two movies. What am I going to do now — not put it into three?’ In for a penny, in for a pound.” READ FULL STORY

Colbert's Hobbit Week kicks off with Sir Ian McKellen, a.k.a. 'Gandalf the Gay' -- VIDEO

Can every week be Hobbit Week on The Colbert Report?

Last night, Stephen Colbert launched a full week of episodes dedicated to dissecting Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — complete with a set elaborately decorated to look like The Shire, where Middle-earth’s most fuzzy-footed creatures make their home. The fake pundit — and real Tolkien superfan — welcomed as his first guest Sir Ian McKellen, a celebrated actor who’s best known in geek circles for playing Magneto in the X-Men movies and Gandalf in Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations.

Though he never broke character, Colbert was obviously psyched to share his second breakfast table with McKellen. After showing a clip from the new movie, the actor and the host chatted about everything from why Gandalf the Grey is more fun than Gandalf the White, whether Colbert or McKellen knows more about the character’s mythology, and McKellen’s work as a gay rights advocate. The highlight: McKellen quipped that a new Jackson sequel will star “Gandalf the Gay”: “And you get to find out who is his favorite dwarf.”

For all this, plus McKellen’s assessment of who would win in a fight between Magneto and the White Wizard, click below. READ FULL STORY

Go medieval in Middle-earth! 'Guardians of Middle-earth' game trailer -- EXCLUSIVE

With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey landing on the big screen in less than two weeks, it’s little surprise a new Lord of the Rings videogame is also hitting the market. Rather than serving up the usual movie-tied mediocrity though, Guardians of Middle-earth is a complementary experience more focused on sword-swinging, spell-spitting action than frolicking through the Shire in short-pants.

A multiplayer online battle arena—or MOBA, as us game geeks call it—Guardians pits two teams of five against each other in epic melees that allow players to litter the cobblestones with corpses from behind class-specific weapons and powers. Those who found Lego Lord of the Rings too tame for their tastes should appreciate the opportunity to tear Gandalf a new one with Gollum’s “My Precious” power—something I’m pretty certain you won’t see in the forthcoming film. Check out the exclusive launch trailer below.
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'Lord of the Rings' vs. 'Game of Thrones': George R. R. Martin says who'd win in a fight

Who’s a finer swordsman: Aragorn, son of Arathorn, or Kingslayer Jaime Lannister? Could red priestess Melisandre take on wicked wizard Saruman the White? Are creepy ringwraiths better suited for battle than creepy White Walkers? And which honor-bound nobleman would prevail in a duel to the death — brooding Boromir or brooding Eddard Stark?

Unfortunately, J.R.R. Tolkein isn’t around to answer these burning questions. (Also, he’d have no idea who half of the characters listed above are.) But George R. R. Martin — author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based — is. Watch below to see who Martin would bet on in ten matches that pit his characters against Tolkien’s —  though if you’ve only seen the TV show or read just the first two Song of Ice and Fire books, you might want to skip to 00:36 in order to avoid a major spoiler.

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