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Booking offices open in UK

Warner Village Cinemas in the UK are now taking bookings for The Two Towers. Choose your performance dates and times here.

TTT battle scene effects

Popular Science provides a look inside TTT’s breathtaking battle scenes.

November Newsletter

The November isssue of The Council Courier, the official newsletter of The Council of Elrond is now available. Please click the newsletter link on the left to sign up and access the archived issue if you haven’t received it in your mailbox already!

In this issue you’ll find out all about the Extended DVD from Parmadur, read more about the Dwarves from Figwit, and get exclusive access to new features at CoE that only subscribed members will be able to see.

How to submit: ME Articles, eCards, Translations, and Elrond’s Library Articl

Hello! I’m M, I am one of the Overall Admins of the site and I’m also the Overall Admin in charge the Books Department, which now primarily falls under the title “Elrond’s Library”. In addition to various components of the EL section I also oversee eCards, themes, the Newsletter, banners and parts of the humour section. In this article I will attempt to give you some easy guidelines for creating items for these sections to submit to me for approval and addition to our great site.

1- eCards : It is recommend that you use a good graphics program such as Photoshop or Fireworks and that you understand how to use it on a basic level. The following are the rules for submission. Please note I generally accept most eCards as long as they fit these guidelines and aren’t offensive in anyway. I don’t judge eCards based upon creativity, design or humour as long as they can be read clearly and don’t go over our size limits.

-Vertical Cards should be no more then: 300wX350h pixels (user text will sit either right or left of the image)
-Horizontal Cards should be no more then: 450wx400h pixels (user text will site below)
-No advertising, sexual content or profanity
-Every eCard should contain either in a single line or two “Middle Earth Greetings brought to you by” should be at the bottom or in a corner and in a font/color that is legible over the image.
-I reserve the right to refuse any eCard or ask for it to be edited.
-Please submit in JPG’s optimized for the web to reduce file size but preserve quality
email to [email protected]
-Please create thumbnails of each card that are no more then 120 pixels wide (make sure to constrain proportions so that the height matches with the new width)
-When emailing me always include your screen name, what type of card it is i.e. Thanksgiving, Friendship etc and whether it is meant to be vertical or horizontal.

2-Middle Earth/ Literary/Art Articles These three should follow nearly the same guidelines. the Middle Earth section is generally for biographies of all the various characters of the works of Tolkien. Literary Articles are non-fiction articles such as reviews or literary criticism of Tolkien’s works the same for Art Articles which are primarily about the various artists who have worked on Tolkien inspired art over the years.

-These do require a bit of work and I’m very particular about them so be prepared to get a lot of editing instructions from me.
-First, if you haven’t already, please read as many of the articles in the ME section as possible to see how they are written. (for Lit & Art please see any items that are listed in Elrond’s Libary)
-Second, pick a character where you feel a lot of information can be found in the books. I prefer that your main source be the actual books written by Tolkien as in the Silmarillion, The Trilogy and then if needed the Unfinished Tales, Lost Tales and H.O.M.E. series. You can use online resources but do not use these as your primary source. Many of these sites borrow articles or information from other sites and they are not always as accurate as they should be. So if you find a piece about the character you are writing about on another site please check their information against the books first before using it.
You will need to reference, at the end of your article, all resources ie books, web-sites and other resources. Plagiarism is deeply frowned upon and you will eventually be caught.
-Third, Language: It is very easy to become caught up the language tolkien uses in his writing however we want to present our articles in an easy to read manner assuming that the person who will read it may not have read much of Tolkien’s work before. We want to keep it well written but simple. It’s also important to explain any unusual names, where places are located in the larger geography, and possible relationships between characters. For instance if you are writing about a character who may have fought Easterlings you’ll have to briefly explain who Easterlings are. If the person lived in Gondolin you’ll have to explain that is the hidden city located in the mountains of Beleriand and if the character is related to another well known character you’ll have to denote it i.e. Isildur, brother of Anarion and Eldest son of Elendil who escaped from Numeneor and founded the kingdoms of Anor and Gondor.
-Hopefully that all makes sense. And if you have questions please don’t be afraid to ask.
-I prefer that these items are emailed to me at [email protected] to make it easier for me to edit and please include your screen name when emailing me anything so I know who it is and can award proper credit.

3-Translations At the moment I am accepting translations in any language for anything that appears in the Middle Earth section except “Breif History of the Elves”. Please contact me with the language you wish to translate items into before doing any translations. I have several people working in a few langauges and I don’t want anyone to overlap. Once I’ve approved you for translating pick the item you wish to translate and send it to me in email either as a Word .doc or regular email please try to keep the formatting of the original article and make sure to include your screen name, the english title of what has been translated and what language it is in, in every email. [email protected]
Please remember that since I don’t speak or read whatever language you are translating into I cannot edit your work and I am trusting you to do an accurate translation keeping as true to the original as possible

4-Weaponry If you would like to write an article on Weaponry this should only be about weapons used in the works of Tolkien and based upon information found in the books. Use the guidelines for writing Middle Earth/Lit/Art articles and remember to cite all sources, include your screen name, and attach any images of the weaponry used in your article. Please do not submit articles about items that are for sale such as reproduction swords or other merchandise.

5-Poems & Songs These should only be items published in Tolkiens works. Please make sure you have accurately copied them from the books, online sources may have misprints. Each one should include:
-Which book it is from
-What chapter it can be found in
-Who wrote and/or sung or recited the poem/song (character not Tolkien).
-What are the circumstances surrounding the event? i.e. Frodo is with Pippin, Merry and Sam in the Prancing Pony and begins to sing this song…
-Please contact me before submitting poems as people send me tons at a time and I don’t always have time to put them up right away. It may appear that a poem is not up but in reality I have it in my files. Send me a list of poems/songs you would like to contribute for approval.

As always if you have any questions about any of these guidelines or sections please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Exclusive Poster to Appear in USA Weekend

I’ve just been contacted by USA Weekend Magazine, who has informed me that their magazine and New Line Cinema have created an exclusive Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers poster. The poster will appear in the December 13-15 issue of USA Weekend. Click Read More to get more details on the poster!

The A-Z(ed) of good Encyclopedia submission etiquette

A: Always check to see if the term you’re entering is already there.
B: Beware false information on the internet (see P)
C: Careful with your spelling, especially because Word will not notice if you spell ‘Thuringwethil’ wrong.
D: Don’t mention the fact that Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, etc. are books and works of fiction. To the encyclopedia, everything is really history.
E: Every Tolkien book you own should be checked for imformation.
F: Find a picture (smaller than 350×350) to go with your entry, if you can.
G: Good entries are rewarded (see I).
H: Have a care for style. Look at a few entries before entering your own.
I: I can award between 1 and 3 user points for entries. The amount given reflects the amount of information, and I give what I see fit. For example: 1 point, see ‘Aeglos’. 2 points, see ‘Red Book’. 3 points, see ‘Frodo’. It also varies on the amount known about that particular term.
J: Jump in and submit anything you see missing from our tomes.
K: Keep to the facts that Tolkien has left us.
L: Language volumes (Sindarin to English, and English to Sindarin) are in the care of Elenisil.
M: Movies have nothing to do with the encyclopedia, only the books.
N: Never copy things from other websites. This is our encyclopedia, built by the inhabitants of this site (see P).
O: Only submit using the ‘Add term’ link in any volume. Don’t PM the entries to me or anyone else.
P: Plagarism (submitting things written by other people) is not allowed under any circumstance.
Q: Questions should be addressed to me, Hathaldir.
R: Read all you can.
S: SUBMIT! Help our encyclopedia grow fatter than Fatty Bolger.
T: Thoroughness is key.
U: Use our encyclopedia if you need information, or have a question
V: Vairë the Weaver had all things of Arda pass through her hands to be woven into her webs. The encyclopedia is like one of those webs.
W: Wait, and re-read before pressing the submit button.
X: eXamine your entry well before pressing submit.
Y: Y not submit something?
Z: ZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzz. Have a good sleep, knowing you’ve submited valuable information.


Notes from our Fearless Leader

New and Upcoming Changes to the Site
by Rivka

As you’ve most likely noticed by now, the menu bar on the left-hand column of the site is completely changed. This was done because the former menu structure was too long, and too difficult to navigate. We were also running into the problem of wanting to add more items to it, and not having any room to do so! We hope that the new navigation menu is more intuitive, and easier to navigate, as well as having links to every possible part of the site.

For those of you for whom the little pop-ups are annoying or difficult to use, keep in mind that the top-level links work as well, and will take you to a sub-page with all the links that the pop-ups contain. M also recently changed all of the links at the top of the themes to reflect the more important or heavily used parts of the site, so don’t forget about using those as well to navigate the site. If you have any suggestions or comments about the new navigation changes, feel free to PM me or post in the Announcements Forum.

The Council will be switching over to a new chat software in the near future. For those of you who have used the chat in the past and had to deal with some rather obnoxious trolls, this new chat will hopefully relieve your mind, as it will make dealing with problem-makers much easier for the mods. It doesn’t have all the features that our old one had, unfortunately, such as actions or bold text. It does have some other fun features, though, including smilies, colored text, and some cool private chat functions such as ignoring other users (perfect for those people that you don’t like who keep pestering you with annoying private chat requests). Keep an eye out for the announcement of the switchover to the new chat, which should occur within the next week. Thanks to everyone who donated so generously towards the new chat program — we couldn’t have done it without your help!

Finally, the Council will soon be announcing the addition of Realms to the site. The admins are still hammering out the details, but basically, people will be able to sign up for the Realm of their choice that most fits their personality or that interests them the most. Every Realm will be helmed by an admin, with two members assisting them. Each Realm will have their own private forum, charter, and activities. If you have any suggestions about how the Realms should be conducted, ideas for activities, or just want to throw out some ideas, please PM me. We welcome any and all suggestions, and will take them all under consideration.

The History of Durin’s Folk

The largest Dwarvish House was that founded by Durin the Deathless, who also founded Khazad-dûm. Dwarves of Durin’s line could be discerned by their beard: it was remarkably long and divided into two ‘tails’ that were tucked beneath the belt.

Much of the history of Durin’s descendants revolves around Khazad-dûm. The underground city, praised for its size and splendour, flourished after the destruction of Beleriand during the First Age, when the Dwarfs from the Gabilgathol (Sin: Belegost) and Tumunzahar (Sin: Nogrod) fled from the flood that swallowed Beleriand to their kinsmen in the Misty Mountains.

At the beginning of the Second Age, miners of Khazad-dûm discovered a thick layer of a rare metal: mithril. It was most precious, not only because of its beauty (Ëarendills ship is supposedly made of mithril) but also because of its many applications. The Elf-Smiths of Eregion were especially fond of the substance, and even founded a colony along the western wall of Khazad-dûm to facilitate trade. It was the beginning of a long and prosperous friendship.

Around the year 1200 of the Second Age, Sauron managed to force a treaty with the Elf-Smiths of Eregion. Taught by him, and with the raw materials delved by the Dwarves, they started on the forging of the great Rings of Power three hundred years later, an assignment that ended around 1590 with the forging of the Elf Rings.
The Dwarves also received Rings, seven in total, one for each house. Although they formed the basis of much of there wealth (a knowledge repeated by Thrór on passing the Ring to his son Thraín II) the Dwarves were not consumed by it as the Human Kings were.

In the year 1697 of the Second Age, when the complete destruction of Eriador is at hand and the Elves suffer the death of their Lord Celebrimbor, the gates of Khazad-dûm are closed. This does not only lead to the death of many of the Dwarves’ former allies and friends, but it also means the beginning of a great hatred between the Elves and the Dwarves.

The mithril that was an important source of economic growth for the Dwarves, but as much as it formed the basis of their wealth, it also became their doom. In the year 1980 of the Third Age the Dwarves, by that time filled with greed, started looking for another vein and dug too deep: they awoke in the depths beneath Barazinbar (Sin: Caradhras) a creature of the Underworld; a Balrog. It destroyed the Dwarves’ home and chased them out, sending them into continued exile. In doing so it killed both King Durin VI (hence Durin’s Bane) and his son and predecessor King Naín I.

The most important new settlement of the Dwarves became Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where Thraín I founded the first Kingdom Under the Mountain in the year 1999 of the Third Era. They lived in relative wealth, since Dwarves of other houses had already laboured hard there and gathered great treasures.
Nevertheless, Thraín’s son Thorin I was not pleased with his surroundings and took a vast amount of his kinsmen to colonise the Grey Mountains, north of Erebor. This attempt succeeded, but ended in 2590 when the Dragons heard of the treasures mounting in this new Dwarf realm and attacked the Grey Mountains.

It was another attack, by another dragon, that ended the first Kingdom Under the Mountain. In the year 2770 of the Third Age, the dragon Smaug attacked Erebor and chased out its inhabitants, claiming their treasure as his own and in the meantime demolishing the city of Dale.

The Dwarves were now scattered, seeking refuge in the already existing realm of the Iron Hills or travelling to Eriador and the mines of the Blue Mountains. But it was a poor existence and King Thror, no longer able to stand the humiliating conditions in which his people had to live, undertook the journey to Khazad-dûm.

By this time the old Dwarf city had become a refuge for Orcs of different breeds, and it was called Moria (Black Chasm) by the nearby living Elves. Thror arrived at the gates of Moria with his servant Nár, but decided to enter the mines on his own. Mere days later, Nár found Thror’s body, decapitated by a band of Orcs lead by Azog.

Infuriated by the death of his father, King Thraín managed to form an alliance between all the Seven Houses of the Dwarves, and marched up to Moria. The war between the two peoples took 6 years in total, and found its conclusion in the year 2799 of the Third Age.

In the valley of Azanulbizar, they confronted a vast army of Moria Orcs. This battle became known as the Battle of Azanulbizar (or: Nanduhirion), one of the three great battles of the Third Age, and lead to massive loss of lives on both sides. It was only when Náin of the Iron Hills arrived with reinforcements, that chances turned in favour of the Dwarves, but not without adding Náin and his own murderer Azog to the list.

After a ritual burning of the slain Dwarfs, not by the Dwarves’ custom but to prevent their bodies from being devoured by Orcs or predators, Náin’s son Dáin lead his people back to the Iron Hills, much against Thraíns desires.

In 2941 of the Third Era then, Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thraín II, gathered twelve Dwarves and one burglar (the Hobbit Bilbo Baggings) in order to reclaim Erebor and found a second Kingdom Under the Mountain. At that moment, Thorin was already King in exile after his fathers imprisonment by Sauron, and he sought to reclaim what was rightfully his.

With the help of Gandalf the Grey (known to the Dwarves as Tharkûn) the company managed to reach Erebor, and there they were assisted by Men from the nearby village of Dale and Elves. But again, greed intertwined with good intentions, and Thorin II almost provoked another war between the three peoples by denying his allies their reward. An attack of Orcs decided otherwise, and in this battle which became known as the Battle of the Five Armies, Thorin II died a hero.

After this, the relations with the other free peoples of Middle Earth regained a friendly undertone. Balin, one of the members of Thorin II’s company, travelled to Khazad-dûm to once more attempt to retake the city. When in the year 3018 a servant of Mordor arrived in Erebor, the Dwarves sought council from Elrond Peredhil – another prove of how relations between Elves and Dwarves had improved.

In the War of the Ring Dwarves of Erebor sided with the Men of Dale to defeat an army of Easterlings. They were lead in this battle by Thorin III, son of Dáin Ironfoot, and Bard II.
Gimli Elf-friend, also a Dwarf of Erebor and son of Glóin, travelled for a while with the Ring-bearer Frodo Baggings, and played a modest part in the Battle of Hornburg. He later became known as Lord of the Glittering Caves and was the only Dwarf ever to sail from the Grey Havens to the Undying Land, as a servant of Lady Galadriel of Lórien.

By Figwit

Secret Santas and Two Towers Gatherings

Secret “Santas” Gift Exchange
By Valaöré

Are you interested in participating? If so, please sign up in the Many Meetings forum soon! The deadlines for sign ups are December 1st for the material gifts drawing and December 14th for the e-cards drawing. Here’s how it works: You enter by signing up in the Many Meetings Forum. After all of the names are in, Parmadur and Valaöré will randomly assign a Secret Santa to you. You will receive a PM with all that person’s e-mail or mailing address.
Please remember to let us know exactly what holiday you personally celebrate for the e-cards Secret “Santa.” You will receive a PM as soon as you are assigned your Secret “Santa.”

There are also several TTT gatherings being planned in the Many Meetings Forum. If you want to, you can sign up to attend one in your area. Also, if there isn’t one being planned in your area, then feel free to organize one.

As always, there are a couple of rules that you need to know about:

1) You must have parental permission to participate in any of these activities if you are not an adult.

2) DO NOT give your mailing address over the forums!!! This cannot be stressed enough.

Please keep these in mind, and also the other guidlines found in the Many Meetings Forum. Have fun with your Many Meetings!

Lord of the Rings featured in Time magazine

“I know that New Line (the studio releasing the films) would have preferred us to have a little catch-up,” says the director…”But I think that’s a very TV kind of device. I figured the amount of people going to see Two Towers without seeing Fellowship would be fairly minute. If you can’t at least spend $3 or $4 to rent it before you see Two Towers, there’s no point in going.”

Read more.