Dan Hennah & John Williams

Since my last post I got two terrific autograph successes.

Dan Hennah‘s was one of my most wanted autographs. He is, of course, the production designer and art director for the LotR and Hobbit trilogies, was nominated for 5 Oscars (for LotR, LotR, LotR, King Kong and Hobbit: AUJ) and won the Oscar for RotK. He kindly signed the photo I sent him (though his signature is a bit smudged), and answered my question about his favourite set – it’s Edoras – on the back of the Hobbit hole WETA postcard I sent him (and signed there again). I’m absolutely over the moon about this autograph 🙂

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And today I got an autograph of John Williams, composer of the Star Wars and HP soundtracks (among many many others). An amazing success, since he is a real legend! I knew he didn’t sign photos anymore and sends out index cards, so I just sent a letter, no photo. He signed an index card and wrote a few notes on it 🙂 So cool! 🙂

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autographs since May: Alexander Ludwig, Eddie Redmayne, Eleanor Tomlinson, Howard Shore, Lara Pulver, Louise Brealey

I got a few autographs via mail since May, also I bought a few, and then there was a bunch of LotR autographs I purchased in December/January, which I never posted. So I’m just gonna post the signatures now. I uploaded everything on the respective pages.

First the autographs I got via mail, in alphabetical order:

Alexander Ludwig (Cato / Hunger Games)

Alexander Ludwig

Eddie Redmayne (Marius / Les Míserables –> see “Musicals”)

Eddie Redmayne Eddie Redmayne2

Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza / Poldark –> see “Other TV shows”)

Eleanor Tomlinson Eleanor Tomlinson2 Eleanor Tomlinson3

Howard Shore [composer / LotR & Hobbit]

 

Howard Shore Howard Shore2

Lara Pulver (Isabella / Robin Hood –> see “Other TV shows” & Irene Adler / Sherlock)

Lara Pulver Lara Pulver2 Lara Pulver3

Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper / Sherlock)

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Then the ones I bought recently:

Ben Mitchell (Narzug / Hobbit)

Ben Mitchell

Brian Yang (Charlie Fong / Hawaii Five-0)

Brian Yang

Mary Nesbitt (Tilda / Hobbit)

Mary Nesbitt

Peggy Nesbitt (Sigrid / Hobbit)

Peggy Nesbitt

Pierfrancesco Favino (General Glozelle / Narnia)

Pierfrancesco Favino

Sean Astin (Sam / LotR)

Sean Astin

 

And just a few of the 19 LotR autographs I purchased early this year:

Calum Gittins (Haleth, son of Hama)

Calum Gittins

Ian Hughes (Irolas)

Ian Hughes

John Howe

John Howe

Sam Comery (Éothain)

Sam Comery

autographs since November: Simon London, Jane Abbott, Stephen Fry, Wes Studi, Natalie Dormer, John Cornell

I got a few autographs since my last autograph related post:

Simon London (Feren / Hobbit)

Simon London

Third time’s a charm in this case. Simon played the Mirkwood elf with the horn in Hobbit: DoS and who tells Legolas that Tauriel’s been banished and participates in the battle (he’s around when Thranduil decides that enough elven blood has been spilled and calls back his troops).

Jane Abbott (riding double for Liv Tyler)

Jane Abbott

She and her horse Florian were the ones doing the pre-Bruinen scene, fleeing from the Nazgul. She also played a rider of Rohan.

Stephen Fry (Master of Laketown / Hobbit)

Stephen Fry3 Stephen Fry4

I already got his autograph earlier but back then there were no photos of him as Master of Laketown; so I decided to write him again and also got an autograph for my aunt who’s a big fan of his books.

Wes Studi (Eytukan/Avatar)

Wes Studi Wes Studi2 Wes Studi3

I absolutely love the movie Avatar and I’m still trying to get autographs of the main cast, so when I saw that Mr. Studi started signing again, I wrote him and thankfully he signed all three photos 🙂

Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn/Tudors & Cressida/Hunger Games)

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I didn’t like her role Anne in the Tudors because I liked Queen Catherine of Aragon too much, but I loved to hate her and Natalie did a terrific job in that show. I also liked her very much in Mockingjay part I (and her haircut was really cool ;)).

John Cornell (Glenstorm/Narnia)

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Another autograph for my Narnia collection. The spanish/latin-american actors who played the Telmarines are all very elusive but at least I got another one of the centaurs now. 🙂

autographs since June: Craig Robert Young, Joel Tobeck, Manu Bennett

Hasn’t been a very good time since June (only autograph-wise, though, otherwise it was), so I’m gonna post the few successes in one post. One autographs of the three I bought, so they don’t count really as successes.

Craig Robert Young Craig Robert Young2 Craig Robert Young3

Craig Robert Young: This was a surprise success, since I sent my letter in 2012 via the Hawaii Five-0 set but
since his role, Dracul Comescu, got killed after one episode, I didn’t think he’d get the letter. So I’m surprised, but very happy about this 🙂

Joel Tobeck Joel Tobeck2

Joel Tobeck: He played the orc Guritz, aka “Skully” in LotR. I decided to add to my LotR collection a few minor characters and since I “miss” the good old prosthetic LotR orcs in the Hobbit, he was on my list, too.

Manu Bennett

Manu Bennett: Speaking of prosthetic orcs and CGI orcs – I still don’t like the look of Azog and would have preferred him to be a prosthetic orc, but since there are even worse CGI orcs in the Hobbit (:-/) Azog is growing on me. Plus, he’s one of the main characters, so I needed to add him to my collection. Plus Manu Bennett did, of course, a great job; it’s not his fault that the orc looks aren’t as convincing as they were in LotR. So I’m very glad that I finally got his autograph, with the help of Andrea who got this autograph for me at RingCon this year.

autographs since February

Just a short update, since I more or less stopped collecting (what’s the point if my letters get lost).

I bought a signed Trading card with Mark Harelik‘s autograph; his role Kashyk in ST: Voyager is one of my favourite guest roles, and I gave up on the letter I sent him.

Mark Harelik

Here are my HobbitCon autographs: Mark Atkin, Sadwyn Brophy, Ken Stott and Richard Taylor.

Mark Atkin Ken Stott5 Sadwyn Brophy Richard Taylor

And after three months of nothing in the mail, I got one very kind reply from John Rawls this week, who played the orc Yazneg in the first Hobbit movie, and kindly signed my photos, answered my questionnaire and wrote a nice letter. I’m really delighted about this success, after this long dry spell, but I’m done getting my hopes up and be disappointed, so for now, I’ll stay away from this hobby.

John Rawls John Rawls2

HobbitCon II

Oh my god, it’s time again! HobbitCon II! The first one was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had so far, and as soon as they announced (unexpectedly) a second HobbitCon I knew I had to go there. So I lay on lookout for two weeks when it was clear that the ticket shop could open any day, and I managed to get my ticket approximately 15 minutes after the shop opened. I didn’t expect to do better (or similarly good) than/as my ticket number 10 last year, but number 5 of the Silver tickets is pretty awesome. My expectations were astronomically high after I had such a blast last year, but this Con has been equally awesome – I really don’t know how they do it, but it’s really really special.

It’s a pity that both Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt couldn’t make it (the latter being announced at first but then cancelled), but with William Kircher and Ken Stott there were still two more dwarves than last year. Plus, one very amazing icing on the cake: Sir Richard Taylor, founder and head of Weta Workshop!

Saturday
What a day! As I said, my expectations were astronomical and I was partly worried to be disappointed, because: How could this be as awesome as this wonderful convention last year?
I think I’ll mainly let images speak this time [edit after writing the report: yeah… right…], since everything is a bit blurry and I can’t really remember details of what the panels were about (lol) because there were quite a lot of similar questions as last year – understandably, but that makes it hard to recall the differences 😉
First panel: Mark Hadlow (who was, just like last year, incredible. Such a funny and a bit crazy guy!) and Stephen Hunter.

At some point Mark, acting angry or sulky, went to one of the decoration figures in the background – I guess they’re supposed to be elves – to pout/complain to „her“ and ended up „kissing“ her.

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Mark showing the audience how Graham McTavish uses to bully him (the hand up there being Grahams face, obviously ;))

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A flash of anger, and Stephen helping him to calm down.

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Second panel: Sir Richard Taylor. It was such an honour to finally have him on a LotR/HobbitCon! I really liked that some people (I joined in) gave him standing ovations when he came on stage. He’s really a legend and an inspiration for me.
And a down-to-earth guy who told quite a bit about the history of WETA (for example how he and his wife started out sculpting in margarine… yes, the stuff we put on our bread), and he said some very inspiring stuff, for example, how passion counts more than talent, and that one should never ever give up.

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Jed found the person whom Richard transformed into an orc earlier this day.

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Third panel: William Kircher, John Callen and Peter Hambleton. I had no idea William Kircher was such a funny person – and that he actually still remembered quite a few Khuzdul sentences. Of course Bifur only speaks Khuzdul, but still, I reckon it’s quite a difficult language to remember after a while (although I still remember Gimli’s curse towards Haldir – no, I can’t write it, I just know how to say it, so I guess it’s possible ;))

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John Callen presenting his hearing aid (and his face)

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Fourth panel: Adam Brown and Dean O’Gorman (the only one who’s changed a bit, physically, with longer hair than last year). I love to capture their expressions, so this was a great panel to take photos 😉

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Adam and Dean got asked how Ori and Fili would propose to their girlfriends and they acted that scene (with Adam beating around the bush shyly for a minute and then suddenly storming up to Dean and „kissing“ him wildly. I’m afraid I didn’t see that coming and my camera didn’t focus fast enough, I only have „aftermath“ photos, this being the first:

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Adam and Dean demonstrating their awkwardest hugs, first the one with each other when they first met, then Dean’s with Peter Jackson.

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Adam told us how he let out a high pitched scream when he got (accidentally) startled by Orlando Bloom.
Also, he is terribly afraid of fish (and the fish in the Laketown scene were all real, old, stinking fish), and when he did the scene, he was supposed to lift his hand as soon as it was done to show that everything was okay, and Andy Serkis and the crew were really worried when he didn’t react to their calling out to him (simply because he wasn’t able to move a bit)

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Dean had to recount his letterbox story (if you don’t know the story, see here).

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After that I, for some reason, assumed that I could take a short break before the Opening Ceremony, and totally forgot about the photo sessions. I only realised that later on before the games show, when someone in the row before me had a photo of Ken Stott – whom I, btw. also had totally forgotten… when the dwarves from last year were all standing on the stage during the Opening Ceremony, and Mark Ferguson announced another dwarf, I was seriously puzzled, who that could be. How could I forget my third/second favourite dwarf!? 😀 However, at this point, I was terribly afraid that I missed my only chance to get a photo with Ken and with Richard Taylor… but thankfully I discovered that they would to photo sessions on Sunday also. Phew!

The Opening Ceremony was a great event, as every year, and I liked how much the audience cheered for Richard Taylor (and Ken Stott for whom it was the first convention ever).

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The Blunt the Knives song was played and the dwarves sang along and, as you can see, Dean and Jed „danced“ along.

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The Game show was – surprisingly – on the first day. It was, just as last year, so much fun!
After Jed and Mark, Dean was announced to come on stage but instead Stephen came out, very active and cheerful, obviously imitating Dean, and afterwards Dean came on stage as Stephen.

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I forgot the name of Jed + Mark’s team. Here’s Stephen + Dean (=Filbom(b))

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First round: the well known buzzer game

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Jed after unsuccessfully trying to cheat (question: how old was Bilbo when he went out on that unexpected journey. Someone in the audience obviously signalled him 55, and in this photo he’s just explaining the difference between five fingers and two)

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Next game: both teams are one person and have to say their phrases one word each. Jed and Mark began having an entire dialogue before Mark Ferguson managed to chime in and stop them (because the other team was supposed to play the other part: one person wants to take the other on a date… to Mordor :D).

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Third game: they were to audition, each of them posing as an animal. Jed Brophy (1) as an ostrich (which kept putting his head into – or symbolically on – the ground) and Mark Hadlow (2) a kangaroo (which kept slapping his „tail“ at Mark Ferguson’s ass). Stephen Hunter (3) was a (very bored and indifferent) wine-bottle-unicorn.

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And then a a funny question from Dean’s panel earlier (or a serious question which turned out funny) led to one of the most hilarious scenes in the Game show. Dean had understood „giraffe“ instead of „dwarf“, so now he got to play a giraffe in the game show (4): Dean was being carried by Jed until the latter went onto his knees, then Stephen took over.

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Dean clearly won that round. „His“ giraffe was most hilarious.

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And one photo just for fun… I love Dean’s hair in this one 😀

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The next game was a (rather slashy) „fanfiction“ that Mark „wrote“ and the actors had to act the parts… and eventually all the dwarves got „strangely aroused“ by one another. I don’t know if Stephen posed as his own role but I think the others did. So here’s Dori, his heart beating for (?) edit: was it Kili?

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One totally recognises Fili here, right?

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Nori’s drunk – and Fili and Nori clearly attracted to one another

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„Thank god!“ (I think it’s exactly the moment and the exact words Dean uttered when Mark Ferguson changed the scene and they did not have to „kiss“:

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Here’s Kili shooting or rather hitting at (?) (whatever character Stephen resumed)

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In the last round, they had to improvise a scene with Mark shouting an emotion every now and then which they had to act on immediately…

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On further notice: I don’t know who told us, but the SEE will probably feature a scene with Beorn and the dwarves introducing themselves one by one. Also I think Graham told us that there were interrogation scenes with Thranduil and the dwarves in his throne room. I really hope that makes the SEE cut.
Plus, I think William Kircher told us something about the third film… and I forgot, what. 😀 Was it that the Laketown dwarves will still manage to join the other dwarves in the next movie? I’m not sure. Maybe someone can help me out.

Sunday
After I totally forgot the photo sessions on Saturday, I was eager to take the opportunity on Sunday.
Sunday began with a panel of Ken Stott and Graham McTavish.

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I think it is incredible how much the image of the actors and the characters can blurr – I only speak of their stage behaviour of course. Even though I’d love to just talk with one of the dwarf actors for an hour or two privately, of course I’ve never done that and don’t know them better than that stage appearance at the two HobbitCons.
But just going with this, I think there’s really a lot of Graham in Dwalin and Ken just needs to open his mouth and say something and I immediately think of Balin. These two are the most extreme cases though. You don’t really recognise Dean in Fili (or the other way round) – except, of course, his attractiveness 😉 , and while William Kircher seems to be a bit crazy as is Bifur, it’s a different way of crazy, so the same goes for him.
For Jed, Mark and Adam, it’s the first extreme again. One can totally see Adam in Ori, Jed in Nori and Mark in Dori. Plus on stage they have this sibling „mode“ (and they have it down to perfection!), which puts a lot of Ori in Adam etc. Most ad“ori“ble! The sibling thing also goes for John Callen’s and Peter Hambleton’s Oin and Gloin. While they’re not as easily recognizable in their characters, one can easily see their roles when they’re on stage together. Plus, I think John Callen would make an awesome wizard… This leaves Stephen Hunter. Since his role is a tiny bit taciturn, I’m not sure how much of Stephen is in Bombur – although it was repeatedly mentioned that they both love food. But, oh how I would have loved to see him and James Nesbitt interact on stage! Hopefully James can make it next time (not to mention that hopefully there will be a next time!).

Okay, back to the panels. The second panel: Jed Brophy and Stephen Hunter.

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Jed being his usual self, always in motion…

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Here, showing how the chasing-or-rather-being-chased-scene in Erebor was filmed, with Andy (or Peter?) yelling „here’s the dragon, now here’s the dragon, no, here…“ or something like that.

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They brought swords but didn’t actually cross them… Jed and his son Sadwyn did.

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Stephen had a chat with the background decoration.

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Jed and Stephen demonstrating the dwarf training from that video of the dwarves that went viral some time ago (see photo above of Graham’s panel)

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Aaaaand scene 88.

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The third panel: Royd Tolkien and Sadwyn Brophy. Right now I’m not so sure why I didn’t stay til the end, though it was very interesting… I guess I wanted to be at the photo session with Ken Stott early.

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After that the autograph session started, and I think that’s my one negative experience, because it was not really organized. Instead of making two lines for Silver tickets and normal weekend tickets from the start, they let a mixed line form up. Also I would have preferred the Silver tickets to be sorted by number (which I assumed would happen, but it didn’t, so I had to wait quite some time before I got in… and then it took even more time waiting for the autograph. I was to get autographs for friends, so I started with Peter Hambleton, for whom the line was shortest (of the five people I wanted to get autographs of). That was one of the nicest moments of this con for me, even though he probably told that to a lot of the people in costumes, but he asked me if he could take a closer look at my costume and actually got up and walked passed the table to do so. He asked me if I participated in the costume contest. I don’t but he said I should be proud of making this costume anyway. I guess I am, it’s the first time I actually feel a bit proud of a costume I made. Especially after Sir Richard Taylor emphasised in his panel on Monday that individuality was one of the most important traits and my head gear certainly was most individual. Until this panel I always felt a bit uncomfortable about it because it’s a makeshift because I simply don’t see how to do a neat elvish helmet out of leather (at least with the limited tools I use). But I think it’s pretty possible that an elf would wear this. At least my elf character does ;))
Hopefully I get to „pimp“ it a bit til next year (not to mention that there hopefully will be… yeah I know I already wrote that.). I planned to do a much more complicated costume, but I had to give up (after cutting out approximately 2000 leather scales I simply started sewing them too late). Maybe I get to do this til next year.

Then I went to Royd Tolkien. I already had his autograph, too, so I just got two for friends. Such a charming and not to mention good-looking guy! 😉 Afterwards to Dean, for whom the waiting line was the longest. And then I really could have kicked myself, for not bringing one of my WETA books for Richard Taylor to sign. I had to get the only photo instead. I really hope he’ll do another convention (HobbitCon 2015, please?!) and then I’ll have to get another autograph. I really don’t know why I didn’t bring the book, but I’m kinda angry with myself for that. The day after I actually thought about getting the Creatures book, I think the second in the Hobbit Chronicles line, which I don’t have yet, to get another autograph, but of course the two merchandise booths which had any books, didn’t have these books. So hopefully next time!
Back to Sir Richard. The waiting line for him wasn’t the longest at first, but he was certainly the slowest signer I’ve ever seen. Which isn’t a bad thing, because he wrote half a page or even a page full (for the intelligent people who brought a book), and at least a long dedication for the ones with photos. Plus he exchanged a few words with everybody and he took photos of the people in costume, including two photos of my costume, one of the full costume, and one detail photo of the collar (which was actually the part of my costume I’m most proud of). I made a collar similar to the one Legolas wears in DoS, with the leaf-shaped scales. He told me that Weta ended up molding them instead of using leather. I think I had read that, but it was nice of him to tell me that he would have loved to make my costume (which is kinda funny since I based it on the costume they made for the Mirkwood hunters. Except the head gear. That’s a relict from the above mentioned Helm’s Deep elves-helmet-dilemma).
After getting his autograph I got Sadwyn’s for myself and since I had one more Silver ticket autograph spot left, I gave Ken Stott the photo from the earlier photo session to sign – he was giggling while he signed it since I had asked him to look terrified and I „threatened“ him with my sword for the photo. Well, I was grinning quite madly, so it wasn’t that threatening, but he does look scared. 😀

A few photos of the dwarves and Sir Richard during the autograph session. The one of Mark I actually took when Richard Taylor was the last one signing (as I said, he was pretty slow) and the others were finished, and Mark just grinned into my camera in the right moment.

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After that the costume contest took place, with a pretty awesome jury, including Royd, Jed, Sadwyn (btw. I really like that name!), William and Sir Richard Taylor!
This here is one of my absolute favourite photos. Richard Taylor was the last juror and they gave him standing ovations and I utterly love how they bow to him. It gives me goosebumps just looking at the photo!

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Here photos of most of the contestants – I think I only missed the last two.

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I left after the last contestant had shown his costume, since the contest was taking place from 18 to 19:00, followed by the one panel I wouldn’t wanna miss at all: With Jed, Stephen, Dean, Mark and Adam, ergo a panel were fun was guaranteed – but Sir Richard’s photo session was to take place at 1900. So I wanted to be one of the first so that I could go to the panel as quickly as possible. After the photo session I went there and my seating row was completely taken, so I asked the people who were sitting on the outer fringe, but they were in the right place, and then I went to the other side, the inner fringe and actually the person sitting right next to the corridor, i.e. the best position for photographs, was in the wrong row. So I actually should have thanked her for saving my seat – although she wasn’t too happy of course to be sent to her own row in the back (where someone else had taken her seat). Not my problem though. Yes, I am very happy and was very lucky to get such a low ticket number.

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One question for Dean was about a nudity scene and that one only sees his butt and the fan said that it is also very nice to look at, so Jed had to go and check it out 😉

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Adam recounted his most frightening moment in his career. If I recall it correctly, he was doing a play and wore a speedo and pretended to go swimming, making swimming movements, also in the audience, only to realise one day that his left testicle was hanging out. Needless to say noone will ever forget Adam Brown’s left testicle (it was also mentioned repeatedly on the next day). And needless to say, the audience and the other guys just cracked up about this.

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Random photos:

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We learned that Adam Brown actually is in a Happy Potter movie. He’s one of the students raising their wands in the 6th movie, when Dumbledore is killed. The other actors didn’t know this either.

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You have one guess: Which dwarf actor are these guys imitating?

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Yup, that’s right.

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More random photos:

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John Callen and Peter Hambleton „crashed the party“. I think it speaks volumes if actors, even the ones of an advanced age do something like that. They must have genuinely enjoyed being at this convention, and I love them for giving us such funny moments and generally a wonderful weekend.

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Still more random photos:

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Poor Adam got asked, if Ori had to choose between saving Nori or Dori and there was no other way, whom would he save. He turned the tables and let the audience decide whom Ori would kill, and Nori lost out (third photo: Fili stabbing Nori).

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The last panel of the evening was with John Callen and Peter Hambleton.

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As always a pleasure to listen to them. Although I have no idea what the context of this photo was…

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I actually only realised what John Callen did there, when I looked at the photos later in the evening on my laptop. 😀 Then I understood why Mark Ferguson reacted so shocked. 😉

Monday
What a bittersweet day… I really wanted this convention to last a week at least. It’s so much fun and so sad that it had to end already.
While the main actors were in the second autograph session, Mark Atkin, Thorin’s stunt and scale double, had his panel.

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He told us how he was a bit starstruck when in his first scene on set he sat next to Sir Ian McKellen and was directed by Peter Jackson, and he thought to himself, that he oughta quit now, because how could that get any better. Also how he met Richard Armitage and again, was starstruck and didn’t really wanna bug Richard, while the other actors and scale doubles were already chatting merrily, and then I think it was the lady who was responsible for continuity etc., who just took him by the arm, „delivered“ him right to Richard, told him „this is your scale double“ while Richard was just sitting there, and tieing his shoe laces or something, and then left Mark standing there feeling even more awkward.
Also he demonstrated how they trained sword fighting, first with rubber (or other plastic) swords and very slowly, then faster and finally with real swords.

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In the end he and the guy from the stunt workshop (Ben, I think?), did a very funny slomo version. Not quite earnest, as you can see 😉

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Here are two photos of my favourite costumes this year. Actually the only photos of fans that I took, apart from the costume contestants. Aren’t these Mirkwood guards *breathtaking*?!

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Then the second panel: Graham and Ken.

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We learned, that Dwalin would never be the same after losing Thorin and that he didn’t want to fight ever again, and for that reason didn’t go to Moria with Balin, which ended in him losing Balin as well. What they said about survivor’s guilt was pretty intense, it gave me goosebumbs.
On a funnier note, the latter told us, how once he and his sweetheart didn’t want to leave Berlin immediately after a premiere but rather spend another day there, so they asked the driver to „take too long“ to the airport, thus „miss the flight“, and how the driver winked and agreed, but then they were told that the plane was actually delayed for them so that they could reach it. So they accepted the fact that they weren’t gonna stay another day after all, and went to the airport only to find out that something with the paper work went wrong and they actually missed the flight so they had to take a flight the next day (such a pity! ;)). And the next day there was fog, so they actually had to spend another day in Berlin. At that point Ken threw his arms up in the air mimicking their joy about this „inconvenient“ delay.

Afterwards, Sir Richard Taylor, who showed the reel again, and the range of movies Weta worked on, and then answered questions again, as in his panel on Saturday.

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I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him tugging his shirt. I think it’s an endearing trait, that he’s obviously still nervous when he’s in the limelight, or was nervous for so long that he adopted that quirk.

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And the next panel: William Kircher. Actually I have to revise my opinion of him a bit, because I thought it to be pretty cruel to insist that the obviously very shy girl had to come onto the stage. I really didn’t like that. Not all people are entertainers. And she was already trembling at the microphone in the audience, so putting her on stage was just cruel. (If you are her and happen to read this: it was brave of you to do this, instead of just sitting down and hiding. You did great!).

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Here’s Mark Ferguson, posing as a timid German, Klaus.

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Live advertising of the cosplay contest at the next RingCon, right before the Closing Ceremony.

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Well actually right before that they played the music video of I See Fire and quite many people in the audience sang along –> goosebumps.

And then the Closing Ceremony. Graham had to say goodbye in the beginning of the ceremony, because he had to catch an earlier plane.
Here’s him and Mark doing „the McTavish“ dance move.

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Then we got to see the winners of the audience costume award and the the art awards, and the 2nd and 1st winner of the handcrafting award was actually a girl of… I don’t know… maybe 4 (yes, four, I didn’t forget another digit) years? Everybody was absolutely bewildered and amazed.

Also the stunt workshop and the Middle Earth choir performed on stage. During the second performance of the choir – they sang the Misty Mountains song (the title song of the first movie, not the song the dwarves sang in Bag End) – I actually got tears in my eyes. It was really beautiful.

And then we had to say goodbye to the actors. One of the funniest moments was when first Royd and Mark Atkin took a selfie on stage and then Sadwyn joined them and they did another selfie – and I had to laugh when we saw one of them gesturing that they ought to extend their selfie with every actor who was to join them on stage. That would have been really funny, but I think they didn’t.

The main actors appeared on stage I think in the same order as in the Opening Ceremony, with Ken being second to last and then Richard Taylor who received standing ovations immediately. It was really beautiful and I get goosebumps every time this happens. I loved how he was celebrated as main celebrity on this convention. I do hope he’ll be back next year!

All photos of the Closing Ceremony until that point:

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And then the dwarves came back… and sang “Misty Mountains”.

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Goosebumps! Perfect ending of a wonderful convention!

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See ya at HobbitCon III (?!!!!!!!?)!

Brad Dourif

20.07.13 – 22.11.13

Brad Dourif (Grima / LotR & Lon Suder / ST: Voyager)

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2/2 photos signed and personalized

Wooow… I only hope that this is legit, because I’m really happy about this autograph. I first tried to get Brad’s autograph 5 years ago, because he’s – obviously – brilliant as Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. But I’m kinda glad I didn’t get his autograph before, because I only got drawn into the Star Trek universe recently (compared to my addiction to the Middle Earth universe). So back then I didn’t know him for his role in ST: Voyager. Lon Suder was such an interesting role, I daresay one of the most interesting guest roles on this show, and I would have loved to see more of him. Anyways: this time I had sent a pic of him as Grima and as Lon Suder, so this is a great addition to both collections, for LotR and Star Trek!Plus, it is nice to get an autograph at least now and then!

I added one scan to the LotR section, the other one to the Star Trek page (Other movies -> ST)

Jed Brophy

14.05.12 & 30.09.11 (!) – 20.07.13

Jed Brophy (Nori / Hobbit & Snaga+Elf+Rohir / LotR)

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6 / 2*3 photos signed and personalized

Wow, now these were unexpected successes. Jed Brophy never signed during the main shooting of the Hobbit, and after sending my first letter in 2011, and having forgotten I did so, I sent another one in 2012. Earlier this year I sent a letter via his agency after there was a success posted via that. Then I got his autograph at the HobbitCon and was content with that… and on Saturday suddenly two letters from New Zealand arrived – both with 3 signed and personalized photos (which means it must have been the two letters from 2011 and 2012 that I sent via the Hobbit set). Now apparently I have a whole bunch of his autographs 😀 Including one exactly like the HobbitCon autograph. I’m more than content now 🙂 (although I assume that it’s possible that I’ll still get another success from him… I’m wondering what photos I sent there. :D)

Added 4 pics to the Hobbit section and two (of Snaga and one combined of him as Elf and Rohir) to the LotR section.

Sir Christopher Lee

11.02.13 – 16.02.13

Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman / LotR & Hobbit)

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1/1 photo signed and personalized

And now the officially best autograph of the week and probably the month, and probably among the top 3 for 2013! I am sooooooooooooooooo stunned about this autograph. I mean, he really does not sign very often, and I was so disappointed when I read that the premiere of Night Train to Lisbon would be during this week. Since I had a meeting at work today I wasn’t able to take a day (or a few days) off during the week. Good for me, I guess, after this not entirely nice last weekend at the Berlinale. So I decided to write to him – thank you SO much Nicole for dropping me the clue where he would be staying. I almost forgot it (not that I wanted to write, but that the letter should arrive til Tuesday!) until I was at work on Monday. So I had to write and put in the letter after work. So I got home, thinking that the mailbox would be cleared at 17.15 o’clock… Wrote my letter and at 16.55 I drove to the mail box (on the bike, wo the nearest mail box just a few hundred meters – for the record, without scarf and gloves) – only to read that it had been emptied at 16.15. So I went to the next mail box – 16.30 – and to the next 16.30 as well… To make it shorter, I went 3 1/2  kilometres (7 in total, without helmet and scarf and gloves, because I had thought that I’d just go round the corner) and it was pretty freezing.

I really really hoped that I’d get his autograph, but what were the chances…! I’m sooooo happy now! I mean, this acting legend signed my photo, even personalized!!! Woooooooooooohoooo!!! 🙂 He’s soooo awesome in LotR and the Hobbit, and Star Wars, and I guess I have to see a few other of his movies now! 🙂

I so love his voice, and I don’t think I know any actor with a similarly strong voice. Ian McKellan is good, and there are some younger actors whose voices I adore and love and totally have a crush on (for the record: Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Zachary Quinto – alphabetical order), but such a strong voice? No, I don’t think I could come up with another actor. That’s why one of my favourite scenes of LotR is when Saruman brings down the Caradhras onto the Fellowship and he’s shouting these fine quenya words into the air. Wonderful! I wish he’d get such an ensnaring scene in the Hobbit too. Aren’t we supposed to see the White Council in action? Like in, defeating the necromancer? (hell yeah. Christopher Lee and Benedict Cumberbatch shouting at each other, that would be nice *lol*)

Anyways. I’m soooooooo excited about this autograph! *still dancing*

Added the full scan to the LotR section.

Miranda Otto

09.02.12 – 01.12.12

Miranda Otto (Eowyn / Lord of the Rings)

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2/2 photos signed and personalized

Aaaaaaahhh! I never ever thought I’d get this one back! Filming must have ended months ago and I never had much hope for it, because Miranda so rarely signs. I loved her performance in the Lord of the Rings movies (and Eowyn was a way better match for Aragorn than Arwen in the films ;)), and I had hoped to get her autograph since I started collecting. For some reason (I guess, money) I didn’t take the chance when she attended the RingCon 2006, and regretted it… this is an amazing surprise and so close to Christmas 🙂 Wooohohoo 🙂 *jumps around*

Her signature on the second photo is badly smudged, but at least not the one on the LotR pic. I’m very happy right now 🙂

Added the full scans to the LotR page.

RingCon 2012

Okay, so this is gonna be a looong post, and it’s mainly not about getting autographs – a reason may be that I didn’t plan to get any autographs. In the end, I got one, but that was a spontaneous thing. And I only did one photo session, this post is more like “my RingCon diary” (but I’ll hide my one autograph in this post as a pretence :D)

Friday

On my way, in the train, shortly before Cologne, I got a serious RingCon fever… I guess it was connected to this train route, because when I studied in Trier, I went by this railroad line many many times, and there are so many memories that came back (gosh, I’m sounding so old now and as if it had been decades *lol*)… It was kinda nice to think back to my first RingCon and that this RC will always be connected to one song (Sleeping Sun from Nightwish) because on the way back from RC04 I listened this song over and over and over again, and that it is funny, because another unforgettable moment, driving over the road of Amalfi in Italy was also connected to another song of Nightwish… but that would lead too far away now 😀 So I had this thrill of anticipation before I got there. The bus drive from the train station to my hotel and then from my hotel to the Maritim hotel went pretty smoothly, so I arrived there ~1300 hours.

When I wanted to put my things at the cloakroom and was just kneeling down to prepare what I was gonna take with me and what  wanted to leave at the cloakroom, I suddenly heard a voice I knew – not talking to me, obviously, but making me like freeze and look up… Daniel Gillies was getting a tour through the hotel and there just a meter away) Gosh, he’s SO gorgeous! Forgive me if I’m gonna repeat myself in that matter, and I probably – definitely – will.

Well, I had “ambitious” plans for the entire RC, and I’m gonna write a short staccato-like list of how many items on my agenda I got to see and how many panels I missed: 1. missed Thomas Robins & Lori Dungey – 2. got: (a glimpse of ) Natalia Tena & Joe Dempsie – 3. missed: Craig Parker – 4. missed (what I planned for the same time) History of Middleearth – 5. missed: Billy Boyd (I don’t know exactly what I did in that time, probably Starkid) – 6. got: Starkid autograph session (which was kind of an unexpected thing to happen, and as such NOT on my list, so it actually doesn’t count)

– 7. got: Starkid panel, 8. – got: a presentation of photos “with Gandalf through New Zealand”, which I thought was so boring that I left after 5 minutes. – 9. got Sean Astin’s panel.

So you see, I wasn’t very successful in following my plans 😀

Now… Starkid are total fun on stage (the time of the panel had changed at the last minute, so to speak, only in the last version of the time table, because before it was partially at the same time as the Opening Ceremony, which would have been terrible!).

What I missed in the Opening Ceremony was the RingCon theme… and my first disappointment, or actually the second one this day, but the first I write here: Haven’t there always been standing ovations at least for the bigger actors, or was that always only on the Closing Ceremony?

Also I was a bit (very!!!) disappointed by the medieval/fantasy market. What happened to this big vending hall with dozens of vendors, with food and everything? L Now it’s only a small market with no food things and just a hand ful of dealers (maybe a few more but compared to how it was a few years ago, it felt like maybe 5 dealers). Okay, one good thing coming out of this: I didn’t buy a single item, which was great for my poor portemonnaie *lol* But still, I would have preferred the big market etc. When did it disappear?

And the third thing: Was a bit disappointed by Natalia Tena… after all these great opinions that I read about her last year (?) I expected more… I mean, she may have been funny but it’s not my kind of humor.

As for the actors: Well I have to admit, I was only interested in one in particular, sexy Daniel Gillies… I don’t know Game of Thrones, which was not that unfortunate because it gave me the opportunity to hear some quite interesting presentations/lectures, which I never did during RCs 2004-06.

And of course, then I met Dani!! *yay* who was kind enough to let me change my clothes in her bathroom in the evening (and Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning).

One thing, however, hasn’t changed, regarding RC, but that’s my personal fault: I planned to go to the party and stay there longer *every* time… but I just don’t get around to do this. On Friday I was too tired and on Saturday I wasn’t that tired but I realized (again) that I just don’t get excited by parties at all, so went to bed “early” both evenings.

Saturday

I woke up very early, having a feeling of extreme nausea, and I realized that it wasn’t exactly a bright idea to not eat anything the entire Friday (ate one bretzel on the train in the morning and that was it for the rest of the day… and drank maybe 0,7 liters the whole day). So Saturday morning I ate the other bretzel at 6:30 (which is normally absolutely not the time when I can eat anything) but the feeling only went away after I went to Rewe to buy something (bought enough for the next days as well).

So I missed the first planned thing, a lecture about Nibelorcs, but that wasn’t THAT urgent – what was more urgent (and what I did NOT miss) was the panel of gorgeous Mr. Gillies („Fucker“ – as Nina Dobrev called him in an email *lol*/“sexy Mark“ – fan suggestion, as we already have a Mini-Mark (Lori Dungey), a Maxi-Mark (the original, so to say, Mark Ferguson))

After that I hadn’t planned anything between 11 and 12, so I went to get in line for the photoops with sexy Mr. Gorgeous… uhm… ô.Ô. Well. It was hot – in this case, not his fault but the fault of bad ventilation – (thankfully eventually someone got the idea to open the windows), but it was worth it. Although it all went down really quickly, once the session started. It was like „Three, two, one, now – next! Three two one….“ like every ten seconds. I’d have loved to get a tighter hug *lol* but I understand that there wasn’t much more time, although the waiting line was vanishing quickly and there must have been at least half an hour left. Oh well… I still like the photo (isn’t he gorgeous?! :D) although I have a kinda weird look. Oh, and Dani: no, I wasn’t even very nervous when I got there, it happened way too quick to get nervous 😀

Btw., in this line I finally saw (not yet met) Romie – but our paths crossed later and it was so nice talking to you! 🙂 Too bad we didn’t think about doing a group photo of us three in time. I thought about it at the beginning of the talent show but my phone didn’t get any reception at all at this time, so I waited too long, and when I finally sent Dani the short message it was too late. Maybe next time! 🙂

Weeeelll, then the Kiwi panel. God, these guys are awesome. I can understand the people who say it gets boring to always invite the same faces, but the Kiwi connection is so mindblowingly funny… I laughed so hard at their panel, I had tears in my eyes half the time.

And then the talent show – wasn’t thaaaat convincing but what I really liked was the start, when the Starkid Street Team Germany „presented“ the first minutes of the Very Potter Musical, and one third of the RingConnies in the hall were singing along.

Oh, and then, during the break when the jury was deciding about the winners of the talent show, one of the jury members performed something while his girlfriend (also in the jury) had been held back outside, and then slowly everybody realized that he was gonna propose to her. It was SO funny and SO romantic… and when he finally asked her to marry him and she said yes, the whole hall gave their standing ovations… and everybody was totally amazed when Sean Astin brought the ring. Really touching! 🙂

Sunday

I improved my time managing skills and got everything I planned, except the first lecture, which I missed because I arrived at 9am, but on the door there was a note that the expert was gonna be there half an hour late due to car problems. So I used the time to get into my costume (thanks to Dani and her husband again for letting me use their bathroom, like the other three times) and when I got back (half an hour later) the door was locked… so I don’t know why and where, but the lecture apparently did take place. Oh well… So next thing on my list was a presentation of photos of New Zealand from places where LotR had been filmed – I got a travel bug!!

After that I had a small break from any planned things, and when I strolled by the Sea Shepherd table, I saw someone familiar there: Natalia Tena. She was just putting on a Sea Shepherd shirt. I decided to stalk… ehem, I mean wait there a bit to see what was happening… and then one by one the entire GoT crew came to this table and they all put on the these shirts and posed for photos.

I thought that was very nice to support such a group… that reminded me that I wanted to see “The Cove”. *writes it on her “must watch” list alongside “Hunt for Gollum”, “Born of Hope” and the movie D.G. directed.)

Then the panel about Love, sex and marriage among the Elves of Tolkien, which was an interesting topic *lol*, but I had to leave after half an hour because then was the second panel of Daniel Gillies. He was in the smaller room with a stage, not the main one… and I had thought about it before I went to bed on Saturday, and when there weren’t as many people, I decided to go ahead and ask something.

I’m really shy, so I’m glad that the hall wasn’t entirely full and that the panel was in the smaller room. So I took my chance when he came in and sat there and nobody went to the microphone to ask something and before the silence could become awkward, I went for it thinking “whatthehell!” – or actually I stood up before I could really think about it, but I guess that was a good idea. So I asked my question (what kind of role he really really would love to act) and – I have not the slightest idea what he answered.

No, really, I don’t remember even a tiny bit, because he was looking at me the whole time while he answered and my mind just went totally blank… he’s soooooo – yes I know you know by now that I adore him. But, not only his look (*melts*) but also his down-to-earth opinion. He emphazised a few times that he doesn’t think that actors to be the real popstars who should be admired, but regular people, like doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, people who make the systems in our houses work etc. and that he feels that he doesn’t deserve the frantic attention that he gets, etc… and that he thinks that guys become sexy by being and behaving kind-hearted.

Okay, he’s a good actor, so in theory he may have been acting and just saying something like this, but I totally believe him, he seems a really down-to-earth, thoughtful guy with a great personality. (Why the hell are those men always taken? :D)

Okay, but I don’t wanna bore you anymore with my obvious love for D.G., so then we come to the great finale (or almost… but it was freaking amazing): The panel of Billy Boyd and Sean Astin, who are great. Both read a few lines from the LotR book – to hear Sean’s voice, so, Samwise Gamgee reading lines from the “End of all things” scene, was pure beauty… and then (or before, I don’t recall), even better:

They both sat on a prop, a throne in the corner of the stage, with a beautiful light (the photo doesn’t do justice to this scenery), and one RingConnie asked Billy to sing his song from Return of the King. And he answered that he gets asked that every time he does a convention, and every time he says no… but with Sam sitting next to him he would. And then he actually sung it. I got goosebumps, there was dead *dead* silence until he ended, and then loud applause erupted and didn’t end very soon… that was such a great, great, maybe THE greatest RingCon moment! And I’m SO glad I was there to hear it.

Then, the closing ceremony was nice, although, again, I wondered, once again, when people on RC stopped to do standing ovations at least for the last actors called on stage. I expected that starting with Billy Boyd and then of course Sean Astin (they were the last two), but hmm… it was a bit disappointing that the standing ovation only started when the actors were almost about to leave the stage again.

All in all, the weekend was nice. It was great to meet Dani and Romie, great to see Mr. Gorgeous, great to witness the proposal and the Kiwi panel on Saturday and Pippin’s song (and Billy and Sean reading LotR)… but I can’t say I’m that thrilled – or maybe I’m just disappointed right now that it is over. There were a few things that disappointed me, compared with (my memory of) the earlier RingCons. I guess I’m not as easy to impress as I was 8-6 years ago, and that in my memory of these earlier RCs the not so good things faded away and only the perfect RingCon stayed in my mind (darn, I’m glad this post is almost finished, I write RincGon every time *lol*).

So it’s definitely gonna depend on the actors who’ll be invited wheather I’m gonna be there at RC 2013 – especially since I already booked my ticket for the new HobbitCon in March/April next year AND if everything goes as I hope, I’m gonna *have* to go to FedCon as well. So I’ll wait and see who’s gonna be announced for RC before I decide if I’m gonna go there again. But it was good to have been back at least once again. 🙂

Sir Ian Holm

19.01.12 – 22.06.12

Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins / LotR)

2/2 photos signed, one of them personalized

Woohoo! I planned to write him since I started collecting (ergo, quite some time ago), because of his great performance in the Fellowship. But for some reason I only wrote him once, in 2006, via an address that probably was outdated. When I saw/heard him in the Hobbit trailer and re-watched LotR, I decided to try again and I’m very happy to have his autograph now!

You can see the full scans in the “LotR” section.

Cate Blanchett

29.05.12 – 05.06.12

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth / Elizabeth)

1/2 signed

Of course I’m very happy about this success, but there’s a bit of a damper on my delight, because I had sent 2 photos and the other one was more important to me, as it was a Hobbit picture of Galadriel and Gandalf and I wanted to send that to Ian McKellan. Oh well. I guess I’ll wait until there’s a better photo of them (it was only a screenshot) and then try again.

Full scan on the “Other Movies” section.

Hugo Weaving

06.09.11 – 21.12.11

Hugo Weaving (Elrond / LotR)

1/2 photos signed

Wooooohoooo! I can’t believe it! I didn’t expect this back anymore because I thought it was a closed set… SO glad that I wrote to him! He just moved to my Nr. 1 spot on the Most Wanted autographs list for 2012…

I guess I can scratch that now 🙂 Well, there are enough names left that seem impossible to get. Awesome. I consider that an amazing christmas present 🙂 I didn’t even think that it could be his autograph when I saw that 8×10 envelope with stamps from Germany. Just was like “huh? Who could that be? To whom did you send a large photo?” 😀 And that squealed (yes, this time I actually squealed aloud) 😀 Yay!!!

I added one full scan to the Lord of the Rings section.

Viggo Mortensen

06.11.11 – 24.11.11

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn / LotR & Frank Hopkins / Hidalgo)

2/2 photos signed and personalized

Squeeeeeee! After the disappointment of the last “success” – Rachelle Lefevre’s autograph probably being a secretarial – I soundlessly squealed when I saw this envelope; I had added a C6/C5 envelope since I had run out of my usual C6 envelopes, so I immediately recognized it, plus, it was the only recent one with spanish stamps. Although two fellow collectors had already gotten their pictures back signed, I was so anxious… what if he hadn’t signed my pictures… Ripped the envelope open and then squealed even louder (still soundless, but… you get it. :D).

When the movies came out, I didn’t really like Aragorn (though it’s not Viggo’s fault, he did a great job, I just didn’t fancy the role – now Aragorn still isn’t my favourite in the movies, but I appreciate the acting even more); then in Hidalgo, he was amazing! I’m soooo glad to be able to add his autograph to my collection! ❤

I added one full scan (of the LotR pic) to the Lord of the Rings section, and other one (photo from Hidalgo) to “Other movies”.