Peter Jackson (a.k.a. God) has put the finishing touches to the final Hobbit movie – “The Battle of the Five Armies” – and it is due out on December 10th (I have blanked out the entire day as “busy” on Google Calendar). As a build-up to the main event, the movie publicity juggernaut is out in full force, as well as the die-hard fans who run the blogs.
Today on Cool Websites and Apps, we are going to take a journey into Middle Earth. Here are the sites you need to learn everything possible about these movies.
Of course every movie roundup has to start with the official website. It starts with a high-definition version of the movie trailer, which you can skip if necessary. You are then taken to the main page where Bilbo Baggins is getting into your face with an enormous blade, while chaos reigns in the background.
You can also view a synopsis of the movie, two trailers, a fan contest, tickets and showtimes (which surprisingly isn’t confined to just the U.S.), a fan shop, and an addictive game where you are Orlando Bloom firing arrows at the Orcs. I made it to level 3 before the Orcs overwhelmed me. I suck at being Orlando Bloom.
When you love something enough, it’s always good to find a hub where you can get related news, photos, a fan community, and videos. Some of those videos come directly from the director (God) where he talks about the production of the Hobbit among other things. You can also witness Bilbo Baggins playing table tennis with a dwarf, and how that thief Baggins is 20 games up.
The One Ring is probably the biggest and most popular Tolkien fan website around, and Peter Jackson recognizes that fact. He has given them on-site tours, and his production team regularly keep in touch with TORn (as it’s called), making the site the best place to go to, if you’re looking for news, gossip, photos, videos, and more. As well as loads of information on the Lord of The Rings movies which continue to be wildly popular.
They have made this page for the two previous movies and now it is reactivated in time for the third and final movie coming out. This page is a Chrome experiment, which means you can see what the browser is fully capable of (as well as a nice piece of publicity for the movie).
The page has audio, so be careful if you are at work. You can switch it off though by clicking on the three lines at the top left of the screen. This opens up a sidebar and from there, you will see an audio logo. Just click on that to silence the page.
The site is split up into three sections – Hero’s Journeys, Battlegrounds, and Locations. Battlegrounds is where you get to fight the bad guys (or vice versa if you are feeling particularly evil). Hero’s Journeys is where you can choose one of the good guys and retrace their steps in the previous movies. Locations, as the name implies, covers all the locations in the previous movies, including Lord of the Rings.
One of the weirder sides of being a die-hard fan of something is that some people, for whatever reason, feel the need to write “fan fiction”. They obviously can’t print it officially because then something called copyright infringement would land them in court. But if it is published as “fan fiction”, and not monetized, then seemingly all bets are off. The stories vary in quality, but the one thing these guys do not lack is imagination!
Bonus Sites : Heirs of Durin, Facebook page, Twitter page, YouTube page
Even dwarves need a web presence. Heirs of Durin is a site covering….well, the heirs of the House of Durin. Containing lots of information about the dwarves, photos, links to interviews (they fight for their homeland and do interviews? Where do these guys get the time?!). There’s more fan fiction, if the last site hasn’t mentally scarred you for life, fan art (which is surprisingly good), merchandise, and much more.
Oh and there’s the usual social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
There’s a lot of anticipation and excitement about this movie, but it’s also bitter-sweet because this may be the last Tolkien movie to get made, if Jackson can’t secure the rights for The Silmarillion. Are you looking forward to the third Hobbit movie? If so, what sites do you visit? Do you think Peter Jackson will get the movie rights for The Silmarillion?