From Tolkien Gateway (often abbreviated as TORn) is a fan site dedicated to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The site was founded in 1999 by a group of Tolkien fans eager for the upcoming Lord of the Rings film trilogy who were gathering information about the film. It has developed into an active world-wide community with a unique two-way relationship with the films' directors, producers, cast and crew. As of January 2010, TORn has over 4,200 registered users.

History[edit | edit source]

Founders Michael Regina and Erica 'Tehanu' Challis first published the site in 1999 using all of the information they could get, including exclusive "spy" reports from Tehanu's visit to the New Zealand set. This activity first got her escorted off the set, and then invited back on to take an official look around and meet director Peter Jackson. A designer/coder by the username of Calisuri came across the site and asked if they needed some technical help to grow the site and make it a central web location for other fans. Another technical expert usernamed Corvar also helped.[1]

Relationship with the Filmmakers[edit | edit source]

What makes this fan site unique is the mutual working relationship between the crew of and that of the Lord of the Rings movies, and now The Hobbit. This relationship enables the site to bring its readers exclusive news from the set.

For example, it was that Peter Jackson emailed in an effort to get his side heard when a lawsuit threatened his chance to film The Hobbit.[2]

On April 19, 2008 a mysterious riddle was posted on the message boards by a new user named "Guillermo".[3] It was soon revealed[4] that this was Guillermo del Toro, a writer of the Hobbit trilogy. He continues to post on the message boards as time and interest allow him.

Events[edit | edit source]

The events listed illustrate projects originated or co-sponsored by TORn that reach beyond the TORn community. Like other fan sites, members also gather in small groups called moots, form personal friendships (even marriages), hold extended online discussions with archives, and so on.

Publications[edit | edit source]

In 2003 Cold Spring Press released TORn's book The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien. Written by five major contributors to, it includes essays ranging from a spirited defense of fantasy as a genre, discussions of Tolkien's views of good and evil, an examination of cultural norms, and more.[5] The foreword by Tom Shippey, well-known Tolkien scholar and author of The Road to Middle-earth and J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, says: "The Internet, the experience of continually answering questions and receiving comments ... give the organizers of a perspective which is uniquely broad, and uniquely full of surprises, some of which would have pleased Tolkien very much, but which he could not have expected." It was followed by More People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien in 2004.[6]

Oscar Party[edit | edit source]

Over 1,500 "Ringers" (Lord of the Rings fans) from around the world came to the Oscar Party at the Hollywood, CA, American Legion on February 28, 2004. The event was attended by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Elijah Wood and many more of the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings, several of whom skipped the official New Line party that evening.[7]

Commemorative Tree Planting[edit | edit source]

On September 2, 2004, eleven commemorative kauri trees were planted in Willowbank Park in Wellington, New Zealand, hometown of Peter Jackson. The number eleven represented the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring, plus one each for Peter Jackson and J. R. R. Tolkien. Coincidentally, eleven was also the number of 2004 Oscars won by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Hundreds of TORn members contributed funds for the purchase of the trees as a tangible and lasting way to give thanks to Jackson and his team for their inspiring work.[8]

ORC and ELF Conventions[edit | edit source] teamed up with Creation Entertainment to present The One Ring Celebration (ORC) in 2005,[9] 2006, and 2007. Its sister convention, Eastern LOTR Fan Gathering (ELF), met in the eastern U.S. in 2005 and 2006.[10] These conventions included panels and signings by members of the cast such as Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, and John Rhys-Davies.

Cruise to Middle-earth[edit | edit source]

In November 2008, and Red Carpet Tours staged a cruise for 14 nights from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia including several short excursions to visit locations used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings.[11]

External links[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]