Still Playin’ After All These Years – LOTRO’s Sixth Anniversary

lotro

When you look at the events of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and his companions set out from Bag-End on the 23rd of September in one year and returns to it on November 3rd of the next. In just a little bit more than a year, they had had their adventure, recovered from it, and returned. It’s fairly amazing to think, then, that Lord of the Rings Online, the MMORPG based on the same story, will have been running successfully for six years as of April … [Read more...]

Right to the Source – Adaptations Good, Bad, and Ugly

Deitch Hobbit

Did you know that animation legend Gene Deitch was involved in a semi-animated version of “The Hobbit” in the 1960s? Seriously! Go Google "Hobbit" and "Gene Deitch" and you'll see. In it, Dale, the City of Golden Bells, is destroyed by the dragon Slag. Three survivors of the destruction of Dale (a nameless watchman, Thorin Oakenshield, the general of Dale’s Garrison, and the Princess Mika Milovana) get help from the wizard Gandalf to find someone to slay the dragon. Gandalf leads them to Bilbo … [Read more...]

One Fandom to Rule Them All – Andy Geeks Out Hard on Tolkien

Hobbit

Let’s face it, Gentle Readers – we live good times for geeks and nerds. One of the ultimate chronicles of nerditry, the Lord of the Rings, is a major series of motion pictures, with highly anticipated “prequels” on the way. Heck, I got to listen to Enya sing Elvish during the Oscas…and it was serious! Thanks to World of Warcraft, geeky swords-and-sorcery tropes have traipsed into the mainstream. If you bellow “You shall not pass!” people will actually know what you’re referencing! Don’t … [Read more...]

The Hobbit: Taking Us Back Again

hobbit

By now, you’ve probably seen the brand-new trailer for The Hobbit (if not, watch it now). The movie doesn’t come out for another year, but everyone’s excited - including me. We’re always honest here about exactly how nerdy we are, so I suppose I ought to own up and admit when I’m not; I’ve never read The Hobbit. Indeed, I’ve never read much Tolkien at all; I read The Silmarillion (for a class, worst introduction to Tolkien ever) and The Fellowship of the Ring, and found them both rather … [Read more...]

From Series to Screen: Why Do We Watch?

trueblood

One week after the finale that had many TV-based Game of Thrones fan saying "WTF?", True Blood has returned for a fourth season with a premiere that was actually pretty lighthearted and light on the gore.  And the quick transition between two shows I watch and like has me comparing the two - not against each other, but against the book series that they're based on.  I noticed that though both are popular, HBO shows based on books that were also popular to begin with, they have … [Read more...]

PAX East 2011 Interviews: Turbine, DDO & LOTRO

I’m a geek. I know it’s shocking, but it’s true. So last year, when it was announced that the east coast branch of the PAX convention would be held in Boston, I was thrilled to death. I can hop on a subway just 4.5 blocks from my house and get on a train that will have me to the convention center in less than an hour. That’s a recipe for wonder. Sadly, I only managed to wrangle a one-day pass for various reasons last year, so my memory of PAX East 2010 is a blur of gaming, a chaotic, crowded … [Read more...]

Going Out with a Bang: Crafting an Epic End to Your Campaign

valinor

Sir Bedivere throws Excalibur into the Lake and finds King Arthur has sailed to Avalon. Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star. Robin Hood fires an arrow to show where he should be buried. The Ring is cast into Mt. Doom. Ripley jettisons the Alien out an air lock. Good stories…truly good stories…have fantastic endings. Without the promise of the Battle of Camlann, the Battle of Yavin, or Frodo’s Passion on Mt. Doom, the epic tales they end would not have the full … [Read more...]

2010: A Geeked Out Retrospective

TheHobbit

As the year wanders towards its conclusion, a certain amount of reflection is pretty much inevitable.  Along with birthdays and anniversaries, the end of a year is a natural “save point,” if you will. I’ve been thinking back a lot over this year; it’s been so full of ups and downs…gains and losses.  Initial disappointment over the lack of a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal became stunned joy when it finally went through.  Pain over the loss of my Mom has led to a stronger bond and closeness with … [Read more...]

The Lord of the Five Golden Rings – LOTRO’s Yule Festival

Yule

There is a surprisingly long link in my mind between the Lord of the Rings and Christmas. Although I did not receive Tolkien’s trilogy as a Christmas present, I can recall being thrilled as a child to find the mention of Yule in the Shire calendar in the appendix of the Return of the King. The three movie versions all came out in late December as well, and it became a Christmas tradition to see each one with my Dad on Christmas day (after dinner at a Chinese restaurant). Therefore, I have no … [Read more...]

Things All Geeks Should Be Thankful For

charlie-brown-thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., and as is the purpose of the holiday, I like to take a little time each year to reflect on what I’m thankful for. Before anyone rolls their eyes and says, “Must be nice…I don’t have anything to be thankful for,” just stop. No matter how bad things seem, everyone has something to be thankful for. I could be spending today bemoaning my husband’s illness that completely ruined several months of his life and cost him his day job, the fact that I’m stuck … [Read more...]