Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whatever Happened to Robin Ellis? (Article)

Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark

I was a teenager when I first fell madly in love with Ross Poldark. Now many, many, years later I still have a soft spot in my heart for the actor who played him in the 70's.  Robin Ellis has a very entertaining blog these days, he writes cookbooks, and talks about his travels, and is just so charming. He still looks good too.

Robin Ellis in 2012

I subscribe to his blog and always feel happy when I see he has a new blog post. I don't cook much these days, but I enjoy hearing about his travels selling his cookbooks and his life in France, and occasionally about the glory days of Poldark.

Today I was happy to see he had shared a recent interview he did for the Daily Express titled "Whatever Happened to Poldark's Robin Ellis?"  Interest in Poldark is back because the BBC is remaking the series for airing in 2015.

Before I post more about the article and a link, have to post this intro from Ellis that made me both laugh and cry. Apparently all actors know this sequence, titled the Five Lives or Five Stages Of an Actor:

"Five lives of an actor":

Runs like this:

Who is Robin Ellis?

What about Robin Ellis?

We must have Robin Ellis!

We need someone like Robin Ellis….

Whatever Happened to Robin Ellis…??

Ellis thinks the BBC remaking Poldark is a "lovely idea." Not only has he enjoyed a long career in the theater, he also has a history degree from Cambridge because his parents wanted him to have something to fall back on.

To read the entire article, click on the link below:

I hope if Robin Ellis gets any news about the new Poldark, he'll share it with us on his blog. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 30

Describe How The Hobbit Has Impacted You?

For me it has been a magical 
unexpected journey 

I've come to care for 13 plus men, most of whom I didn't know anything about until The Hobbit films.

I feel like a very proud older sister/young aunt seeing dear Richard Armitage succeed and thrive as Thorin Oakenshield. 

Because of events around the films I've met some of my wonderful RA Friends who I only knew before through Social Media.  I hope we continue to meet this year for whatever wonders the road to There and Back Again brings us. As our man wrote to us recently  we're so lucky to share "unlikely friendships forged through a common interest."

Now Shall We Over Mountains Cold,
"Come back unto the caverns old!"
Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Goodbye The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge 

Visit the Challenge Creator:

Thank you to Richard Armitage Online, Zimbio,

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 29

Scene You're Most Excited To See On Screen?

 I have such mixed emotions about The Hobbit: There and Back AgainT (TABA).  Excited is not the word I would use to describe my feelings about some of the scenes I expect to see in the third film.

I am curious about a scene in the film that I won't describe because it's a spoiler for those who haven't read the book. It involves two of the main characters and a turning point in their relationship. Through a twist of fate, I know something about the filming of that scene, and I wonder how I'll feel when I see it.   

I'll be sad also because it will be the last time we'll see the cast together (I hope they bring them all together again) for all the PR events and premieres before the film opens.  

The scene many are excited to see - but not me:

The Battle of Five Armies by John Blanche

Images thanks to:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 28

If You Had To Face Any One Monster, Which Would You Choose?

I would choose Smaug.

Yes, he can breathe fire and is a huge scary 
cold-hearted lizard, but he has a particular weakness.  He's a talker. 

Not much banter with orcs and goblins, and you need the One Ring to understand what the spiders are talking about.  

Smaug on the other hand enjoys the thrill of a good conversational give and take.  He's also pretty vain. Just like Bilbo and Thorin figured out in DOS, you can distract Smaug with flattery or a few well placed insults while you get away or get ready to pour sizzling hot gold on him.  If only Girion had figured that one out long ago maybe many could have gotten away safe from Dale and the Lonely Mountain.  

How to tame your dragon? Keep him talking.

(poster image thanks to El Anillo Unico)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 26

Where Do You Think The Movies Will Be 
Split Up?

No secret any more about the first two films. If you've read the novel, we know how the third film will end. 

... or do we?

Except now, even for those that have read the book, we can't be sure how we'll get to the ending. Only thing we know is that we'll see the Battle of the Five Armies.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 25

Favorite Scene In The Movie?

This Challenge was created before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiered. Now we have not one, but two movies, and many more scenes to love.  I'm picking a scene from each film, favorites among favorites.

From The Hobbit: AUJ the scene at Bag End between Thorin and Balin.  It's a beautifully acted scene between two very good actors. For me it remains a favorite because it sets up the "father"/son relationship between Balin and Thorin*. This theme, this underlying relationship, clearly much more than a monarch and his trusted counselor, becomes even more important when they reach the Lonely Mountain. 

Looking forward to more memorable scenes between Richard Armitage and Ken Stott in the third film. 

A favorite scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is again about "father and sons" or in this scene, uncle and nephews. It's the first time that we really see Kili and Fili relating to Thorin as the only father they've really known.  (In case someone reading this doesn't know, Thorin is brother to Dis, Kili and Fili's mother.) In the scene between Fili and Thorin, we see the younger dwarf breaking down emotionally, appealing to his uncle not his king, and we see Thorin trying to control his emotions and act as leader.  The next moment that follows we hear Fili for the first time call Thorin "Uncle" and if we listen closely we get a memory of their life together before the quest, "stories you told us".  I'm getting my extra boxes of tissues ready for the third film. 

*Note: In the novel The Hobbit, Thorin is older than Balin, not so clearly in the films. 

Screencaps are mine or from Richard Armitage Central.

The creator of the Challenge:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 24

How Did You React When You Watched The Trailer?

When I heard the Dwarves singing Misty Mountains Cold for the first time in the trailer, I thought I was in heaven.

Who knew our prince and future king had the voice of an angel? 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 23

How Do You Feel About All The New Fans Entering This Fandom?

Photo by Faboamanto

How do I feel? Maybe a bit like a dual personality, the many faces of Fabo?  

To some Tolkien and Hobbit fans I may be considered a new "fan", certainly of the book.  I'm not a "new" fan when it comes to Peter Jackson films based on Tolkien's writing, because I'm an old fan of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. What am I then? New or Old fan? 

I am positive that many long time and committed Hobbit and Tolkien fans consider me one of those "newcomers". My feelings are that in every fandom there should be room for everyone and we should respect our differences. You don't have to like me as a "new" fan, but you should respect me. I respect the knowledge and passion of Tolkien fans. That's what I struggle to do with the fandoms I struggle to belong to. We're not always successful in controlling our emotions, but we can at least try. Maybe, just maybe, we'll all learn from each other and have fun along the way.

Some RA friends might not know that I was following the possible making of The Hobbit film, or what turned out to be three films, for a while before Richard Armitage was cast as Thorin.  I remember when Guillermo del Toro was still involved as director/writer I took part, together with hundreds of fans, in a live online Q&A with Del Toro and Peter Jackson when the film was only a gleam in both their eyes.  I think Del Toro had been working on the film just a short while by then. I remember both of the men discussing why the film was still on hold, and fans asking Del Toro his thoughts about the characters, and the the look of the characters, etc.  I love Del Toro's film, Pan's Labyrinth, and was curious if he envisioned his Hobbit along the same lines.  I don't remember the exact year of the online Q&A, but obviously before Del Toro dropped out and PJ took over as director.  During that online event PJ promised more of the same fan interaction to come as plans for the film progressed. Then everything changed, and the rest is Hobbit history.

That's my long-winded way of explaining I'm not really new to the PJ Tolkien film fandom. Thanks in part to this guy:

Sean Bean as Boromir, LOTR

I was and am primarily a lurker in the Tolkien LOTR/Hobbit fandom. Before Richard Armitage was cast as Thorin I would only dip my toes in the water once in a while to catch up on news. My knowledge of Tolkien remains rather limited and random. 

Richard Armitage

Now with Richard Armitage as the star of The Hobbit trilogy I have a new commitment and a new love for the films. 

My photo of Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, other pics from and Google Images.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 22

Favorite Location?

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook


Thanks to

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 21

Which Character Would You Like To Be?

In Day 3 of the Challenge I tried to explain why the character I relate to the most is Balin.

Balin is who I am, but does this mean Balin is who I want to be given all the character choices available in both Hobbit films and in the novel?

I've been thinking about all the characters and trying to decide who I would pick.  

I immediately discarded Thorin.  I want to be WITH Thorin, but not be Thorin.  

Since I'm a woman, I then decided to just look at the two adult female choices available: Galadriel and Tauriel.


I'm a fan of Cate Blanchett as an actor, I've had the privilege of seeing her on stage and now admire her even more. But I have never related to Galadriel, and it's not Cate's fault.

First, she's an Elf, and I've never related to the Elves. They are too ethereal and distant. Also, I envy their amazing flat iron hair skills.

Second, she's too cold and contained.  I don't trust anyone that no matter how horrible the threat to their world always remains cool and detached. The one time she showed some real emotion was over the ring (THAT ring!) so that didn't really come from her heart. 

Galadriel is not who I want to be. 


I'm one of the few people on earth that didn't watch LOST, so I had never seen, and barely heard, of Evangeline Lilly before. I wasn't sure about her in this role, and all her Hobbit PR interviews prior to watching the film did not reassure me. 

Thanks to Evangeline Lilly's performance I liked the character of Tauriel more than I thought I would. I had doubts not because this was a character created for the film and not in the novel, but because of some of storyline that involved Tauriel. I'm not a woman that only relates to characters that are other women, I can identify with male characters as well. I also don't need a romance to have an interest in a story. 

Now after watching DOS I still have doubts about the Kili/Tauriel romance, but Lilly convinced me as this character, and I like this Elf. I don't relate to Elves, so she did a good job with Tauriel to make her a warmer character.

Still, I can't quite say I want to be Tauriel:

First, because she's "feisty" and a "badass".  I've never wanted to be a "badass" and some "feisty" people get on my nerves. 

Second, because she's in a love triangle, or love "rectangle", and not a very believable "triangle" at that! Too complicated a love life for me. (And who could look at anyone else when Thorin is around!) Plus, there's something going on between her and Thranduil. I mean, she's reporting to him in what seems like the middle of the night, when he's in his evening robes, in his bedroom? 

Tauriel is not who I want to be.

So again I go through all the characters in my mind, hobbit, dwarves, elves, men (and women), orcs, goblins, trolls, wizards...nothing.

Well, Balin, looks like it must be you-it is you:

 How did Thorin's picture get in there???

Or just maybe there will be a flashback character in TABA? A Dwarf Princess that was once engaged to Thorin?....

(it's only a dream, Tolkien fans, only a dream)

Pics thanks to,, Google Images, and many more

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 20

Least Favorite Character Design?


I tip my hat to the amazing special effects and CGI work by WETA Workshop and all the other amazingly talented people in the Peter Jackson movie universe. Also a marvel to see how more sophisticated CGI and all the other special effects wizardry has become since the first time we saw Gollum in LOTR.  The Gollum in The Hobbit: AUJ is eerily real.

Sadly the character of Azog in the first film, AUJ, is not. I was shocked when watching AUJ in 48fps HFR 3D how unreal Azog looked.  He was the only character that seemed totally artificial to me.  It added to my hatred of Azog the character that he seemed so out of place in the film.  Later when I saw the movie again in 24fps it was less obvious, but he still looked artificial to me.

In the second film, DOS, I found Azog more acceptable.  The CGI/Motion Capture improved, and the character looked more "real" than in AUJ.  Or maybe it's because I've now grown to like Manu Bennett, the actor who plays Azog.  

I've seen Manu now on YT in fan convention panels and interviews talking about playing Azog and I have developed a fondness for the actor.  Manu is a bit crazy, but in a fun way, and he seems to be such a hard worker. Also the discovery since seeing Azog for the first time that he was added in later, and that Manu and Richard never worked together, not even rehearsed together, has made me more forgiving of the look of the character in the first film.  

The Creator of the challenge:

Thanks also to for pics.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 19

What Do You Think Of Smaug's Death

Good Riddance I Say

or is the question asking about the manner 
of his death?

Bravo for Bard the Bowman

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 18

What Is Your Favorite Quote?

I would take each and every one of these Dwarves over an army from the Iron Hills. For when I called upon them, they answered. Loyalty. Honor. A willing heart... I can ask no more than that.

Thorin Oakenshield

From The Hobbit: AUJ

Bard the Bowman: You have no right to enter that mountain!
Thorin Oakenshield: I have the ONLY right!

From The Hobbit: DOS

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sean Bean At Waterstones London Wall Branch - January 30

Sean Bean will be reading extracts of a new novel, Fat Chancer, by Richard Old, on January 30, from 11:00am-12:30pm, Waterstones London Wall Branch.

The event is open to the public but you have to register. 

For more information and to register go to the link below:

(If anyone reading this goes to the event, hope you come back and share a few words about the reading and seeing Sean in the comments below)

Thanks to Sean Bean Daily

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 17

Which Three Characters Would You Go On An Adventure With?

For this type of adventure, I would want travel companions who are brave, who are loyal, who are handsome, and who know how to have a good time.

So the three I would pick are:



And the leader of the pack


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