The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Will there be "Spy Reports" from you Kiwis regarding production?


Feb 20, 5:19pm

Views: 1025
Will there be "Spy Reports" from you Kiwis regarding production?

Back in the LOTR days we had Spy Reports that were a lot of fun.


Feb 20, 5:25pm

Views: 994
It'd be nice, wouldn't it?

The lead-in to this production has been very different from the LOTR movies, when big-money productions were more rare in NZ and the excitement was higher. I think that's part of the reason we aren't seeing on-the-ground hype.

But also, Amazon isn't feeding titbits to the masses like PJ came around to doing. A pity. The closed-shop approach that Amazon is taking is frustrating.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Feb 20, 5:28pm)


Feb 20, 5:27pm

Views: 990
I wonder if they are putting restriction zones around production areas and screening shots

against long distance obersvation / camera shots etc.


Feb 20, 5:29pm

Views: 989
I notice more production stills released on the Amazon WOT series.



Feb 21, 10:56am

Views: 905

As I recall, and I don't really recall much, the spy reports were largely from people who managed to discover filming locations, or from extras. Given that the stuntwoman signed an NDA, I suspect Amazon is having all of the extras sign NDAs. I'm not sure what Peter Jackson's policy was. Of course, some people do break NDAs. Also, when filming on location, it is not always practicable to keep things under wraps. Begun, the Drone Wars have! Perhaps. We'll see.

Also, given JA Bayona's Instagram posts, perhaps Amazon has a strategy to manage the release of information on the series beyond just keeping everything secret.

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!

Grey Havens

Feb 21, 6:33pm

Views: 873
Ask and you shall receive

Nothing much in revealing story or character information, but it is something. Might get more juicy stuff later.

Vocalist of the progressive doom rock band Mater Thallium.


Feb 21, 7:26pm

Views: 854

In Reply To

Nothing much in revealing story or character information, but it is something. Might get more juicy stuff later.

The fountain the background of Sophia's picture looks early Numenorian to me....

My Low-Magic Fantasy Novel on eBook/hardback: The Huntsman and the She-Wolf

The Huntsman and the She-Wolf on audio Book.

The Shire

Feb 21, 7:33pm

Views: 849
NDAs before/during The Hobbit production

In Reply To
Given that the stuntwoman signed an NDA, I suspect Amazon is having all of the extras sign NDAs. I'm not sure what Peter Jackson's policy was. Of course, some people do break NDAs.

In regard to PJ's policy, I'd guess it was pretty strict as well. I visited the Hobbiton set about two months before filming started for The Hobbit and even though we simply took the tourist tour around the place, we needed to sign an NDA. So I'd say extras would be even more strictly supervised in that regard.
(I have no idea what the situation was like when filming LOTR, but I'd reckon much more relaxed)


Feb 21, 8:24pm

Views: 839
Ah, like the good old days!



Feb 21, 10:54pm

Views: 816
And so it begins!

I was going to respond earlier with something like, "What we need is someone in the Auckland region as enthusiastic and persistent as our own Tehanu was in 1999/2000." Bingo!

When I saw the dry grass behind Bayona on his earlier Instagram post, my first thought was, "With the drought up there, they're going to have to be super careful of fire." And as we see in the new spy report, they've thought of that. "Welcome. NO smoking please. (If you have to...use the pool area.)" Laugh Love it!


Feb 22, 2:51am

Views: 790
Riverhead Forest background and photos

Quickbeam asked on the Main Page post for local knowledge. I'm down in Wellington, but here's a bit after googling and added photos from Riverhead, NZ on GoogleMaps. This is just a bit of info until more local Tornfolk check in.

NZ topographic map of Riverhead Forest (Just search for Riverhead Forest.)
It seems to be a commercial pine forest but open for mixed-use recreation: horse and bicycle riding, hunting, hiking - and, evidently, TV show filming. Wink

A page from the local equestrian group: 2011

Riverhead Forest is located in Rodney District, North West of Auckland central. It can be entered from several locations in Coatesville, Riverhead, Waimauku and Waitoki.
This is working pine forest, with logging and other forestry activities during the working week. Originally planted between 1929 and 1932, on poor kauri gum land; the forest covers just under 4000 ha. It is Crown Land, the licencee is Matariki Forests, with Rayonier Forests performing the management. Like other crown leases, this forest includes a recreation specification in the Crown Licence, however this does not guarantee riders or any other group the right to use the forest.

This location map of Rayonier Matariki Forests seems to show they still own Riverhead Forest. That's probably more than we need to know, but once you start down the google rabbit hole...

There would be pines of varying size, but these photos also show native ferns along side them. After so much of the native forests had been logged by the early 1900's, the idea arose to plant non-native Radiata pines to sustain the logging industry. There was an interesting TV doco about it recently. It looks very much like the LOTR film location of Arwen leaving M-e with the Elves and her vision of Aragorn and child. (That commercial forest has since been completely felled, but I got to walk there in 2006 before it was gone.)

The "Get off the road!" scene from FOTR was filmed in the largely non-native pine forest of Mt Victoria park above Wellington.

A Youtube video of mountain biking through Riverhead forest. There are several.

This photo is along the riverbank downstream in the Riverhead area. Lots of lush native vegetation that might turn up on camera.
With the pines and the ferns, it could have a Second Age feel, I reckon.

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Feb 22, 6:21am)


Feb 22, 9:34am

Views: 732
The Riverhead set

I'm a bit confused. Is the blue circle supposed to be the actual set, or just a place where some vehicles were parked, perhaps with access to the set? The area appears to be a paved road with houses and open fields on either side. The description of "riverbanks" and "dense forest" seems to apply instead to the banks of the Rangitopuni Stream north and west of the blue circle. (And, speaking of blue circles, what is the small blue circle in the upper part of the map?)

I'm having trouble matching the photos to places on a satellite map.

Also, any idea what the "pool area" might be? Would it be a backyard pool, a public pool, or a shallow area of the stream?

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Feb 22, 11:15am

Views: 718
Two map views of Riverhead Forest:

In this GoogleMaps page, the location photo blue dot is directly above the "d" in "Riverhead" and a light green wedge above Highway 28. The large blue circle is to the right of that where the road dips down.!4d174.5918459

On the topo map for Riverhead Forest, it's below "Cobbler's Lane" in the white area.

"David" will have to answer what his blue dot and circle are and where they've parked the catering truck. :-)


Feb 22, 3:44pm

Views: 686

Let's not forget that with the LR, supposed "leaks" were part of a calculated PR plan; certain websites including this one, as well as TORC and Aintitcool, were fed a continual drip of "leaks" that came straight from Wingnut/New Line media policy, to keep the Internet excitement and hype going. But then, the Web was fairly new in 1998.

(This post was edited by Solicitr on Feb 22, 3:45pm)

Thor 'n' Oakenshield

Feb 22, 4:00pm

Views: 683
I'm hoping we get more soon!

I'd love if there could be the same atmosphere around this series' production that there was around the filming of Jackson's trilogy - the same focus placed on prioritizing the fans, and giving us info before even the big Hollywood trades. Just seeing the words "Exclusive Spy Report" on TORN's article yesterday felt good.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Feb 24, 7:59am

Views: 478

What do people make of the supposed code name "GIN" (assuming this set is actually from the Amazon series)? I could accept "Blue Harvest" or "Jamboree" as actual movie titles, but "Gin" just doesn't strike me as title-like. Are we sure the sign doesn't just mean, "Hey, Mr. Bezos, if you need a drink, go this way"?

Or, could GIN be a TLA? I'm having a hard time thinking up an exact match that makes sense, but it is one letter off from Gwaith-i-Mírdain.

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Feb 24, 8:36am

Views: 472

Gliding/Galloping/Galavanting/Galumphing Into Númenor?


Feb 24, 9:03am

Views: 466

I was thinking along similar lines, i.e. "[something] in Númenor", or "[something] into Númenor". Or Gwaith-i-Númenor, except that Númenor is derived from Quenya. I'm not sure if there's a specific Sindarin name for Númenor, (e.g. *Annúndor), or if Númenor is just the Sindarized form of the Quenya Númenórë, in which case Gwaith-i-Númenor ("People/Hosts of Númenor") would work.

EDIT: At any rate, I'd be happy to call this production something besides "Lord of the Rings".

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!

(This post was edited by Hasuwandil on Feb 24, 9:10am)