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Anyone else here remember TORn from - oh, say... 2003?


Apr 13, 7:38pm

Post #1 of 25 (1563 views)
Anyone else here remember TORn from - oh, say... 2003? Can't Post

Things being the way they are, I've got a lot of time on my hands these days. And being the way I am, one thing I'm doing with that time is playing around with my old computer files and photos, straightening them out and re-ordering them and generally indulging my inner librarian-dweeb.

In the TORn area, along with finding the text files of a lot of fun old posts to reminisce over, I just stumbled upon this cap of the TORn Message Boards home-screen:

Click here for a larger image

The first thing I notice is that the header graphics are the same: Ted Nasmith's painting of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum creeping through the Marshes, framed by other marginal images from the LotR story; likewise unchanged, more or less, are the site logo and the funny silver ring with the cycling images at the top left.

But notice the inclusion of Barliman's as part of the Message Board's list of social media options - to use a phrase I don't think existed back then. The fine print says that Barliman's is in beta and so a little fragile, so this must have been cutting edge fansite technology back then. Imagine, not just message boards, but an actual live chatroom setup!

And those good old-fashioned message boards? Yes, these are the famous "Old Boards" that were replaced in February 2007 and whose archives crashed in September 2016.

For a real taste of early TORn, see the Discussion Rules at the bottom - right out in the open for newbies and trolls to consider before joining "The Arena!" or "Movie Discussion":
  • "No swearing, cursing, harassment or other such foolishness."
  • Ah, good old TORn. Somethings haven't changed at all.

    squire online:
    RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
    Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
    Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
    Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

    = Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

    Superuser / Moderator

    Apr 13, 8:48pm

    Post #2 of 25 (1482 views)
    I remember [In reply to] Can't Post

    TORC (theonering.com) deriding TORN as a 'tea party' - overly polite, fusty and old-fashioned because we expected good behaviour from board members. It's also where some of TORN's banned members migrated to.

    I tried going into Barliman's once but I couldn't figure it out. I know it had a dedicated following among Tolkien fans who didn't feel at home on our message boards, so it was cool that TORN provided different options for differing tastes.

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

    "Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís 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

    Aragorn the Elfstone
    Tol Eressea

    Apr 14, 12:46am

    Post #3 of 25 (1461 views)
    And all these years later... [In reply to] Can't Post

    ...I still recommend these boards to Tolkien fans looking for a place with "good behavior". The internet has long since been overrun by hostility, but TORn remains a "safe space". Smile

    "The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that." - Viggo Mortensen

    Come join me in discussing all things cinema, television and literature at ConcerningFantasy.com.


    Apr 14, 4:49am

    Post #4 of 25 (1445 views)
    I joined in Feb. 2003. [In reply to] Can't Post

    In January, Viggo Mortensen did a signing at a bookstore in Hollywood. It may have been his last one, because it went on for at least 6 hours, and he was exhausted. I don't remember hearing about any others! Anyway, I stood in that line for>5 hours, and got to know the people around me pretty well. One of us went out for pizza for the gang at one point.Anyway, some of them were heavy TORnsibs and suggested that I check it out, and the rest is history.


    Apr 14, 7:40am

    Post #5 of 25 (1419 views)
    Hey ho, Elizabeth! So nice to see you! :) / [In reply to] Can't Post



    Apr 14, 11:03am

    Post #6 of 25 (1417 views)
    *mods up* *wild applause* *smile spreads* *SPLAT!* [In reply to] Can't Post

    Oh Man, squire! This is fabulous!!! I love hoarders of TORn Treasures!!!!

    Wasn't this the lovely little Orc that showed up on the page whenever we were typing our replies?

    A reality I was So So Sad to discover is that I forgot to backup all of my floppy discs into my (then) newer computer or on to cds... so I lost all of those first 3-4 years of treasures. I'm still hunting... but I mourn the loss.

    I'm SO SO HAPPY that you're stuck at home! :D *high five* Thank you for this!


    We have been there and back again.

    TIME Google Calendar

    Grey Havens

    Apr 14, 2:27pm

    Post #7 of 25 (1398 views)
    Went to a signing he did at an Art Gallery. [In reply to] Can't Post

    Sort of the same experience. He drove up in his truck and started unloading water and cookies and passing them out to the people in line.

    Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
    Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

    (Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)

    Tol Eressea

    Apr 15, 12:02pm

    Post #8 of 25 (1318 views)
    Yep! That's right about when I joined [In reply to] Can't Post

    My goodness - approaching 20 years ago!

    Which many here have already passed that mark. Wow!


    Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville

    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Apr 15, 10:14pm

    Post #9 of 25 (1285 views)
    Good memories. [In reply to] Can't Post

    I joined way back in 1999, and that format was a familiar sight for quite a few years. Thanks for the reminder.

    The Passing of Mistress Rose
    My historical novels

    Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

    - A Room With a View

    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Apr 15, 11:27pm

    Post #10 of 25 (1275 views)
    Thanks for the memories! [In reply to] Can't Post

    Modding up and down...intense threads crashing the Boards...

    I joined in 2004, and can't recall if the link to Barliman's was still on this page or was separate by then.

    By the way, if you're taking a look at old Tolkien/Movie-related links, be careful. I went through mine a couple of years ago, and found many sites no longer existed, and one fansite had been taken over by porn. Tongue


    "I desired dragons with a profound desire"


    Apr 17, 7:35am

    Post #11 of 25 (1209 views)
    Hey, don't dispair, keep looking! [In reply to] Can't Post

    If you ever find those priceless floppies, I know there are folks around who can find a way to read them! HeartHeartHeart


    Apr 17, 11:33am

    Post #12 of 25 (1185 views)
    Absolutely! :D // [In reply to] Can't Post



    We have been there and back again.

    TIME Google Calendar


    Apr 17, 3:04pm

    Post #13 of 25 (1190 views)
    I was here [In reply to] Can't Post

    even earlier.

    In fact, I was on TORN one morning when a co-worker said "Quick! Turn on the news!"

    It was 11 September, 2001.


    Apr 20, 11:07pm

    Post #14 of 25 (1082 views)
    Wow! Memory lane... [In reply to] Can't Post

    So I discovered TORn in the late 90's...there were other fan sites...Ringbearer and Imladris...but my colleagues and I at the Bronx Zoo who were fans gravitated to TORn!!! This was when casting for the movie was the big deal...would Sean Connery play Gandalf? Staff would sneak down to my office area which was pretty secluded in the basement of what was the old Bird House, and there would be a group of people crowded around my computer looking at TORn news and reporting...because TORn had the goods and the best reporting on the upcoming movies. I joined as Glaurung....I was on for a couple years but I think 9/11 caused me to not post and I left my body and wandered in eternity for awhile....The movies came out and at some point I joined again as Glaurung63...and I've been around ever since. I remember when TORn developed more sections and places to visit and then I went to a party or two! I stayed connected even if not posting as TORn is the go to website for fans. I send articles to friends and play the March Madness, kept up through the Hobbit movies and now the Amazon series....TORn has been here and continues to develop and has helped me cope during difficult times...like right now!!! I haven't been posting but this trip down Memory Lane has inspired me. Stay safe and strong people! You all Rock, don't ever forget!!


    Apr 21, 10:51am

    Post #15 of 25 (1020 views)
    The lights are always on here! [In reply to] Can't Post

    I love your story :D I can imagine everyone huddled around your screen and the squeaks, squawks and discussions with everything your saw... all so new and exciting! *high five* TORn really does ROCK! :D


    We have been there and back again.

    TIME Google Calendar

    Frodo Hoy

    Apr 21, 8:35pm

    Post #16 of 25 (1009 views)
    Yes, great memories. [In reply to] Can't Post

    I joined in 2000 and Kimi, if my memory isn't malfunctioning, my first post was in a thread you were leading that week in the Reading Room. Those were fun days when the core group was relatively small.

    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Apr 21, 8:44pm

    Post #17 of 25 (1005 views)
    Frodo Hoy! How great to see you! [In reply to] Can't Post

    I do remember those early days of the Reading Room very fondly, and remember you as being an early and valued contributor. Astonishing to think that it was twenty years ago.

    The Passing of Mistress Rose
    My historical novels

    Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

    - A Room With a View

    Forum Admin / Moderator

    Apr 21, 8:58pm

    Post #18 of 25 (1010 views)
    Ah yes [In reply to] Can't Post

    The good old days of massive rambling threads, casting speculation, then movie reviews and moans. I kind of like that the basic website design hasn't changed in all that time. It's comforting.

    Storm clouds

    Greenwood Hobbit
    Tol Eressea

    Apr 25, 9:40pm

    Post #19 of 25 (921 views)
    What a blast from the past! [In reply to] Can't Post

    I think I probably joined late 2002, though I can't remember exactly and since the boards changed there's not been any way to find out.. Met some great people back in the early days, travelled and met with TORnsibs in London (Science Museum exhibition and Howard Shore concerts) Edinburgh (Fringe and FOTC) and Milton Keynes (Collectormania). My visits to these bards haev lasted longer than my marriage did! (There was no connection between those two phenomena, by the wayLaugh)
    To help us on the way down Memory Lane, here's a pun thread I saved from 2004 - they don't make 'em like that any more!!

    Oho... we're plumbing the mercury depths of humour now! (No Text) <Greenwood Hobbit> [7:44] (1/2)
    Better than hearing the neighbors Iapetus. (No Text) <Chip of Dale> [10:08] (1/1)
    Makes me want to take a meteor shower (No Text) <linkinparkelf> [12:29] (0/0)

    Greenwood Hobbit
    Tol Eressea

    Apr 25, 9:58pm

    Post #20 of 25 (915 views)
    I saved this in Ocober 2002 so I must have joined before then - [In reply to] Can't Post

    I don't have a record of who actually posted it though, unfortunately. It's a bit long and thin, but quite funny!

    The Lord of the Rings - Reader's Digest Version
    This is a little long (but still shorter than the book or the film) and is based on a version created by Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society
    Galdriel: Things were bad, then Sauron exploded
    Isildur: My precious
    Elrond: Isillllllldur!!!
    Galadriel: Later...
    Gollum: My precious
    Bilbo: Eh?
    Gollum: Argh!
    Frodo: Hi, Gandalf!
    Gandalf: Bilbo, give him your ring
    Bilbo: Okay. Bye!
    Eye: BOOM!
    Gollum: Baggins! Shire!
    Gandalf: See you at the pub, Frodo
    Frodo: Righty-oh
    Merry: (pops up out of nowhere) Eeeek!
    Pippin: (ditto) Eeeek!
    Frodo: Off the road
    Merry: To the ferry - they won't cross the river
    Pippin: Oh, is this Sleepy Hollow?
    Nazgul: SCREEEEEECH!
    Sam: Ha ha, can't catch us now!
    Saruman: This oversized marble has warped my thinking.
    Eye: Boom
    Saruman: Pain!
    Gandalf: Ouch
    Sam: Well, I'm glad we skipped those two chapters.
    Frodo: (whispering) Keep a low profile
    Pippin: (loudly) And don't mention your real name, right, Mr Baggins
    Frodo: Poof!
    Strider: Darn
    Gate Keeper: Splat
    Sam: Snuggle, snuggle
    Merry: Snore, snore
    Frodo: That was a close one
    Saruman: Excuse me while I tend to my vast army of evil orcs and war machinery which were in plain sight
    Gandalf: Alas, if only he had imprisoned me at the top of a high tower without walls or
    ceiling so that he could not prevent a giant eagle from rescuing me, instead of in the canonical
    dungeon deep underground. Oh, wait a minute.
    Frodo: Where'd that pony come from?
    Sam: Don't ask me.
    Pippin: Ah, first fourteenth breakfast for three days
    Frodo: Oh *^%£
    Nazgul: So close to victory, let's not actually kill anyone (AAIIEE)
    Strider: Go away, bad men!
    Nazgul: The five of us must flee, for we all foolishly doused ourselves with much petrol earlier (AAIIEE)
    Frodo: Oh!
    Arwen: Quick
    Frodo: Ooh!
    Arwen: Will you guys just stand still for a couple of minutes, please? That's great.
    River: SWOOSH
    Frodo: Oooh!
    Arwen: I'm tired now, maybe I'll just hug you better
    Frodo: Wow, we're in Rivendell!
    Elrond: He is The One - oh sorry, wrong film
    Elrond: 3 guys who hate each other, an exiled hippy, four midgets and a guy in a silly hat. Excellent choice
    Saruman: My super orc
    Uruk-Hai: Predator reject, more like
    Gimli: To the MINES
    Legolas: Oh shut up
    Gimli: The MINES!
    Gandalf: Let's climb a mountain
    Gimli: The MIIIINES
    Legolas: Who needs skis
    Saruman: Look out
    Frodo: OK, if it will shut you up.
    Gimli: THE MIIINES
    All: Groan
    Merry: I'm bored
    Giant Squid: Roar!
    Merry: Not that bored
    Gimli: Into the MIINES!
    Boromir: You go. I'll stay here.
    Merry: Ooooo, dead dwarf over here!
    Gimli: Boo hoo
    Gandalf: They are coming
    Pippin: Ooh spooky
    Drums: Thump, thump
    Boromir: (Slash)
    Legolas: (Pfft)
    Gimli: (Whack)
    Sam: (Bong)
    Troll: Missed, sorry, excuse me, sorry, damn, missed. Aha!
    Frodo: Ouch!
    Strider: Alas, the Ring-bearer has perished! Our quest has failed!
    Frodo: Just kidding. I did the blade-under-arm trick.
    Boromoir: Shouldn't we be running away now?
    Gimli: No, look. It's mithril, from the MIIIIINES!
    All: AIEE, flee
    Gimli: Wait for me
    Balrog: Roar
    Gandalf: Run
    All: Already gone
    Gandalf: You shall not pass
    Balrog: Sniff
    Gandalf: Help
    Strider: I can't, it's all gone into slooow mooootionnnnn.
    Gandalf: Ahhhhh
    Strider: Quick, to the woods.

    Celeborn: Hm...I...am...an...elf...and...must...speak...in...a...silly...voice...
    Galadriel: Look into my eyes
    Boromir: Could I look any more guilty?
    Galadriel: The mirror
    Eye: Boom
    Frodo: Take the ring.
    Galadriel: Hmmmmmmmm, no
    Frodo: OK, bye:
    Galadriel: Wait, take this fragile glass vial
    Frodo: Yeah, that'll last about 3 seconds. Don't you have a thermos?
    Saruman: Uruk-Hai. Go.
    Uruk-Hai: Roar
    Boromir: Give me the ring
    Frodo: Poof
    Boromir: Arrrrrgghhh!
    Eye: Boom!
    Frodo: Ahh. (thud) There goes that vial.
    Aragorn: Run Frodo for I am weak and easily tempted.
    Uruk-Hai: Roar
    Aragorn: If I wave my sword around a lot maybe they'll feel all intimidated and run away.
    Uruk-Hai: It wouldn't be fair to attack him all at once, would it
    Legolas: Aha
    Gimli: Aha
    Uruk-Hai: Hey, no fair.
    Merry: Ooooh, chase me
    Pippin: Run
    Boromir: I'll blow my horn and let the orcs know where I am.
    Predator: (pfft)
    Boromir: Ow!
    Predator: (pfft)
    Boromir: Ooh, that tickles
    Uruk-Hai: Will you just bloody die
    Predator: (pfft)
    Boromir: Oh, ok. Urghh
    Merry: Shall we help him?
    Pippin: Nah. Hey, put me down
    Uruk-Hai: Roar
    Predator: I'm just going to hang around a while
    Aragorn: Aha. Took your arm off
    Predator: It's just a flesh wound
    Aragorn: Ok, how about this
    Audience: Gasp, this is a PG?!
    Sam: Wait
    Frodo: No
    Sam: Glub
    Frodo: I'm glad you're here, Sam. Of course, I'd prefer it if you were a six footer with a sword who could swim.
    Aragorn: Let us hunt some orc
    Gimli: That sounds like a 'hey kids, come back next year' sort of line.
    Legolas: Yay
    Directed by Peter Jackson

    Tampa Phil

    Apr 28, 7:17pm

    Post #21 of 25 (808 views)
    "Overly Polite" [In reply to] Can't Post

    It's just one of the many crosses I have to bear.




    Apr 28, 11:34pm

    Post #22 of 25 (779 views)
    I know I was lurking here then [In reply to] Can't Post

    Although my profile tells me I registered a few years later. Wow, what great memories that screenshot awakens! Thanks, squire.


    May 9, 2:59pm

    Post #23 of 25 (400 views)
    Um, yep!/ [In reply to] Can't Post


    Permanent address: Into the West


    May 10, 12:40pm

    Post #24 of 25 (378 views)
    *sneaks in a hug* Patty!!!!!!! :D // [In reply to] Can't Post



    We have been there and back again.

    TIME Google Calendar


    May 10, 6:56pm

    Post #25 of 25 (353 views)
    Gramma! [In reply to] Can't Post

    Man did we have fun!

    Permanent address: Into the West


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