The Hobbit

Cursed Roman ring may have inspired Tolkien's tales of Middle-earth

The "cursed" Roman ring found in England. Photo: SCMP Pictures

In what was once the housekeeper's office of a Tudor mansion in Hampshire, southern England, a very odd golden ring glitters on a revolving stand in a tall perspex column. In chapter five of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins finds a ring in the gloom of Gollum's cave. Not just any ring. "One very beautiful thing, very beautiful, very wonderful. He had a ring, a golden ring, a precious ring".

Wednesday, 3 April, 2013, 4:33am

Motion quickness: The Hobbit is technically two films in one

Illustration: Oliver Raw

Are you ready for a hyper-real Hobbit? Director Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released yesterday to much fanfare, but the starring role of this fantastical slice of cinema will be invisible to most.

14 Dec 2012 - 3:42pm

Film review: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

The latest instalment in director-producer-screenwriter Peter Jackson's exploration of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is a mixed affair. Sprightlier than the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, something that's in keeping with the deft style of the source novel, it's enjoyable in a rambunctious, buckle-your-seatbelt way.

13 Dec 2012 - 1:15am

I'm fighting prostate cancer, says Hobbit actor Sir Ian McKellen

Actors Graham McTavish, left, Sir Ian McKellen, center, and James Nesbitt attend the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in New York last week. Photo: AP

Sir Ian McKellen has been battling prostate cancer for "six or seven years".

The 73-year-old star often fears it "could be the end of the road", but he now lives happily with the potentially life-threatening disease.

11 Dec 2012 - 3:27pm

Six degrees

Martin Freeman. Photo: MCT

Martin Freeman plays the inquisitive, vertically challenged Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, the J.R.R. Tolkien classic that is set to be one of the festive season’s biggest movies when it’s released in Hong Kong this week.

8 Dec 2012 - 11:06pm

Middle-Earth fever hits 'Middle of Middle-Earth' Wellington

Fans turn up for 'The Hobbit' premiere. Photo: Xinhua

Huge crowds swarmed central Wellington yesterday for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, an event that has sparked Middle-Earth mania and brought a touch of Hollywood to New Zealand.

29 Nov 2012 - 5:02am

Talking points

Franklin Lam

Lawmakers will discuss the controversy surrounding Executive Council member Franklin Lam Fan-keung's sale of two luxury flats just before the government announced extra measures to cool the housing market. Lam has been granted leave of absence from his role as a member of the government's top advisory body in the wake of the controversy.

28 Nov 2012 - 5:52am

Wellington goes Hobbit mad ahead of film premiere

An Air New Zealand jet painted in Hobbit images. Photo: Xinhua

Up to 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of Wellington on Wednesday for the world premiere of director Peter Jackson's long-awaited Middle Earth epic The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

26 Nov 2012 - 6:20am

Tolkien heirs sue moviemakers over merchandising

Tolkien's estate does not want  hobbits being used in digital marketing. Photo: SCMP Pictures

The heirs of late author J.R.R. Tolkien are suing the producers of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies over alleged exploitative merchandising.

21 Nov 2012 - 10:16am

Scientist told not to use Hobbit name

An undated sketch of a prehistoric marabou compared with the tiny Homo floresiensis (right).

It was, perhaps, inevitable that Homo floresiensis, the metre-tall species of primitive human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, would come to be widely known as "hobbits". After all, like JRR Tolkien's creation, they were "a little people, about half our height".

1 Nov 2012 - 4:35am