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celebrities > lord of the rings
lord of the rings

Though he has put all of his power into the search for it, fate has put it in the hands of one -- a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who inherits the Ring and steps into legend. With the help of a loyal fellowship comprised of hobbits Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd); Gimli the dwarf (John Rhys-Davies); and humans Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean); and with the guidance of the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and elves Arwen (Liv Tyler), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Frodo must journey to the Mount of Doom to destroy the Ring. If he doesn’t find a way, no one will.

Directed by Peter Jackson, the trilogy represents an unprecedented undertaking -- three films made silmultaneously over a year and a half of production. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring stars (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Marton Csokas, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, and Elijah Wood.

The film is directed by Peter Jackson and produced by Barrie M. Osborne and Jackson, Fran Walsh and Tim Sanders. The screenplay is by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Jackson based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. The executive producers are Mark Ordesky and Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne also executive produce.

"The Lord of the Rings"
J.R.R. Tolkien

"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

I've been waiting decades for a movie to be released worthy of telling Tolkien's epic tale of The Rings. As of December 19, 2001, that movie, produced by New Line Cinema and directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson, is now thankfully here. Jackson has made cinema history in the unprecedented feat of making three motion pictures simultaneously to capture Tolkien’s epic trilogy in its entirety. (Enya fan's will be pleased to know that the movie soundtrack includes two new songs by that artist. J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings," is about the timeless archetypal battle between the forces of good and evil. The movie adventure begins with the telling of book one of the fantasy trilogy, "The Fellowship of The Ring." In this first of three movies, audiences will be introduced to the mythic world of Middle-earth and all of its extraordinary inhabitants consisting of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards, trolls, orcs, Ringwraiths, and Uruk-Hai.

Middle-earth legend has it that in the most ancient of times, the Rings of Power had been crafted by the greatly skilled Elven-smiths. However, Dark Lord Sauron had forged the One Ring, filling the One Ring with his own evil power so that he could have absolute power and rule over all others. Fortunately, the One Ring was taken from him. Legend goes on to explain that in order to save the world from the dark forces of Sauron, the One Ring must be destroyed by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy tells of a grand and glorious quest undertaken by a shy young hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins. Frodo has inherited the One Ring; and Frodo with the aid of the Fellowship of the Ring set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring.

The Author
It's now estimated that 10% of all paperback books published are able to trace their existence back to the successful publication of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Best known for the "The Hobbit" (1937) and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (1954-1955) - no one, least of all J. R. R. Tolkien, had been naive enough to believe that the books would make a profit. It's hard to believe now, in today's day and time - but fantasy had never been a big seller. To the publishers brave enough to publish Tolkien's trilogy, it was wishful thinking that they might manage to somehow "break even."

However, published only in hardback, "The Lord of the Rings" immediately went over quite well with the imagination of the British public. Much to the surprise of both Tolkien and his publishers, his trilogy was in fact making a generous profit. However, the event that insured Tolkien's place in literary history, was in 1965 when his books were illegally published in an pirated paperback version. The publicity generated by an ensuing copyright dispute was instrumental in bringing Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" to the attention of millions of young American readers.

By 1968 "The Lord of the Rings" had gained unofficial cult status among young American readers. Having been one of those young American readers, I likewise vividly remember the widespread counterculture belief that Tolkien was surely a "zoned-out, pot-smoking, acid-dropping guru." What I later learned, much to my amusement, was that nothing could have been further from the truth. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), an Englishman born in South Africa, was a scholar of the English language, specializing in Old and Middle English. Twice Professor of Old English at Oxford, the conservative Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic and a member of the Oxford "Inklings" (the other best known member of the Inklings being C.S. Lewis, author of "The Chronicles of Narnia").

Why such a big hit?
So... how did it come about that Tolkien's trilogy gained such an astounding success and popularity. Tolkien's fantasy books are often described as having an unmistakably "Mercurial," playful quality. At birth Tolkien's Midheaven placement was in the sign of Gemini, ruled by Mercury. In astrology the Midheaven is a point on the chart representing our "public persona" and image. Our Midheaven placement mirrors back the way society tends to see us. Put another way... the Midheaven is how people, who don't know us personally, will tend to see us from their distant and impersonal perspective. When planets are near the Midheaven, the Midheaven then acts as a supercharged funnel taking on the archetypal energies of the planets involved and coloring one's public persona with those planets. Tolkien was born during a rare period of time when the two slowest moving planets, Neptune and Pluto were in conjunction (side by side) in the Zodiacal sign of Gemini.

Neptune - fantasy, illusion, imagination, dissolution
Pluto - power, intensity, control, birth - death - rebirth, transformation, hidden primal forces
Due to slowness of the two planets, the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto is an uncommon event occurring only once approximately every 500 years. While the effects of such a conjunction are most normally of a generational nature, there are exceptions to this general rule. One of those exceptions applies in the case of Tolkien's birth chart, where Neptune and Pluto were conjunct Tolkien's Midheaven in Gemini. (Obviously... there are several other chart factors involved, since not everyone born during a period of four years with a Gemini Midheaven ended up writing a fantasy trilogy that rocked the world.)

Related Birth Data

J. R. R. Tolkien
January 3, 1892
9:00 pm LMT
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Ascendant: 16 degrees 21 minutes of Leo
Midheaven: 0 degrees 11 minutes of Gemini
(Note: there have been several possible times of birth given over the years. For a variety of reasons and considerations, this is the time that appears to make the most sense.)
See the chart

Peter Jackson (Director of the movie)
October 31, 1961
New Zealand (town and time unknown)

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