An announcement on TORn that news would break
that resulted in an uproar when it did not involve major news, possibly concerning the Hobbit films, as fans expected
The information in this section deals specifically with information presented on or about TORn.
It is not meant to be a comprehensive look at any topic.
On November 20, 2009, TORn reported receiving a "mysterious email" followed by a phone call that apparently said, "Something is coming," and that fans should watch TORn and the official LOTR movie site (www.lordoftherings.net) to find out what it would be. The date this announcement would appear - December 8th, 2009 - was formatted in very large, bold text. Readers were invited to speculate what this "something" could be on the message boards. 1
Late in the day on December 7, 2009, TORn posted a News Article saying the "event" had been postponed for a week. This article revealed the source to be Warner Brothers but indicated TORn did not know what the announcement would be. The new date - December 15th, 2009 - was again, formatted in very large, bold text. And, again, readers were invited to speculate on the message boards.
Many fans in that thread expressed disappointment, 2 frustration, 3 annoyance, 4 and anger. "WB: I don't need promises in advance for these sorts of things. Just tell me when you've got something. That way it's impossible to irritate me to death before the movie comes out. If I'm dead, you can't collect my ticket money. Very bad for business." 5 One member said it was "heading in the direction of a massive PR backfire" especially if this was merely an announcement of a LOTR Blu-ray release instead of important news about the highly anticipated Hobbit films, 6 and another suggested TORn had made the whole thing up. 7
On December 14, 2009, Warner Home Video announced that the LOTR trilogy would be released on Blu-ray in April, 2010. 8 Although some fans thought this might be the big announcement being touted by TORn, 9 others weren't sure, since it wasn't yet December 15th. 10 11 Fans continued the debate over what this "something" could be. Suggestions included casting revelations, debut of a Hobbit film website, or greenlight status for the Hobbit films. 12
By midnight GMT, no announcement had been made and emotions were running high in the message board thread: So is there going to be an announcement or what?. Message Board Moderator and TORn Staffer Altaira made a plea for calmer emotions by saying "The studio emailed Xo directly about this, so rest assured TORn will be one of the first to know, and when we find out what the announcement is it will be up on the Home Page in nanoseconds." 13 Although many Message Board posters reserved their anger for Warner Brothers, both in the "So is there going to be an announcement or what?" thread and, reportedly at other Tolkien forums across the internet, 14 outrage and frustration was aimed - by some - not only at Warner Brothers but at TORn for seeming to be part of the promotion of the "something." 15 The online blog, SFX discussed the promotion on TORn and the eventual "no-show" of a "something." The blogger wrote, "TheOneRing.net did a poll on their website, one of the answers to the question “What do you think is going to be announced on 8th / 15th December?” was “Nothing”. I was hoping to tell you how many people ticked that box, but the poll has been removed from the site and does not appear in the Poll Archive. I think somebody is feeling a little foolish." 16
Eventually, it was decided the announcement of a LOTR Blu-ray set must have been the "something" that was coming. TORn posted this on its Facebook page, December 15, "Well, its the end of the 15th - and no announcement. Hrm. Maybe it was the Blu-Ray announcement. Which is cool and all...but we want some Hobbit casting news!" But no similar announcement was made on the site's Home Page. 17 Asked if TORn knew the Blu-ray announcement was the "something," Altaira responded "All we knew was exactly what we passed along: 'something' (not our choice of words) was coming, and we knew the date(s) we were given. When the Blu-ray announcement came, it was technically too early, and we'd received no confirmation that it was, indeed, *THE* 'something.' So, lacking a clear message from WB that Blu-ray was it, we didn't confirm it to our readers because we *couldn't* confirm it: we had no confirmation ourselves. So, we let a day pass, then another, waiting and hoping for a confirmation that we never received." 18
3 December 7th, 2009 ~ TORn Message Board Post by Milknut: ⇑
4 December 8th, 2009 ~ TORn Message Board Post by Miska: Ok, I know it is a very complicated process, but I am now seriously annoyed.... ⇑
9 December 14th, 2009 ~ TORn Message Board Post by Nazgul: as many of you predicted, it was the blu-ray announcement :( ⇑
12 December 14th, 2009 ~ TORn Message Board Post by Growlithe the Grey : Something = casting revelation, Hobbit website, Hobbit greenlight, etc ⇑
18 December 18th, 2009 ~ TORn Message Board Post by Altaira: The short answer is: no. This was a case of "too little, too....early" ⇑