“I’m a happy Hobbit! At HobbitCon, HobbitCon! Nummer vier, Nummer vier!”
Just sayin’. Because last weekend, we went to Bonn for HobbitCon 4 – and now we’re here, with an epic case of con blues, to talk about it, just like we did for HobbitCon 3.
Where do I even start? It was awesome. The entire weekend was fantastic, and I don’t think either of us has laughed as much as we did in a long time.
Let’s start with the guests. After all, they’re a huge part of the convention.
Mark Ferguson was Master of the Ceremonies again. He’s been doing that since the very first RingCon – so he not only knows what he’s doing, he also knows how to make it hilarious. And man, do we hope he’ll get to do it for at least a couple of more years! Because, ladies and gentlemen, they (more or less) officially announced that, although there would be no more RingCon or HobbitCon, there would be MagicCon, taking place in April 2017!
Craig Parker (Haldir in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers) was there, too.
And Lori Dungey (Mrs. Bracegirdle in The Fellowship of the Ring) – that makes three. And we finally understood they whole Mini-Mark, Sexy-Mark and Maxi-Mark thing that everyone seemed to know about but us. Mark Ferguson is maxi-Mark. Craig Parker is Sexy-Mark. And that leaves Lori Dungey – Mini-Mark. Apparently it’s a thing they started at Ringcon. And we loved it! So let’s hope they bring them all back for MagicCon (and let’s hope they can all make it. It seems they are fairly busy people).
Jed Brophy (Nori) was back – still as energetic as a five-year-old on Speed, still as much fun. He brought his son, Sadwyn, too; he played Arwen’s and Aragorn’s son, Eldarion, in The Return of the King. He’s grown up quite a bit since then.
Mark Hadlow (Dori) is still as crazy as he was last year – and it was just as awesome as it was then. This time, Dean O’Gorman (Fili) and Graham McTavish (Dwalin), who were initially supposed to be at HobbitCon but had to cancel, made a couple of videos that were shown on the con; videos were they pretended they got kidnapped by Mark Hadlow, who kept them in his basement with nothing but some wine and dog food. These guys are nuts. It’s awesome.
Stephen Hunter (Bombur) was back, too. He was a lot of fun, especially in the Kiwi Comedy Hour.
Adam Brown (Ori) was there as well, with yet another incredible and horrorfyingly hilarious story to tell. That guy has an amazing life.
John Callen (Óin) came back, and he showed us a couple of really cool pictures from his journey on the Hobbit.
William Kircher (Bifur) can still sing, and he can still speak more Kuzdhul than any other human being alive.
John Bell (Bain) came of age, so he even got to drink – legally! – at the party.
Ryan Gage (Alfrid) was one of the newbies at the con. He’s almost unrecognizable without his unibrow and greasy hair! He’s also very sweet and very funny.
John Tui (Bolg) is definitely unrecognizable. Looking at him, you’d never guess he played the ugliest being in the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I guess it wasn’t his looks that landed him the job. Lucky him.
Dallas Barnett (Lutz Farning) did the most memorable thing any of the actors at any con we’ve been to has ever done: he proposed to his girlfriend. On stage. (She said yes, btw. Congratulations!). Oh, and then there was the whole gummibear-eating contest he had with Mark Atkin. That was pretty memorable as well.
Mark Atkin (scale double for Thorin) is indeed not very tall, but he makes up for it in wits and humor. Also, he’s Thorin (!), so yeah, awesome.
Billy Boyd (Pippin) was not actually in any of the Hobbit movies, but he kind of was. He did write and sing that one song at the end of that one movie. You know, the one that always makes everyone cry (if it doesn’t make you cry… well, either there’s something wrong with you, or you’re just very, very healthy). He sang it, at the Closing Ceremony, the monster. That was definitely something. He also called Dominic Monaghan during one of his panels, which was quite fun. And we took a picture with him!
Tommy & Werner Krappweis were at HobbitCon 4 as well, doing a reading. Mister Werner Krappweis embarassed his son so much at the Opening Ceremony that he was as red as a tomato (I’m not even exaggerating! I’ve never seen anyone blush like that). It was hilarious.
Frank Victoria is one of the many people at Weta who was involved in making the movie look awesome. He had a lot of very interesting things to say about the process of creating designing costumes, weapons, beings, masks…
There were two staffers from TheOneRing.net present as well, deej and greendragon, who talked about the One Last Party and the journey of the movies in general. They gave us a cool behind-the-scenes-look, and especially the One Last Party was interesting to see, since we didn’t go but wished we could have.
The choir was back, of course, and they sang most beautifully at the Closing Ceremony. I still have goosebumps, thinking about it. The dance worshop prepared a dance, and they were amazing again. There was a video contest, a costume contest, a book binding workshop that we learned about too late to participate in, and about a million other things that I can’t all list here.
It was awesome. The entire weekend was amazing. It felt like… like going home to a family we didn’t even know we had. So many freaks! So many people dressed in the most amazing cosplays (we were running around as Éowyn and Arwen again, of course), such a fantastic atmosphere. Everyone was having fun, and even the Closing Ceremony, although a tear or two may or may not have been shed over this being the last HobbitCon, was great. It didn’t feel like the end. Not in a bad way, at least. And even though we only went to 3 of these conventions, we still got nostalgia – but we also got a lot of great memories. And we are very much looking forward to MagicCon – April 2017 can’t come soon enough!