NewsWire: Tolkien fans near end of ordeal - www.aftenposten.no

Tolkien fans near end of ordeal
www.aftenposten.no - October 27, 2003

A nearly three-week wait for premiere tickets in unusually cold weather ended Monday for Norway's most fanatic Lord of the Rings fans. Their quest was over when tickets finally went on sale, and the currently 144-strong crowd of hobbits, orcs, elves and other assorted creatures could return to warmer homes.

The wait wasn't easy, as October has been freezing, and the faithful did not always get electricity to power the utilities scattered around their makeshift camp on the doorstep of Oslo's Colosseum Cinema.

"Yet again we behave in exemplary fashion and still the fire department denies us the use of open flame. If they see anyone breaking the ban, they will clear the queue. Now I'm mad," Emil BC Johansen told Aftenposten's Oslo Pulse late last week.

As night fell a nearby elf raised his sword in the air and vowed that he and his descendants would hold this ground until the world ends. Other members of the camp shuffled off to a nearby gas station to take advantage of the heated steps there.

"Get a life," shout various passersby.

"They don't know what they are talking about. This is so social, so pleasant. Many from last year's queue have moved in together. Eccentrics have to stick together," said Anette Hellaa Christiansen, number seven in the queue.

The head of the Colosseum offered the fanatics a treat to encourage them in their long vigil. Jafar Altememy ushered them in to let them see the trailer for the Return of the King - twice - and turned on the power so that the camp could have some hours of light and heat. This gesture ended in frustration, though, when a cable failed and the dark and cold returned for the night.

A tent full of nazguls dispersed and nine of them moved into the night, screaming and flashing swords. The more human members of the crowd explained that they took time off from school or jobs to wait here. Some invested their entire summer vacation time.

When daylight broke, a few fortunate souls had friends or family arrive to hold their spot so that they could take a break to shower or shop. Long breaks without a substitute ended in expulsion from the queue.

Arne Bunken, 71, turned up so that his son could head out for classes.

"I'm not interested in these kind of films, just my son," Bunken explained.

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