Rise of the Fellowship… A Movie About a Convention

“The gaming world has changed. I feel it in the bandwidth. I read it on the blogs. I hear it in the chatroom.”

Sound familiar? It should. That is, if you’ve seen the Fellowship of the Ring. It’s a parody of the opening lines, spoken by the incomparable Cate Blanchett. Upon hearing these opening lines, I thought, “What am I watching? Why do I continue to watch this? This is going to be so lame.” How wrong you were, Andrew. How. Wrong. You. Were.

Rise of the Fellowship is about four friends—much like our four favorite hobbit friends—who embark on a journey. However, their journey does not lead them to Mordor to destroy a ring. Instead, these four friends (Randall, Squirrelly, Nate and Stacey) are trying to get to Orlando, Florida, for a Lord of the Rings Online Convention. In doing so, they hope to write a wrong and participate in (to hopefully win) a LOTRO gaming competition hosted at that convention.

What makes this movie awesome? Along their journey, they encounter situations very similar to situations that characters (not just the four hobbits, but other characters) from the Lord of the Rings trilogy had to face. Every time a parallel scene found its way into the story, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Ringwraiths on the road and all that.

There was one line in particular—while not really a parallel—that truly, honestly, made me laugh so hard that I needed to pause the movie and tweet about it, because there’s so much truth to it. When the four friends, along with their “guide” Melvin (who served as an Elrond/Gandalf parallel) finally arrived at the convention in their white SUV named Shadowfax, Melvin stated, “Conventions are places of heartbreaking beauty. You should see it in the evening light.”

How entirely correct you are, sir. I also think that conventions are places of heartbreaking beauty. I also think that LeakyCon in particular looks its best by the evening light. Wizard rock concerts. Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball.

Shameless plug for LeakyCon: If you’ve never been to a convention, you should really go to LeakyCon. Its greatness is unparalleled. Then again, it’s the only convention I’ve ever attended, so I don’t have a lot to compare it with, but I have been to LeakyCon three times now, and I wouldn’t keep going if I didn’t love it so completely. I am also not just saying this because I work for Leaky. I am saying this because, again, I love LeakyCon. In all honesty, though, if you’ve ever thought about going to a fan convention, this is the year to go, because it is going to be in Orlando (like in this movie!), and we will be spending some of our time at the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park at Universal, which will have just recently opened its Diagon Alley expansion. I am telling you, this is not the year to miss going to LeakyCon. Also, if you do go to LeakyCon, come find me at the main stage. Tell me that you’ve read this. Give me a high “flive”. Thanks.

I could go on and on about LeakyCon, but I’ll stop there. I also don’t want to give away too much of this film’s story so as to not spoil it for anyone. It is not free to watch online, like other Lord of the Rings fan films (Hunt for Gollum and Born of Hope) were, but that’s because this film is not solely based on Tolkien’s text (they were both based on text from the appendices). Instead, the film is a parody that’s more or less loosely based on the Lord of the Rings story. Because of this, the film doesn’t need to be released online only, but can be sold in stores. Thankfully, it is also on Netflix.

Need more convincing to watch this movie? Check out the trailer below.

Okay. Now go to Netflix. Search for “Rise of the Fellowship”. Watch it. I’ll wait.

Watched it? Great. Now share your thoughts about it in the comments! (Thanks!)