Five years in the planning and five days in the passing it's over, but it was fun while it lasted! As the organising committee and other volunteers catch up on their sleep there is much to look back on. The event began with a civic reception as Birmingham's Lord Mayor welcomed the conference and participating societies to Birmingham and it ended with a standing ovation.
Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On was a 5 day conference marking the 50th anniversary of the complete publication of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and the largest gathering of fans and academics from around the world.
Over 750 people gathered in Aston University, Birmingham, England to give or attend papers, lectures, panels, workshops, see 2D and 3D art inspired by LotR, watch plays and skits based (loosely at times) on Tolkien's works, queue for autographs and stay up late at parties.
Neither strikes at airports, costumed-obsessed media, nor pubs running out of beer (and food) stopped them enjoying themselves "The Tolkien Society had no sleep, the Tolkien Society needs no sleep!"
Rhona Beare, Julian Bradfield, Patrick Curry, Colin Duriez, Anke Eißmann, Verlyn Flieger, Christopher Garbowski, John Garth, Tim Kirk, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith, Michael Scott Rohan, Tom Shippey, Viv Wilkes. Event highlights included:
Alan Lee signing his brand new "The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook"
A world exclusive reading from a new book on one of Tolkien's shorter works "Smith of Wootton Major" by American academic Verlyn Flieger
"Farmer Giles of Ham" staged by Birmingham's own Shire Productions
Cambridge Tolkien Society's version of Brian Sibley's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings
Art Show with displays from Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith, Anke Eissman, Tim Kirk and a host of others.
The Dealers Room that busily helped people add to their collections of Tolkien's works, rare books, games artwork and CDs
Old friendships were renewed and new ones kindled between people from around the globe.
Partner Societies: The Tolkien Society; The Mythopoeic Society (USA); Elanor (Belgium); Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft (Germany); Arthedain (Norway); Sociedad Tolkiendili de México (Mexico); Sociedade de Tolkien Brasileira (Brazil); Società Tolkieniana Svizzera & Eldalië (Switzerland); Sociedad Tolkien Española (Spain); The Polish Tolkien Society; Forodrim (Stockholm, Sweden); The Greek Tolkien Society; Skies of Rohan (Idaho & Montana, USA); Proudneck (Italy); Keskmaa Ordu (Estonia); Unquendor (Netherlands); Tol Harndor (Australia); Magyar Tolkien Társaság (Hungary); Conselho Branco Sociedade Tolkien (Brazil); The Cambridge Tolkien Society (UK); The Charles Williams Society; Heren Istarion (New York, USA); Taruithorn: the Oxford Tolkien Society (UK); Österreichischen Tolkien Gesellschaft (Austria); The George MacDonald Society; Beyond Bree (MENSA, USA); Società Tolkieniana Italiana (Italy); Walking Tree Publishers.