Four Races, One Panel

“A Wizard, a Dwarf, a Hobbit, and an Elf, Oh My!” started ten minutes late as the Saturday afternoon capacity crowd packed into Centennial II-III at the Hyatt. When, Billy Boyd, Sylvester McCoy, Craig Parker, and John Rhys-Davies came onstage, the cheers were nearly deafening.

Boyd opened the discussion by talking about his band, Bee Cake, and how they chose the name. While Boyd he was working, Dominic Monaghan, who was on holiday, texted him a picture of a cake made with pollen and completely covered with bees. People bought the cake and just scraped off the bees. When Monaghan sent the picture, he called it bee cake, and Boyd thought that was a great name for a band. The moderator wondered if Bee Cake might perform at Dragon*Con next year, and based on the cheering, everyone seemed to think it was a great idea.

When asked whether they still see or hang out with the cast of The Lord of the Rings. McCoy commented that he’s still with them, since he’s currently filming The Hobbit. “This is the film that never stops!” McCoy joked. Rhys-Davies said that seeing the other cast members at conventions was like a group of old soldiers getting back together to trade war stories. Then Davies told a story about how, when they first started doing conventions, women would ask him if he had Orlando Bloom’s phone number. His standard response was, “No, I do not have Orlando’s number. But if I did, I would give it to you out of sheer malice.”

Craig Parker was asked about playing Haldir and the battle of Helm’s Deep. In the books, Haldir is not present at the battle, but Peter Jackson decided there should be more elf action at the battle. But since Haldir dies in that battle, the moderator asked whether that was a net gain or a net loss for Parker. He replied that he broke even on that one. He did say that he felt like a grumpy hobbit among the extras hired to play the rest of the elves. They were largely models from Norway and averaged around seven-foot-two. Parker is not quite six feet tall, and Jackson would sometimes get him a box to stand on during filming. Or two.

The panel moderator restrained himself from asking McCoy any questions about The Hobbit, knowing that he would be unable to answer. McCoy did show off his Day 127 of filming sweatshirt, but he said he was not even allowed to say the word Hobbit. He mimed being gagged and restrained, and then suggested that he wasn’t really there, saying he’d been “programmed by Weta [Digital].”

Overall, the panel was light and funny, with the guests telling stories and bantering with each other and the audience. Parker at one point pulled out his iPhone to demonstrate how Siri will use the name of your choice. It turns out that Siri calls Parker “Daddy.”

Author of the article

Max sees to the needs of her kitty overlords; polices the grammar on all kinds of published material including signage, menus, and food packaging; and cuddles with her wife while watching her favorite shows (Our Flag Means Death, Killjoys, Sense8, and Doctor Who among them). She continues to be far too excited to be working for the Daily Dragon.