Born of Hope: The Ring of Barahir is a 2009 fantasy-adventure fan film directed by Kate Madison and written by Paula DiSante (as Alex K. Aldridge) based on the appendices of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1954–55 novel The Lord of the Rings. The film centres on the communities affected by Sauron's war; the Dúnedain bloodline; and the story of Arathorn II and his relationship with Gilraen as they would be the parents of Aragorn, who became a key leader against Sauron.
|Born of Hope|
|Directed by||Kate Madison|
|Written by||Christopher Dane|
|Screenplay by||Paula DiSante (as Alex K. Aldridge)|
|Based on||The Lord of the Rings|
by J. R. R. Tolkien
|Produced by||Kate Madison|
|Edited by||Christopher Dane|
|Music by||Tobias Bublat|
Toby and Cody McClure
Actors at Work Productions
In the late Third Age, Sauron's power is increasing, and he has sent his Orcs to seek out the remnants of the bloodline of Elendil, kept alive in the Dúnedain. Dirhael, his wife Ivorwen and their daughter Gilraen are fleeing from an attack on their village when they are ambushed by Orcs on a forest road, and saved by a group of rangers led by Arathorn. Not having any place safer to go, the refugees go with Arathorn to Taurdal, the village led by his father and Chieftain of the Dúnedain, Arador. While there, Arathorn and Arador ponder the orcs' motives after finding various pieces of jewelry on their bodies. During her stay in Taurdal, Gilraen falls in love with Arathorn.
In light of the attacks on surrounding settlements, Arador leads his forces on a campaign against the orcs in the area in an attempt to restore peace to the region. Meanwhile, he sends Arathorn separately in an attempt to determine the meaning behind the attacks. Both are successful, and Arathorn discovers the orcs are serving Sauron, who seeks the Ring of Barahir. Arathorn and Gilraen receive Arador's blessing to be wed, but Arathorn cannot summon the courage to ask Dirhael for his daughter's hand. Arador is summoned to Rivendell to seek Elrond's counsel, and the wedding is postponed until his return. Arathorn eventually confronts Dirhael, and receives permission to marry his daughter. Arathorn and Gilraen are married.
A year later, Arador is killed by a hill troll in the Coldfells, making Arathorn the chieftain of the Dúnedain. Gilraen becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, Aragorn. Taurdal knows peace for a while, until Elladan and Elrohir come with news from Rivendell. Elrond has sensed that danger is once again threatening the region, and they request that Gilraen and Aragorn be brought back to Rivendell for safekeeping, as is the tradition with all Dúnedain heirs to the chiefdom. Before Arathorn and Gilraen can come to a decision, orcs attack the village. They are beaten off; however, many Rangers fall, and Arathorn's closest friend, Elgarain, is mortally wounded while defending Gilraen. Arathorn then leads the remaining Rangers in pursuit of the stragglers. They are successful, but Arathorn is mortally wounded in the process. Without a chieftain capable of leading them, the Dúnedain abandon Taurdal and go into hiding in small secret settlements in the forests of Rhudaur, while the Elven twins, Elladan and Elrohir, bring Aragorn with his mother Gilraen to Rivendell, and safety.
- Christopher Dane as Arathorn
- Beth Aynsley as Gilraen, Arathorn's wife
- Iain Marshall as Arador, Chieftain of the Dúnedain and father of Arathorn
- Andrew McDonald as Dirhael, Gilraen's father
- Philippa Hammond as Ivorwen, Gilraen's mother
- Howard Corlett as Halbaron*, Arathorn's right hand and de facto leader of the Dúnedain after his death
- Kate Madison as Elgarain*, a Ranger and friend of Arathorn
- Matt and Sam Kennard as Elladan and Elrohir, twin sons of Elrond
- Luke Johnston as Aragorn, son of Arathorn
- Danny George as Dirhaborn*, a Ranger
- Amani Johara as Evonyn*, Halbaron's wife
- Raphael Edwards as Mallor*, a Ranger
- Ollie Goodchild and Lars Mattes as Halbarad, Halbaron's son
- Phoebe Chambers and Amylea Meiklejohn as Maia*, a refugee escaping from the orcs, adopted by Halbaron and Evonyn
- Tom Quick as Dorlad*, Gilraen's brother who was killed in the raid on their village
- Richard Roberts as Shaknar*, orc leader, chief villain of the film
- Lewis Penfold as Gorganog*, orc commander during attack on Taurdal
- Daniel Tyler-Smith as Maia's father*, killed during an orc raid
*Original characters created for the film.
The idea for the film was born in 2003 when director/producer/actor Kate Madison wanted to submit a film for the Tolkien Fan Film Exhibition. Originally a modest plan, it grew until April 2006 when the first test shoot occurred. Principal photography started in June 2008, and continued through 2009. The goal was to debut at Ring*Con 2009, which it did. It was later streamed for free on various video websites including DailyMotion and YouTube. The film had to be non-commercial to avoid legal conflict with the commercial rights holders.
Madison spent her life savings of £8,000 on the film. An extra £17,000 was generated by posting a trailer online, raising the budget to £25,000. Born of Hope was made over a period of six years, using a cast of 400, who would camp in tents so as to be able to shoot early.
Christopher Dane (Arathorn) ended up getting very involved in the process of making the film, contributing to the script as well as handling the editing of the final product. Kate Madison, who directed and produced the film, was cast as Elgarain as well, giving her a heavy workload during the shooting.
Wendy Ide, writing for The Times, gave the film a positive review. She awarded it 4 stars out of 5, calling it a "near note-perfect homage to Jackson’s vision for the Rings". She also noted that the film is "very well cast" and that "practically all the performances have a skill level far above that which is usually evident in low-budget cinema".
Tom Lamont, writing in The Observer, stated that Born of Hope was the most credible adaptation among the many fan films based on The Lord of the Rings. He agreed with a reviewer in another newspaper who had written "Every shot of this film was made with love, and it shows". He admired the "stirring" original music for orchestra, and noted that in March 2010, the film had reached almost a million hits at online streaming media.
The Tolkien scholar Robin Anne Reid noted that Born of Hope was unusual among fan films in including more than "one or two women". She states also that the film focuses on a story barely present in The Lord of the Rings, in a process that the scholar Henry Jenkins called "refocalization". She states that this allows attention to be directed to "minor or underused characters", or to romantic relationships.
- Ide, Wendy (12 February 2010). "Born of Hope". The Times.
- Reid, Robin Anne (2009). "The Hunt for Gollum: Tracking issues of fandom cultures". Transformative Works and Cultures. 3. doi:10.3983/twc.2009.0162.
- Martin, Nicole (27 October 2008). "Orcs are back in Lord of the Rings-inspired Born of Hope". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- Born of Hope - Cast
- Kermode, Jennie (30 December 2009). "Ring Thing (interview)". Eye for Film. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Alberto, Maria (2016). ""The effort to translate": Fan Film Culture and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien". Journal of Tolkien Research. 3 (3).
- Anon (11 February 2010). "Lord of the Rings prequel for just £25,000". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 14 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- Dollard, Emma (2009). "Interview with Chris Bouchard". Transformative Works and Cultures. 3. doi:10.3983/twc.2009.0168. ISSN 1941-2258.
- Lamont, Tom (7 March 2010). "Born of Hope – and a lot of charity". The Observer. The Guardian. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "2010 Winners". London Independent Film Festival. Retrieved 16 April 2013.