Idea No.


Lord of the Rings Party



January 2006


Sarah in Maryland, NSW, Australia

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My husband's favourite book and movie series is The Lord of the Rings and so I chose this theme for his 30th birthday. Invitations were handmade in navy and burgandy with a gold ring (made out of a small metal ring such as you find on a keyring and spray painted gold) on the front. Half of the invited guests were told to come as the benevolent races and the other half as the malevolent races of Middle-Earth. Close friends were asked to come as specific characters from the story particularly the character they most looked like. Costume ideas were sent out with the invites outlining what creatures looked like, their clothing etc. We hired a large old fashioned hall and were amazed to see EVERYBODY turn up in suitable costume. We had decorated the hall with bright banners made out of multi-coloured fabric, shields with the emblem of either the kingdom of Rohan or the Kingdom of Gondor stuck on and even Treebeard (the talking tree type creature- made out of a huge cardboard cylinder and paper mache before painted). One side of the hall was set up with chairs for the benevolent creatures and the other with chairs for the malevolent creatures. A large space was left in the middle for the games (tasks) to take place. Two friends (dressed as Gandalf and Sauron) were MCs and so ran the tasks. Benevolent battled against malevolent throughout the night and scores were kept up on a screen on a wall using a data projector. The data projector was also used to show snippets from the movies. A friend operated the data projector, lighting and a smoke machine. The first task was called Bilbo's Birthday Firework Celebration. For this task each side raced to be the first to light all of their sparklers, lighting them off each other all the way down the line. After this was dinner which was jacket potatoes, salad, bread rolls and an entire pig cooked on a spit roast (this spit was hired from the local butcher where the pig was purchased). Everyone was excited to see the pig turning on the spit. The second task was the Seeking of the Ring. Teams took it in turns to be the keepers of the ring. Ten people from the one team were the keepers. They sat in chairs in a circle holding a string with a plastic ring slipped on it before being tied up into a big circle of string. One person from the other team was the seeker of the ring. They stood in the centre of the circle trying to guess who had the ring. The keepers would continuously slide their hands back and forth on the string, passing the ring on or keeping it hidden in thier hand. The seeker got three guesses to find the ring and would lose points for thier team if they guessed incorrectly and gain points for each correct guess. After the seekers guesses were over teams swapped sides so that the keepers had a chance to be on the seeking side and vice versa. Dessert was served next (apple pies with cream or custard)while a special book was passed around to write messages to the birthday boy. Each page of the book had a space for a photo of the guest (to be taken on the night in thier costume) and a space for thier message under thier photo. The third task was called Mine Challenge (for in the mines of Moria. In this game an empty grid was drawn on the floorboards in chalk. Teams had to find their way to the other side of the grid (mines) by leaping on one square in each row. The MCs had a list of squares that contained hidden dangers. If you stepped on a dangerous square your turn was over and you had to start again. Each time you were on a safe square you could continue on to the next row. Players could not step on any of the lines of the grid or their turn would also be over. Lost in the Marshes was the next task. During this task teams would take turns. The team with the highest score so far went first. Three people from the team were blind folded and eight people were chosed as dangers such as Gollum, Ringwraiths, orcs, sinkholes or the eye of Sauron. Each of these dangers were told to stand in a predetermined place in the area set out for the task. They had to make a noise or say a line suitable to what danger they were (eg. Gollum said "My precious") whenever one of the blindfolded people came near them in order to warn them of the danger. Blindfolded players took turns to walk through the area safely without touching one of the dangers. During this game all guests must remain absolutely quiet even if they are not playing. The next task was Shelob's lair. This was a large paper mache spider(Shelob) pinata made with newspaper and flour and water with old black stockings stuffed with toy stuffing for legs. The first team (teams took it in turns) to slay (break open) Shelob won the points and the contents of the pinata (such as plactic rings, lolly eyeballs, teeth etc.). Guests got into character, using the swords they had brought as part of their costume as sticks to hit the pinata. The last task was the battle of Minas Tirith. In this task each team was given a sword made out of foam rubber. Each person on each team was given a number eg. numbered from one to ten. For this game I (dressed as Galadriel) gave the MCs a secret note from Galadriel instructing the Mcs (Gandalf and Sauron) that they must participate in the task as well! For the task I would call out a number and the two with that number (one from each team) would pick up their team's sword, run to the middle and attempt to be the first person to strike the other with the foam rubber sword. Note: To avoid injury it is best to organise numbers so that people are competing against someone of a similar size and strength as themselves. Another secert task was to be the first team to spot Gollum during the night. An eleven year old boy dressed as Gollum for me and made a sudden appearance during the night. Teams had to be the first to blow a party horn (I had given them) when they saw Gollum in order to gain bonus points for their team. Points could also be taken away during the night for any cheating during the games. The cake was a ring shaped carrot cake with white chocolate icing and Lord of the Rings metal collectable badges decorating it. A great night was had by all and people are still raving about the party to their friends. Unfortunately in the end evil triumphed over good, winning the night with 240 points to 180!!!

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