The One Ring of Power, the Master Ring, wrought by the Dark Lord Sauron to conquer the free peoples of Middle-earth, has now been found.
Considered by millions throughout the world to be the greatest epic adventure ever told, J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings™ trilogy chronicles the epic struggle between good and evil for possession of the infamous One Ring. In the hands of its creator, the Dark Lord Sauron, it will give him power to enslave the world. Lost in the ages since his defeat at the Battle of the Last Alliance, in this tiny gold ring is held the destiny of all Middle-earth. It grants great powers to its bearer, invisibility and long life, yet also it corrupts and deceives, luring the wearer to its own dark will, for it is a part of the Dark Lord and his evil is in it. Now this greatest of all lost heirlooms has been found, and in the most unlikely of places. Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from the sleepy Shire has the One Ring, and upon his small shoulders rests the fate of all creation.
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings™ trilogy represented an unprecedented undertaking - three films made simultaneously over a year and a half of production. With the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson brought Tolkein's original vision to the big screen, and for the first time, outside the theatre of our minds. December 2002 saw The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™ grace our screens. And New Zealand Post was delighted to once again be associated with the trilogy.
These very special miniature sheets provided extra depth and dimension to the stamps created for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™. Each stamp was beautifully inset within its scene in the movie - evocative glimpses of darkly, dramatic awe-inspiring action.
First Day Covers
Three first day cover images depicted key scenes from this powerful story of indomitable spirit and extraordinary heroism. The first day covers were available with gummed stamps, a cover with the self-adhesive stamps, or a set of first day covers with miniature sheets.
For a pictorial look behind this epic movie, you would have taken a look at The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™ presentation pack. This impressive package provided essential information on the stamps and the characters, along with the first day cover with gummed stamps, the self-adhesive stamp set and the six miniature sheets - all mounted to archival standards.
The Ultimate Collection - Everything in One Place
New Zealand Post produced an ultimate collection which was a stylishly presented folder of all the available products in the official The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™ stamp issue. It included one each of the six stamps (in gummed and self-adhesive format), a sheet of each denomination, six miniature sheets, the presentation pack, eight first day covers, the self-adhesive stamp booklet and six maximum cards.
Product Listing for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™
Single 40c 'Aragorn and Éowyn' gummed stamp.
A descendant of the lost line of the ancient kings of Men, Aragorn sees before him a high doom. He is fated to one day claim the empty throne of Gondor, should he prove himself worthy of that office. Beautiful and strong, the Lady Éowyn of Rohan is the niece of King Théoden. As her uncle's health began to fail and the influence of his manipulative aide, Wormtongue, grew, Éowyn despaired that the realm of Rohan would fall to evil.
Single 80c 'Orc Raider' gummed stamp.
Orcs are vile black-blooded creatures, the chosen slaves of Sauron, bred out of both elves and men. Mostly short squat and bow-legged, they have individual facial features and piranha-like teeth. Orc have a violent nature. They like blood and raw flesh, and are cannibals and sadists. They lack intelligence, except for a few ruthlessly conniving exceptions. Thuggish and viciously primitive, they hunt in packs. Alone they are pathetic and weak-minded, their strength lies in numbers.
Single 90c 'Gandalf the White' gummed stamp.
Though thought lost by all in his cataclysmic duel with the great Balrog, Gandalf did not indeed pass permanently out of Middle-earth. Returning beyond hope from fire and death to muster the forces of light, the wizard sheds his grey mantle and takes up the title of Gandalf the White. The power that had lain veiled beneath his old grey visage now shines undiluted in the eyes of the pale wizard.
Single $1.30 'The Easterlings' gummed stamp.
Among the thralls of the Dark Lord, not all were Orcs. Many races of men are represented in Sauron's armies of the Third Age, including the savage and violent Easterlings. Having marched from their lands in the distant East, a great host of these richly garbed warriors assemble before the Black Gates of Mordor, there to join the already vast legion within.
Single $1.50 'Frodo - captured' gummed stamp.
Frodo is a most unlikely hero. A Hobbit, small and quiet, but possessing a true and noble spirit, Frodo becomes the bearer of the One Ring when it is left to him by his famous Uncle Bilbo. The task therefore falls to him to do what no one else can, and destroy the ring by casting it into the fires of Mount Doom. The burden of this charge will lie heavy on Frodo, pulling at him constantly as he trods the perilous path to Mordor from whence the One Ring came.
Single $2.00 'The Shield Maiden of Rohan' gummed stamp.
Beautiful and strong, the Lady Éowyn of Rohan is the niece of King Théoden. Despite her noble blood, Éowyn is not one to shy from combat. Adept with sword and shield, the Lady is quite capable of defending herself. When the men of Rohan leave to do battle in defense of their realm, Éowyn longs to be allowed to take arms and join them, though her gender and office forbade it.
|Set of Stamps||
Mint, used or cancelled set of six self-adhesive stamps.
|Set of Miniature Sheets||Set of six mint, used or cancelled miniature sheets.||$9.90|
|First Day Cover||First day cover with gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$7.40|
|First Day Cover||First day cover with self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$7.40|
|Set of Miniature Sheet First Day Covers||Set of six first day covers with miniature sheets affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$12.90|
|Set of Maximum Cards||
Set of six pre-paid postcards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue.
The individual maximum cards in this issue were:
In the battle to save the people of Rohan held up in the stone fortress of Helm's Deep, Aragorn distinguishes himself as the great leader of men he is destined to become.
After the breaking of the Fellowship at Amon Hen, Legolas joins Aragorn and Gimli in the hunt for the Uruk-Hai who captured Merry and Pippin.
Wormtongue and Saruman
Devious servant of the wizard Saruman, Womtongue is an advisor and confidant to King Théoden of Rohan.
Gandalf the White
Returning beyond hope from fire and death to muster the forces of light, the wizard sheds his grey mantle and takes up the title of Gandalf the White.
Sam and Frodo
The loyal friend and gardener of Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee is a stout hearted Hobbit. Though simple in outlook, he is dependable and brave.
Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden is a courageous leader and soldier.
|Self-adhesive Booklet||Booklet containing 10 (4 x 40c, 1 x 80c, 2 x 90c, 1 x $1.30, 1 x $1.50, 1 x $2.00) self-adhesive stamps.||$9.00|
|Presentation Pack||Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps.||$29.95|
|Ultimate Collection||The ultimate collection included the gummed and self-adhesive stamp sets, the six stamp sheets of 25, the self-adhesive stamp booklet, the two first day covers, the set of six miniature sheets, the six miniature sheet first day covers, the six maximum cards and the presentation pack.||$279.00|
|Date of issue:||4 December 2002|
|Number of stamps:||Six|
|Denominations and designs:||40c Aragorn and Éowyn, 80c Orc Raider, 90c Gandalf the White, $1.30 The Easterlings, $1.50 Frodo - captured, $2.00 The Shield Maiden of Rohan|
|Stamps designed by:||Sacha Lees, Weta Workshop, Wellington|
|First day covers designed by:||Sacha Lees, Weta Workshop, Wellington|
|Stamps and self-adhesive booklet printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 25mm x 50mm (vertical and horizontal); Self-adhesive: 26mm x 37mm (vertical and horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: JAC non DC PS1 B1000 PSA stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14.4 x 14|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 3 December 2003.|