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[icon] A Journey With Frodo:Chap 49: Return of the Conquering Heroes - NotAlone
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Subject:A Journey With Frodo:Chap 49: Return of the Conquering Heroes
Time:11:24 pm
Sorry I haven't been around much lately. We went away for a few days and since returning a couple of days ago most of my online time has been spent catching up with all the new Elijah news and pics and twitterings!!

This chapter originally covered the whole of the ROTK premiere in New Zealand but I decided it was really too long so I've divided it into two parts. Part One covers Elijah's arrival in Wellington up to the day before the actual premiere.

And Frodo and Sam discover that they are not alone;)

For anyone unfamiliar with my pet project, 'A Journey With Frodo' (a work in progress) is the story of Elijah Wood's experience in becoming Frodo, from back in 1998 when the LOTR movies were just a whisper up to the triumphant Oscars of Feb 2004. In reliving Elijah's journey, and mine, I am using everything I can lay my hands on - behind-the-scenes material from the various dvd's, magazine articles, books, internet sites, tv coverage, word-of-mouth info, etc. Previous chapters can be found here "A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"

Hope you enjoy this new chapter

25 November 2003:

Elijah flies to New Zealand for the world premiere of Return of the King! He is accompanied by Billy who takes this pic of Elijah sleeping during the flight:

From Dominion Post:
“The long-haul flight from Los Angeles also didn't seem to have taken a toll on Wood and Boyd.
The world's best-known hobbits returned to Middle Earth with plans to eat out and catch up with friends - and attend the premiere of some movie. Their anonymity will be hard to conceal, with almost everyone in Wellington gearing up for the premiere of Return of the King.
"Be prepared to cry a lot," Wood said when asked about the movie, which he admitted having seen "bits of".
"It's the last of the three and they just keep getting better and better. Everyone's very, very proud of the film."

Elijah’s arrival in Auckland en route for Wellington is also reported by One News:

Voices are heard calling out in welcome:

“Welcome back, Elijah”
“Welcome here, my friend”

28 November 03
Elijah and other cast members attend this event:

From a report by theonering.net:

“About an hour after the doors have opened Viggo arrives and walks through to the small stage, and a Maori group stand up to sing. Viggo is smartly dressed and groomed and is on stage with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to his left (our right) and behind the small square podium are Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) and probably one or two others I've forgotten. Dom Monaghan and Andy Serkis are missing (they apparently haven't arrived in New Zealand yet) and there's no sign of Orlando Bloom, but otherwise it looks like everyone from the movies is here! When the Maori group have sung their opening verses, some introductions from university staff are made and then Peter Jackson gives a short, witty speech, by way of introduction.
Viggo invites the other cast members behind him to join him in a Maori song and suddenly the 'no photography' rule appears to be seriously broken. He and Elijah sing heartily with their arms around each other, while behind him Billy, Bernard and a few others bluff it, either having trouble following the words or just deciding they have lousy singing voices. Understandably, the rendition gets a huge round of applause."

From the University’s Website:

“Director Peter Jackson was apologetic about not being able to speak for long at the Benefit Opening of Viggo Mortensen’s ‘For Wellington’ photographic exhibition in the University’s Museum Building on Friday.

“I have to rush home to try and get this film finished,” he joked to the exuberant crowd, adding: “I joke, I joke – I finished it a day or two ago, it’s fine.”

Dr Jackson, who, along with Fran Walsh, was given an honorary doctorate by the University in 1999, welcomed and thanked the actors, crew and media who had travelled so far to be in Wellington. Those who came to the Museum Building to celebrate with Mr Mortensen included actors Billy Boyd, Elijah Wood, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Astin, Sir Ian McKellen and Liv Tyler, along with composer Howard Shore and producer Barrie Osborne. All later chatted freely with the 600 guests in attendance.”

More from the TORN reporter:

“Jude is going with Viggo and the rest of the gang to The Green Parrot (just round the corner from my hotel) Catherine and I suddenly get included in the party despite us both feeling we're abusing our relationship with the movie cast and crew somewhat. And so it is that we somehow end up in the restaurant on a table that includes Billy, Elijah, Barrie, Bernard, Viggo, Liv (who looks stunning, as ever!), Bruce and others whose names I've probably forgotten. I'm often asked if the much-publicised friendships between the cast and crew members are genuine, or just another marketing story from a very efficient publicity machine. On tonight's evidence they're certainly not hype. There are hugs between friends every few minutes and when Andy Serkis arrives fresh from the airport the enthusiasm he and those around him have at seeing each other again is clearly genuine. I don't think I've seen quite so many guys hugging since I went to my last gay dinner party! What's most telling is the way that it doesn't matter who you are - the horse vet opposite me and the art design guys next to Catherine are greeted as warmly as the biggest celebrity 'name', and evidence suggests that there really are no ego problems amongst the cast members gathered here.”

29 November 2003 – Lord of the Rings Symphony:

Some of the cast including Elijah, Peter and Fran, attend the LOTR Symphony conducted by Howard Shore:

The one and only pic I possess of Elijah at this event:

30 November 2003:

Hanging out at Fidel’s Cafe, one of their favourite eating places:

But the rest of this day appears to have been for interviews and meeting fans:

From the Courier-Mail:

“In a meeting room at a hotel in the centre of Wellington, 24 hours before the premiere will draw a crowd of around 100,000 cheering people into streets ahead of the gala screening, Wood reflects on the fame his role as Frodo has brought.
But first, he wants the reaction of journalists to the film which, officially, is still under wraps before the premiere which has brought cast members such as Sir Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, Bernard Hill, David Wenham and John Noble back to New Zealand, where the three films were made during one extended shoot three years ago.
There's agreement that no one is likely to be disappointed by the conclusion, which Wood admits he found more than a little emotional when he watched it before flying out to New Zealand from New York.
"It's certainly the most epic movie I've seen in my life, and it's so emotional," he says.
"That's what I'm so proud of. I'm really proud that it is such an emotional journey, and that movie audiences have been able to connect with all the characters.
"It's rare in these big blockbuster epics that you have characters who really make you care about them, and can be made to cry about them. I was in tears a lot of times when I was watching."
Hundreds of fans are straining at barriers erected outside the hotel where the actors and film talents such as Jackson, producer Barrie Osborne, writer Philippa Boyce and visual effects and make-up dual Oscar winner Richard Taylor are conducting interviews.
Modestly, but sincerely, Wood says, "I love the fans. We (actors) wouldn't be anywhere without the fans. But I love anonymity too. It's a great rush when you have premieres and people want to see you. I have a lot of pride associated with these movies, but I certainly don't want this kind of attention all the time. It's really quite exhausting. I like anonymity, and quiet," he says.
"I have so many happy memories of making these films; it's filled with great memories," he said.
"Any time I was working with the hobbits was sure to be a pretty memorable thing. We used to take naps in one of our trailers, and I recall there were the four of us sleeping on various parts of the couches. One day we grabbed a couch out of one of the green (hospitality) rooms, and brought a tele outside and we watched a documentary movie in the parking lot sitting on the couch. I remember Sean Bean (Boromir) walked by and looked at us with a pretty disgusted expression."
Wood will show a different side to his acting skills when his latest film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind, written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich), and directed by Michel Gondry (Human Nature), releases in March. He co-stars with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in the off-beat comedy about a woman who has had treatment to have all memories of a romantic relationship deleted from her mind. But for now, he has to greet and meet the fans chanting "Frodo" as he leaves the hotel. Frodo, if not the king, has returned. “

I always think of the interviews from that day as 'The Paisley Shirt Interviews'!! One of these included a series of quick yes/no questions:

Are you a vegetarian? NO
Could you live in NZ? Yes

Ever been caught doing it in a public place? No. [Not sure what relevance that question had!!]
Would you ever work with Peter Jackson again? Hell yes!

Do we get too excited in NZ about these movies? Um, that's questionable.
Do you still surf? Yes. It's been a while though.

Did you read the book before you were part of the movie. No.
Did you keep any props from the set? Yes.

If you could be any other character in the film which one would you be?
Either Gollum or Aragorn.
Frodo as Gollum, now there's a twist!.
Yeah, It makes a lot of sense as well. There's a great connection.

Have you ever done anything illegal?
Are you in love with anyone special?
Too many people.

Are you sick of talking about the movie?
No, no. And mainly I think because every time that we do sit down and talk about the film it's about each consecutive part of the journey so there's always something new to talk about and we're so passionate about these movies.

Was there ever a time that you felt your character was too earnest because he had so much courage to play? The whole of the last film is all about valour and courage and even in the parts that aren't sad there's so much courage that just grabs me.

I believed in his journey, I believed in what Frodo was trying to accomplish and so therefore I don't think that I ever felt he was too earnest, I believed in him and I loved the character - I think you fall in love with the character that you play, I certainly believed in where he was going and what he had to accomplish.

We need a modern day Frodo really, don't we? One to change the world the way it is at the moment.

My Journey continued ...

It was around this time that some UK cinemas starting showing the extended versions of FOTR and TTT in cinemas in readiness for the coming of ROTK – much to my delight!! So we saw FOTR one weekend, TTT the following weekend. It was great to see those extra bits on the big screen.

And there was now such a wealth of magazine articles cropping up that it was hard to keep up with it all. One of my favourite LOTR articles around back then was in ‘Premiere’ (who could resist a mag that promised to reveal ‘Frodo’s Darkest Secret’?). This is one of the many shots from that mag:

Frodo's Story continued ...


The thieves. The thieves. The filthy little thieves.

Where is it? Where is it? They stole it from us. My precious.

Curse them. We hates them. It’s ours it is, and we wants it!

Andy: “We must have done that fight about thirty times that day, do you remember?”
Elijah & Sean: “Yes”.

”Things would have gone ill for Sam, if he had been alone. But Frodo sprang up, and drew Sting from its sheath. With his left hand he drew back Gollum’s head by his thin lank hair, stretching his long neck, and forcing his pale venomous eyes to stare up at the sky.
‘Let go, Gollum!’ he said. ‘This is Sting. You have seen it before once upon a time. Let go, or you’ll feel it this time! I’ll cut your throat.’
” (The Two Towers ~ The Taming of Smeagol)

PJ: "The image of Frodo with the sword at Gollum’s throat while Gollum’s got Sam is straight out of an Alan Lee painting - we actually had Alan’s painting on the set – its one that he did for the Tolkien books a few years ago – and I always loved that painting and I just said “I want to recreate this” and Alan was actually there on the day and we worked to get the actors to push themselves into the same positions as on the painting."

This is Sting!

You’ve seen it before. Haven’t you? Gollum!!

Release him, or I’ll cut your throat!

E: “You are an absolute blessing to that character though, the journey that you had bringing that thing to life, not only physically but in terms of all the meetings that you took, you know, the character development that you did with the animators, it was just – you’re a marvel, Andy!”

Sean: “It’s ironic you pay him that compliment while watching this scene!!”

It burns. It burns us!

It freezes!

Nasty Elves twisted it. Take it off us!

Quiet you!

It’s hopeless. Every orc in Mordor’s going to hear this racket!

Let’s just tie him up and leave him.

That would kill us. Kill us!!

It’s no more than you deserve.

“It seemed to Frodo then that he heard, quite plainly but far off, voices out of the past:
What a pity Bilbo did not stab the vile creature, when he had a chance!
Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need.
I do not feel any pity for Gollum. He deserves death.
Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give that to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
‘Very well’ he answered aloud, lowering his sword. ‘But still I am afraid. And yet, as you see, I will not touch the creature. For now that I see him, I do pity him.”
(The Two Towers ~ The Taming of Smeagol)

Maybe he does deserve to die.

But now that I see him, I do pity him.

We be nice to them if they be nice to us. Take it off us!

We swears to do what you wants. We swears.

There’s no promise you can make that I can trust.

We swears to serve the master of the precious.

We will swear on … on the precious!! Gollum! Gollum!

The Ring is treacherous.

It will hold you to your word.

Yes … on the precious.

I don’t believe you!

Get down. I said down!

-He’s trying to trick us.

If we let him go he’ll throttle us in our sleep!

You know the way to Mordor?


You’ve been there before?


You will lead us to the Black Gate.

PJ: “The extra footage here gives a lot more clarity to the concept that Gollum’s actually leading them out of these rocks – I kind of like the idea that he’s become this kind of weird guide for them.”

To the Gate, to the Gate, to the Gate Master says. Yes!

No, we won’t go back. Not there. Not to him. They can’t make us. Gollum! Gollum!

But we swore to serve the master of the precious.

No! Ashes and dust and thirst there is. And pits, pits, pits. And Orcses. Thousands of Orcses. And always the Great Eye watching, watching.

Hey! Come back now. Come back!

There, what did I tell you? He’s run off, the old villain.

So much for his promises.

This way, Hobbits. Follow me!!

Modestly, but sincerely, Wood says, "I love the fans. We (actors) wouldn't be anywhere without the fans. But I love anonymity too. It's a great rush when you have premieres and people want to see you. I have a lot of pride associated with these movies, but I certainly don't want this kind of attention all the time. It's really quite exhausting. I like anonymity, and quiet," he says.



comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Time:2012-06-07 11:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this chapter! I love the pictures - the Paisley Shirt is one of my favorites ; ) You do such a great job with this, and this entire 'Journey' means a lot to me. I always love coming on here and seeing a new chapter posted since it always brings back happy memories. I'm looking forward to the next installment!

- Lindsey
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Time:2012-06-08 08:29 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - I'm so glad to know you're enjoying 'Journey':)
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Time:2012-06-07 11:18 pm (UTC)
Gah, every chapter of this project is such a gift! Thank you so much. It's so wonderful to revisit this time.
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Time:2012-06-08 08:31 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - so glad you enjoyed this chapter:)
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Time:2012-06-08 12:05 am (UTC)
I love how he says he "believed in Frodo's journey". We all do, or we wouldn't treasure the books, characters, fanfic, and Quest so deeply.

He and Elijah sing heartily with their arms around each other

Wouldn't we love to hear that!

Thank you again for sharing these memories, precious interviews and pics,
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Time:2012-06-08 08:33 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, SB - so glad you enjoyed this chapter:)
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Time:2012-06-08 01:32 am (UTC)
You always manage to find pictures I've never seen. The one Billy took on the plane is so sweet.

I love these posts, thank you. Can't stop smiling now. :D
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Time:2012-06-08 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm very fond of that pic too:) Many thanks, Addie:)
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Time:2012-06-08 04:44 am (UTC)

Thank you once again for your recapture of this time.

Quote : "Some of the cast including Elijah, Peter and Fran, attend the LOTR Symphony conducted by Howard Shore:

The one and only pic I possess of Elijah at this event:


That's one more than I have of this event, LOL ! But you said you have only one pic of this event, yet the last one of Elijah with the fans, watermarked by "Elendriel R.O." does NOT show Elijah in his leather jacket and his paisley shirt. It rather seems to me Elijah is wearing the dark (black ?) velvet jacket and the dark red shirt of the LOTR Symphony event ! So it may be that you own TWO pictures from this event, only that you never realised it !


- Karin.

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Time:2012-06-08 08:41 pm (UTC)
>>It rather seems to me Elijah is wearing the dark (black ?) velvet jacket and the dark red shirt of the LOTR Symphony event !<<

Ha ha! Well spotted Karin! I only noticed that just as I was having a final read through before posting last night! You're right, of course - that was definitely not taken on the 'paisley shirt day', but most probably at the Symphony. I didn't have time to edit it last night but definitely will do at some stage:)
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Time:2012-06-08 07:13 am (UTC)
For people like me who came in to late for these events live, this is wonderful Thank you
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Time:2012-06-08 08:43 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome Spring - glad you enjoyed it. :) *hugs*
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Time:2012-06-08 08:11 am (UTC)
Wonderful post, Paulie! This really brings back memories I will always treasure. It was the best of times. Thank you. *teary smile*
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Time:2012-06-08 08:44 pm (UTC)
Many thanks Annie - so glad you enjoyed it:) The best of times, indeed!
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Time:2012-06-08 12:55 pm (UTC)
“I believed in him and I loved the character - I think you fall in love with the character that you play, I certainly believed in where he was going and what he had to accomplish.”
That is one of my favorite quotes from all the interviews Elijah gave. I wonder if he still feels that way with every new character he plays. He certainly always seems to understand and empathize with the character.

I loved the pics of him with fans, especially the one where he signs his autograph on the sole of a (hobbit?)foot.

Your screen-caps from the taming of Gollum scene are great. That scene is so difficult to capture. It’s so dark that you can hardly see anything before you have adjusted the image. They came out really well.

I love how you chose paragraphs from the book and present them along with the film dialogue. Thank you so much for another wonderful chapter!
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Time:2012-06-08 09:03 pm (UTC)
I love Elijah's quote too and he's made so many other similar heartfelt comments about Frodo, at that time and in the years since then. Although I'm sure he 'falls in love' with all his other characters at the time he's portraying them (not so sure about Kevin or Frank!!!) I do believe Frodo has a very special place in his heart. I mean, Frodo really has shaped his life - I'm sure Elijah would agree with that. I always remember that very early David Letterman interview when Elijah said "I've taken Frodo on as a part of me".

Someone on LJ had a story about the signing of the hobbit foot - it escapes me at the moment but I really must try to find it.

You're right - that scene with Gollum was very difficult to capture because there's so much action going on. There's no point in posting a load of blurry images as that's just boring so I had to try and pick out a few that were clear enough to show the basics of what was happening.

Many thanks for your comments Ambree - glad you enjoyed this chapter:)
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Time:2012-06-08 10:57 pm (UTC)
such a labor of love......no, Paulie, i don't mean the movie(s)...I mean these wonderful entries. Thank you! jan(uwine)
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Time:2012-06-09 07:32 pm (UTC)
Many thanks Jan. Glad you're still enjoying 'Journey':)
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Time:2012-06-10 07:36 am (UTC)
:)..thanks again P!! The premiere seems like it was done yesterday..great memories!! v
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Time:2012-06-10 08:48 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! It does sometimes feel as if it was only yesterday:)
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Time:2012-06-10 12:24 pm (UTC)
Good heavens, what a whippersnapper the lad was. I actually opened my mouth as the first photo of him waving in the tan jacket and striped tie came into view, the one directly under the ticket to the exhibition of Viggo's photographs, he was such a wisp of a thing, like a thin boy. Not that he isn't still slight, but he looks more muscled now, and older.

I caught up watching the production videos on Peter Jackson's 'Hobbit' blog last week (such a gift, those videos) and saw the one that had a lot of footage of Elijah costumed as Frodo, talking about being back in New Zealand, walking around the reconstructed Hobbiton set. It was the first time I've been able to see that Elijah Wood has truly grown up. Not just grown up internally, he did that when he was young. He's grown up externally. He still looks like Frodo in costume, and I wouldn't know the difference in a still. It was seeing him moving and talking that made me take notice. Perhaps all the more because he was costumed as Frodo. I could really tell the difference between his current behind-the-scenes Frodo and the one we saw in the DVD extras ten years ago. The way he moves is more angular, less lithe and springy, but mainly it's the voice. He now has the voice of someone who is an adult -- or at least the voice of someone who's been chain-smoking for years and years.

This was another enjoyable installment, Paulie. Thank you. And the section with the screencaps -- with book quotes, film script and quotes from the cast -- was excellent.
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Time:2012-06-10 09:00 pm (UTC)

Many thanks Mechtild - glad you enjoyed this chapter.
Elijah was extremely slight. I think I notice it most in the pics from Cannes when he was 20. He's wearing a short-sleeved shirt and his arms look like matchsticks!! The first time I saw him I was amazed at how petite he was - and in a way it just seemed to add to his charm. I think in recent years he's made a real effort to build up his arm muscles and he's certainly succeeded!! It's funny, when you follow someone as closely as I follow Elijah it's the same as with members of your own family - you don't notice them ageing because it's so gradual. Then when you see pics taken years ago you can see that they have. When he was young and so exquisitely beautiful I dreaded the thought of him getting older but I think in many ways he's just as beautiful now, just in a more mature way:)
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Time:2012-06-10 10:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, he hasn't lost his looks. I didn't mean that. But he has changed. More in his manner and speech than in his looks.

I'm really looking forward to seeing The Hobbit, by the way. I'm looking forward to seeing "the old guard", of course -- Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchet and whoever else is in The Hobbit that was also in LOTR. But more I'm looking forward to seeing the film for itself, a movie of The Hobbit. The production videos got my enthusiasm going. Not enough to hang out on the messageboards, but enough to sharpen my appetite.
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Time:2012-06-12 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oh I adore this!!!
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Time:2012-06-20 10:12 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad!! :)
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Time:2012-06-17 07:44 pm (UTC)
What a pleasure to see and remember all this!
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Time:2012-06-20 10:13 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it:)
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Subject:Volume 94/Issue 10
Time:2012-06-22 04:04 pm (UTC)
User caras_galadhon referenced to your post from Volume 94/Issue 10 saying: [...] documentary epic is Chapter 49, Return of the Conquering Heroes, Part 1 [...]
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[icon] A Journey With Frodo:Chap 49: Return of the Conquering Heroes - NotAlone
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