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DID YOU READ

Christopher Lee talks about Saruman in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

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There are going to be plenty of memorable reappearances by some of our favorite “Lord of the Rings” characters in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” that didn’t happen within the pages of the novel the film is based on. Frodo, for instance, will make a return through some tricky manipulation of the “Lord of the Rings” timeline, and Legolas will make an appearance even though only his father Thranduil actually shows up in “The Hobbit” novel.

Such is the case with Saruman, the white wizard who doesn’t show up in “The Hobbit” story though later J.R.R. Tolkien literature reveals that he was actually pretty busy at the time Bilbo Baggins’ tale was taking place. Actor Christopher Lee will be reprising his role as the head of the Council of Wizards, and he posted a Christmas message to YouTube in which he talks about the upcoming role.

“The Hobbit” takes place many years before “The Lord of the Rings,” so needless to say we’ll be seeing a different side to Saruman than we did in the later stories. According to Lee, Saruman is “indeed, still, Saruman the White” and will be “a good and noble man and the head of the Council of Wizards, as he always was.”

It’s nice that that is how director Peter Jackson has chosen to portray Saruman in the movie. A quick brush up on our “Lord of the Rings” mythology has Saruman attacking the evil Sauron at Dol Guldur to prevent his rise to power. Sounds like a good guy, right? Unfortunately, the context of that attack was for Saruman himself to try to gather more information about the possible location of the One Ring — which Bilbo ends up finding at about the same time as Saruman’s attack — so he’s maybe not as good and wholesome as Lee is making him appear to be.

Discrepancies aside, Lee added that several “Rings” characters won’t be making an appearance in “The Hobbit,” including Aragorn and the Rohirrim. A bummer, to be sure, but that will just be a sacrifice we have to pay to meet some new faces around Middle-Earth.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits theaters on December 24, 2012.

Are you happy to hear we’ll be seeing Saruman in a positive light? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…