Hobbit fans ‘home’
An unexpected journey to the Green Dragon Inn topped off an exclusive fans tour of Hobbiton Movie Set on Saturday.
About 100 tourists from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Ireland and Australia were among the first to see the pub up close.
The fans are here on a two-week dedicated The Hobbit premiere tour and will line the red carpet at the world premiere in Wellington today.
The Ring sisters – their surname a fitting coincidence – Brenna, Barbara and Kathy, came from San Diego to be a part of ‘‘Tolkien history’’.
‘‘We put the deposit down two years ago when we first heard Peter Jackson was going to make the films,’’ Brenna said.
‘‘This is Hobbiton – this is home for us.’’
Many of the fans took on Hobbit attire for their visit and tears were shed as they caught their first glimpses of the Shire.
Six 20-somethings from Melbourne have been saving for the past two years to make the trip to Middle Earth.
‘‘Our whole year has been leading up to this,’’ 24-year-old fan Zac Mennen said.
Mennen first read The Hobbit at age 7 and has been waiting for the movie adaptation since film- ing started on The Lord of Rings trilogy.
‘‘I always knew it was going to happen and then when Peter Jackson came on to direct I knew it was in good hands,’’ he said.
‘‘ The Hobbit is one of the first
the novels I ever remember reading as a kid so [visiting Hobbiton] is massive for me.’’
On Monday, the fans attended a pre-premiere party in Wellington, where Sir Peter Jackson made a surprise appearance.
Following the premier, the tour group will spend eight days visiting The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations, ending up in Queenstown.
Oz to Hobbiton: The Hobbit fans Charlie Allan and Brett Butt, of Melbourne, are on a 14-day premiere tour.