Hobbit followers’ dreams come true
There were tears, gasps of breath, and even a nosebleed for some as The Hobbit’s biggest fans finally arrived at their Waikato promised land.
Liz Garcia, of Mexico, was one of the fans who burst into tears as they stepped from a tour bus and into the Shire at the Hobbiton movie site.
‘‘It’s a dream come true,’’ Garcia said. ‘‘I can’t believe that I can see it all.’’
One fan had a nose bleed but it was unclear if this was related to the strong emotions among the group.
Hobbit fans hit Matamata on Monday as part of a week long tour, first checking out the town’s famous Gatehouse i- Site before heading to Hobbiton.
The actors who played the dwarfs in the latest Hobbit film, John Callum, Stephen Hunter, Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlaw, delighted the international media with a press conference where they said they are not normally recognised in New Zealand, as they are not actually dwarfs. Fans were surprised to see the actors mix and mingle with them.
The group, known as The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, consisted of a group of 75 diehard Tolkien fans, with a friend each in tow, from all over the world who were selected after completing an online competition. The challenges included designing a postcard to send to Sir Peter Jackson, a quiz about the making of the movies in New Zealand and a two minute video that had to have their favourite Middle Earth memory and why they are the biggest Hobbit fan.
‘‘We had about one month to complete the tasks. I started at the end of August and got the call early October that I had got in,’’ English fan Kyle Pedley said.
The tour group were this week visiting locations in Rotorua, Matamata and Queenstown before ending in Wellington tomorrow, where they will be the first people in the world to see the screening of the final in the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Not only will they be the first, they will also get to enjoy the screening with none other than Sir Peter Jackson himself at his production studio, Park Road Post in Wellington.
‘‘To watch the film with Sir Peter Jackson himself is definitely a highlight of the tour,’’ English Hobbit fan Robert Dangerfield said.
There won’t be any spoiler alerts for the rest of the world, as the group is sworn to secrecy, and have signed a disclaimer. The Hobbit Fan Fellowship were divided into four groups, the ‘‘Hobbits’’ from America, the ‘‘ Elves’’ from Asia, the ‘‘Dwarfs’’ from Europe and the ‘‘Wizards’’ who are from Australasia and the rest of the world.
HOBBIT EXPERIENCE: The 150-strong Hobbit Fan Fellowship group outside Matamata’s famous Gatehouse i-Site before heading to Hobbiton.
DWARF STARS: The actors who played the dwarfs in the latest Hobbit film, from left John Callum, Stephen Hunter, Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlaw, say they are not normally recognised in New Zealand.