On Wednesday, we went for a wander into town to see the spectacle of the world premiere of The Hobbit movie.
Courtenay Place was alive with lots of happy people – all excited about the movie, the chance to see some stars on the red carpet, and the fact that Wellington put on a stunningly beautiful day for it all.
Lots of people in Gandalf the Grey hats, even more in Hobbit ears. Some dressed up in cloaks and full costumes, despite the heat (poor things!). And others in rather random costumes – it seemed like a few people just took the opportunity to dress up in anything, including a purple lizard, a dalmatian, and someone wearing both Hobbit ears and a cat tail. As you do. The area near the Embassy theater was all decked out for the premiere, with a giant Gandalf and Bag End door above the theater entrance, a huge banner covering the building across the road from it, and a stage set up all covered in grass and looking like the Bag End Hobbit hole on the street outside where bands played and speeches were given later in the day.
We encountered a ring wraith and I couldn’t resist grabbing a photo with him. Pretty impressive, no?
These fellas were lurking above the crowd, looking threatening. (They’re now lurking in the second-floor of Te Papa, for anyone in Wellington who wants to see them up close. Scary details, down to the hairs on their chins.)
The guardians at the start of the red carpet walk:
We didn’t feel up to battling the crowds around the red carpet (especially in the sun, and with a pram) so wended our way along to the Hobbit Artisan Market at Waitangi Park.
The market was lovely – various stalls showing the workmanship of people who worked on the Hobbit (including gorgeous jewellery by Steph Lusted, who makes amazing pieces with things like found objects, bugs and butterflies in them), and lots of cute “Hobbit market” style touches like barrows in corners and a maypole.
We sat on the grass at the market square to watch the start of the red carpet parade on the massive screen there, then wandered home, happy and tired. I’m very much looking forward to going to see the Hobbit movie – are you?