Hobbit mania grips New Zealand with 'Elf' weatherman presenting forecast in Elvish and politicians referring to the 'fellowship'
New Zealanders greeted with weather forecast for Middle Earth todayPolitician refers in Parliament to 'wizard' and 'slimy bearded creature'100,000 fans arrive at Hobbit film premiere, many dressed in costume
Those who arrived on plane were treated to jet emblazoned with the cast of the new film and a safety briefing video including Hobbits with hairy feetFans camped overnight to secure spots close to the 500m-long red carpet
20:08 GMT, 28 November 2012
As the heart of Middle Earth, who could blame the country for its overzealous support for the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Especially when New Zealand's tourism revenue is to rise by up to 250m annually because of the hit films.
And Hobbit mania erupted in New Zealand's capital today for the world premier of Peter Jackson's new movie, with as many as 100,000 fans – many in costume – gathering to catch a glimpse of the stars.
In full spirit, a weatherman dressed as an elf as he presented the weather in Elvish on a New Zealand breakfast show this morning.
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Good morning Middle-earth! New Zealanders woke up to a rather unusual weather forecast this morning ahead of The Hobbit premiere
The weather map covered Middle Earth and, in particular, the Shire, also known as Hobbiton
The forecast confirmed 'they appear fair the lands, and a season good for wanderers'
And politicians sitting in Parliament burst into raucous laughter as National minister Steven Joyce adapted JR Tolkein's work, referring to a 'fellowship', and comparing a politician to a 'wizard' and another to a 'slimy, bearded creature'.
This morning saw what was thought to be the first ever weather forecast in Elvish, ahead of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiere.
The long-range summer forecast covered Middle Earth and, in particular the Shire – also known as Hobbiton.
The forecast by TVNZ confirmed, 'they appear fair the lands, and a season good for wanderers'.
Host Tamati Coffey's transformation into an Elf happened gradually over the course of the morning's broadcast with the aid of an Elf costume, makeup and wig.
He spoke in Sindarin – a language that was spoken in conversation between various Elves and friends of Elves in Middle Earth.
He had been coached by dialect specialist Leith McPherson, who also coached the Elven cast during filming of The Hobbit Trilogy.
National minister Steven Joyce, pictured, in parliament today as he spoke of a 'fellowship' and compared a politician to a 'silmy, bearded creature'
Thousands of fans crowd along the red carpet of the world premiere of 'The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey' in Wellington today
Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said
broadcasting the Middle Earth weather forecast reinforced TNZ’s 100 per
cent Middle Earth, 100 per cent Pure New Zealand campaign.
He said: 'With
New Zealand’s scenic landscapes starring in The Hobbit Trilogy, the
Elvish forecast reinforces that the big screen imagery is more than a
fleeting glimpse of fantasy, and that the dramatic film locations are
real places here in New Zealand that visitors can enjoy.'
Meanwhile politicians hiked up the entertainment value in Parliament in New Zealand today as Mr Joyce set up MP Tau Henare to ask if there were any potential upcoming film productions in the wake of the Hobbit.
Making their way to Middle Earth: Two fans in costume make their way to the best vantage point ahead of the start of the premiere
Going all out: The fans spared no expense to dress up for the event, with many of them wearing elaborate costumes
Hobbit mania: Tens of thousands flocked to the premiere today in the hope to catch a glimpse of the stars
Joyce said he had heard of one, featuring a fellowship 'led by a tall, thinning grey wizard who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness, consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his “precious”.'
At this point the roars of laughter – including from that 'wizard' – David Shearer – and the 'slimy bearded creature' – David Cunliffe – nearly drowned out Mr Joyce.
But he continued to tell them how it
ended, as reported by One News, saying: 'Their journey is made more
difficult by the presence of a number of goblins still loyal to their
former leader, an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye, watching
from a distance-roughly, between here and New York.'
Leading lady Cate Blanchett heads the glamour as thousands of fans arrive for The Hobbit world premiere in New Zealand
Walking the walk: Cate looked confident and poised as she made her way down the red carpet
Actor Andy Serkis walks out onto the stage at the world premiere in Wellington today as huge crowds snap away with their cameras
The global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today was shown at Wellington's Embassy Theatre.
It is the first of the three movies – prequels to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Stars flew in for the event, which saw Wellington rebranded as 'the Middle of Middle Earth'.
Those that flew in were treated to an amusing Air New Zealand safety briefing video in which Orcs turn off bony iPads, and Hobbits push luggage under the seat with their furry feet.
They may have even flown in on the Boeing-777 decked out in Hobbit livery.
Hobbit star Martin Freeman arrived in Auckland in true movie-star style in a jet emblazoned with his own face.
At Wellington airport, tourists will have seen the staff wearing jokey 'Elf & Safety' vests and a giant Gollum poised disconcertingly over the snack bars.
The Hobbit graphic is the largest of its kind to be placed on the exterior of a jet
The plane was on show to the public at LAX in in Los Angeles before escorting stars to the premiere
Elf n Safety! Two airport security officers wait for cast of the film to arrive in a jet emblazoned with the actor's faces
Air New Zealand crew members share Hobbit touches on Air New Zealand's Middle-earth inspired flight
Tens of thousands of fans gathered in their masses to the premiere. Some
camped overnight to secure spots close to the 500m-long red carpet that
led to the theatre, which was decorated to look like the entrance to a
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson said it was 'emotional and very humbling' to see such a crowd.
Asia manager for Tourism New Zealand, told the BBC he expected tourism
revenue to rise by as much as $400m (over 250m) annually because of the films.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected
Journey altogether cost $500m
(312m) to make and was filmed in New Zealand.
The second film is set
for release in December 2013 and the third in July 2014.
Council put months of planning and just over 512,000 into preparations for the premiere, Radio New Zealand reported, as did
tourism officials looking to boost visitor numbers.
VIDEO: AN ELF PRESENTS THE WEATHER IN NEW ZEALAND