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February 3, 2016 / cmfletcher


23HobbitonToday was Hobbiton, and it was amazing. Apparently the set for Hobbiton for the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) was pretty much taken down- they did actually set fire to the Green Dragon for that scene (Frodo’s vision). Then, years later, it’s time to make the Hobbit films. The family who own the land are very canny and made the movie company agree to build more permanent sets on site, so they could have this tourist attraction. Go them!

The oak tree at the top of the picture above was cut down, reassembled on site for LOTR, and 250,000 artificial leaves wired on and painted. Then for the Hobbit, it had to be a younger tree, so they took it down, made a replica only smaller, and repainted all the leaves for 3 seconds in the movie. Sir Peter Jackson really sweats the details.

It was fascinating to see how some of the hobbit holes were one size to make the hobbit actors look normal, and some were small, to make Gandalf look huge. Bag End has 1 meter of interior finished inside the door, all those inside scenes were shot in studio, which makes sense when you think about it, but I just go with the magic of movies.

The tour takes you all around, lots of photo ops, and finishes with a free drink at the Green Dragon – the family’s own recipe stout, pale ale, sweet cider (all alcoholic) or gingerale.

At the visitor center, before you are driven to Hobbiton, they had stuff from the wool trade, including a wool press — fans of Ngaio Marsh’s Died in the Wool rejoice! We, of course, stood there debated how to secrete a body into the thing, and decided the victim needed to be small.

23Wool Press

Wool Press

On the way home we stopped at the local Catholic Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is very unassuming from the street, we completely missed it our first attempt, but eventually found it and found it really beautiful, a good combination of old and new.



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