Hobbit hysteria has hit my home town like a tonne of trolls. A tonne of very excited, handsomely dressed, high-heel teetering trolls - in Tamsin Cooper couture and Armani suits.
What I mean is, Wellington is throwing an out-of-this-world party and everyone is invited! The world premiere of The Hobbit is on Wednesday and Wellington is embracing the fantasy, clutching it to her hilly breast and giving it an unrelenting troll-hug.
There are hobbitses everywhere, and dwarves too. And beings of indeterminate species. And film makers and incredibly good looking movie stars, and fans thirty deep at barriers, and bars with drinks named after elven queens, and basically, Wellington has gone insane.
The Hobbit, an unassuming, strange, old fashioned little children's book, is full of charm and stiff-upper-lipped warmth which pretty much struck the mould for fantasy fiction. (Where do you think J K Rowling's haughty story-teller voice came from for the Harry Potter books?) Combined with Director Peter Jackson's unerring eye for elegant and homely design it makes for pretty pleasing pre-premiere decoration round these parts.
Every day there's some new visual treasure in the capital to remind you that Wellington in now the Middle of Middle-earth, she's exchanged her sturdy grey wool suit for a pair of kelly-green leggings and scarlet tunic. In short, Lady Capital has donned the bright spun kirtle of celebration.
First of all, green and gold banners appeared, fluttering from the lamp posts along Courtney Place. It made the area feel so much less like a seedy corridor of booze barns and more like a village of medieval revelry.
Then came the frankly magnificent and whacking huge Gollum head in Wellington airport, just in case anyone arriving in the city was in any doubt about where they were. Gollum is pretty freaky when he's only 3 foot 6, but at 2000 foot wide and grinning like a trucker on a five day Adderall binge, he's absolutely, positively terrifying.
New Zealand post were quick to follow, celebrating the release of their commemorative movie stamps with a night time shadow-show.
The piece-de-resistance came late last week, however, when Gandalf and Bag End appeared over The Embassy Cinema, premiere venue.
This weekend it all goes interactive though. You can turn your home into a hobbity wonderland with purchases from the Hobbit Artisan Market, which looks like a little slice of Hobbiton right there next to Te Papa.
And even if you're not invited to the biggest party in town next Wednesday you can still enjoy a big night out Hobbit style at The Hobbit Premiere Tour Party. It's hosted by none other than the dwarves Nori and Bofir themselves, Jed Brophy and William Kircher. It's on Mondqay night and there will be spot prizes for the best costumes, while live music, good eats and surprise guests are promised.
Frankly, I'm not looking forward to going back to being plain old Wellington again. So let's don our own leggings of enjoyment and get in on some of the Hobbity fun while it's to be had. What's yur favorite Hobbit tribute so far?
(The Assassins are keen to check out the most Bilboic spots round town, so follow the #HobbitHop tag on Twitter to join us on our tour of Hobbity Wellington.)
- Kapi-Mana News