Hobbit: Giant trolls join fans

01:44, Nov 28 2012
Hobbit gallery
Peter Jackson stunned fans with a surprise visit to the Hobbit pre-premiere party at the Amora Hotel.
Hobbit gallery
Barry Eldridge made knitwear including capes and scarves for the Hobbit, and sold his wares at the Hobbit Artisan Market at Wellington's Waitangi Park in the days leading up to the premiere.
Hobbit gallery
Starbucks Courtenay Place baristas Rachel Henderson, left, and Alex Francis stayed up for two nights to dress up their store in Hobbit-themed decorations.
Hobbit gallery
Weta Workshop created this sculpture of Gollum looming from above in Wellington Airport.
Hobbit gallery
Embassy Theatre, which is to host the Hobbit premiere, installed a huge sculpture of Gandalf above its entrance.
Hobbit Gallery
NZ Post put up backlit silhouettes of Hobbit characters on its Wellington building.
Hobbit gallery
Hobbit stars Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Zealandia's Lauren Schaer, Elijah Wood and Richard Armitage pay a visit to Zealandia.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Robert Schrimf and Lisa Heissmeier camp out.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
This group came well prepared.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Stephanie Kirkby and Meg Gatland-Veness.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Some even braved the Wellington night air and camped out overnight alongside the red carpet.
The Hobbit: The fans get ready
Charlie Allan, Elise Hart and Victoria Gridley go all out for the Hobbit premiere.
Trolls on red carpet
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
The Hobbit: Premiere day
The Hobbit cast join director Peter Jackson for a media conference on premiere day.
The Hobbit: Premiere day
Cate Blanchett with Jackson at a press conference this morning
Trolls on red carpet
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Hobbit presser
Cate Blanchett at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Hobbit presser
Martin Freeman at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Trolls on red carpet
Statues of Middle-earth figures are put in place on the red carpet.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans dressed as elves wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
hobbit fans 2
Hobbit fans look at a giant screen before the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
embassy's hobbit view
A view from the Embassy Theatre as the red carpet is set up for The Hobbit premiere.
Trolls on red carpet
Hobbit fans wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
More hobbit fans
Hobbit fans line the barriers at the red carpet for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
dwarven hobbit fan
A Hobbit fan dressed as a dwarf - complete with knitted hair and beard - waits for the show to start.
gandalf the grey
Derek Carver of Christchurch - dressed as Gandalf the Grey - waits for the show to start on the red carpet.
nazgul fan
A Tolkien fan dressed as a Nazgul or black rider poses for a photo with other fans on Courtenay Place.
high angle hobbit
A high-angle shot of the red carpet on Courtenay Pl ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The Hobbit premiere red carpet
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.

Three massive cave trolls have joined the hobbits, elves and hundreds of other J.R.R. Tolkien enthusiasts camped out in Wellington ahead of The Hobbit premiere today.

The 1800kg Weta Workshop installation, which took almost six weeks to model and make, was set up near the red carpet on the corner of Tory St from 7am this morning, Weta assistant Ri Streeter said.

The trolls, which visited Comic-Con in San Diego earlier this year, join sculptures of Gandalf at Bag End on the Embassy Theatre roof and Gollum at Wellington Airport.

The first fans camped began camping out on the red carpet route from 9pm yesterday, and just under 100 were there by 10pm.

Others grabbed their spot early this morning, and by 8am all the prime space in front of the barrier, from Tory St to the Embassy Theatre, was taken.

A smaller number of fans had grabbed a place along the barrier outside Reading Cinema, within view of the start of the red carpet at Taranaki St.

Charlie Allan, Elise Lockhart and Victoria Gridley
IT'S TIME: Charlie Allan, Elise Lockhart and Victoria Gridley kitted out for the big day.

Auckland University students Sarah Reif and Willemyn Dagevos would be keeping their eyes peeled for Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum.

''I've wanted to see him since I was 10,'' Reif said.

Too young to attend the premiere of the Return of the King, she thought she'd never get the chance to be part of the release of a Tolkien film, so was overjoyed when she found out the Hobbit would be made.

''It's fulfilling 10 years of dreams.''

Tolkien enthusiasts Charlie Allan, Elise Hart and Victoria Gridley had camped near Blair St overnight in full Hobbit costume, befriending a group that had brought a couch to sleep on.

The Melbournians had come to New Zealand on a Hobbit premiere tour, but said tonight would be the pinnacle of their trip, despite them getting very little sleep, Hart said.

''Just to be part of the passion of it all is life-changing.''

They had met director Peter Jackson and star Elijah Wood at Monday's pre-premiere party organised by fansite TheOneRing.net, and were now most looking forward to seeing actor Martin Freeman (Bilbo).

Karori resident Delwyn Sanson, on site since 5.30am, was also looking forward to seeing Freeman.

Apart from catching a glimpse of her favourite stars, Sanson said she was also there to show her thanks to Peter Jackson and the Hobbit creators for their work.

''It's just a chance to really show your passion and express your appreciation.''

Actor Mark Hadlow, who plays dwarf Dori in the films, and mayor Celia Wade-Brown stopped by Courtenay Pl earlier this morning to greet the queued fans.

Pre-screening entertainment in Courtenay Place begins at 2pm, with the stars and VIPs expected to arrive on the red carpet from 4.30pm onwards.

The premiere screenings at The Embassy and Reading cinemas begin at 7pm.

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