Saturday, 31 January 2015

Rounding things off. NZ-Noldor is winding down.

As you may have noticed, this blog has been pretty inactive in the last few years. I've been concentrating my actions and attention running on the Wellington Tolkien Fellowship, instead.

One of the main reasons for starting the NZ Noldor blog was to provide an outlet for juicy gossip about the Hobbit movies. They have now, of course, all been released (with the exception of the last extended movie, due in 6 months or more).

As such, I've decided to let this blog wind down, and will relinquish the domain name "". The blog will continue to exist as the (free) subdomain of google,, which has in fact, always worked anyway. I will, in all likelihood, NOT be updating this site after this post (Ha! Famous last words!)

The only reason I haven't deleted it altogether is that there's a few people who follow it on twitter, and particularly on facebook, where there's sporadic discussions still going on. Also, I'm still seeing a fair amount of traffic looking through the archives. One particularly popular page was the report about the female orc in the Weta cave. Go figure!

So, in short:

If you want to continue following this blog, please change your visits to

If you want to continue reading about Hobbit and LOTR movie news, can I suggest the excellent sites Middle-earth News ("") and ("").

If you're local to Wellington (or elsewhere in New Zealand), I would recommend you follow the Wellington Tolkien group Welly-moot ("")

It's been fun - and I want to thank everyone over the years for providing me and our readers with tasty rumours and fun information about the fantastic Hobbit movies. Also, one final apology to PJ and the crew for all the times I got in the way. (Sorry, Matt!)  ;)

This is NZ Noldor, signing off!

  - Jack

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hobbit Party Week is here!

Here is a quick update on all the Hobbit parties I'm aware of - this is no doubt a non-exhaustive list but will give you some idea of how tired we will be on December the 2nd (so, more of an exhausting list)...

First up is the Hobbit Artisan Market, which will go from Saturday November 24th to Wednesday 28th, so, Premiere Day. I managed to get to it briefly on Saturday late afternoon after a tour finished earlier than usual (cruiseship tour), and it was a lot of fun. If you haven't been to it yet, go as soon as you can - apart from anything else, they're selling the special Hobbit 3D glasses (in the Dwarven style), which will not be produced again.

Also a sight to behold is the phenomenally cool dragon by Kim Beaton, in the very last stand at the end of the market. The dragon weighs 3 tons, apparently! It looks amazingly lifelike, especially considering it's made from moldable "flexible" concrete.

The next party is of course the Hobbit Premiere Tour Costume Party, organised by Red Carpet Tours and Tickets are still available (although not cheap), and discounts are now being given to students with valid ID. The costume party will start at 7:30pm on Monday the 26th. We will be attending - our costumes are all ready!

On Tuesday the 27th, the Wellington Youth Hostel will host its own Red Carpet Party. Tickets are a lot more reasonably priced there, and a prize will be given to the best costume. I'm in! This costume has a one week rental! I'm expecting the Middle-Earth News Network Tour attendees to be there, but please, everyone else also turn up to the Welsh Dragon Bar that night!

On Wednesday of course, the Official Red Carpet Walk itself will be held, and that will take the better part of the late afternoon and early evening. Pre-carpet entertainment will begin at 3:00pm, and the stars will begin to arrive at 4:30pm or so.

Before that though, early morning at 7:45am, I will be giving an interview to TV3, which should be aired on Breakfast TV at around 8:15am. Very exciting for nobody except myself, I'm sure!

At 10:00am, of course, the New Zealand Tolkien Smial will have its official Second Breakfast, beside the red carpet, underneath the Tripod in Courtenay Place (opposite the Embassy Theatre). TVNZ will be there to join us for a bit as well, so that might be quite fun. Come one, come all, and you're still wearing a costume from an earlier party, please don't be shy! It's "bring-a-plate", so don't show up empty handed please!

In the evening there's a secret party for Hobbit extras, but I can't confirm where that's being held, so good luck finding it!

Next, on Thursday the 29th, the Weta Collectors Forum "Shadow & Glame" is having an Afternoon Tea at 4:00pm at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar. That will be a nice time to catch up with some other old friends as well. I don't have a proper link to this party, except for a picture invite - does anyone have more info?

Finally, on Friday and Saturday night (Nov 30, and Dec 1), we will be going to a another very special event - a Middle-earth themed Burlesque Cabaret called "Bare and Back Again". Should be a ton of R18 fun!

So, which events will you be attending? Leave me a note! I'm intending to go to all of them - sleep is for the weak!

Monday, 5 November 2012

YES! Embassy Theatre Box Office has agreed to open at Midnight!

(reposted from

Breaking news! The wait is over!!

We've just heard that the Embassy Theatre has agreed to open up their Box Office for ticket sales, tomorrow midnight - at 12:01am, EARLY Wednesday morning.

So let's make it worth their while; if you are able, turn up to the Embassy around 11:30pm on the evening of Tuesday the 6th of November, ready to purchase your HOBBIT Tickets for December 12th!

This information was posted on their Facebook page:

**Due to a lot of expressed interest we will be opening our onsite Box Office sales at midnight on the 7th Nov (Tues night/Wed morn). The Box Office will be open for a limited time on this night and we will re-open at 9am on Wed morning**

Online tickets will be available from midnight on Wednesday (Tues night/Wed morn).

Phone sales will be available from 9am on Wednesday morning.

Information about screening times will be avaliable on Wednesday at midnight.

384 7657 or or 10 Kent Terrace

Some Ticket pricing information was given as well:

Main auditorium 3D is $18.50 (adult) $14.50 (child/senior) $17 (student) - doesn't include glasses, which are $1 each pair (brand new-you get to keep them or you can bring your own Real D pair)

Alex and I will be there with our brand new Welly-moot banner, and hopefully we'll have the finished Welly-moot T-shirts as well, so we should be easy to spot!

Perhaps we should draw a few Dwarves on it, or a Dragon maybe?

It's all coming together nicely! Spread the word, and see you at the Embassy tomorrow night! Come in costume if you can/want!

And I would like to extend a BIG "thank you" to Elly from the Embassy for making it happen!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Line Party possible in Wellington, NZ, but we need fans to email them quickly!

It looks like Wellington MAY have a line party. We held Welly-moot (the meeting of Wellington's Tolkien enthusiasts) at the Embassy Theatre yesterday. I spoke to the Elly, the manager there, and asked her when Hobbit tickets to the December 13th opening would be available. She said at 12:01am Nov 7th (online), and 09:00am next morning (physical box office).

Then I asked her if she would consider opening the physical box office at midnight as well, and she said she'd consider it IF she got enough demand for it.

So: please, if you know anyone in Wellington who wants to stand in line for the world's FIRST official tickets (keep in mind our midnight happens an hour before anyone else's midnight!!), get them to send an email to Elly, the manager of Wellington's Embassy Theatre, at with a subject of "Please open the Box Office at 12:01am, Nov 7th for Hobbit Tickets!".

If it opens, I plan to be there on the night - let's see how many others we can get to join us!

Elly is a very nice person, and TOTALLY enthusiastic about The Hobbit, so please be nice to her when you email her!

We need the fans to show how important this is, so please DO email her!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Radio Interview

In the last few days an article has appeard on the Guardian UK's website from a fellow named James Russell, who asserts that Peter Jackson's creative juices may have dried up, as evidenced by the fact that he's split the book into three parts. I got a call from a local radio station about what I thought about it, and heres the interview:

Please excuse the bad quality of the sound - I fluked the timing of it going to air, and simply recorded it with my iPhone off the computer's speakers. If I find a better version online, I'll re-upload it.

The original article can be found here:

  - Jack

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Weta's new Hobbit Books announced!

After my previous report, it looks like the embargoes are lifting from a number of new Hobbit related books. Amazon is starting to show a wealth of new information, and some of the authors themselves are revealing the covers of their new works.

The first one, the Almanac 2013 by Paddy Kempshall, is available via here:

The copy I have is titled"Almanac 2013", where the Amazon one is listed as "Annual 2013". I'm making an assumption here but I'm guessing it's the same book for the US market.

Paddy Kempshall is also publishing a Movie Storybook on The Hobbit, but no cover has been released yet, at least none I've found so far. It's listed on Amazon though.

Next, I saw that Brian Sibley has revealed the cover of his new book as well, via his blog and Facebook page. Also, it has been listed for pre-orders on, to be released on December 14th.

Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Official Movie Guide

Brian Sibley is a long time Tolkien fan, and has written numerous books on the subject. Among his credits is also the 1980 BBC Radioplay of the dramatisation of The Lord Of The Rings - an excellent 13 hour long audiobook. Brian also wrote Sir Peter Jackson's biography, and has collaborated with the artist John Howe on three Middle-earth map books. I had the immense pleasure to meet Brian when he came to New Zealand last year for the research of this new book. Unfortunately I was not allowed to blog about it back then (and neither was he, obviously). He offered to autograph any of his books I might have on my bookshelf, and I was a bit surprised to find so many there - I walked in to our meeting with an almost embarrassing stack of literature! (cryptic: I also met his rabbit - but more on that soon!)

Jude Fisher has also announced her new book via Facebook, and it's also up for pre-orders on Amazon.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Visual Companion

 If Jude's previous Visual Companions are anything to go by, they will definitely be gracing my bookshelf the minute they come out. She worked on LOTR books, both separately as three books, as well as a general LOTR Trilogy Companion. Her LOTR books listed characters and locations found in the movies in an easy to read style, great for Middle-earth virgins but also fantastic for the advanced Ringer fans. Well worth adding to your collections!

Finally (and Weta Publishing has yet to announce these officially), I spotted two Weta Publishing books on Amazon, including one with a cover shot.

Weta's Hobbit Chronicles (by Daniel Falconer)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles is written by Daniel Falconer, with a foreword by LOTR's Art Director and and introduction by Weta's head wizard Richard Taylor. Sounds good - so just shut up and take my money already! Unfortunately it's also (you guessed it) only up for pre-orders. *sigh*...

Amazon has also listed another Weta book, Hobbit Art (a Hobbit Film Tie-in). No further details are available on that one yet.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

First look at King Thranduil, father of Legolas!

It's been a little while since my last blog entry here. I've not sat still, I've just been so busy with various other rojects that are all coming to fruition in the meantime. More on some of those projects later, but in the meantime, I wanted to show you something I bought at the Weta Cave today.

The first of The Hobbit books seems to have come out, somewhat unexpectedly and suddenly, and it's called "The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey) Almanac 2013". The book is a hard cover, issued by HarperCollins Children's Books, and it's essentially a puzzle and activities book for kids. It's a lovely looking book, very glossy and lots of fun stuff for the younger crowd, say, about 7-10 year olds.

The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey - Almanac 2013

What's a little odd is that it's such a high quality pressing - it's supposed to be scribbled on by children, which seems such a waste of a great looking book. It's a beautifully bound hardcover with full colour glossy pictures on all pages. What's also a bit odd is that the book is aimed pretty much at the children that The Hobbit book is aimed at - age 6 and up. Wasn't Peter Jackson making a much darker movie? Why aim this at the younger market? Isn't that a bit like having a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Crayon Colouring Book"?

One of the most delightful pages is the one that shows King Thranduil (played by Lee Pace) in all his glory. It's officially the first time he's been seen - there's been lots of speculation about what Legolas's father might look like, but here he is!

I have to say - he looks pretty fantastic. You can definitely see a family resemblance between him and his son, right down to the dark eyebrows and the blond hair! Very impressed once again by the Hobbit design team!

Also in the book are some smaller photos of his home:

The last photo here is a great shot of the White Council together somewhere - Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman the White as well.

Click on any of the pictures if you want to see larger versions.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Visit to Hobbiton

Back in January, we celebrated our Anniversary by visiting the Hobbiton set in Matamata, north of Taupo. I had wanted to show the photos here much earlier, but was unfortunately prevented from doing so by the Non-Disclosure Agreement they made everybody sign there (as you buy your ticket).

However, it seems that Common Sense has prevailed, and they're now allowing people to show their photos finally. It's not like we haven't already seen what it looks like in the Lord Of The Rings movies, a decade ago!

So, this will be a lengthy blog entry - there's almost 50 photos here. I'll add the occasional comment but in general I'll let the photos do the talking.

As always, the photos are mine, and I retain my copyrights. The sets themselves (and the rights to them) belong to the studio - but I took these pictures. If you want to use them, please check with me first, and also the Hobbiton people themselves. They still don't want them to be shown commercially (so, not in the general media).

As always, click on the pics for better quality. The detail is terrific!

The road to Hobbiton is (coincidentally!) named Buckland Road.
My wife Alex, in front of the bus named after her favourite Middle-earth citizen.

A chair, ready to be relaxed in. If it wasn't half-sized.

The ladder reached to my chest. So good to be "tall".

A yellow door.

The garden needs some work. Apparently there are lazy hobbits also.

A blue door.

A green door.

"Just check if anyone's in?"

Another yellow door.

Another green door.

The wood neatly stacked ready for winter.

I love the little overhang so the rain doesn't get in.

A much tidier garden. Obviously well-to-do hobbits.

Another yellow door.

Yellow is obviously a favourite colour in this part of town.

The fence has been made to look much older and moldier.

Gorgeous house, with chimney.

Presumably the house of the cart-maker. Note the rounded gate and the squared door. A bit of a rebel hobbit, this one. Square doors are all the rage in Bree, don't you know?

Another blue door.

The fence is kept shut with an old horse-shoe.

Fantastic gardens everywhere too. Rows of cabbages and other vegies.

The view across the lake. On the other side, still off-limits, is the bridge-house, the Green Dragon pub, and the mill.

Three hobbit-houses at the lakeside. Behind it, a familiar sight!

Going uphill now, with houses uilt in to the hillside, and chimneys everywhere from the houses beneath.

The view from the hill.

More gardens near the top. To the right of this hobbit's abode, a beehive.

More detail. By the way, the tree at the left is fake. Could you tell?

I don't need to describe this one. We all know who lives here!

We felt an overpowering urge to knock on this door. With a staff. Incidentally, I couldn't find any "secret signs" on it (but then it wouldn't be secret, would it?)

No really, it's fake. Trust me. It's life-sized.

Signs everywhere, in case you get lost. The writing is in the unmistakable script of Daniel Reeve.

After a visit to the Green Dragon, you might need the signs to get home, I'd imagine.

And that's where Mr Bilbo lives!

The road to East Farthing. Gandalf came in through here on his cart.

The magnificent Party Tree. It's real, don't worry (but it's a Pine Tree, not an Oak).

The Honey Factory. Two hobbit-child's toys on the left.

Two beautifully painted See-Saws, on the Party-Field.

The mold is real mold, artifically grown.

And the cabbage is real too. A whopper!

Warning - Hobbits Underfoot!

A special sight. The tour went past this but didn't go into it. Apparently this much more overgrown section was Guillermo del Toro's vision of the Shire. It looked a lot darker and more mysterious!

The wood-shed.

A wishing well, covered to make it safe for hobbit children.

And one more child's toy - a swing under a tree. I'd imagine it would be a nice place to enjoy a pipe as well.

Back in the Shire's Rest, everything was Hobbit-themed. The clock...

...the Fireplace, ...

...and even the Toilet-roll Holder had the right shape.

The Shire's Rest is the cafe, by the way.

I'd love comments! Are they on the right track? Are you green with envy? Better yet, are you planning a visit?

Leave me your thoughts!