On the tour, they had these signs and posts to indicate where different sets had been built. I forgot what this was but our tour guide told us “So the hash marks on the side of the post mark the height of an average hobbit” and then had all of us take pictures. When it was my turn, she enthusiastically said “Hey, we have ourselves a hobbit.” Erm. I don’t think Tolkien imagined Asian hobbits but hey, who knows? I don’t think Middle Earth had the same racial composite as the… real world and so, maybe. But for the rest of the trip, I became our group hobbit.
The party tree in the LOTR (below). It really is a beautiful tree. You can see it in the distance and how round it is in the picture above.
Apparently, another thing this tour company organizes is special events on the “plain” in front of the party tree. For a ridiculous amount of money, you too can have a LOTR-themed party in a “Shire-like environment”. According to the guide, they have had groups of hobbits, elves, etc. come for various parties. Crazy.
Anyway, as part of the tour, you can do the hobbit dance in front of the tree and also hug the party tree. I declined but took a picture of someone else hugging the party tree. 🙂
Trivial #2: Peter Jackson and crew apparently scoured the north island for the perfect place to film the Shire scenes via helicopter. And as they were getting ready to give up, they “stumbled” upon this sheep farm. The draw? The party tree. For Jackson, it captured the essence of Tolkien’s description and sold Jackson on the farm.