In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit
Ever since the first time I watched The Lord of the Rings I wanted to stroll through the magical world of the Shire. Some 15 years later this childhood dream finally came true and I absolutely loved it.
However, it is a bit of a shame that there is so little time to stop, take pictures and actually appreciate all the small details of the film set. There are several glasses of real honey in front of the beekeepers hobbit hole and clothes are drying on a washing line. The garden in the heart of Hobbiton is full of real vegetables the staff are allowed to harvest and take home.
On our tour through the Shire we learned all kinds of trivia about the location; the set for the first three movies (The Lord of the Rings, filming commenced 12/1999 and took three months) was made out of untreated timber, plywood and polystyrene and wasn’t meant to last. When they rebuilt the set for the Hobbit films years later it took them around two years to create the now permanent attraction – the actual filming took only 12 days.
Furthermore the huge oak tree overlooking Bag End and the Shire was cut down in near Matamata and painstakingly reassembled on set. Hundreds of thousands of artificial, hand-painted leaves where imported from Taiwan and individually wired onto the tree – which can be seen for only a few seconds in the film.
If you’re a fan of Frodo & Co I would highly recommend to visit real life Middle Earth – the set was built with a lot of passion for detail and for a couple of hours you can pretend to be a tiny person with big, hairy feet.
And if you’re lucky with the weather you can enjoy your free drink at the lake in front of the iconic Green Dragon. Cheers!
For the time will soon come when Hobbits will shape the fortunes of all.