middle earth = new zealand. duh.

I love my homeland an extraordinary amount. We have the best accents (universally loved, it seems, perhaps apart from our Austrahhhhlian neighbours), the best awkward birds (the kiwi and beyond), sauce dispensers shaped like their vegetable originators (tomato shaped tomato sauce/ketchup bottles) and scenery that will kick your country’s scenery (again, maybe looking at our friendly surf-obsessed venomous-animal-attached neighbours who have naught but desert) back to sunrise. Which isn’t hard, since we see the sun rise before anywhere else in the world. OH SNAP!

And the world got to see our shiny pretty (not to mention BAD-ASS) scenery on three little movies called The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers & The Return of the King. Under the collaborative awesomeness that is THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan. Not as drastically obsessed as I used to be (my first year of high school was the same year that RotK came out. I may have taught myself how to read and write the Elvish script. I may have obsessively played all the pieces in the piano music FotR book even though I hadn’t actually played piano properly for several years.) but I still appreciate the books and movies alike.

Confession – I haven’t actually read The Hobbit. I’ve read all three volumes of the main trilogy, and churned through a decent part of The Silmarillion, but haven’t, for whatever reason, read the book that started it all. However, I intend to rectify this. Since the movie is finally underway. Or sort of. Which brings me to the ultimate purpose of this entry – The Hobbit film and the fact that it obviously has to be filmed in New Zealand.

It’s possible that before I even finish typing this up they will do the old BREAKING NEWS extravaganza to let the Kiwi populace know whether or not we can still call ourselves Middle Earth. It was the first story of the main 6pm news hour, and they stated that any developments would be brought to light immediately. Our prime minister – the Less Than Honourable John Key, king of Remuera, “Helensville” (since he spends SO much time there) and the centre-right affront to our Parliament that is the National Party – is in discussions with the Warner Brothers execs regarding the future of the film here. That’s right, folks, our nation’s leader gets in on it when our Peter Jackson movie-making gets threatened. Secretly I think this is kind of awesome. I can’t really imagine Obamz getting cozy with Spielberg over location disputes.

There are reasons why the WB suits are concerned, yes – the whole actors’ union boycott didn’t paint the prettiest picture of our local thespians, but now that the whole thing has been put in the past (I’ll personally still be pretty miffed at the actorly public if we get screwed over, though), it’d be nice if they could come to a happy agreement that nowhere can possibly recreate the world conjured for the original films as NZ. Seriously. That little farm out of Matamata IS Hobbiton. I refuse to believe that anywhere else will have quite the same charm as did our Waikato-y friends and their hobbit-holed hills.

The moral of the story is that the movie should stay here, otherwise the entire population of my country will turn into depressed 13 year olds who sit around wearing black mourning gowns whilst rocking slowly humming Lament for Gandalf. Why would you do that to us, WB? WHY? I know we’re sort of know (probably just by us) for our ‘dark’ aesthetic  – cue Sam Neill’s Cinema of Unease documentary, which you should all watch, and readings of every NZ short story anthology ever – but that doesn’t mean you need to further our emo. Let us have our hobbits. We’re so damn far away from everything else.

In other news, I’ve now read the entire Song of the Lioness, The Immortals & Protector of the Small quartets. And I’m switching up between The Magic In The Weaving (apparently also known as Sandry’s Book in some editions – who knew?) and the complete bind-up Trickster (encompassing Trickster’s Choice & Trickster’s Queen). The changing around is mostly due to the fact that I have the former in e-book form on Proserpina Regina Pomi Granatis the Macbook Pro, and I have a copy of Trickster loaned to me by Lola Mulot. This whole Piercian kick has been awesome, and most satisfactory for procrastination purposes.

Also, this weekend is Hallowe’en, obviously, and I’m dressing up as Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Obviously. Since I have work on both Friday evening and Saturday, I may mix it up and go for my usual Tonks look. The outfits will probably be very similar, anyway. Easy peasey!

EDITED TO ADD: It also seems relevant to this entry that I mention the fact that every time I’ve been Tamora Pierce e-bookin’ it, my music of choice has been shuffling through the LotR soundtracks. Because moderately epic fantasy is heightened in its epicness by crazy-epic Howard Shore composed tune-age. Seriously. The music of those films is glorious.

2 thoughts on “middle earth = new zealand. duh.

  1. Hear hear! The Hobbit seriously has to be in New Zealand.

    I mean, I’m sure, if they wanted to, WB could take you up on the challenge and replicate the Matamata scene with the help of CGI and all sorts of film expertise. But that’s not the point! The point is, well, did Middle Earth jump across the waters between the Hobbit and LOTR? Er, no! It stayed where it is, as Earth tends to do, and now that Middle Earth is so cemented in the public imagination/Jungian psyche AS New Zealand, it couldn’t be anywhere else! >.<

    Also: "…and readings of every NZ short story anthology ever" to prove the dark, desolate emo knowingness of New Zealand. Nice one. I thought that was it was every short story I happened to pick up was like that, but you, book-devouring literary guru, have confirmed my hesitant speculation.

    Loving the post. I also have one coming, too. Again, about the value of New Zealand's scenery/land/recent history (Waiheke Island). Seriously, how can anyone reject it for any reason?!

    1. I remember we had an epic discussion in a scholarship English class once, when I was in school, about the ‘darkness’ of NZ art at large. It’s really interesting – short stories, novels, films, visual art, fashion – there’s a broody vibe pretty much everywhere. But regarding short stories in particular, I definitely believe it to be true, since I’m guilty of such writing myself. Hah.

      BTW, your Aucklander article was rad! Excited to see more of your word-age (hopefully in actual print in the Southern edition, mean Herald people!) soon.

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