Okay, granted I may have let myself insert a line or two about Lord of the Rings thinly across my blogs, but I’ve tried to avoid writing about it as much as I want to. And it’s not that I just wanted to write about all the ways that being in New Zealand brought me closer to the novel or the story. It hasn’t just been good. There were pitfalls relating to seeing ways in which the movies became a simple economic advantage to the country. And sometimes though I’m happy I’ve stood where scenes were shot for the movie trilogy, and had a Milford Sound tour with an old schoolmate of Peter Jackson (they didn’t actually know each other), sometimes it killed the magic the books had. The magic of having grown up with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and escaping to make-believe worlds. It’s one of those things where sometimes you can know too much. To those that wish and pine to have gone to New Zealand for nerdy reasons, this probably sounds a little blasphemous, and sometimes it feels blasphemous, too.
Wellington is another story entirely. Being the location of WETA Studios and the site of all of the LotR-related movie premieres, the whole city is infused with street signs and billboards and directions to the WETA Cave. The country’s national museum, Te Papa, has a bigger LotR merchandise selection than the WETA Cave did. Is Lord of the Rings a mascot for this country, or is New Zealand a mascot for Peter Jackson’s screen adaptation of Middle Earth?