New Zealand becomes 100% Middle-earth with a special summer forecast

"Calan vain, Ennor! Sí abgen edregol an i Laer ovol."

On the day of the global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, New Zealand has transformed into Middle-earth with a special long-range forecast in Elvish.

Broadcast on TVNZ's Breakfast and presented in Elvish by TV host Tamati Coffey in Elven themed dress, the summer long-range forecast sees New Zealand become Middle-earth, and Matamata, the home of Hobbiton, the Shire.

And, as the forecast confirms - 'they appear fair the lands, and a season good for wanderers.'

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said broadcasting the forecast as the weather of Middle-earth reinforces TNZ's 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.

"With New Zealand's scenic landscapes starring in The Hobbit Trilogy, the Elvish forecast reinforces that the big screen imagery is more than a fleeting glimpse of fantasy, and that the dramatic film locations are real places here in New Zealand that visitors can enjoy."

With parts of the forecast presented in Elvish, translation of the script was provided by language expert David Salo, who provided Tolkien language translations for the films. Tamati's pronunciation of the language was supported by Elvish dialect specialist Leith McPherson, who coached the Elven cast during filming of The Hobbit Trilogy.

"In his role as an Elf, Tamati is speaking to the people of Middle-earth in Sindarin, which is spoken in conversation between various Elves and friends of Elves in Middle-earth,' said Leith McPherson.

"However, if he wanted to attempt to summon a mighty power to change the weather, he'd have to speak Quenyan, which is used for the casting of spells or for invocations in The Hobbit Trilogy."

Throughout the course of the morning broadcast, Tamati slowly transformed into an Elven weather presenter, with costume provided by 3Foot7 and makeup and wig provided by Weta Workshop.

A self-confessed Hobbit fan, Tamati revelled in the transformation and the chance to become a part of Middle-earth.

The broadcast completes months of activity which has seen New Zealand once again gear up for a nationwide celebration of Middle-earth proportions as the host of the global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

In the time surrounding the release of the first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, visitors can enjoy all things Middle-earth, starting with Air New Zealand's 'An Unexpected Briefing' safety video, arriving at the 'Gateway of Middle-earth' at Auckland Airport and visiting the Middle of Middle-earth, New Zealand's capital city Wellington.

In the Middle of Middle-earth they can see a 40-foot Gollum diving for fish at Wellington Airport, enjoy a Hobbit Artisan Market until Wednesday 28 November featuring local artists who have worked on The Hobbit Trilogy and visit the Embassy Theatre which has been transformed into Bag End for the premiere. They can even purchase legal tender of Middle-earth, with New Zealand Post releasing the world's only legal tender coins of Middle-earth, and send a postcard with Middle-earth stamps postmarked from Middle-earth.

The film, being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM, opens in New Zealand on December 12.

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