Saturday, December 15, 2001
London Premiere of Fellowship of the Ring - Xoanon @ 13:24 PST
A Night To Remember

Hullo all my dear hobbitlings! I have as yet another tale with which to enrich your imaginations and lighten your hearts. This is of course a detailed account of my time at the Premiere of all Premieres…the Premiere to rule them all! To start off I feel it necessary to explain exactly HOW a hobbit like myself (however adventurous and daring) got into an event like this! Well I shall tell you……

The reason I have been in England this year is because I have been taking care of my mother who has been dealing with M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis), and has been taking advantage of some wonderful Alternative medicine which has done her ever so much good. It has been a very tough time for me and my family, and one of my only solaces (other than God and my family)has been the joy I have had from Tolkien and the films to be released. I want to thank for being such a wonderful and fun site with magnificent people running it.

My dad perhaps more than anyone else understands my love for JRR Tolkien and was the person who first introduced me to the Hobbit when I was 8 years old. He became aware of the tickets to the London Premiere being auctioned on ebay and out of sensitivity and love he took it upon himself to bid on it. He won it just barely, sacrificing a LOT to get it for me. It was VERY difficult for him….and indeed the dollars that marked the winning bid was a wound of love on a father trying to keep us going financially. It was such a miracle….and I know deep in my heart that it was not riches or pride or any other earthly thing that made it possible for me to go to the most special event I have ever been to in my life……it was my father’s love, and I am forever grateful.

So what was this MARVELOUS event like? Well exactly that….MARVELOUS!

Papa, Mama and Pippin Skywalker arrived by cab into Leicester Square at about 5:40pm….that being before the doors to the theater were supposed to be opened!
We all got out of the cab and walked up to Security so they could check our tickets. After that I took perhaps the most EXHILIRATING walk of my life toward the magnificent marquee where the Premiere was to be held. There was a HUGE billboard over it of the Fellowship Poster and standing on pedestals were several rings all lit on fire! (Very neat effect!) We now walked down the major walkway leading to the theater…..there were HUNDREDS of mad hobbit fans waiting behind barriers…..and we were some of the first to walk down where the cast and director were soon to walk! Upon entering the place we found ourselves in a large white walled room where tons of press people were waiting. We walked through them and came to the doors of the auditorium where Middle Earth was to come alive! We were the first ones seated….and none of the cast and crew had come yet….THAT is how early we were! The grand heart pounding soundtrack was singing forth with full voice, and later on they played the most recent theatrical trailer to make the audience drool just a little more before the film. Finally the screen switched to the outside walkway where the stars were now coming in. They also showed them being interviewed in the foyer….before they all walked RIGHT behind our seats (which were in the back) to pile on stage with Peter The Great (You KNOW of whom I speak) to be introduced to the crowd.

Everything started much later than was meant, and the film did not START until 8:00 p.m. It ended at about 11:00, after which everyone jostled into coaches and cabs to go to the Premiere Party. We three Skywalkers found ourselves a transport and headed on what seemed a long ride (in traffic) to this lovely place on the river. We arrived at around 11:30, and walked past these fellows in costume who were tending roast piggies on spits….roast chickens too….and who gave out chestnuts (how sweet!) to the passersby. As I came to the door of the place I could see a hint of the GRANDEUR that was this Party. We all walked in and WHAT a SIGHT it was! There was a long red carpet on the left on which was a wall made up of LOTR wallpaper (YEAH BABY!) and on the right was a large number of press. After coming to the end of this we came into a STUNNINGLY decorated place. Sets had been flown in from New Zealand, there were Christmas lights, people in costume….and most of all….PLENTY of dining rooms STUFFED with enough food to feed half the Shire. Each eating room had a different design and feel. There was a room which had a Rivendell theme, A Barliman’s theme, and there was Hobbiton eating room! We were led to the latter and sat down at a round table with cloth of blue and white checks that was decked with a BIG bowl of bread, a lovely plate of cheese and crackers….BOY did I feel at home! There were 8’ x 11’ pictures depicting scenes from the movie ALL over the place. The hobbit room where we were had a long buffet table where you could get hobbit sized portions of potato salad,chicken pastry pies, regular salad with a creamy dressing….I mean…this was what it must have felt like to eat at Bilbo’s birthday party! I was in complete bliss….here I was I had JUST seen the film for the FIRST time….and now I was sitting in this WORLD class party with all these AWESOME sets, paintings, torchlike lamps…not to mention all the stars, and I had my family with me! It was GREAT! We were sitting at our table when we were joined by a hobbit sized fellow with a friend of his.

APPARENTLY,this turned out to be THE man who had done ALL the stunts for Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Sam!!!! What an honor! Later Merry himself came over and had some pictures taken with us…..that is right…Dominic Monagan himself! He turned out to be a very nice down to middle earth fellow indeed! I am happy to say that this film’s cast was not only talented but friendly. We finished supper and then decided to look around a bit. So Daddy Hobbit and myself got up and went into the next room where they had actual props from the film itself….. (Note to People Who Decorated and did the exhibits: You ROCK) they had THE ONE RING on display….a ringwraith sword…Galadriel’s vial…and much more! The place was just RUNNING over with beautiful sets, food stalls and baskets with apples and pears. Another AMAZING thing of note was the dance floor. Now this ladies and gents was NOT your ordinary dance floor…..on it there was a HUGE stone statue of a ringwraith on horseback and special effects lights that made red elvish letters in circles (like a ring) swing around on the wooden floor. MAN that was WAY COOL!!!! Calling all elves and hobbits to party like it was the Third Age…LOL!

We walked about a bit and who would I see but Billy Boyd who plays my namesake Pippin in the films! He is such a funny and nice little Scotsman….and he is a masterpiece in the film. I asked him to sign my book and address it To Pippin Skywalker…….I got a real kick out of that! Later on we got my mom and pushed her in her chair all around the place. We met some REALLY interesting people….they just seemed to pop up out of nowhere! We were waiting to talk to John Rhys Davies (who I had met the night before when we picked up the tickets) when along came Ian “Gandalf” Mckellan!!! He was kind enough to take a picture with us and to autograph my Visual Companion on his character page! WOW! We talked to John, (who has grown very fond of us) and were later joined by Richard Taylor….the Effects Master for the film!!! He was extremely nice and sensitive to my mom and was so tender hearted he took the pin he was wearing shaped like the eye of Sauron (the LAST one!) and pinned it on for her. What a sweet man! Papa hobbit had meanwhile successfully fished out Bilbo Baggins and brought him over to us! We got some pictures taken with him and Richard….what a joy! We went on to meet Barrie Osborne, Sean Astin and Peter the Great himself!!! We had a wonderful, WONDERFUL time. Elijah Wood was just finishing talking to some folk and was about to leave (he was REALLY tired and done talking for the night) but his assistant was moved and asked if he would speak to my mom and us. He did…..and my mom told him how much his films had meant to her. He was really touched by that and gave her a big hug.

Later on we decided to have dessert in the Rivendell room. My dad found some nice salmon there…and because of that he said the Elven food was better. It was a truly glorious and magnificent night….the best I have had…..I will always remember it. I had my visual movie companion signed by many of the cast: Elijah Wood, Dominic Monagan, Billy Boyd, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Richard Taylor, Peter Jackson, Ian Holm, Ian Mckellan, Barrie Osborne, John Rhys Davies and Andy Serkis who did the voice of Gollum. Many thanks to all the wonderful people at New Line who made this all possible for us and tried their very best to make us comfortable and at home. Special thanks go to Carrie Williams, Paul and Renee (the latter of which said he would look for this report here on TORN). I really appreciate you all! Thanks for the autograph Renee! LOL

We walked out of that magnificent palace of dreams in the wee hours when the party was over and everyone was streaming out. As we left we got some favors in a bag which included a Frodo Baggins hologram mousepad (I’m guessing it was a mousepad…lol) some fine silver figures of Gandalf and Frodo, the soundtrack to the film and a hand cream from New Zealand. It was truly a night which will be forever housed in the fair halls of memory, and shall eternally dwell as a fair elven spirit returned to Mandos.

Now I am sure many of you fine folk would like to know how the film was. Well I shall tell you. It was WONDERFUL, different than I expected, but WONDERFUL…. the acting was EXCELLENT, and there were some scenes that just HIT home. Ian Mckellan brings a BRILLIANT amount of tenderness to the role of Gandalf which was beyond all belief and expectation. Elijah Wood was wonderfully cast as Frodo and John Rhys Davies gave to Gimli’s role Shakespearian level acting. Viggo Mortenson and Sean Bean brought depth to their roles and gave Boromir’s death such poignancy in the end that perhaps no fantasy film has ever had. Cate Blanchette’s melancholy and relieved manner when she said she would diminish and remain Galadriel was so touching to the heart you could not help but love her for that instant of humanity. And did I mention that Billy Boyd brought an amazing amount of genius and sweetness to the role of Pippin? If you previously were not a fan of that character you will be now, and will come to love the adorable Oliver Twist innocence and humor of the role. GOOD choice!

It is the greatest fantasy film ever made….well put together….a work of genius by Peter Jackson. There are MORE things than Tom Bombadil missing I’ll tell you that but you will love the movie all the same. I do agree though with one reviewer who said that the film leaves you hungry for the next installment; this is true.

Well that is the tale my children….and I hope that as you sleep you will have sweet dreams of the joy that is to come in the shape of a great film.

Special Thanks To: Renee (New Line), Paul (New Line), Carrie Williams (New Line), Hannah (Isle of Sky Productions), Joseph, Daddy and Mommy Skywalker, Boudi, Strider (who told me there even was a ticket!), Grandpa & Grandma Skywalker, Dorian, and Sir Gimli, the greatest dwarf in all of Middle Earth!