Real Life LOTRO: Hobbiton, November 2010


In my last Real Life LOTRO post, I showed you pictures from my first time ever visiting the wonders of the Shire. While under construction, it was still a glorious and emotional sight. However I’ve got even more construction pictures… this time with more progress! I returned to Matamata in November, which is late spring/early summer in New Zealand. Hobbit holes were definitely starting to shape up this time around and even better – beautiful flowers and gardens fit for any hobbit.

At this point filming was just a few months away. The “Will The Hobbit be filmed somewhere other than New Zealand?!” crisis had been averted by the New Zealand government (lots of discussion amongst kiwis on whether that was a good idea or not). Casting calls for extras were going out in the papers in Wellington around this time as well.


Hobbiton is certainly coming along. I love how green everything looks in this picture!



The hobbit holes are much more detailed than last time. (I thought at this stage they couldn’t get much better… but just you wait for the next article!)


The little garden out the front door of one of the hobbit holes is just starting. It’s adorable!


The hillside is full of little round doors of all colors and neat little chimneys poking up through the grass.


The sheep are basically on set while all this is going on. The farmer’s gotta keep farming!


More construction equipment. The plastic looking sheds on the left are actually makeshift greenhouses for storing all the plants before they bring them in to plant them.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this (smaller) round of pictures. In the next installment of Real Life LOTRO I’ll be posting my pictures from July 2013, after the movies have been filmed and the set fully restored for tourist use.


  1. Andang /

    Some really amazing shots! Wish I could go!

  2. Eirlog Musclegut /

    As Canadian who is a former resident of New Zealand (from 96-02), these pics sure bring back a lot of memories. I lived about 150km south of Matamata in a small town called Taumarunui, so the landscape was very similar – although I could see Mount Doom (Mt Ngauruhoe, even climbed it twice!!) from my classroom.

    I have golfed in Matamata, but never visited the set – it was in a “secret” location when the first films were made, although the location was eventually leaked.

    My best friend from high school moved down to NZ at the same time as me, he’s still there (he didn’t kidnap his wife back to Canada) and he was an extra dwarf in the Hobbit films (at least he was in the first one and assumes he’ll be in the Battle of 5 Armies). It’s fun watching the films with my kids keeping a look-out for “Uncle Rich”. His favourite story is how he had to shave his real beard in order to put on the fake one.

    • Cithryth /

      That’s awesome! I was studying abroad in Wellington in 2010 and left just as they started filming. Then when I finally moved here for good in 2013 they had just finished filming. I live in Gisborne now which means closest LOTR/Hobbit stuff is at least a 4 or 5 hour drive.

  3. Loved the shots – thanks for sharing, supper jelly! Admit it – you tried to break into Bilbo’s house for a couple slices of pumpkin pie, and perhaps a magic ring and a travelogue to boot.

  4. Fredelas /

    I’m jealous too!

    I often wonder how my outlook on life might be different if I could actually live in a place that looked like this. Maybe I’d learn not to take myself (and others) so seriously.

    • Cithryth /

      Eh, at the end of the day New Zealand’s not so different from any other country. Sure there’s great scenery. But there’s still people being jerks, politicians, everyday annoyances, etc. The grass itself may be a few shades greener but the metaphoric grass is about the same 😛

      • Eirlog Musclegut /

        I miss the climate, landscape & golf. There’s about the same ratio of jerks as any other country 😉

  5. Great shots, Cithrith. Amazing the amount of detail that goes into these sets when some will never even see the big screen!

  6. AnUnexpectedVidcast /

    Thanks for sharing these great pictures 🙂

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