|Clockwise from me in the green shirt - Peter Kenny, Todd Rippon, Astrid, Erica, Kris, Viviane, Sven, Kim, Mervi, and Paul. The others joined later.|
Apart from myself and my beautiful wife, we met up with Mervi from Finland, and Kris who is living here in the Wellington region. Mervi represented the two Finnish Tolkien Societies, while Kris and I are halfway through setting up the Wellington one (but more on that later). New Zealander Erica from TheOneRing.net joined soon afterwards, and then Peter Kenny (Australian's Brisbane Tolkien Appreciate Society) and Astrid (Austria's Tyrol Tolkien Smial) came in as well. Peter and Astrid joined me on a LOTR tour yesterday, in fact they are both interviewed on the TVNZ News segment about our reaction to the new Hobbit Trailer.
Also in attendance were Paul from the UK, Brendon and his partner from Australia, and three lost backpackers I found on the side of the hill during yesterday's tour, Viviane, Sven and Kim.
If that lineup wasn't special enough yet, we had a ANOTHER special guest for the evening - Todd Rippon also joined us, and he spoke about his time as an Oliphaunt rider, and his ultimate demise at the hands of that cruel elf, Legolas (but "that still only counts as one!").
Todd had some exclusive photos from his time on the set, which unfortunately I can't reproduce here but were enjoyed by all present (so attend next time!).
During the evening, Peter Kenny also recited some of his Hobbit poetry, which went down a treat, as did the cake and the ice coffees.
Other business of course included a discussion about the new Hobbit Trailer released yesterday. I "happened" to have it with me - it's downloadable from Apple.com after all, and my iPad 2 does the job very nicely, thank you! In fact I think we played the trailer 3 or 4 times, in all. Also on hand was our newsclip from yesterday, of course (that's definitely bragging rights), and a small clip from The Hunt For Gollum as well, once the discussion mentioned it. It's a solid piece of Middle-earth film, and if you haven't seen it yet you definitely should!
One final point that was discussed was that Kris and I are definitely setting up the official Tolkien Sciety in some form here in Wellington, and that will be announced properly as things happen in the near future. I'm hoping that by the next meeting we will have the official approval from the UK as well. Exciting times!