December 1st 2014 in the heart of Leicester Square (pronounced: “lester”). Crews and crowds of people were bustling around, setting up for the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, the epic conclusion to the Hobbit Trilogy, and to the entire Lord of the Rings Franchise.
As well as the conclusion to my childhood. Fellowship first came out when I was four years old, and now as I was about to turn 18, it was all coming to an end.
Peter Jackson created a whole universe based on Tolkien’s works, and it has become a very real place to me. So of course I was elated to be on site for a historic event in film history.
It was SO cool to watch everything go up over the course of the day. I got a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes into an event like that. Dozens of gigantic screens, fencing, black sheets. A huge “Hobbit” sign, a dwarf head statue like in the movie, braziers for fire, a green carpet rather than red, in honor of the Shire.
Closer to the actual event, security closed off the parts of the street they were using to make it more exclusive. To be able to stand by the green carpet while the stars came in, you had to show up at 6am and get a wristband. Once the wristbands ran out, that was it. So, that wasn’t really an option for us, but walking around there were some serious die-hards. Also, impressive cosplayers.
But that wasn’t the only thing going on in the square that day. There was also a cute little Christmas market. We spent a lot of time walking around and looking at stuff. Got some Dutch pancakes with Nutella.
We went to M&M World to browse their four stories for a bit, then over to Garfunkel’s for fish and chips. Delicious.
We passed the hours looking through shops, even checking out Piccadilly Circus. There was a disappointing lack of Doctor Who. I found a few posters, a mug shaped like Matt Smiths head, but nothing good. I can find a much larger selection at Hot Topic back home.
And although I did not find the Doctor, I did in fact find his mailbox.
Around 6pm, the Premiere finally got started. It was slow going waiting for all the stars to come out. And then you had to find a good spot to catch a glimpse of them on the screens. You would think they’d want as many people involved as possible, but they kept things locked up pretty tight.
Of course, being the geniuses that we are, Katie and I decided to get on a ride once most of the stars were on the carpet. It was one of those swing rides, where it spins you around and takes you really high up in the air.
It took us right up over the barricades and we were 50 feet above the heads of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom. We even saw Richard Armitage talking on the stage. We had an aerial view of everything. Since we were the only people on the ride, they left us up there for a solid eight minutes. It was freezing cold, but pretty dang awesome.
I just wish we could watch back the news footage and try to hear us screaming.
It was a great first day in London. I will always be in awe of Peter Jackson for his vision in bringing the words of the beloved J.R.R Tolkien to life. It is a truly incredible bunch of movies, one that any filmmaker would be proud of.
Here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy (click through them to see the full shot):