Hobbits invaded the Frankfurt Book Fair over the weekend, bringing with them a cornucopia of JRR Tolkien characters vying for the attention of just one man: Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor.
With New Zealand installed as Guest of Honour as the world’s oldest book fair, it seemed only fitting that part of the programme pay homage to what is billed as this year’s most anticipated film.
A costume competition, a long tradition at the fair which attracts more than 300,000 people annually, was this year devoted to The Hobbit, directed by Kiwi filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson.
The world premiere of The Hobbit takes place in Wellington next month but the Germans have been getting into the spirit of the film early, with the book fair overrun by hundreds of elves, hobbits, orcs and Gollums running through the halls.
The Hobbit Cosplay competition was judged by Taylor, who presented the winners with tickets to New Zealand that includes a tour of Weta.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand pavilion has broken all previous Guest of Honour attendance records at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
More than 90,000 people queued to see inside the pavilion over the weekend when the fair was opened to the public.
Kevin Chapman, president of the Publishing Association of New Zealand, said the German reaction to “everything we have done has been one of great joy. They are open to what we try and then when it works they love it.”
The fair was to conclude on Monday morning New Zealand time, with a handover ceremony when New Zealand passes the Guest of Honour status to Brazil.