A great evening at the TORn party in Wellington

[Below follows a report from Mersguy, whom long-time readers may remember from her fan showcase, in which she outed herself as an unabashed admirer of Armitage’s physicality. Mersguy traveled with a group of fellow Armitage fans to the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and stood among the t-shirted fans who met Mr. Armitage briefly on the red carpet. Here she speaks about the atmosphere at the TORn party held the previous evening. Photos are Mersguy’s; I edited them very slightly to improve the visibility of the faces and costumes.]

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photo1[Left: Some of the group in costume at the party]

Normally I detest costume parties and avoid them at all costs. Must be a childhood phobia. I’m thrilled that I overcame my original reluctance, however, and managed to persuade my other four traveling companions to attend.

Once I secured tickets, the hunt was on for costumes. Arwen was out of the question; slender and ethereal looking and I don’t mix. I eventually settled on a tavern wench-ish costume, which I thought I wouldn’t look too silly in. Actually, all of us girls finally settled for similar-looking costumes, just in different colors.

The party was held at the five-star Amora, a beautiful hotel in downtown Wellington. The atmosphere was electric from the moment we walked into the ballroom. There were Gandalfs, Arwens, someone dressed as a barrel, some spooky-looking trees, a selection of Hobbits, Aragorns, and many other LoTR characters. Even Loki from Asgard was there — he obviously took a  wrong turn from the rainbow bridge! He was very authentic-looking. But I digress.

Jed Brophy (Nori) was the emcee and did a magnificent job. Everyone was very chatty and extremely friendly. People were taking photos for each other and complementing other partygoers on their costumes.

photo2[Right: with Mark Atkin]

I caught up and chatted with Mark Atkin — Richard’s small-scale double. This meeting was lovely, as we had exchanged so many tweets over the last few months.

I had run into dwarves Stephen Hunter (Bombur) and Adam Brown (Ori) earlier in the day, and Stephen again that night. He was very sweet and remembered me. Of course, we took more photos.

Drinks followed and then the room exploded! Jed announced that two special guests were in the house. Of course we all squeed: “RICHARD, the lovely one!!!” No, it was Peter Jackson, the great one, and Elijah Wood. The crowd went berserk, but nobody rushed the stage. We actually hung back a bit until encouraged to come forward a little. Polite bunch, aren’t we?

photo(3)[Left: With Peter Jackson]

Peter thanked everyone for coming and said he hoped we would all enjoy the movie as much as they enjoyed making it for us. Elijah spoke, but I’m not a fan so didn’t really didn’t pay much attention to him. (Sorry, Elijah Wood admirers.)

Security started to form a barrier leading to the exit, so I made my way in that direction and waited for Peter Jackson to appear. In no time at all, I found myself shaking his hand and introducing myself. He asked me where I was from. I thanked him for casting Richard as Thorin. I mentioned that we were all eagerly awaiting his performance, as he is a wonderful talent, something which the world will now discover, too. Peter agreed and got quite animated and said Richard is magnificent in the role. He said something else, but that is when I think reality might have kicked in and I went a bit gooey. He shook my hand again and said thanks and bye!!! OMG, I shook the great one’s hand. Twice!!

Just as we all calmed down from Peter and Elijah’s visit, Andy Serkis and Philipa Boyens appeared. The crowd went into meltdown by this stage. It was like being at a rock concert!

Andy is such a humble, generous man. All the true stars are, aren’t they? He worked the room with ease, chatted with people, signed autographs, and once again thanked everyone for taking the time to come to the event, something a lot of the stars did.

It was time for a drink and debrief with the others at the stage. First I had to find them! We were scattered across the room, each with a different story to tell.

Over the course of the evening, then, I met Jed Brophy, Peter Jackson, Stephen Hunter (twitter buddy — which is an joke by now!), Richard Taylor, numerous WETA workshop geniuses, Larry David from TORn, Adam Bray (a travel journalist for CNN and Syfy Channel — we bonded over a mutual love of Vietnam), Sophie (Nori’s small-scale double), Andy Serkis, and — of course — the delightful, debonair Mark Atkin.

But wait, there’s more!!!

Now it was time for some dancing. William Kircher’s (Bifur) band, The California Dreamers, hit the stage, with its own version of flower power hits, and they were good, too. We all started “California Dreaming,” singing and dancing along to the catchy tunes until raffle prize draw time. Woohoo! TORn had assembled a vast array of Hobbit and LoTR goodies, including five copies of The Hobbit, signed by Peter Jackson.

As if the night could get any better, I won a copy! I really had died and gone to heaven!

The “best costume” winner, a stunning young man dressed as Aragorn, won a ticket to see The Hobbit with the cast and special guests on Wednesday. No plus one, though. I did check that out! LOL.

It was a magical night. I was surrounded by delightful friends — Kelly, Linda, Anacris and Anna — and many new friends I made that night. We laughed, squeed, jumped for joy, drank champagne, sang, and danced until the house lights went up.

My New Zealand bucket list is almost complete. I met the two Thorins, Richard and Mark; met Peter Jackson; and I’m writing this from Gisborne, New Zealand. Yep, I’m in heaven.

~ by Servetus on December 2, 2012.

13 Responses to “A great evening at the TORn party in Wellington”

  1. Sounds like a wondeful evening Mersguy. So you glad you’re having a wonderful time there.

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  2. That was a fantastic report and I loved reading about fans meeting up and sharing a magical event. You met PJ and won a signed book, I’m glad it went to someone so very deserving. OMG you met Richard, that pretty much sums it all up LOL

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  3. Ahhh, what a lovely report – thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to share, Mersguy!! It felt like I was RIGHT THERE with you (without having to be there!) and I love all the photos you’ve included. 🙂

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  4. Thank you for sharing!!! As the others have said – reading the tweets and reports of you and the other ladies almost made me feel as if I’d been there too. 🙂

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  5. I’m so glad you guys had such a great time!

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  6. So pleased you were there! You lot looked marvellous. And many thanks for posting the experience.

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  7. What a wonderful experience you all had! I’m so glad that you had a fun time and you got to meet several key Hobbit folks–Peter Jackson! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. Thanks Mersguy, for this brightly coloured adventure chronicle! One can really feel what a groove you ladies all had….. For so long this Hobbit premiere seemed so long away and now everything passes by so fast.
    Means for me and some others : next week London….. Woohoooo!
    Are there any pictures of the t-shirt army/gang/fans? That would be great!! Haven’t yet read anything about it.

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  9. […] to her report on the TORn pre-premiere party in Wellington: Mersguy also met Peter Hambleton (the guy with the tie), and they are pictured at […]

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  10. […] At least three of them volunteered comments complimenting Richard’s performance in the film. Some of us had attended the TORn party a couple of days before and had been able to talk to some of the dwarves there, and see William Kircher’s and Jed […]

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  11. […] still can’t believe I have a copy of The Hobbit signed by Peter and Richard! I took photos of Bec with Richard and she did the same for […]

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  12. SO JEALOUS!!!

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