Where better to attend the trilogy than at The Embassy, Wellington? Phil Capper was on location and wrote up this report for us.

The day was bright and sparkling as we all arrived in mid afternoon. A bit like the world premiere day actually. The fell beast leaned out over us. But there weren’t very many to intimidate. Unlike the North American trilogies the Wellington event was not a sell out. There were two reasons for this;

1. Those who had ‘bought’ personal seats to fund the restoration had their seats held until quite late. Thus many people had gained the impression that the event was a sell out when it actually wasn’t.
2. Wellington is a small city, so fans this committeed are in shorter supply.

In the foyer beautiful harp renditions of parts of the score soothed us as we waited. There was a definite sense of a fellowship setting out on a joint adventure as we all went in. The beautiful new seats were ideal for this sort of thing – we would be here for the same length of time as for a Los Angeles to Auckland flight, but with much more comfort than an economy class airline seat.

At the end of FOTR we all collected our collectible and went out blinking into the warm evening sun for a little before returning to more harp music and TTT. We had exercised incredible self discipline and NOT so far watched our EE DVD at home. By the end of TTT we were so inside Middle Earth that I was scanning Courtenay Place suspiciously for orcs. The fell beast on top of The Embassy seemed to have got more ominous.

Yet more harp music, but now the foyer was very full of all the ‘latecomers’ who only had tickets for the midnight ROTK. I was so much ‘inside’ the story by now that my detached critical faculties were nowhere to be heard, and all the grumpy analysis I am now reading on the boards all seem to be incredibly petty. To tell the truth despite over 40 years of reading the books, FOTR and TTT had so drawn me in to the Middle Earth of PJ that I went through the whole of ROTK without making a comparison more than once – and that was to say to myself ‘Oh, he DID finish the right way’ at the very end.

Only on the way home in the cool morning air did we begin to make comparisons. But we silently agreed to stop. We wanted to hold on to the magic of total engagement for a little longer, falling asleep to dreams of beacons coming alive on long-loved mountain tops.