Hobbit fever in Wellington [PHOTO ESSAY]

An army of fans (20,000 according to police, 100,000 by TV news shows' count) gathered ahead of The Hobbit premiere.

Click on any photo to zoom.

Elijah Wood on the red carpet (via @jeremybank)

Geraldine Burnett and Seeby Woodhouse (via @Seeby).

Prime Minister John Key with the ubiquitous Ms  Burnett and Mr Woodhouse (via @Seeby).

Olly Biggins collects his luggage at Wellington Airport.

Early crowds gather at the 500m long red carpet

A Hobbit artisan market along side the red carpet

A closeup of the red carpet the stars and guests will use

A barrel of the Hobbits' finest ale...

Preparing the stage outside the Embassy Theatre

A closeup of the stage outside the Embassy Theatre

MORE SOON!

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