Stephen Colbert to become Honorary Citizen of Hobbiton

In a recent Late Night interview, Stephen Colbert called New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “basically a hobbit.” This little quip, connecting New Zealand (once again) to the Peter Jackson films, caused Ardern to admit that she did, in fact, audition for the Hobbit films, but was unsuccessful. Perhaps that was best, given the films, but it gave Colbert a chance to talk about his Tolkienophila. He is, as he says, pretty much obsessed with The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s work.

Well, that exchange with the Prime Minister led to a beautiful moment for a Tolkien fan. As a result of Colbert’s admission of neverending fandom, PM Ardern revealed that he has been invited to become a citizen of Hobbiton. This honour does not include a magical sword, or even a golden key. It does, however, include a mug.

Stephen Colbert’s response? “Did you bring the paperwork?”

I wonder if Tom Shippey is next.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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20 Responses to Stephen Colbert to become Honorary Citizen of Hobbiton

  1. Tom Hillman says:

    I see Shippey more as one of the Istari than a hobbit.


    • I don’t know if they offer honorary memberships.


      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        I don’t suppose there’s a full-scale reconstruction of Isengard, anywhere… (nor do I know if Rhosgobel as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is extant anywhere…: Radagast’s Tolkien Gateway article notes that “When Tolkien finished writing the story up till Moria, he made notes on the future story development; therein he considered handing over Isengard to Radagast” – !)


  2. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Tangentially, I can’t remember ever hearing or reading why the late Senator McCain seemed to view being a hobbit as a categorically negative thing (!).


  3. danaames says:

    If you didn’t see Colbert’s interview with Liv Tyler earlier in the summer, look it up. He was completely awestruck when she brought The Sword for him to hold. It was so sweet!

    Hope all goes well with your research, Brenton. Safe travels.



  4. Dorothea says:

    oh man, this show clip and the announcement make me so happy.


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