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.