Signs of Middle Earth have been spotted this week at New Zealand’s Wellington International Airport as two soaring eagles have joined an existing Gollum figure in the airport’s terminal. The installation coincides with the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which was filmed in New Zealand. The two eagle installations weigh approximately one ton with a wingspan of 15 feet, with one of the eagles carrying the wizard Gandalf on its back. Wellington’s Weta Workshop, which also lent its talents for the film’s props, designed and assembled the birds. Wellington Airport also serves as the incubation grounds for Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-300 aircraft that dons Hobbit-inspired livery. The dragon Smaug appears on the aircraft and flew to Los Angeles for the December 2 premiere of the film.
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