Death of a Wizard

Realm of the Ring
The Set at Wingate
August 8, 2000

Wizard Death Casts Spell Over Spectators
Staff Reporter

Now personally, I think we should take this article with a grain of salt. The report could be entirely fabricated, although the more likely explanation for it is that they wizard they are referring to is Saruman and not Gandalf. -- MATTHEW

Did Gandalf the wizard breath his last breath in the Hutt Valley today?

Filming of a scene from the $360 million The Lord Of The Rings trilogy could clearly be seen at a set on a vacant site in Peterkin St, Taita, today.

Parts of the set, which included a large blue screen, a spotlight on a crane and props, have been visible from the street for the past few days.

The scene today showed what appeared to be wizard character Gandalf, who is played by British actor Sir Ian McKellen, impaled on a large spiked wooden wheel. Crew were moving the wheel in an anti-clockwise direction during filming.

It was unclear where in J R R Tolkien's classic the scene takes place. It is possible that it is the first death of Gandalf after battling a creature called the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-Dum.

Gandalf falls into an abyss and disappears, returning later as the more powerful Gandalf the White.

Other sightseers today included a couple who perched on the roof of their car for a view of the action. A woman used a telescope, while a man took photographs.

Film company Three Foot Six and New Line Cinema have been highly secretive about filming in the Wellington region, keeping the media off site and limiting the release of film images.

Filming began on Mt Victoria last October and has also taken place in the Dry Creek Quarry on Haywards Hill, the former Fort Dorset site in Seatoun, and Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.