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GALLERY: 'Hobbit' Cast Parties in Middle-Earth (a.k.a. New Zealand)

It's no surprise that the world premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was held in New Zealand. What was rather unexpected is how many stars were actually able to make it.

Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis and other Middle-earth dwellers journeyed halfway around the world to step out on the red carpet in Wellington in celebration of Jackson's first return to J.R.R. Tolkien territory since 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." And they were quite the merry gathering!

Check out our collection of pics from the premiere, and let the new Tolkien Trilogy commence! "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens Dec. 14.

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