SHANNARA On MTV: Glowworms & Hobbits

filming-wormcave3Dear Readers,

And, I should add hopefully, future viewers. I think you will be once you’ve seen what’s coming.

But for now, the latest report from the fringes of New Zealand. Yesterday, Sunday here, was the close of the three day holiday, and Judine and I took the day to go off to the Glowworm caves and Hobbitton. Took us all day to do this, 12 hours, because the traffic was horrific. Everyone going somewhere and all of them coming back at the same time to Auckland. Really a mess, but the day was worth it.

Went to the Glowworm caves first. This was something I had never experienced, and in many ways it was almost spiritual. You take a tour that begins on foot into the caves, which are the familiar limestone type with stalactites and stalagmites and all sorts of weird formations to study. There are various chambers – a cathedral among them where one of our number was persuaded to sing a song so we could all hear the echo. We ended in a darkened chamber where you could look through crevices and see the glowworms off in the dark. They looked like those tiny white christmas tree lights, all clustered in groups.

Afterwards we went down some stairs and boarded a boat which took us into the caverns. Our guide used personal man power to pull us along ropes strung above us so there was no sound but the lapping of the water. We passed through various chambers and the ceiling was covered in the shimmering light of the glowworms, thousands of them spread out in bunches all across the ceiling. The curious effect of this, with the water beneath reflecting in the light of the worms, was to suggest that the river we were on was actually above us and the worms were floating in it. Very strange, but wonderful to see.

Leaving there, we went on to Hobbitton for a second visit, having been there last fall, but wanting to go back. While there, we took bunches of pix of Hobbit Holes and sets from the movies. Sorry to report that once again we did not see a single Hobbit, though we keep a close watch out. It may be that they have moved on to less busy places.

While we were out exploring, the actors on their days off got to work out in the gym, engage in weapons training, practice horseback riding and learn their lines. Who got the better deal this day, do you think?

Can’t begin to tell you how hard these young people work at their craft. They are a revelation. Judine and I love them all, and we think you will, too, when you see them at work and in character. Back tomorrow with another day of shooting.

All good wishes, Terry

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Written by Terry Brooks
I am the author of the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, as well as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Street Freaks. I love to write, read, and travel. For more information about me, you can read my writing guide/memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works.