Peter Jackson's award-winning hair and make-up team have been behind some remarkable transformations over the years. Their work on the hobbits, elves and 13-strong crew of dwarves in The Hobbit is among their most impressive to date.
Who is: A rich hobbit, respected for his aversion to adventure, whose life is turned around by an unexpected visit from Gandalf the Grey and a company of dwarves.
Played by: Martin Freeman (UK)
Who is: The hard-partying loudmouth of the company, a brother of Bombur and a cousin to Bifur.
Played by: James Nesbitt (UK)
Who is: Dwarf nobility and the oldest in the company, he is the group's resident deep-thinker.
Played by: Ken Stott (UK)
Who is: The youngest brother of Dori and Nori, he's the timid teenager of the pack who comes with a slingshot and a journal to write of his adventures.
Played by: Adam Brown (UK)
Who is: The dwarf with the remnants of an orc axe in his head, which means he's the company's least conversational, most unhinged member.
Played by: William Kircher (NZ), who also plays one of the trolls in the trilogy.
Who is: The younger brother of Fili, he is another one of Thorin Oakenshield's nephews. He's already been branded "the hot dwarf" and reportedly develops a thing for willowy elf Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly of Lost fame).
Played by: Aidan Turner (Ireland)
Who is: One of the younger dwarves in the company, the nephew of leader Thorin Oakenshield and quite a fighter (reportedly).
Played by: Dean O'Gorman (NZ) who replaced English actor Rob Kazinsky in the role a few weeks into the shoot.
Who is: The ultimate warrior of the company who doesn't much like anyone who isn't a dwarf.
Played by: Graham McTavish (UK)
Who is: Not just the dwarf with the star-shaped hairdo and a reputation of mischief, but the brother of Dori and Ori too.
Played by: Jed Brophy (NZ)
Who is: The eldest of a trio of brothers with Ori and Nori, the strongman of the company and its biggest worrier about what will befall them next.
Played by: Mark Hadlow (NZ)
Who is: The father of Gimli from the Lord of the Rings. Quick-tempered and forthright in his opinions, he is one of the few married dwarves in the company.
Played by: Peter Hambleton (NZ)
Who is: The brother of Bofur and cousin to Bifur, he's the company cook as well as having the most voracious appetite.
Played by: Stephen Hunter (NZ)
Who is: The leader of the company who comes with his own surname and a very big sword.
Played by: Richard Armitage (UK), who just might be the Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) of this trilogy.
Who is: The brother of Gloin and a cousin to Thorin Oakenshield, he's effectively the company's financial backer as well as its medic.
Played by: John Callen (NZ)
Go to nzherald.co.nz tomorrow for full coverage of The Hobbit red carpet and premiere. Live updates will begin at 12pm and a live stream of all the action will start at 3:50pm.
- Graphics by Claudia Ruiz