Since Sir Pete set out on his quest to bring New Zealand's epic landscape to the big screen, 20 years ago, Lord of the Rings has been inseparably entwined with Aotearoa.
This has been both a blessing and a curse for parts of the country.
Residents of Matamata can remember clearly when Elvish-speaking tourists with glued-on ears, first arrived. Today - with borders closed - these Hobbiton fanatics are sorely missed.
The Lord of the Rings films belong to the same collection of things Kiwis are "weirdly proud of" as Shrek the Sheep and Burt Munro.
However in terms of value the hobbits and co. have had an outsized influence on the country, greater than even the World's Fastest Indian.
It has sold airfares, holidays and countless Weta-workshop merchandise.
Vistas captured in a few frames of film - no more than a couple of seconds - have had enough power to attract a steady stream of visitors. There are selfie spots in the Queenstown lakes have been reliably full for the past two decades.
But ever since the promised return of the Lord of the Rings has been used as a Tolkien-esque power play.
From the beginning both New Zealand and the UK tipped as a filming locations for Amazon's television spin-off. The studios were keen not to show any favour to the original film locations.
It has been a race to the bottom for subsidies and tourism tie-ins ever since.
"One franchise to divide them all" is right out of Amazon's playbook.
When in 2018 Amazon decided it was in need of a new US Headquarters all fifty states were invited to an open tender.
With the promise of 25,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment from the third most valuable company in the world, the bidding war was more fierce than anything dreamed up by Weta studios.
"Think big and be creative," was Amazon's brief to prospective HQ cities.
This seemed disingenuous, when they chose to relocate to Washington, where chief executive Jeff Bezos had only recently moved - buying up a bunch of interests including the Washington Post newspaper.
The New York Times accused Amazon's leadership of "bad faith" and a "bait and switch".
Critics said the move was to soften Washington's bargaining power, and there was never any competition.
"We did not come into this with any decisions made," said the company at the time, and that Jeff Bezos' personal preference and address were not a factor in the bid.
There was a concern from Tourism Industry officials that "decades of investment" New Zealand tourism has already put into the Lord of the Rings could leave overseas if another location. Not so.
If it's a huge success, that will only be a boon for inbound tourists. If it is a turkey, it will only increase fondness for the originals.
The UK bid was always kept in the picture from the start. Now Amazon has said it will be moving its production back overseas, it still seems like
I wouldn't be surprised if they're back.
Can you blame them when the place looks like this?
Lord of the Rings filming locations
While Amazon's TV series were filmed mostly on a sound studio in Kumeu, it was the natural settings and outdoor filming locations which gave the original its character. Here are a few favourites:
A perfectly cortical volcano, Ngauruhoe is a handsome Maunga instantly recognisable as "Mount Doom" in the film trilogy. The finish line and ultimate destinations of the movies, you can visit on a detour on the Tongariro Alpine Track.
You'll find plenty of other Mordor stand ins including parts of the Whakapapa and Tukino Ski fields.
In the middle of Wellington you'll find a familiar road from the films. The wood lined walk transports you to a moment in the films when the 'Black Riders' - ultimate baddies - appear to kidnap the hobbits. A couple of minutes drive from the Weta Workshop who run studio tours for Lord of the Rings fans, Wellywood might be the spiritual home of the movies.
About an hour and a half drive from Auckland or Matamata and Hobbiton, the characterful karst outcrops were used as a backdrop in the first movie for "Weathertop Hollow". However, there's also plenty of adventuring to be done at the Hakarimata Ranges and Sunset beach at the end of the Waikato river. It's a grand day out in its own right
Deer Park Heights
At the end of a private road Deerpark Heights, in Queenstown's Kelvin Heights have been off limits for years. Farm owners were sick of film tourists traipsing up their road to take photos and scare their livestock. They had a change of heart when they found they could charge $55 per vehicle to visitors. Reopened as a tourist attraction, you can get superb views of Mirror Tarn, the Remarkables and Wakatipu - straight out of Lord of the Rings.
At the top of Wakatipu, just outside of Glenorchy, Queenstown - the meeting of the ribboned rivers Rees and Dart is a spectacular valley. Paradise offers views down towards the snow capped Mt Earnslaw and the Routeburn Valley. Beginning of the Routeburn Great Walk this is the start of many an adventure - not just on the big screen.