Daily News

7 December 2004

HOBBIT TRAIL: The King has returned. And we're not talking Elvis.

There was pandemonium Wednesday at the much-anticipated premiere of ``The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King'' in Westwood. The red carpet was packed with almost the entire ``LOTR'' cast, smiling - if a tad jet-lagged - from the world premiere/weekend festivities in Wellington, New Zealand.

....``Rings'' freaks in the crowd: actress Ashley Scott; James Caan; Christopher Lloyd; Robin Williams; Shannon Elizabeth and hubby Joe Reitman, both in faded jeans (c'mon, guys, at least wear cords for this historic premiere); ``Xena: Warrior Princess'' star Lucy Lawless, looking like a swinging-'60s babe in a mini-dress and white boots; Adrien Brody; Patricia Arquette; and Jack Osbourne, looking like a Hobbit who didn't join the Fellowship, hung out in Bag End and had way too many second breakfasts.

After the premiere, shuttle buses transported everyone to the Middle- earth after-party near the Wadsworth Theatre. Fog machines filled the Fangorn Forest - decorated tents where Hobbiton musicians played fifes and lutes and guests guzzled mead and feasted on fowl and frog legs. Oh, Gollum would have loved such fresh, tasty fishies, wouldn't he now, my Preciousssss?