Prince Charles was given a special gift to mark his 64th birthday - a sneak preview of costumes and props from The Hobbit.
The Prince, who is on a Pacific tour, travelled to the Wellington suburb of Miramar, which has been dubbed "Wellywood" because of the movie-making companies in the area.
A dwarf from Peter Jackson's JRR Tolkien adaptation, played by actor Mark Hadlow, offered his sword and service to the royal, much to his amazement.
When the Prince came across the diminutive creature during his tour of a movie special effects company, the dwarf dropped to one knee and said in a booming voice he had been released by Jackson "for you to command as you see fit, your servant Dori".
Charles laughed and said: "This is the best birthday present I've had for a long time."
Speaking about making the movie the actor said: "It was fantastic, we were filming for 18 months and the whole thing was an extraordinary experience.
"It was like being back at boarding school. We were the naughty dwarves and only Peter Jackson could keep us in check and eventually he joined in."
The royal was shown weapons and costumes from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part in a trilogy which receives its world premiere at the end of the month in Wellington. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend its first screening in London.
Peter Hambleton, who plays the dwarf Gloin, was part-way through a three-hour make-up process to become his character when Charles met him.
The dwarf's big ears stuck out as he sat in a chair and he shared a laugh with the Prince who is famed for his large lugholes. Speaking about making the movie, Hambleton said: "We started make-up at 4.30am to get into character and we worked up to 16 hour days."