Recently, New Zealand’s heritage discourse underwent changes: the cinematic adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) (2001, 2002, 2003; dir. Peter Jackson) transformed the country into a cosmopolitan destination for Tolkien fans, movie lovers but also eco-tourists and post-tourists enjoying simulacra. The literary creations ( The Fellowship of the Ring [1954], The Two Towers [1954-5] and The Return of the King [1955]) of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) instigated competitions around their custodianship as cinematic adaptations. The fi rst fi lm’s world premiere (10 December 2000) was held in London as a compliment to the ‘Englishness’ of Tolkien and his Middle Earth (Sibley 2006 : 506). The fi lms’ reception was affected by their simultaneous English (Tolkien’s work), New Zealand (the cinematic locations) and Hollywood (fi nancing) sources (Barker 2009 : 376) – but how? Looking past the cinematic and literary ‘text’ into contexts of reception necessitates more than an examination of tourist and fan cultures. New Zealand’s cinematic simulations were compared with Tolkien’s English literary authenticity, and a brand-related international confl ict focused on the monopolization of LOTR -related tourist revenues: in the UK Canterbury advertised LOTR actor Orlando Bloom’s Canterbury origins while the city’s surviving medieval gates and towers became iconic reminders of Tolkien’s mythology in the city council’s brochures to attract global tourists. Warwickshire has been sporadically recognized as Hobbit-like countryside (Barker 2009 : 382), and even today some Yorkshire areas harbour similar rumours. Lancashire also enhanced its marketability on the basis of its iconic similarity to the rural landscapes of the fi lms, reclaiming thus what New Zealand had ‘stolen’ from Britain. In the Antipodes New Zealand’s Matamata (the ‘true Shire’) and Ruapehu (Mordor) incorporated in self-presentations both Lancashire’s naturalistic iconography and Canterbury’s architectural and ethno-nationalist claims, whereas Auckland became a global advertiser of Jackson’s ‘authentic’ cinematic stage with the foundation of LOTR -themed museums and exhibitions (Tzanelli 2007b : 68-81). Jackson’s digital retrieval of Tolkien’s utopia turned into an object of international discord, revising old colonial confl icts (England versus New Zealand).