To honor the release of the last movie in The Hobbit trilogy, Entertainment Weekly asked Stephen Colbert, a long-time Tolkein aficionado, to write a farewell cover story for the movie series. In return, they dressed Colbert in elaborate, super amazing Bilbo, Gandalf, and Legolas costumes for the issue’s cover shoot.
Luckily for us, EW let Colbert take some goofy, meta candids in the outfits, as well as the more polished covers. They’re all housed in the full gallery, but you can check out the nerdiest highlights below!
There’s also a video including Colbert’s in-character tomfoolery and time lapses of his intense transformations.
This cover goes to press at an interesting point in Colbert’s career. Next week, his long-running political satire show The Colbert Report will end to allow Colbert to take over for David Letterman on The Late Show.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies hits theaters in just one week, on December 17th. Many theaters are also hosting marathons of all three films on December 15th, if you’re prepared for some numb butt syndrome.
Let us know what feels more bittersweet: the end of The Colbert Report or the release of the last Hobbit film.