SASKATOON -- For 23-year-old Nathan Harder, the world of middle-earth just got a bit closer to home.

What was once a pile of dirt is now a replica Hobbit home from the Lord of the Rings franchise.

“We went out and bought the extended editions of all the Hobbit movies and we just watched through them,” said Nathan Harder, a U of S theatre student who helped with the design of the Hobbit hole.

“Then one day, my mom was like, ‘that pile of dirt looks like a Hobbit hole,’ and then, oops, four hours later there was a Hobbit hole there."

 The replica was built using various materials including reinforced steel for the bridge - Harder's favourite part.

"It's a very nice little bridge that my dad had built,” Harder said. “And we put reinforced steel underneath it with his wielder, so I mean, kids are walking all over it, and people are like ‘oh my god, is it going to break apart?’ But it's one of those things that fits perfectly in with the scale."

Kids from around the area write letters to the Hobbits, eagerly awaiting replies.

"There's about a dozen children that are writing with the Hobbits right now,” Harder said. “Then when it comes to the amount of families that are passing by regularly, I'd say now we get about, 20 to 30-ish people a day.”

Harder hopes the Hobbit home will stick around and continue to make an impact with residents in the future.