Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... Theoden's Armor?

Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Jun 8 2008, 5:13pm

Post #1 of 19 (16603 views)
Shortcut
Did You Ever Notice... Theoden's Armor? Can't Post


CLICK HERE to see the full-sized version.

This was Richard Taylor's favorite armor. WETA made this armor out of plate brass that's been acid etched and covered in leather. They wanted to make it out of the original materials as it would have been made in the Middle Ages. According to Bernard Hill, it weighed 22 kg ...dry. There are just layers and layers of detail on this armor. I'm not even sure I've found everything!

The first layer of the armor is a skirt of leaf mail. There's a pattern of horse heads on some of the scales.



Next, the cuirass. It's decorated with the horse heads and golden sun of the king. The sides actually have little hunting stories on them. The designers wanted the armor to tell a story about the history of the Rohan people. The golden sun is actually stamped inside of the breastplate. No one but Bernard Hill and his dressers would ever see it, but Bernard Hill loved it. He said it reminded him of his position every time he put the armor on.





A boar hunting scene along the side:


The motifs inside of the armor:


The horse-head motif on his hip guard:


The back of the armor:




The vambraces and greaves:




And don't forget your helmet! You can see again that golden sun and his horse-head crest.


As usual, I send you off to Alley Cat Scratch for more pictures and details.

So, any thoughts?


Did You Ever Notice? is a roving discussion looking at the details put into the costumes of LOTR. It doesn't appear on any particular day or follow any particular order. You can find previous discussions ar the Costume Discussion Archive.




My LiveJournal
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive
Screencap of the Day Schedule for June


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 8 2008, 6:03pm

Post #2 of 19 (9773 views)
Shortcut
It's a panoply of riches! [In reply to] Can't Post

random thoughts:

So much detail. I mean, detail on top of detail on top of detail. If I were to follow this line of work, with my personality... this is something I could create. I am known for packing lots of little details into something... some so tiny they're hard to notice unless someone calls attention to them. Many of the images you posted were too dark for me. There's something about my monitor that darkens some images (that I know others can see fine). I can lighten them in photoshop if I get a chance. But I have Theoden's ToyBiz figure so I can see some of what you're talking about on that.

Unless my monitor's really monkeying with color as well, the color of that first image really reminds me of a wasp. Wasps make me nervous.

You said there was a pattern of horse heads in some of the scales and just below showed a close up. Should I be able to see horse heads in that image?

Looking at my ToyBiz figure, I'm drawn to the shoes. There's something covering the shoes. The back looks like something that could hold a spur and I'm pleased to see it doesn't. I can image the Rohirrim wouldn't need spurs. Is this covering purely armor to protect the feet from weapon blows or does it have some horse riding function?

My favorite part of the whole outfit is the horse head on top of his helmet which, until now, had escaped me.

I am left wondering about the history of making armor such as this. What was in the mind of those that design/fabricate such intricate symbols into the armor? Was it intention to imbue a sense of elevated status? Was there any belief in magical protection? What there any sense of earning certain elements (the equivalent of ticking off the enemies killed)? Did the person wearing it tell people what to make (I want horses and knotwork and suns...) or were there designers who showed sketches to the wearer and then, once approved had them fabricated? Did the designers just make it on their own and present it to the wearer? Or were the fabricators the designers?





magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Jun 8 2008, 7:12pm

Post #3 of 19 (9755 views)
Shortcut
Some random answers [In reply to] Can't Post

It's armor like this that makes me wonder if WETA really believed these tiny details could show up on screen or if they just loved their work that much. It's incredible! I know that in creating this post there are so many details I've missed. I wish that I knew how long this particular suit of armor took to create.

I'm sorry that the pictures aren't clearer for you. Unfortunately, too much brown on brown and gold on gold makes for very dark pictures, sometimes. I'll have to see if I can play with the brightness and contrast to get some of the details to show up. If not, about 90% of the pictures are from the EE for TTT, either the WETA Workshop documentary or the design galleries for Theoden.


In Reply To
You said there was a pattern of horse heads in some of the scales and just below showed a close up. Should I be able to see horse heads in that image?


Yes, you should be able to see the decoration there. Here's a sketch of the decorated scales. I stole this from ACS, it was credited to Xander and JB.


In Reply To
I am left wondering about the history of making armor such as this. What was in the mind of those that design/fabricate such intricate symbols into the armor? Was it intention to imbue a sense of elevated status? Was there any belief in magical protection? What there any sense of earning certain elements (the equivalent of ticking off the enemies killed)? Did the person wearing it tell people what to make (I want horses and knotwork and suns...) or were there designers who showed sketches to the wearer and then, once approved had them fabricated? Did the designers just make it on their own and present it to the wearer? Or were the fabricators the designers?


I have a feeling that when you're designing armor for a king, you give him what he wants. Cool I imagine that the royal heraldy was pretty familiar to the armorers, but I also like to think Theoden had some hand in the design process. I'm certainly no expert on ancient arms and armor, but I can tell you that WETA based a lot of their designs for the Rohirrim on the Sutton Hoo burial. HERE is the Wikipedia entry, which might give you an idea of their culture.



My LiveJournal
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive
Screencap of the Day Schedule for June


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 8 2008, 7:38pm

Post #4 of 19 (9679 views)
Shortcut
Great pictures [In reply to] Can't Post

and a great armour. I remember them talking about the device inside the breatplate on the DVD - and how amazed I was about all these details no one would ever see in the movie and they did nonetheless. And being a horse fan myself, I love all these horse heads on the leaf pattern skirt and the helmet and everywhere, of course. They were *so* fitting for the king of the horse folk!

Wow - 22 kg? And wet leather is getting heavier ... it must have been rather tiring to wear that, particularly during the Helms Deep shot.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 8 2008, 7:45pm

Post #5 of 19 (9706 views)
Shortcut
Hmmm ... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Looking at my ToyBiz figure, I'm drawn to the shoes. There's something covering the shoes. The back looks like something that could hold a spur and I'm pleased to see it doesn't. I can image the Rohirrim wouldn't need spurs. Is this covering purely armor to protect the feet from weapon blows or does it have some horse riding function?


Can't say for sure, because I am no expert in armour, but if there is any horse riding function, my guess would be to protect the feet from the stirrups. You can get nasty bruises from them when the foot slips too far into the stirrup (been there myself!) There's a reason why it is always advised *not* to ride in sneakers, but to wear at least ankle-high shoes.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 8 2008, 8:33pm

Post #6 of 19 (9660 views)
Shortcut
makes sense to me // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 8 2008, 8:35pm

Post #7 of 19 (9704 views)
Shortcut
thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

the sketch helped me see it. I probably could have if I had enlarged the photo more but as it was, it just seemed like a scroll-y design.

Don't bother trying to lighten things up. I can do that if I get curious enough. We had a long discussion awhile back about an image that popped up in one of the ads on the site. Some people could see Lurtz really well and I just saw mostly darkness. I had to lighten it up to see what they were seeing. I do have an old monitor.



magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


namadriel
Lorien


Jun 8 2008, 10:04pm

Post #8 of 19 (9757 views)
Shortcut
I always thought he had some of the coolest armor. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's great to see some of the details!


Starling
Half-elven


Jun 9 2008, 6:10am

Post #9 of 19 (9689 views)
Shortcut
We wantsssss it [In reply to] Can't Post

I could wear it when I am on duty in the playground. Wink

But seriously, it really is beautiful. Once again I want to thank you, Arwen's daughter, for giving us a chance to have a really good look.
The horse head details on the scales are wonderful. I love the way they got those horse motifs into so many places, often in very subtle ways.
I can't think of anything sensible to say now, so I'll just say, wow!


Huan71
Lorien

Jun 9 2008, 9:19am

Post #10 of 19 (9680 views)
Shortcut
Detail ! [In reply to] Can't Post

When i first got the EE's of the films on DVD i actually watched all the "extras" discs first.
My favorite bits were seeing the process for designing and making the costumes, armour and weapons (oh, and also the bigatures!!).
It's something I'd not thought about for a while....until i saw these pictures.
The attention to detail is amazing. I think it was part labour of love/Pride in their work and part helping to create a more convincing product. Not only would it look great in screen (or "up close and personal" as in these pics! lol) but i'm sure would help the actor (in this case, a certain Mr B Hill !...) get into character more easily.
I reckon he felt ready to charge into battle for real!! lol
Thanks for the pic's. I'm gonna get those extras discs out when i next get a spare hour or 4!!

"Only the guilty dream"... oh dear, i'm DOOMED!!


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 9 2008, 4:08pm

Post #11 of 19 (9667 views)
Shortcut
I missed the horsehead on the top of the helmet, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I'm just always so caught up in the character and the scene that I never notice details like this when I'm watching the films -- but you'd think that horsehead on the helmet would be hard to miss!

Weaver



weaver
Half-elven

Jun 9 2008, 4:14pm

Post #12 of 19 (9663 views)
Shortcut
"armor that tells a story" [In reply to] Can't Post

"The designers wanted the armor to tell a story about the history of the Rohan people."

I like that description. When I look at the images you posted here, I do feel like I'm flipping through the pages of an old book -- I get the sense that each detail of the armor is like a word on a page, and together they tell you something about the culture that created this "tale."

I could see where wearing something like this would really help an actor keep their focus on the character they were playing. Like Miranda Otto saying that being in the location they created for the Golden Hall helped her to imagine what it would be like to live in that world, and be from Rohan, etc. For a "fantasy" film they certainly did everything they could to ground the story, and the actors, in reality.

Thanks as always for posting these!


Weaver



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 9 2008, 4:33pm

Post #13 of 19 (9693 views)
Shortcut
*spasm* Theoden's Armour [In reply to] Can't Post

is the most stunning of all, imho! When I was able to see it at the LotR museum exhibit, I remember gasping and being glued to it as I tried to look over every detail! The engraving along the scales was so delicate. But these pictures have brought me even closer to it. Wow, Arwen's daughter! These are glorious!

Cripes, this whole costume suits Bernard Hill so well! Not just how it fits, but how it looks. Fantastic!


I like the story he tells from the commentary how he found a hunting stick/seat that he got at an auction to lean/sit upon when he had the armour on. That skirting on it made it impossible to sit in a seat normally. The Weta people took the hunting seat and refinished it for him, putting a new leather seat on it with Rohirric etchings along the edges of the leather. He eventually gave it as a gift to the crewmember when the filming was done.


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Jun 9 2008, 4:37pm)


Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Jun 9 2008, 5:28pm

Post #14 of 19 (9652 views)
Shortcut
Again I have to thank Toybiz [In reply to] Can't Post

For making me actually notice the armors. This one is just amazing, so detailed.

It's in my Top 5 armors, I believe (in no particular order):
  • Prologue Elf
  • Sauron
  • Easterling
  • Gil Galad
  • Théoden

May I suggest for a near future Did you ever notice...? that we visit Théodred's armor? That one was quite interesting as well, albeit seen only briefly in TTEE.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Artanis
Rohan


Jun 9 2008, 7:35pm

Post #15 of 19 (9656 views)
Shortcut
The detail [In reply to] Can't Post

is still amazing. What I love is that last picture of Bernard Hill, it just suits him so much and he looks rather pleased that he gets to wear it. Excellent.

Artanis

Reading: Unfinished Tales, The Princess and Curdie, Sense and Sensibility.

Listening: LOTR Trilogy Soundrack, Downhere-Wide Eyed and Mystified, Steven Curtis Chapman-This Moment.

Random Delights: tea, Peanut Butter Kitkat, toast and strawberry jam. TORN


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Jun 9 2008, 10:00pm

Post #16 of 19 (9665 views)
Shortcut
*adds Theodred to the list* [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Compa_Mighty. I didn't have him on the list yet!



My LiveJournal
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive
Screencap of the Day Schedule for June


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 10 2008, 2:22pm

Post #17 of 19 (9663 views)
Shortcut
Great. Now I'm in trouble. [In reply to] Can't Post

   
All of this talk of Theoden's armour in this post and previous ones has gotten me all in a tither. I love Theoden in the films and his costumes. So, there I was sitting in the ebay site when I found Sideshow Theoden in his full armour (sans helm). *BAM!* my little mouse clicked on Buy It Now, and he's on his way to my home. CHA-CHING! The price wasn't as bad as I've seen, but more than I'd prefer... but cripes I have trouble feeling badly about it. *squeeeeeeeeee* I'm SO EXCITED!!!




sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 10 2008, 2:50pm

Post #18 of 19 (9626 views)
Shortcut
Congrats, Gramma! [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't feel bad about it. Sometimes we simply need to do something nice for ourselves, and buying this figure was obviously just what you needed just now! It was meant to be! Smile

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


bearagorn
Lorien


Jun 24 2008, 12:34pm

Post #19 of 19 (9630 views)
Shortcut
Rohirrim [In reply to] Can't Post

As the Rohirrim are my joint favourite characters from the lotr,i was really eager to see what they would be like in the films.I was not disappointed. The pictures you show of Theodens armour are incredible.Thank you for taking the time,it made my day. Smile

Forth, Eorlingas!
Forth, Eorlingas

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.