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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... Eowyn's Starry Mantle?
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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Nov 20 2008, 9:05pm

Post #1 of 31 (4876 views)
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Did You Ever Notice... Eowyn's Starry Mantle? Can't Post



Sorry about the long wait between posts, this time!

This is one of the few pieces of clothing that Prof. Tolkien actually described for us. From Return of the King:

"They were clad in warm raiment and heavy cloaks, and over all the Lady Éowyn wore a great blue mantle of the colour of deep summer-night, and it was set with silver stars about hem and throat. Faramir had sent for this robe and had wrapped it about her; and he thought that she looked fair and queenly indeed as she stood there at his side. The mantle was wrought for his mother, Finduilas of Amroth, who died untimely, and was to him but a memory of loveliness in far days and of his first grief; and her robe seemed to him raiment fitting for the beauty and sadness of Éowyn."

This mantle is shaped differently from all of Eowyn's other cloaks. At the coronation and funeral we see her in a semi-circular cloak. This one seems to be a long rectangle of cloth, probably blue wool, that's been draped over her shoulders. Gold trim, about 3 inches wide, is sewn along the top of the cloak and tiny clear beads are sewn into clusters of 3 to create the stars.



You can see here how dense the stars are at the top of the mantle and how sparse they are at the bottom.



Can you see the clusters of beads here that form the stars? Also, if you look under her armpit you will see a white strap of the same fabric as her dress. This is almost certainly part of a harness to hold the mantle in place.



Underneath the mantle she wears a dress of lightweight cream silk with triangular sleeves. Hospital gowns were so much more elegant in Minas Tirith!



You can find more details at The Costumer's Guide and AlleyCatScratch.

Any thoughts?


Did You Ever Notice? is a wandering discussion taking a look at some of the detail in the films one costume at a time. It appears on no particular day nor does it follow any scheduled order. You can always find past discussions at my Costume Discussion Archive.



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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 20 2008, 9:36pm

Post #2 of 31 (3251 views)
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hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

The way I read the book description, the mantle was mostly blue with stars only at the top and bottom. This design looks like stars all over, though there are more at the top, as you point out..

I am not remotely gifted in this area though so if Ngila thought this design better than the book I am sure she had good reasons! And of course I may not have read the book right either!

It's a beautiful color and it looks good on her no matter what.

Oh, and when I went to one of the sites you linked, I saw that very wonderfully romantic shot of Faramir and Eowyn from the Houses of Healing -- **insert major femme-sigh here**. That is just such a wonderful image!

Thanks and good to have these back again -- I've missed them!

Weaver



Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Nov 20 2008, 10:02pm

Post #3 of 31 (3246 views)
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I do think Tolkien had something simpler in mind [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The way I read the book description, the mantle was mostly blue with stars only at the top and bottom. This design looks like stars all over, though there are more at the top, as you point out..


With stars just at the top and hem, as you said. I wish I'd been in on the design meeting for a piece like this, though!


In Reply To
Thanks and good to have these back again -- I've missed them!


Thank you. And it's good to be able to post them again!



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debo
Rohan

Nov 20 2008, 11:33pm

Post #4 of 31 (3206 views)
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It's really beautiful [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll have to go to that part of the movie and have a good look as I never really noticed it before.

Thanks, it is lovely!!!

Frodo; "What I chiefly need now is courage . . ."


squire
Half-elven


Nov 21 2008, 12:06am

Post #5 of 31 (3237 views)
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Yes - too ditzy [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm surprised at all the fussy little crystal stars. They don't look like stars, they look like a pattern. For the basic mantle, I would have expected something that was a little deeper, richer and heavier - more like velvet than wool. The effect should be warmth and nobility - this flirts with being lingerie.

And the stars should be actual silver, star shaped, and less frequent - more like jewelry than applique. The overall impression should be more "night" like, rather than polka dot.

I'm also confused by the cut. As you say, it appears rectangular judging by the lift in the back, and the swagging all over the floor at the corners. What's up with that? Why not go with the semicircle or the tube cut, which works best at keeping the body enclosed?

I know this is nitpicky, but the thing cannot be closed for warmth. There is no clasp or draw to let Eowyn or Finduilas use it "wrapped about her" as the text describes.

I do like the intricate pattern on the border! I wish it was re-used on the opposite edge, or otherwise balanced.

So, sorry. Not my favorite Ngila creation, at all, at all.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 21 2008, 3:53am

Post #6 of 31 (3235 views)
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To be honest, [In reply to] Can't Post

I have no recollection of this cloak at all! Though I have seen the EE many times.

Seems quite contemporary compared to most of the other costumes in the trilogy.

Very eye catching and dreamy...


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 21 2008, 5:46am

Post #7 of 31 (3238 views)
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Beautiful design [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems huge. I would love to snuggle up inside that and watch these movies on a cold winter's night Evil

But it is definitely not based on Tolkien's descriptions: "set with silver stars about hem and throat". There aren't silver stars nor are the beads set only about the hem and throat. In fact, hem and throat are one in this cloak. As I said above, this seems huge, lengthwise, lookat the clumps falling at the sides. More than a cloak for one person, it seems like a huge shawl in which to drape a couple. Very Indian Smile

Crows and Gibbets! What is The House Of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs! You are but a lesser son of greater Sires.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 21 2008, 6:04am

Post #8 of 31 (3229 views)
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Closed for warmth. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also confused by the cut. As you say, it appears rectangular judging by the lift in the back, and the swagging all over the floor at the corners. What's up with that? Why not go with the semicircle or the tube cut, which works best at keeping the body enclosed?

I know this is nitpicky, but the thing cannot be closed for warmth. There is no clasp or draw to let Eowyn or Finduilas use it "wrapped about her" as the text describes.

Actually, as I said in my reply ro Arwen's daughter, this seems to me a very "Indian" shawl. Here in India, many of the northern states, and also in the hill-stations of the southern states, people have been using a variety of shawls for ages. The winters can get very severe in the north (near the slopes of the Himalayas) and unusually chilly not only in the hill-stations of the south, but also the cities higher up on the western ghats (I'm on the Deccan Plateau). All Indian shawls however have one thing in common - they're rectangular (see this site). They're traditionally not meant to be draped about oneself to make a fashion statement (they are now Tongue) and they're usually worn inside the house for comfort, by draping one end back over a shoulder, because even today, most Indian houses do not have heaters.

Anyway, maybe the intent of this mantle was somewhat like that of a shawl, for indoor use, when sitting on a couch on a cold evening, much as one would drape a bedsheet over oneself while watching TV. I've heard the filmmakers picked up cloth and material from India, and I think it was for Rohan, but maybe they took back some ideas of how the cloth was used too.


Crows and Gibbets! What is The House Of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs! You are but a lesser son of greater Sires.


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 21 2008, 9:22am

Post #9 of 31 (3172 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

And great these posts are back, I always love to look at them.

I really love the mantle (and the scene it is used in). I never noticed the strange shape, always thought it was a real mantle, that drops to the floor at the back. I love the starry-night theme, would love to have something like this for myself.

And indeed, I think my next hospital stay will be in Minas Tirith, way better gowns than the real ones (how would that have looked Crazy awkward)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Nov 21 2008, 9:57am

Post #10 of 31 (3187 views)
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Oh... you found it! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is wonderful! Isn't the simplicity of the design and complexity of the details equisite?! What strikes me the most is the contrast after seeing her in armour with her helmet viciously battling Orcs with her sword to finding her in this flowing, soft, almost fluid gown and mantle. It's fitting (pardon the pun) that the mantle/cloak should be different as it belonged to Faramir's mother.

This is wonderful, Arwen's daughter! Thank you so much for these posts. You take all the time you want putting them together. Their each and every one, a treat :D




sample

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

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



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Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Nov 21 2008, 5:25pm

Post #11 of 31 (3177 views)
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I'll see your nitpicks... [In reply to] Can't Post

and raise you a Scandinavian "lice" pattern better suited to a pretty Mirkwood Elf prince's ski/snowboarding sweater than a Gondorian Lady's undraped ruana masquerading as a mantle.
Plus any snark my old Costume instructor would likely throw in.

Ngila doesn't often disappoint. *sigh*

******* I could just be jealous because my ruana is scratchy tartan, but 'no'.


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Nov 21 2008, 6:30pm

Post #12 of 31 (3193 views)
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I second this. I don't recollect it either :(( Beautiful! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Magpie
Immortal


Nov 21 2008, 8:05pm

Post #13 of 31 (3172 views)
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The cloak is shown only briefly [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a couple of screenshots in this post:
http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=70045#70045

The whole concept of this cloak (from the book) was terribly exciting to me. I don't do a lot of dress up or costuming but I do have ideas of how to let my inner nature come out in what I wear. (not a lot of executions of those ideas, I'll say)

This cloak was one I wanted from the moment I read about it. And the Elven brooches were part of what made me fall in love with FOTR. It was something I could see myself wearing. (I actually have a lot of nature inspired jewelry)


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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 21 2008, 8:52pm

Post #14 of 31 (3168 views)
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your link does not work for me... [In reply to] Can't Post

..I'd love to see the screencaps, though!

Anybody else having trouble? Or is just me?

Weaver



Elberbeth
Tol Eressea


Nov 21 2008, 9:24pm

Post #15 of 31 (3154 views)
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Not just you.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


almas_sparks
Rohan

Nov 21 2008, 10:20pm

Post #16 of 31 (3141 views)
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Lmao [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, but this cloak cracks me up. It looks like something a wizard from a Disney cartoon would wear. And Eowyn always looks so constipated, lol.


Elven
Valinor


Nov 22 2008, 12:27am

Post #17 of 31 (3200 views)
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Thats the impression I had too ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see Ngila rolling her eyes now as this cloak was not photographed or worn the way it was intended Wink - just a guess.

I thought it was very clever the way the beads were put on and placed in such small but effective clusters to look like stars on a night background. That is one hell of a job!

I think the shawl is long enough (width wise as well) to drape over the arms and back across and down the shoulder - it would sit and drape beautifully.

I think its the cream cloloured dress underneath that looks more like a nightie - and then makes the cloak look more like a dressing gown Blush

I would have liked to have seen something around her waist ... No, not Faramirs arms Wink ... a braided cord or a sash - though that might make it look more like night attire .... OK, a brooch then on the cloak - a silver star maybe ... then we're getting away further from what Tolkien described. No, I think best change the dress underneath and not the robe ...

Rant complete Smile
Evil

Cheers
Elven x


Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
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_V_
Lorien


Nov 22 2008, 4:25am

Post #18 of 31 (3124 views)
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I never knew the stars get thinner as they go down [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, but what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game"

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Magpie
Immortal


Nov 22 2008, 3:02pm

Post #19 of 31 (3159 views)
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if by thinner you mean less abundant in numbers... [In reply to] Can't Post

...then I believe that is the effect since stars are often harder to see at the horizon. Atmosphere is denser as you look along the horizon (that is... you have to penetrate more atmosphere to see the stars) and there is the ambient light at the surface (probably not as much of an issue in M-e as in the 21st C). That's why looking straight up at the sky shows lots of stars.


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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Nov 23 2008, 2:22am

Post #20 of 31 (3130 views)
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Try this [In reply to] Can't Post

http://newboards.theonering.net/...cgi?post=70045#70045



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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 23 2008, 2:50am

Post #21 of 31 (3079 views)
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thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Lovely images and a great magpie post reprised!

And as an aside -- did you see my "closet" post on OT? Just wanted to be sure you didn't miss it since you are our resident fashion queen here!

Weaver



Magpie
Immortal


Nov 23 2008, 3:20am

Post #22 of 31 (3095 views)
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thanks. [In reply to] Can't Post

I made the newbie mistake and didn't get the extra http:// out.


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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 23 2008, 3:30am

Post #23 of 31 (3092 views)
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that's alright... [In reply to] Can't Post

It helps deer-in-headlights folks like me to know you are fallible on very rare occasions!

**puts magpie back on pedestal, which reads "picture posting wizard, music finder extraordinaire, trivia mistress, wonderful TORn friend"***

Smile

Weaver



Magpie
Immortal


Nov 23 2008, 3:34am

Post #24 of 31 (3106 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

in some slight defense, I was on my lunch break balancing a messy sub on my lap trying to keep the grease off the work on my desk and type at the same time.

:-)


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(This post was edited by Magpie on Nov 23 2008, 3:34am)


weaver
Half-elven

Nov 23 2008, 3:54am

Post #25 of 31 (3093 views)
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hey, I like that one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I will now eat messy subs when trying to do technical things on TORn so that if I screw up I will at least have a good cover story!

Weaver


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