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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Tolkien Illustrated: Anke-Katrin Eissmann #7: Fanfiction illustrations and other work


Apr 16 2007, 4:06am

Post #1 of 9 (640 views)
Tolkien Illustrated: Anke-Katrin Eissmann #7: Fanfiction illustrations and other work Can't Post

Having concluded my last post with a picture of Shirtless Faramir, I thought the only logical thing to move on to next would be Anke Eissmann’s illustrations of fanfiction.

I think that some of the qualities of Eissmann’s pictures that have been commented on this week – their immediacy, their intimacy, their focus on emotional moments – are qualities shared by those who create Tolkien fanfiction to a large extent. The literary critic and writer Sheenagh Pugh says in her book, The Democratic Genre, that fanfic writers typically want either "more of" the story or "more from" the story. Getting more from the story requires that fanfic writers find those moments that haven’t been filled in by the original writer where they imagine what the characters are thinking and doing in those scenes. Immediacy and emotional intensity are what fanfic writers are generally going for in re-imagining their chosen characters and events. Eissmann’s involvement in writing fanfic and illustrating others’ fanfiction seems to me to be an extension of what she does in her illustrations.

The Falcon and the Star
In "The Falcon and the Star" the author "Raksha" imagines Aragorn’s journey into a shadow world to bring back the wounded Faramir – a story that elaborates on what is already in LotR, giving us more from it. Eissmann states that the story inspired her "to create a series of small ink-drawings. They were executed in bistre-ink on watercolour paper in 2006; the format is 24 x 17 cm." Here are two of the illustrations from the series, the first one of Faramir struggling to return to consciousness and the second one of Aragorn after he has healed Faramir:

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"My lord, you called me. I come," Faramir said quietly. He looked upon me with love, as if he had known me all of his life. "What does the king command?"
By the Valar, he had called me king! And suddenly, my doubts, my anxiety about the next battle with Mordor
s forces, melted away before the fierce hope and devotion I saw in my Stewards eyes. Though I would make no formal claim until Sauron fell, I knew I was king now, King of Gondor. Faramirs King. For he was the first to hail me as lord of the realm his sires had ruled."

More pictures and quotations from this story are on Eissmann’s The Falcon and the Star page.

A lot of fanfic is also motivated by wanting more of the story – so sequels and prequels are produced. Here’s a happy family scene (have I mentioned that Eissmann’s favorite character must be Faramir?). I’ve selected this picture because of the smiling child – an unusual expression in Eissmann’s more severe-looking characters.

Family Portrait (2003)

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Eissmann herself has been involved in several on-going, collaborative, role-playing fictions. In one series, she and another writer post letters to each other in the roles of Faramir and Eowyn. What could better create a sense of reality and immediacy than being able to see an actual letter? Here is one from Faramir, who has been captured by enemies in this fiction. You can see the unfolding of the bloodstained letter:

You can read the series of letters on Eissmann’s website:http://anke.edoras-art.de/anke_fanfiction_letters.html

I posted a picture in the thread on Drama and Action showing Eissmann’s collaborative picture with Jenny Dolfen. Here is a collaboration with Catherine Karina Chmiel (aka Kasiopea), "Little Brother" and "Dear Boromir," in which we see Boromir, Chmiel’s favorite character and painted by her, and Faramir, painted by Eissmann, writing to each other:

Little Brother
by Kasiopea

Dear Boromir
by Eissmann

More sketches for these pictures can be viewed at : http://anke.edoras-art.de/..._collab_kasiopea.htm

The following illustration is inspired by "Teherin’s Secret," another online role-playing fiction. I’ve selected it because Eowyn’s face looks different, somehow, from most of the other Eissmann illustrations – I think because we’re not seeing it in profile, for a change.

She comforted him (2005)

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Eissmann’s commentary on this illustration: "Another painting inspired by the online-RP "Teherin’s Secret" (which is set about 10 years after the War of the Ring). Here Éowyn and Faramir share a quiet moment in troubled times."

And what’s fanfic without an intimate scene?
Reunion (2005)

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Unlike many of the LotR illustrations, this one is indoors. I like the decorative patterns on many of the items in the scene.

More of the story, in prequels and sequels:
Boys at play (2006)
is an illustration in the Brothers of Gondor fanzine:

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Sketches for "The Snake’s Checkmate" (2007)
, another collaborative fic.
Here is Faramir and his baby:

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You can find more pictures and links to the fictions on Anke Eissmann’s website on her Tolkien Drawings and Sketches page and on her Tolkien Fanfiction page.

And just a glimpse of some of her other work, since it’s the end of the week:


This is a series of books by Naomi Novik dealing with the Napoleonic period – with dragons. Eissmann is now illustrating the story.

More about this series on this page: http://anke.edoras-art.de/anke_temeraire.htm

I’m particularly fond of this illustration Eissmann did for an edition of Beowulf:


Many more examples of her work in video, animation, graphic design, and illustration are available on her website.

As usual, please feel free to comment on any aspects of these illustrations and the connections you might see with her Tolkien work.
Are there any illustrations that I haven’t posted this week that you’d like to comment on?

I’ll post a brief conclusion to the week’s discussions either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

All images are copyrighted by Anke-Katrin Eissmann and are used with her permission for the purposes of this discussion. More images and information about her work are available on her website :

Beren IV

Apr 16 2007, 4:51am

Post #2 of 9 (494 views)
I love Boromir and Faramir [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things that we don't see in the book but which P.J. does touch on in the movie is the relationship between Boromir and Faramir before Boromir's departure on his journey of no return to Rivendell. The two evidently are meant to love each-other as brothers should, and I do like to think of them as resentful of their father's ever-present favoritism for Boromir and not for Faramir. Between them, Boromir obviously is the warrior and Faramir the scholar, ironically more like Denethor himself.

Eowyn is one of those characters who... bugs me. In some sense, she is more like Lúthien than Arwen is; obviously neither of them possesses the power that Lúthien did, and Arwen seemingly possesses the grace and the wisdom, but Eowyn has the audacity. That audacity and adventurousness is a tremendous virtue on the part of the free peoples, both in the character of Lúthien and in that of Eowyn, and Tolkien at least seems to laud it - until Eowyn meets Faramir, and after that the impression is that she is a stay at home wife, much as Curious noted about how women, like everybody else, seem to have their "place" in Middle-Earth and that it is wrong, even evil, to deviate from it. Now, I am all for the love between Eowyn and Faramir, and happiness and family and all that, and I certainly understand if neither of them ever goes to war again - but if Faramir does, then I would think that he and his wife would strap on their armor and ride out to war together.

With regard to fanfiction, I consider myself a "Tolkien liberal", and am willing to entertain any story, but usually the best fanfiction I think is aimed at filling holes in the legendarium. The situation is pretty well settled by the end of LotR, so sequels would need to be set in the distant future, or otherwise the best kind would be prequels. So let 'em rip, Chimel! Smile (For example, my sequel that I am writing to LotR takes place about two thousand years after Aragorn's death)

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Apr 16 2007, 6:33am

Post #3 of 9 (494 views)
Not much to add to my previous comments, except that [In reply to] Can't Post

I also love her illustration from Beowulf. Of course the face is obscured.

I also note once again that her version of Boromir has facial hair, while her version of Faramir, Aragorn, and Denethor do not. I still think this may be a deliberate attempt to make Boromir more human and less elvish.

I just noticed your note that these illustrations were "used with her permission for the purposes of this discussion." Does that mean she might be lurking? If so, I hope I haven't given offense. ;-)

Despite my nitpicks, I do admire her drawings, and wish I could draw half as well. And after all, I had similar nitpicks about Lee and Nasmith, and many more nitpicks about Tolkien himself.

Tol Eressea

Apr 16 2007, 12:58pm

Post #4 of 9 (475 views)
I thought the same thing. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Does that mean she might be lurking? If so, I hope I haven't given offense. ;-)

Despite my nitpicks, I do admire her drawings, and wish I could draw half as well. And after all, I had similar nitpicks about Lee and Nasmith, and many more nitpicks about Tolkien himself.


I used to be GaladrielTX, but it's springtime and I'm shedding.


Apr 16 2007, 1:49pm

Post #5 of 9 (472 views)
discussion and feedback [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know whether Anke Eissmann has found her way to these boards and is lurking through our discussion. When I emailed her for permission to download her pictures, I explained of course that they would be used in a discussion on The One Ring.net's Reading Room discussion boards. Her reply was that she was "honoured" to have her pictures selected for viewing and discussion. I would think that any artist or writer would be pleased to be the subject of serious and / or casual discussion and surely can't expect everyone to like everything all of the time in every piece of their work. The serious writers and artists that I know all appreciate honest feedback. And there's certainly been lots of positive feedback, even from people who haven't liked all aspects of her work. So I wouldn't worry about it. As Curious points out, we "nitpick" about everything; that's the job of literary and art criticism, and we do it for Tolkien, for Alan Lee -- and Anke Eissmann. Besides, how do we know that Ted Nasmith or Alan Lee hasn't been lurking through our discussions as well? These are public boards, after all.


Apr 16 2007, 3:37pm

Post #6 of 9 (476 views)
I like the first two very much. [In reply to] Can't Post

Although these are based on a fan-fic, somehow they seem more emotional and "human" than some of her Tolkien-based work. I haven't read The Falcon and the Star, but the first picture shows Faramir's desperation and despair during his illness as clearly as Tolkien described it. In the second picture, Faramir's shining eyes and his hand clasped in Aragorn's are just they way I imagine that moment from The Houses of Healing.

Perhaps, free from being true to Tolkien's descriptions, Eismann was able to let her imagination run free in a way that she couldn't while illustrating Tolkien's actual work.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wish you could have been there
When she opened up the door
And looked me in the face
Like she never did before
I felt about as welcome
As a Wal-Mart Superstore--John Prine

mae govannen
Tol Eressea

Apr 16 2007, 4:26pm

Post #7 of 9 (468 views)
Well, if Anke ever reads this indeed, [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd like her to know that I like the lady in the 'Family portrait' very much.
Is that supposed to be Éowyn, with Faramir and their child?
I do like also the face of Éowyn in 'She was comforting him' (Faramir too has a beautiful expression there), but still I find the blond lady holding the child even fairer - rather elvish-looking actually.
A beautiful conclusion for me about her work, which I am very happy to have now discovered, thanks to Modtheow and these great TORn Boards. Several more paintings of hers will remain for ever in my memory for their exquisite beauty.
Just a question: that painting of Faramir awakening and saluting his King is here presented as an illustration of some fanfic; but couldn't it be actually a perfect illustration for the scene itself straight from the book?!
I love the intense fervor in the eyes of Faramir looking at Aragorn; just right!!! Heart
I guess now I'll have to explore her whole site...! Smile

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Apr 16 2007, 4:55pm

Post #8 of 9 (487 views)
Regarding "Family Portrait," [In reply to] Can't Post

I must admit this drawing of a child gives me a new appreciation for Eissman's other drawings of hobbits, who most definitely do not look like children, despite their size. And for once we have a character smiling, or perhaps even laughing! Eowyn might also be smiling, but it is hard to tell. This does lend support to Alraune's theory that cultural differences have something to do with my reaction to Eissman's faces. Eissman can draw a broad and open smile on a child, but apparently it doesn't occur to her to do so on any adult, even in joyful scenes like this one, or even when drawing Bombadil.

Yet although I like the fact that Eissman's hobbits don't look like children, I do agree with squire that Tolkien's hobbits have many of the attributes of children. I like to call them childlike, rather than childish. But for me that means that even if every other adult in the world is tight-lipped, the hobbits (and Bombadil, who is similar) should laugh easily in all but the most dire situations. Even Frodo laughs loud and long in Ithilien, and it does him good to do so. And not only that, but the hobbits, like children, should prompt others to at least smile, and perhaps even laugh themselves -- even Denethor found Pippin a breath of fresh air, and made him his page. It seems to me that this childlike quality in the hobbit heroes is an extremely important part of the story, and I would like to see more of it in illustrations.

Aunt Dora Baggins

Apr 16 2007, 7:23pm

Post #9 of 9 (482 views)
Ooh, me too. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Does that mean she might be lurking? If so, I hope I haven't given offense. ;-)

Despite my nitpicks, I do admire her drawings, and wish I could draw half as well. reply]

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com



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