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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... Aragorn's Black Gate Armor?

Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 4 2011, 9:25pm

Post #1 of 17 (10085 views)
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Did You Ever Notice... Aragorn's Black Gate Armor? Can't Post



Has it really been 8 months since I posted one of these? For the newer members, once upon a time I started posting a look at some of the details in the costumes of the LOTR and, well, it's grown into quite a series of posts.

I've had a harder time tracking down pictures of some of the pieces of this costume, but let's take a look at what I can find. As usual, we're starting from the bottom up.

Some things to watch for: trees and wings! Everywhere. If it sat still long enough to be engraved it probably has a tree or feathers on it.

I can't find a good view of the boots (or the greaves that he'll wear later) but they look a little more than steel-toed to me!



Two piece chainmail protection, unlike Denethor's full gown.



We know from the steward brothers that Gondorian vambraces are always something special, but Aragorn's are above and beyond theirs. They're decorated with three of the double-wing motifs on each vambrace (two of the smaller ones set on either side of the big one).





And over all this we get two layers of surcoats: a red velvet one and a leather one decorated with the white tree.





A cape, Anduril, and Celeborn's dagger complete the ensemble.





So, any thoughts?


Did You Ever Notice? is a running series taking a look at some of the detail Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor put into the costumes of LOTR, one costume at a time. It appears on no particular day and follows no particular order. Look for it when you see it. You can always find previous discussions over at my Costume Discussion Archive.

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arnoriansoldier
The Shire

May 4 2011, 9:55pm

Post #2 of 17 (6938 views)
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this my favorite! [In reply to] Can't Post

its the best armor in movie but the elves armor in the last alliance was very good too!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 5 2011, 4:51am

Post #3 of 17 (6919 views)
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I'm very glad to see this back! [In reply to] Can't Post

How did they get the silver tree onto the leather? Is it Ďburnedí into the leather, or is it a separate piece that is glued into pace?

Iím guessing that this armour and surcoat belonged to a previous King of Gondor, as I doubt a Steward would have been allowed to wear the White Tree like this. Would leather have really kept in such good condition for so many very long years?

Itís nice to see the royal red colour come through. I think (correct me if Iím wrong) we see Aragorn wear that colour for the first time in Meduseld, while arguing with Theoden about the folly of holing up in Helmís Deep?

And finally... *purrrr* Aragorn scrubs up right nice when he puts his mind to it.

/fangirl moment

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 5 2011, 9:32am

Post #4 of 17 (6886 views)
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Ooh! I love this costume [In reply to] Can't Post

The red is so reminiscent of Arwen's dying gown (the red one), and I wonder if there's any parallelism to be found there - Arwen dying, and Aragorn riding to his death.

As far as the actual costume is concerned, that embossed/etched Tree of Gondor down the front is so glorious and just seems to shout "KING!"



DrDeath153
Lorien

May 5 2011, 12:04pm

Post #5 of 17 (6927 views)
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Well apart from a very fine piece of work [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a fantastic costume, i mean really truly. It was quite a shock to see Aragorn all tidied up after two years of only knowing him in his ranger costume. The sepia film-poster of him advancing on horseback remains one of the iconic images of the films (even though the shot wasn't exactly included in the film itself). I think this particular costume (and the styling of his hair and beard) actually suits him more than his appearance at the actual coronation- trying to turn him into the kind of woolly-faced grandfather type king didn't quite work, he's not Sean Connery, and so this leaner, meaner look works better.

You talk about the double-wing motif but i think that's only one way of interpreting it- the form (ironically in a kind of 'gothic arch' shape) i think is also intended to evoke a flower-bud or something along those lines with the 'feathers' doubling as the tightly curled leaves and petals that surround it.

Dr Death


weaver
Half-elven

May 5 2011, 4:25pm

Post #6 of 17 (6888 views)
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well, that was worth the wait! [In reply to] Can't Post

Eight months? Wow! Well, glad you found time now to bring us one of these again.

I love how all of the costumes fit the realistic approach to the story -- they look functional, as well as beautiful -- like real clothes, but they have that hint of Faerie about them that helps to pull you into the characters and their stories and the Tale.

Though it's hard to take your eyes off Viggo here, the horse looks pretty well dressed, too, and fits the rider. I guess this is the Middle Earth equivalent of a hot guy in a hot car...kind of like James Bond in a tux in one of those great Bond-mobiles...

Weaver




Otaku-sempai
Immortal

May 5 2011, 4:33pm

Post #7 of 17 (6898 views)
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'LOTR - Weapons and Warfare' by Chris Smith [In reply to] Can't Post

Stuff like this is why I love the book The Lord of the Rings - Weapons and Warfare by Chris Smith. It is one of the few books that were spun out of the films that I own.


Alientraveller
Lorien

May 5 2011, 4:45pm

Post #8 of 17 (6941 views)
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PJ wanted Aragorn to wear Elendil's armour at the Black Gate [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It is a fantastic costume, i mean really truly. It was quite a shock to see Aragorn all tidied up after two years of only knowing him in his ranger costume. The sepia film-poster of him advancing on horseback remains one of the iconic images of the films (even though the shot wasn't exactly included in the film itself). I think this particular costume (and the styling of his hair and beard) actually suits him more than his appearance at the actual coronation- trying to turn him into the kind of woolly-faced grandfather type king didn't quite work, he's not Sean Connery, and so this leaner, meaner look works better.


Viggo and Ngila talked PJ out of it and made it purely ceremonial. It's cool to see Aragorn wear his ancestor's armour, but also cool to see him as his own soldier in this beautiful uniform.

Did anyone notice Aragorn wears the red portion of this costume when he greets Frodo in the Houses of Healing?


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 6 2011, 6:36am

Post #9 of 17 (7018 views)
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Aha! So that's where I saw it :o) [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew I'd seen Aragorn wearing the red costume but I thought I might have been dreaming because I couldn't recall where. You're right... it's the scene when Frodo wakes up Cool



tolkiennerd
Lorien


May 6 2011, 8:42pm

Post #10 of 17 (6871 views)
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re [In reply to] Can't Post

I really wanted to buy the reproduction from Museum replicas but could afford it. One of my favorites of the films.


dijomaja
Lorien

May 7 2011, 10:18am

Post #11 of 17 (6890 views)
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also, in the last picture... [In reply to] Can't Post

...the trunk of the White Tree looks like the blade of a sword.


flying fish
Bree

May 8 2011, 12:36am

Post #12 of 17 (6807 views)
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So glad this is back! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for posting - I have loved your posts on the costumes (easily one of my favourite things about the LOTR movies). It's great to see the detail pics too.

I'm eagerly anticipating TH's costumes and hope you'll continue to post re them once the movies are out.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 8 2011, 3:28pm

Post #13 of 17 (6859 views)
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*geeky hand-clapping* Oh Gd! I love these!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't seem like 8 months... so no worries :)

This is one of those costumes (and his Coronation costume) that I wish we'd seen more of. More about the significance of it and giving it a bit more of a highlight.

Cripes I love these posts!!! You are a treasure, Arwen's daughter :) THANK YOU!!!


sample sample

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



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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 10 2011, 7:57pm

Post #14 of 17 (6750 views)
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Some late replies [In reply to] Can't Post

Where Faramir's white tree is burned into the leather, it looks like Aragorn's is actually embroidered on with silver thread. I wonder if Faramir's is the "casual" tree for working outdoors and Aragorn's is a more "formal" garment? Tongue

And you have Aragorn's red shirt appearance spot on the nose, which - coincidentally - is also right after he would have declared himself a king at Meduseld's doors in the books.

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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 10 2011, 8:03pm

Post #15 of 17 (6757 views)
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I'm glad to see so many people enjoy these posts [In reply to] Can't Post

I started them on a whim years ago just to see if anyone else was as interested in the costumes as I am. I'm glad that so many are! And I definitely want to continue on with The Hobbit once it's out. I can't wait to see what Ann Maskrey has up her sleeve to bring to Middle Earth.

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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 10 2011, 8:06pm

Post #16 of 17 (6759 views)
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I like that idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if that's what the filmmakers intended, but now that you mention it I'm reminded a lot of a lotus flower, something like this, perhaps: http://www.lhaf.org/...MotifOnThon7Chua.jpg

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DrDeath153
Lorien

May 11 2011, 9:29am

Post #17 of 17 (6857 views)
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Yeah, something like that [In reply to] Can't Post

It's used a huge number of times throughout Gondorian stuff, particularly helmet crests (Elendil, Isildur, Guard of the Fountain Court, Aragorn's crown), and as buckles and broaches.

Also a note about Aragorn's coronation costume- in the extended edition appendices and various other places where the design process is discussed, they keep wittering on about how they had Aragorn wearing Elendil's old armour. Unfortunately the fact is he's not actually wearing all that much of it- basically just the breastplate and even that's treated with darker oils. I can't be sure about the greaves but certainly neither the pauldrons or vambraces are Elendil's and although the chain skirt is the right length he's missing Elendil's wing-shaped tassets. I'm not complaining here- i think given that the armour would be over three thousand years old it's quite likely that it wouldn't really be suitable to wear, even on a special occasion- not that it's necessarily falling apart but in terms of the reverence it's held in (you don't get Egypt's head of state swanning around in finery from the valley of the kings) and also on a more practical note, because it most likely wouldn't fit Aragorn. In my meagre research there are next to no cases where armour is handed down because invariably there are some differences in the measurements of fathers and sons. According to Tolkien's writings Elendil stood at a mighty eight feet tall whereas Aragorn, no midget himself, attained only a comparatively humble six foot six- Aragorn would have looked rather comical if he had chosen to wear his ancestor's hand-me-downs at his coronation.

Dr Death

 
 

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