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

Arwen's daughter

Dec 16 2013, 7:17pm

Post #1 of 9 (4966 views)
Did You Ever Notice... Merry's Rohan Armor? Can't Post

For those of you who haven't come across one of my costume threads before or have simply forgotten about them, Did You Ever Notice was a series I started as one of my birthday mathoms for the boards way back in 2007. The goal was to highlight some of the detail in the LOTR costumes and armor. You can find previous costume posts over on my costume discussion archive.

It's been over two years since I last posted one of these (I had to look up my old format!) I hope to resurrect the series and post them a little more regularly this time.

Once upon a time, one of the supplemental movie books identified this as armor made for King Theoden as a child.

We start with a rough spun underlayer that's split front and back for riding. I suspect this was meant to be something the Rohirrim found that would fit him. On top of that we get the cuirass, gloves, and vambraces. The cuirass is a bronze plate covered in tooled leather. It's decorated with the usual Rohirrim horsehead designs and laced closed on the sides.

They can get away with those unfinished looking shoulder pieces because over this we add his sword belt, shield strap, and elven cloak.

And he gets a pretty great helmet. Note the horsehead motif on the leather.

But no one ever bothers to find the hobbits any boots or even greaves for their legs.

So, any thoughts on this costume?

Did You Ever Notice? is a running series taking a look at some of the details in LOTR one costume at a time. It follows no particular order and appears on no particular day. Look for it when you see it. You can always find previous discussions on my Costume Discussion Archive.

Warning: the preceding message may contain satire, sarcasm, irony, puns, and other attempts at humor.
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive


Dec 16 2013, 7:32pm

Post #2 of 9 (4397 views)
I recall some of your costumes threads from (I think) 2010 [In reply to] Can't Post

And I've always enjoyed them. Smile Glad to see another one, AD! I love your insights and the phenomenal pictures you're able to find and post.

There's a feeling I get, when I look to the West...


Dec 16 2013, 8:13pm

Post #3 of 9 (4383 views)
Thanks for doing this again! [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember your older threads, and I'm happy to be able to join in on this one Smile

I guess the thing that I've not noticed before about this costume is its simplicity. Besides the leather part (the cuirass?), everything else is just a little bit of fabric. The simplicity is actually something I like the most about it. It certainly seems like something that a mediaeval society would have made.

I'd not noticed the horse motif on the leather before. It certainly doesn't surprise me that it's there, but it's neat to actually notice it for the first time!

"Yet fairest of all are the willows of Nan-tathren, pale green, or silver in the wind, and the rustle of their innumerable leaves is a spell of music: day and night would flicker by uncounted, while still I stood knee-deep in grass and listened. There I was enchanted, and forgot the Sea in my heart." - Unfinished Tales


Dec 16 2013, 9:58pm

Post #4 of 9 (4362 views)
Cool! [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't been around long enough to have taken part in these threads. So that I've got the chance, now!

That's really neat that the armor was said to have been made for Theoden as a child. Quite similar to Pippin receiving Faramir's childhood armor in Minas Tirith.

I really like the horse motif on the leather. It's subtle, yet aggressive. And the colors are simply fantastic: the greens and reds work wonders together, and the gold gives the piece a regal look. The more I look at it, the more I like it! It's very helpful to look at these photos, rather than attempting to analyze it in motion in the film.

Many thanks, AD! I'm looking forward to these posts!!Smile


Dec 17 2013, 4:42am

Post #5 of 9 (4362 views)
That's so cool! [In reply to] Can't Post

Where did you get the materials? Your costume looks so real and authentic! :D I love it! I want to wear this for the next LotR event! =)

"By Elbereth and Luthien the fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!" ~Frodo

"And then Gandalf arose and bid all men rise, and they rose, and he said: 'Here is a last hail ere the feast endeth. Last but not least. For I name now those who shall not be forgotten and without whose valour nought else that was done would have availed; and I name before you all Frodo of the Shire and Samwise his servant. And the bards and the minstrels should give them new names: Bronwe athan Harthad and Harthad Uluithiad , Endurance beyond Hope and Hope Unquenchable.." ~Gandalf, The End of the Third Age , from The History of Middle Earth series


Dec 17 2013, 8:46am

Post #6 of 9 (4335 views)
I love the way the manes [In reply to] Can't Post

on the horses look kind of woven - there's a lovely repeating look where the whole motif looks woven together.

And, may I add, it makes me so happy to see one of these threads again. I hope you will be able to do them a bit more regularly. Smile

Arwen's daughter

Dec 17 2013, 3:03pm

Post #7 of 9 (4329 views)
These are pics of the original costume [In reply to] Can't Post

While I've done some costume replicas of my own from LOTR, I've never tackled any of the armor. These are pictures of the original costume, taken from the ROTK:EE costume & design galleries.

Warning: the preceding message may contain satire, sarcasm, irony, puns, and other attempts at humor.
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive


Dec 18 2013, 3:15am

Post #8 of 9 (4306 views)
is Dom Monaghan the person wearing the armor in the archival pics? [In reply to] Can't Post

His face isn't pictured, but it looks like his chin. Just curious. Perhaps I am just imagining this.

 photo cbccab4e-f61e-4be5-aaa1-20e302430c7c.jpg


Dec 20 2013, 4:35pm

Post #9 of 9 (4297 views)
I love the color [In reply to] Can't Post

It's interesting to note how the armor looks more red in the film cap and more brown in the costuming shots. What a challenge that must be for wardrobe teams to have to account for how the colors will appear onscreen as opposed to in real life and regular lighting.

I also love the detail of how they even finished the laces with those gold caps.

And what a happy surprise to find a costuming post again! Hope to see more of them again Smile!


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