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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... Arwen's Helm's Deep Battle Dress?

Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Apr 1 2014, 9:32pm

Post #1 of 16 (2841 views)
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Did You Ever Notice... Arwen's Helm's Deep Battle Dress? Can't Post



Happy April Fool's Day! This seemed like a fitting costume to post today, especially since I haven't done one of these in a while.

There are 5 costumes that were made for Arwen, filmed, and then cut from the movies. They were all used in the promotional materials for the movies, though. And this one actually made it into the films ... for a couple of seconds.

As you might expect, there aren't a lot of close, detailed pictures of this costume like there are for others. We have a few promo shots for it and some screencaps of the dress from the EE extra features.

The over dress is made from a burgundy silk velvet. The elves have some serious magic if this is what they fight in because silk velvet has a tendency to "crush" under pressure, which leaves a big shiny spot behind on the fabric. Horseback riding and fighting are not what this fabric was made for!

The under gown is a lighter silk. The billowy outer sleeves are lined with a matching decorated material (I don't know if it was printed, embroidered, or part of the weave), which gives a neat contrast as she's swinging her arms around.

She also appears to borrow a pair of Rohirric vambraces.

This image is from the production concept art. It's the best view I could find of what the dress looks like full-length.



This next image appeared on the cover of TV Guide. You can really see the pretty sleeves here.



And then I have two still photos released by the film companies.





If you're interested in learning more about this costume, check out the pages at Costumer's Guide and AlleyCatScratch.

Any thoughts?


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


BlackFox
Half-elven


Apr 1 2014, 9:45pm

Post #2 of 16 (2443 views)
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Well, I'm the least qualified person to discuss costumes... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but I can say this: I very much like the color of the dress. It suits nicely with Tyler's fair skin and dark hair.


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Apr 1 2014, 10:04pm

Post #3 of 16 (2433 views)
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Personally, I don't think anyone needs to be "qualified" to talk about costumes [In reply to] Can't Post

Just like with art. I have a degree in Art History but I think that, outside of college essays, art comes down to one thing: you just like what you like.

I can give you details about a costume and make some educated guesses about it, but that may or may not change whether you like it or not. If you like it, cool. We can talk about why you like it or which parts of it you like best (I really like the color, too). Or we can just like the costume together and not talk about why. And if you don't like it, that's cool too.

Fortunately for all of us this isn't an art history course!

Although, I bet I could write quite the essay on third-age elven costumes if I needed to Cool



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


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 1 2014, 10:48pm

Post #4 of 16 (2499 views)
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In one of the screenshots of Arwen at Helm's Deep, you can clearly tell... [In reply to] Can't Post

that Arwen is riding a unicorn.




LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Patty
Immortal


Apr 2 2014, 3:49am

Post #5 of 16 (2400 views)
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LOL! / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Permanent address: Into the West






Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 2 2014, 5:34am

Post #6 of 16 (2394 views)
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ROFL! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"But until the end of Beleriand women of Brethil would come with flowers in spring and berries in autumn and sing there a while of the Grey Lady who sought in vain for her son." -The Wanderings of Hurin



BlackFox
Half-elven


Apr 2 2014, 9:26am

Post #7 of 16 (2408 views)
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No, as a fox I'm *really* not qualified to discuss clothes [In reply to] Can't Post

For obvious reasons, that is. Tongue But I appreciate your words nonetheless. Evil


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


BlackFox
Half-elven


Apr 2 2014, 9:27am

Post #8 of 16 (2392 views)
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It cannot be unseen! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 2 2014, 10:47am

Post #9 of 16 (2422 views)
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In the interest of posterity... [In reply to] Can't Post

I will ask future readers to check the date on my post.

I had that image because I had been gathering screenshots and information on Arwen's appearance at Helm's Deep. Then some wannabee troll at imdb said, "How come there weren't any unicorns in LOTR? What kind of fantasy movie is this?"

So as a smart aleck reply, I took one of my recently gathered screenshots and created a unicorn for him.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


BlackFox
Half-elven


Apr 2 2014, 1:39pm

Post #10 of 16 (2382 views)
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You sure had me fooled! ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


Meneldor
Valinor


Apr 3 2014, 1:31am

Post #11 of 16 (2400 views)
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I assumed it was a sword or spear [In reply to] Can't Post

held by someone on the far side of the horse.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Apr 3 2014, 2:37am

Post #12 of 16 (2404 views)
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These. Are. Awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I'm glad they didn't go with this storyline (it would have taken away from Eowyn's) I've always wished they would release the footage they shot. I still hope they will in the 20th Anniversary EE. In the meantime, these are wonderful! Smile

Only when we stop stopping our lives can we begin to start starting them. - Prof. Whitman, Community


wonderinglinguist
Lorien

Apr 3 2014, 5:49pm

Post #13 of 16 (2376 views)
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This is so interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the sleeves in the "TV Guide" dress --so pretty with the embroidery Smile
Thank you for sharing!

keep smiling Smile


squire
Half-elven


Apr 4 2014, 1:02am

Post #14 of 16 (2377 views)
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It ain't Arwen, but another warrior princess of the same name [In reply to] Can't Post

What I notice from the sketch is that the gown/robe is split to allow the wearer to ride a horse astride. Is that true for the underskirt also - in other words, is Arwen wearing full trousers instead of a dress? I can't think why she would appear at Helm's Deep prepared to do mounted battle, while wearing a garment that simply screams complications from an excess of fabric.

The other thing I notice is that in the famous still of a grim-looking Arwen glaring at the camera from her horse, the (gold? silver? pearl?) buttons of her jacket are quite a lot more prominent than they were in the sketch - as are the vambraces that you mentioned. I wonder if the sketch was judged to be too "unmilitary"?

I love the stories of Liv Tyler arguing with the director that her character - and her own skill as an actor - were fundamentally incompatible with being a warrior princess. I can imagine the costume department desperately trying to square the circle of Arwen fighting at Helm's Deep, until, thankfully and gratefully, they were able to retire this unfortunate outfit and return to the job of dressing her for her native court and hearth.



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 & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Apr 4 2014, 3:21pm

Post #15 of 16 (2331 views)
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It is split for riding [In reply to] Can't Post

You can see the dress in action in this screencap. It's a little tough to see, but it is split for riding with trousers or leggings underneath. The same was true of her chase dress in FOTR, though that costume has always seemed more sensible to me.

I like your thoughts about the buttons. They do stand out quite a bit more than in the sketch, don't they.



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


sycorax82
Rohan

Apr 12 2014, 12:17am

Post #16 of 16 (2283 views)
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In retrospect, I wish they had kept this storyline... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know I'm probably gonna get shouted at by some people...(Laugh) but if there's one thing that annoys me about TTT it's the Aragorn/Arwen storyline. I would rather cut her completely than have the scenes that we got, also in ROTK with the worst moments in the entire trilogy ('Arwen is dying...' etc.)

Peter should have gone ahead with having her visit Lothlorien and take the band of Elves to Helm's Deep herself. At least she would have had an active role instead of one simply made up of her moping at home.

What makes it worse is how cool she was in FOTR. They set her up as being this awesome horse-rider, prepared to face off against the Nazgul, and then she just...pines for Aragorn and starts to whine and wither??

I wish Peter had stuck to his guns and kept her at Helm's Deep! Also, Sauron at the Black Gate. Sauron is the other poorly-handled element of the trilogy, but that's another story... If Peter was making LOTR right now I feel these two things would have happened.

 
 

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