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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did You Ever Notice... The Easterlings Costumes?

Arwen's daughter

Mar 25 2008, 9:19pm

Post #1 of 14 (11072 views)
Did You Ever Notice... The Easterlings Costumes? Can't Post

The Easterlings are only on screen for a couple of scenes in the trilogy. Even so, their costumes are still a lot of fun. While most of the gowns and fabric pieces were designed by Ngila Dickson and her team, the WETA Workshop had an equal if not more daunting task designing armor to go over that fabric. Here we have lots of spikes with carvings of the eye and inscriptions in a modified Tengwar. The fabrics appear to be lightweight silks and I have no idea what the armor is made of. Presumably fiberglass or some other modern material.

According to an Easterling extra: "The Easterling costume was one of the more comfortable costumes I wore, apart from the "Mk. 1" breastplates which had a sharp point at the end which could be hazardous if you sat down too quickly. "Mk. 2" breastplates changed this so that the sharp point was "hinged" on a piece of leather. The costume was loose and layered, so it kept you cool when it was hot and warm when it was cold. The helmet provided good visibility, and was much better than the Uruk Hai mask/helmet setup, which was terrible - you could only see directly in front of you as an Uruk Hai. The armour moved freely and provided good protection (getting hit with prop weapons hurts :^P). It was also very easy to eat in."

There are more pictures at the AlleyCatScratch site, though they don't have many details for these costumes.

So, any thoughts?

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Tol Eressea

Mar 25 2008, 10:43pm

Post #2 of 14 (9054 views)
The Samurai of Middle-Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

These costumes are always good to look at. They really remind me of a sort of Samurai style. What also adds to that idea is the excellent make-up. Smile

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Mar 26 2008, 12:09am

Post #3 of 14 (9014 views)
"It was also very easy to eat in..." [In reply to] Can't Post

Those are some great quotes from that Easterling extra -- you know, he could probably do well at the Easterling Men's Clothing Store...

I really liked the look of these guys, and it was a shame that they couldn't show much actual human-vs.-human fighting we we could have seen them in action more. But maybe these are costumes that are better seen than fought in..I could see them getting their spears stuck on those things on the top of their helmets if they weren't careful...!


Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2008, 12:35am

Post #4 of 14 (9020 views)
I think they do an excellent job of.. [In reply to] Can't Post

making the Easterlings appear more foreign, and therefore more difficult to relate to (or sympathize with) in the films, and while I think that the costumes agree with the book, it also think that people who have only seen the movies will spend less time wondering about where the Easterlings came from, and who they are since the costumes look so different to all the others; they are almost simply the "bad guys."


Mar 26 2008, 7:23am

Post #5 of 14 (8986 views)
Especially good [In reply to] Can't Post

To see that close-up of the armour, which I have never really appreciated - thanks.
I still think they look pretty '80's (not that there's anything wrong with that) Wink

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2008, 8:35am

Post #6 of 14 (9064 views)
The Easterling... [In reply to] Can't Post

were my favorite bad guys. They certainly looked menacing marching up to the black gates. I also wish we could have seen them fighting, at least at the Pelennor Fields.

Thank you for giving us an up-close view of these costumes.

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2008, 5:31pm

Post #7 of 14 (8977 views)
I wish I could find someone to make me an Easterling costume... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd love to wear that to DragonCon. Wink

Peredhil lover

Mar 26 2008, 6:35pm

Post #8 of 14 (8982 views)
But ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... then you have to hope that no Elf or Ranger or Shieldmaid there is carrying a sword or bow ;-)

Anyway, these costumes are the most inventive armour I've ever seen, I think - particularly around the heads. They're usually a bit more conventional, like these from Rohan e.g.

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Mar 27 2008, 2:30pm

Post #9 of 14 (8931 views)
It think their costumes are gorgeous! [In reply to] Can't Post

What a cross between function, artwork, flamboyance, and style! When they're marching together like this, I get the same impression as I do when I see the Elves reaching Helm's Deep. Their unified look makes them powerful looking, an army to contend with... well disciplined, trained, in control. DON'T MESS WITH US! The Uruk-hai did it to a degree as they arrived at Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith... but they're U.G.L.Y. *thumbs down* Impressive because of their size, not their style ;)

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Mar 27 2008, 9:49pm

Post #10 of 14 (8951 views)
Did you ever notice... [In reply to] Can't Post

... their eye makeup ;-)?

I liked that part about the 'hazardous to your health' pointy breastplates! I knew stuntwork was dangerous, but I never imagined the costumes could be too!

Tolkien Forever

Mar 31 2008, 4:35am

Post #11 of 14 (8977 views)
How Come? [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked the Easterling's look & was disapointed that they weren't in the Battle of Pelannor Fields.....

Enough pleasantries.

Has anyone ever brought up the fact that the EASTerlings were marching in from the SOUTHWEST side, i.e., the HARAD side, or up from Ithilien, not from the side that leads from Rhun, where the Easterlings hail from?

You can even see it in the top picture posted here......

What gives?

(This post was edited by Tolkien Forever on Mar 31 2008, 4:38am)


Mar 31 2008, 4:41am

Post #12 of 14 (8957 views)
Some people say they're not the EASTERLINGS! YAY! at all - for the reason you mention [In reply to] Can't Post

I never really got who those guys were.

I suppose they are called the Easterlings on the commentaries, or in one of the spin-off costume&armor books. But like you say, since the films (sometimes to their own discomfiture) tried to stick to Tolkien's geography, then here the geography does not lie. No Easterlings would have been marching north to the Black Gate.

Who are those guys?

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Tolkien Forever

Mar 31 2008, 4:51am

Post #13 of 14 (9007 views)
The Book Says.... [In reply to] Can't Post

At this part, 'Men out of the wide Eastlands'.......

Besides, they seem to have on a little too much clothing to be from even Near Harad - although I guess I see how Arabs dress, so scratch that.

I wonder if perhaps there just wasn't any 'roadway' built to the other side of the 'gate'?
I never really looked......


Apr 1 2008, 11:09pm

Post #14 of 14 (8939 views)
one of the most fun costumes in the movies [In reply to] Can't Post

I wish they'd used them more

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