One Ring to rule them all...
By now every one knows how that poem goes. The book of the 20th century is now the motion picture of the 21st century, and will have an unprecedented impact on the way fantasy RPGs are conducted. Even thought I haven't seen it yet (it premieres here in Brazil in January 1st, 2002), I couldn't help but be swept by the imagery I came across in magazines and on the web. So I started doodling these pictures. The style differs greatly from my standard "comic-bookish" feel. Let's stroll down to a world where elves and orcs do live!
|Dwarf, Elf and Orc|
One of the greatest challenges was to have elves and dwarves look like totally different races, not just humans in make-up, and "Lord of the Rings" does that admirably! The dwarf head was based on a picture of Gimli, but he was wearing a helmet, so I referenced some other pictures of dwarves. The elf is, of course, Legolas. The orc was the only one I didn't reference at all, being just an extrapolation of the bald orc (see below) to which I added hair in an attempt to visualize a DnD orc.
|Human and Hobbit|
These two were based, respectivelly, on pictures of Aragorn and Frodo. Aragorn could be construed as a half-elf for a DnD game, having that intensity in the look and rough features, but also an otherwordly quality. I think he'd make a great half-elf ranger in any campaign. Frodo, while still a hobbit, is a bit thinner than most, so apart from the hairy feet, he'd be great as the 3E version of a halfling. Of course, he'd make a perfect 1E or 2E halfling even with the hairy feet... :)
I love the orcs from LotR much more than the pig-faced ones that populate most DnD worlds. I did the larger headshot based on a picture of a bald orc, just to get a hand of the bone-structure abd the tusks. I then did a side view of him and added some hair, trying to reach a middle ground between LotR and DnD orcs. The picture on the right is of the same orc smiling. Wonder what a half-orc would look like, based on these orcs...
|Legolas and the Cave Troll|
So then I watched the movie. WOW! I came home and couldn't stop thinking about it, so I grabbed a pencil and paper and did this piece from memory, just referencing Legolas' costume as needed. I have yet to watch the movie again, so the troll's face may be a bit off. But what the heck! This is what the movie is all about: imagination.
The prologue of LotR is so powerful, it hits you like Sauron's mace! And one of the most powerful images was that of Elrond and the elven army. What a wonderful costume design! And what a powerful presence by Hugo Weaving (Matrix, Priscilla)! One day after watching the movie I came across a picture of Hugo as Elrond, and tweaking the pose a bit, I did this piece. It's a piece I'm very proud of.
It was wonderful seeing Sean Bean (Goldeneye, Ronin) playing a heroic character, for a change. His Boromir never comes off forced, and has a range of emotions that most movie characters never get to show. And this piece is my homage to that most unsung Fellow, the Son of Gondor.