amruniel: (corsage)
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22 - Character You Pity Most

Sméagol, most likely.

He was out fishing with a friend when desaster struck - he couldn't have known that the discovery of an old ring would lead to insanity, addiction and in the end death.




And there's still a part of the rather innocent (or normal) person inside Gollum even after all these years.
I love how his eyes grow bigger, more child-like, and light up whenever Sméagol is on the forefront of Gollum's mind. It's such a beautiful and simple way to make a distinction between the two sides of the character without needing to waste a lot of words to explain what's going on.



So, yes, I do pity Sméagol, I pity the corruption of innocence, the loss of self, the loss of what makes life worth living.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

21 - Most Inspiring Moment

"Put aside the Ranger, BECOME WHO YOU ARE BORN TO BE"



This quote in particular helped me through a hard time in my life. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I didn't know where I wanted to go - I had lost my sense of self and my way, listening to others and their opinion of what I should or should not do or be.

And then this quote came along and hit something deep inside me. It gave me the courage and strenght to stop listening to others and find my own way, to set out on the road of becoming who I was born to be.

I'm still walking this road, and I'm still trying to find my destination, my life's purpose - but by now I'm true to myself and the things I am passionate about. And whenever the demands of society let me question my way I turn to this scene, this quote. It never fails to inspire and move me, it never fails to give me the strenght and courage it first inspired more than 10 years ago.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

20 - Saddest Character Death

I'd love to be able to say "Boromir's death" right now, but I sadly can't.
Why? Because of that stupid, stupid, stupid continuity mistake that I can't unsee no matter how much I want to cry in peace!


(note Boromir's hand on Aragorn's left shoulder)

Fellowship-of-the-Ring-Aragorn-Boromir.jpg
(the reverse-shot without Boromir's hand)

Yes, I'm crying buckets every time Boromir says his famous "I would have followed you my brother... my captain... my king!"-line, but that's after I spent the last minute(s) grumbling about that damn stupid hand that's (dis)appearing in every other shot.

So, I'll go with another death - one I can "enjoy" without wanting to strangle PJ:

Haldir's death in the Battle of Helm's Deep



Seeing life leaving an immortal being is just too sad to comprehend. Add the fact that he's dying in Aragorn's arms and I'm lost in tears.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

19 - Weirdest Screencap

I don't know of any really weird screencaps, but I do have a few funny ones ;)


"W-why is that smelly human touching me?!"


A bunch of funny faces you get when pausing the films at the right -or wrong- moment ;)


And -of course- our most beloved background Legolas and his many weird faces! (See? I DID find something weird after all!)

(thinking about the good times you had last night, aren't you?)


("wooooooohaaaaaaa")

grid-cell-6633-1386799649-24.jpg
("Why is the old guy stealing my spotlight? *slides into frame* Wooooha what's THAT??? Urgh. Gross!!! *intense staring* Better look back at Aragorn real quick!")
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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18 - Coolest Visual Effect

The amazing Dolly Zoom in the first movie:



A lovely nod of the head to Hitchcock and it works perfectly in this particulary scene at that particular time in the film.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

17 - Elves or Dwarves?

Let me answer that with a few pics :D













And let me add a bonus elf just for the record:

amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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16 - Favourite Female Character



Galadriel - no doubt about that.

"She was one of the greatest of the Eldar in Middle-earth, and surpassed nearly all others in beauty, knowledge, and power. She was also the bearer of Nenya, one of the three Elven rings. Tolkien thought of her, along with Gil-galad the Elven-king, as one of the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves left in Middle-earth."

I love that she's a ruler, a beautiful lady, the bearer of one of the Rings of Power, as well as a warrior.


"Galadriel was born in Valinor during the Years of the Trees, before the First Age had even begun. Much of Galadriel's story is confusing, and there are several distinct tales told about her collected in the Unfinished Tales. According to the older account, used in the published Silmarillion, Galadriel was an eager participant and leader in the rebellion of the Ñoldor and their flight from Valinor due to her desire to one day rule over a patch of Middle-earth herself.

She was eager to see Middle-earth, having heard of it from Fëanor, and wanted to rule a realm of her own. She swore no oaths and was in like mind with Fingon, son of Fingolfin.

However, separated from Fëanor and his kin, she and her people did not take part in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. They followed Fingolfin instead and crossed the Helcaraxë in the far north.

[...]

She played a relatively insignificant part in the wars of the First Age, as she thought that defeating Morgoth was beyond the power of the Eldar, and when Morgoth was defeated by the coming of the Valar out of the West she, having played no part in the Kinslaying, was offered safe return to Valinor. But Galadriel, being prideful, chose to remain in Middle-earth."


(both quotes taken from the LotR Wikia)

I particularly enjoy her backstory and the way the last quoted sentence explains her cryptic remark "I pass the test" in FotR after Frodo offered to give her the ring.

Come to think of it, while I like Galadriel in the books/movies, it's the parts that are just alluded to or can be found in the appendices or other Tolkien books that make her really interesting. She's a fierce and strong lady that doesn't rely on others to achieve her goals - and that in a universe that has oftentimes be criticised for being anti-female and patriarchal.
And judging by her part in the rebellion as well as in the defeat of Dol Guldur, she's a damn fine fighter as well.

Galadriel wonderful, inspiring, well-rounded female character that can and should serve as a model for strong girls and woman all around the world.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

15 - Favourite Armour

Well, I pre-empted that one, didn't I?

A day later and my favourite armour is still the elven armour worn in Helms Deep :) Since I posted some film pics yesterday, I decided to use some pictures (of both weapons and armour) taken out of Chris Smith's wonderful "Weapons and Warfare"-book. And I'll add a few pieces of text taken out of the same book. So, here we go:

BOW





"The bows of the Galadhrim were probably the most beautiful in all Middle-earth, and certainly the most powerful; they were made from the legendary mallorn trees that grew only in the Golden Wood of Lórien. [...] The seven-foot staff was sealed with mallorn resin and gilded in an elegant embossed pattern of twining golden leaves either side of the leather handgrip; the curved ends of the staff were gilded and bore a spur, but the nock was located a few inches further in. The length of the bow meant that they could never be fully drawn, but it still meant that the Elves would pull the string back beyond the eye rather than up to it: this required an huge amount of individual strength and years of training as the bows would have had a draw of more than 200 pounds.
[...] The pale arrows were almost four feet long, made from unstained ash or occasionally mallorn shoots, with long broad-head tips made of gold that extended into a long sleeve that gave greater stability. The barbs gave the tips the subtle appearance of a mallorn leaf and were used as cutting edges to tear into the enemy: they were lethal against all targets, whether armoured or not. The flights were long white goose or swan feathers, and these were skilfully tied to the shaft in a spiral pattern with a single corkscrewing loop of gold wire. Lórien arrows were the only ones at that time to employ a spiral fletching, so it can be assumed that the Elves were unique in discovering that an arrow fired with a spiralling flight is much more accurate than a normal one.
[...] Like the sword, the design of the quiver differed little to that used almost three thousand years before: it was made of leather, stood roughly half the length of the arrows, and its mouth resembled two overlapping leaves.

SWORD




The sword carried by the Elves of Lórien differed little to that carried by their Noldor kin during the Last Alliance. It can therefore be assumed that the design had already reached its pinnacle in the Second Age, and was merely faithfully reproduced whenever a new sword was required.
[...] As has been said before, the five-foot sword was half blade and half handgrip: the blade was relatively wide given its length, sharp only along the lower edge and with more weight in the top of the blade than near the cutting edge - it was fullered along the entire length of the top part of the blade. The cutting edge curved up to meet the tip, rather than tapering like a normal sword, partly to keep the blade strong along the entire length and partly to extend the cutting edge round.
[...] Haldir's sword is reported to have been similar in shape to Hadhafang, but larger and thicker in the blade. While it bore no runes down the blade it did have an inset, curving flower-bud detail which grew into the fuller.
The scabbard of the Elven swords was the twin of them in terms of beauty: made from the trees of the Golden Wood, it was a deep burnished honey, with gold tengwar patterns etched along its length. It seems to have been attached to the rig that held the quiver as well as to the belt that went around the warrior's waist: like the arrows, it was long and so was worn on the back, being drawn over the shoulder rather than across the body.

ARMOUR





[...] The most significant factor behind [the] changes between Elven armour of the Second and Third Ages was that the armour worn at the Last Alliance was of Noldorin design whereas that worn at Helm's Deep was fashioned by the Sindarin Elves of Lothlórien. As has already been said, Third Age Elven armour reflected the autumnal themes and hues seen in nature - the coppers and browns and rich golds - as opposed to the greens and yellow-golds of spring, or rebirth, found in earlier pieces.
Before marching to Helm's Deep the Elves put on their steel battle armour [...]. Over their normal travelling clothes was worn a hauberk of very fine gold, leaf-shaped mail, with long sleeves that went into a knee-length skirt of metallic silk that had been painstakingly embroidered to give it a pattern of row upon row of tiny leaf-shapes. Both hauberk and skirt gave the appearance of a carpet of leaves fallen from the tree, nearing the end of their natural cycle. Unlike the Noldorin armour, the gold-plated steel cuirass and fauld were separate. The cuirass represented the very pinnacle of armour design: it was like a fan, in that it featured a hinge point at the breastbone that allowed the lames on both sides to move over each other as the soldier drew his arrows and sword, and as he spun and twisted in combat. This hinge point was decorated with a badge that had each Elf's house enamelled on to it. Each lame was slightly curved to represent a fallen leaf, with the veins on the underside of the leaf now exposed; trailing across the metal armour was a fine gold filigree representing both delicate vines and the tengwar of the written language, Quenya. [...] The fauld consisted of eight lames, and like the cuirass these were linked with leather points to move with the soldier as he did; the design again reflected a fallen leaf. The fauld was attached to the body by a leather belt. To further protect the stomach, a leather tunic was worn between the hauberk and the cuirass. Leather was also used for the gloves and bracers, the bracers extending over the hands to protect them from the snap of the bowstring. To protect the outside of the arms a steel vambrace was tied over the bracer, and a steel pauldron was strapped to the cuirass and arm.
The autumnal theme extended to the helmet, in that its latticed steel gave the appearance of a torn leaf. It flexed when it was put on, fitting snugly around the head to ensure it stayed in place during battle; the small curved crest was more decorative than defensive.
The last item of protection was a cloak of deep green silk, its long ties passing over the shoulders and back to be tied around the waist; although of little use against direct attack its movement could distract the eye of an attacker, causing them to miss their aim. The Sindarin refinement of the Noldorin design resulted in an armour that was the most sophisticated ever to be seen in Middle-earth.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

14 - Favourite Outfit

There are two answers.

If we're talking about a general favourite outfit regardless of gender I'll go with the armour of the elven army in Helms Deep.
It's cool, it's absolutely warrior-style and yet still has the lightness and nature-inspired components of typical elven wear.






Now for the outfit I as a girl love the best? Eowyn's white dress. I've always loved it, I love the style and cut and I've been thinking about trying my hand at sewing a version of it for myself.





And since it's a very similar cut and would work beautifully with my hair colour - the slightly different green version:
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

13 - Favourite Weapon

I'll chose two sets of weapons instead of just one.

The first one are Aragorn's weapons:


Andúril - Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil




and

Aragorn's dagger





And the second set are Legolas' weapons



his bow of the Galadhrim




and



Legolas' knives





I'd take any of these or all of them any day :)

Lovely craftsmanship, beautiful design, simply weapons to die for! *giggles over bad pun*
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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12 - Favourite Location

I think I'll have to go with Rivendell.




It's always been clear that I would chose some place elven, but in the end Rivendell won by a small margin. I chose it not only for its reputation as "last homely house east of the sea" but also because I could very easily picture me living there. Rivendell has the perfect mixture of woods/nature, water, and a quite solid architecture that doesn't require its occupants to climb up and down thousands of stairs on a daily basis :) (just imagine getting drunk and having to stagger up winding stairs until you finally reach your rooms located at the top of a VERY BIG tree... nope, just nope!)

I'm sure that I could very easily feel at home in Rivendell.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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11 - BROTP

There are two, actually... or rather, two threesomes ;)

The first are our very own original "Two and A Half Men": Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn






I know that the books only speaks of the friendship between Legolas and Gimli, but since Legolas and Aragorn are joined at the hip (or... somewhere close ;) )anyway, in my head there's no question that it's a friendship between the three of them.


The other group of friends/brothers are Aragorn, Elladan and Elrohir.




Since the films sadly don't give us El and El (or El, El and Estel for that matter), I've had to borrow some pics drawn by people way more talented and creative than me.

My view of the friendship/brotherly bond between the Rivendell Twins and our Ranger is in large parts based upon the Mellon Chronicles (once again: if you haven't yet, go read it NOW!)... and since I've accepted the Chronicles as my head!canon there's no way around mentioning these three as my BROTP - although, since Legolas ends up as a honorary brother to all of them, I guess I could sum up today's question as:

Elladan/Elrohir/Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli ;)
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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10 - OTP

Do you REALLY need to ask???????!





















amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
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09 - Favourite Hobbit

In the films: Merry



There's many reasons, but in the end, he's the one who made me laugh the most and while he seems to be the clown of the fellowship he's also the hobbit who understands what's at stake quickest most of the time.


In the books: Fatty Bolger

Because he had the good sense to stay at home in the Shire ;)
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

08 - Gondor or Rohan


Well, that depends, doesn't it? ;)

In any time where Aragorn is not ruling from Minas Tirith and Legolas is not based in Ithilien, I'd take Rohan - wonderful nature and horses all around, what more could a girl whish for?


Once Aragorn and Legolas are around, I'd definitely re-locate to Gondor ;)
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

07 - Favourite Antagonist

Another easy choice:



Gollum

I love the struggle between Sméagol and Gollum, I can relate to the fact that the Gollum-personality is a corrupted form of the lovable and rather sweet Sméagol, I understand where Gollum's hate and scheming are coming from. He is -together with the Nazgûl- the ring's corruptive power come to life.
And yet, despite the long time the ring poisoned his mind - there's still good in him, there's still the side of him that one could like, and maybe even love.

Gollum is the driving force of the Sam-Frodo story-arc. While Sam certainly is Frodo's strength, his support and his most loyal companion, it's Gollum who calls the shots and ultimately leads them into Mordor and quite literally to victory. Without Gollum's addiction to the ring, without his need to re-possess it, Frodo would have walked away from the fires of Mt. Doom the same way Isildur did. He would have failed his quest, and not even Sam could have stopped him there and then.

Gollum in a way is the real hero of the story - because in the end, Middle Earth would have fallen without him, even if his part of the solution was quite accidental.
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

06 - Ugliest Orc

Finally a VERY EASY question!

Without any further ado, I'll give you:



GOTHMOG - the very, very, very ugly :)
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

05 - Scene That Makes You Laugh

Well... there are a few, too :)

I'll try to keep this post shorter than the one yesterday, I promise...

Pics and Gifs once again )

And that's it ;)

The lovely [livejournal.com profile] silvan_lady alerted me to the fact that quite a lot of pics of yesterday's post don't work *sigh* I rather suspect the same will apply to this post - I'll try to fix it as soon as I've got a bit more time on my hands (and once it's a bit earlier than 3 am ;) )!
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)
IMG_0862.JPG

04 - Scene that Makes You Cry

Really? I mean... REALLY????????!

As I mentioned before I'm a crying mess during most of the third film - never mention various scenes in the first and second... how the hell should I be able to pick ONE scene that makes me cry?????

Right, let's do that another way... I'll tell you about the scenes that make me cry in each movie :)
(Warning: this might take some time :D)

Too many pics and gifs :) )

I'm not crying at every one of these scenes every time, but I HAVE cried at all of them (and probably some more) at some point...
amruniel: (aragorn legolas)


03 - Favourite Character

I think I'll have to go with the obvious:



Aragorn, Ranger of the North.

The reasons?
He's an incredible character with a wonderful backstory I really can't get enough of.
He's the guy with the most to lose (okay, apart from "all of our lives", but that's what every single person in Middle Earth is dealing with, so I'll just ignore it for now) - he could lose not only his self-respect, his dignity and the way he chose to live his life, he could also disappoint his foster-father, lose the love of his life, as well as the respect of his friends. Not to mention that there is the burden of letting down his people, even though they don't even know that their true king is alive and kicking ass throughout the whole continent.
He could give in to temptation and thus become what he most fears.
He could let the people he loves down.

And don't forget that he's had a really hard life thus far.

Losing a parent is hard enough on its own, but think about it: he then gets taken to Rivendell where he grows up surrounded by immortal, seemingly perfect and infallible people who must have seemed larger than life when he was a young boy. He - the fallible, mortal man who bears the legacy of a line of people who did very often fall spectacularly - must have been way out of his depth there more often than not.
I'm sure that Elrond and his sons became his foster family over the years - they became the role-models he strove to make proud of him. What a hard act to follow! (Side note: If you haven't read the Mellon Chronicles I really urge you to do so NOW! I've accepted this history of Aragorn and Legolas' friendship as (head) canon, and there's enough room to imagine slash where there is just slashy sub-text ;) )
And then, when he found a way of living with the ghosts of his past, when he found a way of being there for his people and the people in Middle Earth in general, by taking up the role of guardian and Ranger of the North, he finds himself falling in love with not only the most beautiful woman walking the woods in Rivendell, but also his foster-father's precious daughter. Not a position I envy him for.
So what does Elrond do? He tells the poor guy that he has to man up and fulfil his real destiny instead of lurking in the shadows and protecting the people of Middle Earth in the blessing of anonymity in order to be allowed to marry his daughter.

Talk about burdening the poor man with another set of responsibilities and worries.

Well - and then a bunch of Hobbits come along and the long-lost bane of his ancestors makes a sudden reappearance. Not the best news for him, I'm sure. And then there's the small matter of getting along with the son of Gondor's steward, who not only wants to take the ring to his daddy instead of throwing it into the fires of Mt. Doom, but also isn't very ecstatic in face of the fact that this rugged nobody claims to be Gondor's real king and who might take daddy's job -and therefore his future job- sooner than later. Not a position you want to be in while travelling through a war-zone, chased by nine megalomaniac ghosts in black capes and not only one, but ultimately two warring armies of orcs/uruks.

But Aragorn being Aragorn rises to the occasion, sheds his doubts on the way and later willingly faces death and the army of the dead in order to save a city that he's sure won't welcome him. Having done that, he rallies the remaining guys for a suicide mission they ALL know is more likely than not going to ruin them in minutes rather than hours or days - and they follow him, because they all can see in him what he himself can't.

Aragorn is a complex, virtuous and ultimately good character who inspires loyalty and love in everyone he meets (well, we could probably safely say anyone but Wormtongue, Saruman and Sauron's Mouth).

I love him for his doubts, for his insecurities and his reluctance to take up a role he doesn't feel comfortable with. And I love him even more for gradually accepting that if he doesn't do it, nobody will, and finally taking on his destiny and making it his own.

He is the king Middle Earth and we need and deserve!

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