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  1. #1

    Illustrating LOTR with LOTRO

    This is a LOTRO scavenger hunt hobby that I started doing in July, 2020 when the Evernight server was practically unplayable for weeks on end. I play on other servers, too, but they're mostly low level characters there, and I had played the Shire quests so many times already that the game had lost its appeal. I decided to read the book instead while waiting for Evernight to come back online. But I get lost visually while reading Tolkien, utterly confused by so many different names and places that I need the illustrations to help me visually anchor the who, what and where for my own comprehension. LOTRO turned out to be the perfect solution for me. And then it just plain became fun to scout out locations, props and NPC "actors" for the LOTR/LOTRO narrated illustration movie I'm making out of Phil Dragash's work. Because I limited myself to only what I could find within LOTRO, the illustrations are at times a bit quirky, and I'm no artist. But I LOVE THIS GAME!! And I hope LOTRO never ends.

    3-9-21: I did some editing for clarity and to move some images into the order in which they belong. I've completed about two hours worth of video as of this writing, (and that's just the first two narrated chapters of LOTR, lol), but the video is sectioned out in 12-14 minute segments, mostly because listening to somebody talk for an hour straight puts me to sleep. And that's where the section names came from, mostly for my own quick find reference.

    Some Illustrations from Chapter 1: A Long-Expected Party
    Section 1.1.1 The Old Gaffer

    Hobbiton Morning, The Shire

    You'd better come live with me, Frodo, my lad

    The Gaffer held forth at the Ivy Bush

    Section 1.1.2 The Party

    Great Bundles of Fireworks

    Bilbo gave a few pennies away

    Buying locally

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 01:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Section 1.1.2 The Party

    Invitations were sent out. Voluntary assistant postmen were called for.

    Greeting guests at the new white gate

    A Party of Special Magnificence

    Section 1.1.3 Bilbo's Speech

    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like

    Section 1.1.4 Leaving The Ring Behind

    And why should I give up the ring?

    Gandalf put the envelope on the mantlepiece

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 01:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Section 1.1.4 Leaving The Ring Behind

    Is everybody ready?

    Goodbye, dear Bilbo

    Section 1.1.5 Parting Gifts

    A special message from Bilbo

    Frodo had a very trying afternoon

    Hunting for hidden treasure in the pantry

    Gandalf at the window

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 01:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Section 1.1.5 Parting Gifts

    My dear Gandalf! I thought you were Lobelia.

    Frodo did not see him again for a long time

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 01:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Chapter 2 is particularly challenging to illustrate because the narration is anchored at Bag End with Gandalf and Frodo, and yet it needs to be free to visually weave the time and place for characters and events of note. I used a couple of different devices there, but the "The Mind's Eye" point of view ended up becoming one of my favorites, mostly because the living room entry way of Bag End looks just like an eyeball.

    Some Illustrations from Chapter 2: The Shadow of the Past
    Section 1.2.1 Frodo Wanders, Sam Wonders

    Frodo studied the map of the Shire

    Sam wonders about dragons, walking trees, and elves

    Section 1.2.2 Gandalf's Concerns

    Gandalf returns to Bag End

    Frodo was deep in thought

    Saruman? Hobbits are, or were, no concern of his.

    Section 1.2.3 The One Ring

    The Ring in the fireplace

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 01:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Section 1.2.3 The One Ring

    Like a dark cloud rising in the East... How on earth did this ring come to me?

    Three rings were hidden by the Elves

    Seven rings, the dwarf kings possessed. Sauron has recovered three. The rest were consumed by dragons

    Nine rings were given to mortal men who, above all else, desired power. They became Ringwraiths

    Gil-galad and Elendil defeated Sauron, but perished in the deed.

    Isildur, Elendil's son, cut the ring from Sauron's hand, and took it for his own.

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 02:48 AM. Reason: relink

  7. #7
    Section 1.2.3 The One Ring

    Near the Gladden Fields, Isildur was waylaid by orcs.

    Isildur put the ring on and leapt into the water.

    The ring slipped from his finger. The orcs killed Isildur.

    Section 1.2.4 Smeagol

    Deagol and Smeagol go fishing

    Fishing at Tol Send

    Smeagol fought with Deagol

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 03:03 AM.

  8. #8
    This looks really good intense efforts in all the editing keep it at it Ele! I love it!

  9. #9
    Thank you, Laurel, you're very kind. I still have some polishing work to do on the end of Chapter 2, but I've got a few more jpgs for that chapter that I'd like to share.

    Section 1.2.4 Smeagol

    Hobbits don't cheat! (Riddles in the Dark)

    Section 1.2.5 Gollum

    My Precious, My Justification

    Felegoth prison interrogation

    Gollum refused to say anything more

    Trying to discover Bilbo's whereabouts, Gollum had travelled to Esgaroth

    Under cover of darkness, Gollum listened in the streets of Dale

    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 03:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Section 1.2.5 Gollum

    Aragorn tracked Gollum

    Gollum is brought to Felegoth

    Gollum had made his way to Mordor. He was captured, tortured for information, and then released before Aragorn found him.

    He knows where Isildur fell. He knows where Gollum found his ring. He knows that it is a great ring... He knows that it is the One. And he has heard of the Shire. I know, this is a repeated illustration, but it brings it full circle.... like a ring... oh, did I say that? lol -- Elebraen

    This is terrible!

    Oh Gandalf, best of friends, what am I to do?

    Last edited by Elebraen; May 04 2022 at 08:12 AM.

  11. #11
    Section 1.2.5 Gollum

    The Pity of Bilbo for the Heroic Villian:
    The wood-elves have imprisoned Gollum, and they endeavor to treat him with kindness.

    Section 1.2.6 Frodo's Decision

    Coming soon! Thanks for stopping by
    Last edited by Elebraen; Mar 09 2021 at 04:22 AM.

  12. #12
    This is really neat - thanks for posting!! I look forward to "reading" what comes next.

  13. #13
    Section 1.2.6 Frodo's Decision

    Frodo can't bring himself to destroy the ring

    Will you not take the ring? ... No!

    I will help you bear this burden as long as it is yours to bear

    Have you decided what to do?

    I ought to leave Bag End, leave the Shire, leave everything and go away

    "The enemy has many spies." Suddenly, he stopped as if listening

  14. #14
    Section 1.2.6 Frodo's Decision

    Sam Gamgee, is it? Now what may you be doing?

    Couldn't you take me to see elves, sir, when you go?

    If you really care about me, you will keep that dead secret

    I have thought of something to punish you properly for listening

    You shall go away with Mr. Frodo

  15. #15
    Can't see any images in any posts

    Can see the place holder for them, but it comes up with unable to open page when I click on it.

    Never have been able to see images on posts on the forums without a lot off third party applications & destinations between me & them
    No King, No Law, Utopia!

  16. #16


    Like I told you...What I said...Steal your face right off your head.

  17. #17
    This illustration rightly belongs in section 1.1.2 The Party, but I only just recently discovered the perfect wagon for this classic scene while I was questing in Pelagir.

    Small hobbit children ran after the cart all through Hobbiton.

  18. #18
    Some Illustrations from Chapter 3: Three Is Company
    Section 1.3.1 The Sale of Bag End

    Gandalf advises Frodo to leave quietly and go soon

    Frodo had privately decided to leave Bag End on his 50th birthday

    Frodo decides to go to Rivendell. Gandalf promises to be back in time to travel with him.

    The news was all over the Shire. Frodo Baggins had sold Bag End... to the Sackville-Bagginses!

    Yes, I shall be moving this autumn.

    Merry helped Frodo find a nice home in Crickhollow

  19. #19

    Frodo waited for Gandalf to return. The Shire had seldom seen so rich an autumn.

    Frodo's friends helped him with the packing.

    Wagons conveyed the furniture and goods by way of the Brandywine Bridge.

    Frodo's Farewell Feast

    Frodo's wine had not been included in the sale to the Sackville-Bagginses.

    A Toast to Bilbo

    Last edited by Elebraen; Jun 27 2021 at 12:40 AM.

  20. #20

    Frodo's Party was over and still Gandalf had not returned.

    Last edited by Elebraen; Jun 27 2021 at 12:41 AM.

  21. #21
    This is wonderful! Looking forward to the next installments!

    ...when in doubt...twirl...
    Crickhollow: Wisa/Weesa, Elvisa/Elvysa and many other Elv's, Reaboj, Sunberry, Altheah, Ooma's and some others. Landroval: Sunnberry, Raynbel, Starberry, Burraberry, Sugarree, Magnolia, and a bunch of others too. Anor: Elviska, Wisa, Elvisa, and more. Laurelin: Sunberry, Wisaberry, Elvisa Gwaihir: Sunberry. Belegaer: Sunberry.
    Sirannon: Sunberry. Treebeard: Wisa,Moonberry, Sunberry, Wisaberry, Elvisa and more. Brandywine: Raynberry

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    This is wonderful! Looking forward to the next installments!
    Thank you This illustration hobby has become like catnip to me. I have grown to thoroughly love Bag End now that there's some signs of life having been in it. I can look at the "photographs" and think, oh yeah, someone used to live here, lol.

  23. #23
    If you would like to see how the videos turned out (narration included), you can visit the shared folder Illustrating LOTR with LOTRO

    The mp4 in the .zip file is about 10 to 13 minutes long, and they contain a lot more illustrations and animations for each section than I posted on this thread.

  24. #24
    Section 1.3.2 The Journey Begins

    Merry and Fredegar drive the last wagon to Crickhollow. Falco went home after lunch. Pippin stayed behind.

    Frodo's Plan

    Lobelia had brought a complete inventory with her, and had come to make sure that nothing she had paid for had been carried off. And she wanted the keys.

    Pippin and Sam piled the three backpacks on the porch.

    Frodo wandered round the familiar rooms.

    At sunset, Frodo walked down to the gate at the bottom of the path.

    Last edited by Elebraen; Jul 10 2021 at 02:05 AM. Reason: edited illustration

  25. #25

    Frodo makes the decision to start his journey without Gandalf.

    Frodo heard voices and he stopped to listen. One voice was the old Gaffer's. The other was strange and unpleasant.

    "Sam!" he called "Sam! Time!"

    Sam had been saying farewell to the beer barrel in the cellar.

    Frodo gives the key to Sam and tells him that there's been a change of plans. They're not going through the village.

    Pippin and Frodo walked to the west side of Bag End.


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