Friday, November 8, 2013

30-day Middle-earth Challenge—Day Eight: Favorite Costume

Oh, how to choose? Probably my favorite part of the LOTR movies is the lovely costumes—each distinctly portraying the various races and cultures of Middle-earth. I’m afraid I’m going to have to cheat again, since I couldn’t choose just *one* fave among these:

Frodo’s “Opening/Green Shirt” Outfit
(Do you know how hard it is to find good pix of this one??)

To me, this costume’s simplicity represents the homespun, carefree life of a Hobbit-lad—a symbol of Frodo’s childhood, which, when we’re introduced to him at the beginning of FOTR, he’s leaving behind as he comes of age. It’s funny, but his shirt changes from a sort of sage-green to heather-grey, depending on which pictures you look at—kind of like the “Fellowship” cloaks. A subtle foretelling of Things to Come from the costume department, perhaps? (More likely a result of all the color-enhancing done BTS.)

Pippin’s “Party Vest” 
Reproduced by Cordelia Willis ('cos I couldn't find a pic of the real thing!)
No copyright infringement intended
This spiffy waistcoat, made up in emerald-green brocade, sports bright yellow tambour embroidery (although some say it’s couched cording) in a swirling pattern down the front—very festive, and perfect for celebrating Bilbo’s Eleventy-first Birthday. Interestingly, it’s the only waistcoat Pippin wears until near the end of ROTK (more on that later).

Merry’s “Fellowship” Outfit

Hobbits, according to Tolkien, favor green and yellow, and Merry has both colors in this costume, which he wears for most of the trilogy. I think my favorite part is his quilted waistcoat. Actually, yellow seems to be Merry’s signature color, since his “Party” vest and the one given to him near the end of ROTK are both yellow. I must admit to admiring his stylish Georgian-inspired frock-coat, too. Merry’s clothes in general are more elegant than the other Hobbits’, reflecting his status as one of the richer Hobbits in the Shire—a Brandybuck of Brandy Hall.

Pippin’s “Fellowship” Outfit 

One interesting thing about Pippin is that, for most of the trilogy, he doesn’t have a waistcoat/vest like the other Hobbits. In the books, he says he is still considered a boy by Hobbit standards (or words to that effect), so perhaps the wearing of a waistcoat is a kind of sign of manhood (Hobbithood?) among the Little Folk (the exception being his “Party” vest, of course, but that’s a special occasion). Pippin’s costume is a bit like Frodo’s “Opening” outfit in that it consists of trousers with suspenders and a shirt, but Pippin adds a jacket (shorter than Frodo’s and Merry’s elegant frock-coats) and his signature knitted scarf. My favorite part, though, is the embroidery down the front of his shirt! Kinda makes up for not having a waistcoat.

Sam’s “Prologue” Outfit

Sam wears this costume during Bilbo’s voice-over at the beginning of FOTR, while planting flowers. What makes it noticeable (in my mind, at least) is the checked shirt—most other Hobbits wear solid-colored or white shirts.

I have a thing for Hobbits, can you tell? ;-)
I leave the Elves and Men for tomorrow’s post...Lord willing I have time....

Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,

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