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Bard the Bowman, his daughters and their outfits

October 16, 2013 at 10:37 am by Demosthenes  - 

Bard the Bowman Via the Desolation of Smaug 2014 Calendar and the Annual, check out these interesting new images of Bard and his daughters. As the Annual explains, in Peter Jackson’s adaptation, Bard at the time of the events of The Hobbit has a son, Bain, and two daughters, Sigrid and Tilda.

Bard’s history in the Legendarium

As many have mentioned already, in the text of The Hobbit Professor Tolkien neither mentions when Bain is born, nor ever speaks of Bard having a pair of daughters. Yet, equally, it’s worth noting that the absence of presence does not mean the presence of absence.

Additionally, the adaptation re-imagines Bard as a bargeman, rather than the grim soldier we meet in the book. A rather lowly social position, one expects — even lower than a humble soldier.

Fearless and strong, he is a great hunter and often spends his time in the hills around the river leading from Mirkwood into the Long Lake.

The costuming of Bard’s daughters

I really have no problem with the existence of Bard’s daughters, if anything they help lessen accusations of tokenism that could be directed at the Tauriel character. I feel that is a good thing. However, something about their outfits stuck me as oddly anachronistic and out of place.

For starters, they seem a bad match for these outfits found on Lake-town folk. So do the outfits of Sigrid and Tilda reflect a different status? Yet, as I explained above, Bard’s social status is seemingly not that high (despite his powers of oratory).

Now, I’m certainly not a costumer nor at all versed in fashion history. One TORn chatter suggested that the the pair’s outfits seem to resemble a pinafore. Or perhaps a smock-frock. Yet I don’t think it’s the relatively modern nature of those garments though that is oddly perturbing, I think it boils down to those collars.

So I started looking at screencaps from The Lord of the Rings. Young Hobbit girls wear collarless dresses. So does Rosie Cotton — if something more elaborate and low-cut. I’m not sure that means much, though, because the two are different cultures, even if Hobbits once lived in the Vales of the Anduin. And, Frodo’s shirt has a collar.

The Rohirrim, too, once dwelt in the Anduin’s northern reaches. But a quick Google image search offers little in the way of collared outfits on Eowyn.

I’d be very interested to hear the thoughts of expert costumers out there. Costuming has, to date, been one of the great strengths of the production. What seems to be the logic driving what we see here?

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Luke Evans, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien on October 16, 2013 by