Good fun opening the email this morning! Thanks to all of you who wrote in. Some of you pointed out that since there were NINE wringraiths surrounding Sauron, and there’s only eight of them left by the end of LOTR, the scene that was reported to us is more likely to be from LOTR’s pre-history – like The Battle of the Last Alliance. Joe wrotein to say that in Tolkien’s own pictures of Sauron, he drew him with the spiked armour as described in the scene. On the other hand, Stevanos tells us “It looks like PJ (or whoever designed the costume) has based it on the description of Morgroth when he and Fingolfin duel it out in The Silmarillion. Morgroth’s hammer was called Grond, the very weapon the Battering Ram at the Siege of Minas Tirith was named after: “The Hammer of the Underworld”.
Jason told us about the John Howe painting that shows this spiked armour on Melkor. You can see it in Rolozo Tolkien, here
Thing is, who influenced who? Did Howe base his picture of Melkor on Tolkien’s picture of Sauron? Did the designers for the film base their vision of Sauron on either of those? John Howe and Alan Lee are the conceptual artists for the film, after all.