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The Art of The Return of the King

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The Lord of the Rings: The Art of The Return of the King by Gary Russell is a complete guide, both descriptive and visual, strictly to the art direction and creation of what Peter Jackson’s film The Return of the King brought to life, presenting the narrative of everything behind-the-scenes from sculptures to the uses of special effects - published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin (US).

This book follows The Art of The Two Towers, and it The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring.

ISBN 0-618-43029-6


The text of this behind-the-scenes guide, except for the author’ foreword and introduction and an afterword by Peter Jackson, is commentary by the many prominent members of Weta Workshop and of Weta Digital, and by commissioned illustrators - such as Alan Lee, Ben Wooten, Jeremy Bennett, Daniel Falconer, and John Howe. Every bit of commentary accompanies the sketch, Matte painting sculpture, maquette, color study, digital art-piece, armor concept, or costume that said member created or had a part in making.

There are some illustrations and images of conceptual artwork in The Art of The Return of the King which appear also in Weapons and Warfare (a book written by the editor, Chris Smith). Other images that do not appear there appear nowhere else.


A costume concept for Eowyn by Ngila Dickson

Each chapter of The Art of The Return of the King presents the artistic conceptualization process that was gone through for cinematically rendering a certain region of Middle-earth, and that region's related characters or buildings.

Table of Contents Edit

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Ithilien
  • Minas Tirith
  • Dunharrow & The Paths of the Dead
  • Minas Morgul
  • The Siege of Gondor
  • Shelob's Lair
  • Cirith Ungol
  • The Pelennor Fields
  • The Black Gates
  • Mordor
  • Epilogue
  • Afterword

Featured Weta Members and Artists Edit

See also Edit

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