Autumn crafting, the Seat of Seeing

Hi all,

The autumn season has come around again. This is my favorite season in the Pacific Northwest. I love the chill in the air, and the leaves changing color. It’s a beautiful time.

I do try to get out and bike and walk this time of year. But autumn is great for indoor activities. The rainy days just make me want to curl up, do crafting projects, and read a good book. The best book. Lord of the Rings.

So let’s craft stuff and solve mysteries!

This was the first project that kicked it off. Not LOTR related! It started with packing material and cardboard.
Using foam for the details. The spackle gives it a more stone like texture.
Finishing with acrylic paint. This is in a scale to be playable in a tabletop game. See if you can take over the fort!

These types of projects allow me to use recycled materials. That makes the crafting, and the creativity, easier. Its easy to look at something and think, “that looks like a…” Then it’s just gluing stuff.

This next project was inspired by Lord of the Rings. Beware: wild lore speculation ahead!

I used some carved foam pieces to become statues. The seat is mostly cardboard and foam.
Covering all the surfaces in foam lets you sculpt stone bricks for a realistic look. Also this was a great use of toilet paper rolls!
End result. It’s meant to be my rendition of the Seat at Amon Hen, where Frodo puts on the ring and confronts Sauron in LOTR

This is how I imagine it looking. Mine looks different from the Peter Jackson interpretation. Tolkien describes it as a high seat on four carven pillars with a high stair going up to it. The thing is, in the book, Frodo looks in all four directions. North, east, south, west. The nature of my throne doesn’t really accommodate 360 degree vision. Frodo cant look through solid stone, can he? So, did he stand up and look over the back of the seat to see behind him? Tolkien’s intention is unclear.

This is a very low resolution still shot to jog your memory. PJ’s interpretation also has a throne that would block 360 vision. I think we could chalk it up to supernatural powers of putting on the ring.

In the movie, Frodo doesn’t look in all directions and survey the land. He looks over the back of the seat, and he sees the Eye. I think something happened in the book that the movie didn’t cover.

I’m really curious what Tolkien was picturing here. Frodo clearly looks in all four directions. But Tolkien describes him as “sitting upon the Seat of Seeing”. I don’t think either me or PJ got it right. Whatever Tolkien was picturing I think it looked different in his head. But what was it? What does the Seat of Amon Hen look like?

MAYBE, Tolkien intends that something supernatural is happening here. It is a relic of Numenor. Maybe sitting in the seat gives you super vision. This is pure speculation on my part.

Anyway, let’s enjoy a quote from the text:

And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir – he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his grey hood.

-Fellowship of the Ring

In the Tolkien version, that’s the climax of the story. There isn’t a fight scene with orcs like in the movie. The conflict with Sauron is the closest to evil we get in this book. It’s interesting the different emphasis that Tolkien puts on events. Very different from the movie interpretation.

Reading LOTR, crafting, relaxing as it rains outside. Solving mysteries?! That’s what autumn is all about. Hope you’re enjoying.

Any Tolkien fans have an opinion? Can you sit in a throne and look in 360 degrees? Am I crazy? Let me know in the comments.

-Samwise son of Timfast, master crafter and amateur Tolkienologist