Judy's Review
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Notes from the Boston Exhibit

== Judy  - August, 2004

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy – The Exhibition

First of all the exhibit hall is HUGE! Make sure you've had food and don't need a bathroom because once you leave the hall you can't get back  in without a ticket (no hand stamping). However there are plenty of benches! But you can stay all you like and sketching is just fine. They did consider banning sketching and purses and such, but thought about it and decided it was too much hassle.

The room is decently lit, there's plenty of space - it only gets really crowded around the hands-on areas and sometimes around the displays themselves. Most of the costumes are set up fairly high: eye level is about mid-thigh, so trying to peak around shoulders is not always very easy. However some of the displays have a back viewing panel.

Unfortunately,  Legolas is not one of them. But for the Leggy enthusiast, they do have an extra copy of his quiver/harness in the display on the side turned to face backwards so you can see all the straps. And it's about leg level for viewing. Just, unless you are about 7' tall you won't see the back of his jerkin. <sigh>

Some of the displays list the fabric and materials, and some do not. Some only list the armor materials. Many of them having video monitors showing s series of clips from the assorted dvd documentaries. I thought this was nice, as my mom had enough watching all three movies and couldn't take more documentary, but she was very intrigued with the little bits right there beside the display.

As to interactive stuff, you can put on white gloves (if you have your own, you might want to bring them. The ones I put on were really disgusting with everyone's sweaty hands. Yuck. They have 2 pair they lend out) and hold both Narsil and the Ranger Sword. The swords are corked on the tips for safety, and although you are allowed to hold them upright by the grip, a docent keeps control at the blade (they have gloves too). No swinging. It was interesting hearing comments like: 'really gives you a sense of power' and 'wow, it's heavy'. They also have a small piece of steel maille you can hold to see what it feels like - and compare later with a swatch of movie plastic maille at one of the displays.

There is the Scaling bench you and a friend can sit on and have your photo taken (for $5) as either hobbit sized or wizards sized. It was interesting: it was two separate split benches that the computer manipulated and stitched together. They are wide enough apart for a docent to stand in the middle in an invisible area. But don't wear green unless you want to be a disembodied head. ;-)

There is a digitized armor station where you don a blue jean shirt (not sure why, the kids were all wearing blue t-shirts, and I saw not digitizing marks on the shirt) and hold a foam sword and shield boss.

The computer then digitizes you and shows you armored up as either an Uruk-hai or a Gondorian Soldier, both of which then move as you do stabbing and thrusting at the air. No photos, but fun.

And there is the laser face scanning. You can have your face scanned and mapped as if you were being carved in stone like the Argonath. Warning: if you are short, sit up against the top of the face hole! I had a big gap between the pre-set helmet and my face. Apparently the laser doesn't like hair very much, and I came out in the first two passes with 4 eyes instead of having eyebrows! But the final pass smoothes it all out. It's fun to see what you would look like with a granite-like life cast of your face, sorta wish they printed it out for a fee.

And they have someone near the shards of Narsil that can tell you about  aspects of forging iron. There are the Fellowship (half of them, anyway)  displays, a few of the additional characters like Arwen & Galadriel (her  crown, Celeborn's neck piece and belt), Theoden's armor, Saruman, Sauron, a Nazgul and then some sample fighters like Prologue Gondorians,

Elves, Third Age Elves, and the whole row of armor including orcs and Haradrim as well as Rohirrim spearmen and guard, and an Ithilien ranger.  They do have roving security guards, but you can get as close as you like to the displays, no one will push you away.

Aragorn: Strider: trousers definitely leather; grain matched with the grain patterning of the boots and the wear on the knee wrinkles was definitely a worn leather pattern not fabric. Displayed with grey shirt.


  • Requiem: underdress: 'silk satin, silk chiffon, metallic silk  brocade' upper sleeves look similar to crepe texture.
  • Chase: back ties come from seams.

Celeborn: belt is edged both top and bottom with a braid consisting of a silver braid, and two fabric ribbons. All hang loose from buckle.

Frodo: 'hemp, velvet, wool silk' if this is supposed to be in layer order, that puts the cloak as noil and the shirt as hemp. Cloak could be noil. Has that look. Others say it looks exactly like some hemp.

Gandalf: sword belt has a silver diamond design at each hole. Costume belt may be braided rope: manilla? Hemp? Cloak looks like silk noil.  Pouch flap is whipped around the edges, neck of robe is frayed about maybe 2" of ends, undoubtedly stay-stitched, but can't see. Robe is VERY loosely woven - could see through weave. Fabrics listed as silk, wool, rope (no cotton as had been listed in the books.  Confusion here.)

Gimli: 'suede and wool' tunic wool looks possibly a broken diamond twill. Definitely a twill rather than tabby weave, but not the same undulating weave as the cloaks. Back of the belt is two layers: a kidney belt beneath the waist belt.

Galadriel Mirror Gown: mantle/cloke is the same crinkly silk chiffon & beading as dress. Held by clasps shaped like silver leaves just about 1" away from the brooch.  The mantle itself has sideback seams which are split to about the knee (maybe 2') and then get hidden mostly in the draping. The draping is simple artful gathering at the shoulders, tailor-tacked into place; gives a nice saggy drape down the back. Very tight, almost gather/pleated at back shoulders.

Legolas: 'silk, suede, leather, silver & velvet' pants are very low-napped velvet, so worn and low pile it barely even look nappy. Design on jerkin looks more painted/etched but could possibly be very fine silver embroidery. Display up too high to see; no back display and too high to see shoulder

Nazgul: lace appliquéd along edges of layers, but not hems. 'Hood' is  really just a swath draped around and hanging down like a 'shawl'.

Theoden's armor: maroon tunic looks so loose and bulky weave, looks burlappy.

Sauron: 'silk, polyester, cotton' no gold lame lining the cloak! Looked like a crinkle layer, and a silk layer on cloak. Not sure what was cotton.

Prologue Gondorian: grey wool of tunic edged with leather.

Rohan Guard: green cloak is the same weave as Gimli's red tunic.



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This page was last updated 04/22/08