Casquivana's Examples

Up | Ason | Becky | Casquivana's Examples | Janet & George's Examples | Melissa | Morgaine | Nina's Examples
Nasties | Nasties 2 | Nasties 3 | Nasties 4

Elven Grove 1-15
Elven Grove 16 on
Fellowship Trek
Human's Hall
Hobbit Holes
Nasty's Lair
Middle-earth Groups
Prop Closet
Horse Stables
It's a Party!
Scrapbook Deutsch
Scrapbook Espaņol
Search Us



Ring Wraith

I'm a member of a swordfighting group and we did a show in the theater for the opening of Two Towers last year. I had to borrow a costume, if you can believe it. So when I heard we had the chance to do more shows for Return of the King, I decided to make my own. This has got to be the most finicky costume to wear, especially trying to climb stairs - which I discovered at the last minute I had to do during the show.

I toyed around with a few methods of making myself taller (a 5' 8" Nazgul just doesn't seem right to me), mostly variations on platform boots. I decided against that for several reasons - I wanted to be able to wear sabatons, I would have to wear a visible black mask, and most importantly I can't walk in platform boots. So I took a page from and made myself false padded shoulders and a wire frame hood that straps to the top of my head - adds about a foot of completely empty hood, which seemed to unnerve people who knew where my face really was when they tried to talk to me.

The robes are pretty simple, three layers of different kinds of unidentified bargain-wall stuff. I think the total was about 26m of fabric, and the most expensive was $5/m CDN. I put a bit of black trim on, because these guys were kings once, after all. Most of the pattern shapes are vaguely rectangles, gathered at the shoulders, and the sleeves were from a costume pattern. The whole thing was supersized, though, since it had to fit over the false shoulders and all. The hood probably took longer than all the robes combined - once I had the wire frame done I had to cover it inside and out with black felt so you couldn't see the wire from the inside or the shape of the wire from the outside. With all the stitching on that thing, it looks like the Wraith had brain surgery. The outer draping part of the hood is just one piece of fabric, 3m long, stitched along the front edge of the hood frame and the rest is just left hanging and worn like a shawl over the shoulders. It usually ended up hanging in front of my face, but this piece was sheer enough that I could still see fine, even in dim theatre light.

These robes were incredibly fast and easy to make - they don't have to fit perfectly, they don't need to be hemmed anywhere, no fancy embroidery or fasteners, seams don't need to be finished on the inside ... great beginner project. The fun part though was weathering them - I took them out to the garage and took an axe to the bottom edge, slashed them with scissors, tore them with my hands, put them through the dryer and finally took them down to the spare bathtub and spent about half an hour splashing mud. The photos are before the mud.

The gauntlets and sabatons are rented from Valentine Armouries in Calgary, Someday I'd like to make my own though, ones that are less shiny and with more pointy bits. And after seeing Return of the King, want the Witch-King's helmet and spaulders too!

The best part of this costume was people's reactions ... and the fact that they couldn't see me. I'm usually on the shy and quiet side but I had a wonderful time harassing the people who were waiting in line to see the opening midnight show and I posed for a couple pictures. I scared one kid half to death while I was waiting outside for our show to start ... the poor little guy thought I was a statue and was poking at my gauntlets when I went and moved. I had a few people comment on the voice too ... I can't do the Wraith screech, and the last thing they said they expected to hear from inside a costume like that was a girl's voice. I love being unpredictable!

Also, there's great potential to use this for other costumes ... I'd love to do a scythe fight as Death!

My living room doesn't look much like Mordor. And my dog was curious, though since she's about as close to a demonic black steed as I'm ever likely to get, I'm not complaining.

Nasties | Nasties 2 | Nasties 3 | Nasties 4

Home | Up | Ason | Becky | Casquivana's Examples | Janet & George's Examples | Melissa | Morgaine | Nina's Examples

This page was last updated 11/21/09