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The Lord of the Rings: The Art of The Return of the King

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With Peter Jackson's Acadamy Award-winning epic motion picture trilogy drawing to a spectacular and triumphant close, Gary Russell's detailed research takes us back into the world of Middle-earth, to relive all the visual drama and excitement of The Return of the King. The Art of The Return of the King illustrates the creative development of the film from sketch to special With Peter Jackson's Acadamy Award-winning epic motion picture trilogy drawing to a spectacular and triumphant close, Gary Russell's detailed research takes us back into the world of Middle-earth, to relive all the visual drama and excitement of The Return of the King. The Art of The Return of the King illustrates the creative development of the film from sketch to special effect and features 600 images, most appearing nowhere else. This fully authorized book includes pencil sketches by Alan Lee and John Howe, costume designes by Ngila Dickson, magnificent full-color paintings by Jeremy Bennett, and prop designs, concepts, sculptures and digital artwork from Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. From Minas Tirith to Mount Doom, from the Army of the Dead to Shelob the monstrous spider, all the spectacular landscapes, characters and creatures are covered in stunning detail, including concepts that did not make it into the final film. To accompany this wealth of imagery, detailed and informative commentaries appear by all the featured artists and designers, together with a special afterword by Peter Jackson. Their personal thoughts and explanations offer unique and fascinating insight into how The Return of the King was brought to life. An artistic journey begun in 1997 reaches its glorious conclusion within these pages, giving the reader a unique chance to witness the creative process that led to one of the most spectacular movies of all time.


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With Peter Jackson's Acadamy Award-winning epic motion picture trilogy drawing to a spectacular and triumphant close, Gary Russell's detailed research takes us back into the world of Middle-earth, to relive all the visual drama and excitement of The Return of the King. The Art of The Return of the King illustrates the creative development of the film from sketch to special With Peter Jackson's Acadamy Award-winning epic motion picture trilogy drawing to a spectacular and triumphant close, Gary Russell's detailed research takes us back into the world of Middle-earth, to relive all the visual drama and excitement of The Return of the King. The Art of The Return of the King illustrates the creative development of the film from sketch to special effect and features 600 images, most appearing nowhere else. This fully authorized book includes pencil sketches by Alan Lee and John Howe, costume designes by Ngila Dickson, magnificent full-color paintings by Jeremy Bennett, and prop designs, concepts, sculptures and digital artwork from Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. From Minas Tirith to Mount Doom, from the Army of the Dead to Shelob the monstrous spider, all the spectacular landscapes, characters and creatures are covered in stunning detail, including concepts that did not make it into the final film. To accompany this wealth of imagery, detailed and informative commentaries appear by all the featured artists and designers, together with a special afterword by Peter Jackson. Their personal thoughts and explanations offer unique and fascinating insight into how The Return of the King was brought to life. An artistic journey begun in 1997 reaches its glorious conclusion within these pages, giving the reader a unique chance to witness the creative process that led to one of the most spectacular movies of all time.

30 review for The Lord of the Rings: The Art of The Return of the King

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    And so the series draws to a close and I guess it has a similar feeling to that when I sat in the theatre watching the final credits roll at the end of The Return of the King. Reading through this trilogy you get a sense of enormity of the film series and the sheer amount of work that went in to it - both in front and behind the camera. I guess there are many unsung heroes of any film but one as impressive as this deserve recognition and this book is an incredible monument to their abilities. To And so the series draws to a close and I guess it has a similar feeling to that when I sat in the theatre watching the final credits roll at the end of The Return of the King. Reading through this trilogy you get a sense of enormity of the film series and the sheer amount of work that went in to it - both in front and behind the camera. I guess there are many unsung heroes of any film but one as impressive as this deserve recognition and this book is an incredible monument to their abilities. To me looking through the rough sketches and concept work you could almost ignore the film and read the book all over again referring to the pictures in these pages and what a vivid story they would paint. Now this is one impressive series of books, which I am so pleased to have found but I do feel that at first publication the price would have been too high. Especially since at the time where were so many books where printed about Lord of the Rings you do wonder if material was repeated many times over just to fill the pages of the next book. Possibly but not the case here, or in the two previous volumes either. No this series of a feast of visuals and for anyone who loves the story (and the films) its a great way to lose yourself in the world of Middle Earth.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven.l

    Well, well, well. This is the last and final book in the Lord of the Rings series. The climax of the whole series is finally here. Throughout the book, the book is full of suspense. Before Frodo reached Mount Doom, he was confronted with extreme obstacles and other characters, whether evil or good. Before the final climax of the book, the author's tone is always suspenseful, doubtfull. J.R.R Tolkien written the book this way so that readers can understand how treacherous the task is for Frodo a Well, well, well. This is the last and final book in the Lord of the Rings series. The climax of the whole series is finally here. Throughout the book, the book is full of suspense. Before Frodo reached Mount Doom, he was confronted with extreme obstacles and other characters, whether evil or good. Before the final climax of the book, the author's tone is always suspenseful, doubtfull. J.R.R Tolkien written the book this way so that readers can understand how treacherous the task is for Frodo and Sam. "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it." This part of the book shows that death is inevitable in the journey of the Ring.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Arma

    This book is beautiful I love it

  4. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    Well I really liked it. Just to see what the used and what they drew to make it into a movie.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Captain Nemo

    Very cool insight into the film adaptation of Return of the King!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Dickerson

    It was very emotional and descriptive filled with new environments. The story has many interesting facts and settings but as the story continues, i happen to lose control what happened before. The setting changes quickly but overall the book was interesting to read. If you like magical environments and shared emotions upon a amazing journey, take time to read this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The Art of The Two Towers is one of the three art books for The Lord of the Rings. The other two being The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Art of The Two Towers. Also available in one condensed edition of these three art books is The Art of the Lord of the Rings. The review you read here will be roughly the same as the ones for other books. The three volume collects over 500 images each, consisting pencils sketches, paintings and sculptures. These are th (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The Art of The Two Towers is one of the three art books for The Lord of the Rings. The other two being The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Art of The Two Towers. Also available in one condensed edition of these three art books is The Art of the Lord of the Rings. The review you read here will be roughly the same as the ones for other books. The three volume collects over 500 images each, consisting pencils sketches, paintings and sculptures. These are the art from conceptual to execution stage. The principal designers are Alan Lee, Paul Lasaine, John Howe, Grant Major, Richard Taylor (head of Weta Workshop) and Nigila Dickson among other talented artists. A full list of credits is provided. The books focus on the set and environment designs of the various Middle-earth locations, including character and creature designs from the region. While there are also weapon designs, you should turn to The Lord of the Rings Weapons and Warfare for more comprehensive coverage. The commentary and depth of the books are great. There are captions for every sketch and illustration provided, both from the artists and Gary Russell. These includes the various iterations from the discarded to the final designs used in the movies. The artists talk about the English and European influence on their sets and architecture, compositing photos and matte painting, techniques used to create the rich and seemingly authentic world, costume designs and other elements of the film. The books provide a great insight into the amount of art and details required to produce a movie — three actually — of such massive scale. What you don't see in this book is talk on the production aspect, which is left to The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide. The Art of the Lord of the Rings art book series is a great resource for fans as well as fantasy artists.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Devon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I like this book and I plan finish the series. Frodos journey has started with the shier and led him to Mt. Mordor. The evil king has returned to the world. Sauron is the one person who originally ruled all the rings. Frodo is still currently trying to destroy the ring given to him in the first book. Frodo has come across many problems throughout the journey, and he was separated from Pimon. Frodo now has been in fights, killed orcs, and other creatures. Frodo is changing form a scared hobbit to I like this book and I plan finish the series. Frodos journey has started with the shier and led him to Mt. Mordor. The evil king has returned to the world. Sauron is the one person who originally ruled all the rings. Frodo is still currently trying to destroy the ring given to him in the first book. Frodo has come across many problems throughout the journey, and he was separated from Pimon. Frodo now has been in fights, killed orcs, and other creatures. Frodo is changing form a scared hobbit to a warrior. Frodo has travel to the city of Rivendal, and was imprisoned for a little while. When he got out he continued his journey. For a long time Frodo and Simon were separated from Gandolf, but the still had a warrior named Agron. They have made there way to Mt. Mordor and are getting ready to make there way in to the walls and destroy the ring. I am confused on why they don't through the ring in any lava. They say it must be destroyed where it was created, but I don't understand why, the lava will not be hotter in different places. One suggestion I have would be to have them just through the ring in lava. Nobody is going to go in and get it even if it isn't destroyed. I didn't like Golum that much he was weird evil like character.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Randal Schmidt

    Incredible look at the concept art behind "The Return of the King". If you like art at all, you will love this book. If you like the Lord of the Rings, you will love this book. If you like art and the Lord of the Rings like I do, then you will think this book is amazing. Definitely would recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the Lord of the Rings. For those of us who are huge Lord of the Rings fans, and who also love art, this book is a must read. The only downside really is th Incredible look at the concept art behind "The Return of the King". If you like art at all, you will love this book. If you like the Lord of the Rings, you will love this book. If you like art and the Lord of the Rings like I do, then you will think this book is amazing. Definitely would recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the Lord of the Rings. For those of us who are huge Lord of the Rings fans, and who also love art, this book is a must read. The only downside really is the price, as the book is hardcover and full color. I checked this out from my public library, so price was no issue. I will definitely find the first two books in the series if I can, but I'm not sure I would spend the $35 retail for each. I'm sure I could find them used for a better price, but because I'm cheap, I'll be looking at the library. However, if you like large collector's editions of artwork and are not put off by the price, I would recommend picking up this book and the other two in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This is the review I wrote for the Art Of The Two Towers, but it still very much applies. My favourite parts in this book were Gondor, the Mûmakil, Éowyn as a warrior/Éowyn defeating the Witch King & the Epilogue. -- Fabulous fast read, though this is not a book to be read in the most literal sense. This book is filled with over 500 concept sketches for the Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. The only text are the short explanations by the artists, and the fore- and afterword. But what a beauti This is the review I wrote for the Art Of The Two Towers, but it still very much applies. My favourite parts in this book were Gondor, the Mûmakil, Éowyn as a warrior/Éowyn defeating the Witch King & the Epilogue. -- Fabulous fast read, though this is not a book to be read in the most literal sense. This book is filled with over 500 concept sketches for the Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. The only text are the short explanations by the artists, and the fore- and afterword. But what a beautiful book this. I do so love concept designs and this book showed maquettes, colour studies, sketches, clothing designs.. pretty much everyhing. It was a good mix of digital and traditional art, and it was explained how the digital art was incorporated into the movie and you could also see the final product. Everyone knows these Lord Of The Rings movies are exceptionally gorgeous, and so is the book. It suffices to say, if you love the special effects in the movie, you will love this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Violetta

    The final installment of The Lord of the Rings saga, The Return of the King, was the culmination of around 7 years of work for the cast and crew. With approx. 500 illustrations in this companion volume, fans can get a sense, not only of how much work went in to the final film, but also that no one involved was giving any less than their all to the process. No one stood back and said, "Well, we've got a bunch of stuff already done for the previous movies, let's just rehash some of that and finish The final installment of The Lord of the Rings saga, The Return of the King, was the culmination of around 7 years of work for the cast and crew. With approx. 500 illustrations in this companion volume, fans can get a sense, not only of how much work went in to the final film, but also that no one involved was giving any less than their all to the process. No one stood back and said, "Well, we've got a bunch of stuff already done for the previous movies, let's just rehash some of that and finish this project up." Instead they kept advancing, kept developing, kept upping the ante, to make sure that RotK lived up to it's reputation and would continue to inspire future fans. The art book does a great job of displaying a number of pencil sketches, landscape composites, paintings, and maquettes, with nice captions detailing how and why each piece of art mattered.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I really enjoyed reading all three of these books focusing on the talented artists and the tireless work they did to help make Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy a reality! If you didn't get enough in the first two books, then get excited because this book is the LONGEST of them all! There are detailed sections on Ithilien, Minas Tirith, Dunharrow, the Paths of the Dead, Minas Morgul, the Siege of Gondor, Shelob's Liar, Cirith Ungol, the Pelennor Fields, the Black Gates, Mordor, and I really enjoyed reading all three of these books focusing on the talented artists and the tireless work they did to help make Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy a reality! If you didn't get enough in the first two books, then get excited because this book is the LONGEST of them all! There are detailed sections on Ithilien, Minas Tirith, Dunharrow, the Paths of the Dead, Minas Morgul, the Siege of Gondor, Shelob's Liar, Cirith Ungol, the Pelennor Fields, the Black Gates, Mordor, and an Epilogue by none other than Peter Jackson the man himself! Can you tell that I'm a bit of a Tolkien nerd?? :) And yes, I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the movies or Tolkien's work. Enjoy!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wiktoria

    Definitely recommended to all fans of the LotR films as well as to people interested in film-making. The drawings and sketches by John Howe and Alan Lee are beautiful, even if they are supposed to depict evil places such as Mordor. I particularly enjoyed the detailed information and drawings presenting the costumes of Rohan characters such as king Theoden and Eowyn. The book primarily concentrates on the designs for buildings and landscapes, but cosplayers would also find some useful data here, Definitely recommended to all fans of the LotR films as well as to people interested in film-making. The drawings and sketches by John Howe and Alan Lee are beautiful, even if they are supposed to depict evil places such as Mordor. I particularly enjoyed the detailed information and drawings presenting the costumes of Rohan characters such as king Theoden and Eowyn. The book primarily concentrates on the designs for buildings and landscapes, but cosplayers would also find some useful data here, which would allow them to get the look of the protagonists.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Peterson

    I really enjoy this book because it is Lord of the Rings and how can you not love Lord of the Rings. I would recommend this book to people who love fantasy and want a book that is hard to put down. I would also recommend this book to people that have seen the movies because the book gives you a whole different outlook on the story and how it is told. So in conclusion I would recommend this book to people that love fantasy and love a good book that is hard to put down.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    it has been quite a while since I have seen this movie, so that may have took down my rating a bit. also, I came into this after reading about the making of the dark knight, my favorite movie trilogy ever, so I may have not given this a fair chance.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Again, I am seriously amazed at how much behind the scenes work went on with this movie. I mean of course, I knew it was a lot of work, but NEVER did I imagine all of the countless pictures and paintings and ideas that led up to the finished product that we all know and love.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sokka

    Beautiful!! It was exciting to see all the stuff that the team worked on to make The Return of the King. I am eager to check out The Art of the Two Towers and The Art of the Fellowship of the Ring! Peter Jackson is a pure genius.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This is one of the better "art of" books, but there are a lot of interesting designs that are shown too small. And the text is minimal. That said, if you like LOTR, you'll like the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miss Clark

    Any fan of the films will enjoy looking at the sketches and concept art of the weapons and costumes and sets.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Nothing to say. Should I?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Wonderful collection of concepts, characters, and enviroment designs. Makes me really want to strive in illustrations and concept art seeing this lovely art compiled book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The film's increasingly uniform designs and insistence on "historical accuracy" really decreased my overall enjoyment with the sole exception being the beautiful architecture of Minas Tirith.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mason

    this is a book that rely tells and shows tha great artistic movement both in the book and movie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kione

    Re-reading again and again...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julius Canon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Massive

  26. 4 out of 5

    Edle Julve

    Una obra de arte de la literatura fantástica.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stevepelickii

    Beautiful!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lady Dragonbat

    beautiful artwork

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karl Nordenstorm

    Read, loved, and tried to recreate something like 50% of the pictures. Maybe spent 50 hours with the series after school at "fritids" before going home.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dottie Dockery

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