Interior arches of Denethor's Hall

The inner arches are like those of the famous mosque called "Dome of the Rock" in Jerusalem (also called "The Noble Sanctuary", heehee)

This style of arch was also done a bit later in the mosque at Cordoba in southern Spain:

Yes, when I saw the interior of Denethor's hall, I jumped up with excitement at all of the elements there.

I would *love* to know of the research and influences that went into designing Minas Tirith. This is my favorite setting in the whole LotR film trilogy. It seems like they were reaching into some very evocative periods of art & architecture history (or at least, it seems to me like they were..)

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Denethor's costume

I haven't gotten the "Artwork of Return of the King" book (though I have the Two Towers one) Looking at the costume for Denethor, I can see a couple of elements that remind me of two of my other favorite costumes, for other afflicted/misunderstood characters:

Denethor is wearing chainmaille, like the warrior king Theoden, but over it is a very baggy sort of bathrobe-like robe. For the King Theoden costume, Ngila used a bathrobe-like coat for when Theoden was afflicted and possessed by Saruman. Denethor is also afflicted, not through possession, but by complete despair, which has totally consumed his ability to be a proper leader to his people, or even a proper father to his surviving son. In profile, Denethor's robe is also like Grima Wormtongue's cloak. Ngila said she wanted to give him a "hunchback" appearance to make him look deformed and frightening, to reflect his mental state. This same look works for Denethor, for similar reasons.. it also conjures up the idea of hiding down within himself (like a turtle in his shell) and not being able to confront the changes that are happening in the world around him.

Does anyone have the official book for this film? There must be lots of good stuff about the designs.

John Noble has extremely powerful shoulders & the whole effect of the costume (particularly when he walks through the doors to the burial vault) is very big, strong and unstoppable.

The design for Minas Tirith was based on a classic painting called "The Tower of Babel", I think (??)

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I may as well de-lurk and announce my dedication to the Steward of Gondor at the same time. I'm not sure what it is about him that I like so much. There's the fantastically fucked up relationship with Faramir (oh, the ANGST!) for starters...but then there's the fact that I've always been completely obsessed with Mad People Who Go Out With A Bang. Seriously, I think his death was perfect, and RotK did it beautifully. That split second when he saw Faramir's eyes open - excellent.

Someone said a few posts down that Denethor was just "boozing it up to take the edge off" - couldn't help but giggle at that. It's what I'd do. "The world is ending? Where's the drink?!" I also like a man who sits and eats a decent Sunday dinner after sending his remaining son off to almost certain Doom. It shows a certain amount of style.

And, y'know, John Noble might have something to do with my fixation. He looks good in fur.
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