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The Witch King of Angmar by JonHodgson The Witch King of Angmar by JonHodgson
©2014 Sophisticated Games Ltd and Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd

Now then. So Rivendell for The One Ring rpg came out in PDF today, so I have a lot of art to share. Let's cut to the chase. Here's my rendition of The Witch King.

It's always a challenge to paint these huge characters. One thing Francesco (the game's designer) and I talked about time and time again was that Tolkien describes the Witch King as "masked". Now that can have a lot of different interpretations, and I suspect the most direct meaning is that he's swathed in some sort of shroud across his "face", in as much as he has a face... and that gives you some insight to my thinking on this one. 

One of the things that frightens me about the Nazgûl is that they are ancient. And I'm keen to get some of that into the visuals. The idea of an ancient, masked, sorcerer king, with some hints of the ancient exotic about him seems a good fit. The long distant past is a foreign county - when we look at artefacts of the bronze age we see a very different aesthetic than later early medieval stylings. I wanted some of that in there for The Witch King.

And so we took the chance and gave him a literal mask. There's echoes of Mycenae in there, maybe a little Persian styling. But neither one is too present hopefully.

The pose was also very important and I spent a lot of time on silhouettes to get the sloped, slightly inhuman feel. No arms was a definite thing I settled on very quickly.

As usual this kind of thing won't please everyone. But hey, what can you do?  

Background graphics by the mighty Paul Bourne.

Find out more about this supplement for The One Ring rpg here:…

ArtRage 4.5

Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees.
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EloiseGauthier Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
oh I really the concept and the design 
MordreddX Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like the idea of the ancient burial mask, It fits suprisingly well. 
Doodemoiidesu Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a spectacular representation. Very haunting.
Zeonista Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
Pretty awesome. I am not against the mask, since it  concealed the Witch-King's identity as one of the Nazgul. the aura of unearthly power and corrupted essence would be there, sure. But the mask kept many people from seeing the (or not seeing) the Undead visage behind it.
ElrondPeredhel Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Excellent work technically and a great concept ! It is very hard to get something new with the Nazgûls cause the usual, archetypal, black, hooded, faceless figure is so visually striking that trying to do something as striking and interisting is very hard... in my opinion you totally suceeded. I think the Mycenae inspiration is also a very good idea. :)
russellchap Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent. An original and eldritch looking Witch King.
ClanLatria Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Artist
Departure from the usual and expected, works nicely. He lacks a bit in the imposing/stature department, making him look "king", former or actual, not so much, but it's really an exciting design. I love that your work on The One Ring does not draw on all the usual and is far more grounded. Thank you!
DangerousArtist Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Professional
Great concept, and wonderfully executed!
Sequito-Equitis Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
What amazes me is the way you've come up with an image consistent with those archeological influences and yet at the same time you've evoked an almost H.R. Giger necrotic feel.

I wouldn't have believed such an intersection even existed before this.

This is one of those images I'll be back to contemplate again... more than once.
dashinvaine Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
Great character design, and a different take avoiding the cliches, which is admirable. I was about to say, the mask looks Mycenaean, like the 'mask of Agamemnon' in the Ashmolean, Oxford.
Gabbanoche Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like that you gave him a Gorget! Looks cool.
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Submitted on
July 22, 2014
Image Size
386 KB


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