Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oaken's Twelve: Gloin Groinson

Or Gloin Gimlisfather if you insist, because in a post-Lord of the Rings book and film world, this is probably Gloin's greatest point of significance in The Hobbit - not that this detail is given of course. Gloin is one of a handful of Thorin's Company who are mentioned in the latter book, however, and the only one of the Company to actually appear in person, representing as he does the Dwarven folk of the Iron Mountains at the Council of Rivendell.

But in The Hobbit Gloin is not a significant character. He's present in the Company with his brother Oin, of course, and the two are unusual for having some of their genealogy at our disposal (many of the Dwarves don't even have a father to name.) That won't help me much with painting this figure though, so I'll press on.

The easy way of tying Gloin and Gimli together of course would have been to select a figure which looked like Gimli and painting Gloin along those lines - ginger beard (as is the movie palette.) It's a route Jackson's movie has taken, and fair enough. Before the casting was announced and promotional images released however, I'd already made up my mind to go in the opposite direction. Which is in part why his beard is golden instead; the other reason why is because of Gloin's other distinguishing aspect - he and Oin are supposedly excellent fire makers. Tolkien describes both as having tinderboxes, and I've added one using green stuff here for Gloin (see inset), marked with a "G" in common/Dwarven runes. The waving, flamelike appearance of the beard picked out in gold is an added bonus.

The rest of Gloin's description - a white hood, is translated in his travelling cloak as well; dulled down a little and lined in grey for a slightly earthier, ashen look. At the final stages I had to decide if I'd weather or dirty up the hemline of this cloak, to signify that he was a Dwarf who had traveled and perhaps faced some contrary conditions on his travels. I decided not to, thinking that it would just be too distracting, and there are few models I've seen where this detail did't look self-conscious and unnatural. I think Gloin is also noted as having bushy eyebrows, and so courtesy of green stuff, they're in as well.