Aerin, daughter of Indor, close kin of Hurin Thalion, and wife of Brodda the Easterling.
I wanted to do another tolkien female, as Beruthiel and Tar-Miriel were both so well received, and Aerin stood out to me when reading 'the Children of Hurin.' one of Turin's kinswomen, taken by Brodda to be his wife, and in truth no less a slave and captive than the rest of her people under easterling rule.
Here we have the moment were Turin, having slaughtered Brodda and his men, rounds up the surviving slaves of the household to make their escape from Dor-Lomin. Aerin, given the offer to come with them, chooses to stay behind, and burns Brodda's hall to the ground, choosing death rather than "freedom" in the frozen wilderness with little food, less hope, and a long, sorry past behind her.
The ruin of the once proud House of Hador serves as the backdrop for the tragedy of Turin Trurambar, and the meeting of these two remnants of Hador's people, long since broken and brought low, was for my money one of the most powerful moments in COH (a book heavy on powerful moments) and the image of it really stayed with me. I don't think my effort here quite does it justice.
I wanted Aerin, despite the reality of her position as essentially a captive and many-year rape victim, to be dressed like a queen in the easterling manner; all decked out in heavy furs and gold finery. i had debated how 'sexy' to make her attire (of all the scenes tolkien ever wrote, one could argue that the scene in Brodda's hall is his most Frank Frazetta-esq set piece, with the tall, grim, white hero hacking into a throng of writhing barbarians, and a blonde, barely-cald sexpot on the side in some pose of terror) and had played around with the idea of having her forced to walk around the hall and serve drink to her husband's retainers in some scant, princess jasmine type bikini (lending a further element of shame to this un-looked-for confrontation with her long lost but rightful lord and kinsman) but in the end i decided to go for something more reserved, and matronly; i figure after more than twenty years she is (despite herself) pretty legitimately brodda's wife, and would accordingly be allowed some dignity in her dress. besides, it gets damn cold in dor-lomin in wintertime. she's aged and battered by this point but must have been quite the beauty when she was younger, being chosen by the local top dog out of all the women of Hador's people (of whom, it is often remarked, many were real lookers) I imagine the easterling chief would have chosen a special white wolf pelt for her, matching her pale skin and hair.
Turin is (as every single person I've shown this drawing to has pointed out) a rather close self portrait. it was not done intentionaly, but I must say of all tolkien's characters there's something about turin I really identify with (though i doubt i could kill someone with a small stone from a riverbed, more's the pity)
Part of my weekly tolkien sketchblog (sorry for the long hiatus guys, I'll be posting more regularly again)