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April 26
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The Last Hunt by TurnerMohan The Last Hunt by TurnerMohan
Ar-pharazon goes out hunting with Amandil and his son (any time of day's a good time for a little fan fiction)

It is remarked that the king of Numenor and the lord of Andunie were once great friends, before politics and resentments and the king's greed for power (and most notably, sauron) irreparably made enemies of them. I pictured a scene of the last time that he invites his friend and councilor for a sporting afternoon together, like they used to do. It seems fitting to me that Pharazon, a physical man by nature, would try to heal a friendship under considerable strain not with hard conversations behind closed doors but with an outing. Amandil (and this is nowhere mentioned in tolkien's writing but purely my own imagining) is a renownedly skilled archer, and in a sense the king wants to put the ball in his old friend's court that way. like so many well laid plans, I wonder if the afternoon didn't end badly, maybe Sauron was brought up too many times, maybe Gil-Galad or the Valar, maybe the outing ended in cold disappointment, maybe in heated shouting. in any case I would put this shortly before Amandil removed to Romenna permanently.

I see Amandil as a template of the beorian type; a naturally lean, reserved man, ascetic, quiet, deep thinking, somber, and (increasingly with age) kind of a Noah-like (or, more recently, Fred Phelps-like) isolated patriarch and misanthropic doomsayer; the break with Pharazon hurt him, and hurt his faith in the prospect of a redemption, if un-aided, for his people. I don't see him as particularly old here, probably around the dunedain equivalent of his mid-forties, but a serious man by nature, and care-worn (for some reason David Carradine kept coming to mind while drawing him). Ar-pharazon I could draw again and again. there's something about the man, even written as sparingly as he is, that is magnetic. I tend to picture him, especially before old age set in, as the face of that hurin/boromir style hardihood (the platonic Ideal of which, i suppose, would be tulkas) if i ever colorize this piece I'll be sure and make his tunic pink (only a real man's man can rock a pink shirt)

paper allowing, (which it did not) I would have liked to include more figures in here, as i picture more - though maybe not too many - in my mind; perhaps a few committed kingsmen glowering behind Amandil's back, or some haradric water-boy looking up in awe at the young giant Elendil, who stands behind, in quiet deference to his father. I imagine Elendil at this age as a generally quiet, shy young man (in part on account of how everyone can ALWAYS see him) he hasn't yet grown into himself, his strength, his enormous frame, or the mighty destiny that is upon him. I decided, as with my most recent attempt at the Karma, to take Tolkien straight at his word concerning the ridiculous height of "elendil the tall." considering that the King, being the shortest of the three, is probably about the size of Hulk Hogan, that's pretty damn lofty. He is also called "Elendil the fair," which I didn't want to skimp on, and it isn't hard to see him at this age as something of a ladykiller in that tall, introverted way; the Adam Driver of Westerness.

Part of the Weekly Tolkien Sketchblog
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ElrondPeredhel Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
I can't really add to our two chiefs commentators, here, Zeonista and Libra, but looking (again) at that drawing after reading (again) one of Michael Martinez's essays, called "Would Sandra Bullock be a good Mrs.Isildur ?" (…, an idea strike me back, which is to make the Akkalabêth as a serie. Honestly some series like HBO's Rome or Game of Thrones strike a close of that sort of idea (after all the Akkalabêth is showing : incest, political intrigues, plots, coup d'états, etc.). Of course such serie will be considerably less dark (even though...) but the huge gallery of character (both described or to made up) males it really interisiting. It could last one, two, three seasons : I think it will need most characters to be the same so it can beggin with the end of the reign of Tar-Palantir and ending with the arrival of the faithfuls in Numenor but will show many events which happened way before Ar-Pharazôn, shortening the time lapse of the Downfall to make it more intense and focus on characters.
I can see it as tale of Elrond to young Estel ending on the revelation of Aragorn's true identity, why not ? That'll make a good ending. :)

I like Libra's idea of making it a lion hunt. The scene would be a climax of season two (:P) and imagining Elendil saving the King's life would be interisting (shared between the shame of putting himself in danger and the anger of being saved by his future ennemy's son... especially since Pharazôn is the "I need no help" type). And/or, as you said, the meeting ending in shouts and resentment, Amandil openly refusing the king's "forgiveness" as long as he doesn't want to get rid of Sauron's "good advices" and then Elendil stepping in front of his father to protect him of the King's wrath while trying not to hurt him.

Did I need to say I like the art ? Especially since this is all black n' white ! This makes me think I put, at last, my hands on two of Frank's Miller's Sin City and they are a piece of art that only a few can compete with in american's comics, almost as much as Miller is a piece of shit that only a few can compete with as "thinker".
And needless to say I hope I'll be able to see Elendil and Gil-galad in your Middle Earth "catalogue" of weapons and costumes. ;)
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is excellent!
TenoreRobusto Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So, one thing that Tolkien brings up is that Lord Amandil and Ar-Pharazon were friends in their youth, but they weren't young together.  Pharazon and Elendil, Amandil's son, were born one year apart: 3118 and 3119, respectively.  It makes much more sense for Pharazon and Elendil to have been 'friends in their youth.'  I could perhaps see Amandil as having been a mentor to the young Pharazon.  The Lords of Andunie were having children around the age of 100 (or so) by the time Elendil was born, so Amandil was still a young man (espcially for the Line of Andunie) when Pharazon was growing up.  They were distant relatives, though how exactly, I'm unsure.  I've recently tried to put together a comprehensive family tree for the latter House of Elros, including both the Armenelos and Andunie lines, and things become sticky around Lindorie, Earendur, and Inzilbeth.  In any case, they were the kin of the king, and were still effectively concealing their identities as Faithful (much less the leaders of the Faithful) from the ruling line.  Perhaps Pharazon looked up to Amandil, who was a mighty sea-captain, and sought to emulate him.  Pharazon certainly won his own fame on the seas in his youth, and perhaps he was doing so, in part, to live up to the example set by Amandil.
Oznerol-1516 Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a quite good artwork, Turner. Not only is Númenor-related (always good to see those kind of artworks) but it conveys, as often you achieve, a whole array of stories and fates interwoven. I love the clothes, they seem to be a mix of byzantine/late-roman clothes, while the characters have a greek/homeric feel I love. Your depiction of the Golden King is a as good as always, and it is nice to see you keep your own mental image of the King, while mine substantially changes from time to time, including robes and armor (I should upload those designs I have lurking around in the digital wardrobe). Another nice touch are the weapons, they don't look quite human nor elven, but a mix, strong but elegant and slender. The horn is a good add, reminding us of a certain House of Stewards' ancestral heirloom, maybe a relic from Númenor! Or an imitation of those early models. The theme is also well chosen, I can imagine those proud and tall Lords hunting equally tall and proud stags. Teenager Elendil is quite interesting too, I now ask (both myself and yourself) how would he look at the final battle against Sauron, the towering Dark Lord having killed Gil-Galad now turning his atention to a weary Elendil (I imagine Sauron would be battered and injured too), in full-armor, Nársil in hand, broken shield.
hhimring Featured By Owner May 12, 2014
Those are very interesting thoughts (and you have depicted them well!).
oOSulimeOo Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014
I've always found their friendship to be very intriguing. And I totally agree whith Ar-Pharazôn being "magnetic". 
Great drawing! The dynamic behind this constellation is really palpable.
Zeonista Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014
It's a good scene, one of those talky bits in the stories of olden times from the BBC that I enjoyed watching on PBS as a child. Sort of one of those introductory or linking scenes that I didn't pay much attention to then because I was in impatient hurry for them to move on to the bits where the characters rode horses and whacked at each other with swords. :D  It's a likely scene too given that the two men had been friends, and it's nice to think that even upon the brink of apocalypse they hesitated to part as enemies for ever. Tolkien alwys liked his heroes to enjoy outdoors activity, and a hunting trip would have been an ideal setting for informal but important conference. (Much like the golfing greens of today, in fact. ;)

Your portrayal of Ar-Pharazon in likeness to Henry VIII (himself an enthusiast for outdoor sports as well as indoor ones) has been noted before, and it bears repetition. :) Amandil looks good here as a stately, "lordly" looking man who is showing the weight of care he feels for Numenor and its seemingly inevitable fate, no matter what he attempts. I always was struck by Amandil's last appearance, leaving in a small fishing boat to somehow reach Aman and intercede with the Valar for mercy, knowing that things are already too far gone. but feeling bound by love of country & compassion for his countrymen, in the manner of Abraham to plead for the life of Sodom. (But as Tolkien relates as the anonymous chronicler, the good and the wicked had already been separated & judged and were to be dealt with as they had heeded the warnings.)

Elendil was truly known as "the Tall" and "the Fair" among his own race, who were tall and fair as a matter of course, so he must necessarily have been exceptional! :)  Elendil was pretty much a chip off the old block of Amandil, inheriting his father's status and cares, but able to look forward towards Middle-Earth as well as back towards Aman. As a being of stately height & grace he would have tended towards the elven side of the Beorian mix, with the bold deeds left to his own sons. At such a conference he would serve as his father's aide & companion, and doubtless not spoken unless spoken to in the presence of his lordly father and his king. (It must have irked Ar-Pharazon no end to see in Amandil's son the apothesis of everything he and his followers esteemed in a man, but without the vices brought on by unchecked imperial rule.) 
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014
 I would argue that engaging Sauron in hand-to-hand combat is a Bold Deed by any standards (especially if one believes that Elendil and Gil-Galad literally wrestled with Sauron, whom it is easy to see disdaining weapons so that he might grasp and immolate his enemies through the power of his own hands), although I do tend to see Elendil the Tall as the political genius and standard bearer of the Faithful rather than as a Man of Blood.

 I must admit that I can hardly wait to see more of Master Mohan rendition of … well a great many things, but PARTICULARLY Elendil!
TurnerMohan Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
considering that elendil and gilgalad both have named weapons (whose presence on scene, atleast narsil's, is very well documented) i think "wrestled" is a poetic term. I thought the films' choice of a mace for sauron was a nice, appropriate callback to morgoth (though, as Isidur recounts, gilgalad was burned by sauron's hand, a sequence they'd considered for the film, but which didnt make it beyond storyboards) really the scene on the slopes of mt doom (to which i've been giving alot of consideration recently) is a confused and confusing one in terms of mood; sauron's armies and seemingly his whole empire is in it's death throws, they've got him basically cornered (I like to think that if anything the last alliance has caught up to him in flight from the recently destroyed barad-dur) so victory for the free peoples is more-or-less imminent and yet it must be a pretty well understood likelihood by all that - sauron being a powerful maiar with nothing left to him but to attack - the first ones to come at him personally will probably not survive. the film's strategy was a good "epic prologue" simplification, making the plight of the last alliance against the dark lord seem alot more desperate, victory only being won by pure luck (it seems, in the scene as written by tolkien, that such "luck" was bound to happen eventually, rather than sauron just successfully wading through the entire last alliance from the kings on down)
Libra1010 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014
 I must admit that the Films prologue (starring the Last Alliance) was a considerable part of what prompted my interest in Elendil and Gil-Galad, but I must admit that when my reaction upon realising just how much better than their cinematic counterparts the literary originals did was "Your Majesties, you've been JOBBED!" which while being not very Tolkien-friendly in terms of terminology (I'm not sure the Professor was a wrasslin' man) does seem to be a fairly accurate summation (although I do think that Mr Jackson made a very sound adaption choice in doing so).

 I will further admit that I too have been thinking more than a little about the Last Alliance (it's not hard to see the whole affair as the Trojan War of Middle-Earth, a War that brought about the End of an Age and inflicted mighty casualties in the process) and (if pushed to it!) must in all honesty agree that 'wrestled' is probably poetic license … but it's so compelling poetic that I cannot resist taking it just a little more literally than I probably should (compare "They wrestled with Saruon" to 'They duelled Sauron hand-to-hand' and consider which phrase gives you the cooler mental image).Nod    

 My mental image of the Duel is that it's basically The Dark Lord's last-ditch attempt to spoil the victory of The Last Alliance; he knows that Barad-Dur is about to fall, that his orcs are most dead, his humans nervous and the ring-wraiths likely to be laid to rest sooner than later so he does on his armour and sally forth to challenge The Last Alliance in the most terrifyingly memorable style imaginable.

 Given that this is Sauron the Dark Lord it would not seem implausible to suggest that there was more than one layer to this plan; eight years is a long time for a siege to drag out and it seems likely that the bonds of The Last Alliance were fraying just a little at the edges (dwarves, elves and men never being fonder of one another than when they don't have to put up with one another on a daily basis), held together as much by the Respect Elendil and Gil-Galad had earned over the course of their long, formidable careers across the face of Arda as by mutual hatred for Sauron - by challenging the High Kings either Sauron will kill them (robbing the Alliance of their unifying presence) or they will refuse to fight him (robbing themselves of much and more of the authority they derive from their reputation for never shunning a challenge if their soldiers must face it).

 Either way, he wins something at least and more to the point I imagine he made an entrance in the most spectacularly terrifying manner possible, doubtless setting siege operations into UTTER TURMOIL for an unspecified duration (a useful achievement in itself); I suspect that he was playing for time and doubtless ASTONISHED that the High King of the Noldor and the High King of Arnor + Gondor actually had the audacity to FIGHT HIM.

 His thoughts on being reduced to as pitiful a state as Monty Python's Black Knight (without the black comedy) would doubtless have been as memorable as they were profane if anyone else could hear them; one wonders what he thought when he saw Isildur approaching with the intent of finishing him off …

 In any case I definitely see Elendil and Gil-Galad as smart enough to fight Sauron fully armed for Dark Lord, but also more than smart enough to know that they weren't going to come back alive from this particular peak of bad*** heroism whatever happened to Sauron (basically I'd sum up their thoughts at this moment as being "We're doomed … but so is Sauron").   
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