With the release of The Hobbit movie–which is wonderful, by the way–I have been revisiting the various incarnations of my Tolkien obsession. Since I noticed in the movie that Thorin Oakenshield is far more handsome than I had previously invisioned, I looked back to the pictures that had influenced my image of him. Thus I stumbled again upon my favorite illustrators/artists, the Hildebrandt Brothers.
When I first discovered Tolkien back in 1977, I was thrilled to find a calendar drawn by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt with beautifully imagined drawings of my favorite scenes:
Imagine how excited I was to find they had also done my favorite Star Wars poster that hung in my dorm room in college:
This $3 version I had has been long lost (30 years ago, for goodness sakes!), but my son gave me the 25th anniversary version signed by the artists that now hangs in my “office.”
Anyway, to have an idea of how I pictured Thorin Oakenshield, and all the dwarves for that matter, have a look at this:
Not too far off, but still no young, handsome dwarves, comic relief or not. Truthfully, I don’t mind the change.
The Hildebrandt brothers are remarkable artists, and when you look at their website you will see that they have done many, many illustrations, some of which you will recognize, particularly if you are a lover of Fantasy and Science Fiction like myself. Unfortunately, Tim died some years ago, but his twin brother, Greg, continues to produce his own work and represent the talent of a number of other artists who share their vision. I encourage you to visit their website, Spiderwebart Gallery
One final peek–their vision of Gollum:
Disclaimer: All images belong to the Hildebrandts and Spiderwebart. I use them merely to share with others my love of and appreciation for their talent.