Medieval Russian Tolkien Illustrations

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

These illustrations popped up on my feed from
As an Orthodox Christian I find them kind of fascinating- some look more iconographic than others,
which I'm not sure how I feel about.
Some of them are a bit confusing- I'm not sure, for example, which scene this image is supposed to depict.
Any guesses?

I thought perhaps it had something to do with King Theoden,
But if so, why is there an eagle around?

The image above is clearly the fellowship being sent from Lothlorien by Galadriel.
This image (below) of Gandalf entering Hobbiton is another one that's pretty obvious
It's my favorite of the bunch, perhaps because it's so colorful

This one above is more symbolic than some of the other ones. I don't think it represents a particular scene so much as Aragorn's destiny to fulfill the role of King in the White City.

This depiction of the council of Elrond is a pretty clear replica of The Last Supper. Kind of weird. It looks more medieval than Byzantine to me.

Another super bizarre one! I love the ents, I don't know why but I think they're so weird and interesting.
The towers and environment, moreso than the figures in the illustration, have many features that resemble Eastern Iconography.

My guess is this is the Hobbits returning to The Shire after all is said and done. What do you think?

and last, one of the many darker images from the series. You can see all of the art work online here.

What do you think? I'm oscillating between love/hate at the moment. It's uncanny to see artwork inspired by Eastern Orthodox Icons depicting some intense and sometimes scary scenes. I wouldn't call them secular, as Tolkien himself describes Lord of the Rings as an essentially Christian work, but they are quite strange.


  1. Wow, these are pretty awesome, I love the detail and the bold colors.

    1. yea, me too! if you click through some of them are a bit strange but overall I quite like them.