Friday, 5 December 2014

The 5th Annual Painting Challenge Begins - The Death of Boromir from J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' (5 points)



As per tradition, I’ll open the Painting Challenge with its first entry, and since this year’s central theme is ‘Antiheroes, Rogues & Ruffians’ I thought I’d lead off with one of my favourite antiheroes from modern English literature: Boromir of Gondor from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’.


I realize claiming Boromir as an antihero is a bit contentious to some as his place in the Middle Earth mythos is still hotly argued amongst Tolkien fans and scholars. Nonetheless, as the definition of an antihero is (and I paraphrase here): ‘a protagonist of a drama or narrative who is often lacking in classic heroic qualities, not entirely pure, often perceived as a flawed hero’, I think that Boromir fits the role of antihero admirably. 

Though in the book his contemporaries regard him as a great captain of Gondor, a valiant warrior and a bitter foe of the Dark Lord, we find Boromir is willing to betray the Fellowship by attempting to forcibly take the Ring from Frodo. His vanity in thinking he had the power to control the Ring, that he could force it to his own will, was his tragic flaw – his hubris, which I think makes him a classic antihero. In the end, Boromir pays for his treachery with his life, while at the same time redeeming himself, in his attempt to defend Merry and Pippin from the orcs at Parth Galen. 


During my first reading The Lord of the Rings, as a typical angst-ridden teenager, I was quite struck by the pathos of Boromir’s character. He seemed to me somehow more human, more accessible, more real than the other characters who were either larger-than-life or far too pure for me to identify with. Though his actions certainly upset me, I could still understand where he was coming from – flaws, vanity and all. So when I came to the part where he's fatally wounded fighting a host of orcs I was deeply saddened, perhaps even more than his treacherous act which led to the breaking of the Fellowship. All in all, a great character and perhaps a classic example of Tolkien’s jaded view of our modern age.


‘I would have followed you, my brother…my captain…my king.’



This model is an older casting from Games Workshop’s early efforts in producing miniatures for The Lord of the Rings. I remember that when I first saw it I knew I had to get it as it brought back many fond memories of my first reading of the books. (In fact, I already have one of these painted, but thought I’d do another up for The Challenge.) The two orcs carrying Merry and Pippin were painted years ago so they will not count for scoring (but they cried out to be included, and who was I to deny them). 


So there you have it, the opening entry to this year’s Painting Challenge and my personal welcome to you all. I see that other entries are already beginning to come in, so please come back and visit us again and see what the participants have created! 

69 comments:

  1. Thanks for getting us off the mark. I agree with you about him being an antihero. I think he fits the bill perfectly. Nice painting.

    Can I ask all participants to identify themselves when they post please so I can have an idea who you all are. I am sure If I had gone first I would have forgotten to do so!

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    1. Thanks Clint!

      One aspect of my editorial duties will be to make sure that the participant names will be on the title line. Of course, with people largely authoring their own posts to the blog readers will be able to see who posted by looking at the author byline at the bottom of the post as well.

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    2. Thanks Curt I was having a thickie moment!

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    3. Do I know you? Oh yeah, I do. You're name is Lint or Robert or something like that.

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  2. Ah what a fine Antihero to kick us off!

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    1. Thanks Phil! Though some may argue, Boromir is a complete ringer for antihero in my eyes.

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    2. If you could get away with Winter as as bag guy...

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    3. Cheeky bugger, come visit us in Saskatchewan right now and you'll quickly sympathize with my Winter-as-Villain. Yorkshiremen, pfft, you guys think winter is something you see in a snow-globe.

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  3. Excellent entry to get us going - really top notch painting

    I wonder if someone could get to 1,000 points just by painting Sean Bean death scenes in 28mm with no repeats. I'm pretty sure it can be done!

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    1. Haha! I think you'd come pretty close! I just saw a neat poster on this very topic that made me laugh. I still find it hard to believe that in the movie 'Ronin' that they let him get away alive, especially with his track record in being a good corpse.

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    2. Doesn't the coward die a thousand deaths....

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    3. How many "deaths" did Bill Paxton die in Aliens? :-)

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  4. Great start, great character and a great mini too :-)

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  5. Excellent start to the challenge Curt! A very good idea for an Anti-Hero!

    Christopher

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  6. Nice I considered Boromir my self glad I went another way.

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    1. Cheers Adam. Gollum would be another good one I expect. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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    1. Indeed, the pebble that starts the avalanche...

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  8. Nice one Curt!! A great looking figure!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Rousell - very kind of you to say.

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  9. What a fabulous way to kick off the Challenge Curt. Lovely painting.

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    1. Thank you Ms P, much appreciated.

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  10. A great first entry Curt .. bravo.

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    1. Cheers Dave - I keenly look forward to your (and Millsy's) first points bomb...

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  11. An excellent choice, and well painted.

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    1. Thanks John. It was fun working on this range again - they really are quite nice figures to paint.

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  12. cracking stuff to begin with, Curt.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Mills, and what will be your opening shot praytell? I'm sure we'll see soon enough... :)

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  14. Very nice work, Curt, the old Boromir is an excellent example of the flawed and hubristic antihero!

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    1. Indeed, poor lad, but the cheeky sod did have it coming . Hmm, but I 'spose that's what hubris is!

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  15. As always you're spot on my friend. As well in your great paintjob as with an excellent joice of figure. Absoluely the right mini to get things going!

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    1. Thanks very much Nick! I hope it helps to set the tone for the next few months.

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  16. What a great start. Great write up and a cracking figure. Top job and let the games begin. Cheers

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    1. Cheers to you Brendan! I look forward to seeing your first crack at the points chart.

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  17. You are up to your usual high standards Curt. Kicking this off with an antihero was a perfect way to go.

    Thank you for putting up with us for another year!

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    1. It's my pleasure Anne and thanks very much for the thumbs up on poor old Boromir.

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  18. A most excellent kick-off! I was mulling using Boromir myself. I'm glad I went another route.

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    1. Thanks Mark! I look forward to see what you come up with.

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  19. Fantastic panting work of a true antihero. He is one of my favorite characters in the book and in the movie.
    Great beginning for The Challenge!

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    1. Thanks Juan, I'm glad you liked it as our kickoff.

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  20. Wonderful stuff Curt, both painting and your musings!

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    1. I thought you might like it Scott. I was channeling my 'inner Bowman' when I painted him. :)

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  21. OK, we're on! Time to jump in the blogosphere again and head for the cave to find the paintbrushes. Inspiring start Curt!

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    1. And having been to your house I know what a lovely 'cave' it is! I look forward to seeing what comes off your table Michael!

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  22. Great work Curt and thanks... that was the mini I wanted to paint as the entry fee for you! :-/

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    1. Woops! Well, Sean Bean has made a career of dying a thousand deaths so a few Boromirs certainly won't be out of order!

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    2. Sure, but certainly not necessary! ;-)

      It is just a shame, since Boromir would have made such a fine anti-hero! :-D

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    3. Yup, and that's exactly why I chose him to be first. Sorry bro! 'OP

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  23. A perfect start and up to your usual fantastic standard

    Ian

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    1. Thanks Ian, very kind of you to say.

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  24. The most splendid of starts Curt, great job Sir!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Awdry! I hope it portends a great event this year.

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  25. Always nice to see the first entry a cracking figure too

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  26. An excellent choice, Curt. And a well executed paintjob. A perfect start to this year's challenge.

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    1. Thank you Stefan, I thought he'd provide a good stepping off for the season.

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  27. Beautifully painted. I like the colours you've used and how your painting style works.
    I'm certainly going to be find it interesting to see all the different methods of painting used by the contributors, throughout this group event. No doubt I'll come away with plenty of tips and ideas.

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    1. Thanks Roy, very kind of you. Yes, since I started this five years ago I've learned so much more about our 'little' hobby. Techniques and tricks that I would have never dreamed of have been introduced to me through the Challenge. It's a lot of work but I ALWAYS have such a wonderful time.

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  28. Definitely a _true_ antihero, in the sense that he's still, at heart, heroic, and a great miniature to boot. Lovely work on the colors, particularly the gory sword. :)

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  29. A dramatic scene to start with the challenge! This makes that you have our attention Curt! Great painted figure and start!

    Greetings
    Peter

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