The Classic Art That May Have Inspired The Rings Of Power Costume Design
JRR Tolkien drew on many influences when writing ‘The Lord of the Rings’, including Arthurian legend, and this influence comes through in ‘The Rings of Power’. If you look at “The Arming and Departure of the Knights” from the Holy Grail Tapestries, commissioned in 1890, Guinevere and the other ladies of the court have the same fabrics draped over women that we see on Galadriel after her armor has been removed for the trip to Valinor, and in the advertisement again below.
Many of the art movements that costumes are inspired by, like “The Lord of the Rings” itself, were inspired by folk legends and mythology. Lots of high fantasy is. The scene of elves and dwarves feasting in the images above is reminiscent of paintings from the court of King Arthur and other modern adaptations of Arthurian tales. The party scene in the 1981 film “Excalibur” and Morgana Le Fay’s (Helen Mirren) costumes recall not only the elven clothing in “The Rings of Power”, but also the headdresses that Míriel wears.
The aesthetics of the Middle Ages and the emphasis on fantastical elements in its art have been popular in many eras since, and the different eras have each put their own stamp on it. A recent exhibition at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, featured not only the art and illuminated manuscripts of the time, but also a whole section devoted to what was influenced by them – including a copy of the translation of Tolkien from “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” There were elements of Disney’s “Lord of the Rings,” “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Sleeping Beauty,” shows like “Cursed,” and movies like “First Knight.”