The Oath of Fëanor and His Sons upon Túna
"Then Fëanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leapt straightway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches."
- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, chapter 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor
Here's another Silmarillion illustration, my most ambitious piece as yet.. finally finished! It's the Oath of Fëanor and his sons, the prelude to the Doom of the Ñoldor -- a dramatic scene and a good opportunity to study these characters. I had already made a posing sketch
for this one, and while I thought it was ok I still wanted to tweak it a bit, mainly because I thought the main characters of the scene, the Fëanorians, were quite small and I doubted that I'd be able to draw them in as much detail as I wanted.. I needed to make the whole thing bigger!
So this is the first of these drawings done in A3 size -- and the first one done on proper 180gr drawing paper instead of that crappy ordinary copy paper. I also changed the composition from the first sketch by placing Fëanor more in the golden section and emphasizing the perspective by making the people in the foreground bigger. This led into some trouble with space so I decided to drop Angrod and Orodreth out of the picture entirely. I also gave the architecture a little more thought even though I liked the way my first doodle had turned out. Still, I think Finwë's house might be a little over the top, it turned out quite pompous..
I made the illustration in the 10:16 aspect ratio, because I wanted to try it as wallpaper for my laptop.. but I think it turned out a bit too complex for that purpose in the end. Aside from the bigger paper size it's the usual stuff: drawn with regular HB pencil and (mostly) HB 0.5 mech. pencil, probably at least 20 hours total over a period of two months; an hour here an another there.. I spent the better part of my Christmas Day finishing the pencilwork.. Took me quite a while longer to find the time to get it done than I had imagined and this one actually felt like work at times (good work, that is)! Brown paper background and highlights added and colour and levels adjusted in Photoshop as usual. I waited until i could scan this at work with the better scanner.. i also rescanned all my previous drawings and made a new paper background.. you might notice it's a little different from the earlier ones. I think i will go through all my previous deviations and update them with the rescanned lineart and better paper background when i have the time.
The drawing is again rather self-explanatory, but I'm going to bore you with my long needless description anyway..
The Fëanorians from left to right: Amras, Amrod, Caranthir, Maedhros, Fëanor, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin. I clad them in uniform-like tabards and scale mail but I wanted to reflect their personalities and styles by their dissimilar swords (like I've done with the others as well, you might recognize the sword designs) and also the way they are swearing the oath.. some more enthusiastically than others, some motivated by hate and revenge, some by honour or duty, some even by sorrow.. In the foreground Aegnor, Fingon and Galadriel listen gravely, but the fire in their hearts has been kindled by Fëanor's earlier words and the desire to see Middle Earth; Finrod, Turgon and Fingolfin raise their voices to protest Fëanor's rebellion against the Valar and his blasphemous oath. Finarfin seeks to restrain his brother and prevent the outbreak of violence. All around them the Ñoldor of Tirion listen to the dread words of the oath in terrified silence..
"Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean,
brood of Morgoth or bright Vala.
Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
dread nor danger, not Doom itself,
shall defend him from Fëanor, and Fëanor's kin,
whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
finding keepeth or afar casteth,
a Silmaril. This swear we all:
death we will deal him ere Day's ending,
woe unto world's end! Our word hear thou,
Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
Darkness doom us if our deed faileth.
On the holy mountain hear in witness
And our vow remember, Manwë and Varda!"
- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Annals of Aman §134, Of the speech of Fëanor upon Túna (from The History of Middle-earth vol.10: Morgoth's Ring)