A Steward stews in Gondor

It took a random conversation in the grocery check-out line this weekend for me to realize just how happy I am that Lord of the Rings has returned to LEGO. While I admit, I’ve never been a die-hard Ringer, I appreciate so much that Tolkien’s work inspires others like no other fantasy tale. Case-in-point, check out this beautiful Gondorian hall by Nathan Smith. Depicting the scene where we are first introduced to Steward Denethor II, the build is deafeningly empty. Ornate walls and pillars cast in white, black, and tan lead from Gandalf and Pippin to the “empty” throne beneath the city’s emblem, the White Tree of Gondor. The brickwork here is gorgeous, from the inset panels in the arched ceiling to the design of the White Tree using Technic bits and bobs. Even details like the statues in white to the left of the hall are so intricate and effective in the design, while still not being 100% visible from this angle. The triumph here is how all these aspects combine together to emphasize the gaping chasm in this hall where a king should reside.

The Empty Throne (version 1)