What did Mouth of Sauron ride?

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Prancing Pony What did Mouth of Sauron ride?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #902
    Barliman
    Participant

    As another of my occasional forays into posting blogs that garner very few responses, I was looking at the now quite old Mithril “Mouth of Sauron” figure and found myself wondring about the horse. What did he actually ride?

    All we know for sure is what JRRT tells us, which is that it was “a black horse, if horse it was; for it was huge and hideous, and its face was a frightful mask, more like a skull than a living head, and in the sockets of its eyes and in its nostrils there burned a flame.”

    …which doesn’t sound much like a horse at all, except by default. So, my question is, do any of you have any views regarding what it might have been? I’ve recently acquired a Ral Partha “Fast Claw”, which looks somewhat like a cross between a horse and a four-legged velociraptor. It’s hard to know what JRT had in mind, but could he have been thinking along the same extinct-dinosaur lines as for the Nazguls’ winged mounts?

    I’d be interested in your views!

    #35947
    Barliman
    Participant

    As another of my occasional forays into posting blogs that garner very few responses, I was looking at the now quite old Mithril “Mouth of Sauron” figure and found myself wondring about the horse. What did he actually ride?

    All we know for sure is what JRRT tells us, which is that it was “a black horse, if horse it was; for it was huge and hideous, and its face was a frightful mask, more like a skull than a living head, and in the sockets of its eyes and in its nostrils there burned a flame.”

    …which doesn’t sound much like a horse at all, except by default. So, my question is, do any of you have any views regarding what it might have been? I’ve recently acquired a Ral Partha “Fast Claw”, which looks somewhat like a cross between a horse and a four-legged velociraptor. It’s hard to know what JRT had in mind, but could he have been thinking along the same extinct-dinosaur lines as for the Nazguls’ winged mounts?

    I’d be interested in your views!

    #35948
    ddaines
    Participant
    Barliman wrote:
    As another of my occasional forays into posting blogs that garner very few responses, I was looking at the now quite old Mithril “Mouth of Sauron” figure and found myself wondring about the horse. What did he actually ride?

    All we know for sure is what JRRT tells us, which is that it was “a black horse, if horse it was; for it was huge and hideous, and its face was a frightful mask, more like a skull than a living head, and in the sockets of its eyes and in its nostrils there burned a flame.”

    …which doesn’t sound much like a horse at all, except by default. So, my question is, do any of you have any views regarding what it might have been? I’ve recently acquired a Ral Partha “Fast Claw”, which looks somewhat like a cross between a horse and a four-legged velociraptor. It’s hard to know what JRT had in mind, but could he have been thinking along the same extinct-dinosaur lines as for the Nazguls’ winged mounts?

    I’d be interested in your views!

    Now that you ask……… :)

    I suppose that from my initial reading of the description many moons ago, I imagined it to be an actual horse that was perhaps disfigured and kept alive by some means of sorcery (I doubt I paid much attention if I’m honest regarding the ‘huge’ size).

    I would prefer to think it was indeed some large breed of horse similar to a Shire Horse (‘scuse the pun) rather than a part dinosaur-part horse creature because what has always been my ‘thing’ about Tolkien’s writings/world was the fact that his creatures were always believable and imaginable and not ‘pure fantasy!!!!!! (I realise this may sound daft given Orcs, trolls, dragons etc. but I hope you know what I mean ;) ) :D.

    Again, now that you put the question, perhaps the mount wore some form of mask to make it look hideous, but as it had flames in the sockets of eyes and nostrils, I would err towards sorcery keeping it alive, but a horse nonetheless.

    Oddly, the winged ‘Fell-Beast’ if indeed it was some form of Pterosaur, doesn’t give me the feeling of a dinosaur being introduced, I just accept Tolkien’s description without trying to analyse its origins, that would destroy the ‘magic’ of Tolkien’s work – that’s why I try not to dwell too much on Mithril Haradhrim looking too much like some Saracen-type warriors (I actually prefer the movie design.

    All this thinking has made me quite thirsty, I think I’ll take a stroll over to The Pony ;)

    #35949
    Barliman
    Participant

    I’ll be over there in a while.

    In the meantime, the only thing that can be said with certainty about Mouthie’s horse is that everything about it – with the single glaring exception of the initial statement that it was a horse – screams “monster! monster!” rather than “horse”. Is it wearing a frightful mask? Or is that its actual face / skull (delete as apptoptiate)? (I sense potential opportunities here akin to to the “did balrog’s have wings or didn’t they?” debate.)

    All I am sure of is that Mouthie doesn’t sit comfortably (pun straight back at you, Master Dave!) on an ordinary horse, and I’m racking my brains to think of something that would look appropriately eldritch and unnatural. All and any suggestions welcome.

    #35950
    hsf62
    Participant

    JRRT wrote horse, not horse like monster. If you peel the skin of a horses scull and through magic put flames in the eye sockets and nostrils, I believe it looks hideous enough to scare the shit out of every human…:D Just my thought.

    #35951
    Barliman
    Participant

    He does qualify its horsiness by saying “if horse it was”. Certainly the average horse isn’t “huge”, “hideous” and “frightful”, and I would have thought it would take more than a bit of sorcery to make it seem so. But perhaps the sorcery was of a type that affected the mind of any onlooker and made them see something that wasn’t really there? That might work.

    #35952
    hsf62
    Participant

    Bloddy tall horse if you stand next to it! 😎

    At 210.2 cm (82.75″), 11-year-old Belgian gelding Big Jake stands as the world’s tallest horse.

    Today, the Clydesdale stands 16 to 18 hands (64 to 72 inches, 163 to 183 cm) high and weighs 1,800 to 2,000 pounds (820 to 910 kg).[1] Some mature males are larger, standing taller than 18 hands and weighing up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg)

    #35953
    Barliman
    Participant

    Very encyclopaedic of you, Master H.

    #35954
    Theobald
    Participant

    I dunno where or when this dicussion might end, but because of it I can clearly see that the horse sculpted by CT is neither huge, hideous nor frightful. – Well, as for a slightly different matter, which head did you prefer for the “Mouth”, Master Barliman?

    #35955
    Barliman
    Participant

    I used the fish head on one and the plain helmet on another….I’m not good at making decisions!

    I don’t know what I expected regarding the horse, but I was hoping for something more interesting than the plain horse that we got (at least it has no eyeballs). I painted the sockets slightly red at the edges brightening to brilght yellow at the centre.

    #35956
    hsf62
    Participant

    But you are right Master Barliman, the Mithril horse isn’t huge, nor does it look hideous!:/

    #35957
    Theobald
    Participant

    Huom … but your choice about the heads of the figure is the wisest I can think of … rhuôm … I still keep the second option at hand here … don’t know if to assemble or rather keep that piece as an original casting … hm … not having the time to paint at the moment … well … er, moment you call years in Bree if I once got that right …
    No, the centre of fire is white, then there are shades of yellow, then orange and then there are light red colours, as far as I remember. – Except you burn oily tyres, but fortunately that is not very common in Bree, caused by the lack of tyres maybe.

    #35958
    Barliman
    Participant

    Sadly the eye sockets weren’t big enough to effectively accommodate the entire required spectrum of colours. I may try to dab in a tiny pinpoint of white again at some point, but I wasn’t very accurate the last time I tried!

    #35960
    Maenas
    Participant

    To me, the sculpted one looks like a regular horse with just somekind of metallic war mask.
    Any way I don’t see it as frightening mount, even the pose is quite static.

    Maybe we could ask for a proper scary mount the next time that a “mounted figure” opportunity shows up…. Or maybe ask for a mounted spectre… (the ones that broke the oath I mean). I cannot recall if that’s a PJ addition (spectres on horses) or if it that was mentioned on the actual books….

    #35961
    Barliman
    Participant

    Horsed riders in the Oathbreakers’ army were mentioned by JRRT, so they’re legit canon.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
English EN French FR German DE Italian IT Spanish ES