HomeTechnologyThis artist transfers Middle-earth to China, and it's beautiful

This artist transfers Middle-earth to China, and it’s beautiful

As beautiful as it is desolate, Middle-earth is the perfect setting for the adventures of The Lord of the Rings. Whether it’s through the novels of JRR Tolkien or the movies of Peter Jackson, it’s hard to imagine how any other location could replace it. Leia Ham, an artist and visual designer working specifically for Warner Bros. Animation, began the project of imagining what the saga would be like if it weren’t set in Middle-earth but in the Middle Kingdom, China. She shared her artworks, inspired by ancient Chinese films, books and art, on her blog and social media.

Frodo reads in the Shire

The beginning of the project for the artist Leia Ham, who takes the place of Frodo to read peacefully.

Dead end, the house of Bilbo and Frodo

Hobbits live peacefully in the Shire. Mainly underground, their dwellings may also have an outdoor courtyard like the siheyuans, traditional Chinese houses.

Dead end seen from the inside

The room where Frodo works at home, when he still has no idea what adventures await him.

the fellows of the ring

From the humans (Aragorn and Boromir) and the dwarf Gimli to the magician Gandalf, through the elf Legolas and the hobbits led by Frodo, the Fellowship of the Ring are central to the saga and even lend their name to the first novel/film.

the armor of the armies of rohan, gondor and elves

Lord of the Rings is also about epic battles. The armor of three great peoples find their inspiration in particular in the armor of the soldiers of the Tang Dynasty, which ruled over large parts of Asia between the early 17th and 10th centuries.

Arwen and Aragorn

Out of love for Aragorn, Arwen chose to give up the elven immortality she holds from her father, the half-elf Elrond.

Arwen and Aragorn again, this time with more privacy

This relationship, which will go as far as marriage, allows her to become the queen of the elves and humans of earth… well, the “empire” of the middle.

the valley of Fondcombe and objects in ruins

Several important objects from the Lord of the Rings saga are represented here. Bottom center are mooncakes, a Chinese pastry loved by Leia Ham. On the left, the valley of Rivendell appears more beautiful and lush than ever.

The white hand of Saruman seizes the possessions of Meduseld

The artist used his imagination to metaphorically depict Saruman confiscating the possessions of Meduseld Castle.

Eowyn disguised as a man to take part in the War of the Ring

The “favorite wife” of Leia Ham, a member of the Rohirrim nobility but involved in the War of the Ring as a man. She defeated the Witch King of Angmar.

the giant statues of Argonath

The final painting shared by Leia Ham shows the two giant statues of Argonath, a site that serves as a border guard in northern Gondor.

By the way, did you know that The Lord of the Rings doesn’t have to go all the way to China to be different? According to Elijah Wood, it would be enough to get the saga out today.


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