During the War of the Ring, Sauron’s Ringwraiths took to the air to scour Middle-earth for the bearer of the One. Borne upon ancient, nameless beasts, fell and terrible, the Nazgûl ranged far and freely, their cries rending the air and striking fear into the hearts of men.
When battle came, the Wraiths drove their bat-winged mounts into their enemies’ ranks, crushing armour and shattering lines. Soldiers they plucked from battlements, hurling them to their deaths, and horse and rider alike they fed to their beasts upon the blood-soaked field of battle.
CREATING THE FELL BEAST AT WETA WORKSHOP
A bat-winged brute of fearsome proportions, the Fell Beast was based on original illustrations by The Lord of the Rings conceptual designer John Howe. A seasoned Tolkien artist, Howe had conceptualised the creature for calendars and books in years past and had developed an aesthetic that resonated with the director.
To bring the Fell Beast to life on screen, the artists of Weta Workshop created a scannable maquette, paying careful attention to the physics behind the creature’s biology as they crafted its frightening form. When complete, the two-metre long sculpture was scanned by Weta Digital’s artists as a basis for their digital animation model.
Two decades after he helped design the creature for The Lord of the Rings, Weta Workshop sculptor Jamie Beswarick revisited the Fell Beast, this time capturing its snarling visage as a highly detailed polystone bust. Created using the same traditional physical sculpting techniques honed on the trilogy, the bust can be wall-mounted or displayed on its stand; a masterpiece of fantasy film art.