Hunted by Sauron’s Ringwraiths, Frodo and his Hobbit companions flee into the wilderness, led by the mysterious Strider. By secret ways, the ranger guides them across country to Amon Sûl, a lonely hill east of Bree where long ago his Númenórean ancestors built a watchtower. Known as Weathertop, the bare, ruin-studded hill affords a wide view of the lands about, and the companions had hoped to find sign of the missing Wizard Gandalf.
Any hope of rest is soon shattered when a Nazgûl scream pierces the air: the enemy has found them! Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are surrounded by five black-cowled Ringwraiths as they huddle amid the broken stones, swords drawn. But the Halflings are no match for the Wraiths, who bat Frodo’s companions aside with disinterest as the Witch-king, their lord, advances on the stumbling Ringbearer.
Unable to resist, Frodo thrusts the One Ring onto his finger and is plunged into the grey spirit world of Ring-sight. No longer an empty black robe, the Witch-king is revealed to Frodo in his true form, fell and terrible to behold. Beneath a bladed crown he glows with an unearthly light; a tall white being of ghostly skin drawn about sunken features, wispy hair whipped by an ethereal tempest, and a long, jagged blade in his luminous hand as he reaches for the Ring.
As a sculptor this piece was really interesting to work on. There’s so many elements that you have to think about: the flowing of the fabric, the otherworldly mist, Frodo’s intense expression on his face and the tension between him and the Witch-king. It made it a really great challenge and also stretched me as an artist.
CREATING THE WITCH-KING & FRODO AT WEATHERTOP
Packing an armature into her San Diego Comic-Con suitcase, Wētā Workshop sculptor Jane Wenley began the piece in the thick of the action in 2018. The sculpture evolved over a period of two years, with the statue’s composition and detail undergoing an evolution driven by co-founder and creative director, Richard Taylor. Watch our creative journey unfold in our two-part series on the making of this collectible.
Witch-King & Frodo at Weathertop: The Making of a Collectible, Part 1:
Witch-King & Frodo at Weathertop: The Making of a Collectible, Part 2:
Please note: images are of a pre-production prototype. Each sculpture is hand painted and minor variations will occur.