Mallorn Leaves and Serpents: A Tolkien-Nut’s Review of the Elven Brooch and
Ring of Barahir from The Noble Collection
I’ve been reading the criticisms and anticipation threads at Tolkien Online’s White Council boards about the Noble Collection Lord of the Rings “authentic” jewelry. The short version of the criticisms is that the Mallorn leaf Elven Brooch should be gold, not silver and green; and, that Nenya’s flowery adornment over the faux stone of adamant is ridiculous.
I’ll consent to both of those criticisms. Indeed, the Mallorn leaf should be GOLD; and Nenya just doesn’t quite look right to my eye either. I thought so when I saw the movie, and I thought so when I saw the Noble Collection’s website pictures. What is even more strange is that I even think so now.
But, I bought’em. Does that make me an absolute nut? (You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?) Yes, it makes me a Tolkien nut.
Let’s take the Elven Brooch first: It looks exactly, and I mean EXACTLY like the ones in the movie. It is, in a word, gorgeous. It’s shiny and light and delicate…and it comes with the handy dandy “document” assuring me that this is absolutely an authorized “piece of art” by New Line Cinema. Even though I am quite aware that this is so and that these folks are getting rich off of Tolkien nuts like myself while I go broke, I am nonetheless thrilled to have my official “document”. In fact, I have kept them all, even though they are identical no matter which piece of jewelry you buy, (at least, Nenya, Ring of Barahir, and Elven Brooch all have the same official “document”.) Cheesy, right? I bet you save yours, too!
The brooch, however, does not clasp like most cloak brooches. Look at the picture of the back of the brooch: that’s a pin. It slips inside of the little round thing (that I can never turn the right way) and you twist it closed. Then it dawns on me: This IS a piece of jewelry! It says so on the official “document”! It was clearly NEVER meant to be worn while running across the plains of Rohan and most certainly not while being tossed about by orcs on a mad run. No WONDER Pippin lost his brooch.
So, if you buy the brooch and plan to wear it to Renaissance Faires or conventions, make SURE that you fasten your cloak with something like a button and just put this on as decoration over the button.
That being said: It IS gorgeous and I WILL wear it exactly as I described above. It should be gold, and it won’t hold a thick cloak closed, but nonetheless it is now precious to me.
Did I say ‘precious’?
My Ring of Barahir is what actually arrived first, (just a day or so before the Elven Brooch), and WOW! Yes, mellyn, this ring is beautimous. I have the Applause versions of Vilya and the Ring of Barahir, and I thought that those were pretty cool, (I have always wanted a Ring from the House of Finarfin; don’t know why, I just have). But, the Applause rings, (sorry Applause), are hideous beside the Noble Collection rings.
The green stone set within the Ring of Barahir is a faux something or other, it has to be, but when you look at it, (from every angle, I assure you), it is spectacular. We have quite a few Tolkien fans where I work, and they all…everyone of them….instantly noticed this ring once I put it on my finger. They have all commented that it is incredible in its detail. I am absolutely in love with it, myself. I don’t even let them try it on anymore.
It’s sturdy, shiny, and it looks fantastic when worn, (actually, I had let some of my co workers try it on and I liked it even more after seeing it on them!) It comes in a fairly nice ring box, complete with your authenticity “document”, and underneath and inside is that beautiful Lord of the Rings logo that belongs to New Line Cinema; you know, the one that we now love to hate?
But you know what is the BEST about the Ring of Barahir? One of the serpents has its mouth open!
I bought Nenya for a friend of mine and gave it to her already, so I don’t have it for the pictures. My friend loves it, (she’s, obviously, a huge Galadriel fan and even loved when our beloved Lady went radioactive in the flick), and wears hers every day, (as I have been mine.) Yes, the flowery adornment thing is silly; but, hey, it’s Nenya.
I have to stop and ask myself at this point: What’s wrong with me?
It’s a good question to ask, and I’ll answer: For the first time since I first read Lord of the Rings over 25 years ago, I CAN have a Ring of Barahir or an Elven Brooch or a Vilya or a Sting or a Glamdring or……you get the picture, right? Sensory overload for Tolkien Nuts. You don’t even know what to buy anymore; and even MORE frightening, what will be released when The Two Towers comes out? EEK!
You know what’s next? A Lord of the Rings VISA card….trust me 🙂 Could this be a plot by the Dark Lord, returned at last?