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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

A Merry Yule from Frodo.

Posted on 2008.12.18 at 17:02
Tags: , , ,


Tolkien was always careful to keep the specifics of his Christian faith out of Middle-earth, so I couldn't really let this be a Christmas card. Therefore I am interpreting this as a Yule card, a holiday the Shire folk celebrated.

Well, then, if it's not a Christmas card, who is the person in the Santa outfit? I've decided it's Barliman Butterbur, the portly, kindly, red-cheeked, ever-bustling innkeeper of Bree. (He must have had a few pints when this picture was made, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to sit still long enough for Frodo to perch there.) The red outfit is Barliman's Yule costume, the festive gear he keeps especially for greeting guests arriving in the depths of winter.

Of course, if you want to imagine that Frodo is sitting on Santa's knee making his Christmas wish, feel free. But something tells me that whatever Frodo wished for, it it would be for someone else, not for himself.

The holiday manip:


Manip sources:

Here is the real image, an antique Christmas card I found on the Dover website:


I used this FOTR screencap for the face. I love his winsome smile:


Not much beyond the usual matching and tweaking was required except making Frodo a few extra curls and getting rid of some of the little girl's hat (or scarf or hood or whatever it is).

~ Mechtild


shirebound at 2008-12-18 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
Adorable! Thank you for such a sweet greeting.
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:26 (UTC) (Link)
You're welome, Shirebound. I see your Frodo lives where it snows stars! It figures. *g*
alyrthia at 2008-12-18 23:54 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that is the best ever!! I want it framed!! I have that christmas card in a postcard book of vintage cards. Frodo is perfect

thank you!
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
The version posted is the largest file I have of it. But perhaps you could print a smallish card of it?
stillscarlet at 2008-12-19 00:06 (UTC) (Link)
Very sweet! And I'm impressed by your skill in making Frodo's face match the card. Well done, indeed! :D
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Scarlet. That face is always so inspiring to work on. :)
lijahlover at 2008-12-19 00:26 (UTC) (Link)
So sweet thanks!
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:29 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome, Lijahlover. (Love your confrontational Dom-Santa; as if he were saying, "What's so funny about wearing my hat???")
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:36 (UTC) (Link)
Happy holidays to you, too, Mews! I hope we have a very joyous Christmas up here; it'll definitely be a white one! :)
telstar_gold at 2008-12-19 00:35 (UTC) (Link)
That's so sweet! I love Frodo's little pink cheeks! :))
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:40 (UTC) (Link)
His cheeks are very bonny. I always melt and become weepy at the end of RotK. He gets to have his pink cheeks back when he gets ready to sail; I always thought it boded well for the renewed life he would find in the West. :)
primula_baggins at 2008-12-19 00:40 (UTC) (Link)
lol! That's just so cute! Thanks, and happy yule to you and yours.
mechtild at 2008-12-19 00:41 (UTC) (Link)
Happy Christmas, Primula! And a happy Yule, too! (*where did I leave that log?*)
verangel at 2008-12-19 01:35 (UTC) (Link)
I TOTALLY melted. I love this moment in the movie. His totally innocent and trusting nature POURing out his eyes and face. Mix with the wonder of Christmas and it is so lovely. I think its Santa in my head. Frodo has the wonder of Christmas and I think Santa would come to give his wishes especially...cause he is a good hobbit soul.
hugs you close. I love your postings. xoxoxoxo v
mechtild at 2008-12-19 01:45 (UTC) (Link)
Awww, isn't that the sweetest face? You put it so well, Verangel: "his totally innocent and trusting nature POURing out his eyes and face". Yep, that's him.

He's on Santa's lap in my head, too, because I've got LotR all mixed up with my religious faith, anyway. The professor tried, but he just couldn't keep the great themes of what he believed in out of his story and his story's world, even if he kept out its ritual and formal teachings.

Thanks for you post, Verangel, and for your snowing Elijangel.

Edited at 2008-12-19 01:46 am (UTC)
whiteling at 2008-12-19 09:42 (UTC) (Link)
Awww, Mechtild, this is the most charming thing I've seen in a long time! Santa Barliman and little Frodo! What a lovely idea. Thank you! :-)

I wish you a Merry Yule too, with many cosy and warm hours! *hugs*
mechtild at 2008-12-19 13:07 (UTC) (Link)
Happy Christmas, Whiteling! And thank you for the warm comment.

Santa Barliman and little Frodo! What a lovely idea.

Maybe Frodo is wishing that the next time he sings "The Man in the Moon" in Barliman's inn he might not fall off the table. :)
shelbyshire at 2008-12-19 13:29 (UTC) (Link)
It's perfect, Mechtild. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I've always enjoyed your journal.

mechtild at 2008-12-19 14:14 (UTC) (Link)
Shelbyshire, Merry Christmas! You know, I was thinking about the Indianapolis exhibition recently, about how great it was and how cool to be able to meet you guys. It's hard to believe that was three years ago. Yet in other ways it seems ages ago. *sigh*
julchen11 at 2008-12-19 14:32 (UTC) (Link)
What a gorgeous card, sweetie! I just framed it, it's too beautiful to "hide" it on the computer :-)
Perfectly done. I simply love it!
Merry Yule to you, my dear!
mechtild at 2008-12-19 14:41 (UTC) (Link)
You framed it? I was going to send you a printed out card of it, Julchen, as a Happy Christmas but also in thanks for the GORGEOUS calligraphy-covered card you sent. (It arrived a few days ago in perfect condition.) Would you still like one, or would it be redundant? I haven't yet printed it.

Smooches, Mechtild

P.S. The illustration in your icon is *wonderful*!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2008-12-19 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
Awww, Baby Frodo! (-:

I love that impish look. Then there's another frame from that sequence when he first smirks at Sam's predicament were he looks positively devilish, and then the earlier frame when Gandalf has just complimented him when he looks like radiant sunshine.
mechtild at 2008-12-19 17:59 (UTC) (Link)
He's got loads of facial variety in that sequence, you're right. The one where he gets back up after realising it's just Sam at the window is priceless. A fellow fan made a little video clip of those frames, but played backwards. It was the most naughtily erotic-looking thing. We loved it.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2008-12-20 18:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you Mechling. The greetings card is gorgeous.

mechtild at 2008-12-20 19:43 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the *musical* greeting at your own LJ. It was just as beautiful. I am sure Frodo would have enjoyed it, maybe even played the pipes or something Frodo-ish. No, not drums. I think Frodo would make a good strings player, actually. I can just imagine him making a violin sing and revelling in the sound of it.
bellewood at 2008-12-21 22:08 (UTC) (Link)
Your card is wonderful.. you chose just the right screen cap. It fits the scene perfectly!

Happy Yule to you and your family!
mechtild at 2008-12-21 22:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Bellewood, for the very nice comment. And Happy Christmas to you! (I'm getting in the mood for mulled wine; I'm sure Shire folk would have liked that.)
frodosweetstuff at 2008-12-26 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
Awww, that is cute! Merry Christmas to you!! *hugs*
mechtild at 2008-12-26 19:42 (UTC) (Link)
Merry Christmas right back at you! :)
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