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  • Writer's pictureDee Crute

The Story Behind a Lord of the Rings Collection

Updated: Jul 1

By Rodrigue Petit

Collector, photographer, and writer behind one of the most magnificent treasuries of Tolkien's lore.

Today, exclusively for the Introvert, invites us behind the scenes...

The Hobbit Book Collection ©Rodrigue Petit

Captivated by P.Jackson's films

There are those who knew Tolkien's work before the films and those who discovered the universe through cinema.

Escape The Road! ©Rodrigue Petit

I am one of the latter.

I discovered The Fellowship of the Ring in the spring of 2002, a few months after its theatrical release.

My girlfriend, who would become my wife a few years later, introduced me to the film.

Already very attracted by the medieval world and the stories of castles and knights, I discovered the beginning of a trilogy that would change my life.

I fell under the spell: Tolkien transports you into a parallel imaginary yet so realistic world. With great impatience, I waited until the end of the year to find out what would happen next.

Discovering Tolkien's world

Deluxe Collection from Harper Collins ©Rodrigue Petit

Films didn't remain my only passion - I wanted to discover his entire literary work because Tolkien is not only the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, or even Middle Earth. I loved reading The Silmarillion and The Fall of Gondolin. And I still have so much to discover! Tolkien's lore is immense, making the work so exciting - and thus, exploring it takes little time!

We are not born collectors. We become ones!

Collecting is an act as old as time, and before you even realise it, you get easily sucked into it. From a few objects connected to your passion, and off you go, you're a collector!

The Corner of Mordor ©Rodrigue Petit

I remember the first item I collected as if it had only happened a few days ago.

It was 2004 when a friend called me at midday...

He had just seen a collectable from Lord of the Rings in a store an hour's drive from my place. Not being a Tolkien fan, it was only a souvenir to him. Not paying much attention to it, he gave me a rather vague description.

Having a nebulous idea of what it was (apart from being a weapon), I got super excited!

My girlfriend and I looked at each other, and without words, we left what we were doing and hit the road to get into that store.

The first rush of adrenaline, the fear that it will be sold before we get there, the feeling of having missed "the deal"!

These are all the feelings that every collector pursues.

The Crown Of Elessar ©Rodrigue Petit

Finally, we arrived. It was still there, standing proudly, and I instantly recognised it!

To my great astonishment, the seller told me it had been there for a few weeks without much interest!

Of course, I bought it without hesitation... It was Anduril! A replica made by United Cutlery, a company holding the official rights to market replica weapons (which is still the case today).

Andruil - the sword I had always wanted to have, and which will be the keystone of a collection, the scale of which will end up escaping me much later...

A little anecdote: the store's seller said he had never seen or read The Lord of the Rings and hates it! I asked him why. He told me he didn't know… Something to think about!

It was only a short time before the second piece joined - now growing - collection: a resin statue of the Witch-king of Angmar fighting against Éowyn during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

The figure was made by Weta Workshop, a New Zealand company that also produced the special effects for the LOTR films. Sorry!

The Witchking Angmar ©Rodrigue Petit

Then came the First Jewels and, of course, the One, the Evening Star of Arwen, Nenya—one of the three elven rings—and the Ring of Barahír, which brought us the unforgettable love story between Béren and Luthien.

All from the Noble Collection brand.

But it was the Trilogy that became predominant in my built-little-by-little collection

Returning to the term collector, without a doubt, I became one!

Despite a few-year hiatus due to finances and an essential personal project (real estate), the collector-defining passion was back with a vengeance!

Collecting fever

Leaflock the Ent ©Rodrigue Petit

And this is when the real frenzy began: all the amassed collectibles and great deals I was "fortunate" to come across - but which could happen each week, really.

This started to be precarious financially and mentally!

Helm of Eomer ©Rodrigue Petit

Spending hours researching to find a figurine you absolutely need, only to end up not finding it but buying three others!

Like many collectors, I experienced this period that we can describe as "compulsive buying".

Travelling miles by car to visit sellers, meeting new people, and having more and more unique encounters!

Then, the release of The Hobbit films caused the Tolkien collectable market to grow.

Fortunately, with my girlfriend's help— now my wife—I learned to harness my passion, and her help prevented me from sinking into madness!

King Thranduil! ©Rodrigue Petit

But it was an infinitely interesting and enriching period too, particularly on a personal level, as I also made some friends!

The Treebeard set-up ©Rodrigue Petit

The exhibition in the house

As a collector and through research of other collections, I have learnt one thing:

The beauty of a collection is not about the number of items one possesses but the display.

That's why I devoted one of our rooms entirely to my collection!

I cannot describe what joy it gave me!

To arrange the shelves just as it pleased me!

And at last, admire my collection!

But then, we were about to move house...

The search began, and—just as you do—one of the criteria was a special room for my display!

Smaug ©Rodrigue Petit

Finding and finalising the move took several months, but that was not the most tricky affair!

The most perilous operation could have ended in disaster if I had not taken care of it!

As you may have guessed, it involves moving the collection!

Bilbo Showcase ©Rodrigue Petit

Luckily, our future house was pretty close.

After multiple "there and back again" trips, the collection found its new home, which was, ironically, so spacious that it exuded emptiness...

That meant returning to seeking, locating, acquiring, and organising items for display.

Le Livre des Contes Perdus ©Rodrigue Petit

But that was not enough. Everything needed a revamp: a minor facelift, the purchase of a huge, tailor-made shelf, and new furniture.

Therefore, a total overhaul of the exhibition has begun, creating spaces by theme, such as a corner for elves, hobbits, Uruks, orcs, dwarves, etc.

What better compliment than telling you your collection looks like a museum!

However, I affirm that there is not just one way to display your collection; there are many of them, but the most important thing is that it pleases its owner!

Why collect?

Gandalf, Le Pèlerin Gris ©Rodrigue Petit

This is the most crucial question and one I often ask those who come for advice:

Collect for yourself! Do not look to other collections! Create your own! The most important thing is to have fun!

Spending so much time, money, and passion on something may seem ridiculous to someone who does not have the soul of a collector.

But collecting provides powerful feelings, especially when you get that new piece!

And it can be very addictive!

For my part, I am one of those who love their objects, I never sell, and I never speculate.

Entering my little "museum" allows me to dream and escape from everyday life and stress.

I imagine Middle Earth, its countries, and its characters. For a moment, I become a child again; I am in another world...

The Argonath, Pillars of Kings ©Rodrigue Petit

The Instagram adventure

Two years ago, on the wise advice of a friend, I decided to share my collection on Instagram. This involved taking photos, writing captions, and creating themed posts, including collaborations.

Dáin II ©Rodrigue Petit

This adventure was all about simplicity and humility.

I had many meetings (albeit virtual) with lots of friendly exchanges.

I am always very happy and very satisfied when a person comes to tell me that I made them want to watch the films again or read the books, that's mission accomplished for me!

Through this, I met Dee, who recently suggested that I write this article and whom I sincerely thank for this offer, which I consider an honour.


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