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A guided tour of the LEGO® Icons <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>: Barad-dûr™ set

A guided tour of the LEGO® Icons The Lord of the Rings: Barad-dûr™ set

When the Fellowship of the Ring departed Rivendell™, they began a journey that would lead deep into the heart of Mordor™. On their way to Mount Doom™, they would have to pass perhaps the most intimidating place in all of Middle-earth™, the Fortress of Barad-dûr™, home of the Dark Lord Sauron™.

Just like the Fellowship, we have been to Rivendell and now we’re setting course for Mordor ourselves with the new LEGO® Icons: The Lord of the Rings: Barad-dûr set.

With over 5,000 pieces, it’s packed with authentic details, exclusive minifigures and Easter Eggs that fans will love. To learn more, we talked to set designer Antica Bracanov, who was the perfect person to work on the set.

From superfan to Sauron’s interior designer

“I am someone who loves the movies so much that I watch them every few months!” says Antica with a smile.

“I have read all the books, I also played the LEGO The Lord of the Rings™ video games. So, yeah, I guess I’m a fan.”

Sounds like it!

But, interestingly enough, no amount of fandom could prepare Antica for designing Barad-dûr, because the interior is never seen in the movies or described in the books.

“There was no reference,” Antica continues. “We see the Eye of Sauron™ and the tower collapsing at the end, but the tower is never actually seen inside.”

So, unlike some other design projects, in which the challenge is to recreate something we all know in LEGO bricks, the task here is almost that of an architect or the Mordor equivalent of an interior designer!

Antica and the team worked logically, asking themselves at all times what made sense to be inside the Dark Lord’s fortress.

“We have a forge where the Orcs make their shields, swords and helmets, and a dungeon area where there is a cage suspended, which can move up and down. Above that, there’s a dining area for Orcs, with a table that’s very messy with cups and bones.”

The higher up the fortress you get, the closer you get to the Dark Lord himself.

“On the level above that, we have a throne room, with a map of Middle-earth and a Palantír. The Palantír is a new element which has an image of what it sees.”

Here, Antica also found space for one of the most chilling characters from the series.

“There’s a room for the Mouth of Sauron™, which also contains a library. We thought that Sauron™ has been around for several thousands of years, so it would make sense that he has books containing all his knowledge and magic.”

Finally, we arrive at the top of the tower, which will be familiar to fans of the movies.

“At the top, we have the Eye of Sauron, which can be moved up and down and left and right. There’s a light brick that illuminates it and looks amazing!”

The one minifigure to rule them all

The Lord of the Rings is well known for its iconic locations, including both Rivendell and Barad-dûr, but the locations would be nothing without the characters that inhabit them. So, what minifigures come with the set?

“The most important character was Sauron,” says Antica. “He is exclusive for this model and we also made a new helmet that looks absolutely amazing. We also have the Mouth of Sauron and Gothmog, along with two different designs of Orcs.”

But it isn’t all bad guys. In fact, Antica and the team were keen to balance the dark with a little light.

“We wanted to have a contrast and to offer more storytelling, so we included a few of the good guys – Frodo™, Sam and Gollum™. We know they never came anywhere close to the fortress in the story, but they’re still on that journey to get to Mount Doom and have to get past the Eye of Sauron.”

CONCLUSION

The Lord of the Rings is a classic tale of good versus evil, and as fans most people tend to gravitate towards the Fellowship.

With this in mind, we asked Antica how she thought the set would be received amongst fans.

She didn’t even have to think about her answer…

“I think people will love it!”

And having seen the set and knowing more about the detail and care that went into its design, we do too.

© New Line Productions Inc. All rights reserved. THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY and all names of the characters, items, events, and places therein are ™ of Middle-earth Enterprises, LLC under license to New Line Productions, Inc. (s24)

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