Becoming Lord Elrond
With all the construction finally completed, I went to a friend for help with hair and makeup. As she labored on my hair, and the wig, as well as the makeup, I ceased to be Durrilion the Freelance Writer and became Durrilion the Cosplayer.
As she pulled, twisted, and pinned my own hair, I tried not to wince. Every now and again it was painful. Oh, and don’t get me started on that dreadful wig cap! Seriously, I thought my head was going to explode after just a few minutes. Thanks to those research pictures I had of various Elven hairstyles, my friend (aka Valerie) turned a simple brown wig into Elven hair magic.
The hardest part was trying to figure out how to re-create the loops in Elrond’s hair. I think we spent the better part of an entire day going back and forth before we finally came up with something that worked.
With all of the side details done, she set upon the back, using a herringbone (or fishtail) braid. She pulled a couple of wide strands of hair into it as well to add detail and texture. I have no idea why the braid twists like that, and I’m not super crazy about it, but at the time I didn’t notice it.
Overall, I liked the look the hair created. For future wearings I may make a few changes, but we’ll see what happens.
Being dedicated to authenticity, I put on ALL the layers, despite the predicted high of 117 degrees Fahrenheit. In this photo, taken on Valerie’s balcony, all the layers combine to create an amazing Elven look. By the way, the sleeves of the over-robe were so heavy I got tired of them quickly!
Fully enrobed as Elrond (minus the circlet), I joined the rest of my group at their hotel. Once everyone was together, and I had the circlet in place,
we posed for several photos and joked about not having to leave the hotel lobby and it’s air conditioning.
Since we had chipped in for a photo op with Sean Astin, we walked as quickly as possible to the Phoenix Convention Center, and due to the heat we did not stop for photos outside.
Once in the air conditioned building, our group of Elves made it to the third floor. We posed for photos as we made our way to Sean’s photo line. With every step and turn of the line there always seemed to be someone who wanted a picture of us. It was both flattering and rather bizarre. At least it was for me. I’m not used to being the center of attention like that.
Despite our best efforts to get all seven of us in one photo with Sean, we had to split up. The first group of four had their photo taken, then I and the remaining two took our places with Sean. He greeted the Ladies cordially, and upon seeing me, said “Elrond! What’s up man”? Almost immediately the photo was done, and Sean said goodbye. He even shook my hand!
Our two groups joined as we waited for the photo proofs. Unfortunately the first group’s photo was lost due to a computer glitch apparently. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally the first group was rushed back for a re-shoot. We then waited for that photo. It took about an hour and a half total before both the original photo and the re-shoot photo were located. By that time the photo team staff had brought chairs for us, and very kindly escorted one of our members to the VIP lavatory. As an apology to all of us for the delay, everyone in our group received a print out of the photos. That was totally unexpected, and very much appreciated.
With photos in hand, we made our way to Sean’s signing booth. One of our members had purchased an autograph, and we still had a scroll to present to Sean.
We were the absolute last in line. As a group we had a chance to speak with Sean. Since Lord Elrond was a herald to the last Elven King, and I was a herald in the SCA, I was tasked with presenting the scroll. After reading the translation of the Tengwar script on the actual scroll, Sean’s response was that he’d need to have 57 people confirm that the scroll did in fact say what we said it did. As we all laughed, I handed him my card and told him to let us know if there was a problem with the translation.
What did the scroll say? Well that’s between the Elves, Sean/Samwise, and his 57 translators.
Sean then had to run to his next appearance. With that done, we posed for more photos for LOTR fans, and were joined by three female cosplayers dressed as female versions of the Aragorn, Pippin, and Gimli. You can read more about them in my article titled ‘The Women of Middle Earth’. After a few minutes of photos our band of Elves split up for the remainder of the day.
I made my way through the Convention Center and visited friends in the vendors’ hall, posing for pictures all the way. Shortly after that the day was ending, as was my time as Lord Elrond.
For one day I went from being a freelance writer for The Geekian Report, to becoming the Lord of Rivendell. I learned first hand what it is like to be stopped with almost every step for a photo. I also had to learn how to accept compliments, and not point out what I felt were blatantly obvious flaws. I also learned that I REALLY need to learn how to do something with my face – or rather my lack of expression. In the next photo, after the wig was off, and most of my hair was unpinned, I made a face, and took a pic. Hmmm, maybe I’m on to something…
Despite the heat, the delay with the photos, and my facial expression (RBF is apparently the term – look it up if you don’t know what that means), I had an amazing day. My eternal thanks to my Elven Ladies, and to Valerie, who suffered through hair and makeup to make me an Elf. With luck, next year I can cosplay another personal favorite character. There’s plenty of time right?