Rescue – sketch

This one really was long overdue. I like the raw, painful sketchiness of it – makes it look as if it was a quick one, even though I spent the entire day erasing and redrawing.

Fingon taking Maedhros back to Mithrim after his rescue (Thorondor’s right wing can be seen in the background).

Most depictions of this scene show Maedhros more exhausted than in pain (some of my own included).  But imagine hanging from your right wrist for more than fifty years – and then having your hand cut off in exactly the same place. It must have been agony.

My heart regularly breaks for Maedhros in that one short half-sentence.

(You know that artists always assume the expressions they’re drawing? I drew this one in the library today. It was only afterwards that I found myself wondering what on earth my students were thinking of me if they looked…)

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8 thoughts on “Rescue – sketch

  1. Agony yes, but also numbness, lack of feel in those stretched places. Also I believe a state of mind detaching mind from body, luck of real consciousness. It must have been painful having suddenly blood pressure everywhere, being bent and twisted in ways long forgotten, but I don’t expect he was really conscious of it, rather in a delirious state and passed away quickly. Worse was to come later when he finally woke up in his brothers camp.

    One of those scenes all of us wish to depict. And there is never enough of them, good to see yours :) I still like the old one, too.

  2. I LOVE Fingon’s expression here, it’s absolutely perfect!
    You did an awesome job on both expressions really, but the depth of Fingon’s expression is just amazing.

  3. Admittedly I’m not sure how elven physiology would differ from that of humans in that context, but I would actually expect that after 50 years of hanging from one wrist, that hand would be basically dead from lack of circulation, both from the constricting metal band and from being held above his heart for so long. It might have needed amputation anyway, and Sirielle makes a fair point about the numbness.
    Nevertheless, it’s a lovely drawing, like all you art. I’m really fascinated by Maedhros’s facial expression. Actually, before I read the description, I thought he looked very resentful, which could be appropriate since, as I remember, he tried to convince Fingon that it would be more merciful to kill him than to rescue him.

    • I’ve always mostly discarded human physiology for that story in particular. He must have been kept alive by some foul spell of Morgoth’s, just like Húrin, or else someone would have had to go up to bring him food. Too muich medical detail takes away from the sheer impact for me. ;)

      The resentment is definitely there, well spotted. I always thought that it took Maedhros a while to forgive Fingon for condemning him to live when he had twice begged for death.

      (Another thing that Morgoth must have devised – the Eldar were able to pass to Mandos of their own free will, like Míriel or even Lúthien. It could be argued that Maedhros was bound by the oath so he held on to life where many others wouldn’t have, but the oath certainly didn’t trouble him when Fingon arrived. So Morgoth probably kept him alive by force, in more ways than one.)

  4. When I draw faces I always assume the expression too! Didn’t know that anyone else does it!

    That is one of my favorite pictures of Fingon. Maedhros looks angry, and that was a good point made that it was from Fingon not killing him.

    How would you feel if you came upon Maedhros in pain and he asks you to kill him, and then he’s mad at you for not doing it? That would be an awful feeling, with so much sorrow and pity.

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