I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew
— “Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar”, The Lord of the Rings 2:VIII
Mallorn-trees, large and beautiful, originally had grown only on Tol Eressëa and in Valinor (and were later brought to the west coast of Númenor). They had smooth, silver bark and many strong limbs growing horizontally from the single trunk before curving slightly upward. Their leaves were like those of beeches but greater, and in spring and summer were pale green on top with silver undersides. In autumn, the leaves turned golden but did not fall, remaining on the tree throughout the winter before falling in the spring when the new green and silver leaves budded along with clusters of golden blossoms, which remained through the summer. The Lady Galadriel brought mallorn-nuts to the Silvan realm of Lórinand and she encouraged their growth with her will and her song. Galadriel’s mellyrn grew to great hights, becoming central to the way of life of the Galadhrim, who built their dwellings on flets cradled in the mighty branches. Lórinand then became known as Lothlórien, for it was the flowering of the dreams of Galadriel. With the gold-and-silver mellyrn flourishing here and nowhere else in Middle-earth, Lothlórien recalled Valinor in the West and the memory of its Two Trees of Silver and Gold, long out of reach, but never forgotten.
This elf-maid is a sentry of the mellyrn. Now that orcs out of Dol Guldur harry the edges of the Golden Wood, she is sworn to protect and defend both the borders of Lórien and its majestic trees. Her panoply of gold and silver-grey is so coloured to recall the trees in her care; her helm is crowned with a spray of golden leaves, and she wears a golden leaf-pin at her throat. While she patrols the edges of the wood, no orc shall sully the beauty of the trees of Lórien!
I was experimenting with signature looks for my champion and I wanted to go all-out gold to show her Lothlórien origin. Tolkien described mallorn-leaves as being like great beech-leaves (which are obtuse to ovate in shape), but Turbine has unfortunately followed the New Line films’ depiction instead which portrayed mallorn-leaves as having a hastate shape. Nevertheless, this led to a cool realisation for me. I always thought of the helm I used in this outfit as representing a sunburst, but looking closely the decorative tines are shaped very much like hastate-shaped leaves! Although not true to Tolkien’s description, I will still excited by the observation and realised I was onto a good theme. The Festive Azure Cloak doesn’t really have a lot to do thematically with the outfit, but it dyes such a brilliant gold colour that I had to use it.
- Head: Helm of Vigour (looted — world drop/general), gold
- Shoulders: Songmaster’s Shoulders (bartered — Ost Galadh Minstrel trainer), white
- Back: Festive Azure Cloak (looted — anniversary event/4-year Gift Box), gold
- Chest: Hauberk of the Rugged Clansman (bartered — skirmish camp heavy armour quartermaster/Odothuilan campaign armour), white
- Hands: Gauntlets of the Galadhrim (crafted — metalsmith T6/Galadhrim reputation), gold
- Legs: Elven Steel Leggings (crafted — metalsmith T3; or looted — world drop; or purchased — Rivendell heavy armour vendor), gold
- Feet: Boots of the Galadhrim (crafted — metalsmith T6/Galadhrim reputation), gold
Tips: The Songmaster’s Shoulders share their appearance with Shoulders of the Lady’s Grace (bartered — Caras Galadhon Minstrel trainer). If you don’t have the Festive Azure Cloak (or the similar Reveller’s Gilded Cloak, which was available for a time from the LOTRO Store), or if you would prefer something that ties in a little better with the leaf-theme of this outfit, you could use the hoodless version of the Cloak of the Mallorn (purchased — LOTRO Store). It would look nice in gold, but I also really like it in white or grey with this outfit. If you don’t mind hiding the helm, another option might be the Lothlórien Hooded Cloak of the Preserver or the Lothlórien Hooded Cloak of the Sentinel (both crafted — tailor T6/Galadhrim reputation). The Galadhrim gloves and boots used in this outfit have the same appearance as the ones from the level 60 Mines of Moria instance cluster heavy armour sets.