Among the many brand new elements headlining the LEGO Group’s return to Middle-earth – which include Boromir’s sword of Gondor, the broken shards of Narsil and Gimli’s axe – is a piece that’s sure to find use beyond the Elven kingdom of Rivendell, too. We’re talking specifically about the new fern piece, which is scattered liberally across 10316’s lush landscape.
The bright green plant piece is an element that designer Wes Talbott has apparently wanted to create for quite a while, and 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell provided the perfect opportunity to make it a reality. “One of my favourite new pieces in the new LEGO Icons Rivendell set is the new fern piece,” the designer explained on Instagram.
“It’s something I’ve had in mind for several years and I’m so glad we got a chance to make it just in time to scatter all over Rivendell.”
Talbott also shared several development images of the fern brick through his Instagram profile, including early sketches that originally envisioned it as a flatter piece. Even here, though, he’s captured the fern frond’s distinctive lamina and pinna, the botanical terms for the plant’s central blade and leaf structures.
His first 3D version is much closer to the final product, standing upright to mimic the curvature of a 1×6 half arch brick. Element designer Mani Zamani then took Talbott’s concept and fashioned it into a production-ready piece, reducing the number of pinnae by one and generally smoothing out and rounding the leaves. (Talbott called this Zamani ‘working his magic’ and ‘cleaning up my lumpy mess’.)
The finished element is designed to be stacked, as can be seen throughout 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell. We don’t yet know exactly how many fern pieces are included in the LEGO Icons set, but it feels pretty safe to assume this element won’t be locked to Rivendell forever – and could even make its way into other sets and themes as soon as the summer 2023 wave.
10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell launches on March 5 for VIP members, priced at £429.99 / $499.99 / €499.99. It’s available for everyone from March 8, but if you buy during VIP early access, you’ll also receive a free copy of 40630 Frodo & Gollum.