LEGO says 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell minifigure isn’t who you thought it was

The LEGO designers behind 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell have corrected the set’s press release, clarifying that one of its characters isn’t who you thought it was.

Next to the laundry list of named characters included in 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell are two generic elves and a distinctive white-haired dwarf, which was originally named in the set’s press release as Gloin (who you may remember from such dialogue as ‘Gimli, son of Gloin’). But according to the LEGO designers behind the set, the determined dwarf has been suffering from a case of mistaken identity.

“This is not actually Gloin,” LEGO Design Master Mike Psiaki tells Brick Fanatics. “I very specifically say that because I’ve been told to say that. So just to be clear, this is meant to be a generic dwarf.” It’s a revelation we certainly weren’t expecting while chatting to Psiaki and his colleagues on all things Rivendell, not least because the set’s official copy had already confirmed the opposite.

If the dwarf isn’t Gloin, then – and by all accounts, he does make a fleeting appearance at Rivendell, played again by Giimli actor John Rhys-Davies – what’s he doing in 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell? Psiaki says he’s just one piece of a wider puzzle in the minifigure line-up for the 6,167-piece set, along with the two unnamed elf characters.

“We went back and watched the movie up in one of our big meeting rooms,” Psiaki says. “We were looking for all the little details and thought one of the things that is cool about the council scene is all of these different races of characters coming together to decide the fate of the rings. So we thought, ‘Can we go beyond just the Fellowship?’ Because there’s a lot of extra characters there in that scene in the movie. 

“But then this is Rivendell, the home of the elves. I don’t remember the exact lines, but when the hobbits are with Aragorn and they’re going through the marshes, and Sam’s like, ‘Where’s he taking us anyway?’ And then what does Aragorn say, ‘to the house of Elrond’? I don’t remember what he says. And Sam’s like, ‘Did you hear that? We’re going to see the elves!’

“We wanted to include more than just one or two elves if it’s the home of the elves. So that’s why we added the two generic elves.”

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“Those are the two elves that Sam was excited to meet,” adds fellow designer Chris Perron. “’We’re going to see the elves.’ Those are the ones!”

Not-Gloin specifically came into the picture after the designers came up with the new assortment of Middle-earth weapons, which includes Frodo’s sword Sting, Boromir’s sword of Gondor, the broken shards of Narsil, new elvish swords and dwarven axes. Spares of every weapon are included in the bag (which is referred to as a ‘family mould’, so only takes up the equivalent of one new mould) – and that meant there were extra axes waiting to be wielded.

“In the history of Middle-earth, the dwarves and the elves don’t have such a great relationship,” Psiaki explains. “[Things are] a bit tense between the two of them. So it’s actually pretty special that the dwarves are here at all. In the scene in the movie, everyone has come to the council in peace – but all of the dwarves are fully armed. So we thought it would be cool to have another character to give some axes to for the council meeting.”

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Even if the white-haired dwarf isn’t officially Gloin – and someone needs to tell BrickLink, which (lest we forget) is owned by the LEGO Group – there’s nothing stopping you from christening your own minifigure as Gimli’s dad. It’s your LEGO, you can do what you want with it, and the designers can’t do anything about it. Right?

“If you want to play with that as Gloin, I’m not going to stop you,” Psiaki confirms. Phew.

Head over to our YouTube channel to watch our full interview with the LEGO The Lord of the Rings design team, and click here to check out our detailed review. 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell is available to buy now at and in LEGO Stores.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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