Five LEGO The Lord of the Rings Rivendell builds that could signpost the rumoured 2023 set

A huge LEGO The Lord of the Rings set based on Rivendell is said to be on the way in 2023 – and it could look a little something like these custom builds…

Next year’s three LEGO The Lord of the Rings BrickHeadz double-packs are reportedly only the beginning of the LEGO Group’s journey back to Middle-earth, with LEGO Icons set 10316 said to be an enormous $500 model of Rivendell. What exactly that will entail is anyone’s guess at this stage – will it be minifigure scale? Microscale? Based on just LotR, or also The Hobbit? – but we can glean some idea of what it might look like from the countless custom builds that already exist online.

While none of these five models would necessarily fit into the rumoured price point of 10316, they’re as good a starting point as any for dreaming up how the LEGO Group might approach the magical Middle-earth otherworld – and may even signpost the direction it’s most likely to choose.

Microscale LEGO Rivendell

The LEGO Group is no stranger to microscale models – its first Harry Potter direct-to-consumer set post-reboot was 71043 Hogwarts Castle, built completely distinct from minifigures – and that presents one possible avenue for Rivendell. It’s a scale at least two builders have tackled already, too.

The fate of LEGO Ideas user bald_bonsai’s Rivendell – 20th Film Anniversary project seems ominous amid current rumours, but it does give us an idea of what a microscale Rivendell would look like. Their birthday build – which includes a row of golden minifigures, not unlike the LEGO Harry Potter 20th anniversary sets – captures Rivendell with surprising detail at this scale, but with most of the focus on the surrounding rock work, there’s no way this build would reach $500.

Bonobo’s expired LEGO Ideas Rivendell project offers an alternative approach to the microscale concept, zooming in on a couple of the valley’s major buildings. Given this square-based build packs in 2,578 pieces, it’s easy to see how the LEGO Group could take it to the level of a $500 set simply by expanding its surroundings, ending up with a model akin to 71043 Hogwarts Castle. How exciting that would be, though, is up for debate – does Rivendell’s architecture really have the iconography of Hogwarts?

Minifigure-scale LEGO Rivendell

While those microscale builds have plenty to celebrate about them, it feels like the LEGO Group is probably more likely to tackle Rivendell in minifigure scale. But how realistic is that idea, given the scope of the location?

The first of three minifigure-scale takes on Rivendell is also the smallest, and again comes from LEGO Ideas. Anduin1970’s project was submitted long before the Ideas team instituted a 3,000-piece cap, and subsequently comes in at an eye-watering 13,000 elements. While the scope of this build is too ambitious for an official LEGO set, we can see the LEGO Group emulating its modular approach, which allows Rivendell to be reconfigured however you like.

Rebrickable user LegoMocLoc has also published instructions for an even bigger minifigure-scale Rivendell, which clocks in at more than 21,000 pieces. Again, that’s far beyond the reach of an official product, but this build is a great example of the aesthetic the LEGO Group would likely aim for with its own Rivendell. The techniques, colours and assembly are all roughly in line with official sets (nothing jumps out as overly complex or fragile), so it’s easy to imagine an official LEGO The Lord of the Rings set offering just a slice of this model.

Alice Finch and David Frank’s wildly ambitious – and incredibly successful – Rivendell build is the ultimate example of how this location can be realised with bricks, but at roughly 200,000 pieces, it will only ever be the stuff of dreams for most of us. Still, there are design choices that could easily influence (or at least come through in) an official set: the brighter colour scheme, for example, or the particular scenes recreated throughout the detailed, minifigure-scale model.

We’re still waiting on confirmation that a LEGO Rivendell set is coming at all, so take all this with a pinch of salt for now – but based on the models above, we reckon a minifigure-scale set that offers even just a section of Rivendell could be a realistic prospect.

Click here to check out the first three LEGO The Lord of the Rings sets revealed for 2023.

Featured image: LegoMocLoc

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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.

One thought on “Five LEGO The Lord of the Rings Rivendell builds that could signpost the rumoured 2023 set

  • 14/01/2023 at 10:34

    Nice to see my lego ideas project on this page. I took the model from Weta Workshop as a reference, especially for the patterns on the roofs. If lego made really a Rivendell set, I hope they made it with the same dedication.

    My nickname is Anduin1710 (17th of october is my birthday).


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