Six massive oversights from LEGO The Lord of the Rings

LEGO The Lord of the Rings didn’t stick around for long in the early 2010s, leaving more than a few massive oversights in its wake.

For everything the Lord of the Rings theme did right in 2012 and 2013 – Helm’s Deep, the enormous Tower of Orthanc – it also seemed to stumble, drawing on weird and obscure choices for sets and minifigures. That was likely partly down to sharing shelf space (and subject matter) with Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, which was the primary catalyst behind getting LEGO The Lord of the Rings sets in the first place. So, you know. Maybe we shouldn’t grumble too much.

Regardless, there are some gaping holes in the LEGO The Lord of the Rings portfolio that it’s hard to believe the LEGO Group managed to overlook – even with only two full waves of sets to cover everything. If the theme ever makes a comeback (even if it is one day tied to Amazon’s The Rings of Power), here are six different locations, characters and scenes that need to be top of the list.

6 – Minas Tirith

The Lord of the Rings Minas Tirith

While the LEGO Group probably didn’t want multiple fortresses on shelves at once, likely preventing Minas Tirith from launching alongside 9474 The Battle of Helm’s Deep, the Return of the King’s climactic battle – which extends into Pelennor Fields – is ripe for LEGO representation beyond 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush. Where’s the Witch King astride a Fellbeast? A Mûmakil topped with Haradrim? Or even a basic siege tower with Gothmog and a band of orcs? 

Any or all of those could have come with a small slice of the city’s white walls, avoiding direct conflict with Helm’s Deep. Today, though, we’d love to see a huge representation of Minas Tirith’s unique mountainside fortress, complete with the White Tree of Gondor.

5 – The Eye of Sauron

The Lord of the Rings The Eye of Sauron

One of The Lord of the Rings’ most iconic visuals is the Eye of Sauron, sitting atop Barad-dûr in Mordor. While we don’t necessarily need the full tower – although it would complement 10237 Tower of Orthanc nicely – some representation of the Eye of Sauron (beyond a print on a minifigure head in 79006 The Council of Elrond) would be welcome.

A renewed Lord of the Rings theme could take it in so many different directions in the ‘20s, too: a LEGO Art mosaic, for example, or a brick-built sculpture on a display stand. The possibilities – unlike Sauron’s reign – are endless. 

4 – The climax of the entire trilogy

The Lord of the Rings Frodo Mount Doom

The Lord of the Rings is the story of men, elves, dwarves, wizards and – of course – Hobbits banding together to rid Middle-earth of the evil of the One Ring. It all culminates with Frodo chucking the ring into the fires of Mordor (to summarise), a scene that has absolutely zero representation in LEGO.

The climax of the entire trilogy feels like just a slight oversight, but it wouldn’t take much: you’d just need a rocky outcropping above some lava, Frodo, Sam and Gollum. It’s probably for the best that minifigures don’t have fingers, though…

3 – The Balrog

The Lord of the Rings Balrog

We’ve already had first Mines of Moria, yes, but what about second Mines of Moria? A follow-up to 2012’s 9473 The Mines of Moria is absolutely necessary to bring us one of the trilogy’s most iconic monsters in LEGO. And with 11 years of NINJAGO dragon design under their belt, Billund’s brightest should have no trouble bringing the Balrog to life in bricks.

An 18+ set that includes the entire Fellowship of the Ring would be the icing on the cake. (Okay, we’re dreaming too big now.)

2 – Rohan

The Lord of the Rings Rohan

Rohan isn’t entirely lacking in LEGO representation, with several of the kingdom’s key characters (and generic soldiers) scattered throughout the 2012 and 2013 sets. But the location itself – and its unique medieval architecture – is still missing from LEGO The Lord of the Rings, and would offer great contrast in colour and design to the stone structures of most of its other sets.

1 – Sauron

The Lord of the Rings Sauron

Possibly the biggest omission from The Lord of the Rings’ original LEGO line-up is, of course, the big bad guy of the entire trilogy, Sauron. While he spent most of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King in flaming eye form (as we’ve already discussed above), his original human-like form in the saga’s prologue scenes is just as iconic, and definitely deserves its own LEGO minifigure.

Just to reiterate: we have the Mouth of Sauron, but not actual Sauron. Yeah.

The Rings of Power is streaming now on Amazon, but has so far failed to bring us any more LEGO The Lord of the Rings sets. Fingers crossed that changes somewhere down the line.

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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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