When tasked to make a scabbard for the Lord of the Rings inspired Aranarth Longsword, a plethora of images immediately flooded my mind. While our client was particularly inspired by the now classic swords and scabbards made by Weta for the film trilogy, I was keen to incorporate a sense of Strider’s story: the rugged ranger with noble roots.
The scabbard is wooden-cored and coated in mottled dark green leather, wet-formed and secured with a seam of crossed stitches. The sturdy, practical brown strapping is offset by the strong lines of the steel chape and ring, which follow the shape of the sword’s ecusson.
A knotwork motif, picked out in gold and then lightly sanded to a distressed finish, completes the tale: a hint of regal glory, both worn away and enhanced by hard wear.
Thick brown leather straps are secured around the scabbard. While they compliment the overall design, they are also boldly practical, almost giving a sense that the once-regal scabbard was pragmatically repurposed for use in the forests of the North.
I chose to use an authentic 15th Century knot, as seen on scabbards in portraits and effigies of the time. Wet-formed around the scabbard, it holds its form firmly, preventing any sliding.
The straps are finished with brass buckles and straps, intended to be looped through the steel rings of the accompanying belt. A series of decorative steel and brass rivets further hint at the wearer’s nobility.
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