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The Art of The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings) Hardcover – April 15, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618331301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618331307
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Compelling peeks at the creative process" U.S. News & World Report

"This beautiful, comprehensive volume would be in danger of demystifying the movie were [Peter] Jackson and company's achievements not so incredible that, even explained, they still seem downright otherworldly." Maxim Movies

"Fans of the cinematic version will not want to miss it, while artists and fans of Tolkien's work will treasure it as well." Deseret News

"A book that deserves to be on the shelf of any avid fan of the trilogy, as well as anyone who has an appreciation for art and color." Long Beach Union

"A detailed and fascinating look at the creative development of the film . . . This is one special book for fantasy lovers."

"This book is truly a fascinating peek into the fabulous world of movie making." Lebanon Daily Record

About the Author

GARY RUSSELL traveled to film production sites in New Zealand to conduct hundreds of exclusive interviews with the principal artists whose work is detailed in this book. The author of The Lord of the Rings: The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Art of the Return of the King, Russell has worked widely in media as a magazine editor, novelist, columnist, and audio drama producer.

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Customer Reviews

I am a huge fan of Lord of the Ring..
If The Two Towers is your favorite movie in the trilogy, then this will probably be your favorite book of the three.
Lots of the drawings look great, and you can also see some WETA clay models of certain scenes in the movies.
Marius Liesdek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The sequel to The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring, this coffee-table edition book is simply the same thing for the second of the three movies by New Line Cinema.
Hundreds of paintings, art work, concept sketches, paintings and diagrams from noted artists John Howe and Alan Lee, as well as the costume designs by Ngila Dickson, and computer-images and artwork from Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop.
Accompanying the images are descriptions and explanations by designers and artists, as well as interviews with Andy Serkis, the physical crux of the amazing and ground-breaking character of Gollum as seen in The Two Towers.
Sketches and art work include drawings of settings such as Mordor, Orthanc, Fangorn Forest, Emyn Muil, the Dead Marshes, Rivendell, Helm's Deep, Edoras, and Meduseld.
Also included are character sketches and concept art of Théoden, Éomer, Rohirrim soldiers, Treebeard, Éowyn, Grima Wormtongue, Easterling soldiers, Gondorian Rangers, Faramir, Sharku, Warg Riders, Elves, Orcs, and of course, Gollum.
An amazing behind-the-scenes look at the early concepts that took shape to create the spectacular cinematic journey that reaches its end on December 17th, 2003, and if you don't mind having the movies "spoiled" a little, in that you come to learn that a lot of what you saw on the screen really wasn't there, then you'll enjoy this book immensely.
A must-have if you bought the Art of The Fellowship of the Ring, and if you buy this, you have to buy Fellowship too!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"The Art of The Two Towers" is a strong follow-up to "Art of Fellowship of the Ring," which features: Concept art. Lots of concept art. The "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy is brimming over with incredibly detailed and exquisite effects, props and costumes, and though not entirely satisfying, this book gives a lot of good material.
In it, Gary Russell handles many different aspects of the movie sets and costumes, no matter how tiny they are. Here you'll find different places: sketches of the Black Gate and Dead Marshes, different Golden Halls of Rohan (right down to the medieval tapestries on the walls, the ornate chairs, cups, and even the door knockers!), Isengard, Fangorn forest (and the way different light made it seem), the glittering caves (only shown briefly in the movie) and many other places.
Costumes include unused Arwen armor and her more-dresses-than-she-has-scenes wardrobe; Theoden's battle armor, Eowyn's dresses (ranging from regal to homespun), and the new, more regal outfit of Gandalf the White. And for the weirder, there are different kinds of wargs (one looks almost wormlike), different extinguished Balrogs, and many different kinds of Ents, some of whom will be recognizable from the movie.
There are paintings, pencil sketches, exquisitely-detailed clay models from WETA Workshops, and photographs of the finished products. "Art of Two Towers" is, like the previous book, a must-read for those who enjoy seeing how movies evolve. The little comments beside most of the pictures add extra insight as to what the brilliant people who did all this were thinking. (They can also be very funny, such as the dying-Balrog discussions -- how often do people say "creature of slime" so seriously?)
This book is not flawless, however.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I love all things LOTR film(s) related. I am very interested in the aspect of costume design, and I enjoy creating my versions of costumes from the LOTR movies, especially those worn by Arwen the Elf. I have purchased "The LOTR Visual Companion", "The Art of LOTR FOTR", and "The LOTR FOTR Photo Guide" books from, and I have to say that the "Art Of" books are the most thorough and worth the money of the lot. So, my advise to anyone like myself who is into costume re-creation: get yourself the special edition extended DVD set, plus the "Art Of" books. They seem to have the best information out there. The rest, just collectable items with pictures and "fluff". I was dissapointed to find not a bit of information about Arragorn, or Legolas in this second edition ?? =0O
There are nice drawings on Faramir, King Theoden, Eowyn, Grima Wormtongue, even a bit on the costume of Gandalf the White. Maybe it's because the two were covered quite allot in the first edition? I was just dissapointed in that, read right through it and said to myself, hey wait a minute! Where's Arragorn!? Where's Legolas?! No Gimli?! Not even an Elrond.. Arwen's costumes are featured on two pages, and the book even features her armour and quiver that never got into the film. This was pretty cool, that and the information about Gollum was very nice. All in all, you won't regret buying the art of books.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Doc Occula VINE VOICE on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you were one of the people who raced out to get all the "Fellowship of the Ring" paraphernalia when the first film was released...then slow down. Don't bother with this "Art of" just because you loved "The Two Towers." Save your money for the Extended DVD release.
I'm a film designer. Drawing concept art for sets and costumes is how I make my living. One of the ways I'm inspired is by seeing the process in other designers' works. I think the folks at WETA did a fantastic job with "FOTR", with "TTT" and I'm sure they won't disappoint with "Return of the King." However, the charm of the development work seen in "Art of FOTR" does not necessarily hold up in "Art of TTT," unless seeing concept art executed at any level really blows your hair back. When the first "Art of" book came out, it was a window into WETA's world, and a somewhat unusual one; instead of superstar industrial designers and illustrators (such as the types who populate George Lucas's universe), they were a gang of artists, potters, painters and miscreants. The charm of the imagery lay in its honesty, its sometime awkwardness (Alan Lee is NOT a film designer...but he is an endearing illustrator), its purpose as sustenance for a frenzied population of slavish fans ready to consume ANYTHING "Lord of the Rings" related.
Now that we've seen where the visuals for our precious films were birthed, we've...well...we've seen it all. Some of the matte painters, key art painters and concept illustrators are excellent; others are really no better than a well-trained art student. Often the visual development included in "The Art of TTT" is pre-pre concept art, color keys (loose paintings meant to show color development rather than specific scene detail), or pre-viz CGI images.
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