Saturday, February 9, 2013

going berserk(er)

at christmas (was it really that long ago?), steve surprised us with LOTR LEGO sets.  (for those of you who don't know, these are LEGO sets based on tolkien's lord of the rings trilogy.  to be completely accurate, they are probably based on the movie versions of LOTR, but let's not quibble here.  they did a half-decent job of making the legolas minifig kinda resemble orlando bloom, and that's really what i wanted, anyway).

it was fortuitous that he obtained (or was that deliberately planned?) three sets.  ander claimed attack on weathertop first and diana dove into the mines of moria.  i, however, at steve's request, set aside the battle of helm's deep to build on my own.  well, mostly on my own.  i had some help.  from the kids.  i did put in quite a few pieces myself without even having to wrestle them away from anyone, mostly because there were four different instruction booklets we could work with.

thank goodness for diana and her excellence with modular pieces, as exemplified in her quick grasp of assembling origami with multiple parts, as compared to me, who keeps turning the pieces over and over and failing to figure out the proper orientation.  she was able to get all the assembled parts to connect together appropriately.

neither one of my children have read or seen any of the LOTR books or movies.  it is my hope that someday diana will be as enchanted with the books as i was; steve did not care for them much.  i imagine ander will enjoy the movies (at a much older age than he is now, because he is a sensitive little soul and there are many difficult themes to come to grips with, emotionally).

but they sure did get into the LEGO sets.

my favorite part about diana's building was her additional assemblage of an armory structure to hold onto all those weapons when they were not being used.  her original design fit right into the overall style, and it was a practical way to keep those pesky pieces from disappearing when you most need them.

ander was especially pleased with the elements that moved and flipped and slid and crumbled.  he's a fairly adept little engineer and pretty much realized how things should work without relying too heavily on the instructions.

he also wanted to know the name of each and every minifig in all the sets.  there were so many, i finally had to write them all down, categorized into good vs. "scary" and identifying their races.  the minifigs are amazingly detailed, especially the uruk-hai.

ander pays attention to details, so much so that when we were watching the cosmos episode about johannes kepler and they showed soldiers burning books and harassing people, he asked if they were berserkers, too.  i think it had something to do with the helmets.


i've been asked by more than one individual to produce photographs of the constructions.  here i am to oblige.  the first set were taken by me, as i watched in utter amusement my children rummaging through the numbered bags.  the remaining pictures were take by ander, who shows a uncanny ability to take closeups that are not blurry like mine tend to be.  i enjoy seeing what he observes via the camera lens.

attack at weathertop, courtesy of ander

completed mines of moria by diana

opening up the battle of helm's deep

he can find the tiniest piece amidst the chaos. plus, i love how his body position unconsciously mirrored his sister's.
one of my favorite parts of this was watching the siblings work together.  they came up with a strategy that worked well for them, allowing them both to contribute and capitalize on strengths.  ander served as construction worker while diana was foreman, providing the necessary materials for each step and checking his work to ensure its completeness and accuracy.  she was amazingly calm and soothing when he made a mistake, she patiently waited when he got frustrated at something that didn't fit well, and she could tell when it was ok to step in and handle a tricky part.

king theoden

we love it whenever a chicken leg appears in a lego set. we have at least one from harry potter, too.


this is haldir, not legolas, although they are both elves

i know i said no more LEGOs, but it really would be a shame not to have gandalf, and an unexpected gathering does look awfully tempting...


  1. Oh my, what fun times at your house! I'm not an lotr person, but my kids are rabid about it and a few years ago would have gone crazy over these sets. And yes, I think you need Gandalf and An Unexpected Gathering!

  2. you HAVE to get a hobbit hole!!! :) i got helm’s deep for christmas but i haven’t put it together yet!