King Théoden has one hell of a character arc. He's barely clinging to life when we meet him, but eventually leads the charge to save his people. Quite a turn-around!
Monarch of the land of Rohan, King Théoden was a courageous leader and soldier. By way of the slithering machinations of his servant Grima Wormtongue, the fallen wizard Saruman was able to subvert and poison Théoden's mind, for a time plunging Rohan into darkness and despair, but through the intervention of Gandalf, Théoden was exorcised of Saruman's influence. Restored to health and soundness of spirit, the King banished Wormtongue from his hall and again lead his people with wisdom and bravery.
It'd be really cool if ToyBiz gave us a "Withered Théoden" figure, showing his advanced age: if they did, we'd have representations of all three ways we see this king in the film. The first Théoden was the "regular" version, followed by a version wearing the armor he donned at Helm's Deep.
At 6 1/4" tall, Théoden moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elboes, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles. His Majesty could use a bit more movement, particularly in the legs, but there's no disputing the fine detail of his sculpt. His costume from the film has been beautifully recreated here, from the armadillo-like outer shell to the hundreds of plate scales hanging from his waist.
Everything is detailed with horse heads: the shoulder pauldrons, vambraces, greaves, chest and back pieces all have equine details of varying clarity. The sculptors even tried to suggest the paired horses on every scale. Astounding! The red cloth is given a coarse, linen look, while the green is a bit smoother. Wool, perhaps? The paint job even duplicates the real suit's collar embroidery. Even the removable helmet is intricate: just check out the cool horse-head ridge running its length.
Théoden comes with Herugrim, the horse-hilted weapon that was always at his side. In Old English, heoru means "sword" and grim means "fierce" or "angry," which certainly describes the temperment of this ruler when at last he could again wield the sword. Finally Théoden gets to hold his sword in his left hand, which is nice: actor Bernard Hill is left-handed, but the first Théoden figure only allowed him to hold his sword in his right hand. Because, you know, accuracy doesn't matter. Press the button on his back and he'll swing the sword to slash at any nearby Orcs.
As detailed and as nice as the figure is, it still would have been better if we'd gotten a deluxe horse and rider set of King Théoden. They're the "Riders of Rohan," not the "Walkers," and yet we still haven't seen a single mounted soldier. Even if it was just one of the generic Rohirrim, we'd be doing better than we are now. Where is Snowmane, Théoden's mount? Still lingering in the stables somewhere? Pah! Come on, Jesse Falcon! Get it together!
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