Spider Queen, References

Spider Queen of Dol Guldur


I've been making progress on my Spider Queen for the September painting challenge on One Ring.


Creepy Warning:  The following post has a number of pics of real spiders that I'm am drawing on for inspiration and some may find them a bit too "close for comfort"'ve been warned.


My concept for this Spider Queen is that she is a direct descendant of Ungoliant, and therefore a sister of Shelob, or perhaps one of Shelob's greatest spawn.  It is doubtful that Men or Elf will ever know for sure.  But what is known is that she is among the greatest terrors dwelling in the darkest parts of Mirkwood.  The lesser Spider Queens living there are her brood and the countless Giant Spiders that haunt the woods descend from them.   It is believed her first home was in the Mountains of Mirkwood, but after the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur she was drawn by his evil to dwell in the thickest and darkest parts of the woods near the Hill of Dark Sorcery.  But it is as likely that she uses the woods or a network of caves below them to move about as there have been reports of her still in the mountains.


To help have her look "real" as possible while keeping to the menacing fantasy that Peter Jackson gave us in the Return of the King, I am drawing on both the film and real life in her paint scheme.  Shelob, as shown in the films, large, fast, grotesque and terrible.  Her face is covered with old growth and scar tissue, her body bloated and her colors dark.  As the front half of the model I have made uses the Shelob model from GW I will naturally be painting these same features.




However, I want to be sure mine stands out and doesn't look like Shelob.  So even though my first instinct was to make my model black I feared it would fall short by doing so.  Where we live we have a lot of spider varieties.  Funnel Web spiders are very common in our shed and rock walls (and even the garage and basement if you don't keep up with them).  And we have a very healthy population of Wolf spiders in our fields and woods, our wood piles and sometimes in the house.  When we go slow in the field or forest in the early summer we often see the females with the egg sacks, and have even been lucky enough to see them loaded up carrying their young a couple times.


As the Spider Queen model and game concept includes her transporting young on her back and these spiders are supposed to be dwelling in the deep woods of Mirkwood, I decided I'm going to base mine mostly one the Hunstman and Wolf spiders we see locally.  The following are pics I've collected from the web (hah!) that really capture these amazing creatures well.  I haven't had a chance to try to get any pictures locally this good but these will be my inspiration.