In this chapter, Frodo composes a verse to commemorate Gandalf, illustrated here. If you wish for a more literal interpretation of the category, the first thing Frodo sees in the Mirror is Gandalf, and he assumes this is a memory of a past journey, so I suppose you could see this as an illustration of that vision. Anyway ...
When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.
From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.
With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.
A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.
A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.
He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dum his wisdom died.
A couple of additional overview photos:
A few additional thoughts:
Yes, I know, Sam wrote an additional stanza, but it's in a different tone and even rhyme scheme, so I left it out.
I'm afraid my dragon looks more comic than fierce.
When I decided to illustrate this verse, I originally considered doing a series of vigs, but the rules said to do only one scene. If it is against the rules to have the separate close-ups with Gandalf in each one, I'd be happy to remove those and just go with the overview shot.
On the figs - I have no official LotR sets. I considered using the collectible elf, an official dwarf, etc, but these fig choices go back to my first big Tolkien project over a decade ago, so they're meaningful to me, so I kept them.
While your opponent had an interesting build, your take on the category was AWESOME. With specific categories like there are in these games, it's hard to do something entirely different from your opponent. Your build vision here was brilliant, well executed and fun to look at. You have my vote.
Hey Bruce, A really awesome entry here! I love how you added multiple sections of Middle Earth into one MOC! The rock work looks really good, and the hobbit hole is great! The custom figs and the dragon look great. Best of luck!
P.S. Where did you get all of those trees?