Gandalf the Sculpture.
Gandalf the Sculpture.
Screenshot: via YouTube

Let’s be real: Gandalf was always the leader.

And in a wonderful video (h/t to Nerdist), sculpture artist Steven Richter pays homage to the majestic visage of Gandalf the Grey, one of the coolest characters ever brought to life by Sir Ian McKellen. In a recently shared time-lapse video, he shows the process of creating a Gandalf sculpture from scratch, molding clay into the grizzled, majestic face of McKellen before turning that face into the ancient power of Gandalf, all long beard and flowing hair.

Sculpture is not the most popular art in the modern world, but it’s always damn impressive, and Richter specializes in creating amazing pop-culture-centric sculptures like this one.But, really, the amount of deliberate, fine detail that goes into this work is astounding, and seeing it come together over time, all those details being meticulously put in their proper place, satisfies me on some deep lizard-brain level.

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I hope Richter carves out a Gandalf the White next. His beard is so whispy and elegant.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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