The new Lord of the Rings game gives one Return of the King character a wild new look

Return of the King
(Image credit: New Line, Warner Bros)

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum launches next month, and in the run-up to release its developers are sharing character bios and (re)introducing players to the faces they'll meet in-game. While most of those are pretty familiar, one character who should be familiar to Tolkien super-fans has a very impressive new look.

As well as Gollum, Shelob, and an elf called Mell, these bios also highlight The Mouth of Sauron, who appears outside the Black Gate in The Return of the King, taunting the fellowship and acting as Sauron's ambassador. The character appears in Tolkein's novel but is only seen in the extended edition of the film; there, he's seen on horseback with a helmet covering his oversized mouth.

Interestingly, Tolkien offers no real description of The Mouth of Sauron. What little there is in the original text has led to significant debate about the character's age, but that's about it. Both Peter Jackson's film and the 1980 animated film depict The Mouth similarly, however - as a tall, thin figure in a black helmet. And that's why The Lord of the Rings: Gollum's depiction has me all turned around.

There's still a lot of the priestly vibe that Jackson's version touches on, but while the film focused on The Mouth's…mouth, the game has inverted things, with beady eyes poking out from above the most hideous shoulder-piece I've ever seen. There's that weird melted-caramel effect at the back, which gives way to an even more heinous front that I can only see as made almost entirely of teeth. Troublingly, it's clear that that's also a lot of different teeth, suggesting that The Mouth has been taking advantage of multiple different species. It's also pretty tough to tell what this item is supposed to be, but I've settled on some kind of ringed scarf, making this, in my professional opinion, a Tooth Snood. Horrifying.

The Mouth of Sauron will be unleashed on May 25, so to prepare, maybe check out our Lord of the Rings: Gollum preview

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.