Ninefingers Sculpture

August 27th, 2012

Occasionally folks send me things they’ve done that are related to my books, and if they’re good, maybe I post them here.  David Jennison is a character artist for Sony Online, and this is his vision of Master Ninefingers:

Click on for considerable extra detail.  It’s always great to see an artist using their skills to bring some element of one’s creation to life.  It’s never going to be quite the way you’d pictured it, but seeing how they pictured it is half the fun, right?  More along similar lines in due course, maybe…

Posted in artwork by Joe Abercrombie on August 27th, 2012.

67 comments so far

  • StephenL says:

    Interesting. Looks a bit like Sean Bean, it’s not too dissimilar to how I picture Logan.

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    I see him similarly, but with a larger forehead.

    Also, I’m assuming this is the Bloody-Nine, rather than Logen, because for me, Logen tries not to scowl very often in front of those not from the North, as he is trying to present himself as less cruel and uncivilized.

    God I love Logen. What a genius character, it is so sad… *SPOILERS, SUPER DUPER SPOILERS* when he realises that he had been the monster, not Bethod.

  • thorne says:

    Needs more beard….

  • Iangr says:

    Isn’t him the same artist that did Black Dow a while back?I love that bust,I think he had captured Dow’s image quite well.Don’t know about this one though….I’d picture my Ninefingers a bit more Gerard Butler-like…

  • Amanda Earlam says:

    That is him trying not to scowl! Poor bugger is scary enough even when he isn’t channelling his demon.

  • Rick says:

    I know that this is probably just something he has done in his downtime, but what if it’s more than that? What if Sony Online is putting together some sort of First Law RPG? Or animated series?
    Also – I agree with Frank – I picture Logen with a friendlier face. I imagine the Bloody-nine with a frenzied maniacal expression – grinning while he butchers…

  • adam says:

    Now looking at this just makes me want to play a First law trilogy computer game!

  • Thaddeus says:

    I also thought of Sean Bean when I saw this (I hope that doesn’t mean Ninefingers ends up dead in the near future).

    It’s a cool sculpture.

    And, as others have said, a properly done First Law RPG would be fantastic. I can already imagine the whisky-related sidequests.

  • Patrick T. says:

    Brilliant work, battered, resigned/resolute. Well done.

    I agree with Frank and Rick though. I imagined a broader, friendlier face. With a beard. Kinda the traditional Viking dragged down a hundred miles of bad road.

    Still, it’s a great piece.

  • Great creative effort! It’s very similar to how I’ve imagined him.

  • ColinJ says:

    Great work, but I pictured Logen a tad younger with a wider face.

    I’ve always been a little disappointed at how little fan art for Joe’s characters there is online. If I had an ounce of artistic talent I’d surely render some myself.

  • Sam says:

    Needs more scars…

  • Emcee Jay says:

    I always imagined Logen as a long haired, scarred and dirtied Gerard Butler.

  • Brandt Yeamans says:

    Maybe Sean Bean could live just this once.

  • Jim says:

    Nice sculpture! The only two alterations that I’d suggest are the nose and jaw. They are both too straight and I believe Logen has had both broken badly.

  • Jacob says:


    The appearance is quite clean looking, lacking the roughness I envision when I think of the man.

  • Josh says:

    Yeah, count me in the crowd that imagines him with more beard. I do wonder a bit about the expression, though. I always thought of him as trying really hard to turn over a new leaf and be a nice guy when he wasn’t going Bloody Nine all over everyone… I’ll just imagine he just saw Bethod or Black Dow or something.

  • Curtis says:

    Works for me I hope to see more of your characters like this.

  • Ray Z says:

    I’ve always pictured Logen as Lono from the 100 Bullets series. He has his normal face, but when he goes ultra-violent has quite the psychotic grin. Also if you haven’t read 100 Bullets…you should.

  • Adam A. says:

    Pretty much exactly how I pictured him, though maybe not so serious looking. I’ve always kind of pictured how Jonathan Banks played Mike in Breaking Bad. A sort of stoic, tired expression that isn’t so threatening until you realize how dangerous he really is.

  • Aaron says:

    I always visualized him with a more apish face, after all those chapters of Jezal calling him a gorilla and a mongrel. To me, the sculpture is a little too Sean Bean-like and not barbaric enough.

    Also, Joe, I have an incredibly off-subject question: I heard a rumor a few days ago that you used to post on 4chan. Can you conform or deny this (stupid) question?

  • brooke says:

    i always imagined him with more beard and slightly more handsome base features not to much but a little

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Never posted on 4chan. Not sure I’ve ever even visited.

  • thorne says:

    How would Mr. Abercrombie describe Logen?

  • Madman42 says:

    He does look a little like Sean Bean! Still awesome! Love to see more!

  • Nick Sharps says:

    That looks suhweeeeeeet! He looks older than I pictured him but I like this version better than my own. I’d love to see more. I’d also love a First Law video game. Just sayin’.

  • Hawkeye says:

    It’s nice but to me, the Chris Mcgrath cover IS Logen. For those of you that haven’t seen it, go to the art section of this blog and I think it’s on page 2 or 3.

  • Dav says:

    I like it. I never pictured Logen, as some here have, as a big stereotypical Viking. He always seemed more grim to me, more stark and thin, made muscular more from exercise than good feeding. I like Jennison’s sculpture a lot because, even without the eyes or colours, he still looks (physically) hungry, tired, like he’s been chucked off a cliff a few times. The wart in the corner of his chin gives him a further bit of realistic ugliness that Gerard Butler really doesn’t have.

    It’s entirely subjective; I’m not saying anyone’s interpretation is wrong, just that mine is different.

    Does need more scars, though. He needs to look like Frankenstein in Middle Earth.

  • David Montgomery says:


  • Ferdinand Kittlaus says:

    Great detail, and I agree with Joe, its nice to see someone’s own interpretation of the Logen realized. Obviously its not gonna please everyone, but thats hardly the issue. As long as the Artist is happy with his own work. That being said… he needs to look younger, and more wholesome? ;0)

  • AntMac says:

    I have the exact same scars on my lip and cheek, though slightly shorter, and much pinker. Dog bite, not sword fight, sadly.

    Plus, he has a lot more hair than I can grow now. 🙁

  • Giasone says:

    Great work, but it looks more like what I imagine Threetrees to look like – or even Grim. The lines in the face are a bit too deep and the way the mouth turns down doesn’t quite fit Logen, who I’m guessing to be somewhere in his thirties in ‘The First Law’. I definitely see Ninefingers looking more like Ray Stevenson (as Titus Pullo in ‘Rome’) – as was suggested by others sometime back in an earlier discussion on this blog (although Stevenson is now nearly 50) – or perhaps even James Purefoy (who played Marcus Antonius). Henry Cavill (played Charles Brandon in ‘The Tudors’) might work in a few years, though he’d need to look rougher.

    But, to be honest, and at the risk of scorn and derision, the actor who really strikes me as a good model for Logen – and I’m no great fan of his, even as a compatriot of mine – is Russell Crowe – especially after Gladiator and Robin hood.

    (There, I’ve said it.)

  • Giasone says:

    PS: Failing Crowe, I’d also suggest Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas, although he’d need to bulk up a bit and he might be better as Shivers.

  • AntMac says:

    I certainly would have supplied scorn for it, pre Master and Commander.

    He did such a very good job of capturing the essence of Jack Aubrey though, I am quite in charity with the man now.

    He would have to lose a good twenty Kgs of course.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Ferdinand has the right of it, I reckon. I think a lot of you get too caught up in ‘that’s not how I see him’. To me, the fun is in seeing how someone else sees him.

  • Giasone says:

    Quite so, but, you know… we’re just giving opinions and examples to, um, add to the fun…

    (To which end, I’ve been trying to think who would be a good model for a portrait of Bayaz…)

  • SwindonNick says:

    Oh, that Sean Bean is cunning. I imagine he slipped David Jennison a few quid with a view to bagging the future film role….

  • AntMac says:


    Mr Richard E Grant. He is the right age, and tall, and has depth.

    He smiles all the time, and is likable, and slow moving . . . However.
    I forget the movie it was in, but in a scene, he entered a room and saw something he took exception to, and slowly lit up and burnt and busted shit up like a boss, and it was scary work.

  • Rain61 says:

    This is not Logen, or Ninefingers, or Bloodynine.
    This is the face of a peasant.
    Not impressive, not scary.
    There is no individuality.

  • Adam A. says:

    ^^^^ Really? By standards of the “civilized” world, he is the most mongrel of peasants. He can’t even smile without making the ladies cringe. Too harsh an assessment. Sorry.

    ANYWAY, I popped back in on the recommendation to look for Logen in the other book covers and…

    1. Wow, whoever did the artwork for the Russian covers did a pretty bang up job!

    2. I didn’t see the artwork for either versions of BSC and The Heroes that I have. How many different covers are there, anyway?

    3. You definitely need a gallery section on your site, Joe. I’d hate to see stuff like the image in this post get lost in the archives.

  • I think this guy did a great job, and nailed most of the elements.

    My own interpretation of Logan Ninefingers:
    -A bit younger
    -A lot more scars (is that even possible? Why yes, yes it is!)

  • Jon says:

    Hey Joe,

    I’m really looking forward to Red Country. I was just thumbing through Heroes last night and I had to re-read Corporal Tunney’s charge… It is such a good part. I really liked it. Anyway, just thought I’d say.

    Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Andrew says:

    Didn’t Logan have a piece of his ear missing? Trollllllllllin’

  • David J. says:

    Wow! I just love that this piece has brought out everyone’s interpretation of Logan (my son’s name is Logan (4yo), I started calling him Bloody Nine but got strange looks at his preschool).

    It says a lot about the series that people care so much about this character.

    I have had this face in my head through all three books (audio books) I saw him as strong, world-weary but regretful, with eyes that have seen horrible things done, many by his own hands.

    I went a bit off of Jezal’s description- the higher eye with the c-shape scar about it (can’t really see it under the hair) and the broken nose. He is somewhat shaven after his visit to Bayaz’s Library. But I will admit I could have pushed the ugly more. This is simply my interpretation and it is fascinating to hear others. I am coloring him currently.

    Thanks so much for posting this, Joe. Keep writing wonderfully vivid characters and the art will follow!

  • Morgan says:

    Hmm —

    I smell a future Joe Abercrombie compter-RPG in the works. 😀

  • Thaddeus says:

    Morgan, that would be great as long as it were up to snuff. GoT’s RPG has not been well-received, but imagine if we had a First Law RPG with the mechanics of Skyrim.

    It’d be worth buying for the whisky sidequests alone!

  • Simon says:

    Thaddeus I unfortunately bought the GoT RPG and it is appalling, buggy, boring & generally a bag of shite.

    A First Law game like you describe would be good. But what we really need is a HBO produced First Law TV series.

  • Rio Joe says:

    Great look. Poke out an eye and it could also pass for Shivers in a few years.

  • Marco says:

    Sean Bean always dies. It is known.

  • T.C says:

    Hmm… whilst I like his rendition and see where it’s coming from, it’s not quite what I imagined Logen to look like. It kinda reminds me of multiple eye witness reports that vary so much in detail, it staggers the brain to believe that they were all witnessing the same event. We pick up so much, then the brain does it’s thing and we end up with our own unique interpretation.

    My vision of Logen is unlikely to be the same as Joe Blogg’s down the street.

  • Giasone says:

    David J.-
    Despite differences in everyone’s imaginings, I’m sure we’re all keen to see some more. 🙂

  • James says:

    Would anybody be up for agreeing that Mads Mikkleson would make a good Harding Grim or maybe Black Dow?

    Id like to see an impression of Threetrees, for me the above of ninefingers is more like a Threetrees in my mind but would need a fair amount more ageing with a heavier beard…

  • Giasone says:

    I think Grim rather than Dow; but the eyes make me think Glokta, although the lips have too much pout.

  • James says:

    for some reason I have always imagined Golkta as Paul Bettany from priest. Just alot more crippled and stooped.

  • Giasone says:

    James – very interesting choice. As for Grim, Dow and also Tul Duru, as far as imaging goes (as opposed to speculative casting), I’m inclined to look at rugby players and the like for likenesses…

  • A younger, buffer Stellan Skarsgård for Black Dow, imo.

  • James says:

    Giasone – Interesting comment about rugby players. Ive always leaned towards the Northmen not being particularly muscle bound, but instead very lean and chiselled, especially with Dogman as their are frequent references to him being small and lean. I like to think that Tul and Logen, rather than being muscle bound are just naturally big strong guys built by the woods and the mountains!

  • Savvy S says:

    I’ve always envisioned Manu Bennett, but with a scarred face as Logen but the above image still looks very good.

  • Gary says:

    Hmm, bears a passing resemblance to Sean Bean…

  • Vikki says:

    Ninefingers is more attractive in my mind… 🙂

  • Ryan says:

    It literally looks exactly like Sean Bean. I guess that’s great for when they get him to play him in the movies 😛

  • Giasone says:

    James – Dogman definitely very lean. I’m thinking someone like Jonas Armstrong or Joe Armstrong or Nikolaj Lie Kaas. I was think Richard Armitage as model for Black Dow, but maybe more like Bethod. What about Eric Bana = Dow?

    Savvy – Manu Bennet’s a great suggestion – but what about as model for Black Dow or Tul?

    Dante – Stellan Skarsgård is an interesting choice. My problem is I tend to think of most of the characters as more or less dark-haired.

  • Savvy S says:

    Manu Bennett= Shivers?
    Richard Armitage= Black Dow
    Tom Hiddleston= Bethod (Mainly due to his performance in the HOllow Crown:Henry V)

  • It’s a great piece, but not Ninefingers in my mind. I envisioned him as a scarred and tattered abomination of humanity. I can remember how frightening he looked when Jezal (i think) saw him for the first time. He was one big, scary looking man, unlike Sean Bean who would be a mere halfling in comparision to The Bloody Nine. It’s still really cool someone did that for you. They got some skills!

  • Deb says:

    I’m with Vikki…Must be a girl thing?

  • SeekingPlumb says:

    Nah. Ninefingers is just as rough looking but better looking & more tortured in his eyes. 😀

    Very nice work! Colour me impressed!!

  • SeekingPlumb says:

    HaHa, Deb!! It must be. 😀

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