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Oh, great. To judge from this new spoilericious pic of a Shelob action figure, our favorite arachnid villain will look a lot like a gigantic hobo spider wearing armor. This may be the first thing in the LOTR films to really give me the creeps. (As well it should, since the Shelob incident is among the top two or three most traumatic events in the whole story...but I've talked about that before...) [Edited later in the day to add: TORN now reports that this is not movie-Shelob, since this is an action figure made several years ago. Anyway, supposedly movie-Shelob is based on some evil-looking black NZ spider. Not that this will make me any less creeped out.]

Hobo spiders, for those who are blessed enough to live somewhere other than the NW or Europe, are nasty big brown hairy spiders that like to hang out in your bathtub, woodpile, basement, or slippers, have a tendency to go running across the carpet just when you thought you were safe, and can give a bite that sometimes turns extremely ugly (necrotic, as in "dead flesh"), resembling the bite of the brown recluse. In the Northwest here, we do not have the brown recluse, but the similarity of the bite confused experts for a while, before they worked out the source as the hobo spider. Hobo spiders, see, are new to the area: they are from mainland Europe and got into Seattle on a boat, and have now spread at least as far south as Corvallis, Oregon (we definitely had them there), and east into Idaho. All I can say is: thanks a lot, Europe. First Scotch broom and now this. *sigh*

I encountered three or four hobo spiders lurking on the beds and in the corners of the vacation house this weekend, and thereby did not sleep very well Friday night. And then I came down with a cold. So in some way I can blame spiders (or Europe) for my illness. Yes.

Btw, that fast-breaking Shelob pic was courtesy of wee_tolkien, which is absolutely the best, funniest, coolest, snarkiest source for your Tolkien-related news, and you must join at once if you have not done so. They provide two concise updates per day, which is much tidier than sifting through the numerous "Legolas rox!!!" posts of, say, lordoftherings (which is a fine community anyway and I am still a member and all that).


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2003 12:41 pm (UTC)
I think Shelob was supposed to be modeled after a funnel web spider like they have in NZ, but still.

In the house I grew up in (in Turner, near Salem), I was always finding spiders of one kind or another all over the place - the tub, the garage, the yard, and everywhere else. I haven't encountered any lately that weren't outside and not in the shower or something, but I am ever vigilant...
Sep. 23rd, 2003 02:57 pm (UTC)
Actually, yeah, apparently this action figure is not necessarily connected to the way film-Shelob will look. I had heard there is a nasty black NZ spider as a model too.

Apparently other spiders (i.e., non-hobo spiders) are just fine to have around, as they will sometimes prey upon hobo spiders! I usually let them live, unless they startle me unforgivably.
(no subject) - ilanalynn - Sep. 23rd, 2003 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2003 12:45 pm (UTC)
Hobos are on the east coast too, btw. We have them at our house. They'll be all gone on Thursday tho, when the exterminator comes to call. We have hobos and possibly a couple of brown recluces, too. At least we've avoided black widows so far. Or if we've got em, they've stayed out of our way. Either way, they'll be all gone on Thursday. Thank the deity of your choice.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oh no, the East coast too? That sucks.

We had black widows in the garage in California, but not up here so far. *fingers crossed*
Sep. 23rd, 2003 01:07 pm (UTC)
As a Boisean, I can testify that those horrid hobos are out here and I have been bitten. Last summer in fact....and I still have a scar.

UGLY and aggressive little bastards. :(
Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:00 pm (UTC)
Eeek! An actual hobo bite? Nasty. Hope it didn't look as bad as the bites in the pictures I've seen. Although they were all over the place in our house in Oregon, I don't think one ever bit me, or anyone else. Not that we noticed, anyhow.

Well, now you have that in common with Frodo...a spider bite scar. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2003 01:52 pm (UTC)
*shudders* Never come across a hobo spider, but some of the ones in my spider-infested house are similar, only longer legs and no horn things at teh front. Ugh!

They have the habit of scuttling around at super-fast speeds, and seem to be bloody indestructible! Dave hit one with a bicycle pump, and a shoe three times before it died!
Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:01 pm (UTC)
heheh...I know; what is it about some of these spiders? You hit them, spray them with stuff, and they keep running. Makes Sam's accomplishment all the more impressive. ;)
Sep. 23rd, 2003 01:57 pm (UTC)
Funny, just this morning I found a giant hobo in the cellar, next to the modem. Gah. Good thing I'm not scared of spiaders. Usually.
Hmmm. I always imagined Shelob more as the tarantula type... ah well.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:03 pm (UTC)
They do love the cellars. Yick. I don't mind garden spiders (unless they show up unexpectedly, running up my arm or something), but ones that are known to have a toxic bite must suffer my wrath and dread.

Shelob in the film is actually supposed to be based on some NZ tunnel-web (maybe funnel-web) spider. I guess this action figure is not really connected to the final film version. But, still, venomous spiders. Yeeecks.
(no subject) - oloriel - Sep. 24th, 2003 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2003 02:15 pm (UTC)
Looks like it might also be based on an Avondale Spider, those are a NZ variety (and protected species) that were used in the Arachnophobia film because they're completely harmless and placid but scare the hell out of people.
And they've got a very impressive leg span.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yes; I remember there was an article or two that said they were basing film-Shelob on a NZ spider of some sort, a nasty looking black one. Apparently this action figure was made a few years ago, so it probably won't match the film version. But if rumor holds true, then we'll catch a glimpse of film-Shelob, whatever she looks like, in the new ROTK preview due out at the end of this week. Woo!
(no subject) - curvature - Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Sep. 23rd, 2003 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - curvature - Sep. 23rd, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2003 02:30 pm (UTC)
TORN just edited the post -- it's not movie Shelob, just a miniature from an unaffiliated toy company. :(
Sep. 23rd, 2003 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed that after posting. Ah, well. This would match what we'd been told before, about film-Shelob being based on a NZ tunnel- (or funnel-) web spider. Creepy-looking either way.

Hopefully we'll get a glimpse of her in the preview due out this month!
Sep. 23rd, 2003 04:48 pm (UTC)
Right now Utah forms the southern boundary of the hobo's connected range, but they've been popping up cities with a lot of travels all over the United States and Canada.

But the nice thing about them is that they can't climb very well, so as long as the blankets on the bed aren't touching the floor and the shoes on a shelf they can't reach you. Yet another incentive for the kids to make their beds in the morning. >.>

Isn't the Sydney funnel-web the most poisonous spider in the world? Why don't they model Shelob on that?
Sep. 23rd, 2003 06:21 pm (UTC)
the nice thing about them is that they can't climb very well, so as long as the blankets on the bed aren't touching the floor and the shoes on a shelf they can't reach you. Yet another incentive for the kids to make their beds in the morning.

Yes, I definitely had that in mind last night when I kept waking up to find half the covers on the floor. Heh. Great.

I do believe the Sydney funnel-web is the most poisonous spider in the world. None too pretty, either. But I guess what they're officially using is a NZ tunnel web spider (see this page on TORN for all the hair-raising details).
Sep. 23rd, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)
I screamed when I looked at both of those pictures. Really loudly. I'm glad I didn't open up the links at work.

I'm going to flip out on December 17th too.

Arachnaphobics unite! ;)
Sep. 23rd, 2003 06:23 pm (UTC)
Then I suggest you don't scroll down to the comment just below yours, where someone posted some truly hideous shots of the funnel-web spider (which may be what film-Shelob ends up looking more like). Eeeek.

Sep. 23rd, 2003 06:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Shelob was officially modelled on the funnel-web spider. I remember that being officially announced by someone on the production team. Those spiders are something we Australians know a lot about, because we've all grown up being repeatedly taught precisely how dangerous they are. The female Sydney funnel-web spider is apparently the most deadly spider in the world.

Sep. 23rd, 2003 06:14 pm (UTC)
Eeeeeyyyiick. Good God that's creepy. OK, so things could be worse: I could live in Australia. :D

That does look like the pics of the spiders they said they were using as Shelob models, now that I think of it. Can't remember where I saw those articles, but it was a spider about like those.

*shudders again, just for good measure* Jeez, poor Frodo and Sam.

Sep. 24th, 2003 09:50 am (UTC)
Blast that columbus
Oh and you can also blame Europe for sending people over to America in the first place, but I can on Europe’s behalf reassure you that it was an accident most regrettable ;)

*cheeky mood today*
Sep. 24th, 2003 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Blast that columbus
Yes, I was thinking that if we were going to get technical about it, quite a few of the people in America arrived on boats from Europe too, including my ancestors. :) But punishing us with a plague of hobo spiders is ample retribution indeed.
Sep. 25th, 2003 03:03 am (UTC)
Ewww...spiders are disgusting creatures. My wrath burns like that of 1,000 suns whenever one so happens to startle me out of my peaceful reverie. *not sure that sentence really makes sense but I'm sure you get the general idea* : )

Here in AK the spiders are really small, but still pretty creepy. I'm sure we don't have any poisonous spiders. We don't even have snakes. Yes yes...sticking around here is sounding better by the minute.
Sep. 27th, 2003 01:30 pm (UTC)
True, it would be nice to be free of the spiders and poisonous snakes (we don't have any of those, at least)...but you do realize your Alaskan mosquitoes are legendary the world 'round? ;)
(no subject) - impetuousnote - Sep. 27th, 2003 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 25th, 2003 08:14 pm (UTC)
(Unwilling) Spider Savior
Hmm. I'm not so much scared of spiders in real life, but all these pictures are starting to freak me out. Luckily, we don't have hobo spiders around here though I do live in Seattle - we mostly have the regular small kind that like to invade your shower. Of course, me being utterly and stupidly sentimental, I have to rescue them before taking a shower. Otherwise it will haunt me for the rest of my life, like the time I let an ant drown in the bath when I was six, or when I put a fly out of its misery at age ten.

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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