A great-grandmother from Brazil has accidentally been praying to a figurine of Elrond, and elf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, after mistaking it for Saint Anthony, the late Portuguese priest and patron saint of lost things.
Gabriela Brandão, a make-up artist from Florianópolis, Brazil, made this hilarious discovery last week, posting a series of photos of the Elrond figurine on Facebook. “My daughter’s great-grandmother prays to this figure of Saint Anthony every day, but looking more closely…,” she wrote. She had noticed that something wasn’t right about the figurine, so she started doing some online research. She managed to find an exact replica on an online store, which listed it as Elrond, an Elven character from The Lord of the Rings fantasy universe. She called it the “funniest discovery of 2016.”
But trying to explain the mix-up to the old woman actually took a bit of effort. “We tried to explain right away but she didn’t understand at first,” Brandão told Buzzfeed. “The next day we explained again and she understood and we got her a new figure of Saint Anthony.”
Brandão’s Facebook post went viral almost instantly, with over 3,700 shares on the social network, and hundreds of funny comments. It was also picked up by dozens of international news outlets and even got the attention of actor Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the blockbuster trilogy The Lord of the Rings. “A woman in Brazil has apparently been praying to Elrond, thinking he’s Saint Anthony. She’s found herself a new idol,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I never expected any of this to happen, it’s crazy,” Gabriela Brandão said about the attention her post has gotten in the last few days. “But it’s the funniest thing that ever happened to me.”
Elrond, in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, is the lord of Rivendell, the elvish kingdom. In Sir Peter Jackson’s trilogy, he is portrayed by actor Hugo Weaving. Saint Anthony was canonised in the year 1232 by Pope Gregory the Ninth, and is widely known as the patron saint of lost people and the recovery of lost items. They don’t seem very similar, but any die-hard LOTR fan will tell you that they actually have quite a lot in common. Plus, looking at the photos of these figurines, can you really blame the old lady for getting them mixed up?