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Legolas

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{{disambig-two|the elf of the [[Fellowship of the Ring]]|the elf in ''[[The Fall of Gondolin]]''|[[Legolas (elf of Gondolin)]]}}
 
{{disambig-two|the elf of the [[Fellowship of the Ring]]|the elf in ''[[The Fall of Gondolin]]''|[[Legolas (elf of Gondolin)]]}}
 
{{sindar infobox
 
{{sindar infobox
| image=[[File:Anna Lee - Legolas.jpg|250px]]
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| image=[[File:Līga Kļaviņa - Legolas.jpg|250px]]
 
| name=Legolas  
 
| name=Legolas  
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| pronun=
 
| othernames=Greenleaf
 
| othernames=Greenleaf
| titles=Prince of [[Mirkwood]]
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| titles=Prince of [[Woodland Realm]]
 
| position=
 
| position=
| realm=[[Woodland Realm]]; [[Ithilien]]
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| location=[[Woodland Realm]]; [[Ithilien]]
 
| affiliation=[[Fellowship of the Ring]]
 
| affiliation=[[Fellowship of the Ring]]
 
| language=[[Sindarin]] and [[Westron]]
 
| language=[[Sindarin]] and [[Westron]]
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| birthlocation=
 
| birthlocation=
 
| rule=
 
| rule=
| death={{FoA|120}}
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| sailedwest={{FoA|120}}
| deathlocation=Sailed [[Aman|West]] (not dead)
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| sailedfrom=[[Ithilien]]
 
| age=
 
| age=
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| notablefor=
 
| house=
 
| house=
 
| parentage=[[Thranduil]]
 
| parentage=[[Thranduil]]
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| weapons=Bow and long white knife
 
| weapons=Bow and long white knife
 
| steed=
 
| steed=
}} '''Legolas''' was a [[Sindar|Sindarin]] Elf of the [[Silvan Elves|Silvan]] realm of [[Mirkwood]], the only recorded son of King [[Thranduil]]. He became famous because of his membership in the [[Fellowship of the Ring]], in which he served as one of their most valuable assets because of his superior sight, hearing, lightness of foot, and unrivaled archery. Despite this, however, he played only a minor role in ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', and the least is known about him, perhaps, of all the members in the company.
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}} '''Legolas''' was a [[Silvan Elves|Silvan Elf]] of the [[Woodland Realm]] of [[Mirkwood]]. He was actually of [[Sindar]]in heritage as he was the only recorded son of King [[Thranduil]]. His most important events of his life are surrounded by the [[War of the Ring]] during which he was the [[Elves|Elven]] representative member in the [[Fellowship of the Ring]]; his Elven characteristics were a valuable asset because of his superior sight, hearing, lightness of foot, and unrivaled archery.
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Another thing that made Legolas famous was his legendary friendship with [[Gimli]] the [[Dwarves|Dwarf]]. Not only such friendships aong the two races were rare throughout history, but it also contrasted the harsh ways his own father behaved to [[Glóin|Gimli's father]] and [[Thorin and Company|his companions]].  
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
===Fellowship of the Ring===
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As the son of the [[Elvenking]] Thranduil, Legolas was a prince of the [[Woodland Realm]]. Not much can be said about most of his life before or during the [[Third Age]].
His first real mention was at the [[Council of Elrond]], as a messenger from his father [[Thranduil]]. He was dressed in green and brown, and his eyes were keen. His message was specifically to [[Gandalf]] – namely, that [[Gollum]] had escaped. [[Aragorn]] then immediately wondered out loud how Thranduil’s people could permit this. Legolas was quick to state that it was not through lack of watchfulness; if anything, from over-kindness, and related the details to the council. He spoke little for the rest of the council, if at all, but later volunteered (or was chosen by [[Elrond]]) to participate in the [[Quest of the Ring]] as the only elven member of the [[Fellowship of the Ring]]. His capabilities would be welcomed, and would be his primary claim to fame for the rest of his life.
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During the [[War of the Ring]], the [[Elves of Mirkwood]] were keeping [[Gollum]] captive, however he soon managed to escape. Legolas was sent to [[Rivendell]] with a message to [[Gandalf]] about this event.  
  
For the early part of the quest they walked in single file, with Legolas at the back due to his keen eyes. Later, however, we appear to find him at the head of the company as they entered [[Hollin]], for The Lord of the Rings states “[[Gimli]]… had come up with Legolas, and was gazing out before him…”. Though all in the Company could feel the wholesomeness of the country, only Legolas could hear the stones lament the lost presence of the [[Elves]], and his words were poignant.
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Legolas was present at the [[Council of Elrond]] and related the news, being quick to state to [[Aragorn]] that it was not through lack of watchfulness; if anything, from over-kindness, and related the details to the council. He spoke little for the rest of the council, if at all, but later was to participate in the [[Quest of the Ring]] as the only elven member of the [[Fellowship of the Ring]]. His capabilities would be welcomed, and would be his primary claim to fame for the rest of his life.
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===The Fellowship of the Ring===
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For the early part of the quest they walked in single file, with Legolas at the back due to his keen eyes. Later, he was at the head of the company as they entered [[Hollin]]<ref>{{HM|FR}}, “[[Gimli]]… had come up with Legolas, and was gazing out before him…”</ref>. Though all in the Company could feel the wholesomeness of the country, only Legolas could hear the stones lament the lost presence of the [[Elves]], and his words were poignant.
  
As they ascended [[Caradhras]], Legolas could walk on top of the snow, whereas the others were forced to trudge. He also attempted (unsuccessfully) to light a fire. The storm troubled him least of all the company, and it is written “he alone of the Company remained still light of heart”. After they were determined to retreat, [[Boromir]] and Aragorn tried to push a path through the snow to get out, while Legolas danced lightly on top, passing them easily. He soon spotted the way out for the rest of the company, and a bit of sarcasm edged his speech at Boromir’s words that they (the “strongest”) must seek a way out, when he said “There is the greatest wind-drift of all just beyond the turn, and there our Strong Men were almost buried”. The paragraphs in this section suggest the attributes of youth and unquenchable gaiety.
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[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Anger of the Mountain.jpg|thumb|[[Ted Nasmith]] - ''The Anger of the Mountain'']]As they ascended [[Caradhras]], Legolas could walk on top of the snow, whereas the others were forced to trudge. He also attempted (unsuccessfully) to light a fire. The storm troubled him least of all the company, and it is written “he alone of the Company remained still light of heart”. After they were determined to retreat, [[Boromir]] and Aragorn tried to push a path through the snow to get out, while Legolas danced lightly on top, passing them easily. He soon spotted the way out for the rest of the company, and a bit of sarcasm edged his speech at Boromir’s words that they (the “strongest”) must seek a way out, when he said “There is the greatest wind-drift of all just beyond the turn, and there our Strong Men were almost buried”. The paragraphs in this section suggest the attributes of youth and unquenchable gaiety.
  
 
Perhaps a bit grumpy with the irrepressibility of the elf, Boromir during the vote as to whether or not they should pass through [[Moria]], asked “What do Legolas and the little folk say?” Legolas voted against the passage with Boromir, but was overruled, especially when [[Warg]] voices were heard. During their defense against these beasts, Legolas did more than perhaps all the rest of the company except Gandalf, shooting numerous wargs. He collected his arrows unharmed (except for one) after the fight.
 
Perhaps a bit grumpy with the irrepressibility of the elf, Boromir during the vote as to whether or not they should pass through [[Moria]], asked “What do Legolas and the little folk say?” Legolas voted against the passage with Boromir, but was overruled, especially when [[Warg]] voices were heard. During their defense against these beasts, Legolas did more than perhaps all the rest of the company except Gandalf, shooting numerous wargs. He collected his arrows unharmed (except for one) after the fight.
  
Legolas played only the most minor of parts in Moria. Though it is said that he had eyes that could see well in the dark, strangely, he seems not to possess this quality in the caves. For it is written that [[Frodo Baggins]] (due to his [[Morgul-knife]] wound) could see better than any of the company in the dark, except perhaps Gandalf. Legolas had to drag Gimli from the [[Chamber of Mazarbul]] when the [[Dwarves|dwarf]] almost refused to go. He was also the first of the Company to recognize [[Durin's Bane]] as a [[Balrogs|Balrog]], or at least the first to express his dismay at the fact.
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The Fellowship entered Moria and Legolas, despite his ability to see well in the dark, could not in the caves. [[Frodo Baggins]] (due to his [[Morgul-knife]] wound) could see better than any of the company in the dark, except perhaps Gandalf. Legolas had to drag Gimli from the [[Chamber of Mazarbul]] when the [[Dwarves|dwarf]] almost refused to go. He was also the first of the Company to recognize [[Durin's Bane]] as a [[Balrogs|Balrog]], or at least the first to express his dismay at the fact.
  
 
Legolas was most enthusiastic about coming to [[Lothlórien]], describing it to the rest of the Company, and mourning the fact that it was winter and they could not witness it in the pinnacle of its glory. As they rested by the [[Nimrodel (river)|Nimrodel]], Legolas told the company tales of Lothlórien, and sang the [[Song of Nimrodel]] to them. Upon hearing the other Elves of Lórien, Legolas listened and responded in their own tongue, and when [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise]] queried as to what they were saying, Legolas slyly responded that they said he breathed so loudly that the elves claimed they could shoot him in the dark. Samwise was horrified until Legolas added that they need not fear the elves.
 
Legolas was most enthusiastic about coming to [[Lothlórien]], describing it to the rest of the Company, and mourning the fact that it was winter and they could not witness it in the pinnacle of its glory. As they rested by the [[Nimrodel (river)|Nimrodel]], Legolas told the company tales of Lothlórien, and sang the [[Song of Nimrodel]] to them. Upon hearing the other Elves of Lórien, Legolas listened and responded in their own tongue, and when [[Samwise Gamgee|Samwise]] queried as to what they were saying, Legolas slyly responded that they said he breathed so loudly that the elves claimed they could shoot him in the dark. Samwise was horrified until Legolas added that they need not fear the elves.
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Legolas was called up to meet with the [[Galadhrim]], with Frodo only (Sam following, as always). The Galadhrim had heard him singing and knew he came from [[Mirkwood]]. They would readily accept all of the fellowship, save Gimli, because of his race and the grievances between his and theirs. Legolas was forced to answer for the company, with the reminder to keep an eye on "that dwarf". He was forced by the others to go blindfolded into Lórien, especially at the urging of Gimli, who hated the thought of going such. Indeed, he declared he would submit himself to this restraint only if "Legolas here shares my blindness". In the end, Legolas had no choice but to submit.
 
Legolas was called up to meet with the [[Galadhrim]], with Frodo only (Sam following, as always). The Galadhrim had heard him singing and knew he came from [[Mirkwood]]. They would readily accept all of the fellowship, save Gimli, because of his race and the grievances between his and theirs. Legolas was forced to answer for the company, with the reminder to keep an eye on "that dwarf". He was forced by the others to go blindfolded into Lórien, especially at the urging of Gimli, who hated the thought of going such. Indeed, he declared he would submit himself to this restraint only if "Legolas here shares my blindness". In the end, Legolas had no choice but to submit.
  
Legolas would not translate the Elven lamentations for Gandalf, saying that he had neither the skill nor the heart. During their time in Lórien, however (with the influence of the Lady [[Galadriel]] working her magic on the dwarf), he became fast friends with Gimli, a friendship that would never be broken. He was one of those of the Company that could handle boats, and so was assigned to one with the dwarf. He received a bow and quiver such as the Galadhrim used.
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[[Image:Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel.jpg|thumb|left|200px|[[Michael Kaluta]] - ''Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel'']]Legolas would not translate the Elven lamentations for Gandalf, saying that he had neither the skill nor the heart. During their time in Lórien, however (with the influence of the Lady [[Galadriel]] working her magic on the dwarf), he became fast friends with Gimli, a friendship that would never be broken. He was one of those of the Company that could handle boats, and so was assigned to one with the dwarf. He received a bow and quiver such as the Galadhrim used.
  
[[Image:Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel.jpg|thumb|250px|''Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel'' by [[Michael Kaluta]].]]After ambushed by orc-archers on the [[Anduin]], Legolas quickly leaped out onto dry ground and searched for a mark to shoot at. As a dread fell on the Company, Legolas invoked the name of [[Elbereth Gilthoniel]], and shot the descending [[Fell beast]] from the sky, a masterful shot in the dark.
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After ambushed by orc-archers on the [[Anduin]], Legolas quickly leaped out onto dry ground and searched for a mark to shoot at. As a dread fell on the Company, Legolas invoked the name of [[Elbereth Gilthoniel]], and shot the descending [[Fell beast]] from the sky, a masterful shot in the dark.
  
 
===The Three Hunters===
 
===The Three Hunters===
When ambushed on [[Amon Hen]], Legolas shot many [[orcs]] until his arrows ran out, then used his knife. Upon the [[breaking of the Fellowship]], he sang a lament for Boromir, who had fallen, with Aragorn, taking the part of the South Wind which came from the Sea. Legolas was of great aid to Aragorn in the days following, as he helped to track the [[Uruk-hai]] across [[Rohan]]. His eyes could see many leagues, and for a while he could see their quarry far ahead of them.
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[[Image:Ted Nasmith - Pursuit in Rohan.jpg|thumb|right|200px|[[Ted Nasmith]] - ''Pursuit in Rohan'']]When ambushed on [[Amon Hen]], Legolas shot many [[orcs]] until his arrows ran out, then used his knife. Upon the [[breaking of the Fellowship]], he sang a lament for Boromir, who had fallen, with Aragorn, taking the part of the South Wind which came from the Sea. Legolas was of great aid to Aragorn in the days following, as he helped to track the [[Uruk-hai]] across [[Rohan]]. His eyes could see many leagues, and for a while he could see their quarry far ahead of them.
  
Legolas stood by his friend Gimli when confronted by the haughty [[Éomer]], threatening him with death if he attempted to harm the dwarf. He let Gimli ride behind him on the way to [[Fangorn Forest]]. Under its eaves, Legolas noticed how the tree beneath which they sat seemed glad of the fire. He was reluctant to enter Fangorn, having no knowledge about it save for the stories of the [[Onodrim]], and that it was very old. Though the night was very dark, he was also the first to notice the absence of the horses. Later he asserted to Aragorn that the beasts sounded joyful, confirming Aragorn’s own opinion.
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Legolas stood by his friend Gimli when confronted by the haughty [[Éomer]], threatening him with death if he attempted to harm the dwarf. He let Gimli ride behind him on the way to [[Fangorn Forest]]. Under its eaves, Legolas noticed how the tree beneath which they sat seemed glad of the fire. He was reluctant to enter Fangorn, having no knowledge about it save for the stories of the [[Onodrim]], and that it was very old. Though the night was very dark, he was also the first to notice the absence of the horses. Later he asserted to Aragorn that the beasts sounded joyful, confirming Aragorn’s own opinion.
  
Upon entering Fangorn itself, Legolas declared that he almost felt young again beside those trees. He commented that in earlier days he could have been happy there. Gimli snorted, saying “''I dare say you could. You are a Wood-elf, anyway, though Elves of any kind are strange folk.''” Legolas would later reverse this declaration at the [[Hornburg]]. When the [[Three Hunters]] met with the apparition of an old man, whom they believed to be [[Saruman]], despite Gimli’s round encouragement Legolas did not shoot him, feeling moral objections to this. The old man declared "''Put away that bow, Master Elf.''" Legolas dropped his bow, but later picked it up again, and was about to shoot when it was seen that beneath the old man’s robes there was white. Yet he recognized that it was [[Gandalf]] just in time, and shot his arrow high in the air to be consumed by fire. Gandalf coolly added "''Well met, I say to you again, Legolas!''"
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Upon entering Fangorn itself, Legolas declared that he almost felt young again beside those trees. He commented that in earlier days he could have been happy there. Gimli snorted, saying “''I dare say you could. You are a Wood-elf, anyway, though Elves of any kind are strange folk.''” Legolas would later reverse this declaration at the [[Hornburg]]. When the [[Three Hunters]] met with the apparition of an old man, whom they believed to be [[Saruman]], despite Gimli’s round encouragement Legolas did not shoot him, feeling moral objections to this. The old man declared "''Put away that bow, Master Elf.''" Legolas dropped his bow, but later picked it up again, and was about to shoot when it was seen that beneath the old man’s robes there was white. Yet he recognized that it was [[Gandalf]] just in time, and shot his arrow high in the air to be consumed by fire. Gandalf coolly added "''Well met, I say to you again, Legolas!''"
  
 
===With the Rohirrim===
 
===With the Rohirrim===
Legolas was a leader in the conversation with Gandalf, being the first to ask about Merry & Pippin, and Gandalf’s apparently miraculous escape. After the story, Gandalf delivered [[Galadriel]]’s messages to each of them, Legolas' being:
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Legolas was a leader in the conversation with Gandalf, being the first to ask about Merry & Pippin, and Gandalf’s apparently miraculous escape. After the story, Gandalf delivered [[Galadriel]]’s messages to each of them, Legolas' being:
  
 
<poem style="font-style:italic; margin-left:20px;">
 
<poem style="font-style:italic; margin-left:20px;">
 
''Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
 
''Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
''In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
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''In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
 
''If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
 
''If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
 
''Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.
 
''Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.
 
</poem>
 
</poem>
  
Legolas again used his eyes for the help of the company, as he spied both the of [[Isengard]] and [[Edoras]] from afar. At the gates of [[Meduseld]], Legolas was the only one to lay down his weapons without hesitation. He played only a passive role in the healing of [[Théoden|Théoden King]], and later was arrayed in shining mail beside Aragorn. Gimli would not ride on Éomer's horse unless Legolas rode beside them, which he did gladly. Éomer declared "''Legolas upon my left, and Aragorn upon my right, and none will dare to stand before us!''"
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Legolas again used his eyes for the help of the company, as he spied both the of [[Isengard]] and [[Edoras]] from afar. At the gates of [[Meduseld]], Legolas was the only one to lay down his weapons without hesitation. He played only a passive role in the healing of [[Théoden|Théoden King]], and later was arrayed in shining mail beside Aragorn. Gimli would not ride on Éomer's horse unless Legolas rode beside them, which he did gladly. Éomer declared "''Legolas upon my left, and Aragorn upon my right, and none will dare to stand before us!''"
  
[[Image:John Howe - Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep.jpg|thumb|right|250px|''Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep'' by [[John Howe]].]]As Legolas stood at the [[Hornburg]] at the eve of battle, he said that though he did not like the place, Gimli comforted him, and he was glad that the dwarf stood by his side. He also wished that a hundred archers of [[Mirkwood]] were there, noting the small number of bowmen among the [[Rohirrim]]. At the opening of the battle Legolas shot twenty at least, this figure being taken as precise by Gimli. When Gimli returned to the elf for the second time to declare that he slew twenty-one, Legolas counted his kills as twenty-four. By the time the [[Fire of Orthanc]] blew out a piece of the wall, his quiver was nearly empty. With the last arrow the elf saved Aragorn’s life when he stumbled while pursued. At the end of the battle, Legolas had shot a total of forty-one, though Gimli surpassed his count by one.
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[[Image:John Howe - Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep.jpg|thumb|right|250px|[[John Howe]] - ''Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep'']]As Legolas stood at the [[Hornburg]] at the eve of battle, he said that though he did not like the place, Gimli comforted him, and he was glad that the dwarf stood by his side. He also wished that a hundred archers of [[Mirkwood]] were there, noting the small number of bowmen among the [[Rohirrim]]. At the opening of the battle Legolas shot twenty at least, this figure being taken as precise by Gimli. When Gimli returned to the elf for the second time to declare that he slew twenty-one, Legolas counted his kills as twenty-four. By the time the [[Fire of Orthanc]] blew out a piece of the wall, his quiver was nearly empty. With the last arrow the elf saved Aragorn’s life when he stumbled while pursued. At the end of the battle, Legolas had shot a total of forty-one, though Gimli surpassed his count by one.
  
Legolas showed great interest in the [[Huorns]] on the way to [[Isengard]], discussing them with Gandalf and a less willing Gimli. Legolas promised Gimli that he would go to [[Aglarond]] after the war upon hearing the dwarf’s eloquence, if only Gimli would accompany him on a visit to Fangorn. At Isengard he enjoyed a meal in the company of the Gimli, Aragorn, and the [[Hobbits]].
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Legolas showed great interest in the [[Huorns]] on the way to [[Isengard]], discussing them with Gandalf and a less willing Gimli. Legolas promised Gimli that he would go to [[Aglarond]] after the war upon hearing the dwarf’s eloquence, if only Gimli would accompany him on a visit to Fangorn. At Isengard he enjoyed a meal in the company of the Gimli, Aragorn, and the [[Hobbits]].
  
 
===The Return of the King===
 
===The Return of the King===
[[Image:Luca Michelucci - 1999 - March.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Drawn by [[Luca Michelucci]].]]When Aragorn made clear his purpose as to the taking of the [[Paths of the Dead]], Legolas and Gimli willingly volunteered to go with him. Legolas predicted, when Gimli suggested that Galadriel might have sent them soldiers from their own lands, that they need not ride away to find war.
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When Aragorn made clear his purpose as to the taking of the [[Paths of the Dead]], Legolas and Gimli willingly volunteered to go with him. Legolas predicted, when Gimli suggested that Galadriel might have sent them soldiers from their own lands, that they need not ride away to find war.
  
Amidst the Paths of the Dead, riding with the [[Grey Company]], Legolas alone (save for [[Elladan]] and [[Elrohir]], [[Elrond|Elrond's]] sons) felt no fear of the [[Dead Men]], and it may be remembered that the High Elves had power both in the worlds of the seen and unseen.  Yet his turn came to be struck to the heart in the opposite sense – when he heard the gulls at [[Pelargir]], fulfilling Galadriel’s prediction and warning. While telling this story later, he dropped off there, while Gimli promptly said "''For my part I heeded them not''". Legolas saw as Aragorn led the Dead Men what a mighty lord he might have been if he had taken [[the One Ring]].
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Amidst the Paths of the Dead, riding with the [[Grey Company]], Legolas alone (save for [[Elladan]] and [[Elrohir]], [[Elrond|Elrond's]] sons) felt no fear of the [[Dead Men]], and it may be remembered that the High Elves had power both in the worlds of the seen and unseen.  Yet his turn came to be struck to the heart in the opposite sense – when he heard the gulls at [[Pelargir]], fulfilling Galadriel’s prediction and warning. While telling this story later, he dropped off there, while Gimli promptly said "''For my part I heeded them not''". Legolas saw as Aragorn led the Dead Men what a mighty lord he might have been if he had taken [[the One Ring]].
  
Legolas came with Aragorn from the ships during the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields|Battle of Pelennor Fields]], and fought there beside his comrades. He survived the battle, and several times that day afterward commented on the longevity and eventual domination of [[Men]] to the dubious Gimli.
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Legolas came with Aragorn from the ships during the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields|Battle of Pelennor Fields]], and fought there beside his comrades. He survived the battle, and several times that day afterward commented on the longevity and eventual domination of [[Men]] to the dubious Gimli.
  
 
===Battle of the Morannon and Aftermath===
 
===Battle of the Morannon and Aftermath===
Legolas rode for the last time into battle beside his friends to the [[Battle of the Morannon]]. He witnessed the Fall of the Dark Tower, and after the battle attended the ceremonies of the [[Field of Cormallen]] in the honor of Frodo and Samwise and their victory.  That night Legolas would not go to bed, but instead went away to walk in the woods, singing of the Sea.
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Legolas rode for the last time into battle beside his friends to the [[Battle of the Morannon]]. He witnessed the Fall of the Dark Tower, and after the battle attended the ceremonies of the [[Field of Cormallen]] in the honor of Frodo and Samwise and their victory.  That night Legolas would not go to bed, but instead went away to walk in the woods, singing of the Sea.
  
After attending the [[Coronation of Elessar]], Legolas remained (at the urging of Aragorn) in [[Minas Tirith]] for a time. During the parting of the [[Fellowship of the Ring|Fellowship]], Legolas went with Gimli to Aglarond. After that, he rode off with Gimli to visit [[Fangorn Forest]].
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After attending the Coronation of Elessar, Legolas remained (at the urging of Aragorn) in [[Minas Tirith]] for a time. During the parting of the [[Fellowship of the Ring|Fellowship]], Legolas went with Gimli to Aglarond. After that, he rode off with Gimli to visit [[Fangorn Forest]].
  
 
===After the War of the Ring===
 
===After the War of the Ring===
[[File:Lorraine Brevig - Legolas and the Sea.jpg|thumb|''Legolas and the Sea'' by Lorraine Brevig]]As noted in [[Appendix A]]: ''Of Durin's Folk'', Legolas returned to Minas Tirith with a company of Wood-elves, and they made [[Ithilien]] a green and fair land once more. After King Aragorn died, Legolas sailed West, taking Gimli with him.
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[[File:Lorraine Brevig - Legolas and the Sea.jpg|thumb|Lorraine Brevig - ''Legolas and the Sea'']] Legolas returned to Minas Tirith with a company of Wood-elves, and they made [[Ithilien]] a green and fair land once more. After King Aragorn died, Legolas sailed West, reportedly taking Gimli with him.<ref>{{App|Durin}}</ref>
  
==Character==
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==Personality==
Legolas showed almost irrepressible cheerfulness throughout the journey, passing through [[Caradhras]] and even the [[Paths of the Dead]] without hesitation or complaint. His youthful nature can be seen from the mocking way he treated the "strong men" on Caradhras, whom Boromir (excluding Legolas) had said could forge a way out through the snow. He is perhaps most remembered for his friendship with Gimli the Dwarf, and it was during this friendship that we see his faithfulness, and also his love of beauty. Gimli’s words moved him when the dwarf spoke of the [[Glittering Caves]]. It can be assumed despite his suggested age of 500-700 that he had never before come near to the Sea, for his heart became suddenly torn when he heard the Gulls at [[Pelargir]], and could never remove their mewing from his mind. His naiveté is demonstrated again when Legolas comments that Aragorn has journeyed further than he has.
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Legolas showed almost irrepressible cheerfulness throughout the journey, passing through Caradhras and even the Paths of the Dead without hesitation or complaint. His youthful nature can be seen from the mocking way he treated the "strong men" on Caradhras, whom Boromir (excluding Legolas) had said could forge a way out through the snow. He is perhaps most remembered for his friendship with Gimli the Dwarf, and it was during this friendship that we see his faithfulness, and also his love of beauty. Gimli's words moved him when the dwarf spoke of the [[Glittering Caves]].
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==Description and Equipment==
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At Rivendell, Legolas was dressed in green and brown garb, and he was probably dressed similarly for the duration of the quest.
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He bore a bow from Mirkwood, and later a [[Bow of the Galadhrim|bow of the Galadhrim]]. He also had a long white knife.  
  
 
==Genealogy==
 
==Genealogy==
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== Etymology ==
 
== Etymology ==
The name '''Legolas''' is a [[Silvan Elvish|Silvan]] dialect form of pure [[Sindarin]] ''Laegolas'', which means "Greenleaf". This shows that '''''Greenleaf''''' is not his surname, as is sometimes erroneously believed; nor is it an epithet (like ''[[Oakenshield]]''), but a translation of his name. It consists of the [[Sindarin]] words ''laeg'', green; and ''golas'', a collection of leaves, foliage (being a prefixed collective form of ''[[lass|las(s)]]'', "leaf").<ref>{{L|211}}</ref><ref>{{PE|17}}, pp. 84, 153</ref> The [[Qenya]] form (mentioned in the ''Book of Lost Tales'' in the context of another character of that name) is ''Laiqualassë''.<ref>{{LT2|IIIn}}, §2 Entries in the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin</ref> In later material by Tolkien, the [[Quenya]] cognate of Laegolas is said to be ''Laicolasse''.<ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 56</ref><ref>[[Helge Fauskanger]], [http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/quen-eng.htm ''Quettaparma Quenyallo'']. Entry for '''laica'''. Retrieved 30 August 2010.</ref>
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The name ''Legolas'' is a [[Silvan Elvish|Silvan]] dialect form of pure [[Sindarin]] ''Laegolas'', which means "Greenleaf". At one point he is called "Legolas Greenleaf" by Gandalf, coupling his name and its translation like an epithet.<ref group=note>'''''Greenleaf''''' is not his surname, as is sometimes erroneously believed; nor is it an epithet (like ''[[Oakenshield]]'').</ref>
 +
 
 +
''Legolas'' consists of the [[Sindarin]] words ''laeg'', a very rare, archaic word for "green" (cf. ''Laegrim, Laegel(d)rim'', the [[Green Elves]]), which is normally replaced by ''calen'' (cf. ''[[Calenhad]], [[Parth Galen]]'' and ''[[Pinnath Gelin]]''); and ''golas'', a collection of leaves, foliage (being a prefixed collective form of ''[[lass|las(s)]]'', "leaf").<ref>{{L|211}}</ref><ref>{{PE|17}}, pp. 84, 153</ref> The [[Quenya]] cognate of Laegolas is said to be ''Laicolasse''.<ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 56</ref><ref>[[Helge Fauskanger]], [http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/quen-eng.htm ''Quettaparma Quenyallo'']. Entry for '''laica'''. Retrieved 30 August 2010.</ref>
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 +
==Other versions of the Legendarium==
 +
A character "[[Legolas (elf of Gondolin)|Legolas Greenleaf]]" appears firstly in ''[[The Fall  of Gondolin]]'' in ''[[The Book of Lost Tales]]'' (in the context of another unrelated character) who guided some survivors of the sack of the city to safety. His [[Qenya]] name is ''Laiqalassë''.<ref>{{LT2|IIIn}}, §2 Entries in the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin</ref>
  
There might, however, be a certain meaning to his name: ''laeg'' is a very rare, archaic word for green, which is normally replaced by ''calen'' (cf. ''Calenhad'', mutated ''Parth Galen'' and plural ''Pinnath Gelin'') and is otherwise almost only preserved in ''Laegrim, Laegel(d)rim'' (Sindarin form of Quenya [[Laiquendi]]), the ''Green Elves'' of the First Age.
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Tolkien considered [[Glorfindel]] to be the Elven character of the Fellowship, however he dropped the idea, and Legolas was created to replace him. Perhaps this is the reason why Legolas is considered the most underdeveloped character of the Fellowship, playing only a minor role in ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''.<ref>{{webcite|articleurl=http://askmiddlearth.tumblr.com/post/53965333513/why-is-legolass-character-so-underdeveloped|articlename=Why is Legolas so underdeveloped?|website=[http://askmiddlearth.tumblr.com Ask About Middle-Earth]}}</ref>
  
== Portrayal in Adaptations ==
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
 
<center><gallery>
 
<center><gallery>
Image:Ralph Bakshi's Legolas.jpg|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)]]''</center>
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File:The Lord of the Rings (1978 film) - Legolas 2.jpg|<center>[[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1978 film)]]</center>
Image:Legolas at Amon Hen.jpg|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy]]''</center>
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File:Legolas at Amon Hen.jpg|<center>[[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (film series)]]</center>
Image:Legolas viv lotr.JPG|<center>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)]]''</center>
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File:Legolas viv lotr.JPG|<center>[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (video game)]]</center>
Image:Lego Legolas poster.png|<center>Legolas as a ''[[Lego]] mini figure''</center>
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File:Lego Legolas poster.png|<center>Legolas as a ''[[Lego]] mini figure''</center>
 +
File:LOTRO-Legolas.jpg|<center>[[The Lord of the Rings Online]]</center>
 
</gallery></center>
 
</gallery></center>
  
'''1955: ''[[The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series)]]'':'''
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'''1955: [[The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1955 radio series)]]:'''
 
:[[Frank Duncan]] was the voice of Legolas.
 
:[[Frank Duncan]] was the voice of Legolas.
  
'''1978: ''[[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)]]'':'''
+
'''1978: [[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1978 film)]]:'''
 
:Legolas was voiced by [[Anthony Daniels]]. In the film, he takes [[Glorfindel of Rivendell|Glorfindel's]] place in the Flight to the Ford sequence; he meets Strider and the hobbits on their way to [[Rivendell]], and sets Frodo on his horse before he is chased by the Nazgûl to the ford of [[Bruinen]]. Here, he is apparently from Rivendell, because he answers to Elrond; he is not identified as a Wood-elf.
 
:Legolas was voiced by [[Anthony Daniels]]. In the film, he takes [[Glorfindel of Rivendell|Glorfindel's]] place in the Flight to the Ford sequence; he meets Strider and the hobbits on their way to [[Rivendell]], and sets Frodo on his horse before he is chased by the Nazgûl to the ford of [[Bruinen]]. Here, he is apparently from Rivendell, because he answers to Elrond; he is not identified as a Wood-elf.
  
'''1979: ''[[The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)]]'':'''
+
'''1979: [[The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1979 radio series)]]:'''
 
:[[John Vickery]] provided the voice of Legolas.
 
:[[John Vickery]] provided the voice of Legolas.
  
'''1980: ''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)]]'':'''
+
'''1980: [[The Return of the King (1980 film)|''The Return of the King'' (1980 film)]]:'''
 
:Neither Legolas nor Gimli appeared in this film, as they were essentially followers irrelevant to the plot.
 
:Neither Legolas nor Gimli appeared in this film, as they were essentially followers irrelevant to the plot.
  
'''1981: ''[[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)]]'':'''
+
'''1981: [[The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1981 radio series)]]:'''
 
:[[David Collings]] provided the voice of Legolas.
 
:[[David Collings]] provided the voice of Legolas.
  
'''2002: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring]]'':'''
+
'''2002: [[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (video game)]]:'''
 
:[[Michael Reisz]] provided the voice of Legolas.
 
:[[Michael Reisz]] provided the voice of Legolas.
  
'''2001-3: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy]]'':'''
+
'''2001-03: [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (film series)]]:'''
 
:Legolas was portrayed by [[Orlando Bloom]].  
 
:Legolas was portrayed by [[Orlando Bloom]].  
  
Line 141: Line 159:
 
:Legolas bears two long knives, while in the book he bears only one. Another, more trivial change, was the number of Orcs he and Gimli kill at [[Helm's Deep]]: 42 and 43, respectively. It is not clear whether this was an intentional change on the part of the filmmakers, though it seems likely that it was, since the original numbers were so clear in Tolkien's own text.
 
:Legolas bears two long knives, while in the book he bears only one. Another, more trivial change, was the number of Orcs he and Gimli kill at [[Helm's Deep]]: 42 and 43, respectively. It is not clear whether this was an intentional change on the part of the filmmakers, though it seems likely that it was, since the original numbers were so clear in Tolkien's own text.
  
:Playing Legolas in the trilogy was Orlando Bloom's breakout route to superstardom. His handsome features and Legolas' "coolness", so to speak, as depicted in the film, have led to the character becoming a unprecedented fan favorite with both fangirls and fanboys, not to mention other Tolkien fans. Although the disproportionate popular reaction to Legolas met with mixed reactions from fans, many debaters on the Internet during earlier stages of production were worried that a film portrayal of Legolas might render him as far too effeminate for popular consumption. Later, many felt that Bloom was able to avoid this entirely. [[Christopher Tolkien]] recounts that his father wrote the following "wrathful" comment protesting against a "pretty" or "ladylike" depiction of Legolas:  
+
:Playing Legolas in the trilogy was Orlando Bloom's breakout route to superstardom. His handsome features and Legolas' "coolness", so to speak, as depicted in the film, have led to the character becoming an unprecedented fan favorite with both fangirls and fanboys, not to mention other Tolkien fans. Although the disproportionate popular reaction to Legolas met with mixed reactions from fans, many debaters on the Internet during earlier stages of production were worried that a film portrayal of Legolas might render him as far too effeminate for popular consumption. Later, many felt that Bloom was able to avoid this entirely. [[Christopher Tolkien]] recounts that his father wrote the following "wrathful" comment protesting against a "pretty" or "ladylike" depiction of Legolas:  
 
{{quote|He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship.|[[The Book of Lost Tales Part Two]]}}
 
{{quote|He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship.|[[The Book of Lost Tales Part Two]]}}
  
'''2002: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring]]'':'''
+
'''2002: [[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'' (video game)]]:'''
 
:Legolas is a non-playable character, accompanying the Ring-bearer since Rivendell.
 
:Legolas is a non-playable character, accompanying the Ring-bearer since Rivendell.
  
'''2002: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (video game)]]'':'''
+
'''2002: [[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'' (video game)]]:'''
 
:Legolas is one of the three playable characters.
 
:Legolas is one of the three playable characters.
  
'''2003: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game)]]'':'''
+
'''2003: [[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game)|''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' (video game)]]:'''
 
:Legolas is a playable character, skilled in both ranged and melee. He and Gimli accompany Aragorn through Paths of the Dead, later he fights on Pelennor fields and at the Black Gate.
 
:Legolas is a playable character, skilled in both ranged and melee. He and Gimli accompany Aragorn through Paths of the Dead, later he fights on Pelennor fields and at the Black Gate.
  
Line 171: Line 189:
 
:Legolas can be found and talked to in Rivendell, he retains the appearance from the movies. While he provides insight into many events, interactions with him do not affect the main plot.
 
:Legolas can be found and talked to in Rivendell, he retains the appearance from the movies. While he provides insight into many events, interactions with him do not affect the main plot.
  
'''2012-13: ''[[The Hobbit films]]'':'''
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'''2012-14: [[The Hobbit (film series)|''The Hobbit'' (film series)]]:'''
: Orlando Bloom will reprise his role as Legolas in [[Peter Jackson|Peter Jackson's]] adaptation of the Hobbit.<ref name="PJCasting">{{webcite|author=[[Peter Jackson]]|articleurl=http://www.facebook.com/PeterJacksonNZ/posts/10150265634081558|articlename=Ten years ago,...|dated=27-May-2011|website=[http://www.facebook.com/ Facebook]|accessed=23-Dec-2011}}</ref>
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: Orlando Bloom reprised his role as Legolas in [[Peter Jackson|Peter Jackson's]] adaptation of the Hobbit.<ref name="PJCasting">{{webcite|author=[[Peter Jackson]]|articleurl=http://www.facebook.com/PeterJacksonNZ/posts/10150265634081558|articlename=Ten years ago,...|dated=27-May-2011|website=[http://www.facebook.com/ Facebook]|accessed=23-Dec-2011}}</ref> In ''[[The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug]]'', he joins [[Tauriel]] in pursuit of the pack of [[Orcs]] (led by [[Bolg]]) who are after [[Thorin and Company]].
  
==See Also ==
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==See also ==
 
* [[:Category:Images of Legolas|Images of Legolas]]
 
* [[:Category:Images of Legolas|Images of Legolas]]
 
* [[Legolas/Disputes]]
 
* [[Legolas/Disputes]]
Line 180: Line 198:
  
 
{{fellowship}}
 
{{fellowship}}
{{references}}
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{{references|n}}
 
[[Category:Characters in The Lord of the Rings]]
 
[[Category:Characters in The Lord of the Rings]]
 
[[Category:Silvan Elves]]
 
[[Category:Silvan Elves]]

Latest revision as of 14:13, 10 June 2014

"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
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This article is about the elf of the Fellowship of the Ring. For the the elf in The Fall of Gondolin, see Legolas (elf of Gondolin).
Līga Kļaviņa - Legolas.jpg
Legolas
Sinda
Biographical Information
Other namesGreenleaf
TitlesPrince of Woodland Realm
LocationWoodland Realm; Ithilien
AffiliationFellowship of the Ring
LanguageSindarin and Westron
Sailed westFo.A. 120
Ithilien
Family
ParentageThranduil
Physical Description
GenderMale
ClothingGreen and brown garb
WeaponryBow and long white knife
Legolas was a Silvan Elf of the Woodland Realm of Mirkwood. He was actually of Sindarin heritage as he was the only recorded son of King Thranduil. His most important events of his life are surrounded by the War of the Ring during which he was the Elven representative member in the Fellowship of the Ring; his Elven characteristics were a valuable asset because of his superior sight, hearing, lightness of foot, and unrivaled archery.

Another thing that made Legolas famous was his legendary friendship with Gimli the Dwarf. Not only such friendships aong the two races were rare throughout history, but it also contrasted the harsh ways his own father behaved to Gimli's father and his companions.

Contents

[edit] History

As the son of the Elvenking Thranduil, Legolas was a prince of the Woodland Realm. Not much can be said about most of his life before or during the Third Age.

During the War of the Ring, the Elves of Mirkwood were keeping Gollum captive, however he soon managed to escape. Legolas was sent to Rivendell with a message to Gandalf about this event.

Legolas was present at the Council of Elrond and related the news, being quick to state to Aragorn that it was not through lack of watchfulness; if anything, from over-kindness, and related the details to the council. He spoke little for the rest of the council, if at all, but later was to participate in the Quest of the Ring as the only elven member of the Fellowship of the Ring. His capabilities would be welcomed, and would be his primary claim to fame for the rest of his life.

[edit] The Fellowship of the Ring

For the early part of the quest they walked in single file, with Legolas at the back due to his keen eyes. Later, he was at the head of the company as they entered Hollin[1]. Though all in the Company could feel the wholesomeness of the country, only Legolas could hear the stones lament the lost presence of the Elves, and his words were poignant.

Ted Nasmith - The Anger of the Mountain
As they ascended Caradhras, Legolas could walk on top of the snow, whereas the others were forced to trudge. He also attempted (unsuccessfully) to light a fire. The storm troubled him least of all the company, and it is written “he alone of the Company remained still light of heart”. After they were determined to retreat, Boromir and Aragorn tried to push a path through the snow to get out, while Legolas danced lightly on top, passing them easily. He soon spotted the way out for the rest of the company, and a bit of sarcasm edged his speech at Boromir’s words that they (the “strongest”) must seek a way out, when he said “There is the greatest wind-drift of all just beyond the turn, and there our Strong Men were almost buried”. The paragraphs in this section suggest the attributes of youth and unquenchable gaiety.

Perhaps a bit grumpy with the irrepressibility of the elf, Boromir during the vote as to whether or not they should pass through Moria, asked “What do Legolas and the little folk say?” Legolas voted against the passage with Boromir, but was overruled, especially when Warg voices were heard. During their defense against these beasts, Legolas did more than perhaps all the rest of the company except Gandalf, shooting numerous wargs. He collected his arrows unharmed (except for one) after the fight.

The Fellowship entered Moria and Legolas, despite his ability to see well in the dark, could not in the caves. Frodo Baggins (due to his Morgul-knife wound) could see better than any of the company in the dark, except perhaps Gandalf. Legolas had to drag Gimli from the Chamber of Mazarbul when the dwarf almost refused to go. He was also the first of the Company to recognize Durin's Bane as a Balrog, or at least the first to express his dismay at the fact.

Legolas was most enthusiastic about coming to Lothlórien, describing it to the rest of the Company, and mourning the fact that it was winter and they could not witness it in the pinnacle of its glory. As they rested by the Nimrodel, Legolas told the company tales of Lothlórien, and sang the Song of Nimrodel to them. Upon hearing the other Elves of Lórien, Legolas listened and responded in their own tongue, and when Samwise queried as to what they were saying, Legolas slyly responded that they said he breathed so loudly that the elves claimed they could shoot him in the dark. Samwise was horrified until Legolas added that they need not fear the elves.

Legolas was called up to meet with the Galadhrim, with Frodo only (Sam following, as always). The Galadhrim had heard him singing and knew he came from Mirkwood. They would readily accept all of the fellowship, save Gimli, because of his race and the grievances between his and theirs. Legolas was forced to answer for the company, with the reminder to keep an eye on "that dwarf". He was forced by the others to go blindfolded into Lórien, especially at the urging of Gimli, who hated the thought of going such. Indeed, he declared he would submit himself to this restraint only if "Legolas here shares my blindness". In the end, Legolas had no choice but to submit.

Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel
Legolas would not translate the Elven lamentations for Gandalf, saying that he had neither the skill nor the heart. During their time in Lórien, however (with the influence of the Lady Galadriel working her magic on the dwarf), he became fast friends with Gimli, a friendship that would never be broken. He was one of those of the Company that could handle boats, and so was assigned to one with the dwarf. He received a bow and quiver such as the Galadhrim used.

After ambushed by orc-archers on the Anduin, Legolas quickly leaped out onto dry ground and searched for a mark to shoot at. As a dread fell on the Company, Legolas invoked the name of Elbereth Gilthoniel, and shot the descending Fell beast from the sky, a masterful shot in the dark.

[edit] The Three Hunters

Ted Nasmith - Pursuit in Rohan
When ambushed on Amon Hen, Legolas shot many orcs until his arrows ran out, then used his knife. Upon the breaking of the Fellowship, he sang a lament for Boromir, who had fallen, with Aragorn, taking the part of the South Wind which came from the Sea. Legolas was of great aid to Aragorn in the days following, as he helped to track the Uruk-hai across Rohan. His eyes could see many leagues, and for a while he could see their quarry far ahead of them.

Legolas stood by his friend Gimli when confronted by the haughty Éomer, threatening him with death if he attempted to harm the dwarf. He let Gimli ride behind him on the way to Fangorn Forest. Under its eaves, Legolas noticed how the tree beneath which they sat seemed glad of the fire. He was reluctant to enter Fangorn, having no knowledge about it save for the stories of the Onodrim, and that it was very old. Though the night was very dark, he was also the first to notice the absence of the horses. Later he asserted to Aragorn that the beasts sounded joyful, confirming Aragorn’s own opinion.

Upon entering Fangorn itself, Legolas declared that he almost felt young again beside those trees. He commented that in earlier days he could have been happy there. Gimli snorted, saying “I dare say you could. You are a Wood-elf, anyway, though Elves of any kind are strange folk.” Legolas would later reverse this declaration at the Hornburg. When the Three Hunters met with the apparition of an old man, whom they believed to be Saruman, despite Gimli’s round encouragement Legolas did not shoot him, feeling moral objections to this. The old man declared "Put away that bow, Master Elf." Legolas dropped his bow, but later picked it up again, and was about to shoot when it was seen that beneath the old man’s robes there was white. Yet he recognized that it was Gandalf just in time, and shot his arrow high in the air to be consumed by fire. Gandalf coolly added "Well met, I say to you again, Legolas!"

[edit] With the Rohirrim

Legolas was a leader in the conversation with Gandalf, being the first to ask about Merry & Pippin, and Gandalf’s apparently miraculous escape. After the story, Gandalf delivered Galadriel’s messages to each of them, Legolas' being:

Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.

Legolas again used his eyes for the help of the company, as he spied both the of Isengard and Edoras from afar. At the gates of Meduseld, Legolas was the only one to lay down his weapons without hesitation. He played only a passive role in the healing of Théoden King, and later was arrayed in shining mail beside Aragorn. Gimli would not ride on Éomer's horse unless Legolas rode beside them, which he did gladly. Éomer declared "Legolas upon my left, and Aragorn upon my right, and none will dare to stand before us!"

John Howe - Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep
As Legolas stood at the Hornburg at the eve of battle, he said that though he did not like the place, Gimli comforted him, and he was glad that the dwarf stood by his side. He also wished that a hundred archers of Mirkwood were there, noting the small number of bowmen among the Rohirrim. At the opening of the battle Legolas shot twenty at least, this figure being taken as precise by Gimli. When Gimli returned to the elf for the second time to declare that he slew twenty-one, Legolas counted his kills as twenty-four. By the time the Fire of Orthanc blew out a piece of the wall, his quiver was nearly empty. With the last arrow the elf saved Aragorn’s life when he stumbled while pursued. At the end of the battle, Legolas had shot a total of forty-one, though Gimli surpassed his count by one.

Legolas showed great interest in the Huorns on the way to Isengard, discussing them with Gandalf and a less willing Gimli. Legolas promised Gimli that he would go to Aglarond after the war upon hearing the dwarf’s eloquence, if only Gimli would accompany him on a visit to Fangorn. At Isengard he enjoyed a meal in the company of the Gimli, Aragorn, and the Hobbits.

[edit] The Return of the King

When Aragorn made clear his purpose as to the taking of the Paths of the Dead, Legolas and Gimli willingly volunteered to go with him. Legolas predicted, when Gimli suggested that Galadriel might have sent them soldiers from their own lands, that they need not ride away to find war.

Amidst the Paths of the Dead, riding with the Grey Company, Legolas alone (save for Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond's sons) felt no fear of the Dead Men, and it may be remembered that the High Elves had power both in the worlds of the seen and unseen. Yet his turn came to be struck to the heart in the opposite sense – when he heard the gulls at Pelargir, fulfilling Galadriel’s prediction and warning. While telling this story later, he dropped off there, while Gimli promptly said "For my part I heeded them not". Legolas saw as Aragorn led the Dead Men what a mighty lord he might have been if he had taken the One Ring.

Legolas came with Aragorn from the ships during the Battle of Pelennor Fields, and fought there beside his comrades. He survived the battle, and several times that day afterward commented on the longevity and eventual domination of Men to the dubious Gimli.

[edit] Battle of the Morannon and Aftermath

Legolas rode for the last time into battle beside his friends to the Battle of the Morannon. He witnessed the Fall of the Dark Tower, and after the battle attended the ceremonies of the Field of Cormallen in the honor of Frodo and Samwise and their victory. That night Legolas would not go to bed, but instead went away to walk in the woods, singing of the Sea.

After attending the Coronation of Elessar, Legolas remained (at the urging of Aragorn) in Minas Tirith for a time. During the parting of the Fellowship, Legolas went with Gimli to Aglarond. After that, he rode off with Gimli to visit Fangorn Forest.

[edit] After the War of the Ring

Lorraine Brevig - Legolas and the Sea
Legolas returned to Minas Tirith with a company of Wood-elves, and they made Ithilien a green and fair land once more. After King Aragorn died, Legolas sailed West, reportedly taking Gimli with him.[2]

[edit] Personality

Legolas showed almost irrepressible cheerfulness throughout the journey, passing through Caradhras and even the Paths of the Dead without hesitation or complaint. His youthful nature can be seen from the mocking way he treated the "strong men" on Caradhras, whom Boromir (excluding Legolas) had said could forge a way out through the snow. He is perhaps most remembered for his friendship with Gimli the Dwarf, and it was during this friendship that we see his faithfulness, and also his love of beauty. Gimli's words moved him when the dwarf spoke of the Glittering Caves.

[edit] Description and Equipment

At Rivendell, Legolas was dressed in green and brown garb, and he was probably dressed similarly for the duration of the quest.

He bore a bow from Mirkwood, and later a bow of the Galadhrim. He also had a long white knife.

[edit] Genealogy

Oropher
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thranduil
 
 
 
 
 
 
LEGOLAS
 
 


[edit] Etymology

The name Legolas is a Silvan dialect form of pure Sindarin Laegolas, which means "Greenleaf". At one point he is called "Legolas Greenleaf" by Gandalf, coupling his name and its translation like an epithet.[note 1]

Legolas consists of the Sindarin words laeg, a very rare, archaic word for "green" (cf. Laegrim, Laegel(d)rim, the Green Elves), which is normally replaced by calen (cf. Calenhad, Parth Galen and Pinnath Gelin); and golas, a collection of leaves, foliage (being a prefixed collective form of las(s), "leaf").[3][4] The Quenya cognate of Laegolas is said to be Laicolasse.[5][6]

[edit] Other versions of the Legendarium

A character "Legolas Greenleaf" appears firstly in The Fall of Gondolin in The Book of Lost Tales (in the context of another unrelated character) who guided some survivors of the sack of the city to safety. His Qenya name is Laiqalassë.[7]

Tolkien considered Glorfindel to be the Elven character of the Fellowship, however he dropped the idea, and Legolas was created to replace him. Perhaps this is the reason why Legolas is considered the most underdeveloped character of the Fellowship, playing only a minor role in The Lord of the Rings.[8]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1955: The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series):

Frank Duncan was the voice of Legolas.

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

Legolas was voiced by Anthony Daniels. In the film, he takes Glorfindel's place in the Flight to the Ford sequence; he meets Strider and the hobbits on their way to Rivendell, and sets Frodo on his horse before he is chased by the Nazgûl to the ford of Bruinen. Here, he is apparently from Rivendell, because he answers to Elrond; he is not identified as a Wood-elf.

1979: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series):

John Vickery provided the voice of Legolas.

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

Neither Legolas nor Gimli appeared in this film, as they were essentially followers irrelevant to the plot.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

David Collings provided the voice of Legolas.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Michael Reisz provided the voice of Legolas.

2001-03: The Lord of the Rings (film series):

Legolas was portrayed by Orlando Bloom.
In the "official movie guide" for The Lord of the Rings, a birthdate for Legolas is set to 87 of the Third Age. This would make him 2931 years old at the time of the War of the Ring. This date for Legolas' birth was made up by the movie writers. Curiously, the year 2931 was the year Aragorn was born; the writers may have picked the number at random from the Tale of Years in the Appendices.
He is presented as an unstoppable fighter, arguably to the point of stealing the show; he performs show-stopping yet implausible stunts in battle scenes. For example, in the Battle of the Hornburg, he slides down a staircase using a shield, shooting arrows all the while, and in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, he takes down an Oliphaunt all by himself. However, in the books, Legolas's exploits in battle are not presented in great detail. Aside from shooting the fell beast, he undertakes no major actions other than to make peace with Gimli, overcoming their longstanding mutual racial animosity — he and Gimli are followers, rather than leaders. The film-makers later stated that the entire scene of Legolas killing the Oliphaunt and its entire crew was filmed during pick-ups (months after original filming) to insert a major action scene showcasing him, because at that point they realized that he simply doesn't get to do much in the third part of the trilogy.
Legolas bears two long knives, while in the book he bears only one. Another, more trivial change, was the number of Orcs he and Gimli kill at Helm's Deep: 42 and 43, respectively. It is not clear whether this was an intentional change on the part of the filmmakers, though it seems likely that it was, since the original numbers were so clear in Tolkien's own text.
Playing Legolas in the trilogy was Orlando Bloom's breakout route to superstardom. His handsome features and Legolas' "coolness", so to speak, as depicted in the film, have led to the character becoming an unprecedented fan favorite with both fangirls and fanboys, not to mention other Tolkien fans. Although the disproportionate popular reaction to Legolas met with mixed reactions from fans, many debaters on the Internet during earlier stages of production were worried that a film portrayal of Legolas might render him as far too effeminate for popular consumption. Later, many felt that Bloom was able to avoid this entirely. Christopher Tolkien recounts that his father wrote the following "wrathful" comment protesting against a "pretty" or "ladylike" depiction of Legolas:
"He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship."
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Legolas is a non-playable character, accompanying the Ring-bearer since Rivendell.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (video game):

Legolas is one of the three playable characters.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game):

Legolas is a playable character, skilled in both ranged and melee. He and Gimli accompany Aragorn through Paths of the Dead, later he fights on Pelennor fields and at the Black Gate.

2004: The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring:

Grant George provides the voice of Legolas.[9] The game depicts Legolas's hunt for Gollum in northern Mirkwood, which is interrupted by the orcs.

2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth:

Legolas is a Hero Unit for the Rohan faction in skirmishes, and accompanies the Fellowship in the storyline mode. He specializes in powerful ranged attacks.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Legolas is now the Hero for the Elven faction.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Legolas can be found in Rivendell, where before the Fellowship's departure he accompanies the player on a mission to find the missing Nazgul (as only eight horses were found in the book). Later, he can be found in Lothlorien, displaying Gimli the beauty of Cerin Amroth.

2009: The Lord of the Rings: Conquest:

Crispin Freeman plays Legolas, who is available as a Hero in several missions.[10]

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

Legolas can be found and talked to in Rivendell, he retains the appearance from the movies. While he provides insight into many events, interactions with him do not affect the main plot.

2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):

Orlando Bloom reprised his role as Legolas in Peter Jackson's adaptation of the Hobbit.[11] In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, he joins Tauriel in pursuit of the pack of Orcs (led by Bolg) who are after Thorin and Company.

[edit] See also



Members of the Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Legolas · Gimli · Boromir

Notes

  1. Greenleaf is not his surname, as is sometimes erroneously believed; nor is it an epithet (like Oakenshield).

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, “Gimli… had come up with Legolas, and was gazing out before him…”
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), pp. 84, 153
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 56
  6. Helge Fauskanger, Quettaparma Quenyallo. Entry for laica. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin": "Notes and Commentary" , §2 Entries in the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin
  8. "Why is Legolas so underdeveloped?" , Ask About Middle-Earth (accessed 28 July 2014)
  9. http://www.dynamicduovo.com/aboutgrant.html
  10. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crispin_freeman_fansite/message/9438
  11. Peter Jackson, "Ten years ago,..." dated 27 May 2011, Facebook (accessed 23 December 2011)