|Titles||King of the Woodland Realm|
|Birth||First Age |
King Thranduil was a Sindarin Elf and King of the Silvan Elves in the northern part of Mirkwood, east of the Misty Mountains. In The Hobbit he is said to have blond hair, which is unusual for a Sinda. Thranduil was son of Oropher and father of Legolas Greenleaf. It is also mentioned that he has a weakness for gold and gems, which is consistant with Tolkien's earlier ideas on elves.
Early History needed
Throughout The Hobbit he is simply called the Elvenking. When Thorin Oakenshield and his party of Dwarves enter northern Mirkwood they are captured by Thranduil's elves and locked up when they refuse to divulge their intentions, before being freed by Bilbo Baggins. After the death of the Dragon Smaug, who had brutalized the Grey Elves for years, Thranduil demanded a share of the treasure the Dwarves recovered from Lonely Mountain, Smaug's lair but also the Dwarves ancient home. Thorin refused, eventually resulting in the Battle of Five Armies.
The Lord of the Rings
In The Lord of the Rings, the gradually established friendship between Legolas and the Dwarf Gimli, the son of Glóin of Thorin's band, helps to reconcile Thranduil's people and the Dwarves. It is amusing to note that one of the Dwarves imprisoned by Thranduil was Glóin, Gimli's father, and both Legolas and Gimli most likely grew up hearing disparaging tales involving the other's father. Nonetheless, both end up on a quest together, and develop an unprecedented friendship between Elf and Dwarf.
The appendices to The Return of the King note that Legolas and the Wood-Elves later worked together with Gimli and the Dwarves to rebuild and improve Minas Tirith, capital city of Gondor, the realm of their mutual friend King Aragorn Elessar.
Portrayal in Adaptations
In the Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit, Thranduil is voiced by Otto Preminger. For some reason in the movie the Elves of Mirkwood are portrayed as squat and ugly, as opposed to the noble elves of Rivendell. This is quite different than their depiction in the book.