When it comes to spectacular archers in movies, there are none better than Marvel’s Hawkeye and Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. Their accuracy with a bow and arrow is unmatched, and while one uses training and technology, the other uses his physiology and almost-superhuman features. The question is, who would win in a fight, Legolas or Hawkeye?
This would be an extremely tough fight, but Legolas would win more often than not. He would probably have a hard time dealing with Hawkeye’s superior technology, but his elvish senses and reflexes are something that Clint Barton simply cannot match.
Of course, it would all depend on who would strike first and the circumstances of the fight. Let’s dive a bit deeper into a thorough comparison of the characters to see who would eventually come out on top.
Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, is an ordinary human – albeit at peak physical and mental condition. Due to his thorough training and devotion towards his craft, Hawkeye somewhat heightened his senses and reflexes.
For instance, some versions of the character in the comics have the ability to pinpoint and hit a target if only one of his five senses can perceive it. That means, if he can see, hear, or even just smell his target, he can pinpoint its location and find a way to hit it.
All that aside, though, Hawkeye is still just human. He ages, gets hurt, and although his senses and reflexes are at peak human level, it’s as far as he can go.
On the other hand, Legolas is an Elf. He’s hundreds of years old, but physically, Legolas is as fit as they come. His elvish physiology gives him not just peak human strength and speed but a step beyond that. Also, his senses are quite enhanced, especially his eyesight – Legolas can see clearly from miles away.
He has borderline superhuman reflexes and speed with his bow, and his strength is also just a bit higher than Hawkeye’s.
However, what sets him apart is his agility, stealthiness, and somewhat of a sixth sense. Remember when he, Gimli, and Aragorn search for Merry and Pippin in the Fangorn Forest in LOTR: The Two Towers? Legolas sensed that “the White Wizard approaches.” He couldn’t see him, couldn’t hear him – but he knew what was coming.
Overall, Legolas is a highly trained Elf, while Hawkeye is still only human, even if he is at peak condition. That’s why the Elf takes this category.
Point: Legolas (1:0) Hawkeye
The technology department is something that unquestionably goes to Hawkeye. He lives in the 21st century, but in a world where time-traveling, space battles, and teleportation are everyday occurrences.
His bow and arrows are far more advanced than that Legolas has. The bow’s frame is incredibly high-tech itself, with laser sights, special accuracy add-ons, etc. But, the biggest difference is in their arrows.
Hawkeye has countless trick arrows apart from the regular, steel-head arrows. Those tricks include explosive, smoke grenade, electroshock, sonic, tear gas, and even boomerang arrows. With such a wide arsenal of trick arrows, he could catch Legolas by surprise. The Elf faced wizards and mythical creatures of all kinds, but never something like that.
The world where we see Legolas, the Middle Earth, is somewhat equivalent to our Middle ages – apart from the wizards, the Orcs, the Ents, and other creatures. People ride horses, wear knight armor and shields, and battle with swords, spears, bows, and arrows. There are no guns, no electro-shocks, and whatnot.
Even gunpowder was extraordinarily advanced when Saruman attacked Helm’s Deep and used it to detonate a wall and enter the fortress. It’s hard to see how Legolas could deal with the highly advanced technology that Hawkeye uses – that is if Clint Barton even gets a chance to use it. One way or another, Hawkeye takes the technology category.
Point: Hawkeye (1:1) Legolas
Training & Experience
This is where opinions on the Internet about a potential battle between the two mostly differ. However, I believe one of them has a clear advantage in this department, and it’s not even close.
Hawkeye has had incredible amounts of training – not just archery training, but swordsmanship, combat tactics, strategy, hand-to-hand combat, and much more. That’s why he can overcome his frail human physiology and battle among aliens, mutants, and gods.
Clint uses skill and brain to overcome his weaknesses. He’s had even more informal than formal training while he was in a criminal circus with the Swordsman before he turned them over to the police. That’s what makes him so dangerous – he has both the “street smarts” and the “book smarts.”
However, overall, he couldn’t possibly match Legolas regarding battle experience and life experience. The Elf had lived for centuries, spending them all perfecting his archery craft – something that’s innate to elves from the beginning. He had seen countless battles and fought unfathomable enemies, always surviving and coming out on top.
Sure, Hawkeye fought aliens and all kinds of superhuman beings – but he always had the help of several other superhumans. Legolas fought superhuman beings his whole long life, including giant spider-like entities, Orcs, wizards, and dark forces such as colossal demons, Nazguls, and much more.
The only superhuman help he had was Gandalf, and half the time, he wasn’t even there. If you compare their training and experience, Hawkeye is close. But, Legolas is a step above him, simply due to the longevity of his life and the battles he had faced using nothing but a nearly-primitive bow and arrow and some swords.
Point: Legolas (2:1) Hawkeye
So, both Hawkeye and Legolas have tons of battle experience. The question is – who were their toughest opponents?
Hawkeye faced enemies with otherworldly technology, with the power to wipe out half the universe in a heartbeat (read, Thanos). He used his bow and trick arrows to fight alien sorcerers (the Maw), an entire army of high-tech aliens (the Chitauri), and many more.
Other than alien threats, Hawkeye regularly deals with serious human threats, especially before his days as an Avenger, being a SHIELD agent. The threats Clint Barton faces are almost always way above him power-wise, but that’s why he rarely works alone against such threats.
On the other hand, Legolas’ entire world is seemingly superhuman. Even himself and his kin – the Elves – have nearly superhuman capabilities. Their biggest enemies are Isengard and Mordor, full of trolls, Orcs, Wargs, and other terrifying creatures.
But, the biggest threat, of course, is Sauron – the evil overpowered sorcerer overlord that, if reunited with his Ring, could wipe out humanity and all other forms of life like they were nothing.
Overall, Hawkeye might’ve faced a more diverse enemy list, but the fact is, he had a lot more powerful help by his side. Legolas easily took down an Olifant by himself, which I doubt other members of his group could do. I think we have a tie in the enemy department, so both Hawkeye and Legolas get a point.
Point(s): Legolas (3:2) Hawkeye
Archery & Melee Skills
Clint Barton can be an Avenger and fight as a human among gods thanks to his spectacular archery skills. He is so good that he can easily hit fast-moving targets without even looking at them.
He also hit his target right on the spot from one airplane to another, calculating trajectory, wind resistance, lower atmospheric pressure, all while aiming perfectly to hit his target. We’ve seen him use trick shots of all kinds, such as bouncing an arrow off a surface and much more.
I remind you, Hawkeye is only human, which makes his archery skills even more remarkable. Sure, he has some help with his technology, such as laser-pointed aim, etc., but that can’t account for the trick shots he pulls off. We’ve only seen Hawkeye miss in the MCU when he was mind-controlled by Loki, shooting at the Black Widow.
His melee skills are also quite fascinating. Clint knows his way around a sword, as he trained with the Swordsman, who taught him all of his skills. We’ve seen his spectacular skills with a sword in the MCU, too, after he took on the Ronin identity (“a masterless Samurai”) when Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped his entire family from existence.
Opposingly, we have Legolas, an Elf who was born to be a remarkable marksman. His vision is at least ten times sharper than those of a human, as well as his reflexes and senses that a normal human being doesn’t have. That all plays into his archery skills – Legolas simply doesn’t miss, even though he uses nothing but a regular wooden bow and steel-headed arrows.
Even when the distance is immense, he can score by targeting the enemy’s armor’s weak points (around the neck or underneath the arms). When you add all that with his hundreds of years of experience, you get an unmistakable archer capable of hitting any target you can imagine.
He’s also no slouch with melee weapons. Legolas uses dual blades as his weapon of choice, and he can use them effectively even when the enemy completely surrounds him. He relies on long-distance attacks a lot more, seeing what a prolific archer he is, but when push comes to shove, Legolas can really destroy his opponents at close range.
All in all, as spectacular an archer Hawkeye is, he simply can’t compete with a guy like Legolas. Legolas isn’t just a human – he’s a seasoned veteran Elf, virtually made to be a marksman.
However, I think that Hawkeye had shown more when it comes to melee attacks. I’m not sure if he’s better at swordsmanship than Legolas, but we’ve seen more from him. Therefore, Legolas earns a point for archery, but Hawkeye gets him in melee attacks.
Point(s): Legolas (4:3) Hawkeye
Hawkeye Vs. Legolas: Who Would Win and Why?
Overall, the score is 4:3 in favor of the Elf. When I started writing this article, I thought it wouldn’t be this close, but the result is as I thought it would be – Legolas wins the battle against Hawkeye.
First, if we’re talking about their physiology, the Elf wins comfortably. He has higher strength, speed, reflexes, and heightened senses, especially eyesight. If the fight happens in a forest, Hawkeye is dead before he even realizes what’s going on. Sure, he might win if he can get close to Legolas and engage in melee combat, but it’s not that easy to sneak up on an Elf.
If anybody is catching the other guy by surprise, it would be Legolas sneaking up on Hawkeye, not the other way around. In the end, the only thing that Hawkeye has over Legolas is technology, so he might be able to use it to win a couple of their encounters by surprise, but overall, I’d give Legolas at least 7/10 fights against the Avengers sharpshooter.