Even though Legolas is one of the minor characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he is one of the most beloved characters. The fan appreciation goes so far that the director Peter Jackson brought him back for The Hobbit trilogy, even though he was not supposed to be in it. However, despite this, there is not much we know about him. One that comes to mind for most fans are what kind of elf is he?
Legolas is a Sindarin elf who lived in the Northern Mirkwood. He was a level 12 hunter ranger, messenger, and a master archer.
There are many interesting facts about Legolas that do not get explored in the movies. Although he is such a beloved character many still have some unanswered questions about him like is he a mortal and what is his relationship to other elves, or perhaps, you are one of many who watched The Hobbit trilogy and noticed something about Legolas is different but couldn’t quite figure out what is it. If you would like to know keep reading.
What kind of elf is Legolas?
Legolas is the only son of Thranduil, the king of Elves of Northern Mirkwood, to who we are introduced more closely during the Hobbit trilogy. Mirkwood was a great forest in Middle-earth located in the eastern region of Rhovanion between the Grey Mountains and Gondor. Going off of the lineage he is Mirkwood’s prince and messengers, which is how he gets involved with the story depicted in The Lord of The Rings movie.
We can not determine Legolas’ origin specifically because his mother is unknown. Going off of his father, he is at least half Sindarin Elf. He belonged to the minority that lived in the Northern Mirkwood which was supposed to be nobler and wiser.
Is Legolas a mortal?
Legolas is the most youthful-looking out of the entire fellowship of the ring. Pair it up with his elven origin many consider him to be immortal but is he really?
The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than many consider it to be. Generally speaking, Legolas is immortal, but he is also not. This answer has a lot to do with the way the life cycle of an elf works ant that topic is not explored beyond Arwen’s storyline in the movies, hence the confusion.
All of the elves are immortal, meaning they can not die naturally. The only exception to this is dining through violence or being worn down by despair. Many believe that elves can choose to abandon their immortality but this has only happened once when it was offered to Elwing and Earendil.
Elves were created as a part of the physical world and are connected to it as long as that world exists. This can be observed through the way they live in harmony with nature. Because of this, the event of dying is extremely traumatic for them.
Once this occurs and their soul gets separated from their physical body, the soul will carry on to the Halls of Mandos. It is also known as the Halls of Waiting and it is located at the Northern shores of Aman.
The other name comes from its purpose. It serves as a place where elves can heal and regenerate from the trauma of death. Unless the elf offended the Valar or committed particularly cruel misdeeds they were granted another physical body which enabled them to return to the physical world. If this was not possible because of the listed reasons their souls were doomed to wait in the halls until the end of times.
The process of reincarnation is not completely clear as it is only briefly touched upon in the source material. The two options presented were being reincarnated into the elf’s related family as a baby and then slowly gaining back memory of their old lives making them the same as they were, or being reincarnated into the same body.
Are Legolas and Arwen related?
Although many wonders if the two most popular elves in the franchise are related there is not much material you can use to try and answer this question. Because both side characters and their origin does not play a role in their storylines there is not much we know about either of them.
However, if you dig enough you will be able to closely determine their lineage to come to an answer that they in fact are related but so distantly that it is positively negligible.
Arwen is a half-elven born to Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell, and Celebrían, Galadriel’s daughter. She belongs to the house of Rivendell, which originates from the Noldor clan of elves.
Legolas was born as a Sindarin elf, a subgroup coming from the Elves of Mirkwood. These elves were the descendants of the Teleri clan.
Both of these clans, along with the Vanyar clan come from the Eldar, the oldest children of Ilúvatar. The first elves to be awoken in Middle-earth, Imin, Tata, and Enel alongside their wives ventured into the forests where they found other elves and each joined a different group, claiming them as theirs.
Imin claimed the smallest group they found last and they would later become Vanyar. Tata claimed tall and dark-haired elves he found watching the stars and these would later become fathers of the most Ñoldor. They also encountered a group of elves singing without language. They would be claimed by Enel and named Teleri.
Later these clans would separate into many different houses. After analyzing this chart we come to the conclusion that any kinship between Arwen and Legolas is so negligible it is not worth mentioning.
Why does Legolas look so weird in the Hobbit?
There are lots of things fans had to say about The Hobbit trilogy, both good and bad, but one question seemed pretty consistent and that is why does Legolas look so different?
Well, the simple answer most people will give you has to do with the fact that Legolas was not originally intended to be in this trilogy. When the first three movies were filmed Orlando Bloom, the actor who portrays Legolas, was 22 years old. Because of his age, the actor had no issues portraying a youthful elf full of energy.
The Hobbit trilogy, even though it was filmed and released later, depicts the events that take place before the original trilogy, meaning the Legolas in the Hobbit trilogy would be even younger.
Even though this was possible in the case of Legolas, there was no way to make the now almost 40 years old actor Orlando Bloom any younger, so the filmmakers had to settle for a stunt double for any challenging scenes in the movies because the action required an even more active and agile elf to make the part believable.
The heavy usage of the stunt double paired with the fact that there was a mix-up with the actor’s contacts which made his eyes brighter it’s understandable why many fans wondered why Legolas looks so different.
Besides this, there is also an explanation based on the lore of the story. Although elves are one of the only creatures that do not suffer at the hands of time they still grow and evolve as it passes. Legolas is much younger in the Hobbit trilogy and there is an event that changed him that happens between these two stories.
Legolas was indicated to be in love with Tauriel, a character that we get to introduced to in The Hobbit trilogy. She is depicted as a lowly Silvan Elf but a talented one none the less. Because of this, she was named the captain of the Elven guard of Thranduil’s Woodland Realm.
She deemed herself not worthy of Legolas due to her status in comparison to his. During the course of the story, she meets Kili and ultimately falls in love with him. This caused her to reject Legolas in favor of a dwarf.
This can support the theory that during the time that passes in between two trilogies Legolas simply grew as a character which in turn forced him to change some things in the way he acts and maybe some smaller things about his appearance. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think this event was caused by everything that happened during the Hobbit trilogy.
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