Alignment Protagonist
Race Elf
Weapons/Equipment Bow/arrows
Elven knife
Dead or Alive Alive
Nationality Mirkwood
Status Mirkwood Elven prince

Legolas is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. He is an Elf of the Woodland Realm and one of nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring.

He is also a LEGO minifigure.


Legolas was the son of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood, who appears as "the Elvenking" in The Hobbit. Thranduil ruled over the Silvan Elves or "Wood-elves" of Mirkwood.

Although he lived among the Silvan Elves, Legolas was not one himself. His father Thranduil had originally come from Lindon; he and his son were actually Sindar, or "Grey Elves", called in the singular Sinda; "Sindarin" was their language. A small minority of Sindar (headed by Thranduil by the time of The Hobbit) ruled the predominantly Silvan Woodland Realm. Thranduil himself was the son of Oropher. Legolas' mother is never mentioned; the Elves of Mirkwood have no Queen at the time of The Hobbit. It is also unknown whether or not he had any siblings.

The realm's Sindar minority, who should have been more noble and wise than the Silvan Elves, went "native" at the end of the First Age. After Melkor was defeated and all of the grand Elf-kingdoms of Beleriand were destroyed, the Sindar returned to "a simpler time" in their culture. The realm of Lothlórien was similar to the Woodland Realm in that a community of Silvan Elves was ruled by a non-Silvan minority, namely Galadriel and Celeborn.

Legolas was introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring, at the council of Elrond of Rivendell, where he came as a messenger from his father to discuss Gollum's escape from their guard. Legolas was chosen to be a member of the Fellowship that intended to destroy the One Ring. He accompanied the other members in their travels from Rivendell to Amon Hen, serving as the group's archer.

When the Fellowship was trapped by a snowstorm while crossing the mountain Caradhras, Legolas provides a bit of comic relief as he scouted ahead, claiming he was "off to find the Sun"; at the same time his scouting efforts proved invaluable to both Aragorn and Boromir, who were disheartened by a seemingly impassable wall of snow until Legolas informed them that they were nearly through. Since the attempt to cross Caradhras failed, Gandalf took the Fellowship on an underground journey through Moria, an ancient Dwarf-kingdom, though some (including Legolas) did not wish to travel there. Before they reached Moria, however, Legolas helped fend off an attack by Sauron's wolves in Hollin. Once in Moria, he helped fight off Orcs and recognized "Durin's Bane" as a Balrog of Morgoth. After Gandalf was lost while facing the Balrog, Aragorn took charge of the Fellowship and led them to the Elven realm of Lothlórien, the Golden Wood. Legolas served as the initial spokesperson for the company, speaking with the inhabitants, the Galadhrim, whom he considered close kin.

Within the Fellowship, there was initially friction between Legolas and the Dwarf Gimli, because of the ancient quarrel between Elves and Dwarves after the destruction of Doriath in the First Age; and also because Thranduil once threw Gimli's father, Glóin, in prison. In addition Thranduil had been disliked by dwarves ever since he refused to pay them for crafting his raw metals. Legolas and Gimli became friends, moreover, when Gimli greeted the Elven queen Galadriel with gentle words. The Fellowship left Lothlórien after receiving several gifts. Legolas was given a new longbow, along with other gifts that Galadriel and Celeborn gave him and the rest of the Fellowship, such as Elven cloaks and lembas bread. While the Fellowship was travelling over the River Anduin, Legolas used his new bow to shoot down a nearby "fell beast" with one shot.

After Boromir was killed and Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took were captured by Orcs and Uruk-Hai in The Two Towers, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli set forth in pursuit of the two captured hobbits. Legolas and his companions met a resurrected Gandalf in Rohan, who passed on a message from Galadriel - which he interprets as foretelling his death:

"Legolas Greenleaf long under the tree,

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

The three met with the Rohirrim, fought in the Battle of the Hornburg, and witnessed Saruman's downfall at Isengard together with Gandalf, where they were reunited with Merry and Pippin. In the Battle of the Hornburg, Legolas and Gimli engaged in an Orc-slaying contest, which Gimli won by one, killing forty-two to Legolas's forty-one, but the real result was stronger mutual respect.

In The Return of the King, Legolas and Gimli accompanied Aragorn on the Paths of the Dead, along with the Grey Company. After Aragorn summoned the Dead Men of Dunharrow to fight for him, Legolas saw them frighten away the Corsairs of Umbar from their ships at Pelargir. Galadriel's prophecy was fulfilled: as Legolas heard the cries of seagulls, he began to experience the Sea-longing — the desire to sail west to Valinor the "Blessed Realm" which was latent among the Sindar. He fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and of the Morannon and watched as Sauron was defeated and Barad-dûr collapsed.

After the destruction of the One Ring, Legolas remained in Minas Tirith for Aragorn's crowning and marriage to Arwen. Later, Legolas and Gimli went travelling together through Fangorn forest and to visit the Glittering Caves of Helm's Deep, as Gimli and promised him. Eventually, Legolas founded an Elf-colony in Ithilien and spent his remaining time helping to restore its devastated forests. It was told in the Red Book of Westmarch (first written by Bilbo Baggins, continued by Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee and finally passed down through his heirs), that after Aragorn's death in the year 120 of the Fourth Age, Legolas built a grey ship and left Middle-earth to go over the Sea to Valinor, and that Gimli went with him.


Tolkien first describes Legolas in The Fellowship of the Ring as "a strange Elf, clad in green and brown".

As part of the Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas is armed with a bow and arrows and one "long white knife" which hangs by his side. While the Fellowship attempts to cross Caradhras, Legolas alone remains light-hearted. He is little affected by the blowing winds and snow; he does not even wear boots, only light shoes, and his feet scarcely make imprints on the snow - illustrating the Elves' otherworldliness. As Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli chase after Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers, Legolas is the only one of the threesome who does not become tired after days of constant running, and does not sleep when Aragorn and Gimli have to stop for a night. When the Company journey through the Paths of the Dead, all are chilled by the murmurs and whispers of the dead save Legolas, who states, "the shades of Men hold no terror for Elves". Legolas can see and hear from great distances, attributes constantly referred to throughout the story even if Legolas is not present with the narrating party. He is also lithe and slender with bright, keen eyes and ears and is fair of face as all elves are. He is an unrivalled archer and Gandalf calls him a dangerous warrior. His keen eyes, ears and fighting skills are of immense use to the Fellowship but his friendship and loyalty to Aragorn, Gimli and Frodo make him an even more important member.

Legolas' hair color is not definitively stated. Some argue that he is dark, referring to a passage in The Fellowship of the Ring where Frodo looks up at the Elf and sees that "His head was dark, crowned with sharp white stars." This could, however, be simply an outcome of the fact that Legolas was in silhouette. Both Ralph Bakshi and Peter Jackson make him blond in their respective film adaptations. This is supported by the fact that Thranduil, Legolas's father and a Sindarin elf, is described in The Hobbit as having golden hair, in spite of most Sindarin elves having dark hair.

Though neither Legolas' age nor his birthdate are directly given in Tolkien's writings, some passages indicate he is far older than Aragorn and Gimli. For instance, he calls them "children" and says he has seen "many an oak grow from acorn to ruinous age". The Appendices to The Lord of the Rings do reveal Gimli's and Aragorn's birthdates: at the time of the War of the Ring, they are 139 and 87 respectively.

Though his father and his kingdom appear in The Hobbit, Legolas does not appear himself, as his character had yet not been created (though his name had). However, since he is over 139 years old, being older than Gimli, he must have been alive during the events of The Hobbit, which take place less than a century before the Quest of Mount Doom.


In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (2001–2003), Legolas was portrayed by Orlando Bloom. He is presented as an unstoppable fighter, performing various feats or stunts in battle scenes; in the book Legolas' exploits in battle are not presented in great detail. The character's relationship with Gimli is shown to have moved from brief hostility as seen in The Fellowship of the Ring to respect and friendship in The Two Towers. This is first seen when Éomer makes a remark towards Gimli that he wished to cut off the dwarf's head "if it but stood a little higher off the ground". Legolas drew an arrow on Éomer immediately afterwards, claiming, "You would die before your stroke fell." The two also engage in a drinking contest which Gimli loses due to Legolas' much higher metabolism which gives him a far greater resistance to the effects of alcohol. During the battle of Helm's Deep, the two engage in a contest to see who can slay the most enemies, as they do in the novel, though the films depict Legolas constantly being at least one kill ahead of Gimli. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Legolas and Gimli continue their friendly competition that started in The Two Towers, which usually (and comically) leaves Gimli on the losing side. Due to technical mishaps involving Bloom's contact lenses, in the films Legolas' eye color sometimes changes between brown, purple, and blue (in the Extended Edition of the movie, on the director's commentary, Peter Jackson admitted that they did, indeed, forget to put Bloom's contacts in several times).



Official and Hobbit DescriptionsEdit

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A Prince of the Elven Kingdom of Mirkwood, Legolas Greenleaf masters a bow like no other in Middle-earth. He moves like lightning - swift, and graceful. His senses are sharp, and he is always at one with nature and all living things. He is an Elf of few words and remarkable actions and likes a little healthy competition among friends in battle!

Although a Prince of the Woodland Realm and a High Elf, like his father Thranduil, Legolas is more likely to be found patrolling the forest alongside the Sylvan Elves of the Woodland Guard than in the Court of the King. Tall and lithe, he is a lethal fighter and fiercely loyal to his father and his people; however, events in the outside world have begun to encroach upon the insular world of the Wood Elves. A growing sense of foreboding forces Legolas to choose between the will of his father and his own conscience.



Lore SourceEdit