Tuesday, November 5, 2013

MEC Day 5: Best Of The Fellowship

"Dwarf doors are invisible when closed."
"Yes, Gimli. Even their own masters cannot find them, if their secrets are forgotten." 
"Why doesn't that surprise me?"

Aragorn, Boromir, Frodo, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Merry, Pippin, and Sam. Nine companions who became the Fellowship of the Ring. But who's the best? 

Okey dokey, I'd like to insert here that while I love each and every member of the fellowship, I do not fangirl. In reality, actions like those kinda disgust me, so I pick my favorites based on quotability, humor, costume, morals, and actions. Just so you know.

But the best of the fellowship? I choose...

Legolas Greenleaf

So why Legolas? He's been my favorite of the fellowship since I first read The Fellowship of the Ring. And once I had seen him in the movie, my opinion only solidified. At ten years old, it was my wish (and still is) to gather eight companions to reenact the entire FotR film. Since Legolas had long, blond hair just as I did, it was quite obvious to me which character I should play. And it only helped that my siblings told me that I make various faces that look exactly like Legolas.

Legolas: I feel something. A slight tingling in my fingers. I think it's affecting me.

Legolas Greenleaf is the son of the elven king Thranduil of Mirkwood, the pointy-eared elvish princeling of the woodland realm. Like his Mirkwood kin, he wears colors of the earth and of life, green and brown. His armor, if you could call it that, is light to enable him the greatest possibly flexibility for battle. Elves don't weigh themselves down with heavy metal chainmail and plate armor; instead, their clothing reflects the lifestyle they prefer: simple, elegant, and clean. Legolas's main weapon is a bow, and he uses it with deadly accuracy. He is also in possession of a knife (made two in the movies) which he plies when he runs out of arrows (which he does, readers; don't let anyone ever tell you that Legolas never ran out of arrows; clearly, they've never read the book). When the Fellowship passes through Lothlorien, the home of his kinfolk, Legolas dons an epic elven cloak alongside of his companions.

Being an elf and despite being over one thousand years old during the events of LOTR, Legolas doesn't fatigue easily. He is light on his feet, and when the company travels the pass of Caradhras, he doesn't burrow through the drifts like everyone else; he walks on the snow. In the book, he even goes ahead of the others alone to seek out a path and find the sun. 

Legolas: If Gandalf would go before us with a bright flame, he might melt a path for you.

Gandalf: If Elves could fly over the mountains, they might fetch the Sun to save us. But I must have something to work on. I cannot burn snow.

Despite what many people think, Legolas is not perfect; even Middle-Earth's most famous elf has his flaws. When we first meet the prince of Mirkwood at Elrond's council, he seems proud and biased. The majority of his kin hate the dwarves for their selfish greed of precious metals and their unfeeling actions towards other people ("The dwarves? They hide in their mountains, seeking riches. They care nothing for the troubles of others."). Thus, when he is thrown together in a company with a dwarf, he is ready and prepared to dislike him. Gimli, too, for his part, was all too ready to dislike Legolas.

Legolas: Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond just said? The Ring must be destroyed!

Gimli: And I suppose you think you're the one to do it! ... I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf! Never trust an elf!


Legolas: A plague on the dwarves and their stiff necks!

Let's compare Legolas's actions in The Hobbit to his
actions in LOTR, shall we? Threatening to protecting.

Yet, during their adventures, the apathetic feelings they carried for each other disappeared. Both learned to accept the other as a friend. That's character growth. That's what I like to see in characters. Legolas isn't so high and mighty to not admit that he was wrong. Dwarves can be the friends of the elves, and he accepts that. 

Gimli: I'd never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an elf.

Legolas: What about side by side with a friend?

Gimli: Aye, laddie. I could do that.


{Gimli} was named Elf-friend because of the great love that grew between him and Legolas, son of King Thranduil. . . But when King Elessar gave up his life Legolas followed at last the desire of his heart and sailed over the Sea. We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli Gloin's son with him because of their great friendship, greater than any that has been between Elf and Dwarf. 

Legolas is probably the greatest fictional archer of all time, hands down. Who could ever compare to the elven talent? Susan Pevensie... nope. Hawkeye... good, but please! He has no equal. Plus, he's ambidextrous. The bow Legolas uses for the majority of LOTR is a bow of the Galadhrim, a gift from the Lady Galadriel herself. The bowstring is actually a strand of her hair. 

Galadriel: My gift for you, Legolas, is a bow of the Galadhrim, worthy of the skill of our woodland kin.


Suddenly the great bow of Lorien sang. Shrill went the arrow from the elven-string.

Legolas may look delicate (Orlando Bloom even broke a rib during filming), being an elf over one thousand years, I might remind you, but he's not a naive little boy. He's a, well, not quite battle-scarred, but battle-tested warrior. He was chosen to accompany Frodo on his quest because of his prowess in fighting as well as to represent the Elves in the venture. In the movie, he verbally volunteers to go with Frodo, which I think shows more character.

And then of course, I always think this:

Which, technically, isn't true as Gimli didn't shatter his axe, but his father's. If you watch that scene carefully, you can see Gimli grab the axe leaning on the chair next to him, the chair that Gloin is sitting in. Thankfully, dwarves usually carry more than one axe on them at a time, so Gloin probably had another axe to wield on the way home from the council.

Yet, what most people don't realize is that Legolas could have opted out of going with Frodo. Elrond stated at the council that no Fellowship member need go further than he wished, and in the book, it is implied that the Fellowship will break apart after the Ring crosses the Misty Mountains, for that was the most Legolas and Gimli were originally willing to go. They weren't really required to see Frodo to the slopes of Mount Doom, and honestly, I don't think that either of them actually planned on going that far when they were chosen after the council. But both of them stuck with the others after Moria, they went to Lothlorien with the rest of the Fellowship because they were joined together in their grief for Gandalf's passing. After that, they traveled down the Great River together and met Saruman's Uruks at Amon Hen, the place where the Fellowship was ultimately broken up. But Legolas and Gimli still could have gone home there. No oath bound them to continue.

But they did. A bond of friendship held them together. While they could not follow Frodo into the East, the three hunters did not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Legolas hadn't signed on to become a babysitter for the hobbits, but during their travels a brotherhood had been knit so that to leave Merry and Pippin would be like betraying his own family. Even though he was the oldest by a couple hundred years, he let Aragorn take the lead, and followed without complaint.

One last thing about Legolas before I end this post. Many people call him Captain Obvious, and with good reason. He's constantly stating the obvious in all of his scenes, which makes him all that more quotable. But think! He's an elf. He sees things that most people don't or just vaguely glance over. He's more aware of his surroundings, and with his more highly developed senses, he's the one that people call on for explanations. For example, Captain Obvious at his best...

Legolas: A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.


Legolas: (to Aragorn) You're late. You look terrible.


Legolas: There is a fell voice on the air.

Gandalf: It's Saruman!


Legolas: The horses are restless, and the men are quiet.

Eomer: They grow nervous in the shadow of the mountain.


Legolas: We should move on.

Aragorn: No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for cover of darkness.

Legolas: It is not the eastern shore that worries me. A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Something draws near. I can feel it.

For more details about the 30 Day Middle-Earth Challenge, please visit here! And just so you know, today, YES TODAY, the extended The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been released into stores. The Extended Edition. Read it, folks! THE EXTENDED EDITION!!! 13 new minutes of never-before-seen footage! Awesome, ain't it?



  1. Legolas is great! I still can't decide who I will chose... It's so hard!

  2. Excellent post, Kiri! Legolas is quite the epic character; being an elf, shooting a bow, and all the other things he is and does. :)

  3. EXCELLENT post, Kiri!!!! I shall save my numerous comments on it for an email. :D

    Legolas is amazing, but my top favorite member of the Fellowship has always been Aragorn. (For reasons which I put in my post for today.)

    So, Kiri, if I come visit you and we reenact the Fellowship, since you'll be Legolas, can I be Aragorn? :D

    1. Certainly!! :D But I reserve the right to be the better bowman.

  4. Oh, yes, and *mentally screaming and clapping*

    That is me excited about the release of the Extended Edition!!!

  5. This was an awesome post!!! Loved it!