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Legolas 'Greenleaf' Bringer Of Sunshine

Prince Legolas Greenleaf, son of Thranduil King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood ruler of the Silvanian Elves. A 'strange' Elf, clad not only in green and brown but also in mystery. Who is Legolas Greenleaf and how to trace his history back in time? And why does Tolkien refer to his as 'strange' among the Elves?

"There was also a strange Elf clad in green and brown, Legolas, a messenger from his father, Thranduil, the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood." (J.R.R.Tolkien - Council of Elrond)

Legolas Greenleaf, son of Thranduil the King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood that rules over the Silvanian Elves. Thranduil is originally from Lindon, and this makes him and Legolas , Sindar or Grey-Elves.The identity and origins of Legolas's mother remains shrouded in mystery.  Legolas is one of the Nine chosen to be part on the Fellowship of the Ring, from the start he becomes the 'eyes' and 'ears' of the group, often on a look-out duties. Oddly enough he seem not very knowledgeable about the history of his people or Middle-earth or maybe he is just careful not to reveal too much as Elves often are. He is defiantly not a warrior like Gimli, his main preoccupation seem to be limited to protect his companions, Legolas is clearly a skilled woodland Elf, in touch with the natural world.

PRINCE INCOGNITO

Legolas is the son of a King,  a Prince of the Elves, yet no one does refer to him as such or treat him with special regards for his royal connection. This is small surprise considering Legolas never refers to himself as a Prince or as the son of a King. In fairness it must be said that as Elves are immortal he is not expected to be replacing his father as King any time soon, Maybe for Elves such royal titles and connections have little importance , Legolas clearly does not feel or act as if he is special or different from the rest of the Fellowship. As I said at the start his heritage is Sindar, yet Legolas has all the characteristics of a true Wood-Elf. The Sindar are often associated with nobility while the Wood-Elves live a more simple and rustic life, often oblivious of the rest of the world and in close contact with nature similar to the life of the hobbits in the Shire.

THE BRINGER OF SUNSHINE

A perfect nickname for Legolas. He is indeed warm like a ray of sunshine. In the depth of despair in Caradhras under a wild snow storm when all hope seem lost, here is our 'strange' Elf, wearing only soft shoes, singing little songs and setting off to a very important quest....

'I go to find the Sun!'

His behavior is simple and child-like, he is positive and smiling into adversity, often joking with Gimli and the others, lifting their spirits. he is curious about the strange trees on the road to Isengard, like a child would be . Legolas is like a ray of  warm sunshine.

TALL, FAIR, AND BEAUTIFUL

Here a debate that have divided Legolas's fans since the book came out, how does he look and what color is Legolas's hair? When it came to describe Legolas, Tolkien wrote only that he is tall, fair and beautiful like his race. Elves however have different hair colors just like Men, Hobbits and Dwarves do. So is he dark-haired or is he blond ? A very small clue about this matter can be found in The Hobbit book, where Tolkien describes Legolas's father Thranduil as being blond. In the Fellowship of the Ring there are two very small references about Legolas's hair

"...with his hood thrown back; his hair glinted like gold in the morning sun." (J.R.R. Tolkien-Lothlórien)

Regardless of his true heritage, it is quite clear that although very good-looking, Legolas is much more than a handsome Elf , he is a loyal and valued member of the Fellowship, a true friend.

THE SONG TO THE SEA

Legolas's past, age, and even hair color have always been lost . These information are deliberately absent from the history of Middle-earth , but his actions as a member of the Fellowship of the Ring  will be told forevermore. Legolas is present in Minas Tirith as a witness of Aragorn's  victory, the destruction of the One Ring and the King's coronation and his marriage to Arwen. Having forged the greatest of friendships with Gimli, the two of them will be then go on traveling together. Later on Legolas starts an Elf-colony in Ithilien, and spends several years helping in the recreation forests that were been destroyed in battles. After the death of Aragorn, Legolas builds a beautiful Grey Ship and pass into the West in the Undying Lands with Gimli, as it is told in the Red Book of Westmarch written by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee of the Shire.

To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling,
The voices of my people that have gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling,
In Eressëa, in Elvenhome that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people for ever!

(J.R.R.Tolkien)

 

Article by Amorey - Laurelin Archives Webteam

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