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Legolas Greenleaf

Legolas and Gimli
Artist © John Howe

Date of Birth: unknown, but in Peter Jacksonís movies, Legolas is indicated to be 2,931. This however has no basis in the book. Indeed in book references Legolas says this:

"It [Fangorn] is old, very old," said the Elf. "So old that almost I feel young again, as I have not felt since I journeyed with you children."
The Two Towers: "The White Rider," 

"Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood in my home since then," said Legolas, "and but a little while does that seem to us."
The Two Towers: "The King of the Golden Hall," 

"These are the strangest trees that ever I saw," he said; "and I have seen many an oak grow from acorn to ruinous age."
The Two Towers: "The Road to Isengard," 

Race: Silvan elf, of Sindarin descent

Left Middle Earth: Year 120 of the Fourth Age

Parents: Father is Thranduil, Lord of the Elves of Mirkwood. Mother unknown.

Physical Description: Tall, with long fair hair. He is graceful and fair of face beyond the measure of men.

Hair Colour: Legolas's hair color is one of great debate.  The main debate surrounds the one vague reference to his hair colour in The Fellowship of the Ring.  

"Frodo looked up at the Elf standing tall above him, as he gazed into the night, seeking a mark to shoot at. His head was dark, crowned with sharp white stars that glittered in the black pools of the sky behind. " The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Great River"

However, this passage does not necessarily mean that he had dark hair, merely that it appeared so in the darkness

In the Appendices elven, though not Legolas' hair colour was addressed:  

"They [the Quendi] were a race high and beautiful, the older Children of the world, and among them the Eldar were as kings, who are now gone: the People of the Great Journey, the People of the Stars. They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finarfin ..." Appendix F: Part II, "On Translation," 

However In The Hobbit, Legolas's father Thranduil is described as having golden hair:

... at the head of a long line of feasters sat a woodland king with a crown of leaves upon his golden hair ...
The Hobbit:"Flies and Spiders,"

Legolas may therefore, have inherited the golden hair of his father.  The contradiction in this is that Thranduil was not of the Finfarin house.

However, Christopher Tolkien, writing in The Book of Lost Tales I suggests that the golden hair was given only to those elves of Noldor descent.

'They were a race high and beautiful, and among them the Eldar were as kings, who are now gone: the People of the Great Journey, the People of the Stars. They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finrod [later corrected to Finarfin] ...' Thus these words describing characters of face and hair were actually written of the Noldor only, and not of all the Eldar: indeed the Vanyar had golden hair, and it was from Finarfin's Vanyarin mother Indis that he, and Finrod Felagund and Galadriel his children, had their golden hair that marked them out among the princes of the Noldor.
The Book of Lost Tales I: "The Cottage of Lost Play" (commentary)

If this is correct, then the comment about Elven hair color from Appendix F does not apply to the Sindarin Elves, who were a group of the Eldar separate from the Noldor, and so it could be possible that some among them might have had golden hair.

The appearance of Sindarin Elves is again referenced seperately through the definition of Sindar, which means "the Grey" or "the Grey-Elves": 

"The Loremasters also supposed that reference was made to the hair of the Sindar. Elwe himself had long and beautiful hair of silver hue, but this does not seem to have been a common feature of the Sindar, though it was found among them occasionally especially in the nearer or remoter kin of Elwe (as in the case of Cirdan). In general the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles, being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe." The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels: "Quendi and Eldar,"

This passages states that the majority of the Sindar were dark-haired, but it also allows that there were exceptions in the case of silver-haired Sindar. Thus it seems possible that there might also have been exceptions of Sindar with golden hair, such as Thranduil.

So it seems Legolas may well have had the golden hair of his father, or had the dark-hair of the more general Sindar.

Weapons: Bow and arrows, and long white knife

Horse: Arod

Galadrielís Gift: Bow of the Galadhrim and a quiver of arrows

Little is known of Legolasí early life. In 3018 of the Third Age, he was sent from Mirkwood to represent the elves at the Council of Elrond. During the War of the Ring, he fought alongside the rest of the Fellowship in the battles of the Hornburg and Pelennor Fields. Later he returned to the Glittering Caves with Gimli. Legolas brought elves from the Woodland Realm to Ithilien, and the land that had fallen under the shadow of Mordor became green again under their care. But Legolas always heard the call of the sea, and in the year 120 of the Fourth Age, after the death of Aragorn, he decided to follow his heart. He built a grey ship and set sail down the Anduin, accompanied by his great friend Gimli the dwarf. Together the last 2 members of the Fellowship sailed over the sea into the West.




Contributed by
Elfy P

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