Legolas (whose name in Sindarin means “Greenleaf”) is an elf of the Sindar, a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Like any other elves he is immortal.
Legolas has extremely good hearing as well as eyesight – all elves are renowned archers able to hit a bird’s eye
from a long distance. At the very beginning of the journey the members of the Fellowship find themselves in Hollin, a
dwelling place of the elves who went northwards. There Legolas hears the moans of stones while the others hear only the
sound of the wind blowing. At that time such qualities of Legolas made him priceless for the Fellowship.
The elf is not frightened by forces of nature such as a blinding blizzard one of which occurred in the Misty Mountains
on Caradhras peak. He was the only one who remained in good spirits in that bad weather. Why did the other members of
the Company feel nervous and Boromir even suggested going back? It seems like the unity with nature helps the elf. He
could thread his way through the depths of forests, noiseless and unseen. If Gimli, Legolas’ faithful friend, could
easily find the way in the dark caves, on the ground only Aragorn could surpass him.
In all the battles Legolas is the first archer. Successfully he fights with fierce werewolves and vile orcs, and even
hits a flying Nazgul. A fine weapon, Lorian’s bow, mighty, resilient and strong, given as a present from Galadriel,
helps him to do that.
Legolas Greenleaf is not only a great warrior but also a fine singer. Along with Aragorn he sings a burial song for the
dead Boromir, although his voice strains every now and then. It looks as if Tolkien tried to depict in Legolas spiritual
wealth of the ancient people.
As to his appearance, Legolas has beautiful eyes, long fair hair and pointed ears. He has a good figure, slim and
slender. The features of his face are refined unlike Gimli’s and Sam’s.
Besides his favourite bow and quiver with heavy and deadly arrows, Legolas has a dagger with a silver handle. We learn
about the elf’s armour from the description at the meeting with Theoden son of Thengel, King of the Mark of Rohan:
“… and they arrayed Aragorn and Legolas in shining mail. Helms too they chose, and round shields: their bosses were
overlaid with gold and set with gems, green and red and white…”. Before that he tried to do away with his heavy
ammunition. Lorian’s cloak, which every member of the Fellowship had, made him invisible.
Along with his faithful friends, Gimli and Aragorn, the elf performs a number of deeds. He doughtily fights at the
battle of the Hornburg, takes the Paths of the Dead, participates in the battle of the Pelennor.
More than anything he likes to wander in forests and listen with delight to birds singing. A journey to Fangorn, Ent’s
place of habitation, gives him great pleasure. But Gimli constantly disturbs Legolas with his memories of the beauty of
the caves. At the end the friends decide that when the War of the Ring is over, they will visit their favourite places
Legolas can be called a philosopher to some extent. Let’s remember his conversation with Gimli about the future of the
people inhabiting Middle-earth:
“Yet seldom do they fail of their seed,” said Legolas. “And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again
in times and places unlooked-for. The deeds of Men will outlast us, Gimli.”
“And yet come to naught in the end but might-have-beens, I guess,” said the Dwarf.
“To that the Elves know not the answer,” said Legolas.
But the elf finds it difficult to understand why people’s dreams do not always come true. He believes in people more
than Gimli does. If Gimli is the embodiment of solidity and insipidity of a grey stone, Legolas, in his turn, is quite
the opposite. He loves gardens and wants them to blossom on the free land.
After the end of the War of the Ring Legolas together with the other elves comes back to the Ithilien lands. He dwells
there till F.A. 120 and when the King dies he sails over the Sea with Gimli. The last pages of the Red Book of Westmarch
narrate about it.
Although Legolas leaves Middle Earth, we can understand him. It is there, beyond the sea, where the ancient motherland
of the elves is. And he, being a true patriot, follows his people. Long live such heroes!