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This article is about the Elf of Mirkwood. For the Elf of Gondolin, see Legolas (elf of Gondolin).
Legolas in Tengwar

"Nay, time does not tarry ever, but change and growth is not in all things and places alike. For the Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow."
Legolas, speaking to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Great River"

Legolas was a Sindarin Elf who was part of the Fellowship of the Ring in the Third Age. Son of the Elvenking Thranduil of Mirkwood, Legolas was Mirkwood's prince, a messenger, and a master archer. With his keen eyesight, sensitive hearing, and excellent bowmanship, Legolas was valuable to the Fellowship in their journey across Middle-earth. He was well-known for becoming friends with the dwarf Gimli, despite their long-held differences.


Early Life

Legolas was the only son of Thranduil, the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood. His exact date of birth and mother's name are unknown.

War of the Ring

Legolas came to the Council of Elrond in Rivendell, the great meeting held by the Elf lord Elrond, as a messenger from his father to discuss the escape of Gollum. When the council was choosing the "Nine Walkers" to pit against the "Nine Riders," Legolas volunteered to represent the elves, and to become one of the members of the Fellowship that would set out to destroy the One Ring.[2]

Legolas in combat with the Goblins during the Skirmish in Balin's Tomb

During their journey, Legolas would stay at the rear due to his keen eyes. On Caradhras, Legolas was able to run nimbly over the snow, leaving behind little imprint, whereas his companions struggled to plough through it.[3] When Gandalf gave his counsel, Legolas voted against passing through Moria. In the morning, the Fellowship was waylaid by wargs and Legolas fought in their defence. After the battle, he picked up his arrows, save one which was damaged.[4]

Gimli quarreled with him in Moria (which was not unexpected considering the ancient quarrel between Elves and Dwarves) - Legolas' father Thranduil had once imprisoned Gimli's father, Glóin.[5]

He and Gimli became friends, however, when Gimli greeted the Elf, Lady Galadriel, with gentle words. Before the Fellowship departed from Lothorien, Legolas was given a new Galadhrim longbow.[6] While the Fellowship was travelling over the River Anduin, he used his new bow to shoot an overhead Nazgûl on a Fellbeast with one masterful shot in the dark.[7]

After the breaking of the Fellowship, Legolas and Aragorn sang a song of lament for the fall of Boromir.[8] He then led the way as he, Aragorn and Gimli raced through Rohan after the Uruk-hai who had taken Merry and Pippin. During that week, he acquired a grey horse named Arod, on which he and Gimli would often ride together, from the Riders of Rohan.[9]

In Fangorn Forest, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli were reunited with Gandalf, now called Gandalf the White. Upon their meeting, Gandalf delivered the messages of Galadriel to them:

Legolas Greenleaf, long under tree, In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea! If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore, Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.
—Galadriel's message to Legolas[1]

Legolas and Gimli at Helm's Deep, by John Howe

In the Battle of the Hornburg, Legolas and Gimli engaged in an Orc-slaying contest [10] that Gimli won (the score being 42 to 43, respectively), though Legolas was not jealous, stating, "You have passed my score by one but I do not grudge you the game, so glad am I to see you on your legs."[11]

In Rohan, he and Gimli followed Aragorn, Elladan and Elrohir to the Paths of the Dead. His horse, Arod, refused to enter the paths, but Legolas calmed him. Their company rode on, with Elladan on the last, but Legolas turned back and saw the Dead following the Grey Company.

The Dead are following. I see shapes of Men and of horses, and pale banners like shreds of cloud, and spears like winter-thickets on a misty night. The Dead are following.
—Legolas in the Paths of the Dead[12]

Legolas fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields with Gimli and the sons of Elrond.[13] After the battle, he and Gimli entered Minas Tirith; Legolas sang an elven-song as he walked, and suggested that the city needed more gardens. They met Prince Imrahil and went to the Houses of Healing, at which he remembered the cries of the gulls at Pelargir and sang a song about his sea-longing.[14]

Silver flow the streams from Celos to Erui
In the green fields of Lebennin!
Tall grows the grass there. In the wind from the Sea
The white lilies sway,
And the golden bells are shaken of mallos and alfirin
In the green fields of Lebennin,
In the wind from the Sea! [14]

After the war

Legolas and Gimli sail to Valinor, by Ted Nasmith

After the destruction of the One Ring and of Sauron, Legolas stayed for the coronation of Aragorn II Elessar and his marriage to Arwen. Later, he and Gimli travelled together to Helm's Deep, visiting the Glittering Caves, and then traveled through Fangorn Forest. Eventually, Legolas came to Ithilien with some of his people, with his father's leave, to live out his remaining time in Middle-earth helping to restore the woodlands that had been war-torn. After Aragorn's death, Legolas made a ship in Ithilien and left Middle-earth to go over the sea. His strong friendship with Gimli prompted Legolas to invite him to go to the Undying Lands; making him the first and only Dwarf to do so. He was never seen again in Middle-earth.[15][16]


Legolas, by Magali Villenueve

The name Legolas is a Silvan dialect form of pure Sindarin Laegolas, meaning 'green leaf'. It consists of Sindarin words laeg ("green") and golas ("a collection of leaves, foliage, being a prefixed collective form of las(s) "leaf").[17] The Quenya translation of Legolas is Laiqualassë.[18][19]

There might, however, be a certain meaning to his name: laeg is a very rare, archaic word for "green", which is normally replaced by calen (cf. Calenhad, mutated Parth Galen and plural Pinnath Gelin) and is otherwise almost only preserved in Laegrim, Laegel(d)rim (Sindarin form of Quenya Laiquendi), the Green Elves of the First Age. It may be that Thranduil named his son Legolas to at least in part refer to this people, who were remote kin and ancestors of the later Silvan Elves, the people Thranduil ruled.


Young Legolas, by Anna Lee

Although he lived among them, Legolas was not fully of the Silvan Elves. As a son of the Elven-king Thranduil, who had originally come from Doriath, Legolas was at least half Sindarin Elf; his mother's identity is completely unknown. This is complicated by the fact that a small minority of Sindarin Elves ruled the predominantly Silvan Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood, a minority to which Legolas belonged. The Sindarin minority in that realm, who should have been nobler and wiser than the Silvan Elves can be seen as having "gone native" at the end of the First Age: after Morgoth was defeated and all grand Elf-kingdoms of Beleriand were destroyed, the Silvans can be seen as having reverted to a simpler, lowly society.[20]

Like all Elves, Legolas had great respect and appreciation for nature. After the Fellowship parted from Fangorn Forest, he longed to return once more to explore its wonders more thoroughly. He was kind, caring greatly for his friends, even Gimli the Dwarf, though Elves and Dwarves almost never expressed liking for one another in Middle-earth. Due to his age, however, Legolas sometimes seemed rather patronizing toward the mortals around him.[1]

Powers and abilities

Legolas in Parth Galen

As an Elf, Legolas had the abilities typical of his race. He could walk silently grass and snow leaving minimal footprints, allowing him to advance unhindered. His eyes were sharper than that of Men, seeing through great distances and in the dark. He could even sleep while walking, which contributed to allowing him to travel 45 leagues in less than four days with Aragorn and Gimli. He tamed unruly horses with only a few words, without needing reins or saddles.


Legolas famously used an Elven bow, as well as a long, white knife. He would prefer to pierce his enemies from afar, but his dagger was sometimes used for close combat. In Lothlórien, he was given a long-bow of the Galadhrim, which was longer and stouter than those of the fashion of Mirkwood.[21]

Lothlorien Bow.jpg
Legolas' Bow of the Galadhrim
Legolas' dual long knives that were used in the films (One in the books)

Behind the scenes

The Elves in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium were often associated as "fairy-like" beings who grew great in stature. However, when Legolas was visually rendered as "pretty", Tolkien was "wrathful" and added a description as Legolas as:

"He was as tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship."
J.R.R. Tolkien on Legolas [22]

The Hobbit

John D. Rateliff speculates in The History of the Hobbit that had Tolkien gone on to finish the 1960 edit of the The Hobbit, proceeding to add to the Mirkwood scenes, it might have been possible Legolas would have been introduced.

If Tolkien’s projected rewriting of our story in 1960 had proceeded as far as the Mirkwood chapters, we might have been able to discover whether he intended to bring Legolas into Mr. Baggins’ story (after all, in the light of later knowledge we can say he would almost certainly have been present at the Battle of Five Armies); there is no sign of it in the admittedly sketchy notes that survive. But even this would hardly have resolved the question of what was in Tolkien’s mind almost thirty years earlier when he wrote The Hobbit, since by that later date he was committed to the decision that Thingol and the Elvenking were two different characters.




Portrayal in adaptations

Lord of the Rings film trilogy

Legolas in Ithilien

In Peter Jackson's movie adaptation, Legolas' role stays much the same as it does in the books, although his bond with Aragorn and Gimli is greatly expanded. While Legolas' skill described in the book is mighty, the movie adaptations further exaggerate his combat prowess to near super-level proportions. Legolas wields his signature weapons of a bow, later a new bow by the lady Galadriel. The signature white knife of the book is replaced with a twin pair of curved fighting knives kept in pouches belted on his quiver. Legolas wields a Rohirrim sword at the Battle of Helm's Deep, presumably because his daggers would not be very effective from horseback.

In the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Legolas is shown to hold his liquor very well. Éomer challenged Legolas and Gimli to a drinking game.

Legolas: "I feel something, a slight tingling on my fingers. I think it's affecting me."
Gimli: "What did I tell you? He can't hold his liquor... (passes out)"
Legolas: "Game over."
The drinking game in The Return of the King Extended Edition

In the official movie guide for The Lord of the Rings, a birthdate for Legolas is set to TA 87. This would make him 2931 years old at the time of the War of the Ring. Coincidentally, Aragorn was born during the year 2931 in the Third Age.

Due to a technical mishap involving Orlando Bloom's contact lenses, Legolas' eye colour in the films sometimes changes between brown and blue. Peter Jackson also filmed, but never used, footage of Legolas in his new home.

The Hobbit film trilogy

Do not think I won't kill you, dwarf! It would be my pleasure.
—Legolas to Thorin, in The Desolation of Smaug

Legolas confronts Thorin and Company.

In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Orlando Bloom returns to the role of Legolas. Although Legolas does not appear anywhere in the novel The Hobbit, he has a significant role as the son of the Elven king Thranduil within their Mirkwood realm. Bloom joins Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

As Thorin and Company are attacked by spiders, Woodland Elves led by Legolas and Tauriel help rescue the Dwarves. They take the Dwarves into custody and confiscate their weapons. Legolas' attention is attracted by Orcrist, which he recognizes as a sword from Gondolin. Upon reaching Gloin, Legolas confiscates a locket which showcases his wife and son Gimli, and speaks insultingly about both of them.

In the palace, Legolas remarks that Kíli has been looking at Tauriel in a different way, to which Tauriel only smiles and remarks that Kíli is tall for a Dwarf. Later, Thranduil confronts Tauriel and remarks that Legolas has grown fond of her and that she should not give him hope where there is none, since he is the son of a king and she is only a common woodland elf, even if she is captain of his guard. Later, Legolas watches from the far as Tauriel stands outside Kíli's cell and talks with him.

After the Dwarves escape Thranduil's caverns, Legolas leads the Mirkwood guard after them. Along the way, they encounter Bolg and his troops who have killed the Elven guards by the bridge and are attacking the doors. Legolas and his elves manage to kill most of the Orcs and drive off the rest, but Thorin and Company are able to escape.

Legolas and Tauriel return to the palace, bringing Narzug, a hostage Orc for questioning. They interrogate the orc about Thorin Oakenshield but the enemy does not answer properly, prompting the Elven king to slay Narzug himself. Thranduil then orders that no one enter or leave his kingdom without his knowledge. As Legolas gives out the orders, a soldier informs him that Tauriel has left the forest. Legolas goes after her.

Legolas using Orcrist

In Lake-town, Legolas and Tauriel arrive just in time to rescue Kíli, Fíli, Bofur and Oin from being killed by Bolg. Legolas runs after the escaping Orcs, decapitates Fimbul and confronts Bolg himself, using Thorin's sword Orcrist. Amidst the fight, Legolas has to fight several Orcs who intercede, which allows Bolg to escape. After dispatching the other Orcs, Legolas, only slightly wounded, takes a horse and pursues Bolg.

In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Legolas and Tauriel travel to Gundabad and discover that Bolg is leading a great army of Orcs, Trolls, and Bats from the north. They later return to Dale in order to warn Thranduil and the other armies. When Tauriel confronts Thranduil, she is defended by Legolas, who further establishes his independence by accompanying her to warn Thorin, Dwalin, Fili, and Kili. Legolas separates himself from Tauriel and assists Thorin by shooting down foes from a tower. When he finds Tauriel being attacked by Bolg, Legolas rescues her and confronts Bolg in her stead. After a hard-fought battle on a collapsing tower, Legolas emerges victorious and returns Orcrist to Thorin.

After the battle, Legolas is once again confronted by his father, who allows him to be on his own. Thranduil suggests that Legolas must meet one of the Dunedain called Strider, and encourages Legolas to learn Strider's real name on his own.

While at Gundabad, Legolas makes a reference to his mother to Tauriel. Apparently, she had died during an ancient battle between the Elves and the Orcs, and that there was nothing to remember her by, given how there was no grave, and his father never spoke of the matter. However, before Legolas left to find Strider, Thranduil assured him that his mother loved him more than life itself.

Speaking of Legolas' return for The Hobbit (films), Peter Jackson has remarked, "He's Thranduil's son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit, and because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm."

As for his return as Legolas, Orlando Bloom remarked that, "The Elves always steal the show."

Ralph Bakshi version

Legolas in Ralph Bakshi's animated version of Lord of the Rings.

Legolas has also been portrayed by Anthony Daniels in the 1978 Ralph Bakshi animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

Radio versions

Legolas was voiced by Frank Duncan in the 1956 radio series, by John Vickery in the 1979 radio series, and by David Collings in the 1981 BBC Radio 4 adaptation.

The Lord of the Rings Online

Legolas is first met in Rivendell, where before the Fellowship's departure he helps the player in the search for the missing Nazgul. Later, the player catches up with Legolas at several points during the Fellowship's journey such as Cerin Amroth, Meduseld, Hornburg and the Pelennor Fields. After Sauron's defeat, Legolas and Gimli accompany soldiers of Gondor who on the orders of King Elessar begin exploring and securing the Land of Shadow; Legolas assists the player in their exploration of Tower of Cirith Ungol. Afterwards, Legolas for a brief time returns home to his father's halls in Eryn Lasgalen, where he introduces the player to Grimbeorn. He soon returns back to Minas Tirith for the wedding of Aragorn and Arwen, after which he continues the exploration of the pass of Cirith Ungol, eventually discovering the entrance to Shelob's Lair.

Voice dubbing actors

Foreign Language Translated name
Spanish (Latin America) José Antonio Macías
Spanish (Spain) Sergio Zamora
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Sérgio Moreno (FOTR, TTT, Extended Edition ROTK)
Alexandre Marconatto (ROTK)
Philippe Maia (The Hobbit trilogy)
German Philipp Moog
Italian (Italy) Massimiliano Manfredi
Hungarian Károly Rékasi
French (France) Denis Laustriat
Czech (Czech Republic) Michal Jagelka
Slovak Vladimír Kobielský
Polish Jacek Kopczyńśki (1978)

Lesław Żurek (The Hobbit trilogy)

Turkish Murat Şen

Video games

  • Legolas is hero in The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, portrayed by Crispin Freemen in the PS3 and Xbox 360 version. There is a specific achievement called "That still only counts as one", which is earned by using Legolas to kill an Oliphaunt single handedly, just like Legolas did in the third of Peter Jackson's movies and is named after what Gimli said to him immediately afterwards.
  • In LEGO The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game, Legolas is voiced by Orlando Bloom since in the game, actual movie audio is used for cutscenes and other dialogue needed. Legolas is able to jump higher than other characters in game.
  • Legolas also appears in The Lord of the Rings Online, and can be found in the Guest Rooms of Rivendell, and in Cerin Amroth, in Lothlórien.
"A Prince of the Woodland Realm, Legolas is a lethal fighter who is fiercely loyal to his father. However, as the outside world encroaches on the Wood Elves, Legolas has ventured forth to help defend his people from dwarves, orcs and other threats."
Description of Legolas in The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age


Legolas in Rivendell
Legolas - in Two Towers.PNG
Galadhrim bow.JPG
Legolas receives his Galadhrim bow
Legolas The Hobbit.jpg
Legolas' full appearance for The Hobbit films
Legolas portrait - EmpireMag.jpg
A close-up on Legolas from Empire Magazine
The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug 24.jpg
Legolas' character poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
FR Desolation - Legolas.jpg
A French character poster of Legolas
Hobbit the desolation of smaug tauriel legolas poster2.jpg
Tauriel and Legolas poster
Legolas TBOT5A Poster.jpg
Legolas's character poster for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Legolas and Bard in the The Hobbit films
TBOT5A 10.jpg
Legolas and Tauriel in Lake-town
LEGO Legolas.png
LEGO Legolas
LEGO Legolas Greenleaf.png
LEGO Legolas
Legolas lego final.png
Legolas as a LEGO minifigure.
Legolas in Guardians of Middle-earth
The Hobbit-Armies of the Third Age Legolas 01.jpg
Legolas' full appearance for The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age
Legolas - Hero.PNG
Legolas in Armies of the Third Age
Legolas (Tactics).JPG
Legolas (Spirit).JPG
Legolas in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game-The Sands of Harad
Legolas (Ally).JPG
Legolas in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game- The Treason of Saruman


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ለጎላስ
Arabic ليجولاس
Armenian Լեգոլաս
Belarussian Cyrillic Легалас
Bengali লেগোলাস
Bulgarian Cyrillic Леголас (Legolas)

Леголас Зеленолист (Legolas Greenleaf)

Catalan Légolas
Chinese (Hong Kong) 勒苟拉斯
Chinese (China) 莱古拉斯
Chinese (Taiwan) 萊戈拉斯
Colognian Lejolas
Georgian ლეგოლასი
Greek Λέγκολας
Gujarati લેગલોસ
Hebrew לגולאס
Japanese レゴラス
Kannada ಲೆಗೊಲಸ್
Kazakh Леголас (Cyrillic) Legolas (Latin)
Korean 레골라스
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Лэголас
Macedonian Cyrillic Леголас
Malayalam ലെഗോലാസ്
Mongolian Cyrillic Леголас
Nepalese ळेगोलस
Persian لگولاس
Punjabi ਲੈਗੋਲਸ
Russian Леголас
Sanskrit ळेगोलस्
Serbian Леголас (Cyrillic) Legolas (Latin)
Sinhalese ලෙගෝලස්
Tajik Cyrillic Леголас
Tamil லெகோலாஸ்
Telugu లెగోలాస్
Thai เลโกลัส
Ukrainian Cyrillic Леголас
Urdu لیگولاس
Uzbek Леголас (Cycillic) Legolas (Latin)
Yiddish לעגאָלאַס
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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter V: "The White Rider"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter II: "The Council of Elrond"
  3. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter III: "The Ring goes South"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV: "A Journey in the Dark"
  5. The Hobbit, Chapter IX: "Barrels Out of Bond"
  6. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VI: "Lothlorien"
  7. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IX: "The Great River"
  8. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter I: "The Departure of Boromir"
  9. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter II: "The Riders of Rohan"
  10. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter VII: "Helm's Deep"
  11. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter VIII: "The Road to Isengard"
  12. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter II: "The Passing of the Gray Company"
  13. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter VI: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter IX: "The Last Debate"
  15. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "Later Events concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  16. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, III: Durin's Folk
  17. Parma Eldalamberon 17, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  18. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. II: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, chapter III: "The Fall of Gondolin"
  19. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211 (dated 14 October 1958)
  20. Unfinished Tales, Part Two: The Second Age, IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, and of Amroth King of Lórien", Appendices: Appendix B, The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves
  21. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VIII: "Farewell to Lorien"
  22. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. II: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, chapter VI: "The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales"

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