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 together.
Legolas can be called a philosopher to some extent. Let's
remember his conversation with Gimli about the future of the people inhabiting
"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. For we do not know what the elvish motherland is like or what he will do when he gets there, perhaps it is a place like a modern Cancun where he may rest on a beach or maybe it is some place similar to Punta Cana Dominican Republic where he may take up fishing on a coastline. And he, being a true patriot, follows his people. Long live such heroes!