current mood: the way boromir says ‘they have a cave troll’ in fellowship of the ring
Things that crack me up about Legolas:
- Okay, so maybe the film guide says he was born in TA 87, but looking at clues from HOME and the Silmariilion, he’s at the very most a bit over 2000 years old at time of The Fellowship of the Ring. He’s the youngest elf that we know about in that time period. ARWEN is older than him. He’s creeped out by Fangorn being so old but he calls all mortals children because he’s a little shit.
- Tolkien would get super pissed off when Legolas was shown in illustrations as “pretty or lady-like” and insisted that he was the biggest, roughest, toughest of the elves and the most hardcore of the Fellowship. Legolas is like the freaking Schwarzenegger of the elves, nbd.
- Best friend is a dwarf whose father was literally imprisoned by Legolas’ father and yet he still brought him to the Undying Lands for the most awkward family reunion because screw you Thranduil. And let me remind you that a) Gimli is the only, only dwarf who got to make the trip and Legolas invited him. Other people had to get permission from like the literal Valar and Legolas was like I want to bring my mortal bff yeah he wasn’t a ringbearer but whatevs. Also b) most of the people who left in TA 3201 went on like these fleets of beautiful vessels with a master shipbuilder but Legolas was like nope, going to build one myself, never built one before but it can’t be that hard, right?
- While Sindarin is the most common Elvish language by the time Legolas is alive, it’s considered really ugly and and unrefined, but here Legolas is running around probably not even able to speak the language of his ancestors, and I imagine him super proud of what must sound like an awful accent to his people.
- Also super explains how useless he was at Moira trying to decipher the door because he doesn’t have time to deal with those snobs.
- All the Fellowship got useful gifts or ones with spiritual meaning but instead Galadriel was like no, Legolas, I’m going to give you this big ass bow that’s bigger than the Mirkwood ones and it’s going to be so sick yeah it’s like taller than you are BUT ITS GOING TO LOOK SO SWEET.
are you telling me that Legolas is like… the baby gay dudebro redneck of the elves?
yes my friend, that is exactly what I am telling you
I have been given a gift.
…as to be worthy of remembrance.
It puzzles me when people cite LOTR as the standard of “simple” or “predictable” or “black and white” fantasy. Because in my copy, the hero fails. Frodo chooses the Ring, and it’s only Gollum’s own desperation for it that inadvertently saves the day. The fate of the world, this whole blood-soaked war, all the millennia-old machinations of elves and gods, comes down to two addicts squabbling over their Precious, and that is precisely and powerfully Tolkien’s point.
And then the hero goes home, and finds home a smoking desolation, his neighbors turned on one another, that secondary villain no one finished off having destroyed Frodo’s last oasis not even out of evil so much as spite, and then that villain dies pointlessly, and then his killer dies pointlessly. The hero is left not with a cathartic homecoming, the story come full circle in another party; he is left to pick up the pieces of what was and what shall never be again.
And it’s not enough. The hero cannot heal, and so departs for the fabled western shores in what remains a blunt and bracing metaphor for death (especially given his aged companions). When Sam tells his family, “Well, I’m back” at the very end, it is an earned triumph, but the very fact that someone making it back qualifies as a triumph tells you what kind of story this is: one that is too honest to allow its characters to claim a clean victory over entropy, let alone evil.
“I can’t recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. I’m naked in the dark. There’s nothing–no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I can see him with my waking eyes.”
So where’s this silly shallow hippie fever-dream I’ve heard so much about? It sounds like a much lesser story than the one that actually exists.
Middle Earth women + name meanings