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Legolas Greenleaf was an elf who was part of the Fellowship in the Third Age. He is the son of the King Thranduil of Mirkwood, was a Prince of the Woodland Realm (Mirkwood), a messenger, and a master Bowman. With his keen eyesight, sensitive hearing, and excellent bowmanship, Legolas was a valuable resource to the other eight of the Fellowship. His age was never stated by Tolkien but was estimated by some to be between 500 and 7000 years old, which is not uncommon for Elves. Legolas became great friends with the dwarf Gimli, who was also a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
It is not known whether Legolas was Thranduil's only son, or whether he was heir to his father's crown.
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 become one of the members of the Fellowship that set out to destroy the One Ring.
Gimli quarreled with him concerning the Ring at the Council, which was not unexpected considering the ancient quarrel between Elves and Dwarves, which began after the destruction of Doriath, and also because Legolas' father Thranduil once imprisoned Gimli's fathe Glóin, (during Bilbo Baggins' Quest to the The Lonely Mountain). They became friends, however, when they entered Lothlórien and Gimli greeted the Lady of the Golden Wood with gentle words. In the Battle of the Hornburg, he and Gimli engaged in Orcs-slaying contests with Gimli winning by one, 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."
After the destruction of the One Ring and of Sauron, Legolas and Gimli went travelling together to Helm's Deep, visiting the Glittering Caves, and then later travelled through Fangorn Forest as Legolas and Gimli had agreed. 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 devastated forests of that war-ravaged land. After the death of King Elessar (Aragorn), Legolas left Middle-earth to go over the Sea, and Legolas' strong friendship with Gimli prompted him to invite Gimli to go to the Undying Lands; making him the first and only Dwarf to do so.
Character and PersonalityEdit
Although he lived among them and in their culture, 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 part Sindarin Elf, as 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 of the grand Elf-kingdoms of Beleriand were destroyed, they can be seen as going back to "a simpler time" in their culture.
Like all elves, Legolas has a great respect and appreciation for nature. While in Fangorn Forest he longed to return once more in order to explore its wonders more thoroughly. He is kind, and cares greatly for his friends, even Gimli the Dwarf, though it was a rarity for Elves and Dwarves to express a liking for one another. Due to his age however, he sometimes seems rather patronizing toward the mortals around him.