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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Movies)

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Legolas is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. He is an Elf from the Woodland Realm and one of nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring.

Legolas was the son of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood, who appears as "the Elvenking" in The Hobbit. Thranduil ruled over the Silvan Elves or "Wood-elves" of Mirkwood.

Although he lived among the Silvan Elves, Legolas was strictly not one himself. His father Thranduil had originally come from Lindon; he and his son were actually Sindar, or "Grey Elves", called in the singular Sinda: "Sindarin" was their language. A small minority of Sindar (headed by Thranduil by the time of The Hobbit) ruled the predominantly Silvan Woodland Realm.

The realm's Sindar minority, who should have been more noble and wise than the Silvan Elves, went "native" at the end of the First Age. After Melkor was defeated and all of the grand Elf-kingdoms of Beleriand were destroyed, the Sindar returned to "a simpler time" in their culture. The realm of Lothlórien was similar to the Woodland Realm in that a community of Silvan Elves was ruled by a non-Silvan minority, namely Galadriel and Celeborn.

Legolas was introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring, at the council of Elrond of Rivendell, where he came as a messenger from his father to discuss the escape of Gollum from their guard. Legolas was chosen to be a member of the Fellowship that intended to destroy the One Ring. He accompanied the other members in their travels from Rivendell to Amon Hen, serving as the group's archer.

When the Fellowship was trapped by a snowstorm while crossing the mountain Caradhras, Legolas provides a bit of comic relief as he scouts ahead, claiming he is "off to find the Sun"; at the same time his scouting efforts prove invaluable to both Aragorn and Boromir, who are disheartened by a seemingly impassable wall of snow until Legolas informs them that they are nearly through. Since the attempt to cross Caradhras failed, Gandalf took the Fellowship on an underground journey through Moria, an ancient Dwarf-kingdom, though some (including Legolas) did not wish to travel there. Before they reached Moria, however, Legolas helped fend off an attack by Sauron's wolves in Hollin. Once in Moria, he helped fight off Orcs and recognized "Durin's Bane" as a Balrog of Morgoth. After Gandalf was lost while facing the Balrog, Aragorn took charge of the Fellowship and led them to the Elven realm of Lothlórien, the Golden Wood. Legolas served as the initial spokesperson for the company, speaking with the inhabitants, the Galadhrim, whom he considered close kin.

Within the Fellowship, there was initially friction between Legolas and the Dwarf Gimli, because of the ancient quarrel between Elves and Dwarves after the destruction of Doriath in the First Age; and also because Thranduil once threw Gimli's father, Glóin, in prison. In addition Thranduil had been disliked by dwarves ever since he refused to pay them for crafting his raw metals. Legolas and Gimli became friends, however, when Gimli greeted the Elven queen Galadriel with gentle words. The Fellowship left Lothlórien after receiving several gifts. Legolas was given a new longbow, along with other gifts that Galadriel and Celeborn gave him and the rest of the Fellowship, such as Elven cloaks and lembas bread. While the Fellowship was travelling over the River Anduin, Legolas used his new bow to shoot down a nearby "fell beast" with one shot.

After Boromir was killed and Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took were captured by Orcs in The Two Towers, Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli set forth in pursuit of the two captured hobbits. Legolas and his companions met a resurrected Gandalf in Rohan, who passed on a message from Galadriel - which he interprets as foretelling his death:

"...If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
Thy heart shall rest in the forest no more."
The three met with the Rohirrim, fought in the Battle of the Hornburg, and witnessed Saruman's downfall at Isengard together with Gandalf, where they were reunited with Merry and Pippin. In the Battle of the Hornburg, Legolas and Gimli engaged in an Orc-slaying contest, which Gimli won by one, killing forty-two to Legolas's forty-one, but the real result was stronger mutual respect.

In The Return of the King, Legolas and Gimli accompanied Aragorn on the Paths of the Dead, along with the Grey Company. After Aragorn summoned the Dead Men of Dunharrow to fight for him, Legolas saw them frighten away the Corsairs of Umbar from their ships at Pelargir. Galadriel's prophecy was fulfilled: as Legolas heard the cries of Seagull (5 pics)s, he began to experience the Sea-longing — the desire to sail west to Valinor the "Blessed Realm" which was latent among the Sindar. He fought in the Battles of the Pelennor Fields and of the Morannon and watched as Sauron was defeated and Barad-dûr collapsed.

After the destruction of the One Ring, Legolas remained in Minas Tirith for Aragorn's crowning and marriage to Arwen. Later, Legolas and Gimli went travelling together through Fangorn forest and to visit the Glittering Caves of Helm's Deep, as Legolas had promised Gimli. Eventually, Legolas founded an Elf-colony in Ithilien and spent his remaining time helping to restore its devastated forests. It was told in the Red Book of Westmarch (first written by Bilbo Baggins, continued by Frodo Baggins and supposedly finished by Samwise Gamgee), that after Aragorn's death in the year 120 of the Fourth Age Legolas built a grey ship and left Middle-earth to go over the Sea to Valinor, and that Gimli went with him.


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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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