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Old 06-11-2002, 03:42 PM   #1
the real findorfin
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Eye Legolas and Mirkwood

In the Hobbit Mirkwoodish elves are portrayed as gluttons (kinda) but legolas seems thin and spritely? How come?

Was legolas around at the time of the Battle of Five Armies? Ow wait, hes quite old isn't he. Did he participate? Was he with Thranduil when they talked to Bilbo??

Questions, questions???
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Old 06-11-2002, 06:22 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if JRRT ever addressed these questions, but I see no reason why Legolas did not participate in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Perhaps it was Legolas who ordered the Dwarves capture in Mirkwood after they kept interupting the woodland feast.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:08 PM   #3
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I always picture Legolas as being a "youngster", in Elvish terms. just a few thousand years old, at best.

I also pictured him as being a "younger" son of Thranduil, perhaps a "Seventh Son"?

"I'm the one, oh the one,
The one they call Seventh Son!"

Ohhh...sorry. Since we have so little info about these two, I guess you can think of them in any terms you please.
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Old 06-12-2002, 05:11 AM   #4
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Gluttons? No, not gluttons... although they were found of drinking and merry-making, I doubt you could call that gluttony.

Perhaps he (Legolas) was, but he had no significant role until the War of the Ring (in LOTR).

JRRT did not dwell much on the elves of Mirkwood. Except in UT where he mentioned Thranduils father (Oropher), and after the War of the Ring where the ElvenKing and Celeborn team up to get rid of the orcs and minions of Sauron.
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Old 06-12-2002, 07:46 AM   #5
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I think he might have been in the Battle of the Five Armies because it was only 60 years before the War of the Rings.
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:45 AM   #6
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Legolasss wassss Nearly 3000 yearssss old possssitively.
So he wass alive in the battle of the five armiessss (yes My Precious). The thingssss are for there are a few reassssonsssss, We wantsss it! Well thatsss not one but thisss issss. Tolkien wrote the Hobbit in the 40'sss and the Lord of the Ringssss in the 50'sss ssso there iss no way for him to have realizzzzed that Legolassss wasss going to be in the bookssss. He jussst made him the ssson of Thranduil to have him related to a formerly known character; and to make him a princce
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:45 AM   #7
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Legolasss wassss Nearly 3000 yearssss old possssitively.
So he wass alive in the battle of the five armiessss (yes My Precious). The thingssss are for there are a few reassssonsssss, We wantsss it! Well thatsss not one but thisss issss. Tolkien wrote the Hobbit in the 40'sss and the Lord of the Ringssss in the 50'sss ssso there iss no way for him to have realizzzzed that Legolassss wasss going to be in the bookssss. He jussst made him the ssson of Thranduil to have him related to a formerly known character; and to make him a princce.

Cursed Baggins they ssstole our Preciousss and we WANTSSS it!
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Old 06-12-2002, 08:47 AM   #8
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oooppps I double did it
[img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 06-12-2002, 12:31 PM   #9
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I have little to add to what was already said. I also somewhat got the impression that legolas was not the oldest son of thranduil. if he was, then why wasn't he ever called "heir to the throne of Mirkwood..." or whatever. Most likely, Legolas was in the battle of 5 armies, but since the hobbit was written before LOTR, he most likely wasn't even a character that existed in Tolkien's mind at that time. Oh and by the way, am I the only one who noticed there were 6 armies--not 5? *men, elves, dwarves, eagles, wargs, and goblins*
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Old 06-12-2002, 01:57 PM   #10
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I think wargs and goblins counted as one.
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Old 06-12-2002, 06:04 PM   #11
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I always imagined Legolas as an only child, but the other theory would explain why he was never referred to as "the Prince of Mirkwood":
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Old 06-15-2002, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
I always imagined Legolas as an only child, but the other theory would explain why he was never referred to as "the Prince of Mirkwood":
--------------------
Actually, I was sort of wondering about that myself. In the TT, Gandalf proclaims himself an wizard, Aragorn the lost king. He just refers to Legolas and Gimli as their races, no mention of their royalty. Since they're in a tight spot and trying to look important (which they totally where, don't get me wrong) why didn't he mention any of their ties to royalty?
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Old 06-15-2002, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
In the Hobbit Mirkwoodish elves are portrayed as gluttons (kinda) but legolas seems thin and spritely? How come?
Vomitoriums(sic), no doubt.
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:21 PM   #14
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That is sooo gross, Burrahobbit! [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:41 PM   #15
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Findorfin, Eru in his graciousness probably just gave the Mirkwood Elves fantastic metabolisms [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. Though to be honest I'm not sure if they were "gluttons" per se - it's true that the pivotal events involving them in the Hobbit tend to revolve around feasts, but in the first instance (when the Dwarves get caught) the "feasts" seem more like Elven picnics than anything else; the reason they loomed so huge for the Dwarves was because they hadn't had anything to eat for a long time. In the Dwarves' condition, a rack of burgers and a bowl of salad would probably have looked like some sort of ten-course Lucullan repast; there's no indication that the Elves were eating THAT much. As for the second event, the "Great Autumn Feast" - it's true, they're doing a good bit of eating and winebibbing there, but it's presented as a special occasion, sort of like Thanksgiving. And of course it's precisely because it's such a big deal that everyone is in the main hall and not out in the corridors, noticing that the Dwarves seem to have gotten out of their cells somehow.

As for Legolas, who knows. I'd always pictured him as one of those restless third sons who turn up so often in fairy tales, but really have no idea. Though even if he was the eldest, it's understandable that he wouldn't be called "Heir to the Throne of Mirkwood", since Elves are immortal and there's no fixed age at which they leave for the Havens, there was no reason to suppose that Legolas would naturally inherit Thranduil's throne. There's no reason to suppose he wasn't at the Battle of the Five Armies, though. It would make sense.

That's a really interesting question about why Legolas and Gimli weren't introduced by rank - "Legolas Prince of Mirkwood and Gimli son of Gloin who was of the Quest of Erebor" or something like that. My only guess would be that Gandalf was considering his audience. He was talking to the Rohirrim who had their hands full with dealings with Isengard, Minas Tirith and (indirectly) Mordor, and it's not implied that they're natural travellers to other, more far away countries - or even very interested in them. Aragorn's status had immediate bearing and influence on the situation at hand (Hmmm...heir to the throne of the country which is right next to us and is part of our fast-dwindling hope of victory) and Wizards are, after all, Wizards [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. But if Gandalf had gone on by describing Legolas' and Gimli's status, the reaction would probably have been "Prince of where? Quest of what? Never heard of them. We're in the middle of a war, what does this have to do with us?" Just a guess.
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Old 06-15-2002, 07:49 PM   #16
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Hmm, yeah, that makes sense! Thanks Kalimac!
Now here's another one. Okay, so the Elves of Mirkwood live in a sort of spooky place. And yet, you'd think they'd get out more. I don't really understand why Legolas claims there are so many places he hasn't been to- no time to travel?- although Lothlorien I understand. He, at times, seems like a young, spry elf, and at others makes comments about traveling with "you children." Even though Aragorn is quite old and Legolas seems on par with them. Is there a reason Wood Elves didn't travel? Is it just Legolas? How come, then?
It's all a mite confusion, and I don't really know tons- I'm only on my second read through! Thank you tonnes!
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Old 06-16-2002, 04:32 PM   #17
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I've always seen the elves of Mirkwood as sort of the elven version of backcountry cousins; insular, uninterested in what's going on in the world outside, stiffnecked and rather proud of themselves.

So I rather thought Legolas did little adventuring/travelling before that because of disinclination.
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Old 06-16-2002, 10:28 PM   #18
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I don't theink the dis-interest in travel was exclusive to the Mirkwood elves. When the company came to Lothlorien, Haldir did all the speaking because his brothers Rumil and Orophim "spoke little of their tongue". The Galadrim, it is said, lived deep in the forest and had little dealing with the outside world.

It seems to me that in this age most Elves kept to themselves and traveled little. Their time in Middle Earth was drawing to an end. Why involve themselves in the dealings of others?
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Old 06-19-2002, 01:56 PM   #19
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Legolas was 1000 years old by the time of the Council of Elrond I'm almost positive. Wasn't he?
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Old 06-19-2002, 03:08 PM   #20
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Well, he does call the others, including Aragorn who's about 80, "children". I think that's when they are on the Anduin when the shot the Nazgul down.
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Old 06-21-2002, 09:52 PM   #21
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Even though Legolas is very much older than the others, I get the impression that he is desperately ignorant, rather like Naaramare described the Mirkwood Elves, "backcountry cousins". Age doesn't always bring wisdom, especially not if you've lived in the same place your entire life.

The Mirkwood Elves didn't seem as ancient and noble to me as the other elves, but maybe that's just because the only time we meet them is in the Hobbit. I, too, felt that they were almost gluttonous, or rather, complacent and indolent.
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Old 06-22-2002, 06:17 PM   #22
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It's true that the Mirkwood Elves seem more indolent and less noble than the others, but "The Hobbit" is altogether lighter in tone and also, if you remember, the Rivendell Elves don't really come off as paragons of solemn nobility in that book either (singing silly songs and ragging at the Dwarves about their beards, well, maybe it was a Saturday night party or something, but still it was pretty far away from the Rivendell of LOTR). If the Mirkwood Elves had appeared en masse in LOTR they likely would have seemed more solemn and noble, much like the Rivendell Elves, though probably tending a bit towards a "my way or the highway" view of things; they don't seem like the sort who would compromise easily.

Legolas seems quite intelligent but, like Muse said, a bit ignorant ("desperate" seems going a little far - after all he is very good at fighting, spying out land and sensing when something is wrong, and he seems to know a good bit of Elvish history). He doesn't seem to have left the Mirkwood part of the world before, but he may well have been to Dale and the Lonely Mountain - they weren't that far away - and mixed with people a bit there. He probably just didn't see the need to go anywhere else - with a Dwarvish kingdom, re-established town of Dale, big forest and the occasional pack of vicious spiders to occupy your time, you can go a while without being bored.
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Old 06-22-2002, 07:59 PM   #23
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If you read further in Unfinished Tales, in the notes it does refer to Thranduil's Elves as being "rustic and rude" in that they didn't associate with the outside world as much as their Noldoran kindred.
I really don't think Legolas was lacking in intelligence, just a lack of experience with things outside his father's realm. Interesitng thread! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:53 AM   #24
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You're right, Kalimac. I'd forgotten about those crazy Rivendell elves.

And yes, I do think that Legolas was intelligent, but not that he knew much about current events up until the time that he arrived at Elrond's council.
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Old 06-25-2002, 11:01 AM   #25
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Oh, I never thought Legolas was not intelligent, just hopelessly insular (up to LotR, that is). I'd also say part of his attitude at the beginning comes from a slight sense of embarrassment. After all, he got sent to Rivendell (which I've always sort of seen as the Third Age Center of Elvish Culture and Elegance, silly elves teasing dwarves from the Hobbit notwithstanding) to tell an entire counsel--with dwarves present!--that his people had rather utterly failed in their task of keeping Gollum in custody.

I've always seen the Mirkwood elves as something like the people in the town I live in. Stiff-necked, very proud, very focused on their own lives, by no means stupid, but rather difficult to make see new ideas.
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