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Old 07-02-2004, 06:42 AM   #1
wilwarin538
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Silmaril What colour is Legolas` hare?

Hey everybody! I just need to know if someone has proof of what colour Legolas` hair supposed to be, cause Ive seen pictures of him with dark hair and then in the movie he`s blond, so Im a little confused. Does anyone know?
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:12 AM   #2
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I started a thread giving my opinion on this issue a long time ago (it was one of the first threads I started on BD). Feel free to borrow from that thread in this discussion. It can be found here.
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:38 AM   #3
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There are also a number of other threads which address this issue in the Haudh-en-Ndengin forum. Click here for the Index, and then click on the links under "Legolas - Appearance" and "Elves - Hair Colour". (They include the thread linked to by Mithadan above.)
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Old 07-02-2004, 08:10 AM   #4
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Pink, of course. This was an Elf who was very comfortable in his masculinity, after all.
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Old 07-02-2004, 08:24 AM   #5
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1420! A possible new direction for debate.

Obviously the real question here is 'What colour is Legolas' hare', which I don't think has a thread yet. Don't be so quick to assume that something's been discussed before just because there's a typo in the title.

Personally I don't think there's enough evidence to offer a satisfactory answer on this issue. Although The Fauna of Middle-earth ( HoME XIV) mentions that Thranduil was a breeder of chinchillas, the only pet that it mentions for Legolas is a guinea pig called Fluff. A footnote to letter #412 does mention, however, that Legolas' favourite colour was purple. Infer from that what you will.
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Old 07-02-2004, 08:36 AM   #6
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Silmaril

I'd always assumed that the hare was brown, but when I think more of it, would Legolas want his own personal hare to be the same color as the rest of the hares in Mirkwood? He IS a prince, after all. If I were a prince [actually, princess] of the forest, I would certainly want my hare to be noticable. What would happen if the hare escaped, I ask you? It would just blend in. And I know that Elves are good and all that, when it comes to nature, but if you've got a forest full of brown hares, would you be able to pick one of them out from the bunch? Now that I've been thinking, Legolas's hare may very well have been blonde.

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Old 07-02-2004, 10:46 AM   #7
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Surely Mirkwood hares are black, like the Squirrels and Butterflies ...
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:00 AM   #8
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Well thanks, it was helpful to read those old forums. I personally only had an image of Legolas being blonde since I saw the movies then read the books I never got my own Idea of what he looked like, but I think I would of thought of him as a blond since Arwen was mentioned to be noted for her dark hair I probably would have autimatically thought that dark hair was rare and that most elves were blond. but of course ive only resintly read the books so I dont know much about them,and I guess dark hair isnt that rare, im glad ive learned something, I deffinetly know were to go if I have more questions, thanks again.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:15 AM   #9
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A hare-brained thread

Legolas' hare was probably black at first until he got bunnied by Christopher Tolkien at which point the hare became blonde. Of course, Legolas was almost late for the Council of Elrond, which would seem to imply that his hare was white.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:36 AM   #10
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Since the original question has been answered many times in the past and properly linked to, this topic now belongs in Mirth. I'm moving it there. Thanks a lot, Squatter
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Old 07-02-2004, 01:07 PM   #11
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Pipe The Establishment cannot silence the quest for knowledge

I resent my research being consigned to Mirth just because nobody else has the HoME extended edition.

Fordim has a very good point there: Legolas may well have had a white hare, which was the ancient symbol of poor timekeeping among the Sindar. It's possible, though, that he would have given any such pet a blue rinse. In his footnote, Tolkien says: "In fact Legolas was particularly fond of purple, especially as an artificial hair colour. His liking for it was so pronounced even for Thranduil's folk that it marked him out from his fellows from an early age."

Pets in Middle-earth were rare, particularly rodents, which have a tendency to eat beatifully crafted furniture and nibble perfect flowing locks. One of the few characters who does possess a dog, at least in early draughts of LotR, is Aragorn, whose West Highland Terrier would earn him drinks by balancing peanuts on its nose.
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Old 07-02-2004, 01:17 PM   #12
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Indeed Squatter, I believe Aragorn's dog was named Charles. He was a delightful fellow, I hear.

This thread surprises me, insofar as it is hard for me to imagine Legolas owning a hare. This is due to a little known passage in early drafts of 'The Ring goes South' where Legolas steps on and crushes a rabbit, and curses at it for making his shoes all bloody.
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Old 07-02-2004, 02:56 PM   #13
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He may have received it from Rivendell as one of their many hare messengers. Then Legolas, being the greedy sod he is, may have kept it after reading the note tied to its ears. As punishment, his father Thranduil made him go to the Council of Elrond. It was white when it reached Mirkwood, but according to his purple fetish Legolas may have dyed it.
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Old 07-02-2004, 03:27 PM   #14
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Pipe Legolas the Light-fingered

Or even in a pathetic attempt to disguise his theft. Legolas was terribly vain about his position in society, and did everything to maintain his respectability short of actually being respectable.

The use of messenger hares among the Eldar is quite well documented. It was an early idea, which was later replaced with Osanw-Kenta. However, Tolkien does remark in a letter to Kenneth Williams that "When they became fatigued through the use of this technique, they would turn at last to the faithful hares, who had ever been their staunchest allies at need".

Crdan the Shipwright had used his awesome carpentry skills to construct a number of high-rise hutch-flets in the trees around the Grey Havens, where the rodent allies of the departing Eldar might reside until the Elves had need of them. Of course, rabbit pie is as good a foodstuff as any when you run out of Lembas. Crdan was nothing if not practical.
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Old 07-02-2004, 03:28 PM   #15
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I do not doubt that the hare, upon the time of its birth, was white.

But Legolas, after experimenting with different colors for his own head at an early age and finding that it only made his beutiful locks brittle and lackluster, would have recieved the rabbit and then proceeded to dye it whatever color the esteemed elven princling had an urge for.

At the time of the War, it was obviously purple, as Legolas would have wanted his hare to be his favorite color to comfort his thoughts on the long nights he spent in travel.
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Old 07-02-2004, 03:56 PM   #16
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I'm fairly certain that the hare started out as black. Legolas captured it in one of his many raiding party adventures, as recounted in The Complete Tale of Legolas & Co.'s Adventures; Vol. 3. Then, as I've found in my extensive search through the 1,000 page documentary Obsecure Side-Plots of The Lord of the Rings, he trained it to sniff out dwarves that happened to be traveling through the Mirkwood Forest. One particular dwarf had the singular misfortune of having most of his blue beard hacked off, so that Legolas could expierement with fur-transfusions. Thus, Legolas's hare came to be blue, though it can be argued that Legolas later found a way to make him purple, like other posters have mentioned here.

Quote:
Pets in Middle-earth were rare, particularly rodents, which have a tendency to eat beatifully crafted furniture and nibble perfect flowing locks. One of the few characters who does possess a dog, at least in early draughts of LotR, is Aragorn, whose West Highland Terrier would earn him drinks by balancing peanuts on its nose.
Aragorn was one of the few to have a dog, but Sam was the only non-Haradrim being to ever own an Oliphaunt. His journey to the Grey Havens was partially brought on by the stress of trying to keep his 'Ollie' (as he named it), & keeping all of his beloved trees safe, no easy task. In The Supposed Tales That Are Still Unfinished, it says that Sam brought Ollie across the water with him on a barge, & so the two came to the Undying Lands together. That, of course, is only partially verified-take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 07-02-2004, 05:48 PM   #17
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Silmaril

I was under the impression that Boromir had a raven colored hare, bred specifically to match those hairs on his head. However Tolkien is said to have left the hare out of the books because it didn't flow with the main storyline (once upon a time, Bori's raven hare was said to have stopped an army of Uruks from massacring an entire legion, simply by hopping in front of the enemy's lead row. The Uruks were so surprised at the audacity that they yelled in shock, waking up the good guys, who then proceeded to beat them in a very quick skirmish...).

I believe the raven hare was left out of the movies for the same reason that the raven hair was... Boromir and Faramir (who I believe had a matching raven hare) needed to look different from Aragorn. Since they changed the hair color, and really didn't want to risk upsetting die-hard color fans, rather than changing the hare color of these two's pets, they simply left them out. That's why they are thought to not exist...

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Old 07-02-2004, 06:50 PM   #18
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If Legolas' hare were a balrog, would it have wings?

If it were from far Rhun, would it be the Eastern Bunny?
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:32 PM   #19
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Actually, Fordim, it is interesting that you should mention the hare having wings, for just today I was fortunate enough to get a brief glimpse of The Complete Tale of Legolas & Co.'s Adventures -(which Estel mentioned earlier)- Vol. 7 which is not officially out for purchase yet. It was stated within this seventh volume that while Legolas' hare was not in fact a balrog it did have wings.

However the wings were quite useless until Legolas took it upon himself to teach the hare how to fly, wisely thinking that it would be quite useful to have a flying hare at times. Besides using it as a very handy messenger as Elves were accustomed to doing in older days, Legolas also trained the hare to be quite a successful Nazgul hunter.

It is odd that no Race of Man, nor of Hobbit, nor of Elf, nor of any race known or unknown has ever recorded in their histories the large part this flying hare in the War of the Ring. It was this very same flying hare that led the Eagles to lend their assistance towards the end of the war, and as Vol 7. states it is a commonly believed opinion that the father of this flying hare was present at the Battle of Five Armies, doing as his son and acting as leader of the Eagles.

Perhaps I should not disclose the secrets of Vol. 7, however. It will be available in paperback in the Winter of this year.
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:50 PM   #20
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Pipe

Quote:
I was fortunate enough to get a brief glimpse of The Complete Tale of Legolas & Co.'s Adventures -(which Estel mentioned earlier)- Vol. 7 which is not officially out for purchase yet. It was stated within this seventh volume that while Legolas' hare was not in fact a balrog it did have wings.
The 7th volume? I hadn't heard of that one...I'm eagerly awaiting it's publishing 'this Winter'.

Another hare that was mentioned in one of the books I read recently (Saruman's Lore & Pet Book, quite interesting) was the one owned by Saruman. When Saruman noticed that the Dark Lord Sauron didn't have a hare yet, he thought he'd prove his supremacy to the Dark Lord by beating him to one. Thus, Saruman owned a hare far before Sauron ever did (if indeed he did).
The hare itself was slightly curious, & I can't give you the exact color, the books said that when the hare moved, his color changed. I believe it described it as 'a coat of many colors'. Gandalf, when he was fortunate enough to be in Orthanc in FotR, was quite bewildered when he saw Saruman's new coat, but more bewildered by the site of the many-colored hare. I'm not sure why PJ left the hare out of the movies; but I hear Christopher Lee made a great push for it, only to be snubbed (again). At any rate, Saruman's hare was the most prolific, but he sometimes drove the wizard to destraction with the high palantir bills that he racked up talking to his girlfriend (a plain brown hare, looked after by Radagast, or so it's believed).
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:52 PM   #21
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sorry i have nothing to say. i just wanted to try out my new avatar. sorry.
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:55 PM   #22
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it worked!!! yay!!!!!! okay im done.
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:26 PM   #23
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White Tree

This hare wouldn't happen to be related to the rabbit from "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" would it? That is, so far the hare has been classified as white, and has the ability to fly. I'm not sure as to the disposition of the hare, but judging from the fact that Legolas probably did dye its fur it would not have what one would call a "sunny" personality. (The "Eastern Bunny," snerk.)
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:06 AM   #24
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All your posts do comfort me greatly for I hadn't come across any information about Legolas's hare after the end of 3rd Age and I feared that this little thoughtful creature had left Mirkwood to track its master and got lost. Then it could easily have wandered to Ithilien and we all know wery well what danger there was to get eaten by two hungry hobbits! But since most of you have agreed that its fur didn't possess any "normal" color (and I think Tolkien would have mentioned if Frodo and Sam had eaten purple hares) I can finally sleep my nights well witout worrying that little hares fortune. Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:50 PM   #25
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Rarest of finds!

I've been so intrigued by this thread that I undertook some careful research of my own. I found (much to my delight and surprise) this brief reference to a very little-known manuscript that Prof Tolkien gives us in one of his unpublished letters:

"I have been working sporadically upon a sequel to LotR that tells of the wanderings and searchings of Legolas' bunny, who went in search of his master soon after Leg. departed for the Council of Elrond. I have tentatively entitled it The Rabbit: Hare and Back Again"

I can only wonder why Christopher Tolkien has supressed this manuscript. . . I suspect that it is woefully uncanonical.
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:19 PM   #26
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1420!

The Shire Mods recently bought the rights from the Tolkien Estate to this little scenario on eBay. (Paid dearly for it I might add! Both Child and I have had to forego the stand-ups of Legolas and Boromir we were bidding on . . . sigh . . . another time, my dear Sean!)

Hare and Back Again is even now being developed into an exciting RPG.

Check the Green Dragon for announcements of the Discussion Thread taking on players.

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Old 07-04-2004, 09:43 AM   #27
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With regards to the hare in question, I wish to state my opinion on the matter. Taking into account that Legolas was a well-raised prince and the chosen representative of Mirkwood, one might conjecture that being the thoughtful diplomat he was, his hare would have been rainbow-colored so as not to offend anyone in particular.
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Old 07-04-2004, 10:40 AM   #28
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Silmaril

Rainbow hare hair doth the thoughtful diplomat make, but Snick, being a "representative from Mirkwood," Leggy represents not only the people, but the creatures, and would he represent them in a way that is different to their natural appearance? Because of his thoughfulness, I am quite sure that Legolas would want his hare to be chosen of the hares, by the hares, and for the hares. And the hares would quite obviously choose a representative that is similar to them (can't, for example, choose a diplomatic hare that kills knights with is big pointy teeth!). My conclusion: Legolas's hare must be black... or at least very dark brown.

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Old 07-04-2004, 11:07 AM   #29
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Oh, that sounds very democratic! Unless there is some noble hare family and all the descendants in that line are logical candidates for elf princes's pets
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Old 07-04-2004, 04:11 PM   #30
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Oh, that sounds very democratic! Unless there is some noble hare family and all the descendants in that line are logical candidates for elf princes's pets
primogeniture!!!!! *runs off screaming, "IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY!!!"*
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Old 07-04-2004, 05:32 PM   #31
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some noble hare family and all the descendants in that line are logical candidates
What with the rate of hare reproduction, that is one LARGE number of candidates. I prefer to think princeling hares are fairly elected by their peers. That way the job of representation is given to the best man... er, hare... regardless of birth right.

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Old 07-04-2004, 06:03 PM   #32
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But would Legolas want his choice of colour to be governed by the hares of Mirkwood? Most likely, he would choose it himself. I still believe that, purple being the favourite, his hare would be lavender. Elves do not allow themselves to be governed by foreign forces; they govern themselves and therefore govern the colour of their hares. I found a passage in the Tale of Years that may help determine when Legolas obtained and changed the colour of this hare:

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April

6 A messenger hare from Rivendell reaches Mirkwood bearing the news about the Council; Legolas keeps it and is forced to journey to the council as punishment by Thranduil.

12 Gandalf reaches Hobbiton.

15 Legolas takes his hare in secret and changes the colour of its fur; the colour remains unrecorded in this account.
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Old 07-04-2004, 06:21 PM   #33
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Boots Hare we go again ...

Aragorn may well have owned a performing hound, but it is a little known fact that he was himself a hare.

Yes indeed, he was of course Isildur's hare ...

*Groan*
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Old 07-04-2004, 06:32 PM   #34
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No, no Saucy, you've got it all wrong. While there was of course a hare to the throne of Gondor, it was not Aragorn. It was his little known pet. Just like the Kings and the Stewards, the line of Hares remained unbroken for all the many long years. This is where the idea of an Elven Princeling Hare family came from, but the Elves were more democratic than the Kings of Old.

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Old 07-04-2004, 07:12 PM   #35
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Boots Chasing hares

Quote:
While there was of course a hare to the throne of Gondor, it was not Aragorn.
Yet the Stewards denied it. Wasn't it Boromir who said:


Quote:
Gondor has no Hare; Gondor needs no Hare.
Well, I'm sure that it was in the book somewhere ...

In any event, the claim to the Hare of Gondor was a matter much disputed. When Bugsidoc II, who was born of a union between the Hares of Gondor and the Bunnies of Rhovanion, made his claim, there was much protest from the Furriers of Gondor, led by Elmafud. The resulting civil war was, I believe, known as the Skin-strife.
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Old 07-04-2004, 08:35 PM   #36
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Is that not how Aragorn and Legolas became friends? They both owned hares, and so when Aragorn was travelling with his rabbit in Mirkwood, they met. Of course, they began discussing the genealogy of their hares and discovered that both were descendants of an ancient line from the great Bugsidoc II himself.
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Old 07-05-2004, 03:29 PM   #37
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Silmaril Hair-brained hare-itage

The ambiguity of Tolkien's references has spawned a multitude of fan fictions and RPGs on this topic. I see that even on this renowned forum, there are such threads as "Last Ride of the Hare" RPG. I think this is hare-etical! The Can-hare-icity issue must be taken seriously; though we can discuss the possibilities of various suggestions Tolkien senior made for the plot, and debate Tolkien junior's choices, we must ad-hare to the final decisions the author made in his published work. Neith-hare more nor less...
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Old 07-07-2004, 07:18 PM   #38
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three words: dark platinum blonde
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Old 07-08-2004, 12:35 PM   #39
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Shield just a guess

okay, my guess is that his hair is blonde cuz when hez in mirkwood and if he should ever get lost (for whatever reason) other elves could see him easier....but i dont think thats right...but blonde does look good on him in the movies!!!
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Old 07-08-2004, 08:54 PM   #40
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Pipe

Quote:
okay, my guess is that his hair is blonde cuz when hez in mirkwood and if he should ever get lost (for whatever reason) other elves could see him easier....but i dont think thats right...but blonde does look good on him in the movies!!!
Uh-oh, it looks like elfwishes999 actually posted on what the thread-starter asked instead of what we've made the conversation. Why would she do a thing like that ?
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