Gathering Together


"He stands not alone,” said Legolas, bending his bow and fitting an arrow with

his ands that moved quicker than sight. “You would die before the stroke fell.” (The Two

Towers, page 35)

Legolas: When Much is Required

I've just gone over Gimli, the dwarf, and how that his great qualities had nothing

to do with his strength and might. The next person of the Fellowship that comes to mind

is then Legolas, the elf. Although Legolas started out as somewhat of an enemy of Gimli,

they eventually became the best of friends.

According to the Silmarillion, a collection of stories Tolkien wrote as a “history”

upon which The Lord of the Rings is built, the elves were created first, before man, then

lastly the dwarves. As such they were most like their Creator in intellect, wisdom and

even beauty. Those who have viewed the movies cannot dispute the fact that elves are

portrayed as a beautiful race of people. While it is true that they had also fallen "into

shadow" due to pride, they still possessed much of their original glory. So Legolas was

raised with the prejudice that he was greater than all other species. While Iluvatar had

taken kingdoms from them and given them over to men, he was still raised to believe

elves were better than dwarves. Still, to think a dwarf to be equal, on any level, as that of

an elf was beyond his thinking.

It is a credit to Legolas, that even though he had this belief, that he kept his

feelings in check, for the most part. For the sake of the quest, and for the honor of his

people, he bore the presence of Gimli in much the same way a rich white person might

befriend an Afro-American. There was a bit of pride in doing so, defiling the purity in all

else he did.

We see, at first, Legolas as being closer to Aragorn, the rightful heir to the

kingship of Gondor, than to anyone else. Although using his abilities nobly, I wonder if

he wasn't posturing himself to show the others elves were of nobility, just as was

Aragorn. Yet, later we find the odd friendship growing between Legolas and Gimli. Two

opposing races represented here have joined together as the best of friends.

The quest required certain things from certain people. The greater the ability may

possess, the greater will be our accountability. So while Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin

are greatly esteemed, and rightly so, those with greater gifts are held to a higher standard.

Legolas, being from the first creation, is held to a higher standard, which he kept. It is in

the keeping of this that Legolas achieves greatness, for he was in his own right, already


"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord

doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have

made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,

that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever

ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you,

that ye love one another." (John 15:15-17)


by David Brollier