The Lord of the Rings has a lot of impressive characters and races. The story hinged around the Fellowship of the Ring: nine companions who were working together to throw the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. Of those nine companions, there is one who seems to be stronger in the rest (no, it's not Gandalf). That would be Legolas.
Legolas is the Prince of Mirkwood and one of the great Elves of Middle-earth. He carries around a bow and arrow as well as twin daggers that help him to hunt down orcs, goblins, and trolls with extreme prejudice. Ready to see the One Ring destroyed and Aragorn on top of the throne of Minas Tirith, he was willing to give his life for the cause.
Legolas happens to be one of the strongest members of the Fellowship of the Ring. His aim with a bow and arrow is true and never misses. He can walk on chains, flip over horses, and even take down a Mumakil all by himself. There seems to be nothing that this Elf Prince can't do, and that's why many people love him (that and he's played by Orlando Bloom in the films).
However, a closer examination of Legolas Greenleaf reveals that his character doesn't make a lot of sense. Whether it be how he moves, how good of a shot he is, and the small bits of dialogue peppered throughout the trilogy, here are 20 things about Legolas Greenleaf that make no sense.
20 Never Runs Out Of Arrows
Legolas is one of the best archers in all of Middle-earth. Because of this, he is constantly shown shooting down orcs and trolls throughout The Lord of the Rings. However, it seems that he never runs out of arrows no matter how many shots he fires.
He could go through an entire battle and end over 50 Uruk-Hai and have nothing more than a tiny quiver on his back. It's ridiculous to think that he never ran out of arrows. In The Hobbit, he did run out of arrows once, so at least there's a sense of self-awareness that Peter Jackson used in that trilogy.
19 Running On Falling Rocks
Elves have always been these whimsical characters who can bend the laws of physics a little bit. After all, they don't leave footprints in the snow. However, at some point, there are things that even Elves shouldn't be able to do. Yet, Legolas managed to make the impossible possible.
In Battle of the Five Armies, Legolas was fighting Bolg in a duel to the end. The bridge they were fighting on broke under the Prince of Mirkwood. Instead of falling with the rocks, he ran on the falling rocks back up to safe ground. Talk about fake.
18 Never Taking A Hit
This is something that you don't quite realize until you start thinking about The Lord of the Rings as a whole. In the entire film trilogy, Legolas never takes a hit. He always has great looking hair and flawless skin. He can tackle several enemies at once and never break a sweat.
What makes this even weirder is that Legolas took a hit from Bolg in The Desolation of Smaug. He treats it like a big deal, as if it took years for him to finally take some damage, despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings didn't occur until after the events of The Hobbit.
17 Suddenly Being Friends With Gimli
Elves and Dwarves in Middle-earth don't like each other very much, which is why it was such a big deal in The Lord of the Rings novels that Legolas and Gimli became such good friends. However, the books gave enough time to see their relationship develop from animosity to a mutual respect.
In the movies, that same development doesn't quite take place. We leave The Fellowship of the Ring where Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli are working together to The Two Towers where Legolas is willing to threaten a Rohirrim Captain just to keep Gimli alive. It's a bit of a jarring transition.
16 Love Triangle
Legolas was always an interesting character. Not having many lines and being more of a man of action, there was a level of mystery that he brought to the table. It's what made him more popular. However, The Hobbit trilogy decided to give him more depth and backstory that hindered rather than helped him.
If you're wondering what such a powerful Elf Prince would've done before The Lord of the Rings, a love triangle was certainly at the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, that's what Peter Jackson did. Legolas was caught up in a love triangle between another Elf and a Dwarf.
15 Older In The Past
When The Hobbit trilogy has filmed around a decade after The Lord of the Rings with a few actors returning to reprise their roles, we knew going on that some of them would look strangely older despite the series being a prequel. Among them was Orlando Bloom, who was asked to reprise his role as Legolas.
It's quite obvious that the actor is much older in The Hobbit, but it's made much more noticeable by the fact that he is in the films a lot. He sounds, looks, and acts much older than he does in The Lord of the Rings.
14 Flipping Onto A Horse
Legolas was always the one to do cool stunts in The Lord of the Rings. However, some of them were noticeably fake and hard to believe. Take one his moments in The Two Towers for example. A party of Warg Riders was attacking the Rohan refugees, so a battle ensued.
Legolas stood on a hill firing arrows until Gimli came with a horse. He then grabbed on the horse's chest and flipped all the way around it until he was riding the horse. There is no practical way that stunt could've been pulled off and it defies the laws of physics.
13 His First And Last Name
Most people who watched The Lord of the Rings only know Legolas as just that: an Elf Prince with only one name. People who watched The Hobbit films or read the LOTR books would know that's not true. He actually has a first and last name: Legolas Greenleaf.
The issue with this is that Legolas is, in essence, an Elvish word that translates to "green leaf." Because of this, Legolas has the same first and last name but only in different languages. We knew Thranduil was kind of a bad dad, but we didn't know that he was that bad.
12 Searching For Strider
People who watch The Hobbit know that there are a lot of gratuitous references to The Lord of the Rings that never really pay off. One of the worst cases of this was in Battle of the Five Armies, when Thranduil tells Legolas about a Dunedain Ranger named Strider. He encourages his son to then go find this ranger.
The problem is that The Hobbit took place decades before The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn would've only been a child at the time, which is much too young for him to be known by the King of Mirkwood. It's a serious oversight.
11 The Hobbit Secondary Character
When it was announced that Legolas would be returning for The Hobbit, it makes a lot of sense. Had The Hobbit been written after The Lord of the Rings, the Dwarves of Erebor probably would've crossed paths with the Elf Prince. However, The Hobbit takes it to an entirely new level.
Legolas, starting with his appearance in The Desolation of Smaug, has his own side plot. He doesn't really have a character arc, just an excuse to show him to all kinds of (mostly fake) stunts and fire a bunch of arrows. He's almost in those movies more than in The Lord of the Rings.
10 Not Using The Black Arrow
Smaug was a terrible calamity that threatened both the Dwarves of Erebor and the men of Lake-Town. The only way that the dragon could be defeated was by using a Black Arrow and shooting it into the one sensitive spot of the beast. It was eventually used by Bard the Bowman after the dragon already decimated Lake-Town.
That said, Legolas was in the area around the same time. Wouldn't it have made more sense to give the best archer in Middle-earth the Black Arrow instead? All he had to do is stand on a roof, wait for Smaug to fly by, and launch that arrow.
9 Always Having Great Hair
Legolas has some fairly gorgeous hair. Those long blond locks with the fishtail braid in the back is a look that many people aspire to have. Part of that reason is that Legolas manages to keep his hair looking pristine throughout The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
People around the world are wanting to know his secret? Does he use tons of shampoo? Is it some secret Elf magic? Whatever the trick is, Legolas could probably make a killing by mass producing it so that everyone else's hair can look fantastic and with no blemishes.
8 Changing Eye Color
One of Legolas's defining traits in The Lord of the Rings was that he had some bright baby blue eyes that the camera loved focus on- except for those times when his eyes were brown instead.
Some of the more perceptive viewers of the Middle-earth movies have been quick to point out that Legolas's eyes change color throughout the movies. It's much more frequent in The Lord of the Rings. His eyes constantly shift from blue to brown. It's almost like there were some scenes where Orlando forgot his contacts to change his eye color. It was a time before CGI could be used for everything.
7 Shield Surfing
There are a few of Legolas' big stunts that are cool to witness and executed quite well, but they don't make a lot of sense practically. During the Battle of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers, Legolas decides to rally to Aragorn by sliding down some stairs on an Uruk-Hai shield. The whole time, he is shooting down other foes. Then, at the end of the steps, he flicks the shield to pierce a nearby Uruk-Hai.
In practicality, shield surfing wouldn't work that well, let alone being able to throw it up with a flick of your feet. Still looked cool, though.
6 Mumakil Slayer
Legolas had a bit of an arc in The Lord of the Rings in terms of his stunts: they got more impressive as the trilogy went on. His largest one came during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King.
Haradrim were invading with massive Mumakil. Legolas decided he was up for the challenge and took down one of those beasts (and every enemy on its back) in one fell swoop. He did everything from climbing up the side to sliding down its trunk as it perished. Luckily for Gimli, ending the Mumakil still only counted as one.
5 No Words To Frodo
The Fellowship of the Ring was formed with Frodo Baggins at the center. This little Hobbit was the one tasked with bearing the One Ring all the way to Mount Doom. Everyone that joined the team did so with the intent of protecting Frodo at all costs, even if it meant risking their lives.
Legolas was one of the people who made this pledge by saying to Frodo, "And you have my bow." Believe it or not, that is the only line that Legolas ever says to the one he swore to protect. Watch the movies again. Try and prove us wrong.
4 Leaving Mirkwood Indefinitely
At the end of The Hobbit, we see Legolas leave Mirkwood indefinitely, but for what purpose is never made clear. Thranduil encourages him to find "Strider," but that isn't the sole purpose that the Prince of Mirkwood left. There was some talk about Mirkwood not being a home for Legolas or whatever, but it was ill-defined.
What makes this more confusing is that there was never any need for Legolas to leave Mirkwood. He easily could've stayed there and went to Rivendell because Thranduil heard something about the One Ring and wanted Mirkwood properly represented at the Council of Elrond.
3 Camera Stares
Legolas doesn't have very many lines in The Lord of the Rings, but that didn't stop him from having a lot of different expressions. When he was the focus of the camera, he looked fairly stoic. However, if you pay attention to him when he is in the background of a shot, you'll notice him making all sorts of interesting faces.
Orlando Bloom stated in an interview that he would just make faces at the camera and they were kept in. While certainly funny moments, they don't exactly make sense for the character. It's definitely not something Legolas would do.
2 Ending Grima Wormtongue
At the beginning of Return of the King, the heroes went to Isengard to interrogate Saruman. In the meantime, King Theoden was encouraging Grima Wormtongue to come down from Orthanc and join Rohan once more. After agreeing to do so, Saruman treated him like garbage, to which Grima ended the dark wizard.
In order to stop him from ending Saruman, Legolas shoots Wormtongue and ends him. The issue we take is that Legolas never had to end him. The moment that knife hit Saruman, he was dead. Furthermore, that arrow would never have been able to make the jump all the way to the top of Orthanc.
1 His Mother's Presence (Or Lack Thereof)
Legolas has to have a mother. Elves don't just spring out from trees or come solely from their fathers. However, there is little talk of the Prince of Mirkwood's mother. Peter Jackson decided to insert more talk of her in The Hobbit trilogy, but it was little more than a series of references that went nowhere.
There is talk of how she loved Legolas, but there was never any exploration as to why that was important or that she had any effect on him. Still, the movie went out of its way to show the place she perished and explain that she had no grave. Why is all that important? We're still trying to figure it out.