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Topic: Was Legolas married?

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 7, 2010
Was Legolas married?

As far as I remember, according to "Laws and Customs among the Eldar", elves were of age when they were 50 and usually got married soon after they were of age. Some of them got married much later (for instance, Luthien, Arwen...) and some didn't get married at all, but those were rather rare exceptions. If my memory serves me right, in "The Lord of the Rings" Legolas was about 500! =) Does it mean that he was probably married, I wonder? If so, lots of fanfiction writers'll be disappointed... Especially Mary Sueish ones. =)



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jul 7, 2010
Hmm, Legolas' age is never mentioned in the books IIRC. I never imagined him as married myself. Actually I think Tolkien might have revised that it took Elves fifty years (or for some, one hundred) to become full grown. Here's a couple examples that might speak to revision here.

A) 'They' are the Númenóreans: 'Thus (as the Eldar) they grew at much the same rate as other Men, but when they had achieved 'full growth' then they aged, or 'wore out', very much more slowly.' Note 1, The Line of Elros, Unfinished Tales


B) Author's notes to NKE ('neter, kanat, enek'): Note 1: 'C.E. ? netthi. C.E. tth > Q., T. tt; S. þþ > þ. nette meant 'girl approaching the adult' (in her 'teens': the growth of Elvish children after birth was little if at all slower than that of the children of Men). The Common Eldarin stem (wen-ed) wendé 'maiden' applied to all stages up to the fully adult (until marriage).' JRRT, from Vinyar Tengwar 47, texts generally dated 1967-70


B is pretty late. Maybe (just guessing) Tolkien could more easily keep things consistent with respect to chronology if he turned to this idea instead. 

-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 7th of July 2010 07:25:59 PM

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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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My two cents would be that, no, he wasn't married. Just a gut reaction from a human who knows what it is to love a spouse and children with all her heart. I assume the elf folk would have the same or greater capacity for this emotion.

As I understand it - and again being mostly Tolkien clueless I could be wrong - after Sauron was defeated, Legolas hung out at Gondor for awhile and then took a road trip with Gimli. I would think if Legolas and been married with children, he would have had an overwelming desire to get home to see his family. Unless of course, he couldn't stand his wife and he had no children to be concerned about.



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Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Yes, the exact birthdate's never mentioned, but in Fangorn he said something about leaves which had fallen 500 times, that's why he was definitely not less than 500.

I completely agree that it's difficult to imagine him as a married one: his conduct was very atypical of a married person - and quite diferent from the conduct of those characters who were in love with somebody and/or engaged to somebody (Aragorn, Sam).

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'Many long lives of men it is since the golden hall was built.'
'Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood my home since then,' said Legolas, 'and but a little while does that seem to us.' The King of the Golden Hall, TTT

'It [Fangorn] is very, very old,' said the Elf. 'So old that I almost feel young again, as I have not felt since I journeyed with you children. It is old and full of memory.' The White Rider, TTT



Here's the citation referred to, plus another interesting one. I have no problem with Legolas being at least 500, but I do contend that he was not from Gondolin! 


smile


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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jul 9, 2010
All,
I wonder if part of the question about Legolas being married is because, at an unconscious and subliminal psychological level, we project and identify him with Orlando Bloom and his other screen roles as the romantic lead.
I can see Legolas (via Orlando Bloom) as married.
But, in reading the books or following him in the films, I think he is a confirmed bachelor.
He is like on a giant road trip with the Fellowship, then with Aragorn, and finally with Gimli.
Curious that he didn't get messages or even a word from home.
And, while Gimli is smitten by Galadriel's beauty, not even a comment from Legolas on any female character.
Maybe we need a unique perspective?


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 9th of July 2010 01:07:08 AM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 9, 2010
I don't think Legolas was from Gondolin, either. As far as I know, he couldn't be more than 3000 because he hadn't participated in the War of the Last Alliance. Moreover, I suppose Tolkien gave up the version that there was an elf Legolas (Laiqualasse) by name in Gondolin: if I'm not mistaken, a personal name was an individual thing among Eldar and it was impossible that two or more elves had the same name.

-- Edited by Isillune on Friday 9th of July 2010 04:41:55 PM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'Moreover, I suppose Tolkien gave up the version that there was an elf Legolas (Laiqualasse) by name in Gondolin: if I'm not mistaken, a personal name was an individual thing among Eldar and it was impossible that two or more elves had the same name.'

I've encountered this idea before, but there are two Rumils in The Lord of the Rings for example, two Gelmirs in The Silmarillion, any number of Argons according to The Shibboleth of Feanor, or even Celebrimbors among the Teleri, so generally speaking, different Elves can have the same name.

Concerning Legolas of Gondolin, or perhaps Laigolas Legolast* of Gondolin, he was a Gnome (precursors of the Noldor), and my favorite challenge to the Gondolinian theory is this question: how to keep 'Legolas of Gondolin' (if he was the son of Thranduil as well) away from the Sea?

After the Fall of Gondolin: 'Yet by Sirion and the Sea there grew up an Elven-folk, the gleanings of Doriath and Gondolin...' And after the assault of the sons of Feanor: 'Then such few of that people as did not perish in the assault joined themselves to Gil-galad, and went with him to Balar...' And those Elves that did not pass West ended up in Lindon, which was next to the Sea again, before migration Eastward.

_______________

'Note: Laigolas = green-leaf (...) But perhaps both were his names, as the Gnomes delighted to give two similar sounding names of dissimilar meaning, as Laigolas Legolast, Turin Turambar, etc. Legolas the ordinary form is a confusion of the two.'  JRRT The Book of Lost Tales

-- Edited by Galin on Friday 9th of July 2010 01:47:09 PM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 11, 2010
Also, I hear, Laiqualasse (of Ondolinde) and Legolas (the son of Thranduil) had different names. Of course they are very much alike, but not the same. The name Legolas means not "green leaf", but "green leaves, green leafage". It consists of two elements: "leg" (variant of "laeg") that means "green" and "golas" or "olas" that means "leaves, leafage". The Quenyan equivalent for "golas/olas" is "olassie", so in Quenya his name would be *Laiquolassie, not Laiqualasse (the name of the elf of Ondolinde). "Lasse" (Quenya) or "las" (Sindarin) means "leaf".

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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I think Legolas' name in Quenya would be Laicolasse 'green foliage' (this form is attested in post-Lord of the Rings notes), but this merely highlights the fact that the idea surrounding Gnomish 'Legolas' (or Laigolas Legolast), and the much later notion connected to the character from The Lord of the Rings (Silvan dialectal Legolas from purer Sindarin Laegolas)...

... hail from very different conceptual phases of the languages in any case.

In a sense the former Gnomish derivation (with early Qenya equivalent) does not exist in Middle-earth (Gnomish itself is not an internal language that exists in Middle-earth, nor the early version of Qenya). In other words, internally there is really only Sindarin Laegolas Quenya *Laicolasse Woodland Legolas, even though we might compare the differences across conceptual phases.


Of course in the same sense there is no Gnomish Legolas of Gondolin to compare with Legolas of Mirkwood either (and not necessarily anyone named 'Legolas' in Gondolin at all really), so me or anyone pointing out that Legolas of Gondolin is a Gnome is arguably just as much of a 'non-issue' as pointing out the two names were imagined very differently in their respective phases...

... because the answer to that is (or has been): but Tolkien changed the conception that Gondolin was entirely Gnomish or 'Noldorin', and so Legolas of Gondolin could have 'become' Sindarin as a result -- and (it is argued) he could have been named Laegolas in Gondolin and only later in Mirkwood accepted this Silvan pronunciation!


Well, that's why I raise my challenge concerning the Sea, because I have yet to see the most ardent defender (that Legolas of Mirkwood and Gondolin 'could be' one person) give a compelling enough answer to this.


-- Edited by Galin on Sunday 11th of July 2010 06:26:04 PM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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He probably wasn't married because if he was then he would have taken his wife with him to Valinor as well as Gimli.

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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Oh well, it's good to revisit this forum after almost six years of neglect. I am sorry I fell off the face of the world for so long, but I did come back today and looked around a bit. I was sad to see that things have really slowed down.
---
Anyhow, although the original question is very old, if I may throw in an opinion (not a researched one), I never perceived Legolas as married, and all evidence in LotR points this way. As others have said, he spent a very long time with Gimli after the War, which would have me raise an eyebrow if I found out that his wife was waiting for him at home in the meanwhile.

Now regarding the second debate - whether the Legolas of Gondolin and that of Greenwood were one and the same, this merits more research. I have no time to delve into the matter now, so I threw a glance in my History of Middle-earth Index volume under the name 'Legolas' and I found both the character from LotR and the Elf of Gondolin pointed out as distinct individuals, although that is surely done for reasons of clarity, this being after all just an index of names in the 12 volumes. So the question lingers...

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