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Topic: How old?

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: Apr 30, 2006
How old?

How old was Legolas? I beleive his father, Thranduil, dates back to the first age even, but what about Legolas?

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Apr 30, 2006
Im not so sure about it, but i'd say that his age lies somewhere between 800-1000. Please dont get mad if im very wrong

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Olorin/Gandalf ;)
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: Apr 30, 2006
This is the best help I can give:

Legolas' age is never given in Tolkien's writings, some have estimated he is at the most 800–900 years old by the time of the War of the Ring, and at least 500, though probably more; however, others disagree on the maximum figure. At the very least, we know he is over 139 years old, because he is older than Gimli.

Their figure of 500 years minimum was derived from the following — at one point in The Two Towers, he says that the leaves have fallen in Mirkwood 500 times since Meduseld was built, and he appears to be describing it as if he actually experienced this:

"Seven mounds upon the left, and nine upon the right," said Aragorn. "Many long lives of men it is since the golden hall was built."

"Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood in my home since then," said Legolas, "and but a little while does that seem to us."

"But to the Riders of the Mark it seems so long ago," said Aragorn, "that the raising of this house is but a memory of song, and the years before are lost in the mist of time." (The Two Towers, "The White Rider")

In Laws and Customs among the Eldar, Tolkien states that the mental development of elf-children is much quicker than those of human children. By their first year, elf-children can already walk, speak, and even dance.

"The Eldar grew in bodily form slower than Men, but in mind more swiftly. They learned to speak before they were one year old; and in the same time they learned to walk and to dance, for their wills came soon to the mastery of their bodies. Nonetheless there was less difference between the two Kindreds, Elves and Men, in early youth; and a man who watched elf-children at play might well have believed that they were the children of Men, of some fair and happy people." (Laws and Customs among the Eldar)

So it seems that Legolas could easily remember these 500 autumns that had past since the Meduseld was built, and considering the fact Elf children had a good memory from the beginning of their lives, it would make Legolas 500.

There is however another quote that might help:

"It (the forest) is old, very old," said the Elf. "So old that almost I feel young again, as I have not felt since I journeyed with you children. It is old and full of memory. I could have been happy here, if I had come in days of peace." (The Two Towers, "The White Rider")

Also, he speaks of watching oaks grow from acorns to "ruinous age", suggesting that he is in fact old, though possibly young for Elves (some kinds of oak can live for a very long time):

"These are the strangest trees that I ever saw," [Legolas] said; "and I have seen many an oak grow from acorn to ruinous age. I wish that there were leisure now to walk among them: they have voices, and in time I might come to understand their thought." (The Two Towers, "The White Rider")

But, he did not mention that he watched the leaves fall down 500 times since the Meduseld was built, therefore, he could may as well be 300 years of age.

Also there is a hint that Legolas could be born in the First Age. It is a fact, that in the Appendix of the lotr the birthdates are recorded only starting in the second age. So, it might be that Legolas was born in the first Age. But of course, this is also not a great point, as it could simply be that the birthdates of the Wood Elves were not recorded at that time.




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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 27, 2006
So he seems to be between 500 and 800 years old then?

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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 27, 2006
no, he could be anything between 139 and 3000 years old.
but, as I pointed out, it is most believed that he was about 500.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 27, 2006
as I said we don't know his birthdate. And this is just like in the case of all other elves born in the first age.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Men of Numenor - Rank 1
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Date: May 30, 2006

The Might wrote:

no, he could be anything between 139 and 3000 years old.
but, as I pointed out, it is most believed that he was about 500.




There are two different persons who digged out this topic to the bottom. I think it was Martinez who ended up with Legolas being about 500. Another person, can't remember who exactly, did end up at the age of about 900. I remember that i preferred the last one, because the 500 was based on some vague facts. Still it is about 900 that Martinez explanation was very credible, so i think it will be the closest we will ever get. Maybe if we study the books for another 50 years or so that we can finally find some evidence that the two investigators missed, but i doubt it. Some things need to stay mysteries after all.

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'It is fulfilled. Even now a Silmaril is in my hand.' - tolkienlibrary.com
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 30, 2006
true...
but unfortunately we don't know
I too prefer 500 as he states he saw the leaves fall 500 times since the Meduseld was built.
so I say he was older then 500
but exactly how old I do not know

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: May 31, 2006

Personally I would say he was older than 500. 900 seems more reasonable. I have however no quotes, this is just speculation.



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My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 31, 2006
you could take a look at the quotes I gave above

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 31, 2006
As you say though TM, your quotes could make Legolas to be anywhere between 500 and 3000.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 31, 2006
and that is the truth
and no...according to a logical thinking he could be betweem 139 and 3000
he could still be born in the First Age as he had no registered birthdate, but we will never know for sure. Unfortunately his life is not described by Tolkien in the Hobbit, though he was most certaintly around as that was only 60 years before.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 31, 2006
Well as a final conclusion I suppose we could give a reasonable estimate of 600-1100 years old.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 31, 2006
yes, but still all estimations only remain estimations
we are also never told in which circle of life Legolas was
we know that Elves had different cicles of life but unfortunately nothing on that topic is said about him

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 31, 2006
Circles of life?  Never heard of them unless i know them by some other means.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Posts: 3118
Date: May 31, 2006
sorry
firstly it is cycles not circles I was not attentive
secondly, here is a little info:
now if you want to find out more read Morgoth's Ring - Laws and Customs among the Eldar.
they had 3 cycles of life - early life, then adult life and eventually later life or the third cycle
I could give you more info but I have not much time now, maybe I will make a larger post tommorrow
all I'll say now that only Elves in the third cycle were able to get facial hair among their race

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