Prince Legolas - whose name in Elvish means 'Greenleaf' - is the son of King Thranduil of the Woodland realm. He has traveled south to Elrond's Council at Rivendell to act as an envoy of the Woodland Elves who inhabit the great northern forest of Mirkwood. This once-beautiful forest is even know being overrun by Orcs, wolves and other dark, wondering spirits in thrall to the powers of darkness as the shadow of Mordor stretches ever further across Middle-earth.
The Elves being a long lived race, Legolas knows the Ranger Strider of old and is well aware of his true identity. Like many of his people, he has a distrust of Dwarves, so at first, things result in a prickly relationship with the envoy of the Dwarves of Erebor, Gimli, son of Gloin, but as time goes by and they get to know each other, and soon learn there's more to one another then what they once thought.
Legolas has a number of unique and beneficial skills. Elves have the preternatural ability to move more lightly across the ground than the other peoples of Middle-earth; Legolas is able to run swiftly and effortlessly across the roughest terrain, barely leaving footprints even upon new-fallen snow. As a forest Elf, he is a master of woodcraft, able to scan his environment in order to read even the most minute traces and tracks left by the birds and beasts of the world. He can also see with great clarity and distance, which he uses in The Two Towers to track down the kidnappers of their friends Merry and Pippin. He is a superb and deadly shot with an Elvish long bow, which he pledges in Frodo Baggins' service in the Fellowship of the Ring.
Legolas also carries two Elf-knives: long white knives with filigreed blades - deadly weapons, for the Elves make the keenest of all blades in Middle-earth.
Fellowship of the Ring
"Have you heard nothing that Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!"
"There is a fell voice on the air!"
"A lament for Gandalf."
"What do they say about him?"
"I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near."
"A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Something draws near, I can feel it."
The Two Towers
"Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall."
"They may yet be alive."
"Less than a day ahead of us, come!"
"Come Gimli! We are gaining ont them."
"Legolas! What do your elf eyes see?"
"The Uruks turn Northeast. They are taking the Hobbits to Isengard!"
"They run as if the very whips of their masters were behind them."
"A red sun rises. Blood has been spilt this night."
"I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground."
"You would die before you stroke fell!"
"Hiro hyn hidh ab 'wanath." [Translation: "May they find peace after death."]
"This forest is old. Very old. Full of memories... and anger. The trees are speaking to each other."
"Aragorn, nad no ennas!" [Translation: "Aragorn, Something is out there!"]
"The White Wizard approaches."
"That is one of the Mearas, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell."
"Where is he? Speak up!"
"Ghehehe, he's... grrhhh... dead. He took a little tumble off the cliff."
"Le ab-dollen." [Translation: "You're late."]
"You look terrible"
"Most have seen too many winters."
"Or too few. Look at them. They're frightened. I can see it in their eyes.
Boe a hyn: neled herain... dan caer menig!?" [Translation: "And they should be... 300 against 10,000!"]
"Si beriathar hyn a mmaeg na ned Edoras." [Translation: "They have a better chance of defeding themselves here than in Edoras."]
"Aragorn, nedin dagor hen u-'erir ortheri. Natha daged dhaer." [Translation: "They cannot win this fight. They are all going to die!"]
"Then I shall die as one of them!"
"We have trusted you this far, you have not led us astray. Frogive me. I was wrong to despair."
"U-moe edhored, Legolas." [Translation: "There is nothing to forgive, Legolas."]
"That is no Orc horn!"
"Your friends are with you, Aragorn."
"What's happeing out there?"
"Shall I describe it to you? Or would you like me to find you a box?"
"Faeg i-varv... din na lanc a nu ranc" [Translation: "Their armor is weak at the neck and under the arms."]
"Legolas, two already!"
"I'm on seventeen!"
"Arg! I'll have no pointy-ear outscroing me!"
Orlando Quotes on Legolas:
"I had to train pretty extensively to get fluidity and the kind of grace and ease of movement that distinguishes an Elf. Training with the bow and arrow was a great way to find my character. I got pretty good. At the end, my archery instructor would throw a paper plate into the air, and I could nail it with an arrow."
"Legolas' moves are smooth and elegant, like a cat... it's very balletic. It's also bloody hard to do without falling over!"
"Elves see Dwarves as these muddy creatures who steal from the earth without giving back. But Legolas and Gimli grow to respect one another's differences. They learn to rely on each other in battle and to laugh together."
"We were doing this scene with 30 horses lined up. We had to shoot, like, five takes. We had to ride up over this mound and down into a gully; and then there were rocks and a sheer drop. Well, horses are pack animals, man. And when that many horses get going, they're really going. On the last take, the director said, 'Now imagine the Orcs coming up from behind.' So I had my bow up, but the horses just weren't going to stop. Gimli fell, ha landed on top of me, and I landed on a rock. I cracked a rib and Vig cracked his tooth."
"One night, me and Gimli stayed up all night. We'd been working till about 11pm, and we wanted to get the red dawn in the morning. So we stayed up. We brought our trailers around in a circle, like covered wagons, and lit a campfire in the middle, where we cooked sausages. And we stayed up the whole next day."
"Vig used to call me 'Elf boy', and I'd call him 'filthy human'. As an Elf, I never got a scratch on me, never got dirty. And Vig would come out with blood and sweat all over him. And he'd say to me, 'Oh, go manicure your nails.' "
"I took a car trip down towards the South Island with Sean Bean. We were filming down there, but Sean's not into flying. And as we were driving, torrential rain started pouring down. You've never seen so much rain. I was videoing it and thinking, 'This is insane.' It didn't stop for, like, 12 hours. And after nine hours of heavy rain, the roads just started to wash away. Then we saw a massive landslide coming right towards us. We spun the car around, but we ran straight into another one, further up the road. So we pulled into this petrol station where there was already a queue of people. And we managed to find a little cottage, where they let us stay. They had to carry us out in a helicopter, in all this torrential rain, which was kind of hairy. Sean was gutted. He'd done this whole drive just to avoid the flight."
"It really became my home. It was amazing, like the most beautiful parts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all put together on one tiny island; mountains, plains, rolling fields and shit-loads of sheep. And when you're thrown together on such a project, you have no choice but to make friends for life."
"It was quite amusing to see the cast on a night off in Wellington. The Hobbits would be picking their feet, and the Elves would be picking their ears." (Due to the glue used on the prosthetic ears and feet.)
"Peter had up to 10 units going at one time, it was ridiculous. You could have done a shot for the third movie in the morning and a shot for the first movie in the afternoon. Keeping on top of everything was like juggling balls, it was like a nightmare in terms of keeping it all in your head. And multiply that by a hundred for Peter."
"I will take Legolas, and this experience in New Zealand, wherever I go. The beautiful thing about being an actor is every character you embrace, when you move on, you take part of the character with you."
Poetry from the book:
A song Legolas sings in Lorien:
An Elven-maid there was of old,
A shinning star by day;
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold,
Her shoes of silver-grey.
A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lorien the fair.
Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
And fair she was and free;
And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden-tree.
Beside the falls of Nimrodel,
By water clear and cool,
Her voice as falling silver fell
Into the shining pool.
Where now she wanders none can tell,
In sunlight or in shade;
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed.
The elven-ship in haven grey
Beneath the mountain-lee
Awaited her for many a day
Beside the roaring sea.
A wind by night in Northern lands
Arose, and loud it cried,
And drove the ship from elven-stands
Across the streaming tide.
When dawn came dim the land was lost,
The mountains sinking grey
Beyond the heaving waves that tossed
Their plumes of blinding spray.
Amroth beheld the fading shore
Now low beyond the swell,
And cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far from Nimrodel.
Of old he was an Elven-king,
A lord of tree and glen,
When golden were the boughs in spring
In fair Lothlorien.
From helm to sea they sow him leap,
As arrow from the string,
And dive into the water deep,
As mew upon the wing.
The wind was in his flowing hair,
The foam about him shone;
Afar they sow him strong and fair
Go riding like a swan.
But from the West has come no word,
And on the Hither Shore
No tidings Elven-folk have heard
Of Amroth evermore.
Message from Galadriel to Legolas:
Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.'