Is Legolas A More Skilled Archer Than Most Elves In Middle Earth?

In both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies, Legolas the elf is shown to exhibit some remarkable and almost unbelievable skills. From being able to tread so lightly that he walks on snow without leaving footprints, to being able to take down a giant Mumakil single-handedly due to his skills with a bow and arrow, Legolas seems almost invincible, and is definitely an asset to the fellowship tasked with destroying the ring of power, especially when tracking the band of orcs who are taking Merry and Pippin to Isengard after the companions part ways.

Legolas is revealed to be the son of Thranduil, the elven king of Mirkwood, and one of the most important elves in The Hobbit book, though this detail seems much less relevant in the books. However, this fact alone could contribute towards Legolas’ prowess on the battlefield, and his seemingly superior knowledge of the inner workings of Middle Earth, as he would have been raised with the mindset of protecting ad perhaps even ruling Mirkwood one day.

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However, it is also very clear in Tolkien’s texts that all elves have extraordinary abilities, and that they are just a superior race of beings than men. Even the lower elves, the ones who don’t rule kingdoms and win wars, possess long life, grace and beauty beyond that of the mortal realm, and the ability to see and hear much further than humans. When the three companions Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn are tracking their captured friends, Legolas is able to see far enough into the distance that he can trace them without needing tracks or clues on the rail. He is also able to enter a dream world in which he can rest and gather his strength whilst his body is still awake and moving, which means that he can keep watch whilst the mortals get some much more vulnerable sleep. None of these skills are unique to Legolas though. In fact, all elves within Tolkien’s legendarium demonstrate similar qualities.

The same can be applied to Legolas’ archery skills. Although he is an amazing shot, and never seems to miss the target he is aiming for, this is another skill that isn’t individual to his character, but is a long crafted and honed quality among his people. Especially the wood elves, who are known for their archery skills, and those who fight alongside the warriors at the Battle of Helm’s Deep.

According to the new Rings of Power trailer, it appears that there will be another highly talented archer added to the Amazon series in the form of Arondir, who is seen in the forest, shooting in slow motion with pinpoint accuracy, just like Legolas. Perhaps they are in some way related, both born and raised in Mirkwood in different ages of the world, or both of the same race of elves within the many diverse types found throughout the legendarium. Whichever way they are connected, it is clear that they are on equal playing fields when it comes to their capabilities.

It should also be noted that Legolas is actually one of the younger elves of the world. Although this sounds strange to say, considering that he is over 2000 years by the time he joins the fellowship of the ring, that is still fairly adolescent in elf years. There are many much much older elves then him, including both Galadriel and Elrond, the rulers of the other two most well known elven realms of Middle Earth, and all of the original elves who first came across from the sea, including the High King Gil-galad, the keeper of one of the 3 rings of power, and Cirdan the Shipwright, believed to be the oldest elf in Middle Earth at the time of Frodo’s departure to the Undying Lands. It therefore stands to reason that some of these older elves, who have had far longer to hone their archery skills, would probably be better warriors in one against one combat, even against Legolas.

Therefore, despite his privileged background and his undeniable asset to the fellowship of the ring, Legolas still has a lot to learn and improve, and only really manages to thrive the way he does because he is surrounded by such noble warriors, and such loyal brothers as Aragorn and Gimli, who would fight to defend him, and give their lives to save his in the unlikely event that one of his arrows ever went astray, and he found himself in the direct line of danger. Still, his archery skills, among many other things about his character, are definitely to be admired, and are barely matched by Tauriel or Kili, who are both also frequently seen with a bow in their hands.

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