Twin Blades of The Mirkwood Prince: The Legolas Swords
When he can’t use his mastery as an archer in battle, Legolas was often depicted as dispatching his enemies with two swords. The books only give him one long knife, but many of us are more familiar with the film’s depiction of Legolas, twin swords and all.
The Legolas swords are, as fitting for his character as a Woodland Elf who would likely be a great hunter, more like long hunting knives than most other swords. As is common among elven swords, these blades are gracefully curved and have a single sharp edge. Legolas tends to use them with quick, slicing motions in battle.
When considering the Princely character of Legolas, replica swords based on his weapons would also need to have a noble bearing. So, we again see the common elven tradition of lavishly decorating the blade and hilt of their weapons with golden engravings. As usual, these take the form of swirling leaf shapes which would suit one of the nature-loving Woodland elves very well.
As expected, both of Legolas’ twin swords are identical and are designed to be wielded in tandem. Although dual wielding is much harder than Legolas made it look during the Lord of the Rings. Legolas’ swords are apparently just one more way for him to show off his prestigious fighting skills.
The hilts of these swords are both shaped to accommodate one hand each. They are light brown, almost amber in colour and are adorned with golden leaf patterns. They don’t have a guard to speak of but are capped at both ends with bronze coloured metal.
These replicas also feature a full tang. This means that the metal of the blade continues into the handle, as you might see in good-quality knives today. This provides these Legolas replica swords with more strength and sturdiness than other constructions.
Finally, the twin blades come along with a decorative wooden plaque which can be hung onto the wall to display them. Generally, displaying them crossed over in an X-shape is the recommended method of hanging them. Obviously, this makes these swords perfect for a collector of all things Lord of the Rings, or simply all things Elven.
What about those among you who want a sword or two to wield themselves? Well, these weapons are ideal for a fantasy LARP character or as part of a Cosplay costume. While they were designed to emulate Legolas’ swords in the films, these weapons and their Elven style would suit any fantasy character associated with Elves, or who have a similar aesthetic. Such weapons would call for a warrior of great skill and speed, perhaps a ranger or even a royal assassin.
The Woodland Realm and The Elven Prince
Logically, Legolas’ swords make us think of the Prince of Mirkwood himself, Legolas Greenleaf. The name “Legolas” is a form of the word “Laegolas”, which literally means “green leaf”. This means that his name translates to “Green leaf Greenleaf.”
Presumably, his father had a good reason for calling him this, other than just for comedy. Anyway, let’s move on to who Legolas actually was beyond his titles, as well as what his home of Mirkwood was like.
Legolas Greenleaf: Prince, Messenger, Warrior, and Friend
First of all, Legolas was a Sindarin elf. This sets him apart from the other elves we’re familiar with in the Lord of the Rings, such as Galadriel, Elrond, and Arwen. These three were Noldorin elves and were known for being very wise and powerful as well as typically having dark hair, Galadriel’s famous golden locks notwithstanding.
Unlike the Noldor, the Sindar did not complete the initial Elven journey across the sea to Valinor and remained in Middle Earth, although most of them did end up there. To say that there was a little bit of tension between these two groups of elves might be a bit of an understatement. The Sindarin language became the primary Elven dialect spoken in Middle Earth, so most of the Elven script we see is Sindarin.
Anyway, back to Legolas. He was just shy of three thousand years old when we met him, although he didn’t always act it. He had no siblings, being the only son of Thranduil, the Elvenking of Mirkwood. Bilbo and the dwarves crossed paths with Thranduil during their quest, but we’ll get back to him in a bit.
We first meet Legolas in the Lord of the Rings in Rivendell, which is where Frodo and his hobbit entourage are led by Strider in their initial quest to deliver the One Ring. However, Legolas was certainly alive during the events of the Hobbit which led to Peter Jackson retconning him into his film adaptations of that book.
It has been theorised that J.R.R Tolkien would have included Legolas in his 1960 edit of the Hobbit book for this exact reason. However, Tolkien sadly died before he actually put pen to paper, so we’ll never know.
So, we’re in Rivendell. Legolas turned up at the behest of his father to pass on a message about Gollum’s escape during the Council of Elrond, the meeting that sought to find a solution to the whole “evil Ring of Power created by Sauron” issue. It was decided that Nine Walkers would set out to destroy the One Ring, known as the Fellowship of the Ring.
Legolas, rather predictively considering his character, volunteered to represent the Elves in this Fellowship and to offer his bow to protect Frodo, the Ringbearer. He proved incredibly useful on this journey, using his amazing Elven eyesight to spot potential foes.
In battle, Legolas was unmatched with his bow and deadly both near and far. In the films, Legolas would occasionally straight up stab enemies with his arrows before firing them, despite having his twin swords. After battle, he would salvage what arrows he could.
To begin with, Legolas and Gimli (a dwarf who was one of the fellowship) tended to butt heads. This made sense, considering that the Elves had a contentious relationship with the Dwarves due to an ancient quarrel and a much less ancient encounter back when Thorin and Gimli’s father were imprisoned by the Mirkwood Elves.
Still, they fought side by side and moved past this issue. When Gimli showed his gentle and noble nature upon meeting Galadriel, even to the point of being gifted with the prize of three golden hairs from her head, Legolas found himself counting Gimli as a friend. Their friendship was one of the shining relationships throughout the story, with Gimli being known as Elf-Friend and the two becoming inseparable.
Legolas also received a gift from Galadriel, in the form of a shiny new Galadhrim longbow. Apparently, Legolas wasn’t quite yet enough at long range. After the breaking of the Fellowship, where Boromir fell, Frodo and Sam ran off, and Merry and Pippin were taken by Orcs, it was Legolas who led Aragorn and Gimli in swift pursuit.
When they reached the Orcish camp, they were given some horses from the wandering Riders of Rohan who had already slain the Orcs. This meant that Legolas was able to show off his extraordinary Elven horsemanship, while Gimli shared his mount. Poor Gimli’s little legs weren’t made for riding, sadly.
The three travelled into the nearby Fangorn Forest, which was rumoured to be alive. Rather than reuniting with the hobbits, they met up with Gandalf who was now sporting some lovely white robes. Upon being assured that Merry and Pippin were safe, the four wanderers then travelled to Rohan so that Gandalf could kick Saruman out of King Theoden’s mind and body.
Legolas also took part in the Battle for Helm’s Deep, slaying an impressive forty-two foes. Gimli slew forty-three, although Legolas was a good sport about it. The three of them braved the Paths of the Dead, which proved a test of their bravery. A test which they, of course, passed.
He then went on to fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields to defend Gondor, then joined Aragorn’s nigh-suicidal charge of the Black Gates of Mordor in a last-ditch effort to distract Sauron from Frodo and the One Ring. The three of them survived and travelled back to Minas Tirith for Aragorn’s triumphant crowning as King.
After Sauron was defeated, Legolas and Gimli travelled Middle Earth together for a while. Legolas founded a small colony in Ithilien, which consisted of the few Elves who hadn’t already left for the Undying Lands. There, he helped to restore the woodlands near Gondor back to their former glory.
After Aragorn died, a hundred and twenty-two years after being crowned, Legolas finally gave in to his desire to travel to the Undying Lands. He built a small boat which had just enough room for Legolas and his best friend, Gimli. Gimli became the only Dwarf to travel to Valinor, because they couldn’t exactly stop him at that point. Neither returned to Middle Earth.
As a character, Legolas was defined by his undying and fierce loyalty to his friends. In the films especially, Legolas had a deep bond with both Aragorn and Gimli and was more than willing to both kill and die for them without a second thought. He was also kind and friendly and didn’t seem burdened with the same weariness that plagued most of his Elven kin.
Mirkwood and the Darkness Within
Legolas Greenleaf hailed from a great forest known as Mirkwood. Before we get into more recent history, it’s important to note that Mirkwood wasn’t always the dark and ominous forest that it became. Originally, it was known as Greenwood the Great.
Greenwood the Great had been the home of the Silvan and Sindarin elves for thousands of years. Oropher, a Sindarin elf and Legolas’ grandfather, established what came to be known as the Woodland Realm, the primary home of the Elves of Middle Earth.
The Silvan Elves were usually ruled over the Sindar or the Noldor, who were considered “High Elves”. Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Hobbit described them as being more dangerous but less wise than the Sindarin. The Silvan elves made up the bulk of the Elven Kings forces, and usually had brown or red hair. Tauriel, a character created for the films, was a Silvan elf.
Let’s get back to Oropher, the reigning king. He was killed during the War of the Last Alliance, which ended when Sauron was temporarily defeated and separated from the One Ring. However, Sauron’s influence still haunted Middle Earth. When Oropher was killed, the kingdom passed down to Thranduil, his son.
Thranduil was a cautious king, likely in response to the untimely death of his father which was caused in part by Oropher’s own impatience. Because of this, Thranduil returned to his home with only a third of his forces and a haunting memory of the battle that slew his father and so many of his people. Their bodies were swallowed up by the battlefield, creating the nightmarish place that came to be known as the Dead Marshes.
About a thousand years or so into Thranduil’s reign, Greenwood became corrupted by the shadow of Sauron who took residence nearby under the guise of the Necromancer. It became infested with dark creatures, such as Giant Spiders. It also came to be called Mirkwood, reflecting this corruption. The elves continued to live here though, hunting the spiders, and hiding themselves away.
At some point, Bilbo and Thorin’s company passed through Mirkwood and fell afoul of both the spiders and the semi-hostile elves before the escape. While all this was going on, Sauron was driven back to Mordor.
Some years later, Gollum was captured and held at Mirkwood. When he escaped, Thranduil sent Legolas (remember him?) to Rivendell. Later on, Mirkwood was attacked by Sauron’s forces, but Thranduil repelled them. He also softened to both Dwarves and Men and became less reclusive.
After Sauron’s defeat, the corruption of Mirkwood faded away and it once more became a beautiful haven. Thranduil remained the King of the Woodland Realm until he probably left Middle Earth for Valinor, although we don’t know his eventual fate.
The technical specifications for the Legolas swords for sale are as follows:
- Overall Length: 22 inches or 55.9 cm
- Blade Material: Stainless steel
- Tang Construction: Full-tang
- Colours: Metallic grey blade with golden engravings, Light brown coloured hilt with gold detailing
- Wall Display Plaque: Wooden shield-like shape with golden printed detailing