|The LOTR Movie Site
November 14, 2000
Legolas is Important!
Dear Max B. You have mentioned that Legolas is not a necessary character in the book, and could easily be replaced with any other elf. Well, let us take a closer look at the elven-prince known as Legolas. Yes, he is a prince. Does that surprise you? He is the son of the elf-king of Mirkwood, who had imprisoned Bilbo's company of dwarves on the first adventure. Therefore, Legolas has a direct connection with the happenings of the fellowship, no doubt, he may have had a "personal debt" that he owed to Bilbo's company, which he is now paying back as part of the fellowship. Whether, it is Tolkien's "hidden" intent for those readers who delve into the trilogy with their mind's eye, or a freak accidental connection; you can not deny this connection exists. Who are we to say that it was not Tolkien's intention to expand on this later on.
Also, Legolas' part, it seems, is to "bridge the gap" between dwarves and elves. His friendship with Gimli does not grow overnite, but, only through sharing the hardships of their adventures. They become inseperable. It is this symbolic bond of friendship that can be understood as "world peace", and that maybe one day there is hope for all races to put aside their hatreds and become friends. It becomes more special and means more, because it was Legolas' father who had captured Gloin (Gimli's father) and the rest of the dwarves on their journey with Bilbo.
As for warrior goddesses, I beg to differ with you. If you are referring to Athena (called Minerva to the Romans etc) than remember she is the Goddess of Wisdom first, she is also referred to as the Goddess of War, but only from a strategist's point-of-view. Her twin brother Ares (Mars) is the actual War God with the powers of destruction. Though, it is said that, Athena is the most powerful of all the gods, but she represents technology and strategy, not war, in the sense of blood-filled battles. As for Artemis, (Diana, by the Romans), she is a huntress and protector of animals. She uses her bow and her stealth, she is not a warrior. Sehkmet, Goddess of the Egyptians, was more destructive than these two, but, she was more in the form of sickness and plagues than warfare.
I wish that there were more active women warrior-role models in ancient history, but truth-be-told there were not. Women did not have the strength to overcome their roles of servitude. The only roles that they could aspire to. is perhaps in some cultures, such as the Etruscans, where they could be high-priestesses, or wives of great emperors. The only reason that primitive cultures revered women in such roles as high-oriestesses etc, is becuase of the mysteries of child-bearing. Women are life-givers, a role that men can never attain. Some cultures still revere this ability in awe.
Now, I have no problem with the expansion of Arwen's role, but I will say this: It looks silly (in any movie not just this one) to see a 110lb girl; sling a huge sword around, and knock the stuffing out of 200lb bad-guys, without mussing her make-up! let's get real! If they want to have a believable warrior-princess, than at least get someone who is of a muscular build with a little weight and height. That's all I can think of...anyone want to comment?