I fell in love with Middle Earth years ago when I first heard the chatter about Frodo among the 60's crowd and decided to see what Tolkien was all about.   I read the Hobbit, the Rings trilogy and Silmarillion in a straight line, and was absolutely lost to the place for a time.   These books did something to the culture of the 60's on some level, perhaps because the ideals were similar and it was easy to imagine yourself fighting for a cause.   The 60's were all about cause of course.   Much of the terminology from Middle Earth found it's way into the everyday language of 60's kids - and even those few who hadn't read any of the books knew who Frodo and Bilbo and Gandalf were.

As I am wont to do, I didn't see the trilogy when it first came to theaters, although I did take note of the movie trailers as they came along.   And I took note of the Elf.   Something about him..   But that was as far as it went until recently.   Again, no idea why I felt the urge to see the trilogy after so long but I did.   And I was promptly lost to Middle Earth once more.   Still am to an extent, seeing the places on screen made it very easy to actually be there.   And the Elf.. did something for me that no other thing had managed to do, it awakened an interest in finding out a little more about the man who portrayed Legolas.   Like another actor in my 'Pantheon of the Fan', this one comes in for a bit more than his share of criticism, and just as it is with that other actor, I can't quite figure out why.   He's a good actor, he plays the characters he's given well, I've seen others of his films and the label of 'bland' does not fit this man.   All in the eye of the beholder I suppose, as usual.

But this is not about the man, this is about the Elf and the characterizations on screen.   Some say that he was not one of the important characters and to an extent that is true, but he is much like Samwise, without whom Frodo would not have made it a third as far on his own.   Among the three, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, the Elf was the medium in which the other two operated.   Had there not been a Legolas to connect the interplay of the other two the overall flow would have been broken and the films would have suffered for it.   And a certain kind of Legolas, the character was an integral part of the whole as he was portrayed.   The watcher would have felt his absence if he had not been present and yet his presence didn't demand all of the watcher's attention.   That's a tricky thing to manage in ensemble pieces, but it worked well for these films.   All of that aside as reasons why I enjoyed this new journey into Middle Earth, the Elf is my choice of all of the characters that stay in my mind.

The Elf, much like Faramir and Merry, thinks, and that's my kind of man  ;)


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