Brovember 16 – Gimli and Legolas
Well we’ve already basked in the epic bromance between Sam and Frodo encountered in LOTR. But for those of you book readers, I would argue that the relationship between Gimli and Legolas comes close to rivaling that of the main hobbits in this story. I know they tried to portray this bromance in the movies but it was one of the few areas where I think they fell short: the novels do a much better job describing how this unexpected friendship helped break down some ancient barriers between two races.
These two characters do start out despising each other, and take every chance they can to take a crack at each other as they begin their fellowship quest together. Their hatred for each other extends back centuries, with more recent animosities to brew about as well. To start, elves considered themselves the first sentient beings of Middle Earth and when they first came in to existence they would hunt wandering dwarves on horseback like any other animal, killing them for fun like they would a stag. And while the two races have some good relations between leaders, the dwarves hold quite a resentment towards the elves when they abandon them during Smaug’s destruction of their city. More recently, Legolas’ father holds the dwarf company (with Bilbo Baggins) captive during their quest to reclaim their city, giving Gimli another reason to detest Legolas specifically. All in all, I think the resentment between the two races can be summarized as the elves think dwarves are a stupid and lazy species, not worth their time, and the dwarves think the elves are cocky, spineless bastards.
But all of that changes thanks to Legolas and Gimli’s bromance. Gimli is the first one to accept this change with his meeting Galadriel, the queen elf of Lothlorien. Galadriel expressed only love and kindness to Gimli despite their many differences and reasons to detest each other, and Gimli seems to accept his previous bigotry as a fault. From then forward Legolas and Gimli become quite the pair.
And what a pair of orc-fighters the two make! In the books you can see that making these two BFFs is quite advantageous for the fellowship, especially since Gimli’s strength combined with Legolas’ agility make the perfect fighting machine. We do see some of this in the movies, leading to a comical competition between the two as they see how many goblins they can each individually kill. But the books does such a better job at forming this important friendships, it was one of my favorite parts of reading this long trilogy.
There friendship continues on for ages. Though we don’t get to witness it in the movie, the two travel together to great elven forests and tremendous dwarf caves. In the end they too join Frodo to the grey havens, though Gimli is one of the first dwarves ever to pass there, only allowed to because his best friend Legolas would not have it any other way. So the two remain steadfast companions throughout eternity.
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