“He stands not alone,” said Legolas, bending his bow and fitting an arrow with his hands
that moved quicker than sight. “You would die before the stroke fell.”
Legalos: When Much Is Required
I've just gone over Gimli, the dwarf, and how that his great qualities had nothing to do with his strength
and might. The next person of the Fellowship that comes to mind is then Legalos, the elf. For although Legalos started out
as somewhat of an enemy of Gimli, they eventually became the best of friends.
According to the Silmarillion, it was the elves who were created first, before man, then lastly the
dwarves. As such they were most like their Creator in intellect, wisdom and even beauty. Those who have viewed the movies
cannot dispute the fact that elves are portrayed as a beautiful race of people. While it is true that they had also fallen
"into shadow" due to pride, they still possessed much of their original glory. So Legalos was raised with the prejudice that
he was greater than all other species, however giving way to man in some areas since Iluvatar had taken kingdoms from them
and given them over to men. Still, to think a dwarf to be equal, on any level, as that of an elf was beyond his thinking.
It is a credit to Legalos, that even though he had this belief, that he kept his feelings in check,
for the most part. For the sake of the quest, and for the honor of his people, he bore the presence of Gimli in much the same
way a rich white person might befriend an Afro-American. There was a bit of pride in doing that which he should do in purity
and without pride.
We see, at first, Legalos as being closer to Aragorn, the rightful heir to the kingship of Gondor,
than to anyone else. Although using his abilities nobly, I wonder if he wasn't posturing himself to show the others that elves
were of nobility, just as was Aragorn. Yet, later we find the odd friendship growing between Legalos and Gimli. Two opposing
races represented here and joined together as the best of friends.
The quest required certain things from certain people. The greater the ability the greater the accountability.
So while Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are greatly esteemed, and rightly so, those with greater gifts were held to a higher
standard. Legalos, being from the first creation, was held to a standard which he kept. It is in the keeping of this that
Legalos achieves greatness, for he was in his own right, already great.
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his
lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have
not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should
remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love
one another." (John 15:15-17)