Middle-Earth is coming back to screens this fall in The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime, and one thing fans are most excited about is the depiction of the numerous Elves the show will feature. Set thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the show occurs in a time when Elves still thickly populate Middle-Earth.
By the time of the films, however, only a few Elves dedicated to protecting Middle-Earth from Sauron remain. They may not command huge armies any longer, but such abiding Elves had important roles in aiding the Fellowship of the Ring complete its quest to destroy the Ring.
The Elves and their works are timeless, including the weapons they forge. The short sword nicknamed Sting was forged in the First Age, nearly ten thousand years before the events of the Lord of the Rings. Imbued with the magic of the Elves, the sword glows blue when Orcs are close by.
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As the Fellowship journeys toward Mordor, the power of Sting warns them several times that they’re in danger. On the most important of these occasions, Orcs from the tower of Cirith Ungol nearly come upon Sam trying to rouse Frodo. Instead, warned of their coming by the glow of Sting, Sam takes the Ring from Frodo’s body and saves the quest.
Arwen Brings Frodo To Rivendell
When the Hobbits and Strider make their way toward Rivendell and are caught by the Nazgul, Frodo is wounded and drifts closer to the Shadow world. They are met by Arwen, who outraces the Nine Riders and invokes a huge flood to sweep them into the Ford of Bruinen and keep Frodo out of their clutches.
Many fans consider Arwen to be the best Elf in the Jackson movies for her heroism in this sequence. She saves not only Frodo but all of the other Hobbits and Aragorn by bearing him away to Rivendell. Had he stayed with them, the Nazgul would surely have found them again in the Wild. In addition, by saving Frodo from the Enemy, Arwen also kept the Ring out of his grasp and allowed the Free People to make the next move.
Elrond Hosts The Council
As Frodo recovers from his wound, a call goes out to the leaders of Elves, Dwarves, and Men in Middle-Earth: a weapon of the Enemy is found, and the peril belongs to all of Middle-Earth. They send representatives to one of the most beautiful locations in Middle-Earth, Rivendell. There, they debate the fate of the Ring.
The Council of Elrond is one of the most consequential events in the history of Middle-Earth. Without the lore and experience of Elrond, none would have had enough information to properly dispose of the Ring. The Council also culminates in the formation of the Fellowship, which is ultimately successful in its goal to destroy the Ring and overthrow Sauron.
Haldir Allows Them Into Lothlorien
After losing Gandalf to the Balrog in Moria, the Fellowship is in a desperate plight. They flee to nearby Lothlorien, where the Elves first refuse to allow them to enter. After impassioned pleas from Aragorn and Legolas, Haldir (one of LotR’s best-limited screen time characters) decides to take them into the forest after all.
The desperate plight of the Fellowship in this situation cannot be understood. The Orcs of Moria followed them out, and if there had been no sheltered hiding place the company would almost certainly have been ambushed somewhere. Instead, they gain the protection of Galadriel, which allows them to heal and hide from the Enemy for a while.
The Giving Of Gifts
As the Fellowship prepares to leave Lothlorien, Galadriel gathers them all to her. She presents them all with a gift to aid them on their quest, each according to the need of the recipient. Every member of the Fellowship also receives a cloak and broach to help protect them from unfriendly eyes.
Many fans see Galadriel as one of the coolest Lord of the Rings characters, and this scene helps prove why. Some of her gifts prove to be more consequential than others, but many prove to be incredibly important. Without the Phial of Galadriel, Frodo and Sam would never have escaped Shelob’s lair.
Legolas Saves Aragorn
The Fellowship is fracturing on the slopes of Amon Hen, and Uruk-hai swarm over the hills looking for the Hobbits. Aragorn is fighting his way toward Boromir’s position, but is caught by an Orc and grapples with him. Legolas stands by dispatching Orc reinforcements before seeing Aragorn’s peril and puts an arrow in his assailant’s back.
It may seem like a small moment, but Aragorn was not doing well in his struggle against this particular Uruk. If it had killed him, the consequences to the Free People would have been disastrous. Legolas may have waited for a beat or two longer than necessary, but his assistance of Aragorn there was critically important.
Galadriel Sends Haldir To Helm’s Deep
As Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli prepare to assist the Rohirrim in the defense of Helm’s Deep, they are confronted by how vastly they’re outnumbered. As they resolve to fight anyway, horns sound in the valley. A host of Elves marches in to augment the defense against the forces of Saruman.
This is a big change from the books, but it helped the writers avoid introducing a character in Erkenbrand that wasn’t particularly important to the plot. The reinforcements prove to be necessary to the defense, as their archery skills bring down thousands of Orcs and make it possible for the king and the Fellowship to hold out until morning, and reinforcements, arrive.
Arwen Has The Sword Re-forged
Arwen is preparing to depart from Middle-Earth, but a vision of her possible future convinces her to go back to Rivendell. She compels her father to have the sword Narsil re-forged and brought to Aragorn, to urge him to fulfill his destiny as king.
Aragorn’s reluctance to claim the throne that is his birthright is one of the biggest changes the films made from the source material, so Arwen’s intercession is a critical piece of the story. Getting the sword to Aragorn allows him to claim the loyalty of the Oathbreakers, which helps him save Gondor and the lives of several members of the Fellowship.
Legolas Takes Down The Oliphaunt
As the Army of the Dead swarms over the field of Pelennor, an oliphaunt charges a formation of Rohirrim. Legolas leaps into action, toppling the war tower from its back and bringing down the creature single-handedly in a gaudy display of Elven battle prowess.
Legolas’s acrobatics have, most likely, a small effect on the overall battle, but if nothing else he brings down the oliphaunt in time to keep it from trampling Gimli. Legolas’s agility and strength are ingrained Elvish traits, and his companions all benefit from his natural skill in battle.
Taking Frodo To Valinor
After the destruction of the Ring, Frodo returns to the Shire to attempt to pick up the threads of his old life. But he cannot find inner peace, and the traumas of his journeys haunt him. Finally, he is allowed by the Elves to leave Middle-Earth for the Blessed Realm of Valinor, the only place he can truly find healing.
Mortals are usually forbidden from Valinor, but as a Ring-bearer Frodo was given special permission to live the rest of his natural life there. It is a generous gift that the Elves were willing to take him, but it was justly in keeping with the dangers faced by Frodo and the sacrifices he made on behalf of all the Free People of Middle-Earth.
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