Legolas's eye color

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Legolas's eye color

Postby cooper74 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:49 pm

I am currently reading the books, and I am obsessive about the movies. Can anyone tell me why Legolas's eye color changed in the films?
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Postby Solyn » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:01 pm

Orlando had to wear contacts in the movies, so sometimes he didn't wear them, and sometimes the color didn't turn out right on film.
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THANK YOU!

Postby cooper74 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:22 pm

You have finally answered a question that plagues my mind everytime I watch the films, which is a lot. I have to say I am surprised P. Jackson allowed that through.
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Postby krawler » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:04 pm

His eye color changes? :?
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Postby cooper74 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:24 pm

His eyes are dark brown in a lot of scenes, but in one scene that comes to mind (but not the only one): Two Towers: Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas meet the riders from Rohan lead by Eomer. After the statement regarding decapitating Gimli by Eomer, Legolas steps in with bow on ready, Legolas then stares down Eomer. His eyes are blue, so I thought maybe it was emotionally related and was from the books.
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:44 pm

cooper74 wrote:His eyes are dark brown in a lot of scenes, but in one scene that comes to mind (but not the only one): Two Towers: Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas meet the riders from Rohan lead by Eomer. After the statement regarding decapitating Gimli by Eomer, Legolas steps in with bow on ready, Legolas then stares down Eomer. His eyes are blue, so I thought maybe it was emotionally related and was from the books.


No, Tolkien had the good sense not to include descriptions of emotionally-related eye color changes in his elvish creations. Though I imagine you could probably find a cheap fantasy dime-novel author who's described something like that.

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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:07 am

This has been discussed quite a bit and GM and Solyn are correct...it was just a movie mistake. Sometimes Orli forgot to put in his lenses. It's a common Star Trek thing too...Sometimes Brent Spiner (Data) would forget to put his lenses in after a break, so once in a great long while you'd see Data with blue eyes.
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Postby Renthead » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:05 am

In addition to what everyone else said, I also heard somewhere that Orlando's contact lenses hurt his eyes a bit, which is why he didn't put them in all the time.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:45 pm

*nods*

I'm sure...if you're not used to contacts, or they're not made specifically for you, they can be a hassle. Also...and this is my problem...my eyes don't like contacts anymore. :( Not everyone can wear them.
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Postby Silmarien119 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:00 am

Orlando's eyes are indeed blue in TTT during the confrontation with Eomer (at the beginning of the film). They were digitally altered, actually, in many scenes because (as others mentioned) Orlando had trouble with the contact lenses causing eye irritation.

Is eye color really that huge a deal?

There were only two scenes where they were brown (TTT during the Armory scene in Helm's Deep when Aragorn and Legolas argue, and in ROTK:EE after they exit the Paths of the Dead and Aragorn sees the Corsair Ships).

In a few other scenes, Legolas' eyes appear darker, but that's simply because Orlando's eyes are very dark brown, and the contact lenses kinda blend into the natural eye color (they appear bluest when digitally altered).

The digital grading also affects how dark or light Legolas' eyes appear.

I've never heard the writers claim that Legolas' eye color changes based on his emotions. Thus, IMO, it's rather unfair to take a cheap shot at PJ for "crappy fantasy invention" when the eye color changes are obviously a continuity error, not a storytelling concept.
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Postby karnna » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:01 am

I've read somewhere that the drinking game scene wasn't shown because of the color of his eyes were not blue. But I've searched for the video on YouTube and indeed it really wasnt blue but It is because of the lights. It would be great if it were shown in the film.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:30 pm

The drinking game was cut because of time constraints.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:06 pm

That's why those of us who are obsessive and have way too much time on our hands got the super deluxe extended version so we could experience... Anybody know exactly how much time the extended additions add on all together?
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:50 am

I think in the FOTR it's a little over a half hour? I'm not sure.

I was trying to watch them with the director commentary and my TTT copy won't work in my DVD player. :x I've been having trouble with this player for a while and I think it's kaput. The TV part is okay, so maybe I'll just buy a cheap player...

I know, unneeded commentary.

Oh, this might be useful, Qwill: LOTR post production
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The Magic Eyes

Postby Celedor » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:59 am

This was actually a popular topic on these sort of message boards back when the films were out. Yes, his eyes change color, being sometimes hazel and sometimes blue. Back when the movies out it was speculated that Legolas's eyes change color with his mood. The truth is, as has been stated, Orlando found his contacts uncomfortable and sometimes did not wear them.

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Postby Celedor » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:05 pm

Quimrill_Renctar wrote:That's why those of us who are obsessive and have way too much time on our hands got the super deluxe extended version so we could experience... Anybody know exactly how much time the extended additions add on all together?


According to the book The Lord of the Films (there's a cheap plug, huh?):

The theatrical cut of FOTR is 2 hours 58 minutes.
The extended cut of FOTR is 3 hours 28 minutes.

The theatrical cut of TTT is 2 hours 59 minutes.
The extended cut of TTT is 3 hours 43 minutes

The theatrical cut of ROTK is 3 hours 20 minutes.
The extended cut of ROTK is 4 hours 12 minutes

The theatrical cuts total 9 hours and 17 minutes
The extended cuts total 11 hours and 22 minutes

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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:16 pm

Thanks for posting the info!

So lets see, I'm doing the math in my head at the end of school orientation day, so trust it at your own risk.

Difference equals: extended equals 2 hours and five minutes longer than the theatrical version. Wow! I never realized it was that much longer over all, you could fit another movie in there. :shock:
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:04 pm

One movie running circles around other movies! :rofl:

Contact lenses can be annoying under normal circumstances, so I understand Orlando's discomfort. I only wear mine about 2-3 times a year.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:57 pm

I know what you mean. I got some back in the day before they really got good at making them thin. One was so thick it was very difficult to squeeze it to get it out. I wore the test once for about a month then gave up on them.

I did recently get a pair of polarized prescription sunglasses though. It was when I thought I was going to be driving bus a lot, before I found out I would only be teaching.

I wonder why Tolkien choose brown as Legolas's eye color in the first place. It's really cool that we have contacts these days that allow people to "change" their eye color. I'm surprised it's not more of a fashion trend.
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Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:00 pm

Depending on the person, they can dry your eyes out. That's one of the reasons I don't wear them much. And my prescription. now, my boyfriend wears his constantly, (seriously, he rarely takes them out) but that's mostly because he's legally blind without them and his glasses are heavy enough to give him headaches.

You know, I'm going to have to go back and read the books...does Tolkien mention Legolas' eyes?
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:26 pm

See, now I don't know. If they made such a big deal out of his eyes being brown in the movie you would assume there would be some basis for it. Maybe not?
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Postby *Alassë* » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:43 pm

I don't think there's any mention of Legolas eyes... I was under the impression that most elves had grey or blue eyes. I only know for certain that the Noldor had grey eyes. Even though Legolas isn't one, maybe that's the reason PJ went for contacts.

BTW, am I the only one who didn't notice the colour change? :lol: And I saw the movies a lot of times. Maybe because I never cared much about Legolas... :D
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:16 pm

Amen
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:39 pm

Tolkien did not specify Legolas' hair or eye color or age.

He is described several times as 'fair' which could be taken to mean blond hair/blue eyes/light complexion, but it's more likely to mean 'pretty' ;)

PJ likely chose the long blond hair for Orli to contrast with Aragorn and Boromir. The blue contacts may just have been to go with the hair.
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Postby *Alassë* » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:47 pm

The Spanish translations took fair as meaning blond. So Frodo ended up being blonder than most, and the elves of Gondolin were apparently all blond, according to the Hobbit...
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Postby earendil81 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:09 pm

As far as I am concerned I wore violet contacts for the Gathering of the Fellowship in December 2003 as it is the colour of my character's eyes (more like iris blue but that what it did with my already blue-grey eyes :lol:)...

Legolas is described as fair and apparently one of the Sindar although he refers to himself as a Sylvan elf. Those were darker but Thranduil was definitely among those who were called Sindar, the grey elves. So maybe not blond as it seems few of the Sindar were but who knows? Galadriel had blond hair and she was of the Noldor who apparently were more often than not dark haired. You gotta love those questions :D :D
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:22 pm

You have to love that Tolkien wrote such a body of material that such questions can be discussed and debated in such depth.

violet contacts? Always wondered if you can tell any difference looking out through colored contacts.
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Postby MithLuin » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:26 am

Hehe, yes, I love the depth of Tolkien's world! It's been fun debating elven genetics before. ;)

Thranduil, Legolas' father, was definitely blond, as he is the elven king of Mirkwood in the Hobbit.

Legolas is of the people of the Sindar, since his father Thranduil and his grandfather Oropher are Sindar ultimately of Doriath (there are some family trees that tie them to Thingol). However, the people of Mirkwood are mostly Silvan elves, and that is where Legolas grew up. So, quite possibly he identifies with his people more than with his heritage, since the Sindar were a minority there. Also, nothing is known about his mother, so it is possible she was Silvan.

But again, nothing about Legolas' eye color (or that of any of his near relatives) is mentioned in Tolkien's writing, as far as I know. Tolkien never even mentioned if Legolas (or any other elf) had pointed ears!
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