The Battle of Tirharad in Episode 6 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power only added fuel to the fire of the ongoing Arondir vs. Legolas discussion. Ismael Cruz Córdova’s Arondir, one of the supplemental characters featured in Amazon’s The Rings of Power, immediately stood out because of his direct resemblance to Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. They share the traits of being Teleri-descended woodland Elves, being able to use a bow and arrow well, and being heroes of Middle-earth who forge alliances outside of their traditional networks (although, to our knowledge, Legolas never made out with Gimli under a tree).
It’s inevitable that the two will be compared. Between Legolas & Arondir, who would win a fight? Who might win a fight? Which archer did it best? Despite The Rings of Power’s superficial exploration of Arondir, the argument becomes much more intriguing beginning with the sixth episode. Arondir commands the Southlanders in battle against Adar’s Orcs, where they face insurmountable odds but are able to hold out until reinforcements from the Nmenóreans come. Arondir has incredible skill with an arrow, inspiring leadership, and a knack for strategy. He subsequently gets down and dirty for just some blade-based fighting & hand-to-hand brawling. Legolas is abruptly peeking over Arondir’s wonderfully chiseled shoulders in “Udûn,” the Rings of Power scene that features Arondir like a Middle-earth combat hero.
The best archer in The Lord of the Rings is still Legolas –
In the fight sequences at Tirharad & Ostirith in episode 6 of The Rings of Power, in addition to the retreat from Adar in season 4, Arondir displays his skill with a bow. His aim is unnervingly accurate, and he can fire while moving, so he can hit everything from a writhing Orc to a thin rope. Although Arondir is a skilled archer, he is no better than the average Elf due to their superior eyesight, senses, and mobility. Legolas, on the other hand, is described as being “tall as a tree sapling, lithe, incredibly powerful, able fast to draw a big war-bow,” and he manages to kill a Nazgûl’s Fellbeast in the dark, which is remarkable even for an Elf.
Arondir could be considered the more well-rounded option. The Southlands’ Elf ally, who isn’t particularly good with a bow, rallies the untrained locals into an improvised army & keeps them from fleeing or joining the foe with his persuasive speeches. In The Lord of the Rings, Legolas is neither portrayed nor portrayed as a brilliant commander (Aragorn handles it) or a skilled military tactician. Legolas preferred the use of the crossbow, however, he did have a knife about him for close combat. Arondir seems at ease in either setting, even employing martial arts in season 6, episode 6 of The Rings of Power.
Arondir Or Legolas? Which Legolas you ask?
The character of Legolas in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings isn’t nearly the same as he is in the books. A select few moments of magnificence apart (the abovementioned Fellbeast shot perhaps being the most remarkable), Tolkien presents little to imply Legolas is unique among Elves. Instead, it’s his Elfness that makes him special. As played by Orlando Bloom, Legolas is a lone, nearly invincible Orc-slayer whose antics on the battlefield surpass that of any other Elf in the series. This is because Jackson made a conscious decision to move the series into action, a decision that was condemned by J.R.R.’s son, Christopher Tolkien.
Comparing Rafael Cruz Córdova’s Arondir against Fernando Bloom’s Gimli, however, the Fellowship’s blond sharpshooter process ”. Arondir will always be in Legolas’ shadow unless he learns to multi-shot, kill a Mûmakil, & shield-surf. In the Hobbit trilogy (where he shouldn’t appear at all) Legolas is shown to be at least as adept as Arondir at close-quarters combat. Silvan Elf, from The Rings of Power, was unable to defeat his real-life opponent with brute force, but he did show his supremacy in leadership and planning. Arondir might have a far better chance of winning against book-Legos if he uses his magic. In The Rings of Power, Ismael Cruz Córdova is introduced as a private, suggesting that he isn’t a particularly notable fighter. However, Arondir was born in a time of conflict, and his experiences in Beleriand suggest he engaged in the battle against Morgoth’s forces. It’s possible that Second Age Elves such as Arondir were much more seasoned combatants than people like Legolas because of the trauma of war.