Legolas is definitely the most iconic and well-known elf Tolkien created after being featured in all six of the Middle-Earth movies to make it to the big screen. While Legolas is a pretty cool elf, and they definitely made him even cooler and more powerful in the films, there are a lot of lesser-known elves Tolkien created who are even more rad. Tolkien created an entire world, and he detailed the history of the elves in many of his other books such as The Silmarillion and Children of Húrin. Dedicated book fans know that there a lot of pretty kick-ass elven characters that never made it to the Lord of the Rings films.
While not much is known about the smaller details of Celebrían’s life, she is one of the few female elves that Tolkien gave some backstory to. Celebrían is Galadriel and Celeborn’s daughter and the mother of Arwen. She married Elrond and was known as the “Lady of Rivendell.” After being captured by orcs, she returned to the Grey Havens which is why she is not featured in Lord of the Rings even though Elrond and Rivendell make an appearance. While maybe not the coolest elven character, her story does have a lot of potential, and many fans wish they knew more about her.
Arwen is one of the better-known female characters created by Tolkien. Her role in the books was smaller than her role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy on screen, but the books also detail more about her future. In The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen in the appendices of the trilogy, fans can learn more about their love story. While the books relegate her more to a supporting role, the movies show that female elves had a lot of power and prowess, too. Her iconic moment in Fellowship of the Ring where she says, “if you want him, come and claim him,” will always be a highlight of the film.
Thingol is one of those characters that fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy might not have heard of unless they’ve read the books about Middle-Earth’s history. Thingol was the King of Doriath and the King of the Sindar, High-king. He was also described as one of the greatest and mightiest of all the Eldar.
Basically, he was a very important, very powerful Elven king. He’s also the father of Lúthien, who features later on in this list. It’s also worth noting that he’s an ancestor to many characters in Lord of the Rings including Elrond, Arwen, and Aragorn, and he’s also related to Galadriel.
Beleg is an elven character that doesn’t get enough love. He plays a large part in the book Children of Húrin, and his story is definitely one dramatic enough to be successful on the big screen. He is known as Beleg Strongbow and was considered one of the greatest archers of the First Age of Middle-Earth.
So, he was sort of the OG Legolas, and we bet Legolas could learn a thing or two from him. He’s also a very horrific character who rescue Túrin from orcs and saves his life.
Thranduil was brought to life on the big screen when played by Lee Pace in The Hobbit trilogy. Thranduil is definitely a powerful elf who just so happens to be the father of Legolas, so Legolas probably got a lot of his skills and awesomeness from him. Thranduil is the King of Mirkwood and a leader of the Sindar elves. Thranduil, along with his father Oropher, also marched their troops to the Last Alliance of Elves and Men to fight Sauron. They were a powerful force but suffered many losses which is part of the reason why the Mirkwood realm was so secretive when Bilbo and the dwarves encounter it in The Hobbit.
Lúthien is another woman who makes this list, and one whose story we would love to see more of. The love story between Beren and Luthien is similar in many ways to the one between Aragorn and Arwen, which is sort of funny since Lúthien and Beren are their ancestors. Tolkien definitely enjoyed a theme. She is known as the Morning Star of the Elves because of her power and beauty. She had many powers including healing and being able to change her form. At one point she transforms herself into a vampire-like creature in order to save Beren from Angbad, and if that’s not cool we don’t know what is
Gil-Galad is featured in The Fellowship of the Ring movie, if only briefly. He can be seen fighting alongside Elrond at the battle against Sauron at the start of the film. He was known as the last High King of the Noldor in Middle-Earth, and he founded the elven kingdom of Lindon which was the longest-lasting elven kingdom elven kingdom in the Tolkien mythology. He died after defeating Sauron during the War of the Last Alliance. Gil-Galad is definitely one of the most powerful and kingly elves that Tolkien created.
Lord Elrond founded the elven kingdom of Rivendell, and he does feature somewhat in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Elrond’s history and story is far richer than some people might realize, however. During the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Elrond is over 6,000 years old. Elrond also participated in the Battle of the Last Alliance, and he was also given one of the elven rings created by Sauron to care for and keep safe. He is generally considered to be wise and one of the few elves in the Third Age who actively took a role in trying to help humans and others in Middle-Earth even though he knew his own people’s demise was soon at hand.
A Glorfindel makes an appearance in The Fellowship of the Ring books, and many fans were saddened that he didn’t make it into the film. However, there are two different Glorifindels that Tolkien created and the most badass one died before Frodo was ever alive.
The original Glorfindel is often referred to as a noble lord and was a chief lieutenant to King Turgon. What Glorfindel is best known for, however, is battling a Balrog. In the story of the Fall of Gondolin, the retreating elves are attacked, and Glorfindel single-handedly defeats the Balrog, but unfortunately dies in the battle himself. Defeating a Balrog all on your own definitely makes you pretty dang cool.
There’s really no one else who could top the list of coolest elven characters. We see Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett, in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, but in these movies, we only get a small taste of her backstory and power. She was a leader of a rebellion which goes to show how she was never one to sit back and do what was told. In many ways, Galadriel is somewhat of a feminist hero, even if Tolkien didn’t intend her to be. She also founded and ruled the kingdom of Lothlórien along with her husband, Celeborn. Tolkien even said in The Silmarillion that she was the “mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth” and the “greatest of all elven women.”