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Axe and Bow

A Legolas and Gimli fan archive

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The Bits We Missed

The extracts here are all excerpts the draft versions of Lord of the Rings which did not make it to the published version. They are quoted from Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-Earth series, Volumes 7-9: 'The Treachery of Saruman' (TS), 'The War of the Ring' (WR) and 'Sauron Defeated' (SD) respectively.

The bits I've picked out are all key passages for Legolas, Gimli or both. So far I've covered until the middle of Lothlóien, and will continue as and when time presents itself.

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TS Chapter VIII: The Ring Goes South.
Takes place on Caradhras.

      'It is a pity,' said Legolas, 'that Gandalf cannot go before us with a bright flame, and melt us a path.'
       'It is a pity that Elves cannot fly over mountains, and fetch the Sun to save them,' answered Gandalf. 'Even I need something to work on. I cannot burn snow. But I could turn Legolas into a flaming torch, if that will serve: he would burn bright while he lasted.'
       'Spare me!' cried Legolas. 'I fear that a dragon is concealed in the shape of our wizard. Yet a tame dragon would be more useful at this hour.'
       'It will be a wild dragon, if you say any more,' said Gandalf.

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TS Chapter IX: The Lord of Moria.
Takes place at the West-Gate of Moria.

      A narrative element that came to nothing is seen in some rejected passages. While Gandalf was 'gazing at the blank wall of the cliff' (FR p.317) it is said that Legolas (who in FR was 'pressed against the rock as if listening') 'exploring southward along the lake-side was lost in the twilight'; and when the ripples on the water came closer to the shore 'the voice of Legolas was calling; his feet were running in haste towards them.' As Bill the pony dashed away into the darkness 'Legolas ran up breathless with his drawn knife in his hand; he was talking wildly in the elvish tongue' - but this was evidently rejected as soon as written in view of what is said subsequently, when Gandalf drove the company into the doorway: 'Legolas at last came running up, gasping for breath' and sprang over the tentacles that were already fingering the cliff-wall; 'Gimli grasped him by the hand and dragged him inside.' It was at this point my father abandoned the idea.

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TS Chapter X: The Bridge.
Takes place at the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm

      'Over the Bridge,' cried Gandalf. 'Go on! Go on! This is a foe beyond any of you. I will hold the Bridge. Go on!'
       When they gained the door they turned, in spite of his command. The troll-figures strode across the fire carrying orcs across. The Balrog rushed to the Bridge-foot. Legolas [?raised] his bow, and [an] arrow pierced his shoulder. The bow fell useless. [...]
       Seizing Legolas' bow Gimli shot, [but] the arrow fell ...

Note that a later version of this passage has Legolas turning to flee when the arrow strikes him and he has to cross the Bridge on his hands and knees. Elves! Can't take them anywhere!

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TS Chapter XI: The Story foreseen from Moria.
Rough drafts of possible plot for future development - first version.

      Owing to Boromir's treachery and Frodo's use of Ring the hunt fails. Merry and Pippin are distracted by loss of Sam and Frodo. They themselves get lost following echoes. They come to Entwash and the Topless Forest, and fall in with Treebeard and his Three Giants.
       Legolas and Gimli also get lost and get captured by Saruman.?

Second version.

(one chapter) Boromir, Aragorn, and Legolas and Gimli.
      Legolas feels the Company is broken up, and Gimli has no more heart. The four part. Aragorn and Boromir to Minas Tirith, Legolas and Gimli north. Legolas means to join Elves of Lothlórien for a while. Gimli means to go back up Anduin to Mirkwood and so home. They journey together. Legolas and Gimli both sing laments. Suddenly they meet Gandalf! [...]
       Gandalf is dreadfully downcast at the news of the loss of Frodo. He hastens south again with Legolas and Gimli.

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TS Chapter XII: Lothlórien.
Takes place after emerging from Moria, when Gimli turns back to see Mirromere.

      'That is Durin's Stone,' said Gimli. '[We-] I cannot pass without pausing there a minute, to look upon the wonder of the Dale.'[...]
       'Come with me,' Frodo,' said the dwarf, 'and any else who wish.' But only Sam and Legolas followed.

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TS Chapter XII: Lothlórien.
Takes place while the company are blindfolded on the way into Lothlórien.

      'What is this?' said one of the Elves, looking in wonder at Legolas. 'By his raiment of green and brown [?he is an] Elf of the North. Since when have we taken our kindred prisoner, Hathaldir?'
       'I am not a prisoner,' said Legolas. 'I am only showing the dwarf how to walk straight without the help of eyes.'

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TS Chapter XIII: Galadriel.
Takes place after the testing and spoken by either Galadriel or Keleborn [sic].

      'Now is the time for any to depart or turn back who feels that he has done enough, and aided the Quest as much as he has the will or power to do. Legolas may abide here with my folk, as long as he desires, or he may return home if chance allows. Even Gimli the drawf may stay here, though I think he would not long be content in my city in what will seem to him a life of idleness. If he wishes to go to his home, we will help him as much as we can; as far as the Gladden Fields and beyond. He might hope thus to find the country of the Beornings, where Grimbeorn Beorn's son the Old is a lord of many sturdy men. As yet no wolf or orc makes headway in that land.'

This sounds to me more like Celeborn's voice than Galadriel's. Why he thought Legolas and Gimli were the two most likely to turn back is unspecified, though it's clear from the drafts mentioned above that it was planned for a while that they should do so. Note that in a later version of the same passage it states that it would now be too dangerous for them to return home.

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TS Chapter XIV: Farewell to Lorien.
Galadriel's farewell gift to Gimli.

      'And what gift would a dwarf ask of Elves?' said the Lady to Gimli.
      None, Lady,' answered Gimli. 'It is enough for me to have seen the Lady of the Galadrim and known her graciousness. I will treasure the memory of her words at our first meeting.
      ['Hear, all you Elves!' said the Lady, turning to those about her. 'And say not that dwarves are all rough and ungracious, graspong at gifts and / I have heard it said that dwarves are openhanded - to receive, and count their words - when they give thanks'] 'It is well that those about me should hear your fair words,' said Galadriel, 'and may they never again say that dwraves are grasping and ungracious. Let this small token be given as a sign that goodwill may be remade between dwarves and elves, if better days should come.' She put her hand to her throat and unclasped a brooch, and gave it to Gimli. On it was an emerald of deep green set in gold. 'I will set it near my heart,' he said, bowing to the floor, and 'Elfstone shall be a name of honour in my [?kin] for ever, and like a leaf [?amid] ... gold.'

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TS Chapter XXIV: The White Rider.
Galadriel's message to Legolas, as delivered by Gandalf.

Greenleaf, Greenleaf, bearer of the elven-bow,
Far beyond Mirkwood many trees on earth grow.
Thy last shaft when thou hast shot, under strange trees shalt thou go!

I have always thought that Galadriel was an absolutely godawful poet. It does however cast a different light on Legs's rather anguished exclamation: 'Would you have her speak openly of your own death?' to Gimli shortly afterwards.

In the later passage when he sees the trees of Fangorn at Isengard he refers to this verse again:

'This is wizardry indeed! "Greenleaf, Greenleaf, when thy last shaft is shot under strange trees shalt thou go." Come! I would look on this forest ere the spell changes.'

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WR Part 1 Chapter II: Helm's Deep.
The start of an omitted scene.

      A slow time passed, when suddenly at no great distance down the valley a clamour broke out. horns sounded. 'There are some of our folk come into an ambush, or taken in the rea,' cried Éomer. 'Théoden will be there. Wait here, I will hold the men back to the wall, and choose some to go forth. I will be back swiftly.'
      Horns sounded again, and in the still darkness they could hear the clash of weapons. In brief while Éomer returned with twenty men.
      'This errand I will take,' said Aragorn. 'You are needed on the wall. Come, Legolas! Your eyes will serve us.' He sped down the slope.
      'Where Legolas goes I go,' said Gimli, and ran after them.

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WR Part 3 Chapter 1: Book Five begun and abandoned.
An abandoned scene: a feast at Dun Harrow after the Battle of Helm's Deep.

      Remembering his promise at Isengard, Théoden summoned Merry and set him at his left hand at the high table upon the stone dais. On the King's right sat Éowyn and Éomer, and at the table's end Aragorn. Legolas and Gimli sat beside Merry. The three companions spoke much together in soft voices, while all about them the speech of Rohan rolled loud and clear.

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WR Part 3 Chapter IV: Many Roads lead Eastward.
Takes place when Aragorn tells Legolas and Gimli that he has looked into the Palantír.

      'Well,' said Aragorn as he sat at the table in the hall. 'I have looked into the Stone, my friends. For my heart [foreboded that] told me that there was much to learn.'
      'You looked into the Stone!' said Gimli, amazed, awestruck, and rather alarmed. 'What did you tell - him?'
      'What did I tell him?' said Aragorn sternly, and his eyes glinted. 'That I had a rascal of a rebel dwarf here that I would exchange for a couple of good orcs, thank you! [...]'

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WR Part 3 Chapter IV: Many Roads lead Eastward.
Extract from yet another abandoned scene. Aragorn et al. set off for the Paths of the Dead.

      ''Goodbye, Aragorn!' said Merry. 'I did not wish to be parted from the remnant of our Comapny, but I have entered the King's service.'
      'I could not wish you better fortune,' said Aragorn.
      'Goodbye, my lad,' said Gimli. 'I am sorry, but Legolas and I are sworn to go with Aragorn. He says that he needs us. Let us hope the Company will be gathered again some day. And for the next stage yours will be the better road, I think. As you jog on your pony, think of me clinging here, while Legolas vies at horse-racing wiht those fell Rangers yonder.'
      'Till we meet again!' said Legolas. 'But whatever way we chose, I see a dark path and hard before each of us ere the end. Farewell!'

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WR Part 3 Chapter XII: The Last Debate.
Random passage after Pelennor.

      While the great captains thus debated and laid their designs, Legolas and Gimli made merry in the fair morning high up in the windy circles of Minas Tirith.

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WR Part 3 Chapter XII: The Last Debate.
This is a very long passage, told in two different versions, of the Paths of the Dead. It was originally presented entirely at second-hand, told by Gimli and Legolas (mostly Gimli, save for the sea-longing passage, whereas Legolas speaks most in the final version), to Merry and Pippin. It follows very closely the passage as it is told in the book, so only one passage will be reproduced here.


      'Then followed the weariest journey I have ever known, wearier than our hunting of orcs over wide Rohan on our feet; three days and nights and on into another day with little pause or rest. No other mortal men could have endured it and fought at the end of it, save only the Dúedain, these Rangers of the North. They are as tough as dwarves, I swear it, though none of my kins hould believe me. Almost I wished I was an elf and had no need of sleep, or could both sleep and wake at once, as it seems that Legolas can.[...]'

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WR Part 3 Chapter VII: The Last Debate.
L & G's account of the passage from Lebennin to Minas Tirith Very strange.

      '"...but they wield living swords." And some cried [though they knew not what it meant] "WThe Lord of the Rings has arisen".'
      'Indeed all the folk of Lebennin call Aragorn that.'
      'I wonder why?' said Merry. 'I suppose it is some device to draw the eyes fo Mordor that way, to Aragorn, and keep them from Frodo'; and he looed east and shuddered. 'Do you think all his great labour and deeds will be in vain and too late in the end?' he said.
      'I know not,' said Gimli. 'But one thing I know, and that is not for any device of policy would Aragorn set abroad a false tale. Then either it is true and he has a ring, or it is a false tale invented by someone else. But Elrohir and Elladan have called him by that name. So it must be true. But what it means we do not know.'

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SD Chapter VI: The Steward and the King.
In Minas Tirith after the War. Fragment

      The Companions of the Ring lived with Gandalf in a house in the Citadel, and went to and fro as they wished; but Legolas sat mostly on the walls and looked south towards the sea.

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SD Part 1 Chapter XI: The Epilogue.
An entirely removed scene, when, years after, Sam tells his children about the War of the Ring.

      '[...] So with Legolas, he came with his people and they live in the land across the River, Ithilien, if you can say that, and they've made it very lovely, according to Mr. Pippin. But he'll go to Sea one day, I don't doubt. But not while Gimli's still alive.'
      'What happened to Gimli?' said Frodo-lad. 'I liked him. Please can I have an axe soon, dad? Are there any orcs left?'
      'I daresay there are, if you know where to look,' said Sam. But not in the Shire, and you won't have an axe for chopping off heads, Frodo-lad. We don't make them. But Gimli, he came down to work for the King in the City, and he and his folk worked so long they got used to it and proud of there work, and in the end they settled up in the mountains up away west behind the City, and there they are still. And Gimli goes once every other year to see the Glittering Caves.'

And a second version, written in question-and-answer form.

      Q.Dwarves, &c. Frodo-lad says he likes them best. What happened to Gimli? Have the Mines of Moria been opened again? Are there any Orcs left?
Gimli: He came back to work for the King, as he said, and he brought many of his folk from the North, and tehy worked in Gondor so long that they got used to it, and they settled there, up in the White Mountains not far from the City. Gimli goes once a year to the Glittering Caves. How do I know? Information from Mr. Peregrin, who often goes back to Minas Tirith, where he is very highly thought of.
Moria: I have heard no news. Maybe the foretelling about Durin is not for our time. Dark places still need a lot of cleaning up. I ugess it will take alot of trouble and daring deeds yet to root out the evil creatures from the halls of Moria. For there are certainly plenty of Orcs left in such places. It is not likely that we shall ever get quite rid of them.

Q. Legolas. Did he go back to the King? Will he stay there?
A. Yes, he did. He came south with Gimli, and he brought many of his people from Greenwood the Great (so they call it now). They say it was a wonderful sight to see companies of Dwarves and Elves journeying together. The Elves have made the City, and the land where Prince Faramir lives, more beautiful than ever. Yes, Legolas will stay there, at any rate as long as Gimli does; but I think he will go to the Sea one day. Mr. Meriadoc told me all this, for he has visited the Lady Éowyn in her white house.

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The Other Bits We Missed (Kindly donated by Lisa)

Unlike the above, these are not from previous drafts of The Lord of the Rings, but from other writings surrounding it and associated with it.

Unfinished Tales

Pt. 3, Ch. 1:

Aragorn searches Orthanc after the War:

      "At last behind a hidden door that they could not have found or opened had not Elessar had the aid of Gimli the Dwarf a steel closet was revealed."

Pt. 3, Ch. 3:

Gimli speaking to Peregrin:

      "There is a thing I must do one of these days: I must visit that Shire of yours. Not to see more Hobbits! I doubt if I could learn anything about them that I do not know already. But no Dwarf of the House of Durin could fail to look with wonder on that land. Did not the recovery of the Kingship under the Mountain, and the fall of Smaug, begin there? Not to mention the end of Barad-Dûr, though both were strangely woven together. Strangely, very strangely."

      Gimli, after Gandalf tells of the beginning of the Quest of Erebor:

      "'It still sounds absurd,' he said, 'even now that all has turned out more than well. I knew Thorin, of course; and I wish I had been there, but I was away at the time of your first visit to us. And I was not allowed to go on the quest: too young, they said, though at sixty-two I thought myself fit for anything. Well, I am glad to have heard the full tale. If it is full. I do not really suppose that even now you are telling us all you know.'

      'Of course not,' said Gandalf."

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The Book of Lost Tales, Vol. 2

Ch. 6:

      "Long afterwards my father would write, in a wrathful comment on a 'pretty' or 'ladylike' pictorial rendering of Legolas:

      "He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgûl, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock and through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship."

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The Peoples of Middle-Earth

Ch. 7, section The Stewards of Gondor:

On Faramir:

      As the prince of Ithilien he 'dwelt in a fair new house in the Hills of Emyn Arnen, whose gardens devised by the Elf Legolas were renowned.'

Ch. 13, footnote 21:

Reference Elvish knowledge of Dwarvish history:

      "That the Elves ever came to know so much (though only at a time when the vigour of both their races was declining) is thought to be due to the strange and unique friendship which arose between Gimli and Legolas. Indeed most of the references to Dwarvish history in Elvish records are marked with 'so said Legolas.'"

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The Letters of JRR Tolkien

Letter No. 154:

On journeying to Elvenhome:

      But in this story it is supposed that there may be certain rare exceptions or accommodations (legitimately supposed? there always seem to be exceptions); and so certain 'mortals', who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus Frodo (by the express gift or Arwen) and Bilbo, and eventually Sam (as adumbrated by Frodo); and as a unique exception Gimli the Dwarf, as friend of Legolas and 'servant' of Galadriel.

      I have said nothing about it in this book, but the mythical idea underlying is that mortals, since their 'kind' cannot be changed forever, this is strictly only a temporary reward: a healing and redress of suffering. The cannot abide forever, and though they cannot return to mortal earth, they can and will 'die' - of free will, and leave the world.

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