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It was 2001, and we met when I was a prepubescent ten-year-old. It was love at first sight.
After a very brief introduction to him, he quickly became my imaginary boyfriend for quite some time. He was perfect. He loved horses, had great skin, and an accent. Unfortunately, he was unreal in more ways than one. Not only was my imaginary boyfriend someone I had never met… But he was also a fictional character. I’m not talking about Ethan Craft from Lizzie Mcguire or Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. In fact, my big childhood crush wasn’t even human. You read that correctly. He was a bright blonde, long-haired, pointy-eared, arrow-shooting, sexy-as-hell elf.
I’m talking about Legolas from Lord of the Rings.
Before you begin, no. I’m not talking about Orlando Bloom, the actor who portrayed Legolas in the movies. He’s okay and all, but childhood Katie had a very specific crush on the character of Legolas the elf.
Weird? Sure. At a slumber party, my friends and I once paused the DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring at the PERFECT time to kiss his face on the screen and giggle about it afterward. Maybe it’s extra weird that I only saw the first two movies and didn’t even follow the series of Lord of the Rings (nor did I ever read any of the books), and I still absolutely loved him.
Was his story anything exciting? Not really at all… There wasn’t a backstory for Legolas like there was for the other characters (ie: more room for me to insert myself, heyo). If I remember correctly, nobody was really interested in his character arc. But in my defense, Legolas balanced being incredibly badass AND always having beautiful hair. That’s a powerful message for a little girl.
In hindsight, maybe I truly took to Legolas because he was the only eligible bachelor in middle earth who stood higher than four foot seven. I didn’t care for many of the other characters at the time. They were too troubled and rough-edged for my liking. 90 percent of those characters were a pass since all they did was whine and try and hide from the bad guys. Yawn.
Legolas wasn’t intimidating either. In fact, he was pretty gentle and feminine and didn’t show signs of rough and tough masculinity. Does that mean I prefer feminine men or want to date women? No. Think about it. Young girls liking Legolas makes plenty of sense. Aside from my brother (and his friends picking on me relentlessly), ten-year-old Katie mostly interacted with other girls which made Legolas feel more familiar and less threatening. Similarly, that’s why pre-teen girls swooned over young Justin Bieber and those soft, glittery vampire men from Twilight.
I know Legolas belonged in the hearts of many adolescent girls, so it’d be selfish to claim him as my own. As I’ve gotten older, Aragorn is far more appealing to me anyway. But there’s no doubting that I’ll always feel a bit of crush nostalgia every time I think of him saying the iconic line “and you have my bow.”