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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Legolas looking different


Oct 23 2013, 1:30am

Post #1 of 18 (1336 views)
Legolas looking different Can't Post

For some time Legolas' look has been bothering me. I know Orlando is 10 years older and he no longer has the youthful boyish look but something has always seemed 'off' to me. The eyes...they are a bit much but I think they will be softened in the actually movie.
After looking at some Legolas LOTR picture and DOS pictures I think I may have figured it out. It seems to me his hair is different. The DOS pictures his hairline appears to be much higher, straighter, and has a tight pulled look to it. In the LOTR his hair looks...'softer', less forehead, and his hair looks higher - not so pulled.
Anyone else notice this?

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Oct 23 2013, 2:15am

Post #2 of 18 (745 views)
His skin looks polished. [In reply to] Can't Post

To my eyes, it looks like he has been digitally altered to look younger, which is off-putting. I hope it isn't as obvious in the film as it is in the trailer.

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Tol Eressea

Oct 23 2013, 2:18am

Post #3 of 18 (701 views)
not to me [In reply to] Can't Post

Ian Holm did look younger but from what i've seen of Legolas/Orlando Bloom does look 10 years older.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


Oct 23 2013, 3:03am

Post #4 of 18 (691 views)
Not the hair, but the skin and eyes [In reply to] Can't Post

the eyes - too vibrant contacts; the skin - not sure if that is silicon, heavy makeup, of CGI - but when he is smiling at Tauriel to me looks almost doll - like. Perhaps PJ will keep to more medium or long range shots in the final cut - but maybe PJ loves the effect?


Oct 23 2013, 3:13am

Post #5 of 18 (650 views)
once we dive into the film [In reply to] Can't Post

I think we will be so engrossed it won't really matter.

maybe Crazy

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Oct 23 2013, 3:38am

Post #6 of 18 (628 views)
The eyes and skin are odd... [In reply to] Can't Post

At first I thought it was the eyes and skin color …but as I kept looking at him I noticed the hair. It looks so pulled..like they tried giving him a facelift by pulling the wig extra tight. Shocked
Look at this picture: http://juliarachelbarrett.net/2013/02/pretty-pretty-pretty/legolas/
And this one: http://www.gbposters.com/images/gbposters-com/lightbox/b7f7/36680/PDF00291-Lord-of-the-Rings-Legolas-Profile.jpg
Both of these his hair looks softer more natural – not pulled.
Side view: http://www.council-of-elrond.com/castdb/legolas/legolas3.jpg

Now look at the Hobbit - http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/06/11/article-2339856-1A43EA7B000005DC-621_634x343.jpg
His hairline is almost straight across and it looks ‘pulled’ to me. It is flat as a board.
Another side view: http://cdn01.cdnwp.celebuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/01/legolas-hobbit-2-600x337.png
Straight on: http://i.newsarama.com/images/i/000/114/433/i02/Legolas-desolation-of-smaug.jpg?1380637001
Looks pulled tight and almost straight across where in LOTR it was not. Is his hairline receding as he gets older??Laugh

Here is a great shot of how it is not straight across in LOTR - http://www.the-ridges.net/images/legolas21.jpg

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!


Oct 23 2013, 4:15am

Post #7 of 18 (585 views)
The hairline is different as it has a middle point down whereas [In reply to] Can't Post

the DOS is more straight across. He cannot change his more mature face lines...squarer jaw, slightly more closed eyes etc. unless by effects. As far as the movies go, it won't be a factor for me, Sure, I may notice some things but the same is true for all of them...Ian, Cate, Hugo, Christopher. Maybe an elf's appearnce can change over 60 years? Maybe he was having a particularly stressful time of it for a couple of decades during The Hobbit years and it was reflected in his appearance and then....a period of peace / happiness and his look lightened up - was refreshed - by LOTR.

The Shire

Oct 23 2013, 5:14am

Post #8 of 18 (549 views)
Facelifts [In reply to] Can't Post

My son has the 2 hobbit chronicles books from weta workshops and in one of them Hugo Weaving, ( I think) describes how they used the wigs to give the LOTRs actors "facelifts" by taping up their foreheads. He states sometimes one side would come loose and it would look like he had had a stroke.

Maybe this has something to do with what you are seeing re the hair thing.

I was initially bothered a bit by Legolas's look in the trailers when I saw them on the computer but when I recently saw one on the big screen I didn't notice anything majorly different about him, he looked just fine.


Oct 23 2013, 5:23am

Post #9 of 18 (565 views)
c'mon guys [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean seriously...does anyones hair look exactely the same every day of their lives?? Cut them some slack my friends...im sure they're doing their best....I actually think legolas looks better. To me he now seems to have that ageless wisdom and confidence befitting legolas, that wasnt quite there before. Its obviously due to his age and experience, but before I wouldn't have accepted him calling the fellowship "children", whereas now it would be more believable. ...in my humble opinion of course.

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Tol Eressea

Oct 23 2013, 6:30am

Post #10 of 18 (521 views)
its not the hair or the skin or the eyes [In reply to] Can't Post

its the fact that his face has aged! i mean come on, look at him in LOTR's, his face looks like a 16 year old boy, in the DOS trailers he looks like he's in his mid 30's (which he is). Ian Holm was different because he was already older in LOTR's, and he basically looked about the same in AUJ. Thranduil on the other hand has that perfect middle-aged look like Elrond has, like his body matured and than stopped aging. Legolas was too young in LOTR's, i mean he looked like he stopped aging at 16.

take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Oct 23 2013, 6:34am)


Oct 23 2013, 11:11am

Post #11 of 18 (427 views)
For me it is the weird, scary-looking zombie eyes [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the eyes look as though they have been digitally enhanced, and the mouth also looks very thin, especially when he tries to look 'grim'. I'm afraid his somewhat 'horror-film' looks are going to take me right out of the film, especially if they are combined with daft CGI stunts (I hope his role in it is relatively small). He really is not a pretty sight anymore.

The other characters who appeared in LotR and The Hobbit look fine to me (Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond). Galadriel in particular actually looks better and more attractive, in my view.


Oct 23 2013, 1:20pm

Post #12 of 18 (364 views)
Really wasn't being critical [In reply to] Can't Post

I was simply trying to figure out what was off. The skin and eyes do look normal in the trailer at the theater so I thnk it won't be so noticeable in the film.
I know Orlando has matured and you can only do so much. I'm cool with that!! If PJ could make people look 10 years younger he would have every actor and actress on his doorstep! Lol!
I prefer the hair being not so pulled back...I like the natural a few hairs out of place look. ( I also like the scenes where he has dirt on his face...don't know why but I do!)
I overall like Legolas and his look. I will say I was somewhat disappointed they didn't change his hairstyle and clothes. I was looking forward to seeing him in some different attire. I would think one would get sick and tired of the same look for 60+ years!!! But hey...maybe not! Wink

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!


Oct 23 2013, 1:22pm

Post #13 of 18 (370 views)
Have no issue with his different look... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I think it is obvious that Bloom has changed quite a bit... but it is imho far from being too much and within the realm of "make-belief". Different to others I hope, btw, that his and Tauriel's involvement will not be a small cameo. I want a believable and sincere involvement with the story, otherwise their inclusion would be screenwriting-nonsense imho.

“A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Oct 23 2013, 1:24pm)

Tol Eressea

Oct 23 2013, 4:09pm

Post #14 of 18 (307 views)
Agreed... [In reply to] Can't Post

And after all, compared to EW's chiselled jaw and Ian Holm's wig it's barely noticeable...

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Oct 23 2013, 6:39pm

Post #15 of 18 (281 views)
Agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

And I hate to sound relentlessly negative about the issue as I do understand there are many aspects of these films, and characters, for everyone to appreciate (and I can't have it all my way, LOL). Especially if it weren't for PJ & co. I wouldn't have my beloved dwarves to fuss over, or the epic Thorin gracing a stamp, or still be giggling at Bilbo losing it over all these dwarves at Bag End, or have ever heard the haunting dwarf song, or be running off to the Renaissance festival to get a dragon necklace specifically to wear for DOS. But do fear an overload IMO of T & L - wasn't watching this movie for elves and there are a lot at Rivendell.

I don't hate, hate Legolas and some of the action looks cool (particularly like the cheekiness of coming down the spider's own thread). The strange look for me is frustrating and startling - the heavy makeup is one thing, but it's the eyes (freaky) and thin "lipless" mouth. Contrast that with Legolas' look of sorrow at the cliff re Aragorn which I thought was remarkable and said volumes without a word. What's frustrating is I am NOT supposed to look at Legolas and back up in my seat or be thinking "what the *bleep*".

But not all shots are going to be close-ups and from trailers in the mid-range shots Legolas looks like Legolas to me. And Iwill say Bloom has been respectful, intelligent, and appropriate in interviews about his "reappearance" and I appreciate his attitude and physical ability, no matter what has been done with his face. Hafta wait and see of course, but have a suspicion re the elves Thranduil as a character is just going to run away with the ball anyway.


Oct 23 2013, 7:41pm

Post #16 of 18 (271 views)
I've been trying to analyse what is so unsettling about the eyes.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think- as you say, they have been digitally re-added. Famously, in LOTR, Legolas has frequent changes of eye colour because OB couldn't always tolerate his blue contacts. In the commentaries, PJ more or less admits that he didn't get round to recolouring them digitally. So, I'm assuming that now, they were digitally replaced from the start- except- that the colour is a little too blue. The other thing is that the pupil size is often inappropriate for the light etc. We judge others and whether they are are a threat to us, in part by looking at the pupils ( a subconscious flight or fight mechanism). Legloas' pupils often look different to Tauriel's in the same scene, which I think enhances the "otherness" of his appearance. As for the mouth- I'm not sure what happened thereCrazy Hopefully, as others have said, these factors will be less noticeable on the big screen

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!


Oct 23 2013, 10:50pm

Post #17 of 18 (241 views)
Think you nailed it [In reply to] Can't Post

Haven't looked hard enough but probably the pupils are too small, giving that "staring possessed vampire look" plus the contrast is worse as I think they are using guyliner. The mouth - well, if he is in heavy makeup and Bloom has a smallish mouth (never really looked as do think he is a good looking guy, very pretty eyes in real life) guess there isn't much you can do, not without looking like, well, a girl wearing gloss or something.


Oct 24 2013, 12:23am

Post #18 of 18 (235 views)
I recall reading way before the first film was released... [In reply to] Can't Post

about the production being able to create digital renderings (CGI) of the actors that were so lifelike that they could not tell the difference. I think it may have been either Martin Freeman or Elijah Woods who had said that they had been shown a video of either a CGI version of Martin Freeman or Ian Holm and they were amazed in how lifelike it looked.

I wonder if some of the closeups are in fact a CGI version of the actor and not the actual person.

When I first saw the closeup of Legolas in the trailer it felt not quite natural to me, and as I started thinking about it I would not be surprised if some of the images are CGI or a combination.


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