Monday, May 7, 2012

Legolas Greenleaf Bow(s), Quiver(s)& Arrows; Lord of the Rings, TFOTF, TTT, ROTK

Legolas Greenleaf Bow(s) Quiver(s) &Arrows, Lord of the Rings, TFOTR, TTT, ROTK

By Leaves of LorianHigh Quality Replica, Custom and Cosplay Costuming
"Not Idly do the Leaves of Lorian Fall...."

Alright, so let’s talk about Legolas’s accoutrements….Doesn’t that just sound awesome?
I’m not here to bore you - you’ll find this entertaining, if not…well, then you clearly don’t understand LOTR awesomeness

Legolas uses two bows and two quivers for the movies. Similarly, he has two sets of arrows. Which means if you are trying to reconstruct his garb - including weapons - you will have to choose which set will work better for you. They are quite different.
Both bows appear to be recurve bows. He carries them over his shoulder (slid through the quiver straps) quite often.

His long knives are both attached to the quiver and in separate sheaths.
He obviously has to reach very deliberately for them to draw them.

He usually wears his quiver pointing over his right shoulder, with the clasp on the left side. I have noticed a few shots in Fangorn and Rohan when he wears it on the other side. (My guess is the continuity person missed him, the shots were reversed, or Orlando hadn’t figured out how to wear it yet when those shots were filmed)
His first bow

The first bow of Legolas is only used in the Fellowship of the Ring, and only for about half the film. It’s the bow he has when he rides into Rivendell, kills the cave ogre, and threatens to shoot Haldir with in Lorien.

This bow is of dark wood, probably stained, inlayed with gold, caped on both ends with elvish designed in gold.
The gold inlay is shaped like a leafy vine.

His first quiver
Legolas’s first quiver is black, hard, shaped leather. It’s flat on the bottom, shaped somewhat like a cone. The straps are tan leather, threaded through golden (I’ll call them loops) things. The bottom and top are encased in gold which has a leafy design. The top is uneven, lower on the left side then the right.

His knives are carried between the quiver and his back, probably attached to the quiver by a strap.

His first set of Arrows
These arrows are black or dark brown shafted with two golden yellow fletches and one black. They are bound to the shaft with black cord wrapped around and tied. The tips are dark metal.

The second bow
Is probably recognizable by the shot below. It’s the bow Legolas revives in Lothlorien as a farewell gift. He uses it the rest of the films.

It’s a tan wood, with silver leaves overlaid on it. It’s very beautiful.

The Peacock Quiver
Legolas’s second quiver.
It’s tan leather, shaped in sort of an oval. It appears to bow out in the middle, but it’s quite possible that’s an illusion.

It has gold around the lip of the quiver and at the base.
The gold overlay is two intertwined peacocks, thus the quiver’s name.

The knives are in their own separate ‘case’. They are definitely strapped together and in their own sheaths behind and to the side of the quiver. It looks as if they may have been intended to be strapped to the quiver as they are with his first one, but the strap didn’t fit. You can see the odd bulge of leather there. I don’t know what other purpose it could have served.

His second set of arrows
Are green shafted (made of wood), tipped with golden leafy points that are intertwined upwards. The fletchings are all golden yellow, bound with golden cord that is clasped by two gold bands at the top and bottom of the fletch. They are quite different from his original arrows.

The mixed up confused world of film making.
In this world, there are such things as publicity shoots, where the actor uses what the public relations agent picks out for him to use.
There are several posters, pictures and replicas of Legolas that were manufactured for press release in which he MIXES his first set of weapons with his second.
He uses the first bow, the wrong quiver and the right arrows. The second bow, wrong quiver, right arrows. First bow, first quiver, second set of arrows. And so on and so forth. Be careful if you plan to reproduce his weapons - be sure you get accurate pictures.
Most of the pictures are accurate, but labeled under the wrong film.

Here he’s using his first bow, first quiver and first arrows

My Bow
I love my bow…it’s incredible. It was a surprise gift from my father, and I freely confess, I obsess over it. I won’t let other people hold it, use it, or even let it rest on the ground…yeah, that’s how much it means to me. I’ve even named it.
I use it for archery a lot, and it’s a very, very nice long bow. It’s not a recurve, but I can’t handle those. 

 I painted the gold vines and leaves on myself, and the ‘caps’ of gold on the end. We sprayed them with clear acrylic spray to get them to stay, but after three years you can tell it’s been worn and loved.

My quiver

I also love my quiver. It’s a handmade replica of the first quiver, nowhere near actuate, but I like it anyway.
I embroidered elvin designs on black leather and sewed it onto a form, then attached my knife sheaths with belts.

I use a really, really long belt for the straps. One loop of it goes over my head, and the end fastens.
And yes, there is a trade secret for attaching things…


My arrows

It was easier for me to make the second set of arrows for some reason (I don’t remember why anymore) so that’s why they don’t match the rest of my garb.
I gathered all of the bent or busted arrows we had around the garage and started painting. I used green acrylic paint and painted each arrow separately about three times to get the right shade (and so the camo would stop showing through!)

I painted the fleches with gold (which took about five coats each) and for the cording accents. I also painted the tips of the arrows gold and gave them vine designs.
I do NOT have any tips on my arrows for safety reasons, and I rarely take pictures with a loaded bow pointed directly at the camera

My knives were a present and came with the sheaths.
I collect LOTR swords, and recommend United Cutlery for any and all replicas. They do an exceptionally nice job on Legolas’s long knives, but the sheaths are separate and costly.

And so, here I am with my bow, quiver and arrows in my Legolas garb!!
I have a separate blog for his garb and also one for his capes if you are looking for more references or someone to ask about how and what to look at.

Incidentally, did you know there’s a lot of different things you can use a bow for???

Like annoying your little sibbies!

Or turning yourself into a cow!

And they make exceptionally good air guitars!!

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva.

Nai truanted ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya!!


  1. Air Guitar!? I love it! And annoying siblings and everything!! I was smiling all the while I looked at the pictures of the diffrent ways you could use a bow and there all true! :) Oncae again I love the costume, your bow, knives and all the swords!

    1. :D
      So glad you enjoyed all of the pictures and different ways to use a bow!! :) I've had a bit too much fun with mine, I guess... ;)

  2. P.S. I like the metal your wearing in the picture where it shows a close up of the quiver strap and buckle across the chest. Can you tell me what it is please?

    1. I believe that is a pendant from one of my Catholic friends, a metal of the patron saint Threse'. I'm not sure where he got it. :)

    2. I had one of those have no idea where it is. Most likely in my jewlery making box. I thought that was Saint Threse' it looked like her. Thanks for telling me! :) It's a very nice metal and looks good on you! :)

  3. I just want you to know, YOU'RE AWESOME.

    1. Why thank you! :) As Will Turner says "A craftsman always like to know his work is appreciated."

  4. Love your work! Just bought a couple new bows very similar to yours for wife and I. We want to add elvish decorations onto the laquered bow finish,, but weren't sure which type of paints we could use. Don't want to compromise the integrity of the bows. Recommendations? Thanks

    1. I used plain old acrylic paint on mine and overlaid that with clear nail polish. I have not had to repaint it yet, but I may after this year. The use is starting to show. It hasn't effected the way the bow shoots in any way. You could also look at oil based paints.
      Basically, as long as you are putting something slightly flexible and non abrasive over top of the finish and not using something that will eat into the lacquer over time, you shouldn't have any problems.

      I worked in a leather shop for a while and we used acrylic paint for a some decorations on leather armor and stuff that was too complicated for leather dye. Most kinds of acrylics are water based, so if you go with that be sure to cover it with some sort of sealant (thus the nail polish!)

  5. Wow this is awesome...
    Where did he get those bow and quiver?