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Why Legolas' Hair Raised Accuracy Debates Among Lord Of The Rings Fans

There are bound to be differences between a book and its on-screen adaptation, even if the filmmakers aim to be extremely faithful to the source material. Sometimes, things just don't translate perfectly from the page, and changes need to be made. Some scenes may be too dangerous, too expensive, or otherwise too difficult to film.

It's also impossible to find actors, sets, and props exactly matching all viewers' expectations of what those people, places, and objects from the books should look like. Additionally, when you're dealing with a 1,000-page book like "The Lord of the Rings," some subplots may need to be cut so that the movies aren't unbearably long.

There's also the pressure to prove that the adaptation adds something new and is not simply a duplicate of the source material or of previous adaptations. While Peter Jackson's trilogy was not the first film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings," it was certainly the most successful one. However, it still departed from the source material in ways that some fans found questionable, including in regard to Legolas' hair.

Some fans think Legolas should have dark, not blond, hair

In the book, Legolas' hair color is never specified (via CBR.com). However, J.R.R. Tolkien did detail certain rules for which Elves have which hair colors. All the Elves who live in Middle-earth are descended from two lines: the Noldor, who have dark hair, and the Teleri, who have either dark or silver hair. As a Sindar Elf, descended from the Teleri, it seems that Legolas should have either dark or silver hair.

Because of this, Legolas' blond hair in the movies bothered some fans. Redditor u/roguefrog pointed out that blond hair is very rare among the Elves in Middle-earth, arguing that since Legolas' hair color is not specified, it should be presumed to be dark, the most common color for Elf hair.

However, Legolas' father is described as having golden hair in "The Hobbit," so this may be why Orlando Bloom has blond hair in the movies. Regardless, the hair remains controversial among die-hard fans of "The Lord of the Rings."