TH/LOTR: Legolas' change in nature/character development

There has been a lot of confusion over why Legolas’ character appears different in The Hobbit than it does in The Lord of The Rings. So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the subject to help people understand why he undergoes this change. In TH he is full of sorrow, and appears to be still grieving for the death of his mother. His behaviour is constantly being observed by his father and kin, for this reason he cannot show weakness. This includes showing compassion towards ‘lesser’ beings. 

His change in nature seen in LOTR is partly due to him being away from Thranduil, Tauriel, and the elves of the Woodland realm. Mirkwood is a solemn place, and it’s understandable how the environment could have an affect on his personality. Just being around his father everyday would have had a huge influence on him, what with his selfishness and inconsiderate nature. However when Legolas parts with his father Thranduil finally tells him that his mother ‘loved him’, and I believe that hearing this helped Legolas recover from his grief. 

In LOTR I have noticed that Legolas is less immature, he is not as stubborn and selfish as he once was, he is more compassionate and much wiser, and yet he is joyful. He actually smiles.

I believe that this is due to his time spent with Strider. Aragorn is a much kinder and gentler spirit than those of Legolas’ woodland kin, but growing up with the elves, he still understands their ways. It’s not hard to believe that Legolas is fascinated by Aragorn; a mortal man with the nature of an elf; a ranger who is in fact the heir to the throne of Gondor. It is apparent that during their time spent together Legolas learns a lot from him. 

Both of them had lost their mothers, this being something they could both relate to. But where there was sorrow there was also happiness. Whilst in his company, Legolas was finally able to appreciate life and see the joys within it. Something that his father prevented him from doing. 

And then there’s Gimli coming into his life-  

which pretty much speaks for itself.