In the movie version of The Lord of the Rings, Legolas is seen many times shooting arrow after arrow, yet he never seems to run out.

For example, after the long battle at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, his quiver is completely filled.

Where are all these arrows coming from? Is it some form of elven magic? If so, it is never explained either in the movie, nor in the book that I can recall.

  • 25
  • 11
    For the same reason Rambo never runs out of ammo.
    – Dima
    Feb 8, 2012 at 1:53
  • 11
    IDKFA . . . . . Feb 8, 2012 at 4:09
  • 11
    Quiver of holding?
    – Dylan Yaga
    Feb 8, 2012 at 13:07
  • 7
    The events in the movie happen over many days. The movie is only a few hours long. Not everything happens on-screen. Between the scenes, they have a lot of time to eat, sleep, urinate, and make arrows or scavenge for them after battle.
    – vsz
    Feb 8, 2012 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


This might be true in the movie, but certainly not in the books. Twice - in the very battle you mention at the end of Fellowship, and again in the battle of Helm's Deep - he is explicitly described as running out of arrows and having to hunt around for more:

'And I,' said Legolas, 'will take all the arrows that I can find, for my quiver is empty.' He searched in the pile on the ground about and found not a few that were undamaged and longer in the shaft than such arrows as the Orcs were accustomed to use.


'Two!' said Gimli, patting his axe. He had returned to his place on the wall.

'Two?' said Legolas. 'I have done better, though now I must grope for spent arrows; all mine are gone. Yet I make my tale twenty at the least. But that is only a few leaves in a forest.'

(And yes, he does later go on to use a knife, saying to Gimli: "It has been knife-work up here.")

On a side note, I've always found this set of exchanges between Legolas and Gimli to be faintly disturbing. Although Orcs are "evil", and their enemies in this battle and the wider war, they are still sentient creatures and I would have thought Legolas - as a "good" Elf - would at least show some form of regret at the necessity to slaughter them. But instead, he revels in it and turns it into a competition with his friend. As I say, disturbing.

  • 39
    Legolas is in fact a "good" elf. he just doesn't live in the 21st century in the western world. He lives in Middle earth in the 3rd age, where "good" and "evil" are easily distinguished, and there is no "grey". There not only it is not disturbing, it is encouraged to count the Orcs you slay.
    – Zottek
    Feb 8, 2012 at 20:10
  • 9
    Gollum wasn't evil, though, just somewhat corrupted due to his long association with the ring. He started out as a hobbit, after all. My impression has been that (almost) every character in the LOTR universe has some innate association with either good or evil, and that although that association may be swayed or even masked, it doesn't get changed outright. Orcs OTOH were a creation of Morgoth (well, sort of, depending on which theory you believe), which I'm pretty sure makes them innately evil.
    – David Z
    Feb 9, 2012 at 0:01
  • 16
    Orcs are on a totally different league from Gollum. Gollum is just crazy and schizophrenic, tortured by his desire of the Ring. He still possesses some of his "previous nature", when he was normal, and you can see this when he starts to change his behavior thanks to Frodo's kindness. Orcs, on the other hand, in the LoTR story, don't have anything good, they just kill and eat (even among themselves), and leave no space to compassion or other feelings.
    – Alenanno
    Feb 9, 2012 at 10:29
  • 1
    @DanielRoseman: "his own people refused to hurt Gollum, despite everything". Sure, but at the time, Gollum wasn't running towards them in a group of thousands with the intent of killing them as quickly as possible. I don't think you get very far in battle if you stop to shed a tear for each enemy you kill. Mar 14, 2013 at 14:51
  • 4
    Is it worth pointing out here that orcs are supposed to be corrupted elves. There may be a deeper reason the elves don't consider them worth worrying about. That they want to "de-elvenise" them as much as possible so they don't think of it as killing their own kind?
    – Liath
    Sep 3, 2014 at 6:26

In the movie, at the Battle of Helm's Deep, Legolas is seen using two knives instead of his bow and arrow. One might presume that he ran out of arrows. I recall reading in the LOTR wiki that Legolas does indeed run out of arrows, and when that happens he has two knives that he uses as weapons.

From the Lord of the Rings Wiki:

Legolas carries two weapons with him on his journey with the Fellowship. He sports a slender bow of Mirkwood which he aims with deadly precision. He prefers to pierce his enemies from afar, but he also carries a long knife of unknown make. In Lothlórien he was given a bow of the Galadhrim, stouter than those of the fashion of Mirkwood. Nevertheless he adopts his new bow and makes deadly use of it in the remainder of the War of the Ring. Legolas' skill with the bow is reknowned, perhaps even comparable to that of Beleg Cúthalion.

In the movie adaptation he wields an additional elvish long knife.

(Lord of the Rings Fandom page - Legolas:Weapons, archived version from 2012/02/08)

  • @DVK - Well, you know how I feel about the Wikis. For all I know it's sourced from a monkey's patoot, but let me check the link and see what it says. :) Feb 8, 2012 at 7:40
  • @DVK - The sources given for the Legolas page are: The Lord of the Rings; The Book of Lost Tales 2; The Complete Guide to Middle-earth; Legolas at Tolkien Gateway; Legolas of Mirkwood: Prince Among Equals. Feb 8, 2012 at 7:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.