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Chosen One of the Day: Legolas' mullet

Contributed by
Sep 4, 2018

Tolkien never actually describes Legolas’ legendary locks in The Lord of the Rings, but as the token elf of Tolkien’s Fellowship, it’s a given that he’s the best-tressed of the bunch. And every artist trying their hand at Legolas’ likeness must depict its glory.

Ralph Bakshi gave him a layered look that is somehow both incredibly '70s and incredibly '90s, befitting Legolas’ status as an immortal hottie.

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Peter Jackson gave him the rakish half-up, half-down braided ‘do of a horse girl, making him the Genre Teen Heartthrob of the aughts.

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And in 1986, illustrator Michael Herring gave him… this.

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This is a mullet worthy of inclusion in Tolkien’s legendarium: Rivendell in the front, Mirkwood in the back. Look at those thick and lustrous locks, framing that chiseled, Hasselhoffian visage. He looks like Miles O’Keeffe in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 classic Cave Dwellers all scrubbed up and ready for church. His hair is so good it made Gimli’s hair flawless with one weirdly paternal hand on his dwarven shoulder. (Weird way to flirt with the dwarf you end up sailing off to the Undying Lands with, but, you know, I’m not an elf, who am I to judge?) Now, that’s what I call iconic.

Tolkien, of course, was notoriously nitpicky about his worldbuilding—I mean, the entire legendarium started because he needed a backstory to support his conlangs. So since there’s no hockey in Middle-earth, we can only conclude that Legolas invented the mullet. Why? Well, the elves of Mirkwood are known for their feasts, love of wine, and living in a forest full of nightmares. You’ve got to keep your hair out of your eyes so you don’t get eaten by a spider on your walk of shame home—but you still have to look fabulous.

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