Legolas ariving at Rivendel

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Rathak 20/Sep/2004 at 11:15 AM
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When Legolas arrives at Rivendel, he rides a horse with a sadle, however in the two towers book. when he gets a horse from eomer he asked to remove the sadle because he always rides without a sadle, then he jumpes on the horse and ’tames’ it.

So here’s the question, was PJ correct to put Legolas on a horse with a sadle or should Legolas be arriving on a horse without a sadle.

Silver_sprite 20/Sep/2004 at 11:19 AM
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We discussed this (not that thats a problem you see) but the outcome was that Orlando bloom is quite likely not to be expirianced enough at riding to fufil this requirement, afterall with all those bones hes roken it doesnt surprise me! But it did not realy effect the film that much anyway.
Ruskuite 20/Sep/2004 at 11:22 AM
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 You know I never noticed that....boy I don’t catch on to things do I lol
Hades 20/Sep/2004 at 11:25 AM
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Rahtak, you like many others has discovered another ’flawa’ in the movie. Remember though, you cannot compare between the book and the movie., as the book will always be different and more elborate. Again, its probably something overlooked by PJ and the crew, nothing important.
20/Sep/2004 at 11:31 AM
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But in this case, it doesn’t seem to be so much a flaw as it is health concerns for Bloom. I mean I suppose the script writers could’ve just nixed the line if they had remembered Legolas rode to Imladris on a saddle, though if overlooked as Gino says, it would have been just an honest mistake.
Ashen Shugar 20/Sep/2004 at 11:34 AM
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Gandalf is supposedly riding Shadowfax without a saddle too, but you can see it actually. I don’t mind that much, it isn’t easy to ride without one, so better safe than sorry. It can be dangerous.

Meriwen 20/Sep/2004 at 11:40 AM
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Orlando Bloom managed to fall off his horse and break a rib with a saddle, poor guy, so I dont think going bareback was really an option. I noticed that too, but then i’d be terribly upset if he fell off and died whilst filming. That happened in one of the " 3 musketeer" movies. Apart from that, the movies cant be 100% accurate all the time can they? 
Anildin 20/Sep/2004 at 12:17 PM
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may be its because he had to carry gimli aswell so gimli wouldnt of sat on the sadle because of no room but wow i never even noticed but i dont care about the glitches although they are good its the actuall story that counts and the emotional side of it dont ya think nah probably not uhwell
Gil-Galad07 20/Sep/2004 at 12:34 PM
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what you are talking about the way legolas IN THE BOOK rides his horse without a saddle. in the movie and most truthfully it would be a bit unreal and unpleasant for legolas( orlando bloom) to be sitting on a horses bare back. iv tried horse riding with the saddle on and i found that a bit testing on the lets say delicate side of things. so most likely riding bare back would put you of action...for a long time.
Shivased 20/Sep/2004 at 12:35 PM
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Most saddles have room for two people (at least western saddles I’m used to do.) or one person can ride behind the saddle. But I agree with everyone who said it is hard to ride bareback, and Orlando probably wouldn’t be able to do that, especially with a broken rib. (ive had a cracked rib, and riding with that is hard enough) Riding bareback takes a good amount of practice if you are going to ride at a gallop like gandalf, or even a canter like legolas did.  Aragorn was the only one who rode bareback, when he was saved by the horse, and most likely he was only allowed because he is an experienced rider, and even then, he didn’t go much above a fast trot or slow jog. (sorry for all the non-horsey people if you don’t understand the terms i used.) It is safer with a saddle.
Aněthrarith 20/Sep/2004 at 12:46 PM
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I noticed that he had a saddle, but I didn’t remember that part in the book.  It was probably just something overlooked in the editing and no one ever noticed.... I’ve found a lot more things lately... but since the guy had to ride the horse up close while they were filming and dismount, the guy had to use a saddle.  they just forgot to edit it out?? 
Aněthrarith 20/Sep/2004 at 12:46 PM
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I noticed that he had a saddle, but I didn’t remember that part in the book.  It was probably just something overlooked in the editing and no one ever noticed.... I’ve found a lot more things lately... but since the guy had to ride the horse up close while they were filming and dismount, the guy had to use a saddle.  they just forgot to edit it out?? 
Aněthrarith 20/Sep/2004 at 12:47 PM
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oops!  Could an admin delete that extra one please?  It was an accident!  I’m really sorry!
Searogim 20/Sep/2004 at 02:21 PM
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The horse that was used as Shadowfax was specially trained to be ridden using only a tiny saddle that was hidden under Gandalfs robes, and was controlled using as very fine wire on his neck which was no visable in the movies.  I think it would have been too difficult and expensive to train all of the elven horses to be ridden in this way (as if Legolas was going to ride in the proper elven way all of the other elves should as well), and also more dangerous for the riders.  You would also have to explain that this is the way that elves rode.  By having only Shadowfax being ridden apparently without tack made him appear more special and unique.

Miriath 21/Sep/2004 at 10:11 AM
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My basic guess is that Orlando Bloom couldn’t have ridden a horse bareback at a gallop. So they had to tweak that a bit to make it more realistic and safe.  Even though Ian Mckellen rode Shadowfax "bareback" he still had a saddle and stirrips to work with so that was kind of fake too.
Ashen Shugar 21/Sep/2004 at 10:56 AM
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Shivased is right, I guess when you do ride in general you tend to appreciate just how difficult it is to ride without a saddle - I tried only once and that was it. But yes, Viggo was an experienced rider and he had to improve his riding for this, I remember reading this, thanks for the reminder.
Arelania gela 22/Sep/2004 at 02:03 PM
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Poor Orlando... jeez who wasnt injured in the making of the LOTR movies???  Well honestly I don’t think I noticed that but good call on the saddle deal.  Why wouldn’t anyone want to ride without a saddle?  Is it easier for movement or something in battle?  I have no idea.

~Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end~

Eretria 22/Sep/2004 at 05:54 PM
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Oh well, it isn’t really that important a detail for the story, it is hard to ride without a saddle (I have tried it and it takes a lot of getting used to). Orlando Bloom (and all of the other actors) couldn’t do everything exactly like their character in the books. Characters in books can be made to do almost anything, when it really has to be done it is very difficult to do it exactly the same.
Eliendriel 22/Sep/2004 at 06:57 PM
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What i always noticed about that scene was the sort of slow-motion they gave him dismounting.. Like it was designed to make girls swoon or something. But i do remember taht section of the book, and also thought the saddle was a concession to Bloom’s abilities rather than Legolas’.
Tinw 22/Sep/2004 at 07:15 PM
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On the other hand, Tolkien himself was inconsistent on this point. Glorfindel uses a saddle. I have a suspicion that Tolkien came up with the "bareback Elves" idea on the spot when he was writing the chapter where Éomer gives a horse to Legolas, and apparently he forgot to go back and fix his earlier writing to reflect the idea.

Arwen also uses a saddle, but then, she stole Asfaloth!
*Lady*Eowyn* 22/Sep/2004 at 08:15 PM
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Well I think that Orlando was not skilled enough to ride a horse without a saddle, and they probably decided that it was a really small unimportant detail that no one would really pay attention to while watching the movie. I dunno though . . .
Eledhwyn 23/Sep/2004 at 05:52 AM
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Aye, Tinw has a point. At least the movie folks were consistent in whether or not elves ride with saddles. *G*

The whole "elves don’t use saddles" thing has always struck me as a bit odd in any case. The reason we use saddles IRL is not for our sakes (although they are much more comfortable in some ways), but for the sake of the horse. A saddle spreads out the rider’s weight over a larger area, meaning that there isn’t a constant pressure on the horse’s spine. Basically, it’s kinder for the horse. Why the elves would be deliberately unkind to their mounts then, is something I find rather puzzling.

Koranti 23/Sep/2004 at 05:57 AM
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the main reason, is that Orlando Bloom was terrible at horseback riding.  Just to find a horse that he could manange to use as Arod, they went through twelve horses, and he still ended up falling off that one and breaking a rib.  I also agree with Tinw and Ele Isenfolme.... both good points....anyway, it was a rather minor detail.
Tia Galanodel 23/Sep/2004 at 07:09 AM
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Its one of those few things that they did not put into the film, from the book, as it was not that important.  It would have taken time, and as someone else pointed out that Orlando may have found it hard to ride the horse with no saddle! I know I would!
Tornihyanda 23/Sep/2004 at 07:21 AM
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Well, I did not pay attention to the horse that arrives Rivendell with Legolas, but if he have a saddle, then, he is wrong there and not when legolas asks to Éomer to take off the sadlle in the plains of Rohan. The Elves (or at least most part of them)  never use sadlles when they ride horses. Gandalf do not use sadlle too in Shadowfax because the horse would not let put it in its back.
Arelania gela 23/Sep/2004 at 08:08 AM
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Eliendriel: Haha I noticed that too when Legolas dismounts it’s so movie cinema dramatic like.  I think the makers of LOTR really pushed for Orlando to be the heart throb and its parts like that, that really play it up.  Yeah it could’ve been attractive... if he hadn’t had the saddle that is.

~Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end~

Searogim 23/Sep/2004 at 09:33 AM
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I do not think that Orlando’s riding ability had anything to do with the choice on whether or not to use saddles or not.  If they really wanted Legolas to ride bare back, they could have used a very small saddle that would have not been visable or could have been removed by computer afterwards, as they did with Shadowfax.  All of the elves seem to use saddles in the movies, it is not just Legolas so I do not think that Peter Jackson wanted the elves to ride without tack as they did in the books.  And as Tinw said, Galadriel used a saddle in the books, as did Glorfindel if I remember rightly.

Tinw 23/Sep/2004 at 11:32 AM
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Ele, Elves have small, personal antigrav units built into their butts. That’s why Legolas could run on snow without sinking. So no worries about their squashing their horsies.

This also explains Legolas’ amazing ability to levitate, and to climb arrows without snapping them!

Talath 23/Sep/2004 at 01:04 PM
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Two things that explain why Legolas was riding a horse with a saddle on it: Orlando Bloom was not experianced enough to ride without a saddle and therefore needed one, and also it could have just simply been yet another one of Peter Jackson’s movie mistakes.
Searogim 23/Sep/2004 at 02:41 PM
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talath dirnen I do not think that this could be one of Peter Jackson mistakes.  It would have been very hard for all of the people involved in the scripts etc to miss the point that elves generally do not ride with tack when they read through the books.  I think it was more of a conscious decission.

*Lady*Eowyn* 23/Sep/2004 at 02:48 PM
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I agree with Searogim, this was most likely not one of PJ mistakes. I just don’t think that Orlando was skilled enough to ride a galloping horse bareback. And the saddle was most likely a beautiful elvish saddle that was made with great care. I dunno . . .
Anika Bolger 23/Sep/2004 at 03:34 PM
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Kinda make you wonder why they overlooked that part.  Can’t they paint the saddle blue and make it disappear with CG?  I don’t look at it as another flaw in the movie, though.  LOTR is still great with or without the saddles.
Eliendriel 23/Sep/2004 at 06:14 PM
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Tinw, I knew there was a reason they gave me that anti-grav unit! Till now i hadn’t figured it out! Regardless, good point about Tolkien’s tendency to write what fits when he got to certain points in his tales.
Arelania, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that part was sort of forced, almost like PJ was saying "Love him, please!"
Nieriel 24/Sep/2004 at 06:16 PM
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yeah like they said Orlando just cant ride, he broke a rib or something when he fell off. and actually Ian McKellen has a saddle as well, you just dont see it because of his cloak.
Searogim 25/Sep/2004 at 05:17 AM
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Actually I heard that Orlando spent a lot of time learning to ride for the movies, but even experienced riders would find it hard to ride at a gallop bareback as it is extremely uncomfortable.  And breaking a rib whist riding is not the sign of a bad rider.  Professional riders have been killed during falls and I have almost injured myself quite badly whilst riding before and I have been doing it for years.

Cethwin 25/Sep/2004 at 07:03 AM
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Yeh i agree with you although coming from a truly well.... rubish rider i would imagin riding bare back is quite hard.  And just because you’ve broken a bone dosent mean that your a bad rider, my friend who is an excellent rider has fallen of brused cut herself but still she is a good rider.  Horses are animals and no matter how long horses have been bred in captivity they are bound to bolt or rear or generally misbehave and be unruly. Ao my point is that brakina couple of bones doesnt make u a bad rider!  
hogyncymru 25/Sep/2004 at 07:46 AM
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maby he shud have just ran there it would have saved him a lot of hasale but not time so really yes he should have ridrd with out a sadle its more of a heoroic thing but really its not something big is it so it aint something that pj should wory about
An Capall Dubh 25/Sep/2004 at 07:53 AM
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I agree with Sea and Cethwin,broken bones are certainly not a sign of a bad rider.People can ride for years and still break bones ,arms etc.It can even end much worse like a few weeks ago,a very experienced rider fell of her horse and didn’t survive the fall.It is sad but it proves what is mentioned above.
Beren of old 25/Sep/2004 at 10:23 AM
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It never ceases to amaze me how well people can pick out these little pointers in the films. Bravo Rathak. It seems to me quite a pricly thing to have a saddle on a horse, we must not forget that Legolas was coming from afar, and all his provisions were on the horse and so he needed a saddle to carry everything. When he is in Rohan he travells light and does not need a saddle.
OldBlue 28/Sep/2004 at 08:55 PM
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I think Viggos riding skills are clearly seen in his next film Hidago, he is excellent (to me anyway). As for riding bareback, you rarely see it done in any film. That they do it in  the books is part of Fantasy and I don’t think tolkien ever rode did he? Just what skill level was Tolkien when it comes to horses? does he know what he is writing about here?
Cethwin 29/Sep/2004 at 05:09 PM
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yeh viggo is a good rider he practised at every opertuity he had making the movie and yes like the money tree(cool name) said he is a good rider and shows it in his new film hidalgo which he is very good in
Landy 04/Oct/2004 at 03:19 AM
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in my opinion he should have arrived without a saddle, apparantely elves rode bearback for they did not think that the horses would like saddles, so i think its a bit odd that legolas rode with a sadle on. perhaps orlando couldnt bear to ride bareback on a bony horse lol. It would have been more effective if he had come in bearback though  lol
Dringmistress 04/Oct/2004 at 08:00 AM
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Silver brings up a good point... I thought I read somewhere in a magazine that the LOTR training was the only time Orlando Bloom had ever been on a horse, so I’d say he definitely wasn’t exprienced enough, and heaven forbid PJ didn’t want him to have ANOTHER accident lol.
Galadrine 04/Oct/2004 at 10:40 AM
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LOL, bare back riding isn’t easy, so I’m actually GLAD they didn’t make Ian McKellen or Orlando Bloom ride bare back, it’s not an easy task, and like other’s have said Orli managed to break a rib while riding with a sadle, he might have killed himself not having one! LOL

Though, if it were really an issue with the story, they could have digitally removed the saddles, but I don’t think it was really important enough for that.  And with Gandalf, they did a pretty good job with hiding the saddle so you couldn’t really see it.

Ruskuite 04/Oct/2004 at 10:46 AM
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 I mean ya in the book Legolas does ride bareback but I don’t know if Orland Bloom could have mastered bareback riding well enough to do all of the scenes and we do not want little Bloom to get hurt do we? SO he will just have to use a saddle. Lol
Searogim 04/Oct/2004 at 02:41 PM
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Everyone seems to be failing to notice that Legolas is not the only elf in the movie that is riding with a saddle - as far as I can remember they all do!  I think it must have been an informed decission on behalf of the director/producers etc to have a uniform view of elven equestrianism through out the movies.
Hírilnaur 04/Oct/2004 at 06:10 PM
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I do believe that Tolkien’s elves rode bareback, but for the safety of the actors and horses, saddles were chosen.  Remember too, that horses must be accustomed to having people ride bareback.  Anything new must be learned unless the horse is extremely trusting.  The amount of time and horses it would have taken to fulfill this semi-slight flaw would have been huge.
Vardin 10/Oct/2004 at 02:25 AM
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This is most likely because Orlando bloom the british actor who plays Legolas is most likely, in fact probably not experienced enough to ride a horse without a saddle in the fellowship of the ring but by the time the two towers was filmed he was experienced enough. Peter Jackson probably thought that we would not notice.

Diava Echui 10/Oct/2004 at 04:03 AM
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Yes, I agree with the idea of the uniformed look of elvish riding.  It just wouldn’t be practical to have all the actors playing elves ride without saddles - or safe, either.  It doesn’t really make that much difference to the movies in general.
As to why Legolas uses a saddle in FOTR and doesn’t in TTT, I suppose it was because Orlando improved on his riding.  His character also might have learnt something over the journey - although I highly doubt it was anything he wasn’t aware of before.
Searogim 10/Oct/2004 at 09:46 AM
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Although I do not think that riding experience would have been an issue on the decission for whether or not the elves rode with or without saddle, I have to say that I do not think that Orlando could have been that inexperienced a rider.  I have read before that he spent a lot of time improving his riding, and in pictures I have seen of him on Arod he seems to have been riding using a curb bit.  Now this is a very sever bit when used for English style riding (as he seemed to have been doing) and would not be used by an inexperienced rider.
tiarakai 10/Oct/2004 at 10:34 PM
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Well mellyns nin on the whole "people falling off of a horse subject" *laughs*  I have a funny story. Okay I too, know how to ride horses and twice at summer camp I fell off "my" horse bad <ouch> One time Violet ( the first horse) reared. and the second time Chance (the second & my favourite of the two) and I were at a full gallop and I lost my left rein.

Next thing, I know poor Chance that handsome kinda looks like Shadowfax (’coz  he’s white) and I are both on the ground. He got off with a minor cut on his nose and I had to limp back to camp.

camthalioncalca 10/Oct/2004 at 10:58 PM
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I don’t think this really matters because the movies are different from the books and i think the people who haven’t read the books and only have seen the movie would think that is strange that every one except legolas has a saddle and i don’t think they but that in the movie becuase most of the audience might think that it is erelavent
Ithilquisser 11/Oct/2004 at 04:14 PM
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I think that it would have been cooler if he roode without one but he wouldn’t be comfertable i mean he is a no ofence orlando lovers but he is a little pretty boy who isn’t suposed to be legolas it was dumb i mean in the book he was old and wise and not some pretty boy.
Míriel Aditu 13/Oct/2004 at 07:14 PM
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I figured it must be hard to ride without a saddle unless your experienced at such things and really, when Legolas arrives in Rivendell I am not looking at the horse so i never noticed…
Marala 13/Oct/2004 at 09:28 PM
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When Gandolf rode Shadowfax if you look closly there is a saddle hidden by his cloak. I as a horse rider I know you need to be quite experienced to ride a horse with out a saddle, and it takes a TON of practice. As it is not a terribly important part of the movies, and most people don’t even notice it, I think it was a wise decision to make it easier on the actors in allowing them to use saddels.
Lčŋatĥ 27/Oct/2004 at 07:45 AM
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I saw it too and it does not bother me, but it was said somewhere that elves don’t use saddles and other riding stuff like men do. Now as I think of it, did Arwen use a saddle when she did this Frodo saving?

In the darkness through the vapour clouds of my breath I am looking for a dawn