Haldir: The Under-appreciated Elf

Haldir is by far one of my favorite characters in the Lord of the Rings. (And Craig Parker who plays him is a nice guy too! Thank you Salt Lake Comic Con! 😉 ) He doesn’t play a very big role, but he is very important character in some ways.

Haldir, if you don’t know, is the elf whom the fellowship first meet when they stumble on Lothlorien. He is the one with the famous line, “the dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark.”

The most important scene Haldir is in is the battle at Helms Deep. Everyone thinks they aren’t going to make it out, but then the elves show up. Haldir nobly helps the men, whose lives are almost irrelevant compared to his. He did not have to do that at all. Even worse (*spoilers* for those who haven’t watched), it ends in his death.

The best/worst scene of his is the death scene. Good as in the symbolism and acting, bad as in depressing! Anyway, when Haldir is hit in the back by an orc, he starts to realize what is happening. He sees all the dead elves around him, his friends and relatives. He realizes that death isn’t impossible for him. Just because he can live forever, doesn’t mean he can’t be killed. He feels death slowly encompassing him, it makes the watcher realize how close death is for all these important characters. Death can come to anyone, being a main character doesn’t save you from it.

This scene is much like the scene with Legolas, just less subtle. It is another motivating death, like Gandalf’s and Boromirs. It is not meant for the watcher to put themselves in his place, but in the place of all those who see the death and are motivated to fight harder for him. Death shouldn’t cause us to give up, but to fight harder.

The one that ends up with Haldir dying in his arms is Aragorn. Aragorn tends to be the one witnessing the death of those he loves. Since he is the Christ-like character in the situation, he is the one he is saddened by the brutal death of those he cares for, like how Christ loves all his spirit brothers and sisters. Aragorn sees death happen to Elves and Men, this shows how Christ loves us no matter our background, no matter our race. Haldir is a supporting character meant to strengthen Aragorn’s character. While also motivating us specifically.

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