AUTHOR'S NOTE I have this theory that Legolas would have been at the Battle of Five Armies in The Hobbit, since his father was leading the Elven army.

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It was 60 years ago, only a drop of time in my long life. We marched not for good or for rescue, or to protect an innocent people. No, it was for none of these causes that Elves would think to fight for. We marched for riches.

My father felt that we had been insulted by the roving Dwarves that we'd captured. Maybe we had. Or maybe his mind was clouded by the ancient hatred between Elves and Dwarves plus the allure of the dragon gold. When the Men of Laketown called upon him to join them in battle, he quickly agreed. I love and respect my father deeply, but his lust for gold will someday undo him.

The King said to march, so march we did toward the Lonely Mountain. I was proud to finally be included with my father's elite archers. I yearned to prove myself to him. I was his only child and heir, but felt that in order for him to fully love me, I had to show him that I was worthy of my title.

We marched with the Men of Laketown. My father, along with his lust for gold, harbored resentment of Men as well. He never understood why Lord Elrond allowed young Aragorn to live in Rivendell. He understood even less my friendship with Aragorn. I know that he disapproved of it. Perhaps that was why I so longed to show him that I was worthy.

I hear laughing and for a moment look up. At first I think the children running by are Merry and Pippin, but then I remember that my dear hobbit friends are not here with us. I have found, in our journey from Rivendell to Parth Galen, that the childlike innocence of hobbits reminds me very much of the peaceful beauty of my home.

It was at that battle 60 years ago that I first saw a hobbit. Bilbo Baggins, finder of the One Ring that we now seek to destroy, sought to end our fighting peacefully. If only we'd known what the source of his trickery was. Would we have destroyed the Ring then if we'd known? I don't know. I know now that it must be destroyed and it has no pull on my heart, but I know that I could not do it myself. It was never meant to be my burden.

The battle changed quickly. First the Men and Elves marched on the Mountain and the Dwarves inside. But before we knew they'd come, goblins and wargs attacked our flank. The chaos was thick. I followed the other archers and fired. Cries of "leithio i phillin!" rose all over the battlefield.

They call it the Battle of Five Armies, but it reality there were more than that. It began with Men, Elves, and Dwarves. Before long, the goblins and wargs attacked. Late into the battle, Gandalf appeared, as did Beorn, the being who lives between Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains. And finally the Eagles came to win the battle for us.

I had never seen battle before and it was fierce. Gandalf was wounded. I saw Elves fall dead around me. I know what we originally fought for was wrong, but in the end our cause was just. We won over the foul creatures.

I fought for my father. I fought for glory. I fought for Rohan and for good. Why do I do it?

I am a survivor of the Wars. I am a protector of the Fellowship. I am the Crown Prince of Mirkwood.

I am Legolas Greenleaf. I will always fight.