The elves of Mirkwood are fond of pretty hair ornaments, but they almost all wear their hair long and unstyled. Legolas is no exception, and though Gimli has privately admired his unbound tresses in the past, when they take to riding Arod, Gimli quickly grows weary of Legolas’ hair streaming in his face hour upon hour.
After Gimli spends a couple of days of inhaling hairs every time he opens his mouth, he can take it no longer.
“You wish me to braid my hair?” Legolas says, when Gimli asks him. “But I am afraid of have not the skill.”
Which is how Gimli finds himself braiding the elf’s hair for him, as if he were a child. Legolas won’t leave off squirming; he keeps turning to try and see the plait half-finished. The final braid is a bit sloppy as a result, and the elf keeps playing with it, a silly expression on his face. Gimli has to chide him lest the work come undone.
From then on during their days of riding, Legolas wakes Gimli a little early to have his hair plaited, even though Gimli offers to teach him how to do it for himself. When they ride, Gimli runs the occasional hand down Legolas’ hair, just to check all is well.
And at Pelennor Fields, Gimli’s braid arcs behind Legolas, a dark streak against that unnatural sunless sky.
And even after, after everything, Legolas comes in the morning, comb in hand, his smile between sly and shy. Gimli wants to ask why, now that there is no need, but cannot quite make himself. Instead he winds his fingers in Legolas’ hair, and thinks of the hairpins he could make for Legolas, now that there is time, now that they have time.
For day 6 of Gigolas Week—just one more to go! While drawing this, I kept thinking about how much I want a D&D-esque, 90s style anime version of LOTR, but maybe that’s just because I keep drawing Legolas like he’s an escapee from “Record of Lodoss War.”