Dec 16 2013 4:36pm

Concerning Dwarves…and Elves: The State of The Hobbit’s Kili and Tauriel

The Hobbit poster

I am a huge Tolkien fan, and The Hobbit is the one book to rule them all. In this book, Tolkien poured all his love, devotion to his children, and obsession with English folklore. But Peter Jackson's Hobbit isn't Tolkien's, and that's okay. This one truth you must accept or all that follows won't really be that special or wondrous.

Tolkien is notorious for his lack of meaningful female characters, despite the amazing Eowyn. It's all heroic men doing awesome things. But this doesn't make for as much fun for folks who want a kick-ass girl whooping up on some orcsies. Enter Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly, who was created by Peter Jackson to add a bit more gender diversity. I was one of the Neck-Bearded fan-boys that raged against this addition, mainly because I remember Liv Tyler's Arwen, and that wasn't good at all. But boy, was I wrong.

Tauriel is what you get when you mix up Miranda Otto's “Witch-King Slaying” Eowyn with Liv Tyler's “Too Pretty to Act” Arwen. Tauriel is the captain of the guard of the Kingdom of Mirkwood, formally Greenwood.  The sad thing is that she is a Sylvan elf, not a High Elf. (There is a very long, Tolkien-esque backstory there, but this is not the place for that.) And everything about her works. The character fits perfectly in the world that Jackson has created. This is all only improved upon when you read about how Evangeline Lilly actively rejects the infamous “butt pose” that some women of action are pressured into doing.

Do you think she could have loved me?

But Ol' Pete Jackson wasn't content with just a bad-ass female. He also wanted a romance sub-plot.  Which again, brought the nerd rage. The Hobbit isn't about love. It's about Bilbo, damn it. But, it is The Hobbit, so I'll give it a chance. Enter Aidan Turner's Kili. The unfairly charming, dark haired rogue who is one of Thorin Oakenshield's two nephews.

Turner and Lilly have amazing chemistry when it comes to selling the romance and have the added benifit of  making a movie focused primarily on action have some much needed character development. Their relationship isn't over sold and the triangle that is presented by it makes things even more interesting.

SEE ALSO: Dissecting Kili and Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Trailer

You see, Tauriel has been Legolas's main squeeze since they were little (upon reflection, it is assumedby the author that he has a thing for gingers). Thranduil, lord of Mirkwood and Legolas's dad, will have none of that, though. High elves do not mix with Sylvan elves.  Tauriel is ordered by her King that she is to not lead Legolas along, this of course creates a bit of tension when Tauriel must choose between Orc Hunting with the Sun-Fetching Prince of Mirkwood and the Dragon Hunting Kili.   

Tauriel and Kili had me from the first, “Don't you think he is a little tall for a dwarf?” to the last “She walks in star-light.” It works, and it works in a way that I wished that we could have see Eowyn and Faramir work (my personal favorite Tolkien romance).  Have you seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug yet? What did you think?

Updated 12/18/14: Read Chris Morgan's Hobbit reaction post, “Saying Goodbye to The Hobbit,” right here!


Christopher Morgan works for and You can find him on twitter as c_morgs65.

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1. Reginathorn
I'm glad to hear you think Tauriel works because from the press she sounded just like the character I invented as Legolas's girlfriend (who oddly enough looked like me!) when I was eleven!!

I want to know more about my Hobbit boyfriend Bard the Bowman!
2. Donna Herren
I loved it! I really don't care if romance wasn't on the menu in The Hobbit, or that Tauriel didn't exist at all. The subplot was a welcome addition to the story for myself and my two daughters.
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
Okay, reading your post, my heart was skipping a beat remembering those moments. When Kili wakes in a fever to see Tauriel standing over him and she becomes just this ray of light for him, was amazing. And ugh, all the feels! I didn't love all of the deviations between Tolkine speak and Jackson lines, but I'm totally on board with the romance...And Love Triangle much with Legolas, Tauriel, and Kili? Just another reason for Legolas to hate dwarves by the time he meets Gimli.

On that note, a total aside but WEE GIMLI! So hilarious. So bearded.
4. akajill
I just came home from seeing the movie and I was massively disappointed with Tauriel for this exact reason. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy romance and I enjoy it very much, but they set out to create a "strong female charachter" and what do they do? They immediately define her character by her appeal to men. And not just one man, but two of them. And then she gets all quivery lipped when the king tells her she isn't worthy. Please.

A strong female character can fight, but also has a strong sense of self confidence. She is Captain of the Guard. She should be arguing for what she thinks they should do (ie join the fight) rather than going off in a huff because the King hurt her feelings. Nor should she be swooning over her prisoner, even if he is "tall for a dwarf". She is supposed to be working to save her country, to save the world even. Romance is dead last on that list. They can bring it up afterwards.

I do appreciate them trying. I do. It is more than is done in most movies these days, but in my opinion, they failed "strong female character" 101 and they failed it big time.
S Tieh
5. infinitieh
I caught the midnight showing so I may have misremembered certain bits (hey, it ended at 3 AM!). However, I thought Evangeline Lilly did a great job as Tauriel. And as I told another Tolkien fan, if Peter Jackson had to bring back Legolas, he had to give Legolas something to do other than looking cool (which he did, in spades) and slaying orcs. Some character growth through loss of his friend/love interest wouldn't be amiss. Yes, I totally understand that THE HOBBIT was written for boys and therefore lack romance, but this film appeals to us grownups, too so why not throw in some romance between forbidden races?
romance reader
6. bookstorecat
I see Legolas got to strike the "butt pose" in the poster above. EQUALITY!
7. nik
I think Tauriel is awesome (and so is Evangeline)! But that didn't stop me producing this silly little video, which you might also enjoy:
8. Mo
Yeah, I have to agree with akajill on this one. So, she killed a few orcs. She was defined by her love interests. And frankly, her Arwenesque scene with Kili just slayed me. I mean, really, Peter couldn't come up with a voice and words for her and her alone?

On a side note, a poetic Kili was fantastic! Of course, Kili's been my fav since the very first character art from The Hobbit, but that really made my day, er wee hours of the morning. lol
Christopher Morgan
9. cmorgan
@Mo and Akajill, I disagree. I think more time was given to her anti-isolationism than her love interest. Almost every scene we see of her is in conflict with either Legolas or Tharundil over whether or not the Elves of Mirkwood should act on the various threats/help the non-elf races, be they orc or The Shadow of Dul Goldir, or just curing some dwarf with elf medicine. (The only cure apperantly)

As to the scene where she healed the cut, I thought of it as more of a touchstone. Most everyone who sees the Hobbit will have been fans of LotR, so we know the magic words used by elves to cure the poison of a morgul weapon. So it would be weirder had the magic looked different than it did with Arwyen.

Did they play up the romance? Yes. But, I think Tauriel was defined more by her own beliefs towards the outside world than she was by who happened to be in love with her.
10. Bee In Dreaming
I agree with CMorgan, in that I feel Tauriel was defined my much more than her "love interests". Also, in my opinion as a woman--and a woman who has both raised on fantasy and plays female characters in RPGs--a "strong" female character shouldn't just be considered strong because she can kick ass, and not "need" romance or men. A woman, as a character, can be strong because she has will enough to triumph over obstacles, and because she can face the emotional challenges set before her. A strong character can swoon. A strong character can have her feelings hurt. It's how she deals with and reacts to these elements of her life that make her "strong", and--more importantly--having sensitive elements outside of just being a tough, confident lady make her a well-rounded character, at that.

But I digress. Despite the films changes, it still felt every bit like "The Hobbit" I was raised on, and like I felt with LotR, it didn't feel as th0ugh the additions were a distraction.
11. Bee In Dreaming
And then I totally mispell all over the place. Apologies, Internet.
12. G-aus
Just came back from seeing the film, and the Tauriel/Kili thing came as a surprise. I don't recall much from the book, but I'm definite that dwarves don't make googly eyes in Tolkins stories! ;)

But in all seriousness, yes, this story doesn't 'need' the addition of romance, but here it worked, purely on the strength of the acting. You can believe that these two characters recognise each other, that there is an immediate spark. Without it we would be left with the usual Dwarf vs Elf prejudice, which would be boring.

Also let's remember that though there are three films, they tell one story. Let's see how Tauriel is fleshed-out by the end of the tale.
13. Tiona
I totally agree with CMorgan! Tauriel was great & with or without her love interests. She was defined by her concern for the important happenings of the outside world she inhabits. That said, I totally understand the love triangle she is in. It would be very difficult to choose between the hottest dwarf and the hottest elf!
Also, would like to add that, though a fan of Tolkien's work, I always wish he had more strong female characters, so Tauriel satisfied that. Also, her love triangle definitely made it more emotionally interesting. It wasn't just about battling a dragon or power plays. Can't wait for the next movie!
Mary Lynne Nielsen
14. emmel
I do agree with the Eowyn/Faramir comment. My fave romance from the books, and Jackson, alas, didn't do enough with it. Maybe he's trying to make up for that here.....
Kerly Luige
15. Celebrinnen
I'm torn.
One one hand, I absolutely like Tauriel, and I do like this romance-thing PJ has added (though I really wonder how it will play out, knowing what will happen after the Battle of the Five Armies). On the other hand, however - I'm just SO jealous of her!
Christopher Morgan
16. cmorgan
@Celebrinnen--I believe that the phrase is "I'll go down with this ship".
17. FenrisWings
[color=#006400]I've always hated mary-sue's. And by the looks of it, her character is the perfect mary-sue that just sprung out of action :/ . One thing I can't stand is the love triangle apperently submersed between her, Kili, and Legolas. Legolas seems so much out of character now with this apparent love story that Peter J. decided to have spring up. I've already read comments of people comparing this to twilight...dear god no. That would be a nightmare. However, the more I think about it, the more I'm hoping that she won't need to 'choose' between her feelings for Legolas or Kili...the one thing that I was hoping would not happen, happened...>.
18. cacapoopoo1
I think the love story is very sweet, But I saw another persons Idea, what if the purpose of this triangle is to show that elves can die of a broken heart? So Kili dies, Tauriel is heartbroken and dies, then what is Legolas left with? A lot of Anger/Hate/resentment towards dwarves!!
20. Olkolk
I've read the books almost 20 years ago well 17 but still... I really liked the character of tauriel as I know that nothing can change the ending. So it's harmless to the original work of Tolkein. For the haters... Well just enjoy it or don't watch it.
21. Reginna
I loved the addition of Tauriel. Despite being a great author, Tolkien did leave out the ladies. It makes me think he really didn't like women (or thought them inferior.) Really there are only two women of note in The Lord of the Rings. I accepted Arwen and I didn't dislike her, I just took her for what she was. Eowyn was great. She is actually the reason I believe Tolkien didn't think highly of women. "I am no man!" As in, no one would ever suspect a woman. Think about it.

Also, Kili and Fili were always my favorite dwarves in the book, which I read when I was 13. You always think of dwarves as fat and ugly little men who drink too much and are rude and crude. Gimli was great, of course, and funny. But to see Kili as a young, good looking young dwarf who still seems a bit rebelious and a dreamer, well I swooned right away! So, I'm rooting for them. 100%!
22. NeoQueenSerenity

Actually, Tolkien gives Eowyn a very sympathetic treatment, examining just how hard and unfair it was for her to have the same stake in the war as everyone else, but not being allowed to do anything about it. He justifies her need and her right to fight, the same as the men get to. Much more so than in the film.

Also, in The Silmarillion, Luthien, (a woman) committed some of the greatest feats of strength and courage in the whole history of Middle Earth. She single-handedly stood down Sauron and (together with her boyfriend), even outwitted Sauron's master, Morgoth, who was many times greater and more cunning than Sauron was.

Luthien's mother, Melian, was also very powerful and very wise. Even wiser than her husband, the great elf king Thingol. (Who, incidentally, was murdered by dwarves, which led to the fall of his whole kingdom, and whose palace Thranduil's halls are quite similar to, if not directly modeled after. The murder of Thingol is one of the *real* reasons dwarves and elves aren't BFFs, not some apocryphal "A dwarf stole my girlfriend" plot.)

But getting back to Tolkien's women, there was also Haleth, who took command her of her father's troops after he died, and held out for a week behind a stockade while orcs were attacking them After this, she remained the people's chief until she died of old age.

Then there was Morwen, who invading Easterlings feared to go near, Idril Celebrindal who helped lead her people through the mountains to escape invading orcs and balrogs, and Galadriel, who also had some pretty notable feats, but I think I might spoil the third Hobbit movie if I mention them here.

So yeah, I wouldn't say Tolkien had a negative opinion of women. Just because most of the cast of LOTR and Hobbit is male doesn't mean Tolkien didn't also write great female characters.
23. SacredFlame
I will admit, when I first heard about Tauriel's character I threw the expected nerd-fit. All I could think was "but she wasn't in the book!" However, after seeing "Desolation of Smaug" I have certainly changed my mind. I quite love her character--she is strong, emotional, courageous, confident on her convictions, and killer with a bow. (I know, I know, bad pun.)
The Kiliel (Kili/Tauriel) ship totally blindsided me. I didn't see it coming at ALL. However, I found it to be refreshing, sweet, honest, and adding to the plot rather than distracting from it. From Kili's forward flirting about his trousers and her teasing reply to the moment, in his fevered dilusions, he thinks her a dream and asks if she could possibly loved him, I was hooked on their story. Honestly, I think they're my new OTP.
On the whole, I would like people to remember that a) there is nothing wrong with love (in fact, it's perfectly natural), and b) either way, she's still a string female character, which makes me very happy.
In the end, I rather look forward to the (most probably tragic) development of this particular love story.
Janis Clark
24. maliamartin
Oh man - Kili is HOT! Yummy.
That being said, I was surprised that the movie deviated from the book, but frankly, they are making three long movies out of one book. I'm not surprised they augmented.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and probably would have if they hadn't added the Kili/Tauriel storyline. However, more of Kili in any capacity is just fine with me.
Cause, did I mention that he is HOT. And yummy . . .
25. A. Harris
It's possible that Peter Jackson will take notes from the Eowyn/Aragon romance and lead Kili along. Only for him to be told that Tauriel loves another. It will be fun seeing this play out in the next movie.
26. D.M.
The romance between Tauriel and Kili was the best part of the movie for me. Their scenes are the only ones I'd want to watch again. When the film was alternating between Bilbo and the dwarves' long drawn-out escape from Smaug and the touching scenes between Tauriel and Kili, I wanted to see more Tauriel and Kili but instead got more of the long drawn-out escape. Without meaningful connections between the characters---and I don't just mean romance but also meaningful connections between comrades---these Tolkien movies are just one fight or flight scene after the next, which is a snooze fest.
27. John Kang
I was a Tolkien Purist who hated that Peter Jackson planned on splitting The Hobbit in three movies (exploitation!). I totally despised the announced addition of Tauriel (eye candy OR forced diversity) when it was announced.

That said, I saw Desolation of Smaug. Tauriel stole the show (OK, so did Smaug, but he wasn't an addition to Tolkien's story :P) . Loved Loved Loved the martial arts sequences. And great chemistry with Kili.

Though if I remember how the Hobbit ends, that love story might not end well....
28. Eoko
I think Tauriel was an amazing character! The feminist flack is annoying. It's a double standard and it's ridiculous. The girl can't be strong and have a love interest but Kili can? He's on a mission to reclaim his home. He's going off to, likely, face a dragon. He's probably ready to die for his cause. Shouldn't romance be the last thing on his mind too? But he's allowed to fall for a pretty face without anyone having a hissy fit.

Aragorn was supposed to become king and unite the realms of man and blah, blah, blah but no one seems to berate him for having sappy love scenes under the moonlight with his elven lady. But let hell reign down on Arwen over the same things. Women as just as likely to "fall" for someone as men are. I don't agree that women should be cold to all men around them just to prove a point that they can do things on their own. And she's only 600. For an elf, she's young. That could lead to being more impulsive. Apparently they don't grow out of that sometimes for a couple millennia.

And stepping down when her King/Prince gives an order? Wow, so shocking that a subordinate adhere to her betters. Because this isn't a democracy, and people are not equal. You can't place modern values on the culture of mythological races in make-believe worlds. Sylvan Elves are not as good as High Elves. At least, not to a society that is ruled by High Elves. A guard captain does not have the right to argue her point to her King. She can state her opinion/advise the King. But once he lays down the law, it's his law. No if's, and's or but's. Unless she wants to be replaced by someone else. It's amazing she argues as much as she does.

As for Thranduil telling her to lay off Legolas, her reaction seemed more amused. Legolas is, what? About 1900 or older? Talk about a bachelor, and still a complete juvenile twerp at that age. Tauriel is about 600. Kili is 77 (aww, baby~). She knows that she has no chance with the Prince. The fact that Legolas is interested at all probably surprised her, but who wouldn't like the attention of royalty, even if nothing could come of it? The cutest dwarf to ever stride through the Mirkwood gets tossed in her dungeon and, well, a girl has to consider her options. If I were in her place I'd sure take a second look at that boy. And he's rather the best drawf with a bow, from what I've seen. They can have amazingly dexterous little half-breed babies.

Plus, Tauriel's actions may have said more about how she feels about Kili, but the delirious little dwarf is the one that asked about love. So he seems far more gone with the idea than she is. So, all in all, having a fit over an awesome female character just because she didn't punch every male around her in the face is overreaching. Can't we appreciate everything awesome about her and not pick apart everything to suit some agenda?
29. mikezee
i saw it as a tolkien metaphor for interracial romance lol (i am well aware that tauriel and said romance and pretty much 65% of the hobbit movies are all filler and non-canonical to the book)
30. Naomi T.
We watched Desolation of Smaug this weekend. To be clear, I love Tolkien. I love LotR and I love PJ's depictions of the characters and story. I also really enjoyed An Unexpected Journey and *loved* it even more after watching it for the second time in our home. :)

The romance between Kili and Tauriel was off putting for me at first. I felt simply that PJ had taken too many liberties with the story. Then I realized that I remembered reading several Tolkien love stories via Silmarillion and some of his other books that I have read. I really need to reread these stories to get a clear idea of what PJ has done, but I feel that Kili and Tauriel's love story is a combination of several Tolkien love stories. After thinking about it and doing a little reading/research on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that this romance is very Tolkien. I like it. ;)

I also really appreciated Tauriel as a strong female character. I do not think love or emotion makes any person weaker or less worthy.
31. Tawariel
They add a strong female presence to the films, I have no issue with
that as Tauriel was a welcome addition and Lilly was excellent in it.
But why force a love triangle which is basically a poor carbon copy of
the Aragorn/Arwen/Eowyn triangle from LOTR. Couldn't her character be
tough, strong, and willing to defy her king for the sake of it being
right rather than for romantic feelings? Can't their be a strong woman
character who doesn't have to have a love interest?
32. Flannigan
As a female, I just have to say Turiel is the worst female character I have ever seen in film. Hands down worst. And I've only just seen ehr last night, so I'm so blind angry this might come out a bit ranty:
I only just went to see TDoS, and I have to say, I nearly walked out
of the theater. And I was looking /forward/ to her. The problem is
that since Black Widow, people seem to have mistaken 'being able to
fight' with 'personality'. The romance is one of the most grating I
have ever, ever seen, and went on for far too long. It was so
shoe-horned in as to be almost plot breaking, and made Legolas'
character almost irrelevant. I am so angry right now. This was a
terrible, terrible waste of an opportunity to show people that there can
be good female character development, even in a Tolkien book. I mostly
get pissed at bad female writing in books, and have to stop reading.
But I have never, ever had it happen before in a film. Dear God. Was
she bad. May as well have made Legolas a girl and given him zero backstory. He was pushed to the side for a Twilight love triangle. Not to mention bad, bad writing.

Jar-Jar of the female variety.
33. kylynara
I liked Tauriel, but I'm curious to see how exactly it plays out in the 3rd movie. I had a different read on the love triangle than most it seems. I don't think Legolas's attraction to her was completely one-sided. I think she's had a hero worship crush (think freshman girl for the senior star quarterback) on him for a fairly long time, but it's not something she ever dreamed would ever go anywhere. Between the fact that he is a High Elf and she is not, and he's so much older and (presumably) accomplished. Legolas has recently been noticing her differently though. When they first bring the dwarves in she just seems to lap up every bit of attention from Legolas, but she's trying to play it cool. She can't help teasing him a bit with that, "He's awfully tall for a dwarf.” line.

Then when the king (Thornuiel, I can't spell it) tells her Legolas likes her, she just lights up, though again she seems to be trying to control it. Also her comment, about how she didn't think the king would allow it, suggested to me she'd thought about it. She seemed a bit sadder when he replied that, of course, she was not an acceptable match. He was telling her so she wouldn't encourage it.

This is not to deny a real attraction to Kili. I really enjoyed the way they interacted. As others have said, she seemed truly concerned about what was going on in the world beyond their borders, and I think she went to talk to him to get more info about that. Or possibly to give him a chance to act like a filthy dwarf and help shut down the attraction. I did see hints of elf/dwarf animosity in their conversation.

I think she left quickly after being ordered out during the interrogation of the orc, not so much due to anger as concern for Kili, and a knowledge that he needed elven help. When Legolas catches up she tells him she knew he'd follow. I don't think she knew yet which one she liked more. The other option was that it was straight up manipulation, but it didn't seem like it to me.

I'm not sure she knew who she preferred until she had to choose whether to hunt orcs or save Kili and even then if the herb she needed hadn't arrived right then I'm not sure she wouldn't have gone with Legolas. Her abandonment and his defeat at the hands of the lead orc probably fuel his dislike of Gimli in LOTR add the fact that fact that Gimli's dad was from the same party, and it explains his initial dislike beyond simple historical elf/dwarf hatred.
34. shysea852
What if...
In the Silmarillion tales, Luthien asks the Valar to give up her immortality to save Beren.
Perhaps Thauriel will do the same for Kili?
It changes the story, but there will always be some changes in film adaptations...
35. Jann P. Alvarado
I liked the new character Tauriel and the romance with Kili. I loved the gentle flirtation. It is a lovely respite from all the fighting. I am slightly jealous of Legolas and would rather see him remain single, anyway. In my opinion, nobody is good enough for Legolas. Now that we learn to like Kili more, through this new story thread, will he still die in the last movie? It would break my heart to see that.
36. moyashi-chan
i like Tauriel and i don't mind the romance part... but the only thing that i found annoying is that she supposed to be the captain of the guards right? and there she goes endangering the prince of the elves, the sole heir of the throne!! also at some point i felt like she used the fact that he liked her to get him to follow her and help her and then she ditch him without notice to help killi (though i loved this scene). i don't know it is just a thought that kept nagging me at the entire movie.
37. KJ Wright
akajill, she wasn't defined by romance. It doesn't have to be one or the other. A woman can be tough and desirable at the same time al Catwoman, Wonder Woman, etc.
38. KJ Wright
fenris wings, it's nothing like twilight. See the movie for yourself. Love triangles didn't start with twilight, and the Kili/Tauriel romance reminded me of a Jane Austen thing than a Twilight thing. And Kili's starlight speech to her was blatantly inspired by Shakespeare.
39. KJ Wright
I see Flannigan is trolling on here, as well. I've had run ins with her on other sites. Best to just ignore her. She actually implied on another site that she knows more about writing than Jackson and the writers of The Hobbit movies. And look how she throws in a jab at Stan Lee and Joss by insulting Black Widow, as well.
40. KJ wright
Kynara, that's an interesting take on it, but according to Phillipa Boyens, Tauriel thinks of Legolas as nothing more than an older brother, and is merely amused at thought of him liking her since he's next in line for the throne.
41. Harry12344321
It's all okay, whatever they do with the story

It's just not 'The Hobbit'................
42. An Intelligent Cuttlefish
I like Tauriel a great deal, and appreciated her prescence and the role she seemed to be going to play. But I felt the romance was thouroughly uncessesary, and forced - and led to the laugh out loud scene of her healing our poor Dwarven heart throb as he lay all sweaty and delerious amongst the walnuts. Oh yes, and gave us a chance to see Elves and Dwaves making some penis size jokes - exactly what high fantasy needs. Can't believe Peter Jackson failed to get Legolas and Gimli do some quipping like that.

I'll wait to see the conclusion of the arc, and what further role she has to play, but at the moment despite being a warrior with a lot to say it appears she's really only there to save Kili and fall in love with him, and him her. She's a romance subplot, not a character important to the story. And that is a shame, and a waste of a good character.

It goes to a larger problem in fiction in general - authors, directors, games developers seeming to think there is a check list of features a story must posess, and if they don't, well, you'll need to find a way to shoe horn them in. Romance subplots are probably one of the worst offenders - forever popping up, and ensuring romance blossoms no matter how forced. Always got to be a love story, somehow. Heck, when young I remember that being something extra special about the Hobbit - that Tolkien hadn't felt the need to tack a shallow romance on it, like every other author and his dog wants to do (though I did lament the lack of female characters in the story).

It felt forced here. Taurial was givin excellent motivation to go forth into the story, with her commentary on good standing by while evil florishes, but at the end of the day that motivation wasn't sufficient - no, it seems she would also have been willingly to stay at home as well, only she would complain about doing nothing. It took the threat to a love at first sight Dwarf, to get her to go out (and subsequently abandon Legolas during a fight against some of that evil she'd railed against earlier).

Of course tough women can fall in love, those that criticise the romance for that reason alone are foolish. But the tired cliche of "if there's an unmarried woman and an unmarried man in proximity, well, obviously romance has got to blossom. And what's this? It'd be unlikely? They seem like oposites, or at the very least incompatible? No one has ever used that trope before!" is just that, a tired cliche. Female and male characters, regardless of their strength, are done a diservice by such hack like features.
43. RabbitOne
Why does a female warrior elf wear so much make-up? Why aren't her eyebrows pointed like the other elves? I loved that the elves in LOTR seemed more natural. Taurial seems more like Hollywood actress than a Tolkien character.
44. Kat299333
I like Tauriel' s skill and strength, but I really DON'T support her relationship with Kili (sorry). I just don't think they're good together. I don't know, it just feels like she's going against everything I've ever learned about elves and dwarves. I like the funny friendship between Legolas and Gimli. But they're not a couple. And am I the only one who keeps wondering what's going to happen with Tauriel? She can't go back to the Woodland Realm because Thrandial would be (very) angry. And I'm sure Thorin wouldn't accept her. SO WHATS SHE GONNA DO?!
And poor Legolas! How could she have feelings for him, find out he has feelings for her, then go flirt with a DWARF?! Then she drags him along on a journey to save Kili! Then, while Legolas is getting beat up by Bolg (the tall and extra ugly ork that Azog sent to lead the raid on the dwarves) Tauriel is making goo goo eyes at Kili.
Im not saying I hate Tauriel, I'm just angry at her for the dumb choices she's made. She's beautiful and got mad fighting skills but I just don't ship her and Kili.
45. fantasywind
Personally I was greatly annoyed by character of Tauriel, one of the main reasons (and not just because of lame romance-like thing going on, yuck!) her sheer portrayal is irritating, a young elf (600 years as it was given) and suddenly she is the best in everything, Captain of the Guard (but she hardly deserves to be a simple guard, no to mention a commander, she does a terrible job with her duties) and, of course, rebellious (rebellious elves would die pretty quick in Mirkwood, it's not a tourist courort, it's a damn cursed forest with dark monsters in it, one had to be weary of strangers, cautious at all time and, well...HAVE SOME DISCIPLINE you know! It's the army life :). With elves the strange thing is, they often GET WISER AND MORE POWERFUL WITH AGE! (you know by the very value of experience)

Movie just tries to tell us that she is, oh so much better than THOUSANDS years old, more experienced and wiser characters, like king Thranduil for example. She completely overshadows him. This is total butchery of a complex character!!!! Elvenking in book showed kindness, generosity, wisdom (and still had flaws), he even admired Bilbo and I can't imagine now that in movie, he showed more quality despite his errors than self-righteous lady Tauriel!! Movie simply makes him one dimensional villain and gives more spotlight to her at his cost! THAT is what I dislike in adaptations with passion...twisting the characters to become something else due to misguided attempts of filmmakers in their own inventions. Also if they really really wanted her in the movie sure why not, but why the hell they didn't come up with something more original!!! For example they could involve her with Dol Guldur plot helping White Council or something! It could work better and show her skill (however idiotic it is to make female characters fighters and calling that ,,strong character", as a side note female character don't have to be always fighters to be interesting!).
46. fantasywind
Also for those complaining that The Hobbit book has no females :) there are mentioned ones hehehe. First is ,,remarkable daughter of the Old Took" Belladona Took-Baggins our main hero's mother, then we have mention of ,,many young lads and LASSES" going on adventures out of the blue thanks to Gandalf :), then we have mentioned wife and children of Girion of Dale (the king of the kingdom before Smaug destroyed it) thanks to her entire line survived and so Bard Bowman could become heir to throne, she was able to find refuge in Esgaroth (and most likely led refugees, important women of ruling class in Middle Earthhave responsibilities to their people too). Also to add something about women in Tolkien wiritngs, most of the named ones are showing quite a strength of character, well they actually are diverse, few of females are evil (like demonic females Ungoliant, Shelob, Thuringwethil and ,,nefarious" Queen Beruthiel), there are wise somen, basically female scholars (one especially interesting is Andreth who had intelligent conversations with elven king Finrod Felagund), great healers, female who were leaders of their families or entire peoples ,,queens of great renown". Many of them are were not just intelligent but also physically fit and hardy, travelling through the wilderness and facing dangers, enduring harsh conditions and surviving with dignity (like Morwen and Nienor).
47. PixiGrl2
*sob* has noone read the book? i hate this couple! if they keep to the book everyone will cry!
48. SVS
I have been a huge Tolkien fan since I was like 8. When I watched LoTR trilogy and recently the Hobbit , well the two parts, I felt like we should leave the book home and go watch the movie. I wasn't too disappointed by the creative freedoms that Jackson has taken in his movies, even though it deviates from character at times (in the LoTR films, specifically of Faramir and Aragorn). No actually, that's not true, I didn't like Jackson's treatment of Faramir much, he is my favourite character from the books. But,the overall result has been somewhat pleasant. And I do agree with you, I could've had a little more detail on the Faramir-Eowyn romance, which is my favourite as well.
49. missmee
i adore this little romance. it fits great with all the action and well, Kili is so charming, and Tauriel is so...Elvish? I love them together
50. Bluestocking
I have mixed feelings about Tauriel. On the whole, I have an intense dislike for directors who take egregious liberties with a book -- especially one which was already quite sufficiently dramatic and captivating enough on its own to have remained popular for decades after its debut (since the vast majority of books published don't last the test of time the way Tolkien's have). It's not too hard to see that Jackson has padded the story largely in order to justify breaking "The Hobbit" into three parts whereas two films were considered sufficient for an even thicker and far more dramatic book ("The Return Of The King") -- and that bigger profits are a major part of the reason for doing this.

Despite all this, I rather like the character of Tauriel even though I agree with the people above who object to the assumption that a strong female character must automatically be a fighter. (That being said, Galadriel is quite clearly one of the most powerful female characters in the Tolkien universe but she is not a warrior.) I also agree with the people who criticize the Hollywood trope that every story needs to have a romantic subplot shoved into it somehow whether it makes sense or not. In my opinion, the idea that Kili and Tauriel could be attracted to each other is so farfetched that it comes across as rather clumsy and hackneyed.

As to Tauriel's fate, well...that's not too hard to foresee. In much the same way (and for much the same reason) that Jackson sent Haldir to Helm's Deep in "The Two Towers" and had him die there, he will send Tauriel (as a Captain of the Guard for the kingdom of Mirkwood) to the Battle of the Five Armies and kill her off...even if only to add more drama and inject a note of pathos. Tauriel's death conveniently prevents Legolas from becoming romantically involved with her and potentially also provides him with motivation to fight in the War of the Ring, since Thranduil would object to their relationship and has obviously chosen to become an isolationist. Finally, since Kili is supposed to die in the Battle of the Five Armies as well, this leaves the door open for a Romeo-and-Juliet style "liebestod" in which two lovers who are separated in life can be united in death (I actually rather like Cacapoopoo1's suggestion that Tauriel might survive the battle but die of grief when she learns that Kili was killed). If Legolas feels drawn to Tauriel but loses her for Kili's sake, then it might explain his lingering prejudice toward dwarves evident at the Council of Elrond in "The Fellowship Of The Ring".
51. Rose Paul
I completely agree with Bee in Dreaming. I am a woman myself, one who faced down men in the workplace in the late 70;s when women engineers were unheard of and all a "girl engineer" needs to do is make coffee and run blueprints. I dealt with that and more and because of many others like me, there are women in "mens fields" that are respected for their intellignect and talent. But did being a tough professional woman deter me from falling in love? No. I fell in love, got married and then had to deal with the "She'll be gone soon with a bun in her oven". After telling htem to keep their noses out of my oven (I decided put off children until 7 years later) Love didn't change me into a maiden in a tower. It actually made me an even better person. Tauriel is a woman or elf that WILL do things that she believes in, hence her leaving against the king's wishes to pursue the dwarves. She has the internal wisdom that most women have and that is, we knkow our men. If we leave a situation they will follow us, just as Legolas did with Tauriel. She knew he would come to her on the hunt.
Personally, I liked having a female in the movie even though at first when I heard it, I grabbed my chest fearing a Pamela Anderson/Lucy Lawless (Xena) elf with her boobs threatening to fall out of her "costume". When I saw Tauriel, I thought that Jackson did well with her. She is sexy without showing a bit of skin, she is strong and brave without needing to prove it and yes, she is a little bit reckless - like Kili.
Just for laughs, in a spoof reel, I would love to see Thranduil get hit in the face with a pie by Tauriel just as he finishes the line, "No, I would not." referring to Legolas and Tauriel pairing off together. Then Tauriels could say, "Oh, sorry my lord, I thought I saw a spider on your nose, what were you saying?"
I think Thranduil needs taken down a peg.

We know Thorin is going to die, he accidentally said so in a recent interview, but I really doubt that FIli and Kili will die too. I know it is what happens in the book, but for the sake of cinema, you cannot have that many main character deaths. We would float out of the cinema on the amount of tears being shed over them!!
If I were to guess, I'd say they both live and grow up at the time of their uncle's death. Fili becomes king and Kili his heir. Knowing the feelings of the majority of dwarves for elves, Kili will shut his feelings away for Tauriel.
Tauriel will see that there is no hope for her and Legolas with his dad being the way he is and she goes off with Galadriel to Caras Galadhon and becomes one of the marchwardens like Haldir.
Just my idea.
52. Hod
I don't mind the addition of Tauriel, or her attraction to Kili (he's a charming guy!) But Sylvan Elves should not be able to heal like High Elves can (Arwen), and I was quite stunned when she began the healing incantation....
Christopher Morgan
53. cmorgan
Eh, it just comes down to what the director wants to do. It's the same reason we didn't get that much with Beorn or any of ol Tom Bombadil. There are certain aspects of Tolkien's magnificent lore that just can't be fit into a few 3 hour movies. Can you imagine trying to explain the intricacies of elvish politics and society in what almost everyone already thinks of as a bloated movie?

I love The Silmarillion as much of the next guy, I'm also a history major and realize not everyone is going to be into it. That said, I'm also not certain that Ol PJ had rights to it, so it could be that he just couldn't delve too deeply or greedily into Elf-Lore.

Odds are the average audience member is going to see Tauriel heal Kili just like Lady Arwyn healed Frodo. It was even the same chant. It doesn't matter that Arwyn didn't actually heal Frodo in Fellowship, it also doesn't matter that Glorfindel was cut entirely from the movie (man, that physically hurt to write that...), because if the majority of people can enjoy it and see similarities between both movies without having to add the layer of elvish social stratification, then all the better.

Being readers, we have to accept that you just can't do with pictures what you can with words. But we can appreciate each medium for what it is.

Look at what Marvel does to it's own cannon just to make their Cinematic Universe work, and their hands aren't as tied as Peter Jackson who has to deal with the Tolkien estate at every turn. And Chris Tolkien is a bit of a bear when it comes to his, and father's, stories. If one believes the gossip.

Besides if you open that door, you also open the door to the fact that there were no female elves other than Arwyn and certainly no dwarf/elf relationships. Other than Gimli and Legolas of course.
Teddy Pierson
54. TeddyP
When I sit down to watch a movie, I forcefully expand my mind. That is the only way I can get through any movie -- knowing that I need to be forgiving and understanding.
55. Riley S.M
Let me just say this: I loved the chemistry between Tauriel and Kili but I hated how it ended. Maybe I am alone in this but I really wanted to see how it progressed. I also wanted to see Legolas and Tauriel somewhere. I don't know I think it my damaged post- hobbit botfa sadness kicking in.
56. Annie-clo
Maybe because I'm a crasy Tolkien fan and I read Silmarillion a lot of time, romance between dwarf end elve is just a abomination. Its not just different race, its different species and very different one. Elve an human are create by the same «god» but not dwarfs, they have a very different story. In a love story, human and elve its like a horse and a dunkey, (not so bad) but elve and dwarf its like a horse with a goat or a pig. NOOOO ! Disgusting ! This romance make me sick. Technically, Kili and Thauriel have a sort of«zoophilia» story.
But for people who dont know really how much this is a blasphemy, maybe this two characters can make a interesting romance ;)
(sorry for my english)
57. Noam
I was prepared to really love her character until I saw the movies. Tolkien specifically said that elves who kill a lot have poor healing abilities. Yet, Tauriel heals kili from a wound that even Elrond (The best healer in middle earth) has trouble healing in a very short amount of time.It doesn’t make sense for her to be a guard, because she can’t stay in an interrogation, she can’t follow orders and she falls in love with her prisoners.In addition to this Thranduil must have many 3000 years old elves, who fought in the last war against Sauron who have a lot more experience and skills then her. More on that in this excellent essay: would have been fine if she would have been 5000 years old, a childhood friend of Thranduil and suck at healing. Also I would have much rather seeing her commanding Theanduil’s army than being rescued by Kili and Legolas.Imagine seeing her yelling orders in elvish, and leading her own unit of deadly elves into battle. She could also have taught Bard's daughter how to fight, so she can have more to do than scream and run when she seas orcs...What a wast...
58. ariar
Annie-clo, not actually zoophilia, since that obsession describes a human being with an animal, not two different animals as you described. To define a baseline of 'human' is difficult in the LOTR world, since we already have humans there, and know they are just one of several (real-world) humanoid beings.
It's an interesting conundrum - on one hand, elves and dwarves are created by different gods, and that's objective truth (in-world). But on the other, there's the strangely overwhelming coincidences in phenotype that make hard divisions a little difficult to justify. Basically, they're similar enough in physiognomy (faces, appendages, reproductive organs, warm-blooded, methods of communication, general mental capacity, etc) - more than something like a hobbit and an ent.
It would've been helpful to touch on these differences in the trilogy outside of a 'Capulet/Montague' format (which is more about disagreement and 'star-crossed lovers' than an actual, factual difference like origin).
59. DanielS
The elf dwarf love story in this film is ridiculous and marred the otherwise excellent final two movies in the trilogy.
60. Aelin-Estel
Hi guys, I come a bit late to the discussion since I saw the desolation of smaug only last week... and haven't seen the battle of the five armies yet.
But that triggered a need to find fellow tolkien fans and hear their opinions about it. A few interesting theories above...
First as Annie-clo I find a romance between an Elf and a Dwarf hard to swallow but then in the movie Kili is not much of a typical Dwarf. Who ever heard of a "hot" dwarf? I was also very despointed with the treatement of Faramir in the LOTR and thought that a bit of battlefield time could have been cut in favour of more of what took place in the houses of healing. But at the end of the day, Peter Jackson and the weta team have done an awsome job of creating a Middle Earth that feels right, an awful amount of time and talent went into costume design to make it so. In the Hobbit movie, there is far to much chasing and running to my taste and the sequences with Smaug chasing the dwarves all over the halls is beyhong belief, I was so looking forward to the conversations in the dark between Bilbo and Smaug but I imagine i would have not been very cinematogenic...(is that a word?)
I enjoyed watching Kili and Tauriel because they are depicted by talented actors who care for their caracters, but there is a "a dwarf and an Elf!!! come on that's inimaginable in the Tolkien universe" that is still buzzing at the back of my mind...Looking forward to get my hand on the appendix DVD for the desolation of Smaug and hear what is the rationale behind it.
I also agree that Tauriel behaviour make a very poor captain of the gards...As as for Thandruil and Legolas I always thought they were wood elves. Have to get back to my books it has been to long since I read the Silmarion obviously...
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