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There And Back Again

‘Shippers, Start Your Engines: The Hobbit: Part 2 To Include Romance

And no, it’s not going to be Smauglock. Nor is it going to be Fili/Kili, I just put the brothers up there because one of them will be involved. Fili and Kili are the youngest dwarves of the thirteen who hire Bilbo Baggins of the Shire to be their burglar, so young that in this movie adaptation their beards have barely come in yet. This has lead to some documented joshing amongst the cast that Fili and Kili (Kili in particular) are putting together Middle Earth’s first boy band, and it looks like Kili is going to be something of a hipster, in that he was interested in elves waaaaay before Gimli met Galadriel.

Oh, and if you’re still fuming over the introduction of Evangeline Lilly into the cast as new sorely needed female character Tauriel, you might just want to skip this post entirely. And then get over it.

The news comes from a feature in Total Film magazine with short interviews with Aidan Turner, Evangeline Lilly, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Turner and Lilly play Kili (the rightmost dwarf above) and Tauriel. Tauriel has been confirmed to be a high ranking and combat-ready member of the elven Mirkwood army.

Kili’s part has been expanded from the novel; as well as chasing treasure, he’s also pursuing female elf Tauriel. But is he setting his sights too high? ‘I guess he knows nothing can ever happen,’ he explains. ‘She’s about 20ft tall and he’s only two!

It sounds less like a romantic sub-plot to me, and more of a humorous diversion, possibly with a tragic ending, considering that neither Fili nor Kili survive the Battle of Five Armies. (I placed it in The Hobbit‘s second installment above because Lily has confirmed that other than a small part at the end of the first movie, her role is primarily featured in the second.) But there’s plenty of precedent for it in The Lord of the Rings. Tolkein treated Gimli’s fascination with Galadriel like chaste Lancelot pining for Guinevere. I’d ask why male dwarven romance only seems worth mentioning when elven ladies are involved, but then again, Tolkein’s dwarf women are indistinguishable from the men. Kili and Gimli could be women!

Think about that one, ‘shippers.

(via Blastr.)

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  • Anonymous

    “Tolkein’s dwarf women are indistinguishable from the men”

    It’s the beards.

    Terry Pratchett takes that idea to its logical conclusion in the Discworld books when Constable Cheery Littlebottom, a female dwarf, begins dress in a more feminine fashion – a leather (studded) skirt, and lipstick.

    When some of the dwarf elders come to “discuss” it with her, one stays behind, and asks if she can borrow some of the lipstick.

  • Sharmie Taffe-Fletcher

    “I’d ask why male dwarven romance only seems worth mentioning when elven ladies are involved, but then again, Tolkein’s dwarf women are indistinguishable from the men. Kili and Gimli could be women! ” This is the best thing ever written. I shall read them as women from now on.

  • ainok

    Actually that kinda makes sense, I guess. When I saw the pic, that was the second place my brain went. 

  • Anonymous

    It would rather explain their infatuation with jewelry.

    I’ll see myself out…

  • Mike Roman

    Evangeline Lilly as a bad ass Mirkwood Elf? Yes please.

  • Aika

    LOLOLOL @ the opening sentence!

  • Anonymous

    In all seriousness, is it *really* so impossible to have a movie nowadays that doesn’t have some sort of shallow “romance” shoehorned in? It was bad enough when Arwen was traipsing around the screen when they could have been focusing on some awesome fighting in The Two Towers. Now we have to invent a romance where none even existed to begin with? Really getting sick of this kind of thing.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is more of an attempt to develop characters which in the books are barely there beyond being there. Having characters with goals, hopes and dreams is important to making the action more than just cool stuff on the screen – because it then connects to things beyond the action and it feels more real.

  • Anonymous

     They *have* a goal. Their goal is to retake the treasure that is being horded by a dragon. It’s a much bigger and worthier goal than getting to slobber on the face of an elf chick. There are *so* many instances within the story that already exists to make them seem deeper and more real. The fact that the thing they thought of was to insert a character who never existed to initiate a romance that never existed shows either true laziness, true incompetence, or true adherence to this notion that *all* movies need a kissing scene, and all three options are terrible excuses.

  • Anonymous

    “Oh, and if you’re still fuming over the introduction of Evangeline Lilly into the cast as new sorely needed female character Tauriel, you might just want to skip this post entirely. And then get over it.”

    I’ll just be charitable and agree to disagree rather vigorously.  You might want to just skip this comment entirely. And then get over it.

    The Hobbit was fine without female characters. While I bemoan the lack of media that pass the Bechdel test, that doesn’t mean mucking about with established work purely to tick quota boxes to attract demographics isn’t shallow and contrived.

    If Jackson & co want to make a film with a badass female elf warrior, then I think they have enough money and clout to just make up their own film with a badass female elf warrior instead of mucking about with one of the best and most important fantasy novels of the last century. It isn’t as if there isn’t plenty of great fantasy out there with great female characters, either.

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  • Anonymous

    While I agree that “romance” is often ham-handedly crammed into movies ”they want treasure” does nothing to define an individual character
    Standard script writing calls for a generic trait to be assigned to each member of a group – the bookish one, the seen it all vet, the religious one, the bragger, the con artist and the romeo are pretty standard.
    I really don’t think it’s any more than that.
    I stand by it being a good call.

  • Anonymous

     They’re dwarves. “They want treasure” is the number one defining character trait of their entire race, so much so that they hardly ever get married because their love of gold far outweighs their love of love.

  • Anonymous

     Agreed. It’s like no one can just do a task or attain a goal because they *want* to do it anymore. Romance and love is great and all, but if a person can’t accomplish something without a pretty face inspiring them to press on, then maybe they really weren’t invested in that goal so much in the first place, and maybe they should learn to trust in themselves more and be a bit more independent in general.

  • Anonymous

    As far back as the Mad (comic) magazine parody of The Caine Mutiny, they’ve been commenting that “We’ve gotta have a romance, by George”

  • Bel

     yeah they sure are attacting audiences and ticking off quota boxes with that one girl character they’re adding

    probably took an intern a whole day to check all the boxes even

  • Anonymous

    Defining characters through the use of broad stereotypes “all those people are like this” is not only insulting to the audience it undermines dramatic tension because it breaks suspension of disbelief. Real people cannot be accurately defined by racial stereotypes so why would fictional people? True it’s the method used by Tolkien but his was an era of common and accepted prejudice – Lovecraft’s works have the same problem.

  • Brian Tither

    Ridiculous idea. If there is going to be a romance subplot because of the addition of the part Evangeline Lilly plays (Tauriel) it would make more sense for it be between her and the part Luke Evans plays (Bard) because he is an early conception of Aragorn by Tolkien. That’s unless of course The Hobbit is going down the road that most Hollywood movies do these days, i.e. too far removed from the original it was sourced from, which was something that Peter Jackson avoided for the most part in LOTR though there were some changes in it that I didn’t like that still don’t make sense. But we really don’t know if this is for real or just a red herring do we? Before The Lord of the Rings there was a rumour going around that Arwen was going to be at Helm’s Deep, which, in fact, was the original plan, and it went viral and someone told me that there was going to be love scenes between her and Aragorn in the Glittering Caves at Helm’s Deep. To this I replied: ‘They can’t do that! Only Gimli and Legolas are entitled to have love scenes in the Glittering Caves’.

  • Eric Lindberg

    I honestly think people are making too big a deal of this. At most, Kili will probably have an unrequited crush on Tauriel or a humorous scene. I don’t see them adding a full-scale romance.

    As for Tauriel’s addition to the cast, her character simply provides a name for a group already in the book — the Woof-elf royal guard. They’re a mass of undeveloped background characters. I see no reason one of them can’t be female. True, Tolkien’s elf women didn’t generally go for military service. But if you want a female for the cast, better to develop a generic supporting player than to change the gender of an existing character.

    I say all this as a huge Tolkien fan. It doesn’t seem like a big deal.

  • Kimberly Webster

    Oh, and if you’re still fuming over the introduction of Evangeline Lilly into the cast as new sorely needed female character Tauriel, you might just want to skip this post entirely. And then get over it.


    I’d ask why male dwarven romance only seems worth mentioning when elven
    ladies are involved, but then again, Tolkein’s dwarf women are
    indistinguishable from the men. Kili and Gimli could be women!

  • mildred louis

    I’ll be honest, I’m rather tired of seeing people complain about this. For one, I absolutely enjoyed and adored the romance between Arwen and Aragorn, as well as the extended screen time she received and the larger role that was provided for her. Truth be told, Tolkien’s books are rather flat lined (and this is coming from a rather enamored Lord of the Rings fan), but the books were dry as bones. I feel as though it’s hard to judge the placement of the romance until you actually see the movie. Sure, it may not be your cup of tea, but I for one find it somewhat refreshing. It helps break up the pace of the movie and gives it a bit more depth. If all you want is violence after the violence then yeah, I can see your issue. But I feel like the films have a strong throw back to some old school story telling where it’s not just about killing the dragon and exploring the idea that people have lives and relationships outside of the adventure.

  • mildred louis

    It sounds like you’re doing a shit load of judging as to what their relationship dynamic is going to be like before the movie even comes out. 

    But that’s just me.

  • Anonymous

    It’ll hardly ruin the story, will it. You already know the film will be ‘mucking about’ with the book anyway, it’s in the nature of adaptations. 

    Chances are, if you enjoyed Jackson’s LOTR, you’ll enjoy his Hobbit, so have a little faith.

  • Brian Tither

    My own thoughts are that for me to go and watch a movie I don’t have too much difficulty with the movies being made or with the changes that occur as long as they are consistent with the author’s intentions. As far as watching The Hobbit goes I will want an account of it from someone who has gone to it before I decide to go. Also, being a Nzer who has done a lot of the medieval programme at Victoria University that Tolkien taught at Oxford University, which was first taught to him by a Nzer before I go I want to get somewhere with having something done about promoting how important that was to his writing of the book as well as The Lord of the Rings rather than it just being about how good it will be for the NZ film and tourist industries, which seems to be the only discourse that is happening with it so far in NZ.

  • Anonymous

    I see it less as shoehorning in romance and more like “well if we’re going to have a female character, she has to be dating SOMEONE, right?” Because there’s no other reason for a character to be female than to be someone’s girlfriend…

    I would have been fine with her just being an asskicking warrior lady.

  • Anonymous

    Also, I’m pretending at least half the dwarves are women. Take that, purists,

  • Anonymous

    It would probably be impossible to put Aidan Turner in a movie and not involve him in a romance. Even the ents would uproot to follow him home.

  • Guest

    I would love to have seen Tauriel to be a strong female character without having to become someone’s love interest. I don’t mind romance, when needed, it can add flare to a otherwise boring story. But this is The Hobbit, I don’t think the risk of it getting boring will be there. I do mind when the only other female than Galadriel is one that just seems added to become a love interest. Why can’t she just be a badass warrior, good enough to become captain of the Royal Guard? As it is now, it just ends up feeling like a “it has tits and therefore it must be fucked/oggled/worshipped/whatever”. Bleh.

  • Constance

    I’m also annoyed that the one female character that they’re developing for the movie is going to be written off by the shallow romance plot. I admit, I’m just extrapolating from what I read in the preliminary call for actors, but it sounds as though that’s the direction it’s going to take. No female character can exist without a romance in Middle Earth.

  • Harvest

    Kili better not die for her.

  • Harvest


  • TheGreatSpaceHobo

    So help me god if he dose heads will roll….

  • TheGreatSpaceHobo

    This is bad news, I dont want some shoe horned in female that some moron in LA thinks they need. I’m a girl and I LOVE the books and the movies. To be honest I was a bit sick at what they did to Arwen (making it so she saved Frodo and summen the river, giving her a female elf warrior shtick that was dropped later in the movie.) Dont get me wrong we NEED strong female leads in movies and books, but shes not some new character they made to enhance the story. Shes just there to fill a minority quota, to apeal to more people. She’ll be a walking cliche of a “strong independent woman” in a story where she dose not belong…so a Mary Sue. I really hope she dosent join them on their quest…

  • jsmith0552

    Well, you seem to be pretty subjective about it, but it still seems odd to me that the “Tolkien fans” don’t have a problem with completely new characters created for the films, the Jackson fans have no problem with added (embellished scenes) but both camps raised a fair stink over one dark complexed lady who just wanted to be an extra in the background during the Shire scenes.

  • Anonymous

    What about the fact that dwarves and elves mostly hate each other and Gimli’s unrequited affection was the exception. Now, there are two such relationships? In the movies, with the amount of characters, it will feel like a large percentage when it’s an extremely rare occurrence according to the actual narrative.

  • Anonymous

    Because history has never shown us at any given point in time what so ever that two people from opposing backgrounds get ever fall for each other or taking a liking to each other despite what their environments tell them to think and/or feel *coughLegolasandGimlicough*

  • Pippin

    It seems as though it will only be a onesided crush on Kili’s part. There really is no room nor time for a romance to blossom between one of the company and that of someone outside the company. Plus it is neither confirmed nor denied that there will be any interest between the two at all. So really, everyone is making a bigger deal out of this than need be.