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Essay

Wish She Could Be Part of Your World: On Tauriel-hate and Original Material


It’s a poorly-kept secret that we here at TMS are firmly on the side of Tauriel, the original female elf character in The Hobbit franchise whose mere existence created waves of discussion across the Internet. But some do not share in our enthusiasm. In fact, if you took a look around the fan ‘net in the months preceding The Desolation of Smaug’s release, there has been a distinctly anti-Tauriel sentiment in the air. Hiding behind a desire to preserve the sanctity of the source material, many commentators objected to her addition on purist grounds. Other became concerned about her rumored involvement in a love subplot with Legolas and/or Kíli, further indicated by a secondary trailer for the feature in which King Thranduil appears to caution her against pursuing relations with his son. But now we have surer footing from which to look at Tauriel, warrior, love interest, healer, and forum discussion whipping-girl. The actual film containing her appearance has emerged, and with it, a host of questions, concerns, and a fair bit of mud that this reviewer is willing to sling back.

From the comments on some of our articles with Tauriel in them alone, you’d think she’d killed the fan community puppy. But to those who questioned how Peter Jackson would dare to throw an original character into the mix, I call sexism. Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying? Or a hundred other places big and small, where Jackson and company have done, basically, whatever they feel like with the so-called sacred source material? Plot creation and narrative re-assignment of parts has served us both for good and for ill in the past, so perhaps it’s the idea of wholesale character spawning that got so many feathers ruffled.

Character invention seems like a violation of the prime directives of adaptation to many, and not without reason. The only problem with this objection is…Jackson’s already created original characters, and done it approximately twelve times over. The all-important dwarves who make up the company of Bilbo’s unexpected journey are named in the book, but with the exception of their leader Thorin Oakenshield and a few mentioned here and there as the “youngest,” the “fattest,” the one with the keenest eyes, which instruments a handful of them played, and the colors of their cloaks, are entirely indistinguishable from one another. Because having thirteen near-identical men onscreen for nine hours doesn’t work cinematically, the Weta Workshop crew have outdone themselves fabricating a distinct look, purpose, and personality for each dwarf. Ori, for example, is based on actor Adam Brown’s audition video… for the role of Bilbo. This is, in its most essential sense, character creation, from writing to costuming choices. So what’s the difference between these nearly new conceptions and an original elf? I can think of one big one.

The idea of an original female character brought with it an entire new category of issues for fans, which say as much about how we expect female characters to be treated in media as it does about our own prejudices. Chief among these concerns seemed to be that Tauriel would be shunted into the role of love interest, with her participation in any action sequences serving as a consolation prize for those of us who would ask for more. (I am happy to note that Tauriel is an excellent fighter, whose abilities in battle are never up for question, due to her gender, or otherwise.) This is a common enough problem for the lone female character in a cast exclusively composed of men, and one it seemed likely to have happened. But, though Tauriel is technically involved in a love triangle with Legolas and young dwarf Kili, it seems to be one that, thankfully, she has little intention in participating in. Careful observers will notice that she refers to Legolas as “friend” in Elvish, even when trying to convince him to go against his father’s wishes, treating him more as a comrade-at-arms than a potential mate. This could well be attributed to her place as a “lowly Silvan elf”, a social position that would prevent a relationship with a king’s son. Yet, though Thranduil makes Legolas’ apparent desires known to the audience, there is near to nothing said on the subject of what Tauriel desires.

What we do know, largely from her interactions with Kili, as well as her words to Legolas when following the Orcs to Laketown, is that Tauriel is a character who sees the larger picture. Though raised and participating actively in the closed, suspicious society of the Mirkwood elves, she longs for news of the outside. She also understands that there are things larger than the safety of Mirkwood’s borders at play, and urges her friend to help her in a fight that concerns them, though it would seem not to at first glance. This closed existence also explains her interest in Kili, who shows a willingness to talk to her about Dwarvish customs and his own life. (I, personally, could have done without that ‘down his pants’ exchange, but that’s perhaps a matter of taste.) Whether this interest is anything approaching romantic in nature is a subject to be resolved by the final film in the trilogy. What it is, however, is a trait consistent with Tauriel’s characterization that does not feel superfluous, or out of place.

It helps that Evangeline Lilly herself was against there being a love triangle, so much so that it was the sole condition of her accepting the role. As she states in this interview for Yahoo!Movies, there was no trace of a triangle during principle photography. Rather, it was a substantial part of reshoots in 2012, as something that the studio felt needed to be included. What that boardroom discussion looked like is something we can only speculate on, but Lilly does her best to play down the subplot in favor of kicking Orc ass.

Despite misgivings about falling into step with a common trope of female characters, Jackson’s instinct to include Tauriel in The Hobbit is coming from the right place. As Lilly said in another interview, it is unacceptable these days to send young girls into a theater for nine hours of entertainment without a single female on the screen. Howl that she is forgetting Galadriel, but her point is well taken. The two serve very different roles in the trilogy, and, without Tauriel, there really would be a lone woman, absent for all of The Desolation of Smaug save a single shot, and one who has not participated in combat in a series heavy with action. Tauriel’s inclusion is a concession to modern taste, and is the correct response for a filmmaker/screenwriter to have when confronted with a female-scarce source. She’s not perfect, but then, she is one character, and, as we so often discuss on TMS, one character cannot be everything we need her to be. It’s time to drop the hate, and look at Tauriel for what she is; a solid step towards better representation in an area long absent of the presence of women. I can only hope that this impulse, going forward, continues to serve both the audience and the character well.

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  • tsee

    I loved Tauriel’s character; I hated what they DID with her, and I feel like a lot of people are missing that distinction. She is a kickass warrior woman who knows her own head and heart and doesn’t lay like a doormat for the (fabulous) Elvenking to walk all over. She stands up for her beliefs and fights for them strongly, and she can hold her own with both weapons and wit.

    Why they saw fit to take such a wonderful character and valuable addition to the story and shoehorn her into a romance, however, is beyond me. It’s obvious that they are trying very hard to build something between Kili and Tauriel, which I fully expect to be exploited for maximum emotional gut-wrenching in some form in the third installment. My issue is that quite literally everything that happened between Tauriel and Kili could have just as easily been attributed to a sense of friendship or kinship, instead of having it be about romance. She didn’t have to be falling for Kili, or he for her, in order for those things to happen; but that’s what audiences expect, or what producers think they expect, so that’s what we got.

    It will be interesting to see where they take things in the third film, I guess. Knowing how vocal Lilly was about not wanting a love triangle, I am holding out hope that this is a fleeting infatuation, an embodiment of Tauriel’s desire to interact with and belong with a world that extends beyond Thranduil’s kingdom that she gets to realize in a more personal and profound way than The Hot Dwarf, but until we know for sure, I will quietly love her character and gently finger-wag in PJ’s direction.

  • Anonymous

    My grievance was that it was an unnecessary addition to three already long movies, especially if the addition of a female character was to be a love interest because you know how much us girls will only go to the movies if there’s romance (and also we all know that Aragorn is Legolas’s girlfriend), but after seeing the movie, I’m okay with it. She’s cool. :)

  • Anonymous

    I was very happy with Tauriel and I think people make a but too much of the Kili thing. Expressing unexpected affection for a dwarf doesn’t quite add up to an actual “love triangle.” That would require any of the three characters to actually romance one another.

    People make far too much about “adding a character” and your point about the original dwarf characterizations is spot on. Tauriel’s character doesn’t serve as just an “action babe,” she seems to be there mainly to ask the question of the elves “What is our role in the larger world?” This makes perfect sense as the elves go from being isolationists in the Hobbit to sending Legolas to Rivendell in The Fellowship of the Ring.

    Purists can get mad about anything. There was some predictable but disturbing grumbling among some about actors of color appearing as extras in Laketown.

  • Amy W

    What you said. EVERYTHING you said.

  • Anonymous

    The main grievances I’ve heard about the Hobbit has been adding things that are not in the book. Regardless the gender of those things. I see where you are trying to make your argument, but it well documented, the fans don’t like anything added.

    Nor did they like things added into the Lord of the Rings, nor added into the Harry Potter series, nor added into Game of Thrones.

    If they really wanted to mix up the gender quota, they should have changed a couple of the draves.

  • Toastlette

    I guess I wasn’t very bothered, because there is an idea that there are many elves, and Jackson just gave one of them a name and had her help. Not really destroying the spirit of the source material, in my opinion.
    I was hoping that it wasn’t a love interest, and that she would be cool. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but reading this makes me feel even better about it.

  • Robert

    I thought Tauriel’s scenes were some of the more successful in Smaug. I loved the first Hobbit film and was left a little cold by this one–a mix of pacing issues and not enough Bilbo for my tastes–but really dug Tauriel. Her introduction was great, her reaction to the king warning her away from his son was spot on (What? Yeah right, I’m gonna go kill things, bye now), and she helped with one of the few tense moments to actually come out of the extended sequence in the lake town. She may not be essential to the core story of The Hobbit, but she adds a much-needed strong female character to Jackson’s cinematic vision of Tolkien’s work. I don’t mean strong in the well-developed sense; I mean strong in the there would clearly be female warriors in this universe and she’s a total badass.

    As for the love triangle, I thought she was just intrigued by the taller than average dwarf. Is anyone shipping Smaug and Bilbo because Jackson put so much focus on Smaug smelling Bilbo as something new? Then why is a quick exchange and a couple glances enough to complain about a brewing love triangle? If anything, Tauriel is being set up as the Elfen ideal: a strong warrior with compassion and loyalty to all those fighting against the evils of the world.

  • Margaret

    That’s my problem with her, as was my problem with them adding that random goblin bad guy in the first one. At this point I know I won’t enjoy these movies and I don’t plan on seeing the second or third. The tone of the movie was just so jarring.

    All I wanted was a single awesome Hobbit movie that closely followed the book and didn’t turn into Lord of the Rings: the sequel. I know I won’t get that, so I’m just going to stop complaining.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t understand the notion that changing things is a bad idea. Tolkien himself changed Gollum from a creature that willingly hands his magic ring over in the first version of the book to one who tries to deceive and betray Bilbo in the rewrite. Which do you prefer?

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t very keen on the idea at first, because I’m usually one of those Toliken-purists, even if I understand that certain liberties have to be taken with the source material. But when I saw the movie I liked her, she wasn’t fragile or a Mary Sue, but rather a dedicated fighter and rebellious, just the kind of woman the movies need. However I felt that while the Kili/Tauriel interaction was great, the whole Legolas-likes-her part was largely un-needed. I understand the wish for a romantic sub-plot, and I think that Tauriel/Kili can be one of those sad Tolkien-esque romances without taking over the screen. The Legolas-part felt very unneccessary and faintly wierd as we know what he’ll do in the future. All in all, I think regarding to what happens to Kili in the end, the romance sub-plot is actually kind of a nice addition. Nothing can ever come of it. and nothing will – but my inner fangirl still gets the warm fussies. Tauriel’s badassery is very welcome.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not so much the inclusion of a female character where there was none before, it’s the additions and altering just to make a long movie and drag it all out. The movie is a fine movie, it’s really good. The effects are fantastic, the imagery is wonderful. Do I get the same feel from it that I get from reading the Hobbit? No. It seems to me that a lot of conflict was added for the sake for it. (see: Laketown-I really don’t like what they did with Bard).

    That being said, Tauriel is a fine character. I wish a fantasy movie could be done with the same without relying on the Toliken-verse.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never been much of the Tolkien fan. But I can always see where people get upset with change. They invest their time and emotion into something, only for it to be altered with out their consent.

    Personally, changing things always interests me. The books exist, and I like seeing different versions of stuff.

    The rewrite seems more interesting to me, from the description, but depends on how it was played in the original text.

  • Anonymous

    The Legolas part did feel pretty forced.

  • Anonymous

    In the first published Hobbit, Gollum bets his ring in the riddle game and when he loses, hands it over to Bilbo. When Tolkien was writing the Lord of the Rings he went back and edited the Hobbit which was re-released with Gollum trying to trick Bilbo only to discover his ring had been “stolen.”

    Tolkien made room for this in the Council of Elrond scene in Fellowship by having Bilbo state that his first account of the riddle game had been a lie.

  • Matt Pattavina

    I don’t mind her presence in the movie quite as much as I do Azog and his rabble. She is a nice addition to something that might have been happening between the pages of the source material. I don’t mind those kinds of additions. The Azog orcs were most definitely not chasing Bilbo and company all over Middle-Earth, at least not until after the Misty Mountain adventure.

    My problem with Tauriel is her relationship with Kili. It’s forced and in this world there is no way it would have ever happened. Dwarves and Elves have an inherent dislike even maybe hate of one another. A friendship would not have been picked up so lightly, let alone anything romantic. That kills the unwilling friendship that was developed between Legolas and Gimil later on.

  • Katie Frederick

    That’s pretty much my feelings about this whole sub-plot. Tauriel was a good character, and her interaction with Kili was nice, but yeah we didn’t need rival affection from Legolas. It would have been enough that all his reservation against her growing interest in Kili, potentially romantic or otherwise, come from a racial prejudice alone. Which I have a feeling was the original idea, before some producer decided ‘nooo, it has to be a “love triangle”‘.
    I’ve long accepted these movies aren’t the books, and are perfectly enjoyable on their own terms, but yeah… still can’t say I agree with every decision.

  • eric bouchard

    As an old man and a purist…let me tell you about Tauriel…..i am ok with it. Look. The man-as-hero and female-as-sidekick/reward in movies is a cliche that turns my stomach now. I have seen it over and over and over again. And in Tolkien original work, that is sadly what women are. Even Eowyn cant wait to drop her sword and become proper wife and healer to Faramir. Arwen is a really really pretty potted plant. I dont blame Tolkien, he was a man of his time. But the continuing hatred of ALOT of female characters in books, movies, comics and TV tells me fanboys needs to be either re-educated or crushed. barely joking on the last one…i hate 90% of fanboys. racist, mysogenist pigs, the lot of them.

  • tsee

    Ugh, don’t even get me started on the Aragorn/Legolas romance. I was furious that they changed it from the beautiful and poignant Legolas/Gimli relationship in the books in favour of shoehorning the two “pretty” ones together.

    (This post is made in a spirit of sarcasm and thanks for the epic laugh you just got out of me at work <3)

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, I’d rather they’d be BFF:s, which I see them as, since Legolas doesn’t exactly come of as interested, more as you say prejudced against dwarves in general and that’s why he doesn’t like the interest Tauriel has in them. I like to imagine Legolas so called interest – that’s all in dear old dad’s head.

    That’s a point people tend to forget – the book ‘verse and the movie ‘verse will always differ, in bigger or lesser ways. That doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, and people tend to forget that, sadly.

  • tsee

    I both agree and disagree with your point about the unrealistic relationship between them. While I agree with your assessment of the inherent dislike/hatred/racial prejudice between Elves and Dwarves, I also feel like a major, central point to Tauriel’s character was her insistence on looking at the “larger picture”. This is an Elf who wants to understand the larger world, and her own part in it; Kili is a physical personification of that world.

    …at least, that’s what I want to believe, that Kili is standing in for her love and desire for a world outside of Mirkwood’s borders. That will remain to be seen, I guess…

  • Adam

    In my mind, Tauriel’s relationship with Kili actually explains the reason for the “unwilling” part of the unwilling friendship between Legolas and Gimli, since Legolas was holding on to a grudge due to a dwarf “stealing” Tauriel, whom he clearly has feelings for.

  • Anonymous

    ;D Heheehe. Werk it.

  • tsee

    It’s possible, but I think it more likely Legolas’ prejudice was inherited from his father; it’s well established that racial prejudice between Elves and Dwarves is far-reaching and long-standing. I’d almost rather think that maybe Tauriel’s example is what gave Legolas the perspective to see past the racism learned from his father to become friends with Gimli in the first place!

  • tsee

    To be fair, there is a lot that goes on “in the fringes” of the story of the Hobbit that could use fleshing out, and I’m glad that they’ve used this excuse to tell part of the stories from the extended works. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Hobbit originally an on-going story that Tolkien told to his kids and one day decided to write down? A lot of things get glossed over in “storybook” style that do deserve to be expanded upon (I’m thinking of a few key lines from after the Battle of Five Armies…).

  • Anonymous

    “Yet, though Thranduil makes Legolas’ apparent desires known to the
    audience, there is near to nothing said on the subject of what Tauriel desires.”

    This is where you lose me. When Thranduil mention Legolas probably sees her as more than a friend, Tauriel’s facial expression is clearly one of contained joy. It is the only scene where her feelings toward Legolas are shown, but it is there and it leaves no doubt.

    I was extremely disappointed with the character. I am far from the biggest fan of Tolkien (I think his novels show their age) and one of the reasons I’m a frequent visitor of TMS is because I agree that there is a big lack of good female characters out there. When Evangeline Lilly, an actress I liked in Lost, was cast as a female character not appearing in the novels, I thought it was great news.

    But there’s no excuse for what I saw on film. She’s the one who ask Legolas to look at the big picture, to fight the big fight. But in the end, she’s the one who stops pursuing the Orcs because she had to heal the dwarf she talked to for what? 10 minutes? It’s bad enough that she’s in a love triangle, they actually made her betray her convictions for love. In the end, Legolas is the one who is truly selfless because he doesn’t stop for her, even though he loves her.

    There was a lot criticisms aimed at the last Riddick, and with good reasons. They turned the very cool Katee Sackhoff into an object of lust. But one mistake the film didn’t do is to change Dahl’s motivations; she was the loyal lieutenant to her boss and remained so until the end. Tauriel’s change from warrior to nurse in the worst possible moment undoes every positive effects her action scenes might have had. Instead of making her her own woman, they’re just another ingredient to make her appear more desirable. I don’t see how they can undo that mess in the third film.

  • Matt Pattavina

    I like the way you see it. This is not your typical elf… yeah, I like it.

  • http://www.angelahighland.com/ Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    I’m heading to see the film tonight. From what I’ve already seen of Tauriel, I am TOTALLY on board with her inclusion in this story, and honestly, I don’t even have a problem with her having even the hint of potential romantic conflict with either Legolas OR Kili. (I mean hell, it’s not as if Tolkien didn’t have romantic angst all over his work. Silmarillion in particular, I am looking at YOU.)

    I have gotten into several discussions with fellow Tolkien-loving friends on both Facebook and my blog about the matter. I’ve got one friend who feels insulted that what seems to her to be a token female has been inserted into the movie to pander to a female audience–and speaking as a lifelong Tolkien nerd, who would have been going to see this movie regardless, I can see where she’s coming from on that. I’ve got other friends who are bothered by mucking with the canon, yeah–though the men who’ve been in on this discussion with me are telling me they support the creation of a female character (’cause yeah, women thin on the ground in the canon), but are more bugged by what’s being done with her.

    Me, having just finally completed the English leg of a tri-lingual reread of the book (woo!), I did note that there was indeed a captain of the guard in the story. Who was male, sure, but never identified by name, and who barely had any presence in the story at all. So I’m perfectly happy to interpret this as Jackson just taking a character that was already there, genderflipping him, and actually giving him something to do. ;)

  • EpicFTW

    “But to those who questioned how Peter Jackson would dare to throw an original character into the mix, I call sexism. Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying? Or a hundred other places big and small, where Jackson and company have done, basically, whatever they feel like with the so-called sacred source material?”

    The objectors were there for those complaints and more. TheOneRing.net was positively BRISTLING with commentary, above and beyond the considerable blowback on Reddit. Jackson’s original (and filmed) plan placing Arwen at Helm’s Deep is still a point of contention today: not because Arwen is a woman, but because having that character perform that action at that place and time is so irredeemably far removed from Tolkien’s world as to be glaringly out of context.

    Many people have the same problem with shoehorning an invented character with a tangential story arc into The Hobbit. (I’m not one of them — go Taurieli! — primarily because the revamped three-part story structure and pacing leave a character-development void that these additions nicely fill.)

    The complaints from Tolkien devotees are largely not on sexist grounds, but in response to Jackson’s wholesale revisions and character spawning, as you note. Yes, the dwarves sport imaginative looks (as do many Weta creations). Yes, Jackson has conceived many an Orc and Elf where before there were none (and has come under fire for doing so). Yes, Jackson has made radical changes to Tolkien’s work before (and has come under fire for doing so). The more radical the departure, the greater the backlash. Elves fighting at Helm’s deep ruffled plenty a feather, but their screen time was minimal compared to Tauriel’s supporting role in The Hobbit.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, if he went back and actually rewrote the text, then I’ll kinda side against it.

    Once it’s published, pencils are down. Editing is over. If was only a retcon in a later separate work, then I’m cool with it.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Tauriel’s love triangle is brilliant choice on the part of the writers.
    I know, it’s kind of annoying to have the only girl character involved in romantic shenanagins, but when it annoys you remember that Legolas and Kili only have a personality or motivations based on that triangle, whereas Tauriel has a bunch of characterization that elevates her way beyond it. She’s never just doing something because of a boy, as you point out. There’s always something bigger she’s got her eye on.

    Race is something they haven’t really dealt with in Middle Earth. The rigid racial lines (not necessarily hierarchies) are very unbreakable in all the previous films, and there hasn’t even been a hint at interracial romance, except for Gimli’s worship of Galadriel.

    This triangle is a way of exploring that racial dynamic. Tauriel is in a three-race love triangle. Because of her race, she’s not allowed to go for Legolas, she’s not pure elven enough. And because of their races, she and Kili will never have a future.
    What we’re looking at is three individuals faced with a racially loaded set of relationships. People, negotiating these complex cultural taboos.
    So stop worrying and embrace the love triangle :)

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    The triangle is actually key to why she’s the coolest elf in the films:

    http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/why-tauriel-is-cooler-than-legolas/

  • wolfjedi

    I believe the ‘conflict added for the sake of it’ is an attempt to keep the stakes raised for the dwarves and add to the dramatic tension. In watching the movies, I’ve become very aware that the writers have changed a lot of characters’ motivations from the book to trying to stop the dwarves from completing their quest. This added focus on the dwarves’ quest means that anything that is added to the movie must be included to be an obstacle they need to work through.

    I can understand this approach, since Tolkien was far too lax on the dwarves. In the book, they spent weeks locked up in the elf jails, they were welcomed to Laketown right off the bat, they spent weeks searching for the secret door… I like the fact that the filmmakers added a sense of urgency to finding the door, which greatly helped the pacing and tension of the first two movies.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Why are you so upset about the ambiguity of the relationship? It’s intentionally ambiguous, which is why you can go all over the internet and find people arguing about the precise emotional content of the Kili-Tauriel connection.
    I think they were trying to create something different, something subtle and multilayered. Remember what they did with Eowyn and Aragorn? It never quite turned into a love triangle, because they did it in such fantastic ways. And Tauriel is never just being motivated by the hot dwarf, there’s always more to it than that.
    The Kili and Tauriel connection is about two individuals connecting across apparently impermeable racial lines. It’s like Gimli’s crush on Galadriel, except that it’s less crazy epic and more intimately personal.

  • Katie Frederick

    Huh, I never interpreted Tauriel’s expression as contained joy. I always thought it was something along the lines of “Oh! Wait, Legolas /likes/ me? I only think of him as a friend, oh this could get awkward.” Or maybe that’s I wanted her to think, but either way it came off more as surprise than joy imo.

  • wolfjedi

    I assume spoiler warnings aren’t necessary at this point, but just in case… assume you’ve been warned.

    I have no problems with Tauriel being inserted into the films. It is not unreasonable to assume there is a captain of the guard in Thranduil’s kingdom and it is not unreasonable for that character to be a female.

    With regards to additions to the film, those have always been major points of contention among the fans. And although I didn’t troll internet forums at the time, I know a lot of people had a big problem with Aragorn’s made up side trip and love-struck dream sequence in the Two Towers, and they had a major problem with Faramir’s being seduced by the ring, which completely changed his character and changed the path the characters took in the book. It was such an issue that the writers went out of their way to explain why they made those specific decisions in the DVD commentaries.

    My main issues with Tauriel’s role in the film come not from the fact that she was a female and she was created for the film. I’m fine with those things. But I’m not fine with the fact that the end result is that they added her in simply to be an object of desire for two of the male characters just to add some cheap love triangle to the movie, which completely undermines her role in the film. They then try to cover up that fact by making her a badass, as if that makes up for her being an object.

    The other part of Tauriel’s role that I didn’t like was how derivative her role was. The admonishing lectures on forbidden love given by Thranduil to Tauriel echoed those of Elrond and Arwen a little too closely for my taste. And the storyline with Kili directly echoed the morgul blade sequence from the Fellowship of the Ring. The second the orc mentioned the morgul blade, everybody knew exactly how it was going to play out. We weren’t treated with anything new. Did they have to mention King’s Foil, the fact that it was a weed, and its other name of Athelas all over again? Really? What’s worse is that adding this sequence here diminishes when it happens to Frodo, and watching the movies in chronological order will now make Frodo’s encounter seem that much less interesting and will lower the stakes, since the audience will already know that it’s a process that can be healed.

    And also, that ‘trousers’ line we ALL could have done without.

  • Omegasama

    I went into the movie with a deep worry for what they would do with her character, I had no dislike for her, but I had a dislike for what I was sure they would make her (a love interest)… but I was only pleasantly surprised. She was awesome, her story engaging and her thirst for knowledge beyond her own borders culminate in her choosing to save Kili over her duty to follow her Prince. I found myself completely loving her and loving the spark of love between her and Kili. I can see them working together and their love growing from mutual respect for each other’s skills

    We will see what they do with this character in the last film… I have a fear she will die though (mostly of what happens at the Battle of the Five Armies).

  • Anonymous

    The big issue with the Hobbit films is that there just aren’t enough major characters. The book had Bilbo, the dwarves, and Gandalf—fifteen people. That was enough for the hour-and-a-half Rankin Bass movie. Some quick calculations:

    9 hour trilogy / 1.5 hours = 6, times 16 characters = needs NINETY main characters, MINIMUM.

    Tauriel was a step in the right direction, but it’s too little too late. Basic math, people!

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    The Legolas part was there partly because Legolas really needed a plot (go back and have a look: he barely talks to anyone but her and has no other motivations), and partly to explore elven politics.

    We don’t really know, as moviegoers, anything about elven hierarchies. We know that elves and dwarves hate each other, and that each sees the other as lesser. But we don’t know how this works within elven culture.
    Tauriel, despite being unbelievably cool, is the wrong race for Legolas. That’s how freaking intense the racial lines are. No matter how cool she is, she’ll always be the wrong race to go for either of these men. She’s in a love triangle without any possible happy endings.
    It also gives us a good reason to dislike Tharanduil. She calls herself a “lowly Silvan elf,” and he’s just like “yep, you suck?” What the hell?

  • Anonymous

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring?”

    OH MY GOD, I was INFURIATED by the Faramir change. It ruins the whole character. It violates the WHOLE POINT of his existence, to demonstrate that despite all of the temptations of the ring, there are some who can rise above it. And the Aragorn thing was beyond stupid. These two together ruined The Two Towers for me.

    Tauriel’s cool, though.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    She’s not just there as an “object of desire” for a cheap love triangle. She’s got way more plot than that, way more motivation. If anything, the guys involved are being reduced to love interests, given that they draw all their personalities from the triangle.
    And I think they’re treading very new territory in the “talk” between Tharanduil and Tauriel. There was never any question that Aragorn was worthy of Arwen: he was a descendant of Numenor, the heir to the greatest kingdom of men. The only problem was that he was going to die of old age.
    Tauriel is in the opposite situation: she’s automatically deemed unworthy because, despite being awesome and badass, she’s still the wrong race. The lines between races cannot be crossed. Tharanduil will not have these interracial shenanigans under his roof. We don’t even get to know what Legolas thinks of all this: that’s how restrictive these lines are.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think she is a strong female character, in the well-developed sense. She’s both badass and feminine, she likes boys and she kills things way better than they do. She’s a recognizable girl in the middle of all these men. And there’s nothing bad about that.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think what people are afraid of is the “love triangle” thing turning into standard Hollywood fare. Which they shouldn’t, because we know from the LOTR films that it’s a very different thing in the hands of these writers, with a lot more unsaid than said and plenty of interesting ambiguity and multiple motivation.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think you’re understandably freaking out over something that’s actually not as bad as you think it is.

    The choice between whether to stay with Kili or follow Legolas isn’t actually just a dumb “which boy” thing that you see in movies all the time. It’s about whether Tauriel values Kili’s life enough to save him, or whether she’s going to just run off and kill things. Legolas doesn’t give a crap about whether Kili lives or dies, but Tauriel knows he’s a person of some kind of worth (which does not equal being in love).

    The choice to stay and heal Kili is about choosing not just to take lives, but to save them. She’s stepping beyond the borders of what she’s been brought up to believe. And she’s embracing the feminine healing role, because she’s not just “one of the guys.”

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    The elven king was never identified by name either, but no one has a problem with adding Tharanduil :)

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    The entire point of the relationship with Kili is that it’s not supposed to happen. It’s not about an elf and a dwarf–it’s about this elf and this dwarf. That’s what races are made of: collections of individuals. When individuals connect across those racial lines, they violate taboos. That’s what this entire love triangle is about: violating taboos and treading on tender racial ground.

    There’s a difference between inherent dislike and cultural prejudice.

  • Marion

    Well I’m afraid to disagree. I didn’t see any ambiguity. It is written, directed, shot and edited like almost every love triangle I have seen on screen. It does not matter if Tauriel and Kili finish together, H:DS has its Romeo-and-Juliettesque burgeoning impossible love, its jealous rival, bonding moment, and so and so.

    I wish they had made her bond with Balin over stories of old time, that would have been less expected.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Excellent point! I hadn’t quite spotted that element of the relationship before. I love how multilayered this whole thing is.

  • Anonymous

    Because any rewrite is bad? Why?

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I like that Tauriel has such big ears. In contrast to the other elves smaller sets, it makes her seem like she has a bit of an awkward quality, among her otherwise graceful warrior strength. It’s very endearing.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Here’s how I learned to love these movies, even though they’re expanding to the books to an apparently absurd level:
    1) It’s a love letter/road trip through some of the cool stuff of Middle Earth, and both the writers as fans and the fans ourselves get to see lots of stuff we otherwise wouldn’t.
    2) They get to play around with things the books skim over, like racial politics and moral ambiguity. This movie is loaded with racial politics, as we can see in the love triangle thing which violates all sorts of taboos. And it’s also full of characters who make hard choices without easy answers, and whose motivations are always ambiguous. Is Thorin seeking gold, or a homeland? Or both? Is Tharanduil a wise king turning inward, or a petty lord afraid of the outside world? Is Bard seeking to protect his home, or to escape the fate of his ancestors? I like to think of it as “this time, everyone’s Boromir.”
    Hope that helps :)

  • Heather Gregg

    What about those of us who also hated Haldir? Do we get credit for just hating unnecessary added characters instead of being sexist?

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Yeah, it’s manipulating that basic template, but it’s been converted to and filtered through Middle Earth. There are questions of valuing life across racial boundaries, of racial politics, of compassion for those different from yourself. And it’s not a straight Romeo-Juliet thing, because a) there are so many ways to interpret the nature of these connections everyone’s making with each other, and there are questions of isolationism and responsibility to other races bound up with the triangle, b) there’s a really strong emphasis on Tauriel’s agency, and c) I’m going to have to fight you on the “jealous rival” thing, because Legolas isn’t just a Paris, he’s equally off limits in a totally different way (that devalues Tauriel racially) and, because we know him from LOTR, we’re inclined to like him, AND there are questions of inter-elven politics in all the choices he makes too.

  • Anonymous

    My general feelings are that I’m pretty disappointed with The Hobbit as an adaptation but if you’re going to add in an original character, why not add a female character where there’s virtually none? And fleshing out characters in one of the book’s populated settings makes a certain amount of sense.

  • debijl

    I like Tauriel a lot. My daughter was bummed that she is not in the book. She and Kili were sweet in that “never gonna happen” way, and Orlando seemed to have forgetten how to play Legolas.
    But poor Ms. Lilly. Kate Austen was probably the most hated character in LOST and the dreadful Kate/Jack/Sawyer storyline probably put her off love triangles for ever, and I don’t blame her. Sorry to hear she is being dissed on the internet….AGAIN!.

  • Robert

    I agree. I was trying to find a way not to skip over the importance of Galadriel and Arwin to the LotR trilogy. Tauriel is something completely different for the series.

  • Anonymous

    I am admittedly kind of wary of the character, in that she is an original character not from the canon of the books, but I’m also reserving my fully judgment until I actually see the movie. I know Jackson’s work is excellent, and I loved Lilly’s work in Lost (although I didn’t really like Kate much…)

    If I were to posit what’s happening in much of the anti-Tauriel sentiment, there is an argument to be made from a purist’s standpoint which is a fair one; but it becomes a foothold for all of the morons to pile on their intentional or unintentional stupidity about gender. I don’t think that entirely negates the purist’s complaint, but it does weaken it. Which, I think this post does a great job of addressing.

  • Anonymous

    As an artist, it feels like it’s cheating.

    I just think it’s a big no-no to go, “I’m done! Everyone look at this!”

    Then later, “no no wait. I want to change this thing here and edit that.”

    It’s not fair to yourself, and it’s not fair to the public. It’s not the thing that represented who were at that time.

    In the later work he can do what ever he likes and say something was different before.

    Although the question becomes, when is the art considered finished. Especially with something that is a part of a series. I do a web comic, I go back and fix typos if I notice them after publishing them. But I think going back and editing story is a bit much and disingenuous.

  • Anonymous

    I loved her badass fighting skill. I thought Evy portrayed he very well, but when I was watching the movie, I found myself rolling my eyes at the romance. It was a divergent from the book and totally unnecessary, imho. But thinking about it afterwards, I am thinking something will happen in the 3rd installment that brings it together. I thought they both played the attraction very well (and Aiden Turner is VERY attractive) I think something will happen to Tauriel that Legolas will blame the dwarves for, leading to his feelings in LOTR…maybe? That being said, the whole glowy bit while she was healing Kili was a bit much.

  • tsee

    I disagree. While perhaps the specific “triangle” is not necessarily handled the same, I’ve felt the same sense of ho-hum disgust at every romantic subplot the PJ movies have offered us thus far. I honestly never felt that they treated Eowyn/Aragorn, Eowyn/Faramir, or Aragorn/Arwen all that much differently from the majority of sci-fi/fantasy fare. It choked me with it’s sameness, and this film–Tauriel’s actions and her expressions, especially–felt like more of that kind.

    That being said–I am reserving judgement until the end of the final film. I don’t know yet what their endgame is for this trio of characters and I am willing to trust to hope that it is going to be something more fulfilling for all involved than the establishment of a romance/an excuse to make us all wail more than we already are going to at the end of the BoFA.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, the Azog stuff really threw me too. It still bugs me. I think move makers get hung up on the idea of needing to have a “big bad”, when it’s not always needed. And darkening things up. I wish the wargs and eagles had talked and that there was more spider fight. Mirkwood seemed rushed, I guess they wanted more screen time for Smaug (he was a pretty badass dragon). And why are the Orcs wandering around Middleearth in the middle of the day? I thought the could only travel by night?

  • Anonymous

    Dur… All elves glow when they’re doing super special elf magic.

  • tsee

    I agree. I’m actually re-reading The Hobbit at this exact moment and one thing that strikes me is that Tolkien is VERY lax. A lot of things are glossed over or mentioned in passing which would normally be fleshed out in a book, and I believe that’s due to the origin of the story–as an oral tale told to children. While the changes are hard to come to terms with as a long-time fan of the book, on the other hand, I am also a huge fan of film–and a feature film that faithfully followed every step of the path of the book would not be one I would be interested in rewatching for anything more than the nostalgia factor. Very simple and straightfoward plots, created to be so for ease of remembering from night to night, have been unhinged from their paths and rewoven together in a way that makes for a far more interesting, engaging, and intricate story, without betraying the spirit of the book.

  • tsee

    I think Legolas’ feelings towards dwarves in LotR are very much a product of longstanding racial prejudice between the two races, as opposed to a personal vendetta–its established in Middle-Earth canon that Elves and Dwarves, as a general rule, do not get along.

    That being said, I would lay high money on the bet that something is going to happen in the third installment that the Tauriel/Kili…”thing” is going to play into very strongly, based on events in the book and how Tauriel’s introduction might potentially change things.

  • Mina

    He is in the appendices and such.

  • tsee

    Oh god, I would have loved that.

    I was going to make a point earlier, but couldn’t think of how to frame it, that Tauriel could potentially have had this relationship with any of the dwarves. Whether it was Kili’s idle token flipping that got her attention, or just the fact that physically he shares “attractive” characteristics that are in line with Elf aesthetics (he is young-looking and pretty, basically), she ended up meeting and bonding somewhat with him; but I enjoy the thought that it could have been Balin, or Ori, or any of the others.

  • Marion

    Honestly I don’t know Shakespeare well enough to argue about what is a straight Romeo-and-Juliette thing, but I guess, from the posterity of the play, that is probably has a lot to say about human nature, the time it was written and the man who wrote it. But that is not my point. I’m addressing the trope where to members of traditionally rival social unities fall in love. And I still think the movie goes straight for it.

    It’s not the first time the trope is modernized. Most of new occurrences have a wider subtext : take West Side Story. It has a commentary about 1950′s America, Puerto-Rican immigration, consumerism, etc. That does not prevent it from mainly being about a boy and a girl from rival communities falling in love. And that is not inherently bad, but, as far as I’m concern, that is not the kind of thing I wanted to see in the Hobbit, and, in my opinion, it is poorly done.

    Of course that is subjective, but I’m disappointed and here is why :
    - I rather liked the idea of Tauriel (she has undeniable qualities : she is pretty badass and has never damseled so far), and I would have enjoyed very much that her plot was not revolving that much around Kili. I guess that the nature of their relation is not as obvious as I thought since you don’t see it my way (but I am still convinced that the third movie is going to prove me right), but the fact is that she still spends a lot of her screen time interacting either with Kili or Legolas. Even when she kicks orc-butts, that is related to them. Male characters considered young and desirable in their respective communities.
    - I didn’t like what it made of Legolas. I was never over fond of him in LOTR (I had the customary crush for Orlando Bloom but that is an entirely different thing), but I remember him as a cheerful, reliable, low-maintenance member of the Community. In this movie, I don’t recognize him at all : he is dark and brooding, looking somewhere in between a sad-puppy and an angry teenager. I know about character development, but nothing in the first franchise announced that he could have such a past.
    - They already did that forbidden love thing with Aragorn and Arwen.

  • tsee

    The problem is that all of those questions–racial boundaries and politics, compassion, etc–did not need to be put into a romantic frame in order to be tackled. That relationship and those questions could just as easily have been addressed through a mutual respect and friendship, as it was between Legolas and Gimli in LotR, as a romance. The end result is that, whatever the intention, it comes off looking as though they added a character and, because that character was a woman, didn’t know how else to use her and address those points besides shoving her in a romantic relationship.

    As in the comment above–why couldn’t it have been Balin, who could have shared tales and legends with her, or Dwalin, who could have bonded with her over martial matters? Either of those dwarves could have raised the same questions, could have gone through the same conflicts (arrow through the leg, etc), without the need for a connection that goes beyond “romance”. But the fact that they avoided those things and put her in that scenario with Kili makes us question the motivation, and makes it seem as though a romantic subplot, moreso than racial politics and commentary on the value of life across socio-political boundaries, was their motivating factor.

  • tsee

    To add to your points–they did the forbidden love thing twice, and in fact, the conversation between Thranduil and Tauriel could almost be a carbon copy of the one between Theoden and Eowyn (although a great deal more sympathetic).

    I’m done with that story. I want a strong independent elf woman who don’t need no man, thank you. And knowing what is to come in movie three, I am not looking forward to either of the two potential fates I foresee. (Purposefully vague because I don’t want to inadvertently spoil anyone who hasn’t read The Hobbit).

  • http://www.angelahighland.com/ Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    Yeah, I’m not seeing too many people complaining about the expansion of Thranduil as a character. And granted, it’s been a while since I tromped through the Appendices, but I ain’t remembering too terribly much called out about him besides his name, either.

  • http://www.angelahighland.com/ Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    I’m going to have to go back and re-read ‘em–I am not remembering ever knowing much about Thranduil in general other than his name, so I’m not pulling anything out of the back of my brain about how much Tolkien actually established about him.

  • tsee

    Purely out of curiosity, I have to ask–for those who just hate additions of new characters to the material, where do you fall on the Arwen vs Glorfindel debate?

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Why can’t it be both? Romance and hitting all sorts of points about compassion and race?

    And given how much other stuff she got beyond the straight romance, it seems rather unlikely that they just didn’t know what to do with her so they stuck her in a romance. Legolas, maybe, but not her.

    If you prefer the more uncomplicated friendship in LotR, that’s fine, that’s a personal preference. But they wanted to do something different with this film. The point of the plot was to explore what happens when individuals are hamstrung by taboos. Everyone in Mirkwood probably thought Legolas was weird for having a dwarf friend, but no one was pulling him aside and saying “THIS IS ABSOLUTELY OFF LIMITS.” And no one was saying to Gimli “YOU ARE CRAP”

  • tsee

    I don’t think that can be considered a valid point, because with the exception of those die-hard Tolkien fans, the majority of the population won’t understand the distinction between Silvan and Sindar Elves. I think it’s more likely that the line about Tauriel being a Silvan Elf was thrown out as a bone to those who understand the connotations, but as an argument about the writers wanting to address issues of racial politics, it’s weak. The majority of people watching the film won’t come away with that understanding; so the majority will view it as, at most, a class issue, which we have seen time and time again.

  • tsee

    (POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN THIS COMMENT)

    I can’t see a way for them to carry forward that connection between Tauriel and Kili to the BoFA and have it end in a way I’ll be happy with. The way I see it, they will either kill her off to give Kili man/dwarf-pain, kill her off to avoid killing off the Pretty One, or have her remain behind to grieve and emotionally manipulate the audience when Kili dies. I’m not really cool with any of those options; but the Rules of Storytelling mean that if this is intended to be a romantic relationship, we’re going to end up with one or more of the above. And that’s not cool.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    All right, I take your point about the Romeo and Juliet thing (also, I have a distinct memory of Orlando Bloom saying exactly that at a Colbert Report interview). But like you said, it is a subjective thing.
    I think it’s good because it’s something new that they’ve never touched on in Middle Earth. Sure, people nudged the boundaries, but they never seriously questioned racial lines or hierarchies until now, with this.
    I thought he was more ridiculous than dark, and I get if you don’t like him. I laughed hysterically every time he glared at somebody, but that’s just personal preference. I think he’ll get more meat next movie–they said something in an interview about not wanting him to be petty.
    Aragorn and Arwen wasn’t really forbidden. The only problem was that Arwen would have to face death. There wasn’t a question of whether it was appropriate for her to marry a human, because he was a very special and worthy human. This is very different: this is two relationships that both societies would reject out of hand.

  • Omegasama

    Well… I take it you haven’t read the book?

  • tsee

    No, I definitely have read the book. That’s my point. Given what happens in the book, and the rules of how life-threatening situations work between romantically entangled characters in storytelling, unless they either do something drastically different or nip it in the bud those are going to be our options.

    1) Rewrite the story so that rather than Kili sacrificing himself for Thorin, it’s for Tauriel, and she has ladypain guilt angst over it.

    2) Let Kili die, but give Tauriel ladypain guilt angst over his deaeth/not protecting him/etc

    3) Have Tauriel die in protection of Kili, retconning the bit where Kili dies protecting his uncle so that they can keep The Pretty One (aka Kili) alive because he’s a fan favourite.

    I mean, I’ll be honest–if I were writing a story that involved the sort of relationship they seem to be evolving Tauriel/Kili into, those would be the endings I would choose from for maximum emotional impact and character development. The problem here is that I really don’t like any of those options.

  • EleniRPG

    Right, when Haldir showed up with a force of elves at Helm’s Deep, I don’t recall much GTFO backlash. This isn’t really overt sexism, in the sense that her critics are saying, “Ew, no girls allowed, especially not in combat!” but it’s the kind of sexism that led to all the Skylar (Breaking Bad) hate. People are just harder on female characters, less willing to forgive/accept/understand them, and any negative feelings towards female characters are amplified by orders of magnitude.

    I liked Tauriel. I’m glad she’s in the movie. They’re not changing history, they’re adding an element to a fictional story to improve it for modern audiences.

  • Anonymous

    You have a very positive way of looking at the film and I cannot fault you for seeing the glass half-full. Sadly, that is not the interpretation my dark mind makes of the film.

    For example, I have problems seeing Kili and Tauriel’s relationship as anything other than love. Kili is obviously smitten with Tauriel, as Jackson so “subtly” signified by putting a bright, white glow around her. And I don’t know why Tauriel would comment on his physical appearance (saying he’s tall for a dwarf) if she wasn’t attracted to him.

    But I spend a lot of times on the attraction while to me, it’s a minor issue. My big problem is the healing scene. If Thor had let Lady Sif fight the bad guys on her own while he took care of Jane, he wouldn’t look like a hero that much. Seeing one of the very rare female warriors of the big screen give up her role like that for something that is more traditionally feminine is something that would always disappoint me, even if I thought the explanation for it was very good.

  • tsee

    I think from reading the comments, most people seem to agree. Tauriel was a good addition to the movie–they just didn’t use her the way they should have. It is a small step in the right direction, but not the leap many were hoping for.

  • tsee

    Not to mention that I don’t really understand why Kili had to be injured at all, especially with Morgul poison, aside from forcing Tauriel to make the choice between prince and The Pretty Dwarf. I can only assume that with the reworking of some major plot points, the writers have some plan for the Dwarves who remained behind to make their rejiggered plot lines all fit together neatly again. (I love the rejiggered plot lines, but having Dwarves in the city when the elves show up and the whole lead up to the Battle of Five Armies is so far confusing me…)

  • tsee

    …What slash pairing did Tauriel get in the way of? I’m not questioning your observation–I’m a slash fangirl myself, though I do work at not being one of the woman-character-hating ones you refer to, but I’m not sure that Tauriel gave that particular subset of fans a reason to dislike her (yet)…

  • tsee

    I think–and this is just speculation at this point–that including Azog was a way to tie things up more neatly when we get to the Battle of Five Armies. Having that common thread throughout all three movies, and having Azog and his orcs join battle at the Mountain, does make a bit more sense than suddenly coming in to the climax of the entire trilogy with the leader of one of the Five being a character whose name and motivations have never figured into the story until that moment (Bolg).

    A bit of an annoying deviation, but I can understand the motivation for it from a story-telling perspective–the other option would have been to give Bolg a larger role in order to establish him, and his army, as a threat, and I’m sure people wouldn’t have been thrilled with that either.

  • http://mordicaifeed.tumblr.com/ Mordicai

    Yeah; I actually agree with the thesis but not with the supporting arguments on this one. Tauriel is cool, sure. I liked it better when Jackson edited Arwen in for Glorifinel– an artful substitution– but it isn’t Jackson’s fault the text is devoid of women. That said, Aragorn’s spirit journey & the bit where Faramir is thrown under the bus so they can cram in another action scene? Yeah, neither of those were good, & I totally sniped about them, especially since Fellowship is near enough to perfect as to make no gripe.

  • tsee

    NGL, Jackson’s substituting Arwen in for Glorfindel actually biased me against her for the rest of the trilogy. Guess it just goes to show how varied fandom, and fandom opinions, can be, and for what different reasons.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    She dies, and he holds dwarves responsible. But over time, in her memory, tries to see what she saw in them.

    I haven’t EVEN SEEN the movies, and I’m calling this now.

  • tsee

    I would agree with you, except that the thought of how much that would cheapen Legolas’ eventual acceptance and then deep and revelatory friendship with Gimli in LotR. That is largely seen as one of the first times and Elf and a Dwarf had forged that true or strong of a relationship and I feel like “Legolas gives Gimli a chance because of his dead boyhood crush” really would cheapen that.

    But it is Hollywood, so I wouldn’t lay money against you on that. >_<

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yes, because we should only like women characters if they are perfectly written, perfectly acted, perfectly edited and perfectly realized onscreen.

    Like all those other women characters girl geekdom was built around, Princess Leia Organa, Smurfette, Sgt. McCall, Beatrix Kiddo, Princess Buttercup….

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Maybe Thor should have done something like that.

    Tauriel gets to do both. There’s nothing wrong with taking a feminine role like healing, just like there’s nothing wrong with taking a masculine role like Captain of the Guard. Rejecting femininity isn’t a good thing to tell women they have to do. But if it’s just a plot you don’t like, I understand.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    You’re right: the majority of people watching the movie won’t immediately get the division between Silvan and Sindar elves. That’s why the line was in the movie. That’s why the SCENE was in the movie. To highlight that it is a race issue, that she is the wrong kind of elf.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Um, Theoden was really supportive about the whole “Aragorn” thing with Eowyn. He was encouraging. Kind of the opposite of the conversation between Tharanduil and Tauriel.

  • http://sharqubus.tumblr.com George Trello

    I was fully on board with this character from the get-go, forget the detractors. Hell yes this story needed more female characters! Having seen her now though? I’m not sure. I see what you’re saying about her “seeing the bigger picture” and I wish they would have played that up, but… that wasn’t my takeaway. The scene where she’s hunting the orcs and Legolas catches up and he’s all ‘you shouldn’t chase these orcs alone’ and her eyes slide off to the side? I almost threw my popcorn. That look screamed ‘I’m not actually chasing the orcs, I’m trying to catch up to Kili’ to me. Maybe I’m misinterpreting it but… considering the subtle plays between her and Kili leading up to that, this is how it looked to me. I did not go into this movie prepared to hate Tauriel, but I did leave the theater far less impressed with her than I wanted to be. Why not just let her be a badass? Why’s she gotta be infatuated with Kili? I wanted a great female character added to the cast and instead I feel like we got a “Strong Female Character”. Which is NOT the same thing.

  • tsee

    If anything, it just presents as a division of class–my son is the prince, you are just a warrior. It’s not a familiar word, so most people, if they haven’t come across it before, wouldn’t even parse it. They’d just hear Thranduil’s tone of voice and think, “Oh, he thinks his son is too good for her.” Add on to that that this is conceivably the first point in ANY of the PJ Middle-Earth films where any distinction is made between the races of Elves, and it feels like more of a nod to super-fans than the writers trying to make a point.

  • tsee

    He was supportive of her and her feelings, but he didn’t encourage her to actively pursue him.

  • Heather Gregg

    I thought having Arwen take Glorfindel’s place was dumb, but at least I saw the reasoning for it (otherwise Arwen is barely there at all, and only way later). But I was a lot more willing to overlook that stuff when it was just Fellowship. I had no idea what dumb horrors PJ had in mind in TT and RotK. Now he gets no slack.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Still sort of the exact opposite. Theoden was nice, Tharanduil was nasty, Theoden was happy for her, Tharanduil didn’t give a crap, looking towards the future, declaring absolutely no future.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    She didn’t say “a lowly warrior,” she said “a lowly Silvan elf,” and she’s very clearly different from the high elves we’ve seen before–in her characterization and her appearance.
    I think you should give the average moviegoer more credit :)

  • Anonymous

    I’m yet to see the film (tomorrow) but I still have one objection to Tauriel: She’s not named Lianna, the female wood elf of Mirkwood who aids Bilbo in the 2003 video game adaption for the Hobbit. … I’m actually only kind of joking. It doesn’t really bug me, but I wish they’d gone with Lianna. Maybe even tried to get Jennifer Hale for the roll again. I don’t know what the legal issues regarding it would be, but the game was licensed by Tolkien Enterprises, so I don’t think it’d have been too hard to get permission to use the character if they already were making an adaption of the Hobbit…

    I don’t mind her inclusion though. What’s done with her, I’ll have to judge for myself. I do understand some people being iffy about it. I’m sure a large deal of the Tauriel hate is down to sexism. I think there’s too much of it to just be purism. I could see a purist argument being made against the outright creation of a new character (as opposed to trying to flesh out characters that have to be in your movie, and so need to have some character, or else it’s going to be a very quiet three hours). I’m all for her, but I can understand some people not liking it, and accept that as legitimate difference of opinion. … But I’m guessing that’s the minority of objectors. The majority… probably sexism.

  • tsee

    My point is, though, that unless you are very familiar with the division of elf races, you won’t even know that there are differences between high elves and “lower” elves. They’re all just Elves–they all have long hair and pointy ears. It still doesn’t come across as a race thing.

    A friend who has never read any of the extended works regarding Middle-Earth would hear “a lowly Silvan elf” and lean over to you to say “a lowly what elf? What did he just say?”, because the word isn’t familiar to them. Even if they don’t ask for an explanation, the go-to assumption they are going to make is that Legolas is a prince and she is a warrior and therefore his dad doesn’t think she’s good enough for him. Race doesn’t occur to them, because as far as most laypeople are concerned, all Elves are one race. Caste, yes, but that is a significantly smaller commentary to be making on society.

    Basically, in my own opinion, if the writers were trying to push the Kili/Tauriel/Legolas triangle as a way of making commentary on those larger socio-political issues through the filter of Middle-Earth, they did a poor job of it.

  • manting

    The backlash against her character is not the sex of the character but that it is a purely fabricated role. She could be a male elf it wouldnt matter. I certainly have no problem with the actress playing her, only that Jackson inserted a character that does not exist in the source material and her screen time has taken away great scenes from the book. The Hobbit is one book and it’s a rather short one. The trilogy when completed will be over 9 hours which leaves plenty of time to include all the nuance of the book. If you only include Beorn for one minute, then why are you creating characters?. It is he who kills Bolg the goblin king at the Battle of the 5 Armies. Flesh him out, include all the great detail of the books, and then, when you’ve done all that, include new characters youve created.

  • tsee

    Except that my guess is that to keep things a bit “tidier”, they’ve included Azog as the “big bad” to replace Bolg, which likely means we’re going to get a showdown between Thorin and Bolg. The “main hero” of the story gets to kill the main villain and probably die in the doing. But there would have been too much backlash if they had removed Beorn entirely, so his part was cut down to the bare bones we saw in DoS (and, I’m guessing, at least one deleted/extended scene that we’ll have when the extended edition of the DVD comes out).

    Honestly, while there are some small bits missing, for the most part I’m finding that the additions are helping to make it a more fleshed out story, and so far there haven’t been any really glaring exclusions that have made me angry.

  • K8

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers,
    when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several
    scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying?”

    Ironically, I objected to absolutely every single one of these things, but have no problem with Tauriel. I have more problem with Legolas being in the movie than Tauriel. Is that weird?

  • tsee

    Not at all. I would have loved to have Tauriel, and kept Legolas out of it. I get that it’s in homage to the original trilogy of films and I do appreciate the nostalgia (as well as the giggles at his remarks about Gimli, although I did NOT expect that there was that huge of a disparity in their ages!) but it felt forced and shoe-horned in and I definitely could have done without.

  • manting

    why not add a character to Huckleberry Finn? Or the Bible? The Hobbit isnt a sacred text or anything but Tolkien single-handedly created the literary genre of fantasy. His work deserves more respect than creating new characters male or female for whatever reasons.

  • manting

    I thought it was to depict the Farimir was the better son, the better man, the one deserving of Denathor’s love and faith, not Boromir.

  • Anonymous

    Question for the room: So does the inclusion of a romantic subplot automatically compromise an otherwise strong, well-crafted female character? Or is the problem just the nature of this particular romance?

    I haven’t seen The Hobbit: Unnecessary Sequel yet, so I can’t weigh in. But I’ve noticed a pretty strong noromo sentiment here at TMS when it comes to female characters (ex: Black Widow) and I’m not sure I’m on board. Romance doesn’t “ruin” male characters (see Aragorn, all the male Avengers). And while I do enjoy the occasional Scowling Action Nun, I’d hate to think that was the only acceptable way to write a female character…

  • tsee

    In my opinion–the romance subplot doesn’t ruin Tauriel. I love Tauriel. I think she is still a strong, well-crafted character.

    The way they treated her feels more like taking a strong, well-crafted character, and writing her into a poorly-crafted, OOC fanfiction. There is a huge disconnect for me between her introduction and watching her in the action, and the way she acts in connection with the subplot. It feels tacked on and untrue to her character, moreso than invalidating what and who she is.

    She’s great; the romance subplot is cheesy and smelly and overdone.The problem is not with her, it’s with the writers.

    If that makes sense?

  • manting

    The whole scene at Beorn’s. Gandalf introducing all the companions and telling the story of their adventures to Beorn is the halfway point in the book. Its the intermission. I love that scene. In the TDoS they cut huge sections and drastically changed others. The dwarves were lost in the woods for days and days, tired, and half starving. Not lost for one night. Same with the captivity, weeks with Bilbo sneaking around the elf stronghold. Not one night. Did we need a 30 minute barrel scene? Also they totally removed nearly all of Bilbo’s importance. In the books it is pivotal when he discovers the soft spot in Smaug. In TDoS Bard already knows so it doesnt matter.

  • Anonymous

    I was 100% behind combining Arwen and Glorfindel.

  • manting

    Bakshi did the same thing in his LoTR which Jackson clearly borrowed heavily from. The difference being that Bakshi used Legolas instead of Glorfindel.

  • dontmindme

    Honestly, I’m okay with it because Tolkien’s reasoning behind Faramir’s rejection is ‘his Numenorian blood ran true.’ It had nothing to do with Faramir as a person, just that this 3k+ year old genetic mutation showed up.

  • Anonymous

    I call shenanigans on this article. There was a LOT of fan objection and debate over changes to the Lord of the Rings movies, including many of the examples you cite. The changes to Faramir infuriated many fans. The movie character is often nicknamed “Farfromthebookamir” because of the disconnect between the two versions. Tolkien fans are very protective of the canon and spirit of the books.

    Which is why I also object to your assertion that fan complaints about Tauriel
    are sexism. To be sure, there were people who simply objected to the inclusion of a female character. Where female characters are concerned, there is always that vocal minority of misogynist, anti-feminist cavemen. But this was not the only objection among fans.

    Many of us simply object to the many changes and unnecessary sub-plots that Peter Jackson is adding to The Hobbit. We’re dismayed that this simple, charming fairy tale has been overhauled into a dark, violent, bloated, three-movie epic of self-indulgence and cash grabs. Tauriel is but one of the symptoms of Jackson’s mishandling of the material. There is a world of difference between developing and adding personality to an unformed
    character from the book and creating a new character wholesale.

    For my part, I didn’t object to Tauriel’s inclusion, only what they did with her. I liked the idea of adding a female character. The story needs more of them. Tauriel works fine as Captain of the Guard. Adding her gives a name and personality to a vague, unnamed presence in the book. If they had left her in Mirkwood, I would have loved the character. But they didn’t. They invented a new plotline for her, put her in a pandering and poorly written romance story, and took her to Lake-town, thus providing more distraction from the main story of The Hobbit. This was what the Tauriel detractors feared all along, not the idea of a female being in the story.

    Those of us who dislike or are ambivalent about Tauriel are not sexist dinosaurs who can’t stand the idea of a girl in our clubhouse. We simply disagree with what Jackson is doing with the Hobbit story and wish he would stay closer to the book rather than filling these movies with invented fan fiction and Hollywood nonsense.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think you’re underestimating people. For example, I’ve never read any of the extended material, and before the movie I didn’t know there was a difference between the elfish races. And I still don’t know what you mean by Sindarin. But I got it.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/12/dave-eggers-tom-scocca-and-being-nice.html

  • dontmindme

    ….they invented entirely new plotlines in LOTR too (hello, Frodo entering Shelob’s cave by himself and what it took to get there, hello, elves at Helm’s Deep, hello, psychic lover/ Arwen is dying….etc). How is the love triangle pandering and poorly written? She’s clearly not interested in either guy, is interested more in what Kili represents than Kili himself, and clearly establishes her feelings for Legolas by calling him Mellon. She saves Kili because it’s the right things to do and because, as had already been established with her character, she wants to defend and protect life over snuffing out each and every threat.

  • dontmindme

    Well, I’d argue that it raises the stakes for the next movie because *SPOILERS* now when Bard/the Master/Thrandy comes to claim his share of the treasure, he’s got hostages. And not just any hostages but the heirs to the throne. That could end up being really, really interesting.

  • dontmindme

    She mostly gets in the way of Fili/Kili. It has a decently sized fandom (don’t ask me why).

  • dontmindme

    …I thought that was the whole point of her interactions with Kili, to remind her of the larger world so I agree with pretty much everything here.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and I objected to some of the changes to Lord of the Rings as well. But they didn’t take up the majority of the film the way the changes in Desolation of Smaug seem to.

    Your mileage may vary but I found the Tauriel/Kili story pandering and poorly written. As the article mentions, the studio called for the romance to be added, which indicates that A. The default for female characters in Hollywood is romance plotline and B. The studio probably wanted something that they felt would appeal to women in the audience. You don’t find this pandering? Wouldn’t Tauriel be a strong enough addition to the story as a kick-ass Captain of the Guard and ally of Legolas without a star-crossed elf/dwarf love story shoe-horned in?

    As for poorly written, much of the Tauriel/Kili storyline retreads moments from Lord of the Rings. The scene where she heals Kili and appears to him wreathed in a halo of light is very reminiscent of Arwen healing Frodo. She uses athelas/kingsfoil, which the other characters once again reject as a mere weed. It all felt very familiar to me.

    Bottom line, I hated this addition to the story. But I also hated the cat-and-mouse chase with Smaug, Legolas fighting Bolg, and everything with Azog in the first movie. My point is that many fans are dismayed by what Jackson is doing to the story. There are reasons to object to Tauriel that do not boil down to sexism.

  • Travis

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying? Or a hundred other places big and small, where Jackson and company have done, basically, whatever they feel like with the so-called sacred source material?”

    I think the bigger question is that where have you been for the last decade that you haven’t come across these objections every time the movies are discussed?

  • dontmindme

    The studio wanting her to be involved in a love triangle is problematic, I agree with you. To me, however, the triangle is downplayed in favor of the rest of Tauriel’s storyline so I can swallow the fact that the studios hate/don’t understand women as usual.

    She was just Legolas’ ally and Captain, though. He might have a crush on teacher but her function in his storyline was to get him to start thinking for himself and start breaking away from his father’s influence. This is important for his development because the Legolas in this film would never, ever volunteer to go on a Quest to protect Middle Earth, especially not with a dwarf in tow. Hell, the Legolas in this film wouldn’t even befriend Aragorn and that friendship is just as important to Legolas’ character as his friendship with Gimli.

    Honestly I’m not trying to be obtuse or sarcastic but where’s the star-crossed lovers coming from? Because I watch this movie and see a one-sided admiration/love from Kili towards Tauriel. She likes him but she doesn’t like like him. She wants what he represents, not him. The halo scene is meant to foreshadow Arwen and Elrond’s healing of Frodo (because for all that this movie is made after LOTR, it is still a prequel) and uses athelas for the same reason. It’s pretty well established in Middle Earth that most people think athelas is a weed, even Sam the gardener dismisses it, so it’s remaining consistent with the rest of the universe. What else feels familiar? What else specifically is the problem with her story line? I seriously want to know because I can’t figure it out.

    I have plenty of problems with this movie (not building the Thorin/Bilbo relationship properly so that the next movie can stab us in the heart with their breakup is my biggest) but honestly, Tauriel and her story isn’t one of them.

  • dontmindme

    The studio wanting her to be involved in a love triangle is problematic, I agree with you. To me, however, the triangle is downplayed in favor of the rest of Tauriel’s storyline so I can swallow the fact that the studios hate/don’t understand women as usual.

    She was just Legolas’ ally and Captain, though. He might have a crush on teacher but her function in his storyline was to get him to start thinking for himself and start breaking away from his father’s influence. This is important for his development because the Legolas in this film would never, ever volunteer to go on a Quest to protect Middle Earth, especially not with a dwarf in tow. Hell, the Legolas in this film wouldn’t even befriend Aragorn and that friendship is just as important to Legolas’ character as his friendship with Gimli.

    Honestly I’m not trying to be obtuse or sarcastic but where’s the star-crossed lovers coming from? Because I watch this movie and see a one-sided admiration/love from Kili towards Tauriel. She likes him but she doesn’t like like him. She wants what he represents, not him. The halo scene is meant to foreshadow Arwen and Elrond’s healing of Frodo (because for all that this movie is made after LOTR, it is still a prequel) and uses athelas for the same reason. It’s pretty well established in Middle Earth that most people think athelas is a weed, even Sam the gardener dismisses it, so it’s remaining consistent with the rest of the universe. What else feels familiar? What else specifically is the problem with her story line? I seriously want to know because I can’t figure it out.

    I have plenty of problems with this movie (not building the Thorin/Bilbo relationship properly so that the next movie can stab us in the heart with their breakup is my biggest) but honestly, Tauriel and her story isn’t one of them.

  • odango atama

    “She’s not perfect, but then, she is one character, and, as we so often discuss on TMS, one character cannot be everything we need her to be.”

    Yes. Yes! YES! A million times yes!!!

    Now to have villains who are not brown-skinned foreigners, then I’ll be a happy POC.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough. The use of athelas is consistent within this universe, I grant you that. Honestly, for me, the problem with Tauriel’s storyline is its very existence. I see no reason for the elves to go to Lake-town, for Kili to develop a crush on an elf-maiden, for fight scenes against Bolg and the orcs, for Legolas and Tauriel to save Bard’s kids, etc. As I said before, my main objection is not to Tauriel’s gender or presence in the story but to the unnecessary padding of the plot for the sake of making three movies.

    I will admit that this perspective may make me biased against Tauriel’s plotline. But I really did find it poorly written and contrived. I can see the argument that Tauriel is teaching Legolas to care more about the outside world and other peoples. But this is not Legolas’ movie. The problem with all these sub-plots is that (in my opinion) they distract from the story of Bilbo and the Dwarves, which is what these films are ostensibly supposed to be about. My objection is to Peter Jackson’s excesses as a filmmaker, which I feel have gotten a bit out of hand in the Hobbit movies.

  • dontmindme

    I agree that there is a lot in this movie that we didn’t have to have and that some of it did detract from Bilbo and the dwarves. That said, I do not think Tauriel exemplifies this problem; the sheer absurdity of the Smaug situation does. The Tauriel stuff at least develops character and furthers themes while the entire schtick with Smaug after Thorin shows up is entirely a video game in movie form.

  • dontmindme

    Considering the dude was incredibly condescending and disrespectful of the dwarves before Tauriel showed any interest in any of them, I think we can safely call this one jossed.

  • dontmindme

    Honestly, I’d go with option 4) They both die, legions away from each other, Tauriel in defense of her king as Kili dies in defense of his, and their deaths change nothing in terms of Mirkwood/Erebor relations.

  • eric bouchard

    Finally saw the movie this afternoon. And if there are problems in this flick , it is NOT Tauriel. I liked her alot. Purists can kiss my read-LOTR-once-a-year ass. It’s the insane bloat and the goddamn PJ-conflicts than are the real problem here. He just cant see a quiet scene without turning it into an action sequence. God, that Beorn scene pissed me off. And the less said about the stupid statue thing…the better. But Tauriel rocked hard and i actually like the tension with Killi. Talk about love beyond the physical!

  • Anonymous

    Would it have killed him to have put the word “Carrock” in there once? Bah.

  • Anonymous

    One irksome thing with PJ’s use of Tauriel (rather than Tauriel herself; I like her too much to hold it against her) is that most of her plots are recycled. Kili-Tauriel is a rehash of Legolas/Gimli (but het, rather than the greatest slash in all of fantasy), plus the Morgul poison arrow with Athelas cure is the unused “the hands of the King are the hands of a healer” plot.

    Tauriel and Lily deserved better than that.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Alternatively to tsee’s opinion, romance may be bad when it’s just there for the sake of being mushy, and when it weakens a character.
    Neither of those things happen to Tauriel. She is definitely not weakened by her romantic subplots–they don’t affect her kicking butt or being a powerful healer.
    Tauriel’s romantic relationships are very multilayered, and are an excellent way of exploring a part of the Middle Earth universe that hasn’t been touched on before: racial restrictions and taboos.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Given that a chunk of the movie literally takes place in Legolas’s house, I think it would have taken more contortions to keep him out…

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Yeah, some sort of heroic death that Legolas is going to hold the dwarves responsible for makes sense.

    And I like that, because that gives Legolas in LotR some motivations and background beyond “is an elf.”

  • Mandy

    “I wish they had made her bond with Balin over stories of old time”

    I didn’t know I needed that until just now but yes please! Balin just might be my favorite of the dwarves. (Though Bofur has been trying to nudge him out of place.)

  • Mandy

    This is all just speculation of course but in Elven culture IS healing just a feminine role? Because her scene with Kili definitely mirrors Arwen healing Frodo, but we can’t forget that we also got some angelic-ly lit Elrond healing Frodo as well. And based on whatever dwarf’s little moment about having heard of the healing power of the Elves and it being a pleasure to witness I was assuming it was a cultural thing of all Elves and not a gender/feminine role thing.

  • Mandy

    Say what?! I don’t remember hearing about these rewrites before! You just taught me something new. Thanks for that. :)

    Apparently I need to buff up on my Tolkien trivia.

  • Kryptoknight

    Honestly, even though I’m often a stickler for keeping to the source
    material in these types of adaptations, I loved Tauriel. I did however
    think she was mis-used by the studio. Shoehorning her into some kind of
    love triangle (especially after the actress had previously made her
    joining contingent on that NOT happening) was just idiotic. It also
    ties into another large issue I had with this movie: Legolas. WTF. Why
    they felt the need to insert him in at all I do not understand, and
    certainly not to the scene-stealing extent with which they did so. It
    was more than a little annoying.

  • Mandy

    At least 3/4ths of that barrel escape scene was “a video game in movie form”. That’s definitely a good way to phrase this strange new way of filming PJ seems to have adapted. Like, I don’t remember feeling this way while watching any of the LOTR. Maaaaaybe in TTT during the Helms Deep battle. But no where near the ridiculous levels here. The Hobbit movies so far need me suspend my disbelief a lot due to the sheer ridiculous nature of so many of the fight scenes.

  • Anonymous

    Well, if nothing else, now I’m excited to see the movie. After snoozing through the first installment, I could muster zero enthusiasm for this one. But now I have something to ANALYZE!

  • K8

    except that he was never mentioned in the original Hobbit, so it would have been quite easy to keep him out, actually. :)

  • Helen W.

    Please don’t be so quick to cry sexism. It seems that the objections to Tauriel’s presence aren’t generally grounded in her gender, but primarily in the fact that she’s a tacked-on character, and a poorly done one at that. While the Tolkien purist in me weeps a bit at having a completely invented character play a significant role in the movie, I can forgive it. From a movie-making standpoint, it makes sense to invent a character to justify or explain the actions of the Mirkwood elves. There’s nothing wrong with the original motivations, but putting in a character so that Thranduil has a clear personal and relatable motivation for marching on the Lonely Mountain makes it more concrete for audiences. So while I can and have ranted about the changes PJ has made in translating LOTR and the Hobbit into movies, if the changes make sense I can forgive them.

    No, my problem’s with the fact that she’s a god-awful Mary Sue. I don’t know how much fanfic set in Middle Earth you’ve read, but Tauriel’s a character that could’ve been pulled from any one of hundreds of them- and not the well-written ones either. She has all the earmarks:

    1. Adopted daughter of royalty
    2. Tragic backstory
    3. Love interest of royalty
    4. Romeo/Juliet set up for said love interest
    5. In a position of power (captain of the guard) over many older and doubtless more experienced people, despite having
    5. A rebellious, sassy streak
    6. Super attractive (Elves canonically have a thing for hair, and boy has Tauriel got hair!)
    7. Mad fighting skills
    8. Magical powers (that don’t quite mesh with Tolkien’s portrayal of Elven magic and don’t make sense for a Silvan elf to have)
    9. Becomes the subject of a love triangle with another important, attractive character, breaking the cross-species taboo in the process, despite this being a canonically VERY RARE occurrence.

    Adding an interesting, original character for a good reason? Forgivable. Adding a cliched, boring character and then twisting the plot around to make her important? Really, really annoying.

  • Katie

    I loved Tauriel. I also loved the two daughters in Laketown- they were pretty awesome in their own right and I thought they were pretty spot on for random-kids-thrown-into-the-middle-of-who-knows-what type questing. Desolation was WONDERFUL all around, though I could have done with fewer spiders. I can always do with fewer spiders, though…

  • Jonathan Cucchiaro

    Lots of the added content feels forced. I completely agree. When I was watching the film you could just tell what was expanded content and what was injected to fluff the movie. It’s not just Tauriel and Legolas having so much screen time, it’s Gandalf too. Half the reason book worked so well was perspective. 95% of the book you are seeing from Bilbo’s point of view, not the omniscient one forced by the film.

  • Ashe

    I’m pretty torn on her. Well, not her. Not her at all, actually. How she was treated.

    A woman in The Hobbit? Yes, please. Yes, please, someone who looks a little like me in this big-budget white male fantasy romp.

    That the only woman in the whole damn movie was immediately turned into a love interest between not one, but two men? Mmph. MMMPH.

    But. Good points were raised here. She was still given agency on who she was interested in. Her presence was a sympathetic nod toward the hard and cut disparity in Hollywood. Her gender was not brought up as a positive, negative, or…at all, really. Most of all, yeah. It’s hard to heap so much expectation on her when she’s still the Only Woman. That’s the pressure Mako Mori had to face in Pacific Rim.

    I’m torn on her, but I appreciate her nonetheless.

  • Ashe

    “Arwen is a really really pretty potted plant.”

    ‘Potted plant’ might just be my new preferred term for decorative, inconsequential women characters in fiction.

  • Anonymous

    If you find an annotated edition of the Hobbit, they usually include the original 5th chapter in all it’s… not being the sameness. I highly recommend at least renting one and having a look.

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    I suspect they’re making Balin so awesome in the Hobbit trilogy so that it hurts that much more when you rewatch Fellowship and hear Gandalf read, “Here lies, Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria.”

  • Louisa

    I don’t feel like the love triangle was done because Jackson didn’t know what else to do with a female character. I think he’s getting the audience good and attached to Kili before, well, the third movie. We’ve all read the book, right?

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    Seriously? People are complaining about actors of colour in Laketown? It makes perfect sense for a town that used to be a huge trade centre to have some diversity!
    It still seems odd to have Thranduil be all “Boo! You’re beneath us!” when the Elves of Mirkwood are considered inferior by Elvendom at large because they’ve never been to Valinor.

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    Yeah, normally the Gaussian glow thing is used to indicate romance, but this one clearly mirrors how Frodo saw Arwen and Elrond when he was stabbed by the Morgul blade. The part in The History of Middle-Earth books talks about how female Elves tend more towards healing, and the men to fighting, but that it isn’t unheard of for women to fight and men to heal, and it’s not stigmatized in Elven culture.

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    Love triangles involving Elves don’t really jive with book-verse, since Elves tend to look for long-term relationships, rahter than fleeting crushes. To quote The Laws and Customs Among the Eldar, “The Eldar do not err lightly in such a choice. They are not easily deceived by their own kind; and their spirits being masters of their bodies, they are seldom swayed by the desires of the body only, but are by nature continent and steadfast.”
    Still, Tolkien was really old-fashioned about love, even for his time, and it could be interesting to see other avenues explored.

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    You have a point there. I wasn’t crazy about her character in LOST, but I might have enjoyed her more if that damned love triangle wasn’t being shoved down everyone’s throats at every opportunity..

  • Anonymous

    Saw the film yesterday. I don’t hate her but essentially she wasn’t an elf. I know elves. That was just Kate Sawyer with long ears. Honestly, it’s a pity that Jackson couldn’t get his first choice, Saoirse Ronan, she would have been able to portray an elvish character, Evangeline Lilly – as much as I adore her – was just too “human” in a role that required something distinctively different.

    That being said, I think the script left her hanging; that clumsily forced love story didn’t really do something for the character and it also didn’t came across very believable, this love on first sight between elf and dwarf thing. I didn’t buy it.

    But after all is said and done, I still love me some good warrior women in genre movies and I like Evangeline Lilly, even if she’s not convincing me as an elf.

  • Unity

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying? Or a hundred other places big and small, where Jackson and company have done, basically, whatever they feel like with the so-called sacred source material?”

    I was complaining, loudly. So no, I’m not going to write it off this time as “just sexism” when I’m equally as peeved that Legolas is in this installment, and that most of the dwarves have “personalities” that are purely for comic relief instead of furthering the plot.

    I’m going to sit the next two installments out and wait for a fancut that mashes the trilogy into a single movie that actually follows the story in the book.

  • Unity

    Glorfindel looked fine in drag.

  • Chiara

    I second this article wholeheartedly, though I think that Tauriel is an awesome character, a very much needed one, but that was poorly written.
    What really puzzles me is all those fans saying that she shouldn’t be in the films, because she wasn’t in the books, but not complaining about any other single difference in the Hobbit movie and in the LotR ones.
    Why do I hear people complaining about Tauriel being there, but not saying a single word about Legolas?
    Is this some sort of selective memory?

  • Adele Quested

    How does being old-fashioned about love prevent love-triangles? You can search your own heart very diligently and choose the object of your affections with all the non-shallow-considerations of the world and still have the bad luck of falling for someone who’s more interested in someone else.

  • Anonymous

    “Even Eowyn cant wait to drop her sword and become proper wife and healer to Faramir.”

    I think Eowyn becoming the consort of the Prince of Ithilien could equally be an example of her maturation, of no longer seeking the glory of battle, but of acknowledging the responsibility of rule. This essay explains it better than I could:

    http://middle-earth-journeys.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73

    I have no time or patience for people who hate Tauriel because she’s an icky girl intruding in a boy’s world. That’s not a valid criticism.

  • Anonymous

    I’m one of those people who CANNOT STOP bleating about the middle stretch of The Two Towers, and Jackson & company doing “basically, whatever they feel like” with the source material. So I’m with you on that one.

    I don’t doubt there is a deeply unpleasant undercurrent of sexist resentment from some audiences regarding Tauriel, but I know that I dislike the character for the exact same reasons I disliked Jackson/Walsh/Boyens’ many other inventions, no more, no less.

  • Anonymous

    “Right, when Haldir showed up with a force of elves at Helm’s Deep, I don’t recall much GTFO backlash.”

    You must’ve been in completely different circles from me.

  • Bryan

    I rewatched FoTR the other day, and I gotta say… mission accomplished. The scene in Moria didn’t affect me in 2001, but now it’s heart-wrenching.

  • Charlie

    I am huge fan of Tolkien and I am 100% okay with Tauriel and the other changes Jackson has made so far. Besides, young women need to see someone who they can relate to in films like this and young men need to see that women can actually be agents of change.

  • Anonymous

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers,
    when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several
    scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring? Or in The Return of the King, when Elrond says that Arwen is dying?”

    From my personal perspective, No, yes and yes. ENFORCED PEEJ DRAMA was definitely a thing with the trilogy (hat tip Nostalgia Chick) and not everything worked.

    I actually haven’t seen a single second of the hobbit (I just can’t bring myself to do it) but I can safely say that if I were to have objections to Tauriel, it would NOT be for sexist reasons. I would also argue that plenty of ‘purists’ as you call them would be able to have legitimate concerns without being sexist. As an example, I personally applauded Arwen’s use for the ride to Rivendell instead of Glorfindel in Fellowship, but I do believe that some of those who objected to Glorfindel’s removal had a fair point to make. Admittedly, they are probably the same people who said that Tom Bombadil’s inclusion would have Improved the film – something I REALLY can’t agree with ;)

  • Anne Trotter

    I don’t object to her presence in the movie. The movie is, frankly, so far from the original that I don’t actually care if a troupe of dancing pink elephants went cha-chaing across the screen through the extended (boring) fight scenes. I do object a bit to the love triangle, to Legolas being in there at all, to the lack of the tricking-Beorn scene, to a lot of things. But Tauriel? She’s way down on my list of stupidities in this movie.

    Purist? Maybe. I love the book. It’s a wonderful book. It has a very distinct feel, a very distinct “small person having an adventure in a big world” feel. The movie completely lacks this essential component. I don’t actually care that they changed a bunch of scene stuff – I care that the essential feel of the story, the things that made it special, are also gone. I was actually bored watching some of Smaug’s scene, and I adore dragons, Benedict Cumberbach, and Martin Freeman.

    It’s not the character. It’s not the plot changes. It’s that this movie was honestly, profoundly boring in places where it was desperately trying to be action-packed and zippy. I didn’t *care* what was going on, there was something wrong with the timing, the editing, whatever – I didn’t get caught up in it. It was a bit like watching someone play a very loud video game.

  • Anne Trotter

    Eowyn’s changes from warrior to healer are a very delicate thing. I see the criticism, but also feel in many ways that in the books those changes were not gender-based, but based on the very human experiences of the horror of war. I think that’s what’s difficult about her – on the one hand, our modern eyes see the gender issues here. On the other, she’s the young soldier who wanted battle, but found herself sickened by it, and we know this happens in real life, that it’s a real story. That Tolkien saw this happen in war personally, and for all her deliberate placement as part of a riddle – what is not a man but can still kill a supernatural thing? – she manages to be more than a cog in the machine, and is likely based off his real experiences. I like her character because I don’t think she’s a gender issue at all – what happens to her happens to men and women worldwide, every time we have battles. She’s much bigger than her gender.

  • sooverit

    White fanboys don’t like it when you play with their things. Now take your progress and get out of their sandboxes. They have tons of self-esteem boosting source materials to read.

  • Lore

    I think I’d have less issue with the woman if she wasn’t there for a love triangle. Or an elf… I’m having issues with elves being shoved into scenes they have no place being as well.

    The stories are about the underdog making their way in the world and coming out on top- not getting dragged out of challenges by immortal gymnastic warriors…

    I don’t mind an added character here and there to let women have more of a role, I wouldn’t have minded more of an ethnic diversity ether. But to throw the woman in for a love triangle I think is even worse than not having one personally… and the story didn’t need more elves.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    She’s very likely going to be killed, if only because she HAS to for there to be NO MENTION of her in LoTR, logically.

    Which means she’s a perfect example of “fridging as character development”.

    Whatever happens, it will be telegraphed that Tauriel is ultimate cause for his transformation in LoTR.

  • Rob Payne

    Just so you know, I downvoted you because we “white fanboys” are not as monolithic as we may, at first glance, seem. You know how some people hated teenagers even when they were teenagers? It’s kind of like that for some us “white fanboys.” Call it the “White Fanboy’s Burden”.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, I found myself in the minority about Tom Bombadil. I just don’t think it would have added very much.

  • sooverit

    Yes…poor you. Your burdens are so great. Alas, I have no cookies to offer to ease your pain.

  • Anonymous

    People are saying plenty about Legolas. I said he felt forced. Other people are fine with Tauriel, but for the inclusion for Legolas.

  • Rob Payne

    Oh, come on. That last line was clearly ironic. Lighten up, Francis.

  • http://thescienceofobsession.tumblr.com/ R.O.U.S.

    This is 100% what I came here to say. I think I even said it in another location using the exact same ‘shoehorn’ language. Love the character, love Evangeline’s portrayal. Do not love her heavy-handed subplot.

  • http://thescienceofobsession.tumblr.com/ R.O.U.S.

    There was a cute story there about how the costumers assumed Evangeline would want small, ‘sexy’ ears, and she went straight for the biggest ones they’d give her.

  • http://thescienceofobsession.tumblr.com/ R.O.U.S.

    Tauriel’s subplot mainly made me wish for a more subtle PJ. He does not do subtlety, nor do I expect it from him. But in her relationships here, it would have been a glorious thing. I do not need to be hit over the head with ‘romantic triangle subplot’ in order to appreciate some low-level angsty bonding.

  • sooverit

    Well, the cross you’ve built for yourself sure seems like a sturdy one, but perhaps it’s time you climb down from it. I didn’t need an explanation for your downvote. I’m perfectly fine with my opinion and your right to have a contrary one. I didn’t need you to segregate yourself from “those fanboys” so that you could feel better about yourself. And I certainly didn’t need to hear about your pain. A more constructive use of your time would be educate your fellow fanboy on issues like these.
    And for your information, I am as light as air.

  • JosieLou

    This. ALL OF THIS. I’d also add that since the films release the newest insult being thrown about is, surprise surprise (not surprised), Mary Sue! And can we just talk for a second about how completely infuriating that is? I mean…we’re REALLY going to accuse the (almost) lone female of being a too perfect wish-fulfillment character in a franchise that brought us LEGOLAS and ARAGORN? Really?! Come the F on.

  • Rob Payne

    You know nothing, sooverit.

  • Katie Frederick

    Huh, I’m not sure I see where you are seeing all those points towards Tauriel’s “Mary-Sue-ness”. It was never said that Tauriel was adopted, only favored, and unless there was a line I missed I don’t recall there being anything to indicate that she had a significant backstory, tragic or otherwise. Also why would you assume Tauriel wasn’t the most qualified or experienced elf to become Captain of the Guard? Given the immortality of elves, would age really be a factor? Beauty and fighting skill I just took as an Elven trait, not necessarily a character trait. Same with the healing powers, though agree it did seem odd for a wood elf.
    The romance angles I’ll give you, and that’s the main thing about the movie I’m side-eyeing.

  • sooverit

    When assessing their critics, one should always consider the source.

  • Ashe

    “Now to have villains who are not brown-skinned foreigners, then I’ll be a happy POC.”

    Or fictional beings coded as POC, for all the people who believe the dark-skinned, dreadlocked, broad-nosed orcs versus the pale, pointy-nosed blondes with long ears is TOTES not racially charged.

  • http://sharqubus.tumblr.com George Trello

    You’re making me reconsider whether I really saw the love story I interpreted or if I saw it through a cultured lens so kudos for that. I guess I need to watch it again.

  • Rob Payne

    Trust me, I’m on your side in the grand scheme of things. But trading one race/gender stereotype for another is not the path toward progress.

  • Helen W.

    Though I misspake when I said she was adopted- really did mean more of taken under the wing- I am drawing from an interview Evangeline Lilly did in which she stated that Tauriel is an orphan. The direct quote: “You mentioned something that sort of triggered something in my mind,
    which is ‘Tell me something about her past’ and a lot of people won’t know
    because it doesn’t have a place in the film anymore. At one point it kind of
    did, but a part of Tauriel’s backstory is that she is an orphan. Her parents
    were killed by orcs. When you understand that, you suddenly understand how and
    why this girl became the lethal killing machine that she is, how she became the
    head of the elven guard, how she got taken under Thranduil’s wings, and why
    she’s so passionate about fighting the evil that is in Middle Earth.” (http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2013/11/09/81955-evangeline-lilly-reveals-the-background-of-tauriel/)

    That’s all well and good, but again, it is so commonplace and lacking in creativity that it makes me cringe.

    This person (http://emeralddarkness.tumblr.com/post/54939040528/why-i-dont-like-tauriel) makes a very good argument for why her abundance of hair is a problem in light of Tolkien’s portrayal of elves. The way she’s depicted in the movie puts her forth as remarkably beautiful, even FOR an elf. The post also addresses the issue with her age.

  • Mariah Huehner

    I’m really tired of people insisting that female characters having a romantic interest = bad. No. Her relationship with Kili, whether she love loves him or not, is showing an important theme evidenced in all of Tolkien’s work: love and compassion should not be based along racial lines. Who cares if it’s also romantic. Why am I not allowed to have a female character who is strong, independent, AND loves someone? When did this happen? Can we stop acting like that now?

    Also? ALL ELVES ARE MARY SUE’S. That is their nature. They are all pretty healers with magic who can kick butt. They do, however, also have flaws. Tauriels’ would be, for instance, being a bit rash and stubborn. Elves are also highly emotional and feel things more deeply and truly than any other race in Middle Earth. So.

    Is it me, or are we now at a point where not only do female characters have to meet every arbitrary, personal, definition of “strong”, or else they’ll be ripped apart…but if they have any “softer” emotions we’ll just relegate them to “love interest” and conveniently ignore that they are more. than. that. Why isn’t KILI considered “just the love interest”? I mean, all we knew about him before he met Tauriel and got a personality is that he fires arrows somewhat okay and is young. She rescued him, which acts to reverse the “damsel in distress trope”…etc. So, thanks, but I think Kili is VERY deliberately being used as the “love interest” not Tauriel. Who is clearly not having any of it from Legolas anyway so there’s no “triangle”.

    Look, The Hobbit is a flawed book. Most of the characters have no active arc, no personality, and barely any dialog. And it all exists in Middle Earth which has women. The Hobbit didn’t have any and that’s ridiculous. The appendices Tolkien wrote the contextualize with LOTR provide most of the “added” events going on, and Jackson and crew HAD to give these characters some active nuance, history, and character, or it would be hella flat. I really wish people would stop viewing The Hobbit through such rose colored glasses. I love it too, but it’s got major storytelling and character problems. Adding in a woman is unequivocably good, including if she happens to have a love story along with the rest of her arc.

    You don’t have to like this films or any of the story changes, btw. But I’m really tired of female characters getting crapped on from every angle. Tauriel is entirely in keeping with the tone of Tolkien’s elves and world, she adds a layer or authenticity to the story by not pretending ladies only appeared in LOTR, and she is both a fighter and a compassionate, thoughtful, emotional character. HOORAY.

  • Mariah Huehner

    Actually, he did. He told her she had chosen a good man. No, he didn’t start ringing any wedding bells, but it’s completely the opposite of Thranduil

  • Anonymous

    Some very good points there–but I disagree with you on Arwen. Rationalizing within the context of the work doesn’t do us much good. If you look at her character arc, it is: loves a mortal, decides to stay mortal, shows up in time to get married. She’s over two thousand years old and this is all we really get about her! She mostly just acts as motivation for Aragorn–in fact most of her ‘action’ is off screen. She’s largely either remembered by Aragorn or talked about by others. She never joins the battle in any way other than making a banner for her brothers to deliver to Aragorn. It’s frankly not surprising that the movie Arwen replaced Glorfindel, so she at least looked capable of more than just mooning around being lovestruck and waiting for things to get better. Sure, her choice is poignant, but that doesn’t actually make her interesting or particularly strong. Honestly, it comes across more as “following her man” and doing something that was practically fated. And fated, really, because Aragorn is basically a prophesied Good King, who, like all heroes in a tale of good and evil, should get the all the prizes. In other words, she is a part of what is considered Aragorn’s success, not the other way around. Pretty standard damsel.

  • Mariah Huehner

    Well, that’s partly because Tolkien wrote those romances way back before everyone tried to copy them. And your mileage on whether they resonate with you personally is just that…personal.

    Jackson was in a position with LOTR where he could either include Arwen by taking from the appendices, or leave her out entirely. In the books she says nothing and does nothing until ROTK. Effectively making the romance nonexistent. However, The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen is a short, bittersweet story in the appendices that shows why it mattered and what they really meant to each other. It helped make both characters more than just archetypes and shoes a larger context to the world and events. I loved that included it, letting both Aragorn and Arwen have distinct character moments, choices, and arcs.

    Likewise, the Aragorn/Eowyn relationship is straight up from the books as it was portrayed, for the most part. Eowyn and Faramir suffered a bit from the fact that they just didn’t have time for it the way the book does. But it still shows another facet to love in that world…and love is kind of a really important human emotion stories like the explore. And definitely it’s a major thing in Tolkien’s work, from romantic to platonic. We have emotional arcs like this so that, yes, people will invest in characters emotionally. Because at core these stories are exploring humanity in all its facets. Which includes love. Maybe love stories don’t do it for you, or these particular ones aren’t your thing, and that’s fine, but I for one find Aragorn/Arwen pretty profound and moving.

  • Anonymous

    I liked her. I felt like the scene revealing Legolas’s crush and the bit where Kili sees her all ‘glowy’ were completely unnecessary but I’m willing to put up with them. To me it kind of felt like both scenes completely jarred me out of my absorption in the film. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been so less soppy (I am notoriously un-romantic lol).
    On another note, while it’s great that Peter Jackson thought to include a female character, I was frustrated to see that the entire support cast of warriors was, as usual, male! I personally think that gender-balance in the support cast is more important than some people give it credit for. (That was one of the things about Pacific Rim that bugged me the most too – nearly the entire background cast was male and white.)

  • Mariah Huehner

    I agree that Arwen’s inclusion in LOTR needed to happen because in the books she’s left out. However, I disagree emphatically that the only way to be a “strong” character is to fight in battles. Choosing to die and live a shortened life with someone you know will die much earlier than you IS a strong, difficult, complex choice. She didn’t have to make it, many other characters don’t. She’s one of only two elves who make that choice, so it’s also rare and interesting. Do I wish there was more about her and her history? Yes. But I”m a little tired of female characters having to be warrior types for people to be able to see them as having value. We should be able to have all kinds of women in stories, including those who are not fighters, and not deem them less than. Otherwise we’re just substituting one trope for another and not getting any nuanced look at what it means to be a woman at all.

  • Anonymous

    …I’m fine with slashfic but I will never understand how people can slash people who are related! That just creeps me out! Incest is not hot people! O_o

  • carter

    “Where were these objectors, I wonder, during the middle stretch of The Two Towers, when Aragorn was given up as dead by the other characters for several scenes, or Faramir did not immediately reject the Ring?”

    Oi, for one, I was there, complaining a lot about how the films practically only left the names intact. It’s just that nobody listened to me cos I was 13.
    And The Hobbit’s even more of an offender, considering the book it’s based on is a cheery children’s book that’s about 300 pages with big letters and pictures about a hobbit going on a treasure hunt, while the film is a dark, action-packed LotR2 about good vs evil with elves and stuff and oh by the way there’s some hobbit too.

  • Mariah Huehner

    No, and Arwen doesn’t heal Frodo, she just recognizes his sickness. The “glow” is an elf thing, because they are magic. Most of them can look like that, male or female. Also? Elrond heals Frodo in the movie and the book, which they make very clear..

  • Anonymous

    Yes! This! I like Tauriel, but I felt like the ‘these guys are interested in you’ scenes really jarred you out of the flow of the film and all of her actions could easily be explained without any hint of romantic attachment. :/

  • Anonymous

    That would have been awesome!

  • Anonymous

    I really liked her character over all and I’m VERY glad she’s in the movie. And it was amusing to finally see perfect Legolas be a bit of a creeper. But–I would have been more entertained if Tauriel wasn’t joining the gang of dudes because she likes one of them, but because she was totally honest in that she had goals and ideals about her responsibility to the world as a whole that she thought she was upholding. It’s clear in the movie that she says she’s going because hey, orcs are bad…but later also as clear that really it’s because of her developing love more than anything else that sent her out.

    It’s not bad that she’s in love. But it’s frustrating that she’s our only female action character, and thus seems to default to ALSO needing to have a love story tied to her. It doesn’t ruin Tauriel by any means, but it’s a predictable tendency in storytelling that starts to feel both boring and a little insulting.

    While I am really glad Peter Jackson and co added a woman, there hasn’t been a single non-attached major female in any of their movies. Mainly this was because they were following what was written by Tolkien….but Tauriel was entirely new.

  • Mariah Huehner

    But she exists in that world, and Tolkien was ALL about tragic/doomed love. We haven’t actually seen her have a romance with Kili, it’s implied that it MIGHT, but people are slightly jumping the gun here. Elves feel things intensely, so emotional connections are really not out of place, either. I don’t see it as a “need” rather a possibility. Her character is doing plenty of things for her own reasons, one of them might be caring for Kili…which just means she’s about to A. care about people other than herself B. care about other races other than elves. That’s a good thing and important character nuance. Predictable doesn’t have to be insulting, and since we don’t know it’s resolution, it’s too early to conclude that. I think it’s a huge problem to conclude that a female character loving someone in a story is now default “insulting”. Shouldn’t ALL elements of her character be factoring in more? Doesn’t it ALSO matter that she clearly feels that her king is wrong and flat out defies him? That she specifically talks about how the things going on are a problem and they’re ignoring it? Narratively encountering someone you like who reminds you that the world is larger is exactly what storytelling should do. That is how we develop a narrative with weight.

  • Anonymous

    Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT by any means saying the ONLY way she can be strong is to go fight. That is not the basis for my argument at all. I’m just asking for her to show up in a way that is meaningful for the plot and for her, not in how it is meaningful for ANOTHER character.

    While as readers we can reflect on what a difficult, brave choice
    that would be to make to opt for eventual death, there’s incredibly little actual text commenting
    on it other than in regard to how Aragorn feels, thinks about, or perceives it. It is part of Aragorn’s story, her love even acting as proof of how suitable he is as the King…not the other way around.

  • Anonymous

    Again, I did not say her being in love was in and of itself bad, or even bad for her character as she was written. But: We have a literal truck full of male characters who are not operating as love interests. We have one woman, and she is. I think that rightly raises some flags.

    We also cannot say “Tolkien does x,y,z so this is how the world he made is” in this context, either, because she is not a Tolkien character. The writers of these films have shown no qualms about totally changing Tolkien’s work in many places, including Tauriel’s very existence.

  • odango atama

    I’m actually referring to the Southrons who looked African and the Easterlings who looked Middle Eastern. … And to assume I’m saying the Elves or the race of Men have no place in these stories, you read too much into it.

    There need to be movies of EQUAL representation, with well-written characters of amazing complexity who chose sides for their own reasons. Since I live in the United States, I see race differently because I grew up with the history of this country as well as with friends of different races. Representation is important in media; to ignore it is to feed into a self-perpetuating ignorance.

    And I’m upset that something positive, like having equal representation of races and genders, has to be seen in a negative light.

  • Ashe

    Woah there. I never said Men or Elves have no place in the story. Nor did I speak against equal representation; I was just adding on to your comment.

  • odango atama

    Oh, I see. … It was phrased oddly.

  • odango atama

    I love the down vote. It’s the easiest way to be an anonymous troll.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Just because those questions didn’t need to be tackled in a romance didn’t mean they SHOULDN’T be tackled in a romance. It’s something new. It’s something different than the plots that have gone before.
    Something I found set me free from a lot of dissatisfaction was to evaluate and criticize what the writers DID write, and not what they DIDN’T.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I mean, it’s not like there are transparent mary sues in The Hobbit–it’s certainly not just Tolkein talking to you–or like the entire Hobbit race is largely a mary sue for Tolkein.
    And one thing I trust these writers on is an intense resistance to all things Twilight getting anywhere near LotR.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    A) I think there’s more to the Legolas subplot than we saw in this film, which we’ll find out later.
    B) Adding the plot gave Legolas motivations, dimension, and characterization. No, it wasn’t absolutely essential to the movie. But it’s what the writers like to do best: flesh out parts of the film and world that are usually taken for granted.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think you should consider the possibly that the writers of the greatest fantasy movies ever made may have thought of something you didn’t…

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Bless you–I don’t understand how anyone can come away from the movie with a single cemented interpretation, there are so many possibility brilliantly loaded in!

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    I think there are a lot of people, including on this forum, who would beg to differ about that standard love triangle interpretation:

    http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=683389;page=1;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

  • Anonymous

    Tauriel was cool & had the best ears. I was expecting her to be one of many warrior elf women, so it was a bit disappointing that she was the only one. I didn’t mind the love triangle.
    I think it would’ve been an even better move if some of the dwarves were women. I only recall Thorin & Dwalin being specifically male (or having any dialogue or personality) in the book, so it could’ve added diversity without having to add even more new stuff to the adaptation. We could even find out whether dwarf woman really are beardly!

  • Anonymous

    Honestly the character being forcibly downgraded to a bone of contention between two male characters is just one of the many many things that made me mad at the movie Desolation is vs. what it could have been.
    Many people complained that every female character in LOTR besides Galadriel, was a love interest to someone, but they had the original material to blame for it. Nobody can hide behind that old excuse for The Hobbit.
    They created an original character, to have a woman in the movie and somehow they feel the need to make her more “acceptable” to the fantasy moviegoers by making her a love interest not of one but of two male characters? How predictable. How annoying and reductive. How unsuccessful. If anything, they gave the sexist audience more to complain about and more reasons to hate the character.
    I feel bad for Lily since they obviously went behind her back even though she was not on board with this, and I understand why.

  • Anonymous

    I agree 100%
    And the way it all happens make her look so superficial as well. Of course there’s *one* dwarf who looks “reasonably” un-dwarfish so she falls for him in a couple of scenes (one possibly) and a total of 10 lines? Sure, that’s the way all women are, right?

  • Anonymous

    And the inclusion of the conversation with Thranduil about how he’d never allow his son to court a “lowly Sylvan elf” made the whole thing a double whammy “Romeo and Juliet” love triangle. Elf/Dwarf wasn’t enough, they had to have a “Higher Elf/Lower Elf” situation. I was worried one of them would turn out to be a vampire or something.

  • Megan

    This interpretation is definitely better. I think you’re right about how it would have been viewed differently if a male character had made the same decisions.

  • Megan

    I agree with so many of the other commenters. I really didn’t mind adding Tauriel, certainly not in comparison to the way they handled Beorn, Bard, the orcs continuing to chase the dwarfs, the barrel scene, the spider scene, the dragon fighting…basically everything about the whole movie (did any of the writers actually read this book or did they just get a synopsis?). Really, Tauriel’s inclusion bothered me the least. Although, like many others here, I was annoyed by the love triangle. This article and several of the comments have helped me see it differently (and for that I thank you) but my first thoughts were basically, oh great, a gender-cliche plot line. Thanks PJ.

    But my biggest issue is that they missed the spirit of this book. It’s not the epic save-the-world-from-evil like LOTR. It’s supposed to be more whimsical and fun. They completely missed that with too many unnecessary chase sequences and an love triangle.

  • http://pearlrose86.livejournal.com/ Maggie

    I didn’t mind Tauriel. I hated the love-interest angle, a lot. It was really unnecessary. Also, I kind of wish that instead of Tauriel, we’d gotten a couple female dwarves in the mix instead. There’s no “real” reason why the band of dwarves had to all be male.

  • malkavian

    Oh man, the Laketown stuff was so…unnecessary. And all the extra stuff in Erebor with the dwarves that never happened in the book. Tauriel wasn’t a bad addition so long as we were in Mirkwood (we did not spend enough time in Mirkwood) but the rest of it felt like fluff. Pacing was so terrible.

    Also, this movie was titled “The Desolation of Smaug”. I showed up expecting to see Smaug desolate things. He did not. Hence, I am disappointed.

  • malkavian

    Also, was it just me or did Orlando Bloom look constipated the entire time he was playing Legolas in this movie?

  • David Zgurski

    I haven’t seen Desolation of Smaug yet (although I’m seeing it in mere hours), and I’m wondering why they just didn’t go all the way and manipulate the source material that they lawfully had the rights to and really take a chance redefining Tolkien’s work. It could have shaved off hours of boring storytelling. There’s been more sacrilegious changes made in biopics of well-known historical and still-living figures than there’s been to Tolkien’s books. It’s fictional people!

    Why wasn’t Bilbo the character who falls for Tauriel? He seems the most likely of all the characters to have a thing for elven females. Tauriel laughing off Bilbo’s affection and then Bilbo proving he’s her equal in combat and cunning (after all, she’s a seasoned immortal Elf warrior and he’s a hobbit on his first adventure) would be much more engaging than whatever they’re doing with the dwarf.

    It’s just that, as well-written and portrayed as Tauriel is (and I take your word that she is), and as a strong female warrior who doesn’t need the validation and affection of men to be successful, she still feels like a beautiful graft on a poorly-designed and shabbily-weaved tapestry. It’s Legolas who’s more unnecessary in the bigger picture in my opinion.

    I’m sure that I’ll fall in love with Tauriel for the reasons Zoe explains. But it doesn’t mean I’ll see Desolation of Smaug more than once in the theatre or even once on Blu-ray or on my computer. The whole production is fundamentally flawed from it’s conception, trying to adapt a swift there-and-back-again adventure in the same space they used to contain the entire Lord of the Rings. I’m really only going to see Smaug, but now I’m going to pay attention when Tauriel shows up.

    And Wonder Woman is finally appearing in a summer blockbuster movie that exists only because of Batman and Superman. Hollywood and misogynist fanboys are still afraid of how the game will change when there’s an alpha female superhero who doesn’t need their validation or approval to take over the world.

  • http://twoamericansinchina.com/ Amanda Roberts-Anderson

    Tolkien never intended to be the sole writer for stories in Middle Earth. He hoped to create a basis, a canvas, that other people would contribute to to create a new and living British mythology. Tolkien would have welcomed Jackson’s additions to his world and I think it would be great to see more authors given access to the franchise to write more stories in the setting (with far more female characters!).

  • Chiara

    With all my friends and people I know, as well as with most internet interaction I’ve had regarding this, it usually goes:
    Person 1 “Tauriel sucks, why did they have her in the film? It wasn’t necessary! She ruined it! Tolkien did not write her! Ecc..”
    Me ” what about X and Y? (other things that were changed and aren’t necessarily good)”
    Person 1 “Yeah, that, too, BUT Tauriel…”

    But it’s true I don’t follow any of the Tolkien fan forums, I only have experience of the Tolkien fans that I know personally, or that I am in touch with through communities that are focused on generic geeky or fantasy subjects.

  • http://www.angelahighland.com/ Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    Addendum to my previous commentary on this thread, since I’ve been reading some of the others: FWIW, I personally didn’t see much of a romantic triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili at all. A triangle for me suggests that there’s any possibility whatsover that Tauriel’s undecided between whether she’s going for Legolas and whether she’s going for Kili. And to my viewing, I didn’t see Tauriel showing any active sign of being interested in Legolas _at all_. Hell, for that matter, I saw _barely_ any interest out of Legolas himself. The only character that brings up the topic is Thranduil himself, who only mentions it by way of “MITTS OFF MY SON, SILVAN”. At no point do we see either Tauriel or Legolas showing any sign towards each other of “hey, let us shag and have a romantic liasion even though our king expressly told us not to!”

    Tauriel even addresses Legolas as “mellon”. Elvish word for “friend”, remember? Not Elvish word for “let us shag” or “I fancy you” or “rip my clothes off right now, you sexy blond archer you”.

    Likewise, Legolas is very clearly fond of her, but we only have Thranduil’s word on it that his interest is at all romantic.

    Now, Kili. I’ve seen several people on this thread and a lot of people elsewhere disliking putting Tauriel in a romance _at all_, but y’know, screw it: I’ve said it on my blog and I’ll say it here. Tauriel/Kili. I ship it. (heart) I thought the scene involving the runestone was adorable, because all of a sudden, hey, Kili is a character and a charming one at that. And his mumbled line to her about how “she walks in starlight in another world” got me right in the _awwww_.

    Cliched? Sure. Cheesy? Sure. But I loved every minute of it. I’m a big romantic sucker and I _own_ my big romantic suckertude. ;) It doesn’t ruin Tolkien for me at all–I’ve got the books _right here_ if I want to go back and revel in the mastery of the original work. Jackson’s version of the story, for me, happily coexists. It’s not without flaw, and so far this trilogy of movies is shaping up as a B+ effort whereas I was A+ all the way with the previous movies. But B+ is still quite strong and I’m very much enjoying what’s going on so far.

  • dyordz13

    I read the books, and i liked Tauriel..and even more her interactions with kili.

    i don’t really care about how all about her is ‘not in the book’ or ‘nonsense’.

    i watched it yesterday and the portrayal of her character was good. and for f*ck sake its lord of the rings..i get entertained just by seeing dwarves and elves walking around.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever this subject come up with an adaptation supposedly being “too PC”, the argument of “Well the creators didn’t intend this!” is the first thing to come up. And while that’s probably true, I don’t feel as if it’s applicable in a modern context because a major reason most of these works are so male-centric or white or het is because they were created in a time when the idea of diversity or representing marginalized groups was not a concern to..anyone outside those groups, really.

    So yes. Chances are Stan Lee did not intend for Nick Fury or Heimdall to be black guys like they are in the movies, or Jasper Sitwell to be Latino. Or the original Superman creators and Perry White ending up as a brotha as well. But if you’re adapting a work for a modern audience in a modern context, that needs to be taken into consideration.

    An all white cast of men was the norm back in the day but in an era where things like that are increasingly likely to draw negative attention, sometimes things need to be tweaked a little.

  • Helen W.

    Why? The author seems to be saying that peoples’ primary problem with her stems from her being a specifically female created character: “The idea of an original female character brought with it an entire new category of issues for fans, which say as much about how we expect female characters to be treated in media as it does about our own prejudices.” If that was the case among objecting fans, that would absolutely and undoubtedly be sexism. But as a fan and a feminist whose concerns have nothing to do with her being female and everything to do with her being a cliched Mary Sue of a character, accusations of sexism are inaccurate and unwelcome.

  • John Kang

    As a Tolkien purist, I had a lot of complaints with Peter Jackson’s conception of the movie version of the Hobbit, starting with the breaking it down into three movies and certainly with the introduction of a female elf character as either eye candy or forced diversity. That said, I saw Desolation of Smaug the other day and she stole the show. Great addition!

  • anthonybgonzalez

    Tauriel whooped ass, tbh

  • Kevin Bernard

    She was the highlight of the movie for me. Most of the unfaithfulness to the book of Desolation of Smog grated on me (seriously, three movies and still cutting bits out?), but her addition was fantastic.

  • Kevin Bernard

    It was a poorly done rehash at that. She was awesome, but the lighting of that was terrible.

  • Amanda C Owens

    I’m not even going to pretend to like Tauriel. There is no need whatsoever for her character, and this asinine cutesy-cutesy flirtation with Kili….are you joking??? If they felt the need for a strong female character, (which I personally didn’t and was more than happy with the hairy testosterone-fest on display), why not take Dis and expand her role? I would have had zero objection to that. But as far as Tauriel goes, she added nothing whatsoever to the story, and had she not been created, I wouldn’t have found a single flaw with DoS.

  • Amanda C Owens

    Whoa, whoa, whoa…..Tonks was NOT a Mary Sue, she was a fully-fleshed out character in the books with hopes, dreams, desires, and a life. The films, unfortunately, turned all the female Potter characters except Hermione and Luna into Mary Sues of the highest order.

  • Joshua Petersen

    What do people mean that Tauriel wasn’t in the books? She was totally in the books. *holds up “The Hobbit”* See? There are elves in Mirkwood. Plural. For the most part, none were named or gone into detail. I see this less as ‘adding to canon’ and more ‘fleshing out points that were glossed over’.

  • Guest

    Alternately, pick option 5: She dies trying to help Kili protect Thorin, who both die anyway. Just to make the likely impact of that scene go from “punch in the gut” to “drop-kick in the face”.

  • Skylar Patrick

    Alternately, pick option 5: Tauriel dies trying to help Kili protect Thorin, who both die anyway. Just to make the likely impact of that scene go from “punch in the gut” to “drop-kick in the face”.

  • Rain in the Dark

    My problem with the character wasn’t having the romantic interest as is. It’s WHO her romantic interest is and how it is written in general. It is overly simplified (as in having the characters like each other instantly in a typical Hollywood manner) in a setting where it shouldn’t be possible.

    Grudgingly I admit that if you stretch your suspension of disbelief really-really far, the only way it could really work is if both characters are young and naive, and that’s what both Tauriel and Kili are. I only wish it would take them a longer time to genuinely like each other, but what else can you expect in a PJ movie?

    However, Tauriel’s age adds several problems both character and story-wise. I’ll skip the part where the Elves shouldn’t be that young in that era in the first place – movie-verse, the war in Mirkwood hadn’t started until several months before the Dwarves’ travels, so Elves don’t really have a reason not to have children.

    But does she really have to be the Captain of the Guard? Aren’t there more experienced warriors to have that title? Not to mention she doesn’t even cope with her duties really well. Why couldn’t she be just a general guard? It would take nothing away from the story. In fact, the title of the Captain of the Guard seems like nothing more like a token title of a Princess to me. Fancy, but useless and even harmful for the story.

    Secondly, having Legolas chase her seems really creepy, since he’s like 10 times older than her. If he really had to be brought into the story, mentor/big brother type of relationship would have worked a lot better.

    Thirdly, that healing part is absolutely impossible in-universe. Elves can’t be both warriors and healers at the same time unless they are really old and powerful. Like, Galadriel and Elrond’s levels of old and powerful. So being that young and having both powers makes zero sense.

    It looks that in order to make that romance be at least plausible, they ditched the plausibility of the other aspects of the character and the story. Personally, I would have preferred to see the character much older and more experienced and more devoted to her country and her duties. And if there had to be romance, I’d prefer to see it based on mutual respect, trust and understanding and years and years of knowing each other, not the Hollywood ‘love at first sight’ cliche. But maybe that’s just me.

  • Rain in the Dark

    I disagree. We know that he is the son of Thranduil and that Gimli is the son of Gloin and that Thranduil and Gloin have history. It’s more than enough of a motivation. And “is an elf” on its own would be enough – it’s well-known that Elves and Dwarves have no love for each other. That story ark is unnecessary. If anything, it cheapens the message.

    P.S. In the book-verse it was Gloin who was outraged at Legolas’ presence/speech at the Council and not the other way round.

  • http://www.geekgirlsonline.com/ Athena Hollow

    Absolutely agree. It’s tacked on. Regardless of the potential other interpretations, the love triangle seems to be the most common interpretation and with good reason.

    I loved the idea of a female sub-lead. I loved it even moreso when I found out she was captain of the guard and a total badass to boot. But why was it important in ANY WAY to bring up how Legolas is falling for her?? He could have had MANY reasons why he went after her after she left into the forest, including being a good friend, or even that she’s just too freaking skilled as a fighter to just let her go and die on her own.

    And then the comments she makes about Kili being “taller” than the others (in a flirty manner), and then the flirting while he was in the cell… Had they had her learn more about the dwarves without any of the previous crap said, it would have not been so tacky feeling. And then the stuff Kili says after she saves him… it was just… ugh. Seriously?!

    One thing I *DO* like is that it’s the female saving the male for once, but this movie series could have done JUST FINE without a love story/triangle, and it just seems lazy to toss it in (especially knowing now that it wasn’t in principle shooting and was added in during reshoots because of the studio. I can only assume there was “Well she’s got a vagina! SHE NEEDS A MAN!” stated at some point).

    So, I love the Tauriel character. HATE the tacked on love story that feels both out of place and unnecessary.

  • Anthony Fagin

    I loved Tauriel’s character just the way it was portrayed. I understand the argument of not wanting her to be relegated to “just a love triangle”. But to me, that wouldn’t diminish the fact that she’s a total kickass fighter who plays an integral role in the plot. My fear is that they kill her off in the next installment…would explain why she didn’t join Legolas in the Fellowship and possibly drive home the cost of the quest (ala Haldir), add perhaps sympathy to Legolas’ character, and depth to the Legolas-Gimli friendship.

  • Christine Golden

    No, I do not need a ‘badass ninja Mary Sue fighting and loving her way across Middle Earth” to validate me as a woman. And shame on you, Zoe, for arguing that we do.

    We do not/should not need to be validated by men (Peter Jackson), the dominant culture (Hollywood), or comic book-like characters. Self-esteem and self-acceptance come from within, not from images flickering on a screen in a dark theater. Not only Tolkien, but Susan B. Anthony and all those brave women who fought for equal rights must be spinning at Mach 5 in their graves.

    You may need a bogus sex symbol inserted into a movie in order to “relate” to it, but many of us are secure enough within ourselves to enjoy “art for arts’ sake.” Shame on you for perpetuating this tripe.

    Oh, and before you start screaming, “sexist,” I was on the battlements for equal rights in the late sixties when legalized discrimination was the law of the day. What have you done to further women’s rights, other than blog about the ‘coolness’ of Jackson’s Mary Sue?

  • Christine Golden

    No, I do not need a ‘badass ninja Mary Sue fighting and loving her way across Middle Earth” to validate me as a woman. And shame on you, Zoe, for arguing that we do.

    We do not/should not need to be validated by men (Peter Jackson), the dominant culture (Hollywood), or comic book-like characters. Self-esteem and self-acceptance come from within, not from images flickering on a screen in a dark theater. Not only Tolkien, but Susan B. Anthony and all those brave women who fought for equal rights must be spinning at Mach 5 in their graves.

    You may need a bogus sex symbol inserted into a movie in order to “relate” to it, but many of us are secure enough within ourselves to enjoy “art for arts’ sake.” Shame on you for perpetuating this tripe.

    Oh, and before you start screaming, “sexist,” I was on the battlements for equal rights in the late sixties when legalized discrimination was the law of the day. What have you done to further women’s rights, other than blog about the ‘coolness’ of Jackson’s Mary Sue?

  • Christine Golden

    You obviously know little about literature. Gimli did not have a crush on Galadriel; it was an example of the medieval concept of courtly love. Pure and without lust, whereas Tauriel and Kili would represent the baser earthly love which was corrupted by lust.

    After all, according to the devout Tolkien, Galadriel was a Marian figure, so it would be fitting that she be adored “from afar” and that Gimli would request a token from her.

  • http://tyrannyofthepetticoat.wordpress.com/ Vera

    Love the condescending tone, but I’m afraid I can’t take credit for that point. I stole it from the writers, who said:
    You created a new character, Tauriel. How did you come up with her?
    The Galadriel-Gimli story
    had these two races who loathe each other, and Gimli’s dark, dark
    suspicion about elves and about the fact that he had heard of this
    woman, Galadriel, and he calls her the witch of the wood, but when he
    meets her, it all falls away. We always loved that story, and we never
    got to tell that properly in The Lord of the Rings. Professor Tolkien writes brilliantly for women, like Eowyn, but we thought the fact that he didn’t write one for The Hobbit
    shouldn’t stop us. We decided she should be an elf, a Mirkwood elf, and
    she naturally came into being. The dwarves are being captured, put in
    the cells, and all of the those moments made it obvious — she’s got to
    be one of the guards.
    Source: http://www.vulture.com/2013/12/hobbit-screenwriter-philippa-boyens-interview.html

  • Christine Golden

    Then I apologize. Perhaps the next time you might want to source such comments so that readers do not assume they are your own.

    The fact still remain that Tolkien’s female elves were followers of Yavanna and, therefore, nurturers and healers. Yes, they were capable of defending their lives as Galadriel did in the flight of the Noldor, but being a warrior would have violated and compromised their basic natures. (Letters)

    I’m not surprised that Jackson decided to revisit LotR for his Mary Sue. There were many such deja vu moments in both AUJ and DOS for me, from the music to camera shots to actual dialogue. In fact, I’m not sure whether The Hobbit movies remind me more of the book or PJ’s first trilogy.

  • Jaedon Granger

    Well said.

  • Jaedon Granger

    LIlly didn’t want a love triangle. She had no problem with her character having a romance with Kili, as that was in the original script. Most fantasy epics have romance in them, including the LOTR movies. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Jaedon Granger

    Then you and your fiancé completely missed the point. She’s not just there to be a love interest. Her being a love interest is a small part of her arc. She’s there to show that female elves are just as deadly as male elves. She’s shown to be an impulsive character who is just as skilled as Legolas. The whole reason they had her show feelings for Kili is because Jackson and company wanted to show that not all elves are biased against dwarves, and that she’s not only open to the idea of being friendly with an elf, but she’s open to the idea of having a romance with a dwarf. And according to Phillipa Boyens, she goes after Kili because she admires his promise to come home to his mother as she herself as lost her parents at a young age (then having being raised by the king).

  • Amanda C Owens

    I never said it was all about me, I was merely voicing my opinion about a character I felt was not needed.

  • Amanda C Owens

    Stop it! Now every time I watch the scenes in FoTR in Moria, I actually get a little teary-eyed. I think of Balin, Ori and Oin (Oin and Ori went to Moria with Balin). Oin was taken by the Watcher. The skeleton Gandalf takes the book from is Ori’s, as he spent his last minutes transcribing what was going on as the Orcs closed in on them.

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    I need to reread that. Tolkien wasn’t always consistent about that stuff.
    I usually reference Volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth, which goes over gender roles among the Eldar. Namely that female Elves usually tended towards healing, and the males towards building things and bearing arms, but this was a tendency, and not a rule. There are exceptions with female warriors (Galadriel and Lúthien) and male healers (such as Elrond). However, healers usually didn’t fight unless absolutely necessary, as the act of killing diminishes their ability to heal.

  • Rain in the Dark

    There wasn’t a lifetime of misunderstanding, prejudice and hostility between Elves and Men when that happened, yet there is such a situation between Elves and Dwarves. Not only does PJ ignore that in this particular case, he also makes it a ‘love at first sight’ which undermeans the credibility even more. Those two have no reason at all to fall for each other, they only have reasons not to. Again – might work for someone else (both young, yadda, yadda), just not for me. I prefer relationships slowly-developing and both time and trial-forged. Works better for me that way.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Yes, she is. But that is precisely the problem. She is violent, rash and impulsive (also irresponsible) and yet everyone goes along with it. It’s a trait of a Mary Sue character if there aren’t any consequences.

  • Christine Golden

    I would take exception to Galadriel and Luthien being warriors in the same sense as Tauriel. Yes, they both fought at one point, but not as part of a military force. And to my knowledge, no female elf in any of Tolkien’s works ever marched to war as part of a military force. (As Tauriel will no doubt do in BAFA).

    Yes, that is one of my problems with the healing scene, that Tauriel was both healer and killer – another violation of Tolkien’s legendarium. Also, according to “The Houses of the Healing,” only the King of Gondor could heal wounds with kingsfoil. According to Ioreth (RotK, 8), it was one of the ways in which the true king could be identified:

    Come athelas! come athelas!
    Life to the dying
    In the king’s hand lying!

    Although I must admit that I was never sure if the quote meant that athelas only healed wounds if used by the king, I’ve never read anything to contradict it.

  • Christine Golden

    There has been quite a bit of negative commentary about Jackson’s other deviations from canon, including in LotR. From his arbitrary lopping off of “The Scouring of the Shire” to the omission of Tom Bombadil, from Sam abandoning Frodo to Faramir being tempted to take the Ring. There was also a raging debate on the internet over Azog being resurrected after being dead for 150 years, Glamdring and Orcrist not glowing when orcs are about, and Sauron being revealed years before it actually happened.

    So, no, we filthy purists are upset about a lot more than Elf-Barbie and Dwarf-Ken tiptoeing through the tulips of ME, hand in hand.
    Personally, I don’t understand why, if Jackson thought The Hobbit was such a lousy book, he didn’t write his own fantasy adventure. It’s not like he was contractually obligated to do it.

  • Anorien

    Did you even watch the film? I went in open-mindedly but she was such a letdown. Her story revolved almost completely around her little romance with Kili. And it’s ridiculous to say that this young Elf (EL herself has called her a “baby”) is “on par” with much older and more experienced Elves. Say she’s an amazing fighter all you want, but myself and countless others have pinpointed the things that are wrong with her fighting. If anyone were to fight like that in real life, they’d be slaughtered, no questions asked. The romantic storyline was the greater part of her equation… name one scene where she isn’t doing something to save her “beloved” Kili or there isn’t some mention of her being involved with Legolas. You can’t, because frankly there isn’t one.
    I’m not saying a girl can’t be amazing and desirable at the same time, but that’s not what we have here. We have some run-of-the-mill Jane Doe who has all these talents (unrealistically, and not to mention how bad she is at them) whose sole purpose is to be a romantic interest for the “hot” Dwarf.

  • MM

    I never knew that about Ori! Wow … that’s gonna be difficult to watch now.

  • Amanda C Owens

    Yeah, some of it’s in the text of the Lord of the Rings, and Adam Brown confirmed that it is his skeleton Gandalf takes the book from in Balin’s tomb. Makes me a bit teary-eyed just thinking about it. :(

  • MM

    aww :( sidenote… I wandered into the “Fellowship of the Ring” section of Youtube. Saw the clip of them getting stuck in the dungeon in Moria.

    And I realized something further–this means that Pippin beheads Ori! (since, somehow, dwarf anatomy ensures that twisting a hand will cause the head to separate from the spine) Slightly strange but definitely sad. I mean, I know Ori was plenty dead, and everything, but still.

  • Jaedon Granger

    “There was nothing enw or original about it”
    Yeah because so many other movies have shown an Elf/dwarf love story. It’s such a common thing in Middle-earth movies. Oh wait.
    Keep trying. Keep failing.

  • MissIcia

    Love the bit about what’s happening between Tauriel and Kili being friendship. It will be far more interesting seeing those two as companions rather than a possible couple.

  • MissIcia

    I just got chills. Sometimes you don’t really realize how sad some of this can be.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Nope. Still a Sue. It’s a much wider term than you give it credit for. The laws of the universe don’t apply to her, she’s way too accomplished for her age and her flaws are not treated as flaws, but rather as benefits (so she’s still treated as perfect even if she isn’t). There are many types of Sues. I guess she would be a mixture of Fixer Sue — No, that’s not how it’s supposed to go! (in terms of Elven prejudice), and God-Mode Sue — Power overwhelming! (in terms of how she has some powers she’s not supposed to have) with several other traits meshed in. Like having a major character chase her.

    Oh. And she preaches, too.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    As I said on another post, the Tauriel detractors need to make up their mind about why they hate her. Half of them are saying she was too perfect, the other half are saying she was too flawed and “un-elf-life.” And if even the folks at the Mary Sue are saying she’s not a Sue, then she isn’t one. Period.
    Yes, a Mary Sue is a self-insertion and a wish-fulfillment character….. and she was created by two straight men: Peter Jackson and Guilleromo Del Toro. Neither of them wants to be a good looking female elf. Therefor she was created for the exact reason they said she was: to show audiences a strong female character in a story that otherwise lacks them.
    And it’s laughable for you to mention Tolkien in the same sentence as Susan B. Anthony. Tolkien was known for thinking that women aren’t equal to men. That was just the nature of the times he lived in. The only female he wanted to include in the LOTR books was Arwen, who was nothing more than a love interest who sat around pining after Aragorn. Upon the advice of his editor, he included Galadriel and Eowyn because the editor didn’t want Tolkien to get tons of negative letters from complaining about how his story lacked capable females.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    And furthermore, what is it about the internet that brings out such arrogance in people? You didn’t like her character and you didn’t need her to be in the movie, so that means anyone who did want her to be in the movie including the writer of that article should be ashamed of themselves? Get over yourself. Your opinion isn’t the only one that counts. Her character was created for the masses, not a handful of people on the internet who don’t approve of a female being added to the story. Yes, God forbid a strong female character is added to the story to show people that women are just as important and capable as men. God Forbid that women is shown to be a great fighter and saves the other men in the story without them even once needing to save her.

    Read articles from female filmmakers like NM and Coppola. They would laugh at your comments.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Oh goodness. You’ve just missed everything I said, right? For starters – I don’t object to Tauriel just because she is female. If she were male I still would have objected because of everything this character stands for. I don’t object to her being a good fighter – I object to her being Captain of Guard despite her young age. I also object that she is simultaneously a healer, which makes no-sense in-universe (also mostly because of her age, but also because that’s just so rare). That is what the God-Mode Sue stands for.

    I also object that while most Elves are made into almost-evil incarnates, Tauriel isn’t even remotedly affected by prejudice of her race. That is how PJ chose to deal with the prejudice problem. Showcase the complexity, make both sides give as good as they get and therefore make the situation much more difficult to resolve? Nah, let’s just make the Elves responsible and create a character to show them the error of their ways. Characters being OOC + OC lecturing them with the author’s voice? Pure Sueness.

    And yes, she was created for female viewers for the purpose of wish-fulfillment. It bothers me that the creators think that this is what females want to see in a character and that they think that the viewers would ignore other aspects of the story that way. It bothers me that many do.

    I’ve already mentioned in this discussion how this character could be improved, in my opinion. It’s a rather long post so I’m not going to repeat that again.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Excuse me, are you sure you replied to the correct post? First of all, I never said I hated her. I’ve already explained why I disliking her was an automatic response for me.

    I didn’t say anything about Tolkien or Susan B. Anthony either, so I’m not sure why you even mentioned that. Anyway, it’s not about feminism. It’s about a character that doesn’t work in a story.

    Also, I’m a character-driven watcher/reader and (for the most part) believe that the more, the merrier. I like stories with multiple characters – both male and female. So it’s not fair of you to accuse me of sexism when really, I never indicated that my dislike of the character was gender-based. So please, this argument is way too old.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    You are confusing book canon with movie canon. In the books, someone like her who kills so much being able to heal would not be canon. In the movies, there is no such canon. Nothing to suggest that she can’t be a healer because she kills. Same with hair length. In the books, a female elf’s hair length has a lot to do with how beautiful she is considered by her people, which is why Galadriel had hair long enough for her to make a cloak out of it. In the movies, no such canon exists.
    You should never automatically assume a movie based on a book has that book’s canon within it. Just look at the Bond films or Breakfast at Tiffany’s or the Oz movies.
    And it’s no about your objection. It’s about you implying that anyone who approves of her character has a reason to be ashamed of themselves just because you don’t like her character.
    And what’s all this nonsense about “Sueness?” I don’t think she’s a Mary-Sue, but even if she was, who cares? Many of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema have been “too perfect.” That’s what made them memorable. Indiana Jones. James Bond. Many Bond girls. Princess Anne. Catwoman from TDKR. Etc. It doesn’t make any difference. This whole “oh, being too perfect is a bad thing” rubbish is something that seems to have reared its ugly head in the internet era. It’s laughable.
    Not just females, but most males, as well. The overwhelming majority of people loved her character, including many respected critics whose opinions I value very much. The vocal few are the only ones crying a river about her character. The rest of us can’t wait to see more of her in “There and Back Again.”

  • CruzLovesMovies

    You didn’t say anything about Tolkien or Susan B. Anthony?

    “Not only Tolkien, but Susan B. Anthony and all those brave women who fought for equal rights must be spinning at Mach 5 in their graves.”
    I guess it’s getting hard for you to keep track of what you’re saying. That’s an exact copy and paste job of your quote where you mentioned Tolkien in the same sentence as Susan B. Anthony– something that any true feminist would find laughable.
    I’m not accusing you of sexism. I’m accusing you of having incredibly ridiculous logic about why you hate her. Same with most Tauriel detractors. You people can’t make up your mind about why you hate her, and that’s why it’s hard for the rest of us to take you seriously. Half of you are bashing her because she was too perfect, which you think is a negative and makes her a “Mary-Sue.” The rest are bashing her because they think she was too flawed and not perfect enough. She can’t be too perfect and too flawed at the same time. Make up your minds.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Yeah. So it makes complete sense now that it was Arwen-the-fighter, Elrond’s daughter, and not Elrond-the-healer himself who rode after Frodo in the first part, right? Not to mention that Tauriel’s healing powers are up-to-par to the Lord of Rivendell himself. It doesn’t even make sense movie-verse, if you want to be that specific. Why isn’t Legolas a healer then? Or any other Elves at Helm’s Deep? What makes her so special? Never addressed.

    “And it’s no about your objection. It’s about you implying that anyone who approves of her character has a reason to be ashamed of themselves just because you don’t like her character.”

    Give me the exact quote where I’ve said anything – anything – about the people who like the character. You won’t find any. Guess why? Because there aren’t any. Get over yourself and stop seeing things that aren’t there. I only talked about the character herself, and btw, I don’t see you addressing the points that I’ve made with any argument other than “it’s not movie canon”. Guess why? Because that’s just lazy writing, the only purpose of which is to grab as much money as possible. You like it – you take it. I’m not stopping you.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Why do you mix two different people’s opinion in one post? I’m not even going to dignify it with a response. It’s ridiculous.

    “Half of you are bashing her because she was too perfect, which you think is a negative and makes her a “Mary-Sue.” The rest are bashing her because they think she was too flawed and not perfect enough. She can’t be too perfect and too flawed at the same time. Make up your minds.”

    Yes, because people who like her do it for the exact same reasons and there is absolutely no one who has a mixed opinion about the character, so people who dislike her are not allowed to have different opinions – or voice them, for that matter. Quit trolling and get to the point.

  • Anorien

    Oh, Cruzlovesmovies. I know of you. You’re a Tauriel apologist, aren’t you? I recall you getting your knickers in a twist over my friend disliking Tauriel.

    “I and everyone I know thoroughly loved her character.” Do you want an award? You must not know too many people.

    “you must be referring to a very small pocket of the audience” Wow, I didn’t realize how small 50+% is. My mistake.

    “And who are these countless others?” Oh, y’know, just some archers and people who knife-fight or study knifework that know what they’re talking about.

    “you have to point out how unrealistically incredible Legolas is shown to be” You want unrealistic? How about the fact that Tauriel can’t hold her bow and yet is considered a master archer. Legolas at least knows what he’s doing. He’s had experience, unlike this child.

    “The reaction on Twitter and IMDb” I didn’t realize that three sites made up the entire fanbase. And you should know that the reaction on Twitter hasn’t been the same, not completely. In fact Twitter is one of the main places Tauriel gets criticism (not hate, criticism, biiiiiiiiiiiig difference)

    “graceful and ballerina-like” What film did you see that she was graceful? Couldn’t have been DoS. She had no grace.

    “singlehandedly kills a mammoth” Three arrows to the brain is ridiculous and unrealistic? I’m learning so many new things from you!
    .

    I appreciate that you wrote me a book full of bullshit arguments, but it might be best if you refrained from the future. I know your viewpoint already from other sites, and you’ve proven here that you really don’t know what you’re saying. Best not to waste your time.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    “Oh, Cruzlovesmovies. I know of you. You’re a Tauriel apologist, aren’t you? I recall you getting your knickers in a twist over my friend disliking Tauriel. ”

    Apologist? I don’t have to be an apologist since the overwhelming majority liked her.

    “Do you want an award? You must not know too many people.” Work friends, family members, casual friends, facebook friends, twitter friends, etc. They all liked or loved her character, as did a large portion of the critics whose opinions I value. If you didn’t liker her, good for you. That doesn’t change the fact that you’re in the vocal minority.

    “Wow, I didn’t realize how small 50+% is. My mistake.”

    50+%. You can’t be serious. The only people I’ve seen saying stuff like you’re saying about her are the vocal minority online, all of whom are self-proclaimed Tolkien purists. That’s about 5% of the movie-going audience, not 50. This is a classic straw-man fallacy. You’re trying to act like most of the movie-going audience agrees with you on a subject where you know you’re in the minority.

    “Oh, y’know, just some archers and people who knife-fight or study knifework that know what they’re talking about.”

    People who knife-fight? My lord, I laughed so hard at this. So you’re going around and asking killers and hoodlums their opinions? Wow. No thanks. I prefer the opinions of respected people who are experts on cinema such as Richard Roeper.

    “What film did you see that she was graceful? Couldn’t have been DoS. She had no grace.”

    I disagree, as do many, including the great Richard Roeper, who pointed out how graceful she is even when fighting. Man, it really bugs you that so many people completely disagree with you about her character. Are you going to go door to door to verbally harass anyone who did like her character and thought she was very graceful?

    “Three arrows to the brain is ridiculous and unrealistic? I’m learning so many new things from you!”

    He mounts the beast, scales it, and takes it down singlehandedly in a sign that produced so much unintentional laughter at my theater. It was cartoonish.

    “I appreciate that you wrote me a book full of bullshit arguments, but it might be best if you refrained from the future. I know your viewpoint already from other sites, and you’ve proven here that you really don’t know what you’re saying. Best not to waste your time.”
    Now this is jus flat out trolling. Because I disagree with you I don’t know what I’m saying any my arguments are BS. Oh, I see how it works. So you’re the end all be all of cinema and anyone who disagrees with you is completely wrong. Everything you’re saying is a fact because you say so and no one is allowed to like a character you don’t. I guess expert critics like Richard Roeper should start asking you teach them about film.
    Thanks for the laugh, kid. It’s hard to you seriously when you’re so openly disrespectful to anyone who disagrees with you.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    If you want to say you dislike her, then that’s all you had to say. You didn’t have to openly flame all the people who disagree with you by calling their opinions “bullshit” and saying they don’t know what they’re talking about. And by saying stuff like that, you’re not only insulting a large portion of the people who watched this movie, but many respected critics, as well.
    What exactly is your engame? Are you going to dedicate the rest of your life to forcing your opinion about Tauriel on all the people who disagree and liked her? Are you trying to imply that they aren’t allowed to like her because you didn’t? That does seem to be the case. I point out that everyone I know liked her, you insult me. I point that many people lied her, you insult me and them. You do realize your opinion on this matter is just an opinion, right? It’s not a fact no matter how much you try to act like it is.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    You completely missed the point once again. Congrats. I’m saying that the detractors need to make up their minds about why they hate her. She can’t be too perfect and too flawed at the same time.
    Who says Legolas isn’t a healer in this? It’s never brought up. Perhaps he could have healed Kili if he had cared enough to do it.
    There is nothing civil about Tauriel detractors nowadays. That’s the problem. Perhaps not you, but the majority of them are very rude and try to force their opinions on others.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    “What film did you see that she was graceful? Couldn’t have been DoS. She had no grace.”

    Do you not understand what an opinion is? It is your OPINION that she does not have grace. Who are you to tell me that I’m not allowed to have an opinion that goes against your own. Seriously, deflate your ego. Your word is not law.

    “Oh, y’know, just some archers and people who knife-fight or study knifework that know what they’re talking about.”
    Oh, y’know, just some expert critics, such as Richard Roeper, whose opinions are respected around the world that know what they’re talking about. But I guess you think they’re idiots too since they disagree with you.

  • Rain in the Dark

    “I’m saying that the detractors need to make up their minds about why they hate her.”

    For the last time, just leave behind this conviction that people who don’t like the character are this sect whose leaders have failed to explain to their minions why they should hate the character and thus have to pick up on their slack. They are just individuals voicing their own opinion. Why should they coordinate it with each other?

    “You completely missed the point once again. She can’t be too perfect and too flawed at the same time.”

    Now, it’s you who is missing the point and you can’t even make a good argument on this one. Many people, including this site, have made strong points that have nothing to do with the character being too perfect or too flawed. It’s not about being perfect or flawed per say, it’s about the flaws working in the story as a whole. And what we see here is this – she makes rash reckless decisions, but it’s all right since “it’s for the sake of greater good”. And everyone is okay with that. That is the problem here, not the perfection or the flaws taken separately.

    “Who says Legolas isn’t a healer in this?”

    Now you are just making facts out of thin air. That’s kind of like saying “who says they aren’t all gay and secretly want to make love with each other?”. After all, it’s never brought up. Bilbo could be a shape-shifting alien based on that logic. And Gandalf could secretly be a cross-dressing woman.

    “There is nothing civil about Tauriel detractors nowadays. That’s the problem.”

    I’m sorry, but you saying that sounds like the pot calling the kettle black – especially after all the accusations you’ve thrown at me for no reason. Maybe that’s the problem.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    You still don’t get it. Who says she won’t be punished? Who says the king won’t banish her from Mirkwood. Heck, according to certain people on IMDb who have seen the script, the reason we don’t see her in the LOTR movies is because she’s been banished from all of Middle-Earth.

    “Now you are just making facts out of thin air.”
    Not at all. There is a big difference between Legolas being able to heal and Bilbo being an alien. Your number one problem seems to be that you understand the difference between book canon and movie canon. I’ll give you an example to help you out. The Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum. Iconic classics in which the number one thematic element is that Oz is a real place. An alternate dimension. In the classic with Judy Garland, it’s just a dream and the place doesn’t actually exist. You see how that works. The canon of the books doesn’t always make its way to the movie adaptions.
    In general, you just seem to be throwing fits over the fact that a lot of people disagree with you about her character. If you’re going to behave this way in real life, you’re going to have a very rough go of it.
    You didn’t like her. Millions of others did. That’s life. You have to move on.

  • Rain in the Dark

    Yeah, because our little 2-thousand-year-old Legolas can’t understand for himself that it was a foolish thing to do and needs his daddy to make his decisions for him. How he was even chosen to be one of the Fellowship is beyond me. Point is, the scene doesn’t make sense. He should have dragged her back and spanked her for betraying their country and abandoning their King. But on the plus side, it’s probably what is going to reform our bad, spoiled, prejudiced Legolas into calm, collected and open-minded warrior that we see in LOTR! He even wants to make friends with a Dwarf! Isn’t that fun? Way to diminish the prejudice problem, PJ.

    “There is a big difference between Legolas being able to heal and Bilbo being an alien.”

    Is there? None of these things are brought up or even indicated in the Hobbit or the trilogy, so why?

    “Your number one problem seems to be that you don’t understand the difference between book canon and movie canon.”

    Oh, I understand them just fine. I don’t mind the changes if they make sense. Boromir, Aragorn and Gollum from LOTR are portrayed very differently from the book, yet I really like how they turned out. I didn’t mind Denethor because there was just so little time to show the character how he was meant to be, so PJ simplified him. And that was fine. I also didn’t mind Arwen’s extended part, because it worked in the story as a whole and helped develop it, etc., etc. I don’t mindlessly jump at change just because things are changed.

    That said, what was the point of the healing part other than to make Tauriel’s character special? It wasn’t necessary for the story and added nothing to it. Couldn’t they find a healer at Lake Town? It’s not like they had to hide anymore.

    “In general, you just seem to be throwing fits over the fact that a lot of people disagree with you about her character. If you’re going to behave this way in real life, you’re going to have a very rough go of it.”

    Woah, getting personal again, aren’t we? Stop right there, or I’ll be forced to point out that you seem way more concerned that I disagree with you than the other way round, along with several other things you might not want to hear. We’ve been through this, remember? So keep calm. Keep breathing. Keep your arguments to the point. Remember, it’s really not necessary to end your post with a personal jab. You are getting there!

  • CruzLovesMovies

    Good Lord. it’s like you don’t understand that it’s a movie. Legolas didn’t drag her back because the elves have to get to Laketown to help the dwarves. That’s the plot. Stop thinking they they’re real people who make decisions the same way we do.

    How did she betray the kingdom and abandon the king? The King has tons of guards at his disposal and was safe and sound inside Mirkwood. It’s not like she left him in danger. Plus, she left BEFORE the king gave the order for the gates to be shut and for no one to leave, so she didn’t betray him at all.

    “Is there? None of these things are brought up or even indicated in the Hobbit or the trilogy, so why?”
    Yes, because one is very possible within the world of the movie, and the other is absurd and has nothing to do with a fantasy film set in Middle-Earth. You’re being childish now. There are no aliens in Middle-Earth, but it is possible Legolas might have some healing abilities.

  • Anorien

    Teenage? I wasn’t aware I was a teenager. Interesting.
    I never once said it wasn’t okay to like her. I’m illustrating why those of us who don’t like her don’t. I never said anyone else couldn’t or shouldn’t.

  • Rain in the Dark

    “Good Lord. it’s like you don’t understand that it’s a movie. Legolas didn’t drag her back because the elves have to get to Laketown to help the dwarves.”

    So just because it’s a movie we shouldn’t be concerned that the characters are acting OOC and that the plot doesn’t make any sense – even in a fantasy world? What you are basically saying is that we are meant to take any crap that PJ throws on us lying down and not commenting on it, just because it’s a movie. Maybe if it doesn’t make sense it should just be dropped altogether, so that the suspension of disbelief isn’t strained to its highest point during the movie.

    “How did she betray the kingdom and abandon the king? The King has tons of guards at his disposal and was safe and sound inside Mirkwood.”

    Are you forgetting she is the Captain of the Guard and basically left them without command? Are you forgetting that Mirkwood is at the brink of fully-fleshed war, barely fending off Orks and Spiders, and therefore need every bow at their disposal – not to mention the bow of the freaking Captain of Guard?

    “Yes, because one is very possible within the world of the movie, and the other is absurd and has nothing to do with a fantasy film set in Middle-Earth.”

    Now you are contradicting yourself. You’ve just said we shouldn’t be concerned with logic because it’s a movie. You also said that we should’t mix book canon and movie canon, but it’s not like PJ ever bothered to explain how healing works in HIS version after he’s changed it, so there might be a lot of things he’s changed without bothering to explain them. So if we can assume that Legolas is a healer even though there’s no indication whatsoever of this, why can’t we assume that Bilbo is an alien, Gandalf is a woman and all of them are secretly gay?

  • CruzLovesMovies

    Funny how most people don’t think the characters are acting OOC. Funny how most people don’t think the plot doesn’t make sense. But what do the critics and the rest of the masses know, right? You’re the end all be all of cinema. They should all come and consult you about such matters.
    Leaving them without command equals betraying the king and the kingdom? Would you like to but a jumping to conclusions mat? I hear Amazon has good prices on them right now.
    Brink of fully-fleshed war? Please tell me you’re kidding. There is NOTHING in the movie that even remotely implies that Mirkwood is at war with anyone. The spiders pose very little threat to them, and the elves have no problem dealing with them. As for the orcs, those orcs were the first ones anyone in Mirkwood has seen near their grounds in quite some time. The King thinks all he has to do is increase the watch and stop people from leaving, and the Orcs will just ignore them. That’s how confident he is that the orcs are only after the dwarves and couldn’t care less about them. Let me repeat that for you: The Orcs are not after the king or any of the elves in Mirkwood. The King even believes that whatever is going on between the orcs and the dwarves is none of their business.
    I NEVER said we shouldn’t be concerned with logic. Stop making things up. I said saying Legolas could heal is not the same as saying Bilbo could be an alien. Legolas being able to heal makes sense to his species and is not only possible within these movies, but plausible. Aliens are neither possible or plausible as there is no evidence with the 2 Hobbit movies or the three LOTR movies that aliens exist within Middle-Earth. You simply do not seem to understand the difference between plausibility and impossibility. Do you not see how childish you’re coming across as? Let me say it again. Legolas COULD heal as it wouldn’t be totally implausible for him to have that ability as Jackson has not shown us which elves have that ability within his canon. That is in a completely league than Bilbo being an alien or Gandalf being a woman, as there is no prior evidence of that. There IS prior evidence, however, of elves being able to heal people, and because we see tauriel healing someone and we didn’t expect her to have that ability, it’s the natural course of logic to assume that other elves might have that ability that we don’t know of. On the other hand, there isn’t anything to suggest aliens exist in middle-earth or that Gandalf is a woman.
    I can see now that I struck a nerve when I dared to disagree with you about not only Tauriel, but this movie in general. You clearly disliked it, so one has to wonder why you are spending so much energy talking about it. Normal people like to avoid talking about things they dislike, but I suppose you’re getting into arguments and being stubborn simply so that you have someone to talk to online. How sad. I can see now that you refuse to listen to reason or respect the opinions of others, and given your use of the impossibility fallacy by suggesting that literally ANYTHING is possible just because Tauriel can heal, it’s clear that you have no interest in actually having an intelligent discussion with anyone about said subject. I’m done with you. Don’t bother responding, because I won’t be reading anymore of your posts.

  • Rain in the Dark

    “Funny how most people don’t think the characters are acting OOC. Funny how most people don’t think the plot doesn’t make sense. But what do the critics and the rest of the masses know, right? You’re the end all be all of cinema. They should all come and consult you about such matters.”

    Why don’t you come out and do that and prove to me that the plot is coherent and the characters aren’t OOC instead of incessantly saying that the critics disagree with me?

    “Leaving them without command equals betraying the king and the kingdom?”

    Yes, it does. Have you ever served in the army?

    “Brink of fully-fleshed war? Please tell me you’re kidding. There is NOTHING in the movie that even remotely implies that Mirkwood is at war with anyone.”

    Because the Orcs getting past every defense and attacking the fortress directly in broad daylight aren’t a cause for concern, just as the Dwarf-eating spiders found so close to the palace. It makes no sense that they’d simply followed the Dwarves since they had been pretty disoriented, and the spiders are impatient creatures – they would have just jumped them sooner. There’s everything to indicate that the dark powers are getting restless – both Orcs and Spiders coming closer and getting bolder, and have you forgotten Sauron in Dol Guldur? Even if Thranduil doesn’t see the situation from his walls, his responsible Captain of Guard and the experienced prince out in the battlefield should have a legitimate cause for concern. Which I believe the King does, btw. He might be keeping up front, but I don’t think that PJ could make him that dim.

    “Do you not see how childish you’re coming across as?”

    All I am doing is apply the exact logic you’ve used to ridiculous statements. Experimenting, you could say. Guess what I’ve found out? With that logic, you could excuse anything. That’s what YOU are coming across as, and you are calling me childish.

    I’ve explained to you why the scene where Legolas leaves with Tauriel makes no sense. Your exact response was: “Legolas didn’t drag her back because the elves have to get to Laketown to help the dwarves. That’s the plot. Learn a thing or two about screenwriting.”

    So basically, you are acknowledging that the scene doesn’t make sense and also saying that it doesn’t have to make sense as long as it’s to move the plot forwards. Think. Basically, you are saying that common sense – logic, that is – doesn’t matter as long as it’s for the sake of the plot.

    Then there’s the fact that you’ve said that we shouldn’t mix book canon and movie canon. I’ll come back to that point later. But basically, what you are implying is that one can do whatever he wants with book canon, no matter what it is, not address it at all and it would be okay, because it’s not book canon. That’s the second point you’ve made.

    All I did was apply those two points, along with “as long as it’s not brought up it might be possible” to those ridiculous statements to show you what you sound like, and you’ve made the verdict yourself. Childish. Mind you, it wasn’t me that said it first.

    I probably should specify that almost everything that’s going on with Tauriel on-screen makes as much sense for me as Bilbo being an alien does for you. I probably shouldn’t make any guesses if you would still be on PJ’s side if he did make Bilbo into an alien – and support his decision and ‘author’s view’ it with the same arguments that you’ve made during our discussion.

    About book and movie canons. You are forgetting that some things in the movie, like Dol Guldur, would be very hard to understand without the knowledge of book canon. None of my friends at the theatre understood it, I had to explain it to them. So really, to quote you: “Tauriel defenders need to make up their minds. You can’t both distance yourself from canon and rely on it at the same time to understand a movie”. Basically, if you make a change, explain clearly where the story stands now or don’t bother with it. Otherwise the watchers will just become confused. And that’s the heart of the issue, not the fact that Legolas might or might not be a healer movie-verse.

    Speaking of that, I could still probably continue that argument just for the heck of it, since being irrational was so much fun, and maybe could even bring up some additional points. But this comment is getting too long anyway.

    Awww, it’s so sweet how some things never change it the end and the end note is still a personal jab.

    “I’m done with you.”

    Do you mean that you are out of constructive things to say?

    Anyway, thanks. It was fun, really, but I’m afraid that we don’t really belong together. I will keep fond memories of you. Ciao!

  • Rain in the Dark

    “Funny how most people don’t think the characters are acting OOC. Funny how most people don’t think the plot doesn’t make sense. But what do the critics and the rest of the masses know, right? You’re the end all be all of cinema. They should all come and consult you about such matters.”

    Why don’t you come out and do that and prove to me that the plot is coherent and the characters aren’t OOC instead of incessantly saying that the critics disagree with me?

    “Leaving them without command equals betraying the king and the kingdom?”

    Yes, it does. Have you ever served in the army?

    “Brink of fully-fleshed war? Please tell me you’re kidding. There is NOTHING in the movie that even remotely implies that Mirkwood is at war with anyone.”

    Because the Orcs getting past every defense and attacking the fortress directly in broad daylight aren’t a cause for concern, just as the Dwarf-eating spiders found so close to the palace. It makes no sense that they’d simply followed the Dwarves since they had been pretty disoriented, and the spiders are impatient creatures – they would have just jumped them sooner. There’s everything to indicate that the dark powers are getting restless – both Orcs and Spiders coming closer and getting bolder, and have you forgotten Sauron in Dol Guldur? Even if Thranduil doesn’t see the situation from his walls, his responsible Captain of Guard and the experienced prince out in the battlefield should have a legitimate cause for concern. Which I believe the King does, btw. He might be keeping up front, but I don’t think that PJ could make him that dim.

    “Do you not see how childish you’re coming across as?”

    All I am doing is apply the exact logic you’ve used to ridiculous statements. Experimenting, you could say. Guess what I’ve found out? With that logic, you could excuse anything. That’s what YOU are coming across as, and you are calling me childish.

    I’ve explained to you why the scene where Legolas leaves with Tauriel makes no sense. Your exact response was: “Legolas didn’t drag her back because the elves have to get to Laketown to help the dwarves. That’s the plot. Learn a thing or two about screenwriting.”

    So basically, you are acknowledging that the scene doesn’t make sense and also saying that it doesn’t have to make sense as long as it’s to move the plot forwards. Think. Basically, you are saying that common sense – logic, that is – doesn’t matter as long as it’s for the sake of the plot.

    Then there’s the fact that you’ve said that we shouldn’t mix book canon and movie canon. I’ll come back to that point later. But basically, what you are implying is that one can do whatever he wants with book canon, no matter what it is, not address it at all and it would be okay, because it’s not book canon. That’s the second point you’ve made.

    All I did was apply those two points, along with “as long as it’s not brought up it might be possible” to those ridiculous statements to show you what you sound like, and you’ve made the verdict yourself. Childish. Mind you, it wasn’t me that said it first.

    I probably should specify that almost everything that’s going on with Tauriel on-screen makes as much sense for me as Bilbo being an alien does for you. I probably shouldn’t make any guesses if you would still be on PJ’s side if he did make Bilbo into an alien – and support his decision and ‘author’s view’ it with the same arguments that you’ve made during our discussion.

    About book and movie canons. You are forgetting that some things in the movie, like Dol Guldur, would be very hard to understand without the knowledge of book canon. None of my friends at the theatre understood it, I had to explain it to them. So really, to quote you: “Tauriel defenders need to make up their minds. You can’t both distance yourself from canon and rely on it at the same time to understand a movie”. Basically, if you make a change, explain clearly where the story stands now or don’t bother with it. Otherwise the watchers will just become confused. And that’s the heart of the issue, not the fact that Legolas might or might not be a healer movie-verse.

    Speaking of that, I could still probably continue that argument just for the heck of it, since being irrational was so much fun, and maybe could even bring up some additional points. But this comment is getting too long anyway.

    Awww, it’s so sweet how some things never change it the end and the end note is still a personal jab.

    “I’m done with you.”

    Do you mean that you are out of constructive things to say?

    Anyway, thanks. It was fun, really, but I’m afraid that we don’t really belong together. I will keep fond memories of you. Ciao!

  • Flannigan

    Actually, I am not under that impression, please read my comment
    again. Thank you for reading it. I merely named the love triangle
    that, because of its very sloppy work, and the probable motivation
    behind the love triangle.

    Sir, are you saying that the King didn’t need a captain of the
    guard? In that case, going with your theory, you must mean that Tauriel
    is a completely superfluous character. Thank you, I don’t see why
    we’re arguing if we agree.

    The imminent danger, of course, is from the orcs.

    That is not the way you craft an interesting character, and Tauriel
    isn’t one. I should know, I write fantasy for money, and teach
    Literature.

    She can have faults, but it begs the question that if she was so
    immature as to let her feelings run away with her head so easily, like
    every other fantasy female character ever, and that she’s so bipolar
    emotionally as to desert her post, why would she be Captain of the Guard
    at such a young age as 300?

    Not to mention, seriously, the hair thing is just wrong.

    She is the same character as every other badly drawn, sexist fantasy ‘I can fight that means I’m not 2D’ character.

    I know why I dislike her, as I have detailed for you above and in previous comments.

    So, I couldn’t disagree with you more, either. And would like to continue the debate. Thank you for reading.

  • Flannigan

    Hi, there’s something wrong and I cannot reply to people, so I’ll just reply here. @CruzLovesMovies (You have my little cousin’s name by the way.)

    Actually, I am not under that impression, please read my comment
    again. Thank you for reading it. I merely named the love triangle
    that, because of its very sloppy work, and the probable motivation
    behind the love triangle.

    Sir, are you saying that the King didn’t need a captain of the
    guard? In that case, going with your theory, you must mean that Tauriel
    is a completely superfluous character. Thank you, I don’t see why
    we’re arguing if we agree.

    The imminent danger, of course, is from the orcs.

    That is not the way you craft an interesting character, and Tauriel
    isn’t one. I should know, I write fantasy for money, and teach
    Literature.

    She can have faults, but it begs the question that if she was so
    immature as to let her feelings run away with her head so easily, like
    every other fantasy female character ever, and that she’s so bipolar
    emotionally as to desert her post, why would she be Captain of the Guard
    at such a young age as 300?

    Not to mention, seriously, the hair thing is just wrong.

    She is the same character as every other badly drawn, sexist fantasy ‘I can fight that means I’m not 2D’ character.

    I know why I dislike her, as I have detailed for you above and in previous comments.

    So, I couldn’t disagree with you more, either. And would like to continue the debate. Thank you for reading.

  • Flannigan

    Actually, I am not under that impression, please read my comment
    again. Thank you for reading it. I merely named the love triangle
    that, because of its very sloppy work, and the probable motivation
    behind the love triangle.

    Sir, are you saying that the King didn’t need a captain of the
    guard? In that case, going with your theory, you must mean that Tauriel
    is a completely superfluous character. Thank you, I don’t see why
    we’re arguing if we agree.

    The imminent danger, of course, is from the orcs.

    That is not the way you craft an interesting character, and Tauriel
    isn’t one. I should know, I write fantasy for money, and teach
    Literature.

    She can have faults, but it begs the question that if she was so
    immature as to let her feelings run away with her head so easily, like
    every other fantasy female character ever, and that she’s so bipolar
    emotionally as to desert her post, why would she be Captain of the Guard
    at such a young age as 300?

    Not to mention, seriously, the hair thing is just wrong.

    She is the same character as every other badly drawn, sexist fantasy ‘I can fight that means I’m not 2D’ character.

    I know why I dislike her, as I have detailed for you above and in previous comments.

    So, I couldn’t disagree with you more, either. And would like to continue the debate. Thank you for reading.

  • Flannigan

    please let this reply not disappear this time.

  • CruzLovesMovies

    There was nothing even remotely Twilight-like about the love triangle. As was said, it was more like something you would expect in a Richard Curtis film or a Jane Austen novel. The starlight dialogue from Kili was even inspired by Shakespeare.

    The king can have a captain of the guard, but even if that person is not there, the king is hardly a sitting duck. He’s an excellent fighter and has many people at his disposal.

    The orcs has no interest in the king whatsoever. That’s why he believes that all he has to do is double the watch and close the gates, and the orcs will just leave them alone. It’s a sort “We don’t police the world” outlook that mirrors the real world.

    “That is not the way you craft an interesting character, and Tauriel
    isn’t one. I should know, I write fantasy for money, and teach
    Literature.”

    So because you write it and teach it, that means it’s a fact she’s not an interesting character and no one is allowed to disagree with you?

    Thanks for the laugh, but you don’t get to decide who is and isn’t an interesting character. Most critics found her to be an interesting character including Richard Roeper and other top critics. These people are experts on cinema. I’ll take their opinions over yours anyday. Not to mention that everyone I saw the movie with really enjoyed her character and found her to be very interesting. Are you saying we’re not allowed to think that just because you say so? Come on. Get real.

    The captain thing was discussed on IMDb a while back, and people talked about how Fran Walsh and others made it clear why she was captain of the guard. First of all, EL made a mistake. Tauriel is not 300. In the movie, Legolas even says that his father has looked after her for 600 years. So she’s older. Secondly, she’s an excellent fighter, which according to Jackson has a lot to do with the fact that she’s not royalty, and has thus worked harder than many people with more royal heritage. She has also in the past done well to suppress her emotions to the point where the king was able to focus on nothing but her fighting skills. Now, after 600 years, she’s finally had enough and can’t stand letting innocent people die.

    There is nothing wrong with the hair thing if you are referring to the length. The canon of a female’s elf’s hair being that important is not in the movies, just the books.

    “She is the same character as every other badly drawn, sexist fantasy ‘I can fight that means I’m not 2D’ character.”
    Your opinion. Nothing more. And an opinion that is very much in the vocal minority.

  • Nico

    They’re not disappearing. They’re just taking a while to show up. It happens and is very frustrating, I know.

  • Nico

    “That is not the way you craft an interesting character, and Tauriel
    isn’t one. I should know, I write fantasy for money, and teach
    Literature”

    Oh, boy. Here we go again. It doesn’t matter if you are the ghost of JRR Tolkien’s wife. You don’t get to dictate to the world which characters we are allowed to like or find it interesting. And as Cruzmovies pointed out, most people do like her and find her interesting. Are you planning on hunting all of us down and telling us we’re all wrong because you deem it so? What about the critics, are they all wrong, too?

    So you write books for money and teach forms of literature. We should care why? Peter Jackson and his writers write multi-million dollar screenplays and win awards and acclaim for said screenplays. It is foolish to think that they don’t know what they’re doing or that you know more about writing for film than they do. The objective was to create a female character that most people would like. Mission accomplished. They knew they couldn’t please 100% of the population, but they reached their goal of pleasing the masses. That’s what writing a blockbuster is all about. They created a character that has been well received by critics (and the actress was even nominated for a critics choice award for her performance) and people of many varying age groups and personalities. That positive reaction cannot be undone by some random person lecturing us about how the whole world is wrong and only she knows the truth because she teaches writing and writes books once in a while. This whole argument between you and Cruz seems to have started because you compared her to Jar Jar. Jar Jar was hated by nearly everyone who saw those movies, even the people who didn’t think they were that bad. He was also consistently mentioned by critics as being a very annoying and grating character with no redeemable qualities. The reaction to Tauriel was nearly the exact opposite of that, so your argument fails. You can say till the cows come home that you didn’t like her, but comparing her to Jar Jar shows ignorance, and acting like your opinion is a fact shows delusion.

  • Anorien

    You want disrespect? How about stalking someone. How about slandering them on an open forum and getting your little friends to do the same? Don’t dismiss me as being a child because I disagree with you, I’m likely older than you are. I never said you couldn’t have an opinion or that you’re wrong. But what I will say is that you are an absolute psychopath, and you’d do well to stop talking to and about me.

  • Flannigan

    Hey Nico, thanks for joining the discussion. I’m glad you had fun with it. We’re not speaking about what characters people like and how people like them, we’re talking about the method of how to craft interesting characters, thanks for the comment, though.

    I do know about writing and teach Literature. Thank you for acknowledging that.

    I am so glad you mentioned the failings of screenwriters, too! Its not every day you see a person that admits very good directors have flaws. Jackson really can’t write romance, and was obviously going for the ‘tween’ crowd with his Twilight romance.

    Again, thanks for commenting.

  • Flannigan

    Ah? Oh well. Discus is playing up, so if you’ve commented more than here and below, I’m not getting it. Just so everyone knows.

  • Nico

    I hope you’re joking. I was being VERY sarcastic. I’m saying it’s irrelevant what you teach or what you write as you don’t know half as much about screenwriting as Jackson and Del Toro. Jackson didn’t write the romance by himself. He had Boyens and Walsh to help him, and they are two fantastic female writers. Twilight romance? There was nothing about the romance (if you can even call it that since it took up so little screen-time) that reminded me of those awful Twilight movies (can’t say anything about the books as I have never read them). The dialogue was not like Twilight. The characters were not like Twilight. So what exactly are you talking about? In fact, the speech Kili gives after Tauriel heals him in Laketown is very derivative of William Shakespeare’s work, as Jackson himself has admitted. I’m not a “tween.” Neither is anyone I saw this movie with, and we all loved the interaction between Kili and Tauriel, so your logic fails once again. Don’t insult people who like something you don’t by implying they’re tweens, and don’t be so arrogant as to think you know more about crafting interesting characters than the likes of Jackson and Del Toro. That’s just silly and makes you come across as someone who has a huge ego problem.

  • Flannigan

    I think we’re referring to two different ‘that’s’. Please rephrase argument.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth, I have tried very hard not to do so to you. But it seems I have upset you. I do not know why, as I have made no personal attacks on you, nor mentioned anyone’s attitudes and their rudeness in posts. I was trying to be kind, as I find it is best to let insults slide, rather than take them on board.

    Please, sooner or later you must learn not to invest your personality into something you like. The things you like are not you. You are so much more than that.

    I am interested in continuing this debate.

    Seeing as I am 71 years old, I feel I am entitled to a little inability to understand computers. I am doing the best I can.

  • Flannigan

    Oh dear, I am very clumsy on computers. Am I doing something wrong? This has only just shown up on my email. I hope I haven’t ruined the debate. I do love a good debate. Please, if you’ve replied at all, its not getting to me. Could you copy paste to me here?

  • Flannigan

    Yes, Nico, I can be sarcastic too. Perhaps I have had more practice than you.

    Forgive me, I have a strange sense of humour that doesn’t translate well over the internet.

    I have seemed to hurt your feelings, though, and you’ve unfortunately given way to personal attacks. This does disappoint me, I had been looking forward to see you argue. I like to hear people’s arguments as they give me an opportunity to learn about other’s interests.

    However, I understand that people’s passions are inflamed on the internet, and so like to ignore any sort of insult. I feel its kinder. Many a time, I’ve gone away from an argument and realised I was far too passionate, stupidly sarcastic, and railroaded my debate partner. So I understand that you do not really mean the things that you say.

    I would still like to debate you properly, though, as I see that passed all that defensiveness, you have the makings of a rather good debater. If we could get your emotions under control.

    I do not mean to be condescending. This is, unfortunately the way I speak. So I guess I’ll just come out and say it: what you like is not you. It is not part of your personality. You do not need to feel personally attacked because someone doesn’t like a thing that you like. You are a bigger, better person than that. You don’t have to cower and hit at anything that comes near you, because one that doesn’t like the thing you like isn’t attacking you.

    You’re going to run into things you don’t like, and please, take some ancient advise: To strike in anger means you’ve already lost.

    Perhaps you would like to postpone the debate until you feel better. I don’t like to think people are upset.

  • Nico

    Your strategy is so obvious now. You go out of your way to anger people by demeaning them and acting as if your opinion is fact, and then when someone calls you on it, you play the “Oh, don’t get angry and resort to personal attacks” card.
    You’ve become transparent now, sweetie. Time to find a new gimmick to get a rise out of people.
    And I see that you didn’t respond to a single valid point I made, and that’s obviously because you have no response other than “I’m a teacher, so my word is law.” If you had actually bothered to watch a Twilight movie, you would see that not a single scene in that movie even remotely resembles anything in Desolation of Smaug. And what kind of literature teacher has never read Shakespeare? That’s the only explanation for why you didn’t recognize Kili’s speech as being derivative of Shakespeare. But please, go ahead and tell me what scene from this movie resembles a scene from twilight in the slightest. I’ll wait. Have you actually ever seen a Twilight movie, or is it just you go-to insult to say anything you don’t like resembles twilight? If I had to compare the Kili/Tauriel romance to an actual movie, I’d have to say they’re like Jack/Rose from James Cameron’s Titanic. People from two separate worlds who have a strong sense of doom hanging over them.

  • Flannigan

    ‘Calmness is the cradle of power’. I did try. Unfortunately a lot of it went over your head.

    @CruzLovesMovies:disqus Thank you for a great debate comment, and for being a great sport. I don’t know if you commented again, as my discuss is playing up. If you did, I am sorry I could not reply. Looking forward to debating you in the future, you win my upvote. Don’t bother with the other’s they’re mostly attacking me. Which only means that unlike you, they don’t know how to debate. Cheers.

  • Flannigan

    Enough, now, dear. You’re talking yourself in circles, and as I have
    been up with my insomnia all night, I must get to bed. I know nothing I
    say will sway you, you will either realise the subtlety, or you will
    not. So I will leave you with a thank you for caring enough to stick
    with me through the hours, even though you must have had more important
    things to do. Please don’t keep yourself up worrying, angering and
    upsetting yourself so much. What is that saying ‘don’t dish up what you
    can’t eat’? Also, one last parting thing before I go: You need to tone
    down your sarcasm. It works better as a ripple, not a tromp. Cheers.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Mod stepping in here. This is directed at @jaedongranger:disqus and Nico. Lay off the personal attacks. It’s not something we tolerate in our comments section. You can debate, but keep it civil. You’ve both been dancing on the edge for a while, and if it continues we’ll have to ban you.

  • Taurnil

    Wow… I’m sorry but that’s pathetic. First of all: If Tauriel was male I can guarantee all the people who dislike her now would still dislike her just as much, the only difference would be that your whole argument would become invalid.

    So if you think that anyone who dislikes Tauriel is apparently now sexist I’ve decided that anyone who does like her is now homophobic. Legolas, a character who many fans of the book saw as homosexual, was made hetersexual to surface her plot taking away a minority inspiration. By supporting her you are also saying that Kíli, a character from the book with undetermined sexuality, must be heterosexual because that is the majority. I cannot believe how homophobic you are being- its sick!

  • Oscar Slagveer

    A lot of people are complaining about her love triangle but wasn’t there the same kind of love triangle-ish thing going on in the Lord of the Rings between Eowyn and Aragorn which also didn’t add much to the story. No one found that annoying, no one made a hate page for that. Why? Because it was in the book??????????

  • Thurman Ulrich

    If you want strong female characters, get more women to write about it. But you do not want that; you want to take great works of literature and alter it to suit your own twisted fantasy of what constitutes equality.

    Fanboys don’t need to be re-educated or crushed; fangirls need to work up the courage to write their own books with female characters in them. This is the problem with the so-called egalitarians, you hijack every good thing that comes along without attempting to write material of your own.

    I hate 90% of the so-called egalitarians, delusional, lacking talent, female chauvinists who hijack everything male while screaming for everything female to remain the way they are.

    sincerely,
    A Black, female-to-male transsexual.

  • The Effect

    This author is making a good point about why it’s dumb that anyone had a problem with the character. It’s a film adaption of a book with way too scarce a material with which to work. The Lord of the Rings is different – those books were way too LONG, and loaded with so much unnecessary nonsense, that it’s a wonder they could make any sort of movie out of it at all.

    But it’s also really dumb – one thing the author hasn’t seemed to have figured out quite – that anyone had a problem with the romance elements. A good story has a little of it in one form or another. And it’s an interesting concept how an elf and a dwarf slowly grow interested in each other, despite the hostility between their two kinds. A contrast, and an ingenious one given… It was also really well done, and really well acted – far better than the generic “pretty boy elf and action heroine she-elf” that would be between her and Legolas.

    And without even going into all that, J.R.R. Tolkien has way too much of a stiff writing style. He allowed for way too little humanity and person-ability in his work. By today’s standards, especially. There had to be an injection of some kind to make it something people wouldn’t snore through – especially since both films thus far have been close to three hours long. And, as the article points out, there was a lot of editing in the Lord of the Rings, too. Editing that had to be done, and continues to need to be done… to make it more palatable.

    Let’s drop the righteously-indignant act. Skip the “but Lord of the Rings isn’t SUPPOSED to have romance in it” attitude. Completely forget the “but this WASN’T IN THE BOOK” stuff (which you’d think people would have figured out never makes a darn bit o’difference when a book is being adapted to screen). And just focus on the fact that the movie turned out mostly very well. Just allow yourselves to enjoy it, without nitpicking about it. And if you REALLY hate it THAT much… then remember that if the actress herself was against it and they still pushed it through (at least, I enjoyed it, in my honest opinion)…

    …than nothing you say or do is going to change it, anyway.

  • The Effect

    That’s retarded. I’ve actively chosen not to reply to some real (non-) choice comments on here, but this one’s just so much that it has to be said.

    That’s retarded.