We’ve seen glimpses of Tauriel, the elven warrior and brand new character Evangeline Lilly will play in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, but today Entertainment Weekly‘s got our first official look. Yup, that’s a lady elf all right.
Director Peter Jackson and co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, felt the need to introduce a new character not seen in any of Tolkien’s works to not only expand upon the elves of Mirkwood Forest but to increase the female roles of the story. The Hobbit, the book, contains no women, whatsoever. Speaking to EW, Lilly explains her character,
Tauriel is the head of the Elven Guard. She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.
She goes on to say, “She will definitely have a love story.” *eye roll* Of course, can’t include a lady and not have her fall in love. Lilly adds, “I can’t give away too much about it. It’s not a huge focus but it is there and it is important and it does drive Tauriel and her story and her actions.” I’m hoping said romance won’t be with fellow elf, Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Besides, he’s got Gimli.
Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas is significant. They’ve known each other since they were children, and Legolas’ dad, [Elven king] Thranduil, has a soft spot for Tauriel and sees something very special in her. So if you grow up side by side, and your dad has a very special spot in his heart for this young woman who’s a fantastic warrior, I think it’s hard not to notice her. That’s probably as much as I can say.
And Lilly’s got something to say those worried the inclusion of a character not of Tolkien’s will ruin the movies,
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are going to be people who will totally hate Tauriel, think that she shouldn’t be in the movie, that it’s a betrayal of Tolkien, and no matter what I do it won’t be right. There will be everything between that and people who adore her and think it’s such a fun thing to have added to the film. I kind of got prepped for that being on Lost, because we had avid fans who were really extreme in their feelings about the show and its characters. But I think if anyone knows how to respect Tolkien, it’s Peter, Fran and Phil. And Tauriel fits perfectly in that world.
I’m definitely excited to meet Tauriel. I want to learn more about the elves, and specifically want to see more of them in these movies. Arwen’s always been a luke-warm character for me, and while I still liked her, I’m looking forward to a elven lady who can kick some ass. And I feel confidant Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens have added her to the story with care, not haphazardly. What are your thoughts about Tauriel? Excited or miffed she’s been added?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theatres this December 13th.