Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First Glimpse - Tauriel from The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

As of this morning Entertainment Weekly posted our first clear glimpse of the elven Tauriel from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, who is played by Lost alum Evangeline Lilly.


Tauriel ('Woodland daughter' (S. taur [forest, great] + -iell [pat. fem. suffix; daughter])) as they have come to call the unnamed elf who appears in the Elven King’s halls plays a small but key role in The Hobbit. Peter Jackson has expanded the role in The Desolation of Smaug but we won’t know to what extent until the film hits the big screen. It's hard to tell if Tauriel is the same elf that helps Bilbo in the halls of the Elven King (revealed to be Thranduil, the Elven King of Mirkwood Forest) or if Jackson has conflated a number of characters into her role.

However, the styling has got to have J.R.R. Tolkien rolling in his grave. Tauriel looks like the love child of Peter Pan and Link from The Legend of Zelda. It makes sense that she's all in green, given that Thranduil's kingdom lies in the heart of the Mirkwood, but I expected a bit more camoflauge and a little less costume.

Evangeline says this of her role (Entertainment Weekly):
“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 bit.”

Tolkien's The Silmarillion and the many volumes of The History of Middle Earth go into great detail regarding the different demarcations and schisms of the Elves throughout the Four Ages. There are small but important differences, to which Lilly alludes to when she indicates that Tauriel is a Silvan elf and not of a different elven group.

It’s said she will have a “significant” relationship with Legolas, the son of Thranduil, but whether that means romantic or not we’ll have to see. Lilly has been adamant that it is not of a romantic nature. Peter Jackson has indicated that Tauriel actually means "Daughter of Mirkwood." Taken literally, she could end up being related to Legolas and/or Thranduil.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens December 13, 2013.

5 comments:

  1. 'Daughter of the forest' is a weak name for a wood elf.

    One point is that both Tauriel and Legolas are Sindarin not Sylvan names, so maybe that is a clue to their relationship? They might both be outsiders of a sort in Mirkwood? That is of course assuming that the film people have bothered with the intricacies of elvish.

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    1. The Sindarin and Silvan elves both derive from the elven grouping of Teleri. The fact that both Tauriel and Legolas have Sindarin names is of little consequence. The Silvan elves in the Mirkwood are of Nandarian descent, but they have been ruled by the Sindarin since settling in the Greenwood (before the Neuromancer took up residence and then the forest was referred to as the Mirkwood).

      That being said, Silvan is also just the distinction to mark them as so-called "Wood Elves." You could also call the Noldor Elves living within Lothlorien Silvan elves.

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    2. And by Neuromancer I obviously mean Necromancer. Mixing my sci fi and fantasy after a long day!

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    3. Nandorin is sometimes called Sylvan elvish. That is what I meant by Sylvan names. Sindarin was the common language of Mirkwood elves by the 3rd age, but the Sindalië there (including Legolas) there were part of a ruling elite. Presumably the Laegelrim in Mirkwood would still be giving their children Nandorin (or at least Nandorin sounding) names, and not Sindarin ones—as they still kept to Nandorin nomenclature and place-names, albeit in a somewhat Sindar-ified form . Even ‘Legolas’, though Sindarin, is a countrified Sylvan form. ‘Laegolas’ would be correct Sindarin, and even that is quaint and archaic. If he was from anywhere else he would probably just be ‘Calenlas’. Tauriel, like Thranduil, on the other hand is a pure Sindarin. So I think it is fair to guess that Tauriel could be part of the same class of ruling Sindar as Legolas.

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