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.