Who is Tauriel and why are they adding her to the Hobbit movies?

  • Peter Jackson has added a new character Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lily) to the Hobbit movie.
    She's apparently a Mirkwood elf and a love interest for Legolas and not in the original.
    Does anyone know anymore about this character and more importantly why did Peter Jackson and company feel he had to add a new character?

    Because they need to stretch it out across three to make back the money they've invested in it, and the original book is only enough for *perhaps* two movies lasting three hours.

    Obviously Mr Jackson is pushing the fans to see what he can get away with before they start complaining. Also I VTC as non constructive - this question isn't going anywhere useful and is speculative at best.

    Unlike LotR, The Hobbit had (IIRC) not a single female character who did anything consequential or even had a name. This character was probably added to draw female viewers.

    @MichaelBorgwardt No question that *The Hobbit* had a deplorable lack of female characters, but iirc Bilbo's mother did indeed have a name (Belladonna Took), and was implied (if not explicitly mentioned) as the source of Bilbo's willingness to adventure. I know its not exactly a towering accomplishment of feminism in literature (its still about as far from that as a novel can get), but at least she did have a name.

    @Beofett Did she do anything consequential in the book?

    @Keen its been a loooong time since I read it, but I'm not even sure she was *alive* in the book. Apparently it was mentioned that Gandalf knew her, and I think it was implied that she was uncharacteristically adventurous for a hobbit, but I believe that's about it. She's definitely not a character that has any direct interactions within the book, let alone enough of an impact to justify the (near?) total absence of other female characters.

    "why did Peter Jackson and company feel he had to add a new character?". Apparently, you don't know any women, or people in entertainment industry; or the question of "why was a love interest of Orlando Bloom added to a blockbuster movie" would not need to be asked :) .

    Personally, I was hoping for more of Galadriel... you know, give her a sword, have her teleport around the battlefield, kicking Uruk Hai butt while serenely smiling the whole time...;)

    @djm I think adding Uruk Hai to the Hobbit would be the final straw for me.

    @AnthonyGrist Good point! I should have said goblins/orcs.

    @djm: your wishes will be fulfilled (well, not the sword perhaps). Galadriel is going to kick the Necromancer's ass out of Dol Guldur - that's actually canon (retconned by Tolkien in the LotR appendices).

    Pretty obvious but I feel it is worth explicitly stating. The addition of more female roles into the Hobbit movies is a good thing. Plain and simple. The absence of females in the novel is a mistake that I am glad is being rectified in the movies. Canon be damned if need be. We can call it misogyny on the part of Bilbo as an unreliable narrator if we must.

    @DampeS8N I'll probably get into trouble for saying this but: I have a problem with it but not for the reasons most people would suspect. It's the hypocrisy that bothers me. It seems that people are arguing that gender doesn't matter except of course when it does. This irrational behavior isn't helping anyone. Perhaps I'll open this dialogue on the skeptics site...

    @djm There is no hypocrisy in giving women their due. Does every movie need equal representation? No. However, the addition of a few new female roles, and the showing of events involving females that happened at the same time but were detailed in later works are small changes that admit the existence of important women, without saying anything close to "gender doesn't matter". Anyone who says that gender doesn't matter is oversimplifying reality.

    @DampeS8N - I don't believe it is a "mistake" in the books. Tolkien wrote the books from a particular point of view, and he obviously couldn't say everything. There is backstory there. Galadriel is a big one, and I'm glad to have more of her. Legolas & Tauriel in the Hobbit? Not very glad about that, but oh well.

    @MichaelBorgwardt: “This character was probably added to draw female viewers.” Some of us chaps like female characters too.

    @Paul D. Waite: Sure, but their absence isn't going to put us off the movie for lack of anyone to identify with. At least that's probably the logic of whoever thought this characters was needed, and I don't think it's entirely wrong.

    @MichaelBorgwardt: yeah maybe.

  • Correct answer

    8 years ago

    There's no authority whatsoever in Tolkien's writing for the character of Tauriel, so she must be considered as purely a Jackson invention. The Wikipedia page on her seems as good a source of information as any (and cites references so it can be considered reasonably accurate), so let's quote some extracts from it:

    She is a Woodland Elf whose name means "Daughter of Mirkwood", and is the head of the Mirkwood Elven guard.

    Strictly speaking this should be "Forest Daughter" as "Taur" is just "forest"; "Taur nu Fuin" is "Forest under Nightshade", i.e. Mirkwood (there was an earlier Taur nu Fuin in the First Age too.) "-iel" is just a common feminine name ending that can be loosely interpreted as "daughter", but may be equally valid as "maid", "girl", etc. "-iel" is also present in "Galadriel", a bastardized/Sindarized version of Alatáriel - "maiden crowned with a radiant garland".

    The actress playing her has this comment to make:

    I believe she is authentic, because Tolkien refers to The Woodland Elves, he just doesn’t talk about who they are specifically… [Peter and Fran] know that world so well. They’re not going to create a character that is not true to Tolkien’s world.

    I'm not too certain about that latter part, but I'll refrain from further comment on that as it's personal opinion. Moving on, we see the following description:

    As head of the Elven guard, she is proficient in a variety of weapons, but mainly wields a bow and two daggers, weapons that are also used by the character Legolas, who appeared in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and who also appears in The Hobbit films, though the two are not romantically linked.

    This, of course, gives nothing away about how the character is going to be developed in the upcoming movies (but the focus on weapons seems to indicate she's going to be like Arwen in the first half of Jackson's FotR), so ultimately we'll have to wait and see.

    `They’re not going to create a character that is not true to Tolkien’s world.` - I don't believe that. They added Lurtz (Fellowship) and Damrod (Two Towers-Faramir's lieutenant), and vastly changed the roles of others

    I don't believe it either, but commenting on it doesn't seem relevant to answering the question.

    By "true to Tolkien's world" she didn't seem to mean "a character that Tolkien didn't invent", but "a character that feels out of place or inappropriate".

    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan - you mean like a bunch of Elves at Helm's Deep were **not** out of place? :) Or, dwarf tossing jokes were **not** inappropriate?

    I agree about the dwarf-tossing, but I like the elves at Helm's Deep. I can hotly debate this on Chat if you want. :)

    @mh01 - that's why I didn't put it as an answer. DVK makes a good point about the other possible meaning being false as well

    Good god, what is there to argue about? Jackson has butchered the story to the point that he might as well have Gandalf jump a shark tank on his wagon.

    @SSumner - "They’re not going to create a character that is not true to Tolkien’s world." - Evangeline Lilly... Well, I saw the movie last night and I'm pretty sure **Shai Hulud** made an appearance, so that kind of shoots down that quote.

    @user23715 - if you read my comment, I mentioned that that quote is false

    @SSumner -Aww... You didn't like my *Shai Hulud* joke... **:(** **

    @user23715- I don't know who that is, so no, I didn't get it...

    @SSumner - It's a **Dune** reference. If you can handle LotR (especially the Appendices) or the Silmarillion, then **Dune** by Frank Herbert might be something you'll like.

    @user23715- ah, thanks. I've heard of it but don't have the time now.

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