I just read Entertainment Weekly’s article about the addition of Evangeline Lilly’s character, Tauriel, for the next installment of The Hobbit. If you don’t really feel up to reading it, here’s what I took away from it:
- Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens decided to invent a new elf character to expand the elves in Murkwood Forest.
- Lilly describes her as “slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill” and “goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”
- Writers felt the male-dominant cast needed a female element.
- Oh and she possibly has a love story with Legolas… (hu?)
First off, I’m not a fiction purist. I completely understand that books and movies/tv shows must tell stories in different ways. In fact, I loved Ros on Game of Thrones. She did not exist in A Song of Ice and Fire but she existed in the HBO show as a way for characters to share what was on their minds with the audience. But here’s the thing…
I do not enjoy it when movies/tv shows throw in a strong female character just for the hell of it. Imagine if they threw a girl into Stand By Me because it was too male dominant. No thanks. Female characters are not a quota that need to be filled in order for me to enjoy something. Granted, when a fiction completely puts down the female half of the population, then yes, that’s upsetting. In the words of Jim Carey, there is no such thing as a weaker sex! But that doesn’t mean that filmmakers need to capitalize on this in every single film. In fact, just linking to the elves at all in the Middle Earth world makes me think of Galadriel and Arwen, two very strong females. I don’t need to see them to know they’re there and that they are way more badass than many of the other characters.
I love Peter Jackson. I love what he did with Lord of the Rings, especially when he gave some of Tom Bombadil’s lines to Treebeard. Jackson is a huge Tolkien fan, so he knows what parts to pay homage to. This has certainly given me a reason to trust you Mr. Jackson, but I’m still a little wary of this new character!
I love Bilbo. For me, there’s nothing better than a reluctant hero. So for this reason, I will definitely be seeing the next installment of The Hobbit come December. As of now, I’m not too happy about this Tauriel, but I’ll try to give her a chance. Maybe.