Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Première Berlin
Even the smartest Tolkien fan would be hard pressed to find Evangeline Lilly’s Hobbit character Tauriel in Middle Earth canon.
That’s because she’s brand new.
Peter Jackson and his team made a rare decision for the franchise when they created a female elf named Tauriel for The Hobbit series, whose second film The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters this Friday.
Producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens said that the decision to create Tauriel came from the “lack” of female characters in The Hobbit. “Professor Tolkien actually wrote fantastic female characters, he just didn’t write one for The Hobbit,” she says.
Lilly, a Tolkien fan herself (“She’s not joking, she’s a huge fan,” Boyens told us), agreed with the need for a female role. “In Tolkien’s defense, he was writing in 1937. The world is a different place today, and I keep repeatedly telling people that in this day and age, to put nine hours of cinema entertainment in the theaters for young girls to go and watch, and not have one female character, is subliminally telling them, ‘You don’t count, you’re not important, and you’re not pivotal to story.’”
She feels Jackson and company made a smart decision. “I just think they were very brave and very right in saying we won’t do that to the young female audience. And not just the young female audience, but even a woman my own age, I think it’s time we stop making stories that are only about men, especially only about heroic men. I love that they made Tauriel a hero.”
Once Desolation of Smaug is released, you can either:
1. Piss and moan and bitch about how it’s an adaptation and different from the books and bawww about Tauriel till the cows come home, in which case, given that you know she’s in it, and you know the movie differs from the book… why are you even going to see this movie then?
If you want things how they are in the book, then stay home and read the book on opening night, save the ticket money, and spare the rest of us all the moaning and complaining.
Or, you can:
2. Understand it is an adaptation and know that things will be changed and added in for cinematic purposes, at the very least accept that Tauriel is a needed female presence, and generally enjoy the movie for what it is instead of being a wet blanket and whining about changes.
If you fall into option two, thank you for not ruining the excitement for those of us who do love both the book and the movies and can enjoy each one it its own medium.
Just know that if you fall into the former group, I will be hitting that Ignore button so damned fast.