Did we really need Tauriel?

One of the most notable changes in the new Hobbit films is the addition of a new female character, the elf Tauriel.

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I’m not sure how I feel about this change to the source material. The Lord of the Rings series is notably absent of female characters, but this can be attributed to the setting of the story, in the context of war you’re a lot more likely to encounter male characters, especially in a medieval setting.

Now, equal representation is important and I can see why they thought that adding another women would be a good idea, especially as the only female who reappears in the prequel is Galadriel. But we already had some pretty badass female characters. For example:

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And I probably would have welcomed the change if Tauriel was equally as badass, and in some respects she is. She’s captain of the Elven guard and fights as well as any of the male characters. However, they did give her one of the typically female story lines in existence.

She’s so damn perfect that two guys have fallen in love with her and she in turn ends up falling for a dwarf in the stereotypical Romeo and Juliet situation. This is pretty much a rehash of the Aragon/ Arwen relationship just with bigger stakes since elves and dwarves hate each other so much (although it is interesting that she went for the dwarf who looks the least like an actual dwarf…). With the Aragon/ Arwen relationship there was a lot of exploration into the dynamics of the relationship, particularly in the difference in mortality. I’m pretty confident that we won’t get this by the third hobbit movie. Despite the gross over-extension of what really should have just been one movie, chances are very little time will be spent developing the relationship, it’s more likely to be presented as a big moral dilemma for Tauriel resulting in a quick romantic climax. And this is time that could have been better spent creating the persona of a warrior, which Tauriel really should be.

What do you guys think? Was the addition of Tauriel welcomed? Or, like me, are you sick of seeing  the same old story-lines?

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4 thoughts on “Did we really need Tauriel?

  1. zampano

    When you add a completely new character there is a lot that can be done with them and I think with Tauriel, while a welcome addition, there was a lot of unexplored potential. If they had done something aside from rehashing an old love story I would have welcomed her addition more.

    Reply
  2. The Embitter Vampire

    It bothers me when someone complains that there’s not enough female characters in The Hobbit: Tolkien already said the Dwarves are mainly masculine and girls are pretty “rare” (or hidden from other people) and as you said, nothing surprising in a medieval-war context to see more men than women.
    And others complain the lack of romance (a good story is not necessary about romantic-love, we have the brotherly-love with all these Dwarves…)

    I’ve asked me why an elf-female and not a dwarf-female? For an example Dis, the mother of Kili and Fili and the sister of Thorin, why we don’t see her if the developpers wanted a strong female character? (not necessarely during the quest, but in a flash-back, in the beginning with Smaug’s arrival maybe?)
    Or is it because an elf is beautiful, graceful and have more success when we already have Galadriel and Arwen, two great characters?
    A good female-character has to be pretty and slim? She can’t be short, bearded and deep-voiced?

    It was my biggest fear when I saw Tauriel; the “not enough romance, let’s add a female character” logic. And of course, Tauriel brings nothing but an opposition between Kili and Legolas, both in love with her. How original… (And Thorin sees his nephew flirting with an elf and tells nothing? His “elf-sickness” heals really fast then)
    As you said, there’s one more movie, maybe her evolution will be more warrior-like but one detail remains…

    *SPOILER FROM THE BOOK*
    Saving Kili who is supposed to die during the Battle of the Five Armies?… Okay, it can be tragic and beautiful, but it’s like “oh sh**, I’ve done it for nothing in fact”, a big joke.
    *END OF SPOILER*

    Yeah, for me, Tauriel is a message for “female characters have to be perfect beauties, they can’t be small and original because their utility is to put some romance”.

    (Sorry for the novel, but I’m glad someone else is intelligently questioning this character and her position ._.)

    Reply
    1. kellisina Post author

      Don’t apologise, I loved your message 😀
      It would have been interesting to see the female dwarves. Something more than the brief mention of Gimilis mother in the Desolation of Smaug where they made a joke about her looking like a man.

      Reply

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