I’m a major Tolkien fan, but not a strict purist. I was not crying or agonizing over every little change made in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” and actually enjoyed some of the changes he incorporated into the films — including drawing from the appendices. Though I’m not quite as forgiving of changes in “The Hobbit,” which to this day I will say should not have been stretched into three films. Perhaps, the most glaring change will occur in the next film “The Desolation of Smaug,” namely the addition of an original character, Tauriel.
I understand why she was added: Let’s face it, there aren’t many women characters in “The Hobbit” movies, and if I remember correctly, there were none in the book (though it has been many moons since I read “The Hobbit”). But to have that be the only reason to include her can be as just as bad of the absence of women as it borders on tokenism. While I will reserve my judgement until I see the film, I am weary of this inclusion, particularly since at the moment Tauriel reeks of tokenism and the cliche. I also dread that she might feel like a Sue.
My first introduction to Tauriel was the action figure where it is stated on the box that she is “as beautiful as she is deadly.” Needless to say, it left a sour taste in my mouth. And the more I have learned about the character, the more uncertain I feel about her. She is young by elf standards, yet she is the captain of the guard. On top of that she also belongs to a lesser caste then the likes of Arwen, Galadriel, etc. She has a “significant” relationship with Legolas, and Thrandruil has a soft spot in his heart for her, plus there is a rumor of a romance with one of the dwarves. All these just make my skin crawl as I think “Mary Sue.”
By all means, add a female character, but make them more than a cliche, don’t place them just because you don’t want a sausage fest — and make them relatable! Also women character do not need to have a romance! I will never understand Hollywood’s need to throw in romance where it is not needed. I would rather go through a film with out a female character, then have to stomach the cliches of what a woman, in this case the femme fatale. But alas, I digress.
Here’s hoping that my initial wariness is misplaced and I walk away from the movie this December completely in love with the character.
What are your thoughts about this inclusion?