‘Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: Official Look at Evangeline Lilly as Elf Warrior Tauriel

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evangeline lilly hobbit smaug Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Official Look at Evangeline Lilly as Elf Warrior Tauriel

Peter Jackson and his cast/crew are working hard right now – finishing the final weeks of filming The Hobbit trilogy – and, while we await Jackson to post yet another production video after shooting is done, information has been rolling in about a new character addition to this year’s second installment, The Desolation of Smaug.

The Middle-earthean in question is Tauriel, the Mirkwood Forest Elf warrior – who is being played by Evangeline Lilly (of Lost fame) – and the invention of screenwriters Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh. One of the previously-released behind-the-scenes videos posted by Jackson revealed Lily in costume on the Hobbit set, but today we have the first “official” look at the character in the film.

EW spoke with Lilly about the pointy-eared Tauriel, and the actress had this to say:

“She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”

Lilly also re-itereated her previous claims that Tauriel is a young (here, that means 600 years old) and graceful elf, but is also “an absolutely ruthless, deadly killer.” Hence, it’s all the more appropriate that the first official screenshot of Tauriel in The Desolation of Smaug (see below), depicts the warrior gal readying her bow and arrow for the kill shot.


hobbit desolation smaug tauriel 280x170 Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Official Look at Evangeline Lilly as Elf Warrior Tauriel

However, the actress went on to promise that Tauriel won’t simply be another effeminate, yet stoic and barely-emotional, Elfish bowman (e.g. the female equivalent to Orlando Bloom as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy):

“She will definitely have a love story. I can’t give away too much about it. It’s not a huge focus but it is there and it is important and it does drive Tauriel and her story and her actions.”

For more about said love sub-plot – and Lilly’s feelings about the fact that some J.R.R. Tolkien purists won’t approve of her character – read the full interview over at EW.

hobbit unexpected journey reviews Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Official Look at Evangeline Lilly as Elf Warrior Tauriel

Boyens addressed the screenwriters’ decision to create the Tauriel character during the 2012 Comic-Con panel for The Hobbit, saying that it was partly motivated by a desire to make the Tolkien story less of a boys-only adventure. Similarly, Boyens and her fellow writers proved able to increase the feminine presence in the first installment by just a smidge, with the inclusion of the White Council meeting at Rivendell – where the “Goddess” of Middle-earth, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) was in attendance.

Point being, that sequence fit organically (enough) into the narrative flow of An Unexpected Journey, and it sounds like the approach with Tauriel – taking one of the nameless Mirkwood Elfs in Tolkien’s source novel and giving her an identity – should feel just as natural, all things considered. Now – onto the dragon’s lair!


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theaters on December 13th, 2013.

The final chapter, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, arrives in theaters on December 17th, 2014.

Source: EW

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. I really want to like these Hobbit movies. I really do. But when the first one was so unbelievably stuffed with filler and then come to find out that the second one will have a love story subplot for a character who is only tangibly related to a bunch of dwarves needing a Hobbit so they can get their treasure back, I love more and more confidence.

    • I mean “lose more and more confidence.”

      • I didn’t love what you are saying… I mean, I understood you.

        The book is so light and fun. I really don’t see why they didn’t make the Hobbit as the appetizer for LotR it’s functioned as for decades. The movie was wretched. Even the riddles scene was overdone IMO.

        But I’m kind of looking forward to the next movie because I sort of enjoyed how awkwardly paced and fake looking Hobbit 3D 48FPS was. In an Ed Wood sort of way. Usually I’ll see these movies again on DVD just to see if it’s any better in that format, but I haven’t had the will to watch this one again yet.

        • Well, just goes to show we all have different opinions in life. I loved the first movie and thought it made a perfect companion piece to The Lord of the Rings. Making over a billion in box office receipts, it appears countless others did as well.

          Can’t wait for The Desolation of Smaug!

    • Exactly my thoughts. If they cut out all the fillers and brought it down to one hour and a half, I may have enjoyed it much more. By the time all the scenes worth watching came, my interest was kinda drained by the fillers leading me to not really care about them. I’m worried them splitting the film into 3 movies instead of 2 may have already doomed the next 2 sequels to be stuffed with fillers as well, really hoping I’m wrong though.

      Loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy, one of my all time favorites so my expectations for these films may have been a tad high.

  2. Is it just me or does it look like they used the halloween shop orange hair spray to color her hair?

    • It actually looks to me like someone made the ill-advised decision to photograph Lilly in costume and typically-exaggerated film makeup in natural outdoor light, and then submit that photo for PR purposes without any grading or other color manipulation. Not that I’m advocating that every single image needs Photoshopping, mind you, just that when you design hair and makeup so that it works for a film post-production process, it can easily look awful in a candid natural photo. That Day-Glo hair of hers is likely that way so it doesn’t look like a gray washed-out mess in forests and caves, and someone should have dialed it down a bit in that photo before the PR people got a hold of it.

    • It’s not just you, the high res version looks like her roots are brown and she needs the attention of a hairdresser, fast, for a touch-up. I’ve read about the extra red used in the make-up for green screen work and some camera work, as the camera and green screen made “normal” make-up look yellow and drained the color from the actors’ faces, but even if you beefed red hair up why wouldn’t you color the roots?

      Don’t care for this actress anyway, supposedly Kili is “drawn” to her but she looks years older than Aidan Turner and even Orlando Bloom. Will say her body looks good in the outfit – just hope she does a reasonable job and the accent doesn’t slip. Don’t mind changing the story and the addition of new characters, but a dwarf-elf romance thrown in is LAME. She looks like a cranky older sister.

  3. Terrible wig, dreadful stance. She’s holding the arrow on the OUTSIDE of her bow. That’s the kind of mistake someone with even nominal common sense would catch, and yet here it is, full page spread. Does not engender confidence.

    • I consider myself of at least nominal common sense, but isn’t the arrow always on the outside of the bow..?

    • Point of fact, she is holding her bow correctly. So, sir, are we to believe you’re of below normal common sense?

    • You better tell all those Olympic athletes they are doing it wrong before they embarrass themselves!!!

    • The arrow is suppose to be on the outside of the bow

    • yeah…someone with nominal common sense would catch that you do not speak about things you have no nominal knowledge of… here http://www.wikihow.com/Shoot-an-Arrow for the benefit of your common sense…

  4. To be fair to The Hobbit films (and I was no fan of the first film myself) this image was probably taken by Entertainment Weekly, right?

    So I’m not sure how much control the actual filmmakers had over this photo.

    • It says EW on the pic. So yea

  5. Evangeline Lilly needs to be in more movies.

    • agreed i loved her in lost she needs more movies

  6. Lets have a trailer already!

  7. Hollywood gets the archery wrong once again. She’s right-handed, but is shooting a left-handed bow. She wouldn’t be able to hit the side of a barn doing that. Not to mention the fact that as soon as she released the arrow, it might very well arch and slap right into her arm making it even more inaccurate. Almost every movie has this error (or mucks it up some other way, like in the Hunger Games). The only recent movie I can think of that got it somewhat right was Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

    • Um, all elves were ambidextrious. It’s not just about the shot in the movie – it’s also true to Tolkien’s writings in ‘the Silmarillion’.

  8. So Zelda is in the Hobbit now?

    • lol i didnt see your comment, then posted almost exactly the same thing, sorry!

      • I’m actually glad someone thought the same thing upon seeing the photo!

  9. i adored TLOTR,both book and movies,but if these movies were playing at the bottom of my garden,i’d close the curtains.
    Unashamed cash grab by jackson and co. 3 movies? 3? from a book barely able to fill 1 !
    just on principle alone,i will never see these pale imitations of TLOTR.

    • “If these movies were playing at the bottom of my garden, I’d close the curtains”…

      …yet you take the time to open this article and complain about them.

      “Just on principle alone, I will never see these pale imitations of TLOTR”…

      …no one is forcing you to.

      So, is this all you have to gripe about in the world?

      • Those of us who were disappointed by the first Hobbit film care a great deal about the works of JRRT. Thus, we feel compelled to take the time and voice our thoughts, as a sort of cathartic exercise.

        No one is forbidding anyone from giving their opinion on these films, or insinuating that griping about the Hobbit occurs in the absence of any other problems with the wide world.

  10. Hey, that’s Link from the Legend of Zelda. I didn’t know she was also called Taurine or whatever. Are they doing a cross-over Hobbit episode?

  11. An Elf with read hair? O.o

    Jackson is making a mockery of this story in so many ways.

    • What the? I don’t get most of the complaints here, but yours takes the cake. Can’t have an elf with red hair? Had both blondes and brunettes in the LOTR, so why not red? I laugh at your pettiness.

      • Not sure how I’m being, “petty”, just being accurate.

        Elves (as put forth by Tolkien himself) can have black, brown, blonde (Vanyar) and grey (rare of among the Sindar) hair. Period. Red hair is the product of recessive genes which, by their very nature, Elves don’t possess.

        Don’t care about the lore/canon, fine but don’t expect me to just roll over and accept it.

  12. once again, gingers are on the lower social order… even with the Elves. Darn – I acknowledge this is a “made-up” additional fictional character. Just please don’t make it lame. I enjoyed The Hobbit… all 12 times. It may only be the exposition heavy FOTR of the trilogy, but hopefully Desolation of Smaug will be as comparatively awesome as The Two Towers.

  13. Making an elf out of Evangeline Lily is a beautiful idea, in a similar way to casting Olivia Wilde in Tron.

    But how are the odds that this next Hobbit film will be genuinely good? I consider the first one to be an example of what happens when the filmmakers don’t really care about making a good film.

    • Your opinion, but not mine. I thought it was an excellent film.

  14. PJ left out Bombadil from LOTR because the character didn’t “move the story along”. I’m curious to see how this character will play into the storyline.
    A little leery of new characters but not a deal breaker for me. I’m still there opening night.

  15. People complain about the stupidest things, this movie is going to be awesome, i can’t wait

    • Agreed. I have to laugh at some of them. I mean, they complain about the addition of a fictional character to a fictional movie, and they complain that she has red hair. What a world we live in.

      • Lol or the story drags and there’s too much filler, but then complain when parts of the book are removed, people just want to complain

        • I have to laugh at the whole “three movies” complaint, too. As if they are being forced to go see them. For me and countless other Tolkien fans, the more time in Middle Earth, the better!

          • +1

          • There are so many things I love about the Hobbit movie I found it frustrating when I read the extended version will only have 20 minutes of additional footage – I was hoping for an hour, LOL!

            I personally don’t care for this actress and think she looks too old in the face (notice I did not say bad/ugly, just mature) for a “young elf” – that said, it seems these movies were very carefully cast so I hope for the best. It’s not a primary role anyway. As far as the hair, the books put out by WETA talk about how the Sylvan elves were to have more of a woodland/russet coloring – so reds, browns, etc are in fact “correct”. IMO this is not a great look for EL’s face but she certainly looks believable as an athletic character.

            BTW, there is this today: “Now, finally, the British Board of Film Classification has given its stamp of approval for the next Hobbit trailer.

            Rated 12A, just like the second trailer for An Unexpected Journey, the trailer will clock in at two minutes and one second. That’s some 25 seconds shorter than the trailers for An Unexpected Journey, but still quite substantial.” Source: TheOneRing.net

      • So ranting is frowned upon on Screenrant? I thought this was a safe place to share opinions that my wife has no interest in hearing.

        I criticize/celebrate as a fan. I’m a huge Giants fan. Sometimes I criticize the moves/plays they make but love the sport and love the team. Same thing for me here.

        • Of course you can criticize here, just as we can criticize you for what we deem to be frivolous complaints…or you don’t have to dish it out if you can’t take it.

  16. For the record, I never deemed your complaints frivolous.

    I agree wholeheartedly, you are allowed to complain that people complain too much.

    • Nor I, yours. These films, like all films, have both fans and detractors, but it is difficult for me not to label some complaints, such as those about an elf having red hair, as frivolous.

      • Agreed. Although the Gingers can be a rowdy lot so I would tread cautiously.

        • Well, if we are going to play into stereotypes, judging from some of the complaints here, we have a lot of blondes commenting…


  17. Fittest elf ever!! At last something decent to look at after the general ugliness of Middle Earth!

  18. She looks like a 8th level Elven Ranger with a +3 bow, dragonlance Tanis-style! lol

  19. I think that The Desolation of Smaug will probably be the best of the three films. That’s just a guess, but based on the source material, I found the most interesting part of the book to be the Smaug/Erebor scenes.

    It doesn’t bother me that some elements need to be changed, and an elf with red hair seems pretty cool, but any changes made should be in the interest of making the film as good as it possibly can be. I did not feel that to have been the case with An Unexpected Journey. Frankly, Tauriel might be the one thing that hooks me into seeing this next one.

  20. Legolas is a Sylvan elf of course. His only status upgrade over this new character is that he is a Prince.

  21. Is it just me or did they copy the look straight off of Arwen’s hair style? Instead of making up a random questionable character and turning it into a fanfic at this point… why not make a way for Arwen to appear? They where in Rivendell but I think Arwen was possibly visiting Galadriel at that point in time I’m not sure since I haven’t read the Hobbit but had read the LOTR books. I can’t remember if they mentioned the exact years Arwen was staying with Galadriel either.

    • 60 years before LOTR both Arwen and Aragorn were around. Aragorn was out getting things done. Arwen was not a warrior princess type or a Sylvan elf. Thus not appropriate for the Tauriel idea. Why not just let it happen with this new character? In her time Arwen’s appearance at the Fords of Bruinen was considered its own scandal by the purists.