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.
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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.
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.