In the film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the dwarf prince Kili (played by the lovely Aidan Turner) and the elf maiden Tauriel (played by the always interesting Evangeline Lilly) fall in love. I had always thought this in interesting…Inclusion, if that’s what you want to call it, as this relationship was not in the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. So the question was, why is it there? At first the answer might have seemed quite simple, the film makers noticed the obvious lack of female presence and decided to add a female character (which is probably how they can justify having Galadriel be there as well). Tauriel the elf does not occur anyplace within the Tolkien lore, but was created to make the film more female friendly, or so it would seem. She is a strong, determined, and passionate woman who would love to follow her heart, but often finds herself stymied by obligation. In some ways this is very much in keeping with the women created by Tolkien, for if you look at a female character like Eowyn, you will see a female character trying to break the bonds of the typical female role within her society. So in some ways Tauriel makes sense as being a woman like a female character that Tolkien might have created. But there is more to it than that, and to get into the meat of it, we shall have to skip backward (and forward) into Middle Earth History.
Kili and Tauriel as Beren and Luthien?
This in itself is an interesting concept, for if we skip back into Middle Earth history (and yes, skip we must or it won’t be fun) we will encounter the tale of Beren and Luthien. Beren is a mortal man who encounters a beautiful elf woman dancing in the forest one day. He immediately falls in love and gives her the nickname of Tenuvial (which I believe is raven, or something) because of her black hair. Something else that happens immediately is that people are not completely willing to accept their relationship. Not necessarily because it is wrong, but because they see only tragedy ahead for the two lovers if they continue on in the path. Things do indeed go badly, and Beren is taken prisoner. Luthien goes to save him, but is too late and he dies in her arms. So in this case, the society that was unwilling to accept theri relationship was right, because what they thought would happen, happened.
Skip ahead some many thousands of years and we have the story of Aragorn and Arwen. Arwen, who is daughter to Elrond of Rivendell is often looked upon as Luthien reincarnated, so to say. So when she falls in love with the mortal Aragorn, people begin to wonder whether what they are seeing happening now is a complete repeat of what happened bofore with the original tragic couple. Aragorn and Arwen are going to do everything in their power to keep that from happening. They are determined to have their happily ever after in some way. Never did they ever consider ending the relationship, even though maintaining it must have been the most difficult thing they had ever had to do in their lives. Arwen would never consider leaving Middle Earth if there was even the slightest chance that they could be together.
Note: There is a scene in the extended edition of The Return of the King I believe where Aragorn and Arwen speak before he leaves Imladris. He basically tells her that he won’t be coming back and that she should just go. (may have also been hinted at in scenes from Towers as well)…This simply doesn’t make any sense since this does not occur in the books and when it occurs in the films, it takes away most of Aragorn’s motivation, But this is a rant for another time.
Anyway, people are expecting to see what happened to Beren and Luthien happen to Aragorn and Arwen. When it doesn’t, I think more than a few people are astounded to see history not repeat itself. That means that Aragorn and Arwen get their happy ending.
Since it is unsure as to whether or not The Silmarillion will ever come to the screen, how will people who have never read it understand the nature of Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship and why there was so much riding on whether or not history in Middle Earth will repeat itself?
Finally We Get to The Center of Things With Kili And Tauriel
While Kili is not a mortal man (he’s a short guy who will only live for 250-300 years or so), he could in fact be representative of the tragic character Beren, and Tauriel who is an elf woman would be his forlorn Luthien. If you look at Kili’s death in the book, it is not impressive or very interesting…Or even in fact very sad or tragic. He just dies…In the films, he is a dwarf on a mission of love, and will do anything to protect those he loves, not merely Tauriel, but Fili and Thorin as well. He is trying to protect everything he holds dear and dies in the arms of his lover who has attempted to save him. A Middle Earth Mixed race couple of an immortal female and a mortal man. That elf will carry around his memory and and that sorrow for the rest of her life. Since she is a non-existent character, no one knows how long that would be. Still it is strangely reminiscent of the story of the two tragic lovers that had suffered so many years before a dwarf and an elf fell in love.
Was This By Design?
Who can tell really? It might just be that they wanted to add a few women so that the film wouldn’t be a complete sausage fest…Sorry, is that a vulgar term? It may be that they wanted to present the Middle Earth anti-damsel-in-distress (didn’t they already do that with Eowyn?). There could be a variety of reasons why they decided to make an elf and a dwarf fall in love. But it might also be that they wanted to relay a story that most would not hear unless they delved into Middle Earth lore. And let’s face it, what non-nerd has time for that? Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting to explore. There will be more interesting The Lord of the Ring, The Hobbit and other nerd stuff observations soon. Thank you for reading!! Please leave me a comment as I love hearing from people!!
Somehow thought this song fit.
P.S. But seriously, did they have to make it a love triangle with She Kili and Legolas? Pretty soon the rest of the dwarves are going to be nipping at her heels and she going to have some seriously bad ridiculous anime harem issues going on.