Rowan Greene, you make some good,thoughtful points. Your version of Thranduil's past history is so sad and tragic, befitting the persona of the movie Thranduil. That's the thing, he and his back story are so mysterious we can all have our own take on it. I agree that Bilbo should be the catylist. Still I would like to see more of Bilbo in the Elven halls observing. Maybe at the starlight feast that they alluded to in DOS, hopefully in the EE. I can not wait to see what they do with Thranduil's character in TABA. I fervently hope it will not disappoint.
On an aside, Thankyou, so much, for starting this awesome thread! I love how this is on the fifth page of TH forum and still going strong. Lots of posting still happening here. Yay!