I've often wondered what those who didn't read the book thought of Thranduil. Most of us have read Tolkien and are familiar with Thranduil's background, as are most of my friends.
I'm trying to imagine how he would come across if I knew nothing about the character except what I see on screen--especially without the benefit of the AUJ EE.
I know I'd still find him mesmerizing, and I believe I'd still see the complexity of his character. (That's due to Pace's superb acting.) But had we seen him through Bilbo's eyes, I think that would have helped temper some of the "he's a jerk" comments from those unfamiliar with the character (canon). Sadly, the conversation he had with Tauriel about the spiders / Legolas thinking she fought well / Legolas being fond of her and how he won't sanction the match turned off most of my friends. Everyone, myself included, was like: "Your kingdom is under attack--don't you have more important things to discuss and worry about!?"