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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Ladies, what are your thoughts about Tauriel?
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Dec 6 2014, 6:41am

Post #1 of 78 (1830 views)
Ladies, what are your thoughts about Tauriel? Can't Post

I'm not thrilled with the character. But one of my friends six year old daughter looks up to me, and I know that every time I show her a trailer for an upcoming movie on my labtop, she says to me, "What does the girl do?" So I would like to present a question to you. In your PERSONAL opinion,

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?



Dec 6 2014, 6:47am

Post #2 of 78 (1195 views)
I like her ... but [In reply to] Can't Post

I really enjoy the character, particularly in DOS. My issue is that they felt it was necessary for her to have a love-story. As if having a strong female character who doesn't fall in love with somebody isn't possible. It's silly and they've played the romance too heavily, especially in BOTFA. I would have enjoyed her character arc to involve being sympathetic to the dwarves, but not necessitated by a weird love for Kili. It's tacked on and bizarre, and it undermines what is otherwise a kick-ass awesome character.

(This post was edited by Dcole4 on Dec 6 2014, 6:47am)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Dec 6 2014, 7:02am

Post #3 of 78 (1122 views)
Agree with all of this. [In reply to] Can't Post

They pushed the love story too hard, and it detracts from the opportunity to have an Elf character who isn't a lord, who is interested in the world around her, and who just happens to be female. There are so many other places they could have gone with the character that I would have liked better.

That said, a certain age group of girl would probably love Tauriel to bits, being less critical of some elements than I am and more apt to crush on Aidan Turner themselves. Tongue


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Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 7:33am

Post #4 of 78 (1146 views)
Fully agreed (SPOILERS-BO5A) [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked DOS Tauriel (haven't yet seen BO5A, though I am gobbling up spoilers as quickly as I can).

Like others, she isn't without fault to me though.

1. The love story- very forced, and not realistic- she has three conversations with him, saves his life a couple times, and suddenly she's madly in love with him? A SIX HUNDRED YEAR OLD elf is madly in love with someone she talked to three times in the span of a couple weeks? I'm not buying it. HIM having a crush, or maybe even starting to love her I can, because she saved his life and also because I personally think the dwarf ladies in Ered Luin probably gave him the cold shoulder (he's hot by human standards, ugly as heck by dwarf standards) so he was probably shocked to even get a second glance from a girl!

But on her side, by the end of DOS I only sensed compassion and friendship on her end. From what the spoilers have said so far, she seems to only have one more brief conversation with him then they part ways until he comes to her rescue during the battle and is killed. NO WAY would love develop that fast!

2. Her poor military conduct- either she sucks at her job and completely brown nosed her way to her position, or she was NEVER leadership material for her job. A simple letter of resignation would have been sufficient to avoid:
  1. Absent Without Leave (AWOL) status
  2. Risking the life of her prince, whom I would assume, as Captain of the Guard, she's under oath to protect, by convincing him to break the law as well.
  3. Also risking his life by abandoning him to a group of several orcs, in which he nearly did get killed by Bolg.
  4. Abandoning her people after a declaration of war.
  5. Breaking the law to go after prisoners she's fraternized with already
  6. Disobeying Legolas's demands that she follow him out of Bard's house despite him clearly being her military superior.
  7. Being impulsive, acting on emotion rather than practical judgment, being unusually willing to do all of the above with little thought of the consequences of her actions.

She's definitely NOT Captain material. And, from what it sounds like, Thranduil agrees (she's lucky she wasn't beheaded for treason at this point!) He was right to banish her, which is the ME equivalent of a court martial, and coming from a military family myself, she deserved every last bit of it.

BUT- had she resigned from her post prior to leaving, just a ten second note, ALL of this could have been avoided and she'd have been free to do what she felt was right. She did the right thing, except for that one little part- resigning from her post first. She went into it hot-headed and impulsively, rather than taking responsibility for her position.

So no, she's not Captain material.

3. Her hair- not only did they screw up cinematically and gave Tauriel's red hair brown roots (seriously- do elves dye their hair or what???), but it's down to her knees. Waist I can buy, but knees? She ain't Galadriel, who is several thousand years old and whose hair isn't even that long! She doesn't even tie it back in battle or skirmishes! Even the actress herself said that an orc yanked half the hair off her head once! You'd think they wouldn't have risked the actress so badly over something so odd looking.

Those bits aside, I like Tauriel. I just really, really, really, really wish that the love story hadn't been in there, and that Kili died defending Thorin along with Fili as per the book. I haven't minded nearly all changes from book to film thus far, but that's the ONE thing I was hoping they'd get right. And her presence botched that heroic end up Frown

To sum: Tauriel being present in the films is completely fine. And she could be a great role model- she definitely had the potential to be one! But they forced the love story in there, and while the Starlight scene and such was undoubtedly the most beautiful scene, music, and writing in all six films for me (threw me back to Cuvienen instantly!), the love story as a whole I think felt forced and unnecessary.

A woman shouldn't have to be a love interest to be a hero. I think that's the problem here. She was supposed to be "feminine energy", but she's every feminist's nightmare! She's cliche'd in with a love triangle, and her sole purpose in film three seems to be to love Kili and mourn him when he dies. I may not be a full blown feminist (I am an equal person, not a feminist per se) but I was hoping we'd get a good female in a film who doesn't have to love someone romantically.

That's not a energetic strong heroic female warrior. That's the same cliche that Hollywood has been throwing at us since the start of moviedom! I don't mind romance stories at ALL, but if she was put in there to be a love interest, don't market her as something else.

I would like to see a female hero without her being in love with someone. Is that so much to ask? And up til I hear about the BO5A and her role within it, she was. And I also find it demeaning that EL was forced into a triangle during pickups after saying that was the ONE thing she didn't want when she was offered the job.

I find it a great pity indeed that women are still required to be love interests in order to do anything of worth in a film Unsure

(This post was edited by Cirashala on Dec 6 2014, 7:38am)

Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 7:47am

Post #5 of 78 (1074 views)
Not Captain material... [In reply to] Can't Post

That was their first mistake....asking us to believe a 600 year-old Elf could be Captain of the Guard of a race of immortal warriors...
Now, they needn't have mentioned her age at all, ...except that we needed to know she was a young Elf to explain her irrational, impetuous behaviour, thereby causing this contradiction that just makes her character totally unbelievable and reduces her to a token PC gesture - as the film makers have now admitted she is...
Nothing against a female warrior in the movie, but she and Legolas should just have stayed in Mirkwood until the final battle...

"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort


Dec 6 2014, 8:18am

Post #6 of 78 (1023 views)
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I love her. She is one of my highlights, and certainly not a nightmare.
And if I had to label myself I would describe myself as a feminist.

The Shire

Dec 6 2014, 8:30am

Post #7 of 78 (1030 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I watched DoS without having read any previews or read any of the fan responses and I loved Tauriel and I liked the love story. It was sweet and I enjoyed it. Would DoS have worked as well without the character of Tauriel? Honestly I don't think so (and yes I know I'm about to be flamed, haha), at least not the way these movies have been crafted. You needed a "newbie" eyes into the world of the elves (since the dwarfs give a flawed vision of it, being stuck in the jail and whatnot). In the books this "newbie"/introductory eyes was Bilbo and the overarching narration because he spent days running around and observing, but in a movie (for length/pacing reasons) I think it works better by having another character that introduces us to the world of the elves--this character is Tauriel (imo) and her scenes with Legoles/Thraundil and Kili does that for us. If it weren't for Tauriel we wouldn't be privy to the whole world of elves PJ is trying to show us as well as we do now. If you're going to add a character like this, yes, I think 100% should be a female.

But! As far as for growing up girls is concerned, I honestly think Galadriel in the films is worth about 30 female heroines you might find in other movies. She's savy, she's smart and she's very, very powerful. She owns her beauty and holds her own in this world of males and doesn't bow down to anyone.


Dec 6 2014, 9:23am

Post #8 of 78 (1024 views)
Spoilers [In reply to] Can't Post

Well said, Cirashala!

Girl doesn't even know which way to place an arrow into a bow correctly (when she threatenes Thranduil, I believe I saw it in the wrong way ).

I saw it for the second time yesterday (24fps this time, so much better), and one little scene stuck out and made this feminist happy. There is one older woman amongst the people of Laketown, you see her a few times, she stands up against Alfred, helps everyone in need. When all the women and children are hidden in the Great Hall, and the fight outside seems hopelessly lost, she picks up a weapon, and riles up the other women to come along and fight next to their men. Doesn't exactly make it pass the Bechdel Test, but I loved her. She was a strong, fine woman, and her role didn't even feel like "token-woman" as it was too small for that.


Dec 6 2014, 9:33am

Post #9 of 78 (982 views)
My answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
- No, because there weren't any in the book. In my opinion, adding a female character just for the sake of having a female character isn't really the way to go. It would be great if more stories were written with more female characters to begin with, but when a story doesn't have a female character, one shouldn't be forcefully added, especially accompanied by a hammy love story.

2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
- Absolutely not

3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
- Regarding Tauriel? No. The love story with Kili is the worst part. If she had just been a captain of the guard who does her job well, even if they had expanded her role a bit, it would have been much better.

4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?
- I see the point of adding female characters but not at the expence of the story. Galadriel, in my opinion, was a good addition. She's the only one who actually has a reason to be there in terms of the source material and she's a great female character to begin with. I think Bard's daughters in DoS were also a good addition. They're female characters who fit into the story in an organic way that doesn't distract and doesn't shout "hey, look at me, I'm a strong female character, here to fill a quota!" I think they could have added more female characters in it that way, rather than the shoehorned way Tauriel has been added. Like, sure, have a female elf guard in Mirkwood, give her some lines and presence on screen, but leave it at that. Maybe give the Master a wife. Give a bit more time to Galadriel.

(This post was edited by dubulous on Dec 6 2014, 9:46am)

Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 9:51am

Post #10 of 78 (991 views)
I have said this before but I think a different question would be.., [In reply to] Can't Post

What statement would it have made to have created three films which span different locations and cultures and did not have a female character?


Dec 6 2014, 10:02am

Post #11 of 78 (970 views)
I'm a lady... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Yes. I felt instant relief when Galadriel turned up in AUJ. It is just something about feminine energy that makes the movie come alive. I am absolutely certain of that I would have exaclty the same feeling if I watched a movie with just women, and a man entered the screen, I would be like: Oh, finally... It is about reality too, you just cannot have a trilogy of this scale and no female character, it just isn't realistic, and that applies to Tolkiens book as well.
2. Not one bit.
3. I am content.
4. Well, I did like the character. She does feel very Tolkien in a way. What I don't like has nothing do to with the character itself, but how they have chosen to take her in to the story. The love interest between her and Kili feel almost right, I will have to watch the third film to decide. In DoS it felt fine. Their biggest mistake was to get Legolas involved in it. It is just very out of character that he should be this jelaous douchebag.

Overall: Like Tauriel, think she had enough screentime in DoS and I don't want her to drive the story too much. Wink

Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 10:25am

Post #12 of 78 (951 views)
How do elf-jobs work? [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds slightly like we are also accusing them of being slow learners!

But actually, how would it work? With a race of near-immortals how would anyone get, take or be promoted in particular roles if there is no labour churn? It can't work as it does in the real world, surely?


Dec 6 2014, 11:09am

Post #13 of 78 (909 views)
She's okay [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very 50/50 about her. I don't hate her, I don't love her. There is a lack of female characters in the Hobbit so adding one that might as well have been a part of the elves - why not?
I do however agree with the lovestory being necessary. Can't quite believe they went there... Kili's one of my favorites despite the love story, but I think it would have been better for both characters if there weren't love. Why not a friendship? It's still a big deal between an elf and a dwarf.

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
- Well sorta answered that.

2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
- Nope.

3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
- Not overall. I have enjoyed the movie a whoooole lot more than many, but the desicions they've made with Tauriel weren't the best. Meaning the hated lovestory.

4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?
- A friendship between Kili and Tauriel instead.

Basically, I'm alright with her, but what has disappointed me is that it has resulted in what should have been more Kili and Fili. The fact that they did change a certain part disappointed me more than anything in the movies.


Dec 6 2014, 12:18pm

Post #14 of 78 (872 views)
Mine, obviously: [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters? NO.
2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the film? NO.
3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions? NO.
4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred? EITHER HER (AND LEGOLAS'S) ABSENCE, OR IF SHE HAD TO BE IN IT I'D HAVE PREFERRED IT IF SHE STAYED IN MIRKWOOD.


Dec 6 2014, 12:37pm

Post #15 of 78 (889 views)
Well P.J. recently said Tauriel was added to please 10-year-old girls so [In reply to] Can't Post

I think in that respect she was a success.
To answer you daughter's questions unfortunately the answer is: She is there because she is a girl. No other reason (as P.J. admitted in the same interview) and she is emotional and cries a lot. Cause that's what girls do and apparently should, according to Hollywood. Crazy
You can read it here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/04/no-regrets-peter-jackson-says-goodbye-to-middle-earth.html

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?

1. No. It had Galadriel who is awesome.
2. No, but it affects how much I enjoy them. I cannot stand all the Tauriel scenes.
3. No, obviously.
4. Just Legolas and Thranduil as major characters in Mirkwood. Show the Thranduil-Legolas father-son relationship. If you feel the need to add a Tauriel let her be captain of the guard and nothing else. No forced ridiculous lovestory with Hot Dwarf and no meddling with the major plot.


Dec 6 2014, 12:40pm

Post #16 of 78 (848 views)
I was going to add, point 2 [In reply to] Can't Post

That it didn't affect whether or not I was going to see the film, but it certainly affected how many times I saw DoS (twice, and only because I hoped I had been mistaken in my reaction the first time I saw it). I saw AUJ and the LotR films multiple times in the cinema and even saw the first trilogy in the Royal Albert Hall years after the films were released, something I would never do for the Hobbit films, even if they were shown at the RAH.

In Reply To

In Reply To
1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters? NO.
2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the film? NO.
3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions? NO.
4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred? EITHER HER (AND LEGOLAS'S) ABSENCE, OR IF SHE HAD TO BE IN IT I'D HAVE PREFERRED IT IF SHE STAYED IN MIRKWOOD.


Dec 6 2014, 12:46pm

Post #17 of 78 (852 views)
My answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I'm very glad that it did. In storytelling as a whole, we still have too much of a tendency to tell our daughters that adventures are for boys; girls are there to stay at home and be sweet and domestic and hope not to get damselled. Was The Hobbit a suitable vehicle to subvert that message? Yes, of course. We knew there were going to be changes and expansions on the material provided in the book, and the inclusion of female characters was one of the more sensible ones.

2. It made me happier about the movies as a whole. I probably would have gone to see them anyway, but I imagine I'd have felt less comfortable with them. I'd certainly have felt less comfortable sharing them with kids. Nobody is questioning young girls' capacity to understand stories that exclude women from them. It's the messages they take away from those stories that can make a difference to their own sense of self-worth and expected roles. From your post, I'm guessing you understand where I'm coming from, OP.

3. I could have done without the love story. She is introduced as an active, skilled character with a certain amount of depth, only to become more and more defined by Kili. I haven't yet seen BOTFA, so I'll have to wait to observe how her character arc is resolved, but I did feel a little frustrated with her progression through DOS.


Dec 6 2014, 12:47pm

Post #18 of 78 (847 views)
I think the too long hair [In reply to] Can't Post

was an attempt to make a too short actress look more like a very tall elven warrior.......there are no other short elves in the movies..
Tauriel the warrior is great but the love triangle is silly.........don't need the soap-opera although many fans like it....The fact that she was considered to be of inferior birth was interesting....

The Shire

Dec 6 2014, 1:22pm

Post #19 of 78 (848 views)
So much to say...this one's spoiler-free [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't seen BOT5A but I've read the spoilers. I'll leave the spoilers out of this post and make a second one with a warning.

1. I think they could have pulled off the story without adding a female character, but I'm glad they added her (her story, on the other hand...but I'll get to that later).

One thing though is I think they should have added more minor female characters as well. Note that during the entire Mirkwood sequence, none of the female elves speak except Tauriel, even though there are a number of one-line characters who appear. I know the keeper of the keys and the butler are both male in the book, but there are a few exchanges in Elvish when the dwarves are first caught, and during the beginning of the river chase, and they're all between male characters. Would it have been that hard to give some of those lines to women? In a way that makes the story appear even more sexist, because when a woman finally does appear, she's the extra-special designated love interest of two main (male) characters.

2. I can't answer this one without a major spoiler, so I'll get to this in another post.

3. Yes for the decision to include her, no for the love triangle. I'm sick of seeing the message over and over that women can only be love interests and are always defined first and foremost by their interactions with men. I do have one decision to comment on based on spoilers, but again I'll put that in another post.

4. I'd have preferred if the love story had either not been included or had been less overt. I'd also have been happier if they'd had more female characters! No, I'm not talking about adding another Tauriel. I mean more one-line characters who are women (there are a few in Laketown but Mirkwood is just dudes and Tauriel). E.g. the elf who searches Fili, or the one who calls Legolas over to look at Orcrist, or the one who blows on the horn to signal the other elves to shut the sluice gate, or...you get the idea. Any of these characters could have been played by a woman without making one change to the story. I think if we'd seen women interacting with the main male characters in a neutral, non-romantic way, there'd be less of a sense that being female means you have to be a love interest.

The Balrog has wings, but it isn't capable of flight. It's basically a kiwi, only bigger. And on fire.


Dec 6 2014, 1:28pm

Post #20 of 78 (838 views)
I believe ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that unlike the unnamed character in the book, she is not "Captain of the Guard" but rather "a captain of the Guard." A fairly significant difference, because I could certainly see a 600 year old Elf becoming a captain of the Guard, under its commander(s) (probably Legolas himself), even if not the actually commander of the Guard.
If that makes any sense.
That having been said (and without having seen BotFA), I agree with the comments of Captain Obvious and Silverlode about preferring that the romance not be emphasized. However, I am willing to judge it on its own merits, rather than based on my own expectations.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

Grey Havens

Dec 6 2014, 2:07pm

Post #21 of 78 (801 views)
I think she's fine as a character [In reply to] Can't Post

and to answer the questions:

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
Not really - I've spent my whole life reading and watching adventure stories that focus on men and it never bothered me because all I care about is the adventure, but I admit that lots of other women and little girls might feel differently.

2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
Nope! Not at all.

3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
I'm fine with it all, and I particularly like the way Tauriel and Kili connect and begin to see each other as people rather than "enemies" in spite of the animosity of their elders. The fact that people call it a "romance" says a lot more about our hyper-sexualized culture than it does about what was actually on screen (I'm referring to DOS here - I haven't seen BOTFA yet).

4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?
I like Tauriel, but I would have preferred more dwarf character time on screen.


Farewell hope,
and with hope
farewell fear.

John Milton


Dec 6 2014, 2:09pm

Post #22 of 78 (810 views)
Agree with all of this and... [In reply to] Can't Post

I cringed in DOS when they had her heal Kili more or less in exactly the same way that Arwen healed Frodo in FOTR. To me, it diminished Arwen's rare powers and seemed like sloppy/lazy scriptwriting.

She had potential as a character, but the love-triangle ruined it.

mae govannen
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 2:14pm

Post #23 of 78 (835 views)
The Tauriel I liked so much in DOS shouldn't [In reply to] Can't Post

have ended up the way she seems to in the last movie.
I haven't seen the movie itself yet, only read spoilers, but I was really hoping the rune-stone giving scene would have been her last with Kili.
That Kili finally dies defending her instead of Thorin goes in my eyes too far, and takes away too much from the main story as I feel it should have remained..
And at first she seemed to have been in love with Legolas, and to have been crushed by the discouraging warning she got from Thranduil about that.
So I always thought she likes Kili too, but not as much, not like real love. And Kili too could have realized that, and just give her the stone for his mom should he be killed.
She herself could have ended up being killed by Bolg before Legolas can come and save her; but then he would have destroyed Bolg out of sheer fury...
I mean, whatever, but the ending I understand has been given to that romance is in my eyes not correct,
Otherwise, until then, everything was fine for me and in good enough balance.in the overall situation they were all in.

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Dec 6 2014, 2:30pm

Post #24 of 78 (809 views)
Haven't seen TBOTFA yet [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
--Im an old geek who grew up reading books in which girls were the trophy or the sidekick. Though I never liked that, Im used to it so I didn't actually need an active female character. None-the-less I was glad to have a couple in Tauriel and Galadriel . However Tauriel wasnt written for me she was created for young girls who have different expectations and wants, as evidenced by Frozen. Maybe we should ask some ten year old girls.

2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
--Not at all.

3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
--I like Tauriel and think she enhances the movies. I liked her role as an ordinary Silvan Elf and a warrior and found Evangeline Lilly convincing. Her relationships with Thranduil and Legolas and her role in the isolation versus engagement story worked for me. I also liked the connection between Tauriel and Kili but the romance I could do without.

4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?
--I wish they had created a platonic bond between Tauriel and Kili, rather than a romantic one. But then Im not much of a shipper.

The Shire

Dec 6 2014, 3:05pm

Post #25 of 78 (809 views)
A few more answers - BOT5A SPOILERS [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, I haven't seen BOT5A but I've read the spoilers posted here, so this is partially speculative until I see it for myself. I wasn't going to see the film in cinemas if they were going to kill her off (so I can't actually say outside the spoilers if I'm seeing it or not!) But my opinion of Tauriel is heavily influenced by how women in general are portrayed in fiction, so be warned, there's a bit of a feminist rant coming up:

Usually when there's a woman in an action movie, she either falls in love with the hero (see: every action movie ever) or is tragically killed off to motivate the hero (see: every Christopher Nolan movie ever). If the hero is James Bond, she usually does both. Either way she's portrayed as a prize to be won or lost by the male protagonist. David Wong comments on the girl-as-reward phenomenon in this article: http://www.cracked.com/...d-to-hate-women.html

When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu "Speed" Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na'vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE ... and so on.

As for the prize being lost, that's more of a comics thing, which you can read more about here: http://www.comicvine.com/...gerators/4015-43763/ and here http://lby3.com/wir/ with Gail Simone's documentation of the Women in Refrigerators phenomenon. AKA Fridging, this is the kill-the-girl-to-hurt-the-guy storyline. The site TvTropes goes into it further with The lost Lenore http://tvtropes.org/...p/Main/TheLostLenore (where the woman is dead from the beginning, and her death motivates the protagonist) and its sister trope I Let Gwen Stacy Die http://tvtropes.org/...ain/ILetGwenStacyDie (where the hero tragically fixates on his guilt over the death of a woman) . They also have a page on fridging that looks at other media besides comics: http://http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StuffedIntoTheFridge. Basically, a geeky, action-based story with a lot of dudes is a dangerous place if you're a girl. And it sucks.

I'm sick of seeing the death and suffering of women used as a cheap source of drama in the lives of men. Five years ago I'd have shrugged it off if a blockbuster movie killed a cool female character and gone "Welp, that's Hollywood and women, if I want a good non-cliche female character I'll go read a Margaret Atwood book", but that was before the series of attacks on prominent geek women that have happened in the last few years. (And before I moved to New York, too - yes, that street harassment video is what it's really like). When there's more sexism in real life, it's harder to take it in stride when it shows up in fiction.

So now we go on to the BOT5A spoilers! Select the rest of the post to read:

2. Yes, reading the spoilers affected whether I would see BOT5A in the cinema or wait for the DVD. I didn't think I could take seeing yet another cool female character get stuffed into the fridge, and I thought it was pretty likely she would be.

I thought that since Kili dies and Legolas is (presumably) single in LOTR, the only way to wrap up Tauriel's story would be to kill her. Which of course would give some nice motivation for The Hobbit's naive, insular, arrogant-as-hell version of Legolas to change in to the guy who pledges his bow to Frodo at the Council of Elrond. He falls in love with a woman whose tragic death teaches him a valuable lesson in caring about the world beyond his borders. Sucks for her, but gives motivation to him, and he's the one who's in the sequel. Sure it's a cliche, but so is the love triangle, so I figured they'd probably go that route.

Ultimately this was why I read the spoilers for BOT5A, and the fact that they don't kill her off is why I'll see it in the cinema. Sure, it sucks that she got forced into a love triangle, but there are apparently girls who like that plotline, and when there's only one major female character there's no way for her story to please everyone. So if the Twilight crowd got what they wanted I'm ok with that.

Now getting to question 3, which I'm answering based on pure spoiler-based speculation:

Yes, there is one major decision I'm happy with, and it goes back to the girl-as-reward comment at the start of this post. I've heard that Tauriel is something of a damsel in distress toward the end of the movie, and that Legolas comes to her rescue in what can only be described as the most, well, Legolas of action scenes.

Now, we all know the rules for a female character in an action movie: the hero likes her, she rejects him and then he does something heroic - defeats the baddie, wins the tournament, saves her life or all three - and she changes her mind and falls in love with him. Because clearly she's just a prize to be won with sufficient effort on the hero's part. So the fact that Tauriel's rejection of Legolas continues even after he saves her life in a blaze of physics-defying glory is actually pretty progressive. While the preteen girl audience might focus mainly on the tragedy, they're also seeing - whether they know it or not - a woman whose love isn't a reward for good behaviour. She doesn't owe her love to the man who saves her life. Sure, it's because she's grieving for another guy she loves, but hey, baby steps. They're still breaking a pretty major rule of Hollywood here.

Meanwhile the boys in the audience are learning that girls aren't rewards. They're learning that if you save a girls life (or help her with her homework, or are her supportive and loyal nice guy best friend) then you aren't earning her love - that's something that she'll feel, or not feel, for reasons of her own, not because she owes it to you. They're learning that sometimes even Orlando freakin' Bloom doesn't get the girl. And it sucks, and you cope with it, and you move on.

And for that to show up in an action-filled sausagefest fantasy movie is actually pretty damn impressive.

The Balrog has wings, but it isn't capable of flight. It's basically a kiwi, only bigger. And on fire.

(This post was edited by TricksyHobbitses on Dec 6 2014, 3:19pm)

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