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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A case for Tauriel - different yet same as canon characters

Semper Fi
Rohan


Aug 18 2013, 11:20pm


Views: 1465
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A case for Tauriel - different yet same as canon characters Can't Post

I'm trying to make a case for the saga's most controversial character and point out some double standards. Since I'm not a lawyer I imagine my case for Tauriel will be clunky so I apologize for the lack of competence. This is all in good faith for I think that she is no different from other Tolkien characters in good traits as well as some ho-hum ones.

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the flees in my hair

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair,
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Hair, Cast of Hair the Musical

Case for prosecution: Tauriel's hair is way too long so any Orc can grab it. This is just ridiculous.

Case for defense: Hair grabbing and hair pulling haven't been a practice in either Tolkien books or LOTR/Hobbit movies, so it's hard to believe that Tauriel's copper mane will suddenly change standards of warcraft into standards of catfight. There are several characters in LOTR movies with long, flowing hair that could easily be grabbed, yet nobody took advantage of it. Arwen's flowing mane was almost touched by the closeness of her Black Rider pursuers yet none of them thought they should pull her hair and pull her off the horse jealous girlfriend style. Lurtz's long dreads could have given Aragorn a tactical advantage had he grabbed a handful of them yet such a thought never crossed his mind. Even Eowyn's rather ceremonial hair spill out of her helmet in both book and movie didn't give the Witch King an idea to get catty with it. Bottom line is, in the world of long-haired warriors on various sides, hair-pulling simply isn't a warrior skill that anyone is trained to perform in the battle. It belongs in the catfight since it's an alpha and omega of that kind of a fight. Call it sexist but men's world doesn't practice this effective and painful move and Tauriel operates in that world. Her enemies are male Orcs. If she gets into catfight with other Elf women that has nothing to do with how she will perform against a male enemy and how they will fight against her.

On the side note, Aragorn's wet/greasy hair falling into his eyes during fights is a bigger problem that nobody harps on. The reason is quite simple - he cannot see well when he is supposed to achieve tactical precision. At least give it to Legolas and Tauriel that their hair is pulled away from their faces and firmly secured so their vision is clear at all times. Unlike Aragorn's frequently blocked vision.

STIKE FIRST STRIKE HARD NO MERCY SIR!

We do not study to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak...a man confronts you he is the enemy and enemy deserves no mercy!

Cobra Kai, Karate Kid

You probably heard we aint in the prisoner taking business, we're in the killing Nazi business and cousin, business is a boomin'

Aldo Raine, Inglorious Bastards



Case for prosecution: Tauriel is so unlikable! She is described as a ruthless killer, a killing machine and someone who you don't want to meet in a dark alley. That's so anti-Elvish! Elves are supposed to be merciful, compassionate and gentle, not like this video game character!

Case for defense: Tauriel is a full-time military Elf. A professional soldier. She is the captain of the most elite military unit, King's Guard, who are the Green Berets of Mirkwood Army. Evie used a term Mirkwood ninjas but I prefer to link her team to special forces because ninjas are basically mercenaries which King's Guard isn't. The Green Berets of Mirkwood do what all special forces do - long range recon, ambushing, sabotage, quick task response, etc. Unless it's specified to capture a valuable target for interrogation, these guys aren't into prisoner-taking business and don't deal with characters who deserve mercy and compassion. They fight against the baddest of the bad. They are good at killing since that's what they are trained for and have no regrets because their targets are bad people.

On the side note, for marketing purposes, it's very likely that emphasis is given on badass because it doesn't provide the lull in action. When a new character is introduced, adolescent boys who are the primary target audience for these movies (sorry book lovers!) are always concerned that there would be too much talking at the expense of action. So by slapping action-fuelled labels such as "a killing machine" they assure the audience with a short attention span that there will be plenty of action courtesy of the new character. It does not mean that she'll be a killing machine in relation to people she cares for or grows a like.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Mark Twain

Case for prosecution: Tauriel is such a Mary Sue! She had to underline that "this IS out fight" because she's a chick and more gung-ho than Legolas. Can't you even believe that? Legolas hesitates to fight but this Mary Sue is all pumped up because she's a girl! Ugh!

Case for defense: Tauriel's "fight" line is hardly something specific for her. Eowyn also had a fight line ("I can fight!") when Théoden wasn't so sure or pumped and Arwen had a variation of "I'm more gung-ho than my man" when she said "I'm a faster rider. I'm not afraid of them" implying that Aragorn is inferior rider who also fears the Black Riders at least a little bit. Unlike his girlfriend. So this gung-ho girl - reluctant boy situation is nothing new in these movies or in movies in general. Even the last Twilight movie had Bella giving several fight lines that heavily featured in the trailers.

From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.

Friedrich August von Hayek

Case for prosecution: Tauriel has no business in The Hobbit. She is a made-up character who will alter the story so it won't be the story we grew to love.

Case for defense: How's a made up character different from canon character and canon plots going through alterations that change them from what we grew to love? If anything, creation (such as Tauriel) is lesser problem than poorly re-written canon character. The reason is quite simple - with a new character there's no previous emotional investment. You take him/her at face value. OTOH, canon character comes with a baggage and familiarity that he or she is a certain way. Therefore, giving them made-up actions and made-up dialog is no different from having a completely made-up character...except that out of character changes will rub the wrong way far more. There's more outrage over Frodo sending Sam away or evil Faramir than over inclusion of made-up Lurtz.
So in the end of the day, Tauriel is not much different from canon characters going through a makeover. Both aren't in the book - she at all while they turned out different on the screen which is almost like creating a new character altogether. Different but same.












"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards


Subject User Time
A case for Tauriel - different yet same as canon characters Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 18 2013, 11:20pm
    well said. I'm rooting for Tauriel. Nira Send a private message to Nira Aug 18 2013, 11:51pm
    I don't see a case for Tauriel Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 18 2013, 11:57pm
        Tolkien said himself that he wanted others to expand his universe. emre43 Send a private message to emre43 Aug 19 2013, 7:05am
            Funnily enough... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Aug 19 2013, 7:28am
            What Tolkien once wrote... Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Aug 19 2013, 12:02pm
            By the way... Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Aug 19 2013, 1:50pm
                The principle of the thing arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 19 2013, 2:28pm
                    approval Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Aug 19 2013, 6:08pm
        Would Tolkien have approved of Tauriel? I think not. Does that matter? No, IMO. Noria Send a private message to Noria Aug 19 2013, 12:06pm
            I never understood "Tolkien wouldn't approve" argument against new characters Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 12:23pm
                For my part... Elthir Send a private message to Elthir Aug 19 2013, 12:46pm
                    I agree with sinister71... Êleniel Tindome Send a private message to Êleniel Tindome Aug 19 2013, 1:04pm
                        Her actions weren't surprising because the movie didn't keep her ID a secret Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 2:52pm
                            Weeeeell now. Ooookay, then. Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Aug 19 2013, 5:41pm
                            Major/minor character arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 19 2013, 6:55pm
                                I agree completely Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 8:11pm
                                    The poor girl needs to be... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 19 2013, 9:25pm
                                        She can still marry Thranduil and bocome the Queen of Mirkwood Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 1:04am
                                            OK, sure! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 20 2013, 1:17am
                                                Because it's faux feminism Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 1:39am
                                                    Eowyn, Film vs. Text arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 20 2013, 2:09am
                                                        Standing up for Merry was wonderful Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 2:17am
                                            PLEASE Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 20 2013, 1:20am
            Absolutely... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Aug 19 2013, 6:05pm
        Don't think exuses are any more blind than attacks Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 12:29pm
    Looking forward to her arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 19 2013, 12:14am
        witch-king Taladamir Send a private message to Taladamir Aug 21 2013, 1:22am
    ... kbdiggity Send a private message to kbdiggity Aug 19 2013, 12:15am
        That's good to hear Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 12:31pm
    And don't forget the most important part: DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Aug 19 2013, 1:06am
    So far Werde Spinner Send a private message to Werde Spinner Aug 19 2013, 2:07pm
    On a Tauriel-related note... Captain Salt Send a private message to Captain Salt Aug 19 2013, 8:19pm
        See, Tauriel is self-less and heals the sick Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 19 2013, 8:34pm
            She's also Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 8:43pm
                Glorfindel or the Talking Purse don't you mean... malickfan Send a private message to malickfan Aug 19 2013, 8:50pm
                    Honestly Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 8:54pm
                        Well considering the purse even made it into the 1960 'adult' rewrite unchanged we can at least say that it was In Tolkien's spirit malickfan Send a private message to malickfan Aug 19 2013, 8:59pm
                            I did Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 9:08pm
                            Why is it.. Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Aug 19 2013, 9:14pm
                                Isn't it odd how that happens...// arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 19 2013, 9:28pm
                                A great question... // cats16 Send a private message to cats16 Aug 19 2013, 9:32pm
                                I don't care if the character is male or female Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 9:35pm
                                    All of which should be judged when we've actually seen the final film? DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 19 2013, 9:40pm
                                        It doesn't really matter Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 9:55pm
                                            And that's an entirely fair opinion to have DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 19 2013, 10:03pm
                                                everyone is entitled to their opinion Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 19 2013, 10:36pm
                                                    I wouldn't know... DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 20 2013, 6:44am
                                                    well.. glor Send a private message to glor Aug 21 2013, 12:16am
                                                        I'm old enough to remember Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 21 2013, 12:34am
                                            Acting in a trailer is always out of context Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 1:21am
                                                Must have missed a tidbit of news on my recent summer vacation... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 20 2013, 1:25am
                                                    Lilly made a comment Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 20 2013, 1:29am
                                                        Oh, thanks for that! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Aug 20 2013, 2:22am
                                                        It was during the very recent Evangeline Lilly Twitter Q&A.... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Aug 20 2013, 7:14am
                                                trust me Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 20 2013, 1:27am
                                                The criticism of Tauriel's lines in the trailer DwellerInDale Send a private message to DwellerInDale Aug 20 2013, 1:46am
                                                    Well I for one have said the same exact thing since seeing the trailer Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Aug 20 2013, 1:57am
                                                    Yep trailers are no indicators of acting quality Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 2:14am
                                                    I agree with your points, Dweller Thorin's Oakenshield Send a private message to Thorin's Oakenshield Aug 20 2013, 2:19am
                                                        Well, acting can go only up from "A diversion!" Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Aug 20 2013, 12:38pm
                        The Talking Purse as… Lio Send a private message to Lio Aug 19 2013, 10:56pm
    Well stated demnation Send a private message to demnation Aug 20 2013, 7:01am

 
 
 

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