Author JRR Tolkien never included a female character for his masterpiece, The Hobbit, but that didn’t stop Peter Jackson and his writing team to include one, in their second film of their adaptation of the classic book.
In The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug, Tauriel, a female wood elf played by Evangeline Lilly, makes an appearance as one the movie’s heroes and love interest.
Many feminists and critics complained about the first Hobbit film because of its lack of female characters.
This time around, Philippa Boyens, one of the co-writers, said Tauriel was written in to add another layer for the characters in the film and also to tie in the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Tauriel is a wood-elf warrior and the love interest of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) of Lord of the Rings, and Kili, one of the dwarves on the journey.
Lilly said she’s proud to play Tauriel as it sends a positive message to young girls.
“To his defense Tolkien was writing in 1937,” Lilly said. “The world is a different place today and I keep repeatedly telling people with nine hours of cinema entertainment for young girls to go and watch (The Hobbit) and not have one female character is subliminally telling them, “You don’t count. You’re not important and you’re not pivotal to the story.”
Lilly commended the screenwriters for adding a powerful female character.
“I think you were very brave and very right,” Lilly said during a press junket last week. “We want young female audience to watch the film.
“I think it’s time to stop writing stories that’s only about men and heroic men. And I’m glad they made Tauriel a heroic female,” Lilly added.
(LA Weekend December 14-17, 2013 Sec B pg.2)