Evangeline Lilly, who plays Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, has described the love triangle her character is involved in as “not totally Tolkien” in an interview with Hypable.com.
In The Desolation of Smaug, the second in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, the wood-elf Tauriel is involved in an unresolved love triangle between the elf Legolas and the dwarf Kili. This is not a feature of Tolkien’s book, first published in 1937.
Lilly had played a character involved in a love triangle for six years in the TV show Lost, and had only accepted the role of Tauriel on the condition that this was not going to be a part of The Hobbit films. In the interview, she reveals that it was indeed not a part of the original script and that it was filmed during pickup shoots, despite her initial protestations at the change in direction.
The decision was made, she says, because the writers thought the relationship between Tauriel and “these male characters” was too “ambiguous” and potentially “confusing” to the audience.
Lilly, who is a fan of Tolkien’s works, remains unhappy with this aspect of the project, but contends that it is a small part of a larger story:
I don’t think it’s the most shining part of the film, and I don’t think it’s necessarily – I’m going to get lynched for saying this – but it’s not totally Tolkien. I know he has written love triangles in some of the later works that he wrote. In the end, it is what it is. I don’t focus too much on it because it’s a tiny part of the story. And it’s a tiny part of her story.
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society’s digital operations, including this website.