THE MOVIE: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
THE PAIRING: Tauriel (Evangeline Lily) and Kili (Aidan Turner)
THE MOMENT: After Tauriel had healed Kili, he wonders if she could have loved him.
I love everything about The Lord of the Rings from the books (except maybe some of those endless Hobbit songs), the wonderful appendixes, the film adaptations, to the more light-hearted children’s classic The Hobbit. Tolkien’s world is rich in history and the characters call out to me from his made up world of dwarves, elves, and amazing little creatures he called hobbits. But I’ll admit that I have a favorite character in both the movies and books: the compelling and complicated warrior Eowyn who held a torch for the handsome Aragorn who could not return her affection because of a prior claim on his heart.
Peter Jackson and his great team of writers (such as his wife) introduced a beautifully romantic story about two characters that unite as if through a poetic dream.
So going into The Hobbit movies, I was slightly hesitant at how long the story could be drawn out with no side stories like Eowyn to draw me even further into the tale. For it is true, that Tolkien’s main flaw (in my book anyway) was his lack of including female characters. Arwen was only an after-thought in the books after all (though her tragic story in the appendix did fascinate me). How could Jackson remedy the problem for the big screen? Peter Jackson could create a new female elf for the movies named Tauriel played by Evangeline Lily (Lost) as a way to not only give one of the dwarves more characterization but as a way to bring Legolas back into the story as well. Tauriel promised something similar to what Eowyn offered in the films: a female character with spirit and a warrior heart. Jackson gave us something extra to root for than just the destruction of Smaug; he gave us love in the star crossed romance between Tauriel and the dwarf Kili played by the always charismatic Aidan Turner.
Immediately, the connection between the two became evident, despite the uh, vast difference in size. Kili called out to Tauriel for a blade to kill a spider. Instead (because she couldn’t trust a dwarf of course), she was the one to slay the oncoming gigantic spider. There was almost a flirty banter right off the bat that continues even after the dwarves are led into the dungeon:
KILI: Aren’t you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.
TAURIEL: Or nothing.
She walks away and Kili smiles.
Clearly, there is an attraction here that even Legolas in his own jealousy notices. And, what could have become a grimace induced fest of a contrived love story between an elf and a dwarf never comes to pass. In its place, Peter Jackson and his great team of writers (such as his wife) introduced a beautifully romantic story about two characters that unite as if through a poetic dream.
When Tauriel returns to visit Kili in his cell, Kili teases her with the promise of a cursed talisman. Tauriel smiles once she realizes Kili is only playing with her, but as Kili gets more personal, allowing her to know who he is as more than just a dwarf, their connection grows:
KILI: My mother gave it to me as a way to remember my promise.
TAURIEL: What promise?
KILI: That I will come back to her. She worries. She thinks I’m reckless.
TAURIEL: Are you?
Kili throws his talisman in the air and it ends up outside of the prison bars. Tauriel catches it with her foot and picks it up. Soon, the conversation changes gears, creating the whimsical atmosphere their impossible romance offers as Kili comments on the elven party:
TAURIEL: It is the feast of starlight. All light is sacred to the Eldar. Wood elves love best the stars.
KILI: I always thought it was a cold light. Remote and far away.
TAURIEL: It is memory. Precious and pure. Like your promise.
She gives him back his talisman from his mother and he takes it from her hands.
TAURIEL: I have walked there sometimes.
Kili looks up at her, his feelings becoming more apparent as she entrances him with her enchanting confession.
TAURIEL: Beyond the forest and up into the night. I have seen the world fall away and the white light forever fill the air.
Kili becomes even more enchanted by her memory as he gazes up at Tauriel.
KILI: I saw fire-moon once. It rose over the hill near Dundin. Huge. Red and gold it was that filled the sky…
The scene fades up above as Legolas stares on at this unusual exchange of starlight. Basically, if Legolas is worried about a dwarf, there REALLY must be a real connection between these two.
In many ways, Kili also plays the damsel in distress in the tale with Tauriel constantly saving him. But he isn’t helpless either, showing heroism when he bravely enters the orc battle to pull the lever and open the gates, thus allowing the hobbits to escape their prison. In the process, he is hit with a poisonous arrow in the leg. Then just when an orc is coming for him, Tauriel arrives to rescue him of course.
The poisonous arrow leads in to the romantic moment of the week. When the imprisoned orc confesses that the dwarf would soon die, she risks defying Thranduil to go and find him, meeting up with Legolas along the way (who has his own unrequited feelings for her of his own that his father disapproves of).
When Tauriel finally finds Kili, he is near death and she has a choice: she either continues on with Legolas to fight the orcs or stay with Kili and attempt to heal him with elvish medicine. She chooses the latter, Kili watching on in dreamlike wonder; she his guardian angel.
It is after he is saved, they share a beautiful moment that emphasizes the strong chemistry between the two, even though a happy ending is inevitably impossible. It is as Kili states, “a dream.”
Tauriel tells Kili to lie still as he looks on it at her, not truly recognizing the reality around him, that she really had come back to save him.
KILI: You cannot be her. She is far away. She…she is far, far away from me. She walks in starlight in another world. It was just a dream.
Kili reaches for Tauriel’s hand and they barely touch.
She touches him back with her fingers, still barely touching.
“Do you think she could have loved me?” Kili asks:
Tauriel looks back in wonder.
Yes, in another world (and maybe even in this one), I think she could have. I loved this romantic moment shared between two individuals that have almost no hope of a future or anything other than a fantasy. I know I can’t wait to see what happens next in the final installment of The Hobbit.
Did you love these two as much as I did? Or are you rooting more for Legolas? Sound off below…
Photo Credits: Warner Brothers
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