Although Peter Jackson put much effort into adapting Tolkien’s stories as faithfully as possible, both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies contain a fair amount of changes, subtractions and additions to their respective narratives when compared to the original material. Most of these elements worked just fine, while a minority was and still is deemed controversial by the fandom. In today’s article, we are going to talk about one addition present in The Hobbit trilogy and that is the character of Elf-maiden Tauriel, who does not appear in the book but plays a major role in Jackson’s films. Who is Tauriel and what happened to her after the movie? Keep reading to find out!
Since Tauriel is a creation of Peter Jackson, she does not appear in The Hobbit, as written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Therefore, we cannot state what her exact fate was, as the movies never specified it. We know that she was exiled from Mirkwood by Thranduil after the Battle of the Five Armies, but what happened afterwards remains a mystery, although actress Evangeline Lilly has stated that Tauriel eventually returned to Mirkwood.
This article is going to be all about Tauriel and her fate. You’re going to find out who Tauriel was, whether she appears in the books and what happened to her after the Battle of the Five Armies at the end of the third film from The Hobbit trilogy. We have prepared a lot of interesting information for you so keep reading to the end.
Who is Tauriel?
Tauriel is a fictional Elf-maiden and warrior who was introduced as an original character for Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy, where she was played by Evangeline Lilly. Since she is an important part of this article, we thought it opportune to present her a bit to you.
Tauriel first appears in the second film of the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, when Bilbo Baggins and the thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield are attacked by giant spiders. Tauriel and Legolas, leading some Wood Elves, defeat the spiders and capture the dwarves. During the latter’s imprisonment, Tauriel establishes a good relationship with Kíli, as both share the desire for carefree and impulsiveness. When the orcs, led by Bolg, attack the realm of Mirkwood, Tauriel confronts the invaders. Later, after discovering that Kíli was wounded by a morgul arrow, she decides to heal the dying dwarf at the Lake City. Together with Legolas, who decided to follow her, she arrives at the Lake City, where she obtains Athelas to heal. Kíli.
In The Battle of the Five Armies, when Smaug comes out of Erebor to take revenge on the people of the Lake City, Tauriel helps Kíli, Bard’s daughters and the remaining dwarves in the city escape the dragon. After discovering that Bolg leads an army of orcs from Mount Gundabad, Tauriel and Legolas participate in the battle of the five armies, in which Tauriel sees Kíli die at the hands of Bolg while the two were unsuccessfully trying to defeat the giant orc. At the end of the battle, Tauriel cries over the body of her beloved and is joined by Thranduil who, moved, forgives the elf and recognizes that the two really loved each other. The character’s fate at the end of the third Hobbit film remains unknown, and in all likelihood at the end of the battle at the Lonely Mountain Tauriel will return with King Thranduil and the surviving Wood Elf soldiers to the Wooded Realm, taking over the role of commander of the captains of the guard to place of Legolas himself, who at the end of the battle decides not to return with his people.
Is Tauriel in The Hobbit book?
As already stated, Tauriel is a completely original character, created solely for the purpose of appearing in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. Although original characters weren’t all that surprising, Tauriel had a very large role in the story, especially through her romance with the Dwarf Kíli, one of Thorin’s companions on their joint adventure. So, this clearly means that Tauriel was not present in The Hobbit book, although Tolkien does mentioned the Woodland Elves in the novel; he never spoke about them specifically, but they do exist so Jackson didn’t really change anything major, he just took one specific character – which might or might have not existed – and he made use of her in his movie.
Why was Tauriel added to The Hobbit trilogy?
The addition of Tauriel was a very controversial one and is still perceived rather ambiguously by the fandom. The fans believe that she was added to appeal to the female audience, as she was a strong female lead, but they think that giving an original character such a large role in the story is an insult to Tolkien’s original work and that if she had to appear, that it would have been more appropriate for her to have had a minor role in the trilogy. Even actress Evangeline Lilly, who portrays Tauriel in the trilogy, wasn’t thrilled when offered the role initially, but latter thought that the addition was justified:
“I believe she is authentic, because Tolkien refers to The Woodland Elves, he just doesn’t talk about who they are specifically… [Peter and Fran] know that world so well. They’re not going to create a character that is not true to Tolkien’s world.”– Evangeline Lilly on the character of Tauriel
Tauriel was, ultimately, added for appeal. Whether it was to appeal more to the female portion of the audience or to make some of Jackson’s narrative ideas more appealing to the fans is irrelevant, as we know for certain that she was added for reasons of appeal.
Does Tauriel appear in The Lord of the Rings?
The simple answer would be – no, Tauriel does not appear in The Lord of the Rings. Why? Simply because she was created long after The Lord of the Rings and although her character appears in the prequels, she does not appear in the main story. Namely, as we stated above, Tauriel was created by Peter Jackson for The Hobbit trilogy. Tolkie never wrote about her nor does he mention a character akin to her; he does mention the Woodland Elves and it is safe to assume that there many female Elves among them, but that’s about it. So, since she was not created by Tolkien, she could not have appeared in The Lord of the Rings books.
As far as Jackson’s movies are concerned, there is a theoretical possibility of Tauriel appearing in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it becomes null and void once you realise that she was created for The Hobbit films and while they are prequels to Jackson’s original trilogy, they have been produced year after The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This means that, although Tauriel could narratively have appeared in the original trilogy, due to the fact that she was created years after those movies makes her appearance impossible.
What happened to Tauriel after the Battle of the Five Armies?
Tauriel’s fate after the Battle of te Five Armies remains a mystery. Her conduct, as well as her romance with Kíli were not met with enthusiasm by the other Elves, especially King Thranduil. We know that, immediately after the Battle of the Five Armies, Tauriel gets exiled from Mirkwood because of her conduct. Thranduil does that personally. What happened to her afterwards is completely unknown and since she is a completely original character, unrelated to Tolkien’s stories, we cannot even venture a guess as to how her story developed. The only thing we know is a fact stated by actress Evangeline Lilly, who confirmed in an interview that Tauriel returned to Mirkwood at one point, so we can assume that her kin forgave her and that she followed their fate.
Does Tauriel die of a broken heart?
There are, though, some thing we do know about Tauriel, but those are mostly things we know she did not do or we know did not happen to her. At one point, Tauriel says: “If this is love then I do not want it. Why does it hurt so much?” This is a reference to Kíli and the emotions she had for him, emotions which were forbidden because she was an Elf-maiden and Kíli was a Dwarf. Still, she did follow her emotions and the tragic end of their romance – Kíli, namely, dies during the Battle of the Five Armies – makes people wonder whether Tauriel died of a broken heart at some point of her life.
Although we do not know much about her life after the movies, we can safely state that she did not die of a broken heart as there is absolutely nothing to suggest that she did. It is a fair assumption based on what we know, but it is completely false.
How old is Tauriel?
One final issue related to the character of Tauriel is her age. Namely, different sources cite different ages for Tauriel so it might be confusing for some fans to deduce how old she actually was. Luckily for you, we as Fiction Horizon, have all the answers for you and here they come.
The Hobbit film trilogy states that Tauriel is mean to be somewhere around 600 years old (the exact age was not revealed), not every source claims the same and there are some discrepancies. Actress, Evangeline Lily, who plays Tauriel in the three movies, stated in an interview that Tauriel was 600 years old, that Legolas was 1,900, and King Thranduil was 3,000 years old. However, director Peter Jackson, who is certainly a better source for such questions, stated that Tauriel is meant to be around 1,347 years old; the lack of credibility of Lilly’s statements is further evidenced by her claim that Tauriel, who was 600, and Legolas, who was 1,900, have known each other since they were both children and that they grew up together, which doesn’t seem plausible at all seeing the 1,300-year age difference between them, according to Lilly.
The official movie guide for The Lord of the Rings, states that Legolas’ birth occurred during TA 87 (the books state it was somewhere around TA 185). This would make him 2,931 years old by the time that the War of the Ring occurs, and 2,871 years old during the events of The Hobbit. This, in turn, means that Tauriel would have to be around 2,800 years old herself for her to have known Legolas when he was a child. In short, there is possibly no actual canonical age that all of the filmmakers have agreed upon, meaning that Tauriel’s age open to discussion and personal interpretation.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!