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Old 10-17-2011, 06:55 AM   #1
mark12_30
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How to design a successful Tauriel

This thread is not, I repeat NOT, for Itaril-Tauriel bashing. If you want to do that, pleaes go to the "Itaril" thread in this same forum (Movies).

This thread is for posting constructive ideas that might help PJ work Tauriel into the plot in such a way that:
1. Tolkien would not be horrified
2. Tolkien scholars would not be horrified
3. Barrowdowners would not be horrified

Again: if you want to insist that she will be totally useless, please go to the other "Itaril" thread.

This thread is for constructive ideas as to how she can SUCCESSFULLY add to the plot from a canonical perspective. What possible gaps could she fill in? Are there places sketched by Tolkien that beg for a female elvish answer? Where, when, and how might a female elf named "Forest Daughter" be a SUCCESSFUL ADDITION to the plot of The Hobbit?

You may include recommendations on what she should not do and/or be AS LONG AS you do include thoughtful, constructive recommendations as to what she COULD OR SHOULD do and/or be.

And yes, I have a few ideas, but I'd like to see if someone else can also come up with something positive.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:23 AM   #2
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While I have pretty much no hope at all that PJ&Co. will ever read this thread--or at least ever read this thread and actually apply any suggestions that might be made--I think it could be a useful thought experiment to try devising a "canonically plausible" Tauriel. At the very least, when the movies come out, and we all go and see them, we'll have some standards of comparison already stocked up for our inevitable vitriol.

Now then, it seems to me that the logical place to begin in creating an "Elven forest-daughter character" is to take a look at the female Elves who do appear in the canon somewhere. The following come to mind immediately:

Míriel
Indil
Nerdanel
Aredhel
Galadriel
Lúthien
Nellas
Finduilas
Arwen

There are probably a few more, wives of some of the more peripheral Elvenkings, but I doubt they are likely to reveal much more than these. As for these, however, we've already got an Elvenqueen on the fringe of The Hobbit in the person of Galadriel (who has a possible inclusion at the White Council), so I think we should probably eliminate most of the Noldor as possible templates for Tauriel. In the same way that Thranduil and his halls are imitative of Thingol and Menegroth, Tauriel is likely to have more in common with the two Sindar on this list: Lúthien and Nellas.

Although Lúthien is obviously of a far more exalted destiny than PJ can give Tauriel, as the daughter of one of the Calaquendi and a Maia, she is nonetheless an "active" Elvenprincess.

Nellas, on the other hand, is not a princess at all, but is the only non-royal female Elf I can think of who appears in The Silmarillion. She is also not an adventurous character... but as far as that goes, it would probably make her inclusion far more plausible.

Oh. And it just occurred to me that Nimrodel's briefly told story in The Lord of the Rings might also make for a plausible example to look back at.

What does all this add up to? What can Lúthien, Nellas, Nimrodel, and others from the canon contribute to an inserted character into The Hobbit? I have a few thoughts, but they're rather vague, and perhaps someone else should take a stab at them first...
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
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I was thinking about Nimrodel when I first read this thread. Although I would need to go back to the Lothlorien chapters and refresh my memory since the only thing I can remember is she's mentioned as Galadriel's handmaiden.

As Tolkien said about orcs, of course there are orc women, but LOTR being primarily a tale about war, they weren't going to get mentioned.

I'm not sure what Jackson's going to do with the character, but I don't see a reason to get bent out of shape over it before hand. This is not different from what we do with RPGs in creating characters and trying to make them as accurate as possible. It certainly can be done in a way that won't destroy the story or the experience of the movies.

What is Jackson's track record for the characters he invented? They really don't serve a purpose other than to fill in for minor plot reasons. If the same treatment is done with Tauriel, or Itaril, or whoever than it'll probably be accurate from a canon perspective. In the "there must be elf women in Mirkwood" sense.

And I do apologize if this isn't the response you were looking for mark, because generally I agree, this can be done and still be respectful to the books. But it's more because Tauriel will probably be a very minor, and limitted character who isn't "active" in the sense that Arwen or Eowyn or even Galadriel were in the movies. Because Jackson's track record says the characters he invents serve little purpose other than to move along the plot with some dialogue, like Figwit. Or for some baddie orc boss for Aragorn to kill, ala Lurtz.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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Formie, a very thought-provoking post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Now then, it seems to me that the logical place to begin in creating an "Elven forest-daughter character" is to take a look at the female Elves who do appear in the canon somewhere. The following come to mind immediately:

Míriel
Indil
Nerdanel
Aredhel
Galadriel
Lúthien
Nellas
Finduilas
Arwen
Nimrodel
Thanks for this. You helped me to initialize my own thought structure as follows:

I am specifically NOT thinking in Silmarillionish terms. Why? Aside from Thranduil and Elrond, the elves in 'The Hobbit' (funny phrase) are much more approachable.

My elves-from-The-Hobbit are not gloomily Feanorean. They giggle. They laugh and laugh and laugh. They sing Tra-la-la-Lally. I expect Orlando to deliver a rousing Tra-La-La-Lally chorus, in all of his shimmering goldenness.

They participate in White Stag Hunts.

They have Mirkwood-parties with lanterns that go poof when foreigners bungle into their midst, or even close. They wear crowns of leaves. They are MERRY. Merry, merry, merry.

Now, I do not think this is particularly non-Noldorian... I do think that there were merry elves in LOTR. And in the Sil. In fact, I think that they must have been much more merry than we read about in order to survive all the gloom that Tolkien poured out into their lives. Didn't Sam describe Galadriel as "Proud and far off as any queen, and as merry as any lass with daisies in her hair in the springtime?"

So what else do Hobbitish Elves do? They taunt dwarves while dwarves are crossing narrow bridges. They dance and sing on the riverbanks during midsummer eve. The butler gets drunk with the turnkey. They sing about rolling barrels into a stream. They are MERRY. They love life. Frankly, I am jealous of them and am beginning to seek to emulate that very Merriness characteristic.

(What was it that Thorin said to Bilbo on his deathbed-- if more of us valued good food and merriment it would be a better world, or something like that...)

I am sure that PJ's elves will remain dangerous, gleaming, weighty characters (at least it is to be hoped.) But I also really hope that we get to see their merry side. Thranduil will have his occasionally Feanorean moments where he insists on his way or else. But meanwhile some of his elves will be having FUN-- feasting in the forest, hunting stags, or rolling barrels down into the stream. Wasn't Thranduil holding a big feast in his underground palace while the butler was downstairs getting roaring drunk with the turnkey?

So. Let's suppose Tauriel fits into this scheme of things. Will Tauriel be some happy-go-lucky young elvish girl just recruited to the royal court? Will she be in the White-Stag hunting party? Will she be the king's Other Cup-Bearer? Will she be an archery student? Will she be a banner-carrying herald? Will she join the dances (don't tell me that there will be no dances, I've been waiting ten years for an elvish circle dance. The hobbits got to dance in FOTR, it's the elves' turn now.) Maybe she does a solo dance at the feast. (Sam's Rosie gets her moment in the spotlight but Thranduil's elvish maidens do not? How fair is that?)

Maybe she'll be a messenger from the Northern Marches. Maybe she'll be the King's wine taster. Maybe she'll serve the apples... remember somebody got packed in a barrel that had been full of apples and declared he would hate the smell of apples for the rest of his life? Interesting, that Mirkwood elves import their apples!)

About the only thing I feel adamant about is that by the end of the movie, she NOT be married to Legolas (or carrying his child, for heaven's sake.). But if she bats her eyelashes at him, or gets all starry-eyed in his presence, I won't be surprised. Or horrified. Not at all.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:17 PM   #5
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First of all, if we keep the name Tauriel (which I have no objections against, at least it has the advantage of being well-formed Sindarin), there must be a reason she's named so - i.e. someone called Forest-daughter must have some more special connection to the forest than just being one of many many female denizens of Mirkwood. Coming from this consideration, I could see her as a sort of Nellas figure - a young girl at home in the forest (and by all means dancing merrily in moonlit glades), but not so much in a crowd of people gathered in the king's hall. What part such a character could play in Bilbo's story (other than being frightened by the Dwarves) is another question which needs further rumination.

As another possibility (abandoning the name) I could see a serving maid of Thranduil's court who somehow discovers Bilbo's presence during his stay in the Elvenking's fortress, but pities and befriends him - maybe even helps him to free the Dwarves? Let's say she's the one who delivers water and bread for the prisoners down to the dungeons. It would be even nicer if they never actually spoke a word, but she finds a way to let him know that she knows about him - an occasional morsel of food and a cup of wine left for him here and there, a gesture pointing him in the right direction to find out where Thorin is being held, something along those lines.

Finally, picking up Formy's point about Thranduil being basically Thingol 2.0, why is there no Melian at his side? Knowing Elvish Laws & Customs, he must have been married in order to have a son, and I can't at the moment recall any text saying he was widowed. Give the Elvenking a Queen, and make her as different from Galadriel as it gets (e.g. even more anti-Dwarves than her hubby), et voilŕ.

I like the serving maid best, but any of these would IMO fit TH better than Arwen Reloaded falling in love with Orlandolas. The Hobbit has no romance, The Hobbit needs no romance!
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:41 PM   #6
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Pitchwife, I'm intrigued by the "Wife of Thranduil" idea... that would make her Legolas' mom, no? She (the actress) seems a bit youthful for that, and strikes me as lacking grativas needed for such a role.

Not being quite so romance-averse...

What if Tauriel was so starry-eyed over the Golden Princeling that she refused to give the poor butler a second glance? And the butler, after professing his undying love for her (and being either spurned or ignored) was so devastated that he turned to the grape for solace, and his good friend the turnkey kept him company? And now we know why the butler got drunk. So Tauriel would be "responsible", in a sweet and unknowing way, for the freedom of the dwarves.

Gosh, I like it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:01 AM   #7
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Like it mark12_30,

that would fit in neatly.

I was thinking that maybe she had baked the the pie that Bilbo stole at the raft Elves' village,
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Now then, it seems to me that the logical place to begin in creating an "Elven forest-daughter character" is to take a look at the female Elves who do appear in the canon somewhere. The following come to mind immediately:

Míriel
Indil
Nerdanel
Aredhel
Galadriel
Lúthien
Nellas
Finduilas
Arwen

There are probably a few more, wives of some of the more peripheral Elvenkings, but I doubt they are likely to reveal much more than these. .
Ahem..... one rather spectacular omission Formy, and considering that PJ nicked her name for his first essai into souping up the elf woman quotient.

Not exactly peripheral is she, heiress to Gondolin, Idril Celebrindal, beautiful, beloved and brave. Noble and wise enough to keep her own counsel and prepare an emergency exit and so save at least some of her people. And tried again to aid them by sailing west.

She is one of my favourite characters and too often gets overlooked. But maybe not, for all his faults by PJ, since he gave screen Arwen her great grandmother's sword.

I haven't seen casting for Galion yet and I would be sorry if he were lost but there will have to be various elves either at the feasting or rafting. I don't have a particular problem with a woman being prominent among raft elves - there were no roles exclusive to only men or women among the Eldar at least though some tended to be mainly male or female preserves and Tolkien notes that there was less difference in strength between male and childless female elves than between mortal men and women. Managing a raft is more a skill thing than a strength thing anyway.

I don't see why she shouldn't be Thranduil's queen. There can't be so much difference in age between Bloom and wossisnamechappiefrom Pushing Daisies ..

[goggles .... Lee Pace is infact 2 years younger than Orlando Bloom and the same age as Evangeline Lilly]

Because PJ has not much in the way of subtlety Thranduil will need someone to talk to to express his thoughts on the untrustworthiness of Dwarves... it could be his son of course or it could be Tauriel missus....

Or Tauriel could be an exasperated royal housekeeper who can't understand why stuff keeps disappearing from her kitchen.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Ahem..... one rather spectacular omission Formy, and considering that PJ nicked her name for his first essai into souping up the elf woman quotient.

Not exactly peripheral is she, heiress to Gondolin, Idril Celebrindal, beautiful, beloved and brave. Noble and wise enough to keep her own counsel and prepare an emergency exit and so save at least some of her people. And tried again to aid them by sailing west.

She is one of my favourite characters and too often gets overlooked. But maybe not, for all his faults by PJ, since he gave screen Arwen her great grandmother's sword.

Lee Pace is infact 2 years younger than Orlando Bloom and the same age as Evangeline Lilly]

Because PJ has not much in the way of subtlety Thranduil will need someone to talk to to express his thoughts on the untrustworthiness of Dwarves... it could be his son of course or it could be Tauriel missus....

Or Tauriel could be an exasperated royal housekeeper who can't understand why stuff keeps disappearing from her kitchen.
Several good points here, Mithalwen! I had no idea that Thranduilee is Younger than The Golden Orlie?? (Blink, blink.) Whatever.... Okay.

And the Idril reminder is very well considered. She was a mover of men.

I love the exasperated housekeeper idea. There's real room for creativity there. What might she not do? Even if she is nought but a serving maid it would be her responsibility to report such a breach of security to her chain of command. Meaning: Thranduil, and if she can't find him, well, the prince is the next best thing. Ah-hah. And of course the local housekeeper ought to have something to do with the (broken-hearted? butler?
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
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The thought of cooks missing things reminded me of this http://youtu.be/d5uUfspRqXE
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #11
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This thread is for posting constructive ideas that might help PJ work Tauriel into the plot in such a way that:
1. Tolkien would not be horrified
2. Tolkien scholars would not be horrified
3. Barrowdowners would not be horrified
I don't think that's possible, considering they are kind of adding a character that belongs nowhere in the canon and subsequently show a lack of faith in Tolkien's storytelling skills.

But, since there is a wish for constructive thought, I should think that the only thing that would marginally appeal to me and would not (thoroughly) disrupt the story, is plunking Tauriel in the position of Mirkwood's queen. We know nothing of Thranduil's married life, and if PJ pulls it off artfully, it might just work. Movies (save horror-films and children's movies) don't seem to come without romance these days, and it could just add a sweet twinge to the atmosphere.

Not looking forward to it at all, but it might just do.
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