First official image of Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It's a good day for fans of Evangeline Lilly, who is officially revealed today as Tauriel, the elf warrior from THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG who is "slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill,” according to the actress. Lilly revealed some more information about her character, who does not appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's book (or any other), saying:

“Tauriel is the head of the Elven Guard. She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”

For those curious if she will have some type of romantic entanglement, the answer is an affirmative.

“She will definitely have a love story,” Lilly says. “I can’t give away too much about it. It’s not a huge focus but it is there and it is important and it does drive Tauriel and her story and her actions.”

The question, of course, is whether or not that will be with fan-favorite Legolas, from THE LORD OF THE RINGS films, who will make his debut in the second chapter of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation.

“Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas is significant. They’ve known each other since they were children, and Legolas’ dad, [Elven king] Thrandruil, has a soft spot for Tauriel and sees something very special in her. So if you grow up side by side, and your dad has a very special spot in his heart for this young woman who’s a fantastic warrior, I think it’s hard not to notice her.” She laughs. “That’s probably as much as I can say.”

As for the anticipated backlash, Lilly seems to have a firm grasp on fan expectation, saying:

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are going to be people who will totally hate Tauriel, think that she shouldn’t be in the movie, that it’s a betrayal of Tolkien, and no matter what I do it won’t be right. There will be everything between that and people who adore her and think it’s such a fun thing to have added to the film. I kind of got prepped for that being on Lost, because we had avid fans who were really extreme in their feelings about the show and its characters. But I think if anyone knows how to respect Tolkien, it’s Peter, Fran and Phil. And Tauriel fits perfectly in that world.”

I'm a fan, both for obvious reasons (she's hot) and because she is a great actress who I spent many years with through Lost. It's curiously frustrating that she hasn't been in more projects since the closing of that show, but perhaps this will help up her visibility.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG hits theaters on December 13, 2013.



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