Soon Peter Jackson’s next chapter in his new J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’, will hit theaters and we’ll be able to catch up with those lovable dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, as they set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the titular dragon. But another group that is very prominent in the story is the elves, including one very popular one played by Orlando Bloom named Legolas. But considering that the character was never a part of the source material until he joins the Fellowship of the Ring, why is it that he pops up in this new series of films for more than a cameo? The filmmaker recently chimed in on the matter.
It’s no secret that Jackson is drawing from more than Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ for his new set of films, so it’s safe to assume that ‘The Hobbit: There And Back Again’ will feature a ton of new narrative material linking his two trilogies. According Evangeline Lilly, who plays the freshly created Tauriel that appears for the first time in ‘Desolation of Smaug’, Bloom’s Legolas is the main thing that connects the Middle Earth sagas:
“Peter, Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] brilliantly tied the last Hobbit film to the first Lord of the Rings film through the one character would could do that, which is Legolas.”
The director expands on this by giving his audience a bit of a history lesson that justifies his inclusion of Legolas in these films and the creations of Lilly’s Tauriel:
“People always ask about Evangeline’s character Tauriel and why we felt the need to create her. But in ‘The Hobbit’ novel, [the dwarves] are captured by the elves and they escape in the barrels. And it’s a memorable part of the book but the Elf King is not even named. He doesn’t have a name. And it was only later on that Tolkien decided it should be Thranduil and he also decided he should have a son when Lord of the Rings was written 18-19 years later. He created the character of the son of the king.
So you’ve got material there but you can’t have a scene in a film that’s a memorable scene with just one person as the Elf. We wanted three Elven characters. That’s the thing too, to create characters and have conflict with each other and they have different agendas. Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel are all on different flight paths which makes it much more interesting ability for Fran [Walsh] and I to tell the narrative through their eyes.”
When it comes to Tolkien history, Jackson definitely knows his stuff. He also knows how to properly form a story for the screen, so I feel like I’ll be okay with the changes that he’s made to the story. But what about you? Are you in favor of the tactics utilized by the filmmaker and his team to expand the story of ‘The Hobbit’ and connect it to his other trilogy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Lee Pace, Sylvester McCoy, and Benedict Cumberbatch will open in theaters on December 13, 2013.