So EW has released the first view of the new female elf character from The Hobbit, Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. This had to be done because there are no women anywhere at all in The Hobbit except for some kids who run away crying, and it’s 2013.
The addition of a female elf warrior doesn’t bother me too much, for beyond the obvious reasons of liking a feisty female with her own agency. Would Tolkien have been on board with this? The record isn’t so clear; while his elf societies as dreamed up don’t leave room for warrior maidens, he was definitely familiar with the archetype, even beyond Eowyn. In the Silmarillion there’s Lady Haleth who leads one of the three houses of the Edain (man), and Galadriel is generally referred to as a badass in the battle with the Necromancer. A lot of the women mentioned in the history the human race are called valiant and brave. Tolkien was oblivious to the role of women in his books, but not in life in general, and the few women in his books are mostly very sympathetic and noble characters.
What does bother me is the red hair. The Sindarin “Moriquendi”—of whom the tribe of the Elves of Mirkwood belonged— were said to be dark haired. In fact…they were called Dark Elves. I dunno where Legolas got his blond hair from…what was strictly a Noldor/Quenya or High Elf thing.
So red haired elves…I dunno…these are not Khazad, for the love of Varda.
On the other hand…it beats bird shit, so I guess we ‘ll have to settle for that.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.