And lo, yesterday, the Internet did quake with the coming of the first trailer of The Desolation of Smaug! And it was GOOD. Internet, I AM EXCITE. Because OMG the shot of Bilbo at the top of the trees with the butterflies. OMG the barrels tumbling down the waterfall. OMG there’s Bard the Bowman. And OMG THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF SMAUG! \0/
If you haven’t seen it yet, behold!
I’ll just say this right now: after seeing Legolas and Tauriel, I have just two words for Mr. Jackson. Those words are: HEADCANON ACCEPTED!
I do not give a fat flying damn that Legolas is not actually in the book. He is after all Thranduil’s son, and it makes sense for him to be around. I’m absolutely fine with his presence. Particularly if he’s going to be badassed and pretty and shooting things.
I give even less of a damn that Tauriel is entirely a figment of Peter Jackson’s imagination. Those of you familiar with my longstanding Elfquest fandom will know how much I appreciate a clearly badassed female elf. Those of you familiar with my longstanding Tolkien fandom, likewise. Because after all, Lúthien, Galadriel, and Éowyn are my top favorite characters all over Tolkien’s works. Especially Lúthien–because, hello, badassed female elf, even though her badassery is less combat-oriented and more magical.
Also, having read the relevant chapter of The Hobbit not terribly long ago, I do note that Thranduil does in fact have a guard captain. Yes, he’s male in the story, but he’s so incidental a character that I have no problems whatsoever with Jackson pulling a genderflip.
I’d pretty much already decided that I’m on board with Dara’s interpretation of Jackson’s movies, which is to say, Middle-Earth has reached such mythic status that Jackson’s simply now adding extra versions of the same stories into the rich tapestry of stories available. It’s like Greek mythology–there are several different versions of any given Greek myth, depending on what sources you check. With the works of Tolkien, it’s simply that we know which ones are the original canon. Same deal with superhero stories, which are certainly giving us our modern mythic heroes.
Or, if you will, Jackson’s just giving us some damn good AU fanfic. In which case HEADCANON ACCEPTED makes all the more sense. ;D
Here’s one more thing that makes me willing to deal with Tauriel’s presence as well: wondering honestly whether she’s fated to die in the Battle of Five Armies. This would, I think, make narrative sense. I mean, we know what happens to Legolas. We know he starts off bitterly anti-dwarf in LotR, and that it takes his friendship with Gimli to pull him out of it. If the rumblings I’m hearing about Tauriel being his love interest in these films are true, and she goes out in a tragic blaze of glory in the Battle of Five Armies, it would work quite neatly to set up his sentiments in the other films.
Until we get film #3, though, I’ll be over here admiring her badassery. Because redheaded elf with a bow who looks like she knows how to use it? SIGN ME THE HELL UP.