Eight Things You Should Know About Tolkien's Thranduil
Okay, you’ve seen the Hobbit movies but you just can’t get into the book. Or, you read the book years ago and you don’t remember every detail. I’m here to help.
1. Thranduil did not refuse to help the Dwarves when Smaug attacked. We don’t know what he did - Tolkien never wrote anything about it. Jackson’s preamble is complete fabrication.
2. Thranduil did not consider the Silvan Elves to be ‘lesser’ Elves:
Oropher [his father] had come among them with only a handful of Sindar, and they were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style… . They wished indeed to become Silvan folk and to return, as they said, to the simple life natural to the Elves before the invitation of the Valar had disturbed it. (Unfinished Tales, 'The History of Galadriel and Celeborn’ p 249)
3. Thranduil did not aid the Men of Esgaroth out of self-interest:
But the king, when he received the prayers of Bard, had pity, for he was the lord of a good and kindly people; so turning his march, which had at first been direct towards the Mountain, he hastened now down the river to the Long Lake. (The Hobbit, 'Fire and Water’ p 255)
A collection of my favorite Michael Hague illustrations for The Hobbit. It was funny looking back through these, because obviously this was how I envisioned the characters while growing up, but it’s so very different than how I see them now (especially the Elves–the mental image of Jackson’ Elves has completely usurped Hague’s).