Another Tauriel Rant (AKA Stop sending me death threats!)
I get a lot of hate-mail (AKA death threats) from Tauriel fans on Tumblr (and sometimes on YouTube), for not liking Tauriel. My favourite being: “You’re a misogynistic twat who deserves to be raped in the eyes!” My problems with Tauriel have nothing to do with her being female, nothing to do with the actress and very little do with Tauriel not being in the books.
When I heard about Tauriel I did not immediately hate her- I was simply curious and a little excited to see what would happen to her. I thought she was an extension on the genderless character “The Guard Captain” which I personally thought was a great idea. The fact that she was female didn’t even register with me until much later. When I heard about the romance, I was suspicious. When I saw the film, I disliked her. I dislike her because I don’t agree with adding in female characters for diversity then pushing them into stereotypical romantic sub-plots. I’m against box-ticking for any scenario (gender, race, sexuality etc) but adding in a woman then giving her a love-triangle is NOT a pro-feminist statement, it’s sexist and degrading to the character. I find it sad that in this day and age, people cannot create a decent female character without making her someone’s sex-object. She goes from being “something for the girls” to “something for the dads!”
Plus the romance itself is not necessary and I dislike adding in romance no matter what the film, but since it’s supposed to be based on one of my favourite books it’s rather offensive and degrading to the character’s Kíli and Legolas. Kíli especially goes from being the strong and loyal warrior he was set up as being in the first film to a silly, Mary-Sue love sick puppy! I also dislike his involvement with Tauriel since it interferes with the epic bromance between him and his brother (which I adored as a child) and is completely unrealistic for an elf and a dwarf! (Seriously her being Silvan and Legolas being Sindar is portrayed as more of an issue! Which doesn’t make sense really since Legolas was most likely half-Silvan and even refers to himself as Silvan in The Lord of the Rings but I digress…) It also winds me up when people compare her involvement with Kíli and Legolas to other things that have happened in Tolkien’s creation, the main three being:
1.) “Kíli’s infatuation with her is similar to Gimli’s infatuation with Galadriel.” Bollocks! Tolkien did not write many female characters but the ones he did were amazing. Galadriel is the most powerful person in Middle-Earth and one of the most beautiful. Gimli sees her and immediately adores her because of her power and grace. It opens his eyes to the glory and beauty of all things elven (AKA Legolas; woop- Ship the Gimleaf!) But when you compare this infatuation with Tauriel and Kíli to me it sounds like: “Oh there is nothing special about Galadriel, any old elf would have done!” Plus, what are you saying about dwarves? Do you think all dwarves are so ugly that they have to fall in love with any pretty girl they see?
2.) “It give Legolas a reason to hate dwarves.” No. Have you never read anything by Tolkien? No actually, have you seen the first film? Elves and Dwarves have hated each other for fucking ages! Legolas would have been brought up to hate dwarves and distrust them. So for that matter would Tauriel. It’s completely unrealistic for Tauril to suddenly start chatting with a dwarf and trust him, especially if she were raised by Thranduil which some of the books accompanying the movie say she was.
3.) “Tauriel shows Legolas that it is possible to befriend dwarves.” Despite this being the opposite of the argument above it annoys me even more. Legolas and Gimli’s epic friendship (or romance if you ship the Gimleaf) develops after the death of Gandalf in LOTR when they bond together after fighting side by side, gaining each others trust when placing their lives in the other’s hands. That’s why they became so close. Not because some elf seventy-seven years ago thought one of their prisoners was pretty.
I also dislike her because her plot interferes with the canon story. (The dwarves staying behind in lake-town, her and Legolas running off to save the day etc.) I think these are valid reasons to dislike the character. I also thinks it’s unfair that people assume I’m being sexist when I say I dislike her. The majority of what I’ve said would be a valid reason for disliking her even if she was male, whereas the arguments for her would all disappear and her fans would be left with nothing. Which sort of proves that they are being sexist when they call people with my opinions sexist. (Plus telling me I should be “raped in the eyes”… How can you call someone a misogynist them tell them to get “raped in the eyes”. Rape has been used as a war weapon to degrade and humiliate women for thousands of years! Do you realise what an anti-feminist thing that is to say?!) I could have enjoyed Tauriel in the films if she was simply the Captain of the Guard, with a larger part than the character had in the book, but unfortunately that was not the case.
Frankly if Tauriel’s fans are the sort of people who message others telling them to “get raped in the eyes” and “go fucking kill yourself you hater!” Then frankly I’m proud that I dislike her! If her fans really are “the majority” which her fans of YouTube insist she is, then I’m scared for the future of our planet!
So in conclusion, no I won’t go “die in a hole” for not liking her. I’m going to carry on reading Tolkien’s books and watching the LOTR films and the First Hobbit film, which I still adore to pieces. :-) If you like her, I don’t really have a problem with that, but I’m not going to kill myself just for having a different opinion than you!
Hey Sir Peter Jackson! Move and give us a movie about the Battle Under the Trees. The battle lasted two months, then gives a movie and so much! And Thranduil fighting fiercely to defend his kingdom … Two hours of Thranduil fighting and speaking in Elvish, is a dream come true.