Don’t mess with Tauriel, man. Before yesterday’s global fan event for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, series newcomer Evangeline Lilly asked the audience in a Los Angeles theater whether there were any haters present. Her elven warrior is a new creation for the Peter Jackson film, and one of just two major female characters (Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel is the other.)
Some purist fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel have expressed objections to such revisionism, so a few bold hands went up in the theater.
Lilly, a lifelong fan of Tolkien’s books herself, vowed to change their minds.
By the end it was clear she loved the world of Middle-earth as much as anyone. She even corrected Jackson’s pronunciation of the dragon Smaug, whom he kept calling “Schmowwg.”
After the presentation, Lilly stuck around for this extended Q&A with the moderator (me) and some of the audience members. By the end, the former Lost actress revealed some of the surprising backstory for Tauriel that might earn the benefit of the doubt from some die-hards.
As you’ll see, Tauriel’s origin story made me think immediately of a certain shadowy DC Comics hero.
For more on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, pick up EW’s Holiday Movie Preview, on stands Friday.