Did you catch Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug over the weekend? Based on the early box office numbers, thousands of you ventured back to Middle-earth for the middle chapter of Jackson’s second trilogy adapted from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. And if you did, you met Tauriel, a new character created by Jackson and played by the lovely Lost star Evangeline Lilly. She’s an orc-kicking archer who fights alongside returning warrior Legolas (Orlando Bloom). But she also has a subplot that has bothered a few audience members … and also Lilly.
Stop reading now if you haven’t see The Hobbit and you want to steer clear of possible spoilers.
So Tauriel ends up in a love triangle that defines her character. She’s surprised to hear that the handsome Legolas has affections for her. And as the story goes on, Tauriel also starts to feel strongly for the adventurous dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). Jackson and the studio recut portions of the film to play up this love triangle – even though Lilly made him promise before she ever took the role that her character would NOT end up in such a situation. In this interview with Yahoo Movies, she explains the deal she made with the Hobbit director, and how he shattered it.
So Lilly made Jackson promise she wouldn’t end up in a love triangle. Why is it such an issue for her? Probably because the bulk of her career has been shaped by the Jack-Sawyer-Kate love triangle that powered the hit show Lost, and helped make Lilly a household name.
Did the love triangle take you out of The Desolation of Smaug? Our own Kristy Puchko called the whole Tauriel sublot "tacked on" in her Hobbit review, saying that the relationships tied to this character came across as "clichéd" and "totally unneeded." Others complained about these scenes being unnecessary on Twitter, saying that they added to the already-hefty run time of the sequel. So it’s interesting to hear that Lilly kind of opposed these decisions from the get go, only to have her requests denied. Still, Desolation served up plenty of dragon action, and set up what should be a devastating final chapter. What did you think of Smaug? Did it need less love-triangulation?
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.