Many will decry Evangeline Lilly's character in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug as "made up" because it was created for the films and doesn't actually appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book, but when she's such a crack shot with a bow - and appears to have some sort of connection with Orlando Bloom's Legolas - you're just going to have to get over that.
But who is this Tauriel then, and how does she fit into the second part of this Tolkienian trilogy? “Tauriel is the head of the Elven Guard,” Lilly tells Entertainment Weekly. “She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord Of The Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”
"Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas is significant," she continues. "They’ve known each other since they were children, and Legolas’ dad, Thrandruil [Lee Pace], has a soft spot for Tauriel and sees something very special in her. So if you grow up side by side, and your dad has a very special spot in his heart for this young woman who’s a fantastic warrior, I think it’s hard not to notice her. That’s probably as much as I can say.”
There are more quotes from Lilly over on EW's site, including such beauties as "She’s slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill”, so be sure to head that way for a bit more detail.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug hits cinemas on December 13. Look out for more on the movie in upcoming issues of Empire...