Most people who are die hard Tolkein fans have had their issues with Tauriel being thrown into the movie. Before I begin I will say she is a Captain of the Guard and we are never told in the book whether it is a male elf or female elf. Seriously, just because she isn’t showing her boobs while fighting doesn’t make her less of a character. I didn’t hear people complain about how much screen time Arwen got in the Lord of the Rings trilogy even though she didn’t show up nearly as much in the books. But enough with that discussion, onto my theory!
I am going to talk about why I think she is more vital to Legolas‘ character development.
You are probably wondering how does Kili fit into the picture. Don’t worry I will get there.
When we first see Legolas in The Hobbit he comes across as very snobbish, a nasty individual, and he is definitely not friendly towards the dwarves, he actually compares them to orcs (a huge insult by the way for some orcs are mutant elves I believe, I am not a Tolkien expert).
With the interactions that go on in the movie we can see that Legolas loves and respects both his father King Thranduil and the Captain of the Guard, Tauriel. Here we see two conflicting outlooks on life. Thranduil hates dwarves and doesn’t care about anything that doesn’t affect his people. Tauriel on the other hand believes that we should go beyond the borders and help others. She doesn’t look upon the dwarves with hatred like Thranduil does, in fact she has fallen in love with one of them.
Now back to Legolas.
We know in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy that he is not as adverse to dwarves.
If you watch the video at 1:53 you see Legolas is holding back the other elves. He is trying to stop the fight with the dwarves. He may not be happy with them, but the Legolas we saw in The Hobbit, the one that said, “I won’t hesitate to kill you, Dwarf” is gone, the hatred and anger is no longer in his eyes. So what happened to cause this?
He had a change of heart.
Seriously though this book has been out for 50 years and the 1970 animated movie has been out for about 40, so I’m really not spoiling anything at this point. Also you should just read the book.
If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t go any further.
I did warn you.
That’s right she will not live beyond the last movie in the Tolkien universe. The fact that she is never mentioned in the books is a big indicator of this. Also Kili dies (spoiler) at the end of the series, as a result we can safely assume she will die as well, maybe trying to protect the dwarf? or Legolas perhaps? Both? Although I believe it would be great if she sacrificed her life for Kili. After all an elf sacrificing their life for a dwarf; that would definitely leave an impression. Especially on Legolas who loves, respects and admires Tauriel. There is the Battle of Five Armies, so her death will probably occur during the battle or as a result of injuries received from Battle.
Throughout the last story there will probably be more conversations between Tauriel and Legolas about her feelings for the dwarf, there may be some jealously and anger. There will probably be a rift between them until the end when the Battle occurs. Than and only than will Legolas learn and realize that fighting amongst ourselves will get nowhere, we need to be allies. We need to get along to battle the great darkness that is growing.
Since someone he loves and respects saw value in a dawrf ,of all races, than he might begin to question his thoughts (and his fathers) on not only dwarfs, but about helping others. If you truly loved someone would you disregard their opinion or would you maybe try to see life from their perspective? I think he began trying to look at life from her perspective and in the 50 years or so between the events of The Hobbit to events in The Lord of the Rings Legolas had a lot of time to grow and develop as an individual.
On a side note it would also be a great tie to the dwarves as well, an elf sacrificed her life trying to save one of the line of Durin. That is a huge deal. Even if Kili dies, the fact that she tried will leave an impression on the dwarves and maybe help them reconsider their relationship, they may still think of them as an annoyance, and be distrustful of them, but the level of hostility will decrease between the two races.
If you have any ideas or theories on the matter just let me know below in the comments.