First look: Evangeline Lilly’s elf warrior

New Line has released a first shot of Evangeline Lilly as elf warrior Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Her character has drawn some ire from Tolkien purists, as director Peter Jackson created it especially for the movie, to give the male-dominated cast a bit of a female touch.

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are going to be people who will totally hate Tauriel, think that she shouldn’t be in the movie, that it’s a betrayal of Tolkien, and no matter what I do it won’t be right,” Lilly told EW.

“There will be everything between that and people who adore her and think it’s such a fun thing to have added to the film.”

Tauriel, the head of the Elven Guard was “slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill”. Lilly said.

She was a Sylvan Elf, which meant she was of a much lower order than the elves we know from 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,” Lilly explained.

“She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit.”

Since the creation of Lilly’s character was announced, there has been speculation of a potential romance with Orlando Bloom’s character Legolas.

Lilly declined to confirm or deny this but revealed that Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas was “significant”.

“They’ve known each other since they were children, and Legolas’ Dad, [Elven king] Thranduil, has a soft spot for Tauriel and sees something very special in her,” she said.

“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.”

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will release on December 13.

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