If there's one thing that's troubling about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, it's the supposed "love triangle" between Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Kili (Aidan Turner).
However, a triangle involves emotional investment from everyone involved, and Legolas doesn’t seem to be too torn up about Tauriel and Kili having a fling. So, despite what the movie wants the audience to believe, why does Legolas not seem to care about Tauriel?
Reason 1: It’d be like incest
Thranduil (Lee Pace) was written to say that Legolas is falling for Tauriel despite her status as a lower elf, but whenever we see Tauriel and Legolas together, Legolas never displays any kind of emotion for her outside of the emotional range one has for a colleague or a not-so-close friend. Firstly, this could be the case because according to Entertainment Weekly, Tauriel was raised side-by-side with Legolas. Thranduil also acts a little bit like her father figure in the film. According to The Lord of the Rings Wikia, Tauriel’s parents were killed by orcs and it’s hinted at that Thranduil took her in and raised her. As to why Tauriel’s parents were that important to Thranduil and why he would even do this – seeing how Tauriel and her parents are lower elves – is a serious breach in characterization, to be honest. But, if it’s true and he did raise Tauriel as one of his own, then Legolas would only see her as a sister figure. Who wants to date their sister?
Reason 2: Legolas Friend-Zoned Tauriel
Legolas and Tauriel share quite a bit–they both have military training and lead soldiers into battle and both have grown up with Thranduil, which must have had its own share of hardships, seeing how Thranduil who seems a little like Cinderella’s Stepmother. But despite their shared history, there seems to be something that’s just not allowing Legolas to see Tauriel as a love interest. He doesn’t make any moves towards professing true love for her, which lays the groundwork for Kili to come in and act as Romeo.
As stated up top, Legolas might see Tauriel as his sister. That doesn’t mean that Tauriel sees Legolas as her brother, though. Thranduil has probably impressed upon her quite heavily that even though he’s looking out for her in a guardian capacity, she’s not to think she’s actually part of the family. To Thranduil, it would be hubris of her to think that she’s on the same level as he and his son. (Legolas is probably well-aware of the hierarchy as well, which could also be why he doesn’t care to move the relationship forward.)
But, Tauriel does mean a lot to Legolas for sure–he went with her when she wanted to look out for the dwarves (Kili in particular). He also respects her decisions, even when he might not agree with them or understand them, like when he semi-wordlessly conceded to her wish to stay and help bring Kili back to full health. However, while his actions do show that Tauriel is important to him, he doesn’t seem to be too interested in moving the relationship further. Tauriel might have a crush on him, since even Thranduil picked up on that, but Legolas mostly sees her as a friend. A highly-respected and close friend, but just a friend.
Reason 3: Evangeline Lilly didn’t want Tauriel in a relationship
A lot of people were curious, to say the least, about the creation of Tauriel for this version of The Hobbit. A lot of people also thought that she might be unnecessary, a character only meant to serve as a romantic interest. Evangline Lilly seemed to recognize that fear as well, since according to an interview with Yahoo!Movies, she had specifically requested that Tauriel not be involved in a love triangle. She claims that everyone was in agreement, but things changed when she went back for reshoots.
“For the record, when I started out and I was engaged on this job, my one stipulation – the one thing I said to them – in order to take this job, you have to promise me I will not be in a love triangle, I swear to God, this is what I said to them,” she said. “They said, ‘We promise you, you won’t be in a love triangle. And then, we came back for reshoots and – seriously this was added – we came back for reshoots in 2012… and they were like, ‘Uh, the studio would really like to see…’ and I was like, ‘Here we go! Here we go!’ and sure enough, I’m in another love triangle.”
This decision might have been a huge mistake, since it does take quite a bit of power away from Tauriel. Even though she’s a strong warrior, she is also defined by the men in her life, something Lilly must have not wanted to happen to her character, especially since her former life as Kate from LOST was also spent in a love triangle.
So there you have it. Legolas and Tauriel’s relationship was dead on arrival from the beginning. But you don’t have to take your opinion from this piece; what do you think about Legolas and Tauriel’s relationship?