Tauriel and Kili: Jackson's Theme for The Hobbit Trilogy

It's Patriot's Day in New England: of course, I watched the third movie!

Kili: I saw a fire moon once.*
*Jackson is quite adept at conveying
entire relationships in small scenes. Here,
we realize that Kili and Tauriel have more to
say to each other than to their companions.
The full exchange is below.
Brian Sibley's Official Movie Guide to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies quotes from concept artist John Howe:
The relationship between Tauriel and Kili is like one of those love stories where people think they are falling in love when, in fact, they are actually falling out of love with everything else around them, and the only sympathetic face is someone who they would never choose in any other circumstances...
Absolutely!

Take Tauriel first. She is an under-appreciated member of an insular society. The only person who seems to comprehend her worth, Legolas, is mute on the subject. She continues to do her job--and do it well--because after all, what else can she do?

And then this dwarf shows up who thinks she is the most impressive person, and woman, he has ever met. The actors provide decent sexual tension, and the characters have a nice vibe (not to mention gorgeous music). More importantly, faced with Kili's admiration, Tauriel begins to re-evaluate herself, to question the role into which she has been slated by her king and culture.

She chases after Kili yet in many ways she is chasing after re-definition.
When she declares to Bofur, "I'm going to save him," the line is not romantic. Rather, Evangeline Lilly gives it a reverberating pathos that addresses identity without sounding arrogant: I will do this. I can do this. Why did I never realize so before?

As for Kili: he is Thorin's second heir (Fili is the elder of the two). Like Fili, he looks up to his uncle, admiring his strength of purpose and leadership skills. Thorin is a goal-oriented guy! Even at the beginning of the trilogy (and in the book), Thorin comes across as one-idea-ed or tunnel-visioned. This is not necessarily a bad quality, especially when pursuing the seemingly impossible, but it closes him off to outside solutions and makes him susceptible to his grandfather's obsession with treasure.

As in the book, Fili and Kili demonstrate a flexibility of viewpoint lacking in their uncle. For example, they are more accepting and tolerant of Bilbo from the beginning than Thorin. As the trilogy unwinds, Kili (representative of the brothers) begins to identify Thorin's inflexibility as a flaw in an otherwise great man. Meeting Tauriel, stepping outside his slated role, lends him the objectivity to voice his worries. He remains loyal to his companions while becoming more likely to question Thorin's course of action. He is in the process--unfortunately never finished--of remaking himself.

Remaking--redefinition--is the theme of the trilogy. Everybody's doing it!

Bilbo  naturally remakes himself, changing into a hobbit who returns home still valuing the comforts of the cozy life yet willing and able to appreciate the dangers he has experienced:
A pivotal moment echoed by the lines below.
Bilbo Baggins: No! I am glad to have shared in your perils, Thorin. Each and every one of them. It is far more than any Baggins deserves.

Bilbo Baggins: One day I'll remember. Remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived... and those that did not.
This is the Bilbo who will adopt and raise the near saintly Frodo, who sets out to save not just hobbits but  the entire world. Could (would) Bilbo have done it otherwise?

Legolas, Bard, (Saruman, on the downside), all recast themselves as something not entirely new (they retain their fundamental personalities) but altered, redefined in terms of how they perceive themselves within their own communities.

The remarkable aspect of Jackson's approach to this theme is that the results of such redefinition are epic but the redefinitions themselves are human, ordinary, even small.

"He was my friend," Bilbo says of Thorin, a small declaration in which the entire Fellowship (and the future of the ring) is contained.

Kili and Tauriel's Conversation in the Dungeon:
Kili: Sounds like quite a party you're having up there.
Tauriel: It is Mereth Nuin Giliath; The Feast of Starlight. All light is sacred to the Eldar, but the Wood Elves love best the light of the stars.
Kili: I always thought it is a cold light, remote and far away.
Tauriel: It is memory, precious and pure.
[they look at each other for a moment]
Tauriel: Like your promise.
[she holds out his stone and he takes it back; she turns and looks up]
Tauriel: I have walked there sometimes, beyond the forest and up into the night. I have seen the world fall away and the white light forever fill the air.
Kili: I saw a fire moon once. [as he talks, she sits on the stairs to listen] It rose over the pass near Dunland. Huge! Red and gold it was: it filled the sky. We were an escort for some merchants from Ered Luin; they were trading in silverwork for furs. We took the Greenway south, keeping the mountain to our left, and then it appeared. This huge fire moon lighting our path. I wish I could show you...
For an unalloyed Romeo & Juliet moment (with non-teenagers)
watch this while listening to Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye".

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