Saturday, June 25, 2011

Evangeline Lilly joins The Hobbit cast

Last week, Peter Jackson announced two new cast members for The Hobbit. Barry Humphries will play the Goblin King, who will be a CGI character, and Lost star Evangeline Lilly will play a woodland elf created for the movie named "Tauriel," which Jackson says means "daughter of Mirkwood." (

No. "Tauriel" does not mean "daughter of Mirkwood." It means "daughter of the forest". "Taur" is a generic term for forest, and "-iel" is a generic female name ending, usually translated as "maiden of" or "daughter of". This name is so generic that it's actually the name I made up when I was 17 to use to sign my Quenya poems. (This was before I chose the name "Eleni", which is equally generic but has the advantage of looking like a real-person name.)

Hobbit purists can debate the wisdom of adding yet another character who wasn't in the original book. I will reserve judgment until I see the film; Peter Jackson has earned my trust. And I don't really mind made up characters getting generic names easily constructed from a few minutes with an English-to-Elvish glossary (for example, the one in this book). But at least be honest and translate the name correctly. Claiming "Tauriel" means something more specific than it does comes off as pretentious. "Mirkwood", by the way, would be "Taur e-Ndaedelos". Hmm, "Tauriel e-Ndaedelos"... I guess that's a bit of a mouthful.

P.S. The second thing that went through my mind upon hearing this news, after my disdain over the name "Tauriel", was "Lord of the Rings--Dominic Monaghan--Lost--Evangeline Lilly--The Hobbit--squeeee!"


A. A. George said...

Wow, Peter Jackson's just proven that he's a pretentious jerk. Good going!


Out of Sync said...

Woah! You knew the true meaning of 'Tauriel'... nerd alert..!

Haha joking =P

Whilst I too am apprehensive about the addition of characters not seen in the original The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has proven his expertise with the LOTR movies, so I am not too worried =)

Cannot wait!

Eleni said...

Hi A. A. George! Haha, I didn't mean any offense to Mr. Jackson. He's amazing, and after the LotR movies I am a loyal fan. I'm guessing it just sounded better to tell the press that it means "daughter of Mirkwood." Or maybe her full name is Tauriel e-Ndaedelos. Who knows :) Evangeline Lilly isn't particularly tall, but I think she'll make a good elf.

Out of Sync - Yeah, my being a nerd is way old news :) Some of the things Peter Jackson has done since LotR haven't been that great, but hopefully now that he's back in Middle Earth, everything will be good again. There were some photos from the set in this week's Entertainment Weekly, and that has me really excited!