The problem of character in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

I was in a strange state of excited reluctance when I went to see the second installment of The Hobbit a few weeks ago.

I was excited because, well, I’m a nerd. I love The Lord of the Rings and all things Middle Earth.

I was reluctant because after I saw the trailer I raged about all the non-canon and was thoroughly put-off for several hours. But I came around eventually and decided to go see the film with two good friends of mine. One of these two people is an ardent fan of Orlando Bloom, and so it wasn’t hard to convince her to go.

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Official analysis: The plot of the film completely overshadowed any notion of character. This was a timely occurrence because, as a class, we had just decided that the biggest problem with our short stories was plot overshadowing character, turning them into devices of the plot rather than autonomous actors with complex emotions and motivations.

Oddly enough, I thought the most developed character was Tauriel, which made it impossible for me to dislike her.

One question: did Tauriel give up her immortality at the end with her healing magic? My friend seems to think so.