With his attempts at welcoming the Dwarves into his home and providing them with their paid necessities failing, Bard can only let the Dwarves be. There is nothing more he can do for them, than the risk he had already taken to provide them with a small amount of freedom in this world of Men.
Waiting for nightfall
Balin: “Thorin, why not take what’s on offer and go? I’ve made do with less. So have you. I say we leave now.”
Bard: “You’re not going anywhere.”
Dwalin: “What did you say?”
Bard: “There are spies watching this house and probably every dock and wharf in the town. You must wait till nightfall.”
As soon as Balin mentions Thorin’s name a flash of recognition sweeps over Bard’s face. There is something familiar in that name, but he cannot place it. Still whatever the name means does not seem to ring as anything positive for Bard. This thought does not leave him.
Though Balin is right in his estimation of the situation and reminders of their previous way of life, Thorin does not seem to acknowledge his pleas but rather coins the path to the armory he and Dwalin had devised with a simple exchange of looks. With a second in command with whom one is as close as Thorin is with Dwalin, there are no words necessary to express that which is thought in both minds.
Bard cannot let the Dwarves leave his house until the cover of night, seeing as how many spies are positioned outside it. Though Dwalin is the first to disobey this ridiculous command of Bard’s there is a strong argument supporting his command. The only problem is that Dwarves do not like to be told what to do and where not to go, especially not from a “lower-ranking” member of a race they lack respect for.
Bard: “Don’t let them leave.”
Kili is hurting, the poison from the Morgul shaft is obviously entering his bloodstream. He has become paler and even more incapable of walking than he was when they entered Bard’s house. As with Thorin, he does not want to appear impaired or weak in front of the company, so he expresses his pain only to himself when he is certain no one can see him.
Bard exits his house with the same thought in his mind, the name of Thorin still providing him with an enigma, an unplaceable memory. As he turns to look at the Lonely Mountain he is given a hint at what the name could represent and the importance or rather danger he had put himself in for harboring these particular Dwarves in his house.
As the Lonely Mountain points to a context to the name, he leaves the door and heads toward the market, remembering where he could find the answer to his riddle.
A different dynamic
Tauriel: “I thought you were an Orc.”
Legolas: “If I were an Orc, you would be dead. Tauriel, you cannot hunt 30 Orcs on your own.”
Tauriel: “But I’m not on my own.”
Legolas: “You knew I would come.”
As they both point an arrow at each other, realizing it was all in jest, Legolas reminds Tauriel of the danger she is putting herself into, running after a pack of Orcs on her own. Tauriel, however, appears to have known in advance that she would not be doing it alone. She was certain the Legolas would be there, hunting the Orcs with her.
This is a dynamic that hasn’t been explored until now. What we knew about the two of them were Legolas’ feelings that Thranduil told Tauriel about. Tauriel was surprised to hear that Legolas had feelings for her that exceeded that of her being the Captain of the Guard. However, knowing now that he cared for her, she was almost certain that he would follow her footsteps that she left outside the kingdom. He would never let her go without offering his protection.
As Tauriel looks into Legolas’ eyes with a cunning look in her eyes, it may be assumed that she is using his feelings to accomplish her own agenda – helping the Dwarves, or rather Kili, in whatever danger they may have already found themselves. To exploit someone’s feelings to pursue someone else romantically does not paint a picture of decency.
Evil for all
Legolas: “The king is angry, Tauriel. For 600 years my father has protected you, favored you. You defied his orders. You betrayed his trust. Come back with me, he will forgive you.”
Tauriel: “But I will not. If I go back, I will not forgive myself. The king has never let Orc filth ram our lands. Yet he would let this Orc pack cross our borders and kill our prisoners.”
Legolas: “It is not our fight.”
Tauriel: “It is our fight. It will not end here. With every victory, this evil will grow. If your father has his way, we will do nothing. We will hide within our walls, live our lives away from the light and let darkness descend. Are we not part of this world? Tell me, mellon. When did we let evil become stronger than us?”
Tauriel is an Elf with admirable qualities when it comes to deciphering what is right and what is wrong. For her King to stand by and let an Orc pack cross his land without retaliation is inconceivable. Her own sense of loyalty does not lie with one single person or kingdom but to Middle-Earth as a whole. She could see that there is evil afoot, evil not only after the Dwarves but after the entire world. She has seen this evil grow in the amount and ferociousness of the spiders they killed.
Tauriel can sense the threat and danger this evil poses for them and for other inhabitants of Middle-Earth. In her capacity as warrior and Captain of the Guard of the Woodland Realm, she sees it as her duty to fight evil wherever she may find it.
Tauriel doesn’t see herself residing within the walls of her kingdom. That future seems too confining for her free spirit. And though she may have lost the respect and protection of her King, she is strong enough to fight the stigma of abandonment and follow her own path, that she sees as the only possible path of her life.
Successfully, Tauriel explains her worldviews to Legolas, who confronted with a view different than that his father had instilled upon him, can sense the righteousness behind it. If the Elves are the greatest warriors Middle-Earth has, then it should be their duty to render their skills to help fight the evil that threatens their world as well as that of others.
Whether they close themselves in their kingdoms or live openly with others a dark change will sweep their world that will have an effect on every creature inhabiting Middle-Earth. The fight for freedom against the rising evil is a cause Tauriel is fervently involved in, but her budding likeness for Kili will be the driving force behind her ultimate stand.
Follow me to my next post.