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I know Tauriel is a Jackson created character, but I wondered if anywhere in the legendarium there was fodder for the story arc between her and Kili. I do not have access to all my books for the time being and recall stories of love between men and elves in the Silmarillion and Appendices but don't remember any such stories between elves and dwarves and wondered if there was any basis of inspiration for this aspect of their relationship within Tolkien's works.

This movie, of course, departs even further from the original than those made before it, but as a story unto itself, I can still appreciate the ride, so if there is no Tolkien basis, what inspired Jackson, Boyens, and Walsh to create this particular arc? Is there interview info or anything?

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This hasn't happened anywhere in Tolkien. There have been occurrances of closer than usual friendship between Dwarves and Elves, such as:

  • The original building of Menegroth,
  • The friendship between Eol and the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains,
  • The friendship between Eregion and Khazad-dum,

...but nothing beyond friendship.

While Tolkien does present Elves and Men as biologically the same species in his commentary on the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth (HoME 10), Dwarves have a separate origin, being made by Aule and being based on an unclear understanding of the forms of the Children which was not amended when Iluvatar accepted his design (Silmarillion chapter 2), so it may be assumed that they are biologically a different species. Dwarf/Elf cross-breeding would be absurd if so. This also goes for Dwarf/human relations.

There is one definitely non-canon possible source, which is the Umli depicted in the old Middle-earth Roleplaying game, but these have absolutely no authority in Tolkien's writings and are purely an invention of Iron Crown Enterprises.

Otherwise I'm not aware of any other sources for this. Perhaps the DVD commentary, when it's released, will reveal more.

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    Not all instances of love need to result in children to be valid. Certainly Dwarves and Elves can find each other attractive. Gimli showed as much with Galadriel. And her own gift to him showed as much in return, if not romantically at least in respect and admiration. – DampeS8N Dec 16 '13 at 18:00
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    @DampeS8N - you should post this as an answer - it does seem most likely that the Gimli/Galadriel connection was the real reason behind it. – user8719 Dec 16 '13 at 18:15
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    Nah. I don't think that Gimli's attraction to Galadriel is the inspiration for Tauriel/Kili/Legolas' love triangle. Not any more than anything else in the source material. If anything was more influential than another, we'll have to wait for DVD commentary as you said. – DampeS8N Dec 16 '13 at 18:21
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    I can't believe I forgot about Gimli's infatuation!! I agree it probably isn't the inspiration for things, but it certainly backs Jackson's adoption of it as valid within the world Tolkein created. – balanced mama Dec 19 '13 at 21:18
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    "Elves and Men are evidently in biological terms one race, or they could not breed and produce fertile offspring..." JRRT - Letters #153, September 1954 – Valorum Jan 12 '15 at 11:01
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Tauriel's relationship with Kili is inspired from Gimli's interaction with Galadriel, moreover when he is gifted with three strands of her hair.

Philippa Boyens: And she [Tauriel] engages and ultimately falls in love with a dwarf, of all people. It was a nod, in a way, towards the love Gimli felt for Galadriel. It was just one of those wonderfully beautiful moments that Professor Tolkien wrote so effortlessly.

So when the studio wanted a romance put into The Hobbit trilogy, Peter Jackson and his crew decided that an elf/dwarf romance would be the most interesting, inspired from Gimli and Galadriel from The Fellowship of the Ring. While Tolkien never wrote any elf/dwarf romances within any of his written works, the exchange between Galadriel and Gimli was that of a high-born lady giving her favor to a knight to fight in her name.

John D. Rateliff: It does go back to chivalrous myths...It's the personal connection that she acknowledges that he is her knight and that he will go and do deeds in her name. And he does.

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