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    little girls can go see that movie and have a role model

The newest Hobbit reminded me of the (incredibly hilarious) Red Letter Media Star Wars reviews (Start here. One of Plinkett's criticisms of Phantom Menace was that it threw in characters to appeal to as wide a range of audiences as possible (i.e. Jar Jar is for the kids).

Tauriel feels just like that. She adds nothing significant to the overall story arc other than act as a courier for the hot dwarf. At best, she is no harm, at worst, she's another layer of padding to an already encumbered storyline.