Fan service, maybe? Anyway, even if he wasn't mentioned in the book, his age verifies that he was alive at the time of the Hobbit, and they do travel through Mirkwood where he and his father lives.
Originally Posted by Hankka
Why's there a female Elf called Tauriel who appears nowhere in Tolkien's writing? Why is Radaghast in the films? Why are Galadriel and Saruman? Because Peter Jackson is doing his best to tie the Hobbit Trilogy in with the Lord of the Rings. When the Hobbit was written, the Lord of the Rings wasn't even planned, so Jackson is using the appendices from the Lord of the Rings to embellish.
(By the way, Tauriel is there to give us a pretty face to look at.)
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