First off; I didn’t mind the pairing; I really liked Tauriel, but I think it could have been better executed. Like, a lot better. Here there will be some ranting about what DOESN’T happen that SHOULD have happened, so if you want to avoid all kinds of spoilers, you may want to avoid reading.
Imagine if Kili and Tauriel had started dicussing their culture and Tauriel has experienced all these wonderful festivals and celebrations, while Kili tells her about the dwarves’ festivals and celebrations which he has been told about by others who actually were alive when they had a homeland.
Imagine if Tauriel starts out being interested in how these festivals were kinda similar to the elves’ (wow,dwarves have culture! …although less sofisticated, obviously) and then she slowly realises that Kili has never experienced any of the things he tells her about with such wonder in his eyes.
Imagine her sympathising with his and the other dwarves’ wish to have somewhere to belong (just like Bilbo) and therefore reluctantly start feeling the need to help them.
Imagine her making comments like “yeah your feasts sound messy and weird ew” while Kili’s like “well at least we don’t just sit around and stare at the sky” and they both smirk and sass and everything is awesome.
And finally (and this is where I cannot understand that they didn’t take the chance) imagine Kili leaning forward, eyes narrow and hesitantly asking: “Just so I don’t make a fool out of myself here; are you a he or a she-elf?”
And Tauriel just sputters and gets really upset like “You can’t tell?! What’s wrong with you? I don’t look masculine at all and my name is Tauriel, hello?”
And Kili just “yeah okay, like the name’s gonna help, like, all your names sound the same, what’s her name for example?” *nods to another elf a bit further away* And Tauriel looks over and just can’t help herself from giggling: “That’s… Legolas. The King’s son.”
And they both laugh together. And it starts out as a sassy friendship founded in the two of them laughing at Legolas.