Although a legendary warrior in Middle-earth, thranduil is not a very nice elf. For one, he didn’t help the Dwarves when their home Erebor burnt to the ground when the dragon Smaug wanted the location for itself.
lee Pace, who plays this regal king and father to legolas, has a theory on why his character refused to offer a helping hand to the Dwarves. he said: “When thranduil saw the halls of gold in Erebor, that was the turning point for him. he saw all that gold these Dwarves had amassed and thought, ‘You Dwarves are going to burn. this greed is not going to go unpunished.’ And when the Dragon came, the Elves had the power to make a difference and chose not to.”
In the second movie, he becomes a hindrance to the journey undertaken by the Dwarves to reclaim their home from the dragon.
Pace said that the key to understanding thranduil is to remember that Elves are not human.
“he’s dangerous, not because he’s evil. he’s exquisite, but hard and cold at heart, like a diamond. he is also sensitive, but I don’t mean emotionally sensitive. I believe that not a leaf moves in that forest that he doesn’t feel. And he’s looking at these Dwarves, thinking, ‘You don’t wake up a Dragon unless you know you can kill it. And you can’t kill it.’ ”