The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens with director Peter Jackson appearing in costume in the city of Bree. Staring directly into the camera, he takes a loud chomp off of a carrot (bookending a similar seen from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), and marches off. While this seems on its surface to be a tongue-in-cheek homage to Alfred Hitchcock, his manner and presentation takes on a meta-textual feel as if declaring "This is MY house". The rest of the film seems to cement this assertion.
Nevertheless, her inclusion does add some added context for Legolas' behavior in the LOTR film trilogy but, again, it isn't a necessary addition to begin with.
If there is any sour note to the performances, it surprisingly comes from Sir Anthony Hopkins as "Odin". While his character is the epitome of the distant and unapproachable, never-pleased father figure, half the time Hopkins' performance (at times seemingly phoned in) seems to reflect an attitude that the material is beneath him. However, despite this, there are moments of nuance in his performance; especially in one scene that would fall apart without it. In that one moment, Hopkins earns his assuredly-costly paycheck.