This post has spoilers for The Hobbit (the book and possibly the movie too). Proceed with caution.
I was doing some thinking and re-reading both the Silmarillion and The Hobbit (oh yes, I’m so looking forward to see The Battle of the Five Armies) and I remembered that quote from Thranduil:
“Other lands are not my concern. The fortunes of the world will rise and fall, but here in this kingdom, we will endure.”
Now, obviously I’m speculating here, but if it’s true that Thranduil was born and lived in Doriath, the quote has some echoes of Thingol. Thingol pretty much kept his people safe and apart of all that was going on, pretty much until Beren entered Doriath. And let’s not forget that Thingol had a Maia as a wife, whom basically created a halo of some sort to protect Doriath.
So, could Thranduil be emulating Thingol in this aspect? That by keeping them apart, he’s trying as much as he’s able to keep his subjects safe? Obviously doing so without a Maia wife.
SPOILERS AHEAD, SKIP IF YOU MUST:
And now that I mentioned the Battle of the Five Armies, I will be seriously disappointed if Peter doesn’t have Bilbo stand and ‘fight’ close to Thranduil. After all, he does have a Tookish side. And if we don’t have Thranduil calling him Elf-friend I will throw and epic hissy.