The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer
by Shannon O’Toole
After months of waiting, the world has finally gotten a glimpse at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Jackson’s second film in what is now The Hobbit trilogy.
So what is it that we saw, and what predictions can we make about the translation from book to film?
We’re going to see a lot of Middle-Earth…and the view is gorgeous.
The trailer opens with a voiceover from King Thranduil of Mirkwood, set against images of the breathtaking landscapes that Jackson’s Middle-Earth is known for. Mirkwood, Dol Goldur, and the Lonely Mountain itself are featured in jaw-dropping glory; this film will be a tour of some of the less cinematically explored corners of Middle-Earth.
Beloved moments and beloved characters.
Dwarves covered in cobwebs and the spindly leg of an arachnid crawling up behind a terrified Bilbo Baggins promise the giant spider sequence that readers know well and love will get its moment in the film.
We also see a number of shots of dwarves in barrels. That paired with the attention the filming of that scene received in production videos serve as a solid sign that the cast and crew are going to deliver on one of the most memorable moments in Tolkien’s work.
Legolas. Lots of Legolas.
Just over thirty seconds into the trailer, we are graced (yes, graced) with a familiar face. I can already hear the audience’s triumphant cheers at the midnight showing. In his typical fashion, Legolas makes quite the first impression, gliding into frame and greeting Thorin and Company with a notched arrow and fully drawn bow.
Legolas is featured many times through the trailer, so it’s safe to assume that his inclusion in the film is not just a gimmick to thrill fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Legolas is going to play a part in the story. While he was not featured in The Hobbit, as the son of Thranduil, it is well within the realm of possibility that he was in Mirkwood at the time. His addition to Bilbo’s tale serves in weaving the two trilogies closer together, and this Ringer looks forward to seeing him as often as possible for more than just the obvious eye candy reasons.
SHOW ALL THE ELVES!
The Hobbit, as a piece of literature, is really Bilbo’s story of his journey with the dwarves. These films are our last foreseeable foray into Middle-Earth, so seeing as much of it and its habitants as possible is something I cannot argue with. This trailer was brimming with elves, so it’s safe to assume that they will be granted more depth and personality than the book provides.
On that note, one of the most controversial things about this trilogy is the character of Tauriel.
The expanded role of Arwen received a great deal of criticism in the original story, so it’s understandable that the creation of a brand new character would raise some eyebrows among fans.
Now, I understood and enjoyed the alterations made to Arwen. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about Tauriel, however, when she was announced. As I read some of the character descriptions that were released, I grew a bit more wary. The fact that Evangeline Lilly was playing her kept much of my skepticism at bay as a fan of hers since Lost. I also understood the need for a strong female character in the story, and trusted Peter Jackson’s handling of her addition after seeing what he did with Arwen.
She comes across as tough and more than able to take care of herself, but shows a softer, compassionate side as well. I eagerly look forward to further footage of Tauriel.
We’re going to get expanded stories.
Readers know that there was more going on beyond what we were seeing of Bilbo’s story. Gandalf speaks of a Necromancer that must be dealt with, and we know that the elves are making decisions about what to do with their dwarfish captives while dealing with the growing darkness in Mirkwood.
This one book being split into more than one movie is going to allow all of those things to be seen. Jackson did this in the first Hobbit film, and it appears that the second installment will be no different. We’ll be treated to seeing not just Legolas, but a great number of elves fighting in the gritty and graceful manner that only they can manage. We’ll see discussions and interactions between elves when neither Bilbo nor his dwarf companions are present.
Additionally, shots of Gandalf and Radagast in Dol Guldur tell us that the story of the Necromancer will continue to unfold. By showing this story, Jackson is delivering the tale that we only got quick glimpses and mentions of in The Hobbit. By doing so, he’s creating yet another link between his two trilogies.
‘Nough said, am I right?
I was kind of hoping that Smaug would get the same treatment that Gollum did for The Two Towers; I wanted to see him for the first time on the big screen and in the context of the film. I watched this trailer for the first time on my iPhone, and found myself mildly underwhelmed. Later on today, hoping I’d feel differently seeing it on a larger screen, I went downstairs with my iPad. I hooked it up to my television, clicked the button on the remote to turn it into 3D, slapped on some 3D glasses, and watched the magic unfold.
For those of you that were disappointed, just you wait. If you find yourselves at a 3D or 3D IMAX showing of Man of Steel this weekend, all of your disappointment will be replaced by awe and anticipation when you see the trailer on a larger scale. No phone or tablet or computer screen does this fire drake justice.
Seriously, though. Is it December 13 yet?