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New Hobbit Trailer Brings Darker Tone, Many Faces, and Smaug’s Voice

DJ Arruda ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

The main trailer for the second part of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has just been released. And I could not be more excited for the December 13th release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Having just reread the book this summer, I was pleased to spot many of the centerpieces from the middle part of the story in this trailer, and faces both new and old.

I look forward to seeing how the film will further expand and flesh out the age old conflict between elf and dwarf, which was also seen in the relationship between Legolas and Gimli in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Elf King Thranduil, played by Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace, was only glimpsed in the first part of the trilogy but will play a larger role in this film, as he stands opposed to Richard Armitage’s Thorin Oakenshield and his company’s quest to reach the Lonely Mountain.

There is also a decent amount of swordplay with the duo of Evangeline Lily, known for her portrayal of Kate on Lost, as Tauriel, and Orlando Bloom reprising his role as Legolas. They are a new story element that looks to further flesh out the already expanded enmity of Azog the Pale Orc, as seen in the first film. This storyline has much promise as long as the chemistry plays out between the two and the hinted at romance does not fall flat. Luke Evans’ Bard the Bowman also looks to have an even larger role and a more fleshed out character in the film, which I am happy to see given how pivotal a figure he is in the story, but how little we know of him. A glimpse of Beorn the Bear and his abode, and the famous barrel escape scene that fans know well also adds to the hype.

“With every victory, this evil will grow…” as said by Tauriel is one of the many lines that exemplify the tone of this installment. The scope is very large in this film in particular, with set pieces like the vast forest of Mirkwood and the towering Lonely Mountain, which serve as backdrops to the conflicts between good and evil prevalent in this part of the story. It looks like scenes such as Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the spiders and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf and his expanded story in Dol Guldor will be suitably frightful. Thus the film seems to have a darker tone like the original Lord of the Rings trilogy in contrast to the lightheartedness of An Unexpected Journey. As we see an army of goblins and a flash of the Eye of Sauron, I can’t help but get excited to see this new material live. When the trailer focuses on the One Ring itself, we hear familiar music cues and the parallels are clear, yet a joke between Bilbo and Gandalf brings back the more cheerful tone of the first film. We also see Thorin as he is taken by the darkness, his glazed eyes fitting in seamlessly with this new tone.

The trailer ends on the most excitable note, however, as we finally get to hear Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice for Smaug, and it does not disappoint. Dominating the last thirty seconds of the trailer, we see the two Sherlock co-stars play off each other in arguably the most anticipated scene of the trilogy, as Bilbo and Smaug face off in a battle of wits. Echoing the end of the previous trailer where we first saw Smaug, now we first hear his voice, and all that remains is to wait the two months for the release. The trailer does a good job showing off familiar set pieces and new content, and definitely builds excitement for this already highly anticipated sequel. Though taking on a decidedly darker tone more akin to the first trilogy in contrast to the fun of the first film, I believe the film will strike the balance between light and dark, book and new material, and conflicts old and new alike.

Check out the trailer below:

Check out all the stills released from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

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