First Look at ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: Bilbo Enters the Dragon’s Lair

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

Smaug Dragon Head Art First Look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Bilbo Enters the Dragons Lair

There’s no avoiding the ongoing discussion about the impending release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey next Friday. Current hot topics include the mixed (yet overall positive) early reviews, controversy over the film’s high frame-rate 3D - and background information on the J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, for those still getting up to speed on this Middle-earth madness.

We’ve even started to look ahead to the second and third installments in Jackson’s new Tolkien trilogy. Last night, the first image from Part 3 (subtitled There and Back Again) was unveiled – teasing the return of Lord of the Rings alum Orlando Bloom as Legolas - and today, we have a sneak peek at Part 2, The Desolation of Smaug.

‘The Desolation of Smaug’ refers to the unpopulated lands around Erebor (a.k.a. Lonely Mountain) and the city of Dale, which were left scorched and utterly devoid of life after the dragon Smaug attacked and claimed Erebor as his own – including, massive piles of treasure amassed there by the Dwarves. Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) is voicing and portraying via motion-capture the scaly fire-breather, whom humble hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) encounters on his own in the depths of Smaug’s gold-filled lair.

You can get a sneak peek at that scene from Tolkien’s original Hobbit novel (which is recreated in The Desolation of Smaug) below, via EW:

bilbo hobbit desolation smaug image First Look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Bilbo Enters the Dragons Lair

Who else out there is amused by the thought of Freeman conversing with a giant CGI monster version of Cumberbatch (who Bilbo is presumable facing, offscreen in the screenshot above) – seeing how the duo play the inseparable John Watson and Sherlock Holmes on the BBC’s hit series Sherlock? Suffice it to say, the endless Internet fanvids, memes, and parodies are inevitable. Moving on…

Hugo Weaving (who reprises his role as Immortal Elrond from Lord of the Rings) previously indicated that the climactic Battle of Five Armies from Tolkien’s source material is going to be the major event that propels the story forward in There and Back Again – after the ‘dragon problem’ is (mostly? Fully?) resolved in The Desolation of Smaug, that is.

Hobbit co-writer/producer Philippa Boyens confirmed as much to EW when she said:

“The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn’t end there. Everyone can suspect there’s a rather large battle in film three.”

That creative decision makes sense from a storytelling perspective, as the conflict with Smaug and Battle of Five Armies are each (arguably) sufficiently-massive events to sustain single films. Moreover, subsequent Hobbit installments should build off the momentum that most people say An Unexpected Journey gains in its second and third acts – and thus, mark an improvement on the first chapter in Jackson’s new Middle-earth yarn.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14th. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters December 13th, 2013. And lastly, The Hobbit: There and Back Again hits theaters July 18th, 2014.

Source: EW

Header Image Source: David Demaret

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  1. “The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn’t end there. Everyone can suspect there’s a rather large battle in film three.”

    I thought it was gonna be in two parts?

    • I don’t know why people are insisting it’s two movies and a “bridge,” except it seems to be a popular “defense” of there being three Hobbit movies.

      But the one movie and a “bridge” movie became the Hobbit in two movies with added material, and then THAT became three movies. They didn’t return the separate bridge movie.

      That’s been my take on it. Also, since the first movie only covers so many chapters, there would be way too much for a second movie. My guess is that the second movie will end with Smaug attacking the side of the mountain while the party hides in the tunnel. Then the third will open with the dwarves climbing around the treasure and mountain, and the fate of Smaug will be revealed a bit later. Or, since Smaug is probably a great character, they might end it just before Bilbo takes his second trip to Smaug’s lair.

      For the record, I think it’s ridiculous that this is more than one movie.

      • Couldn’t disagree more, you just said yourself there was way too much for a second movie considering how much they cover in the first, and there’s a lot to cover there. Plus who doesn’t want to see more of Peter Jackson’s work?

        • Oh, I said it myself, did I? I’m going to have to have a good long talk with “myself.”

          I said, “since the first movie only covers so many chapters, there would be way too much for a second movie.” I’ll clarify that for you. Since Peter Jackson has stretched only a small number of chapters into an almost three hour movie, and assuming that he more-or-less maintains that pace, and there are still two thirds of the book remaining in addition to the added material, one can reasonably assume that the story that takes place in the book “The Hobbit” will not come to a conclusion in the second film, even with a second film of equal or even a bit longer run-time than the first.

          Is that clear, or am I still subconsciously contradicting myself? I don’t know, sometimes I’m my own worst enemy.

          Just because it’s a fact that PJ is making three movies, doesn’t mean I agree with the decision. I still think it’s stupid. I will see the movies though. Maybe I’ll change my mind.

        • yeah I would agree that the complete hobbit storyarch doesn’t fit in a single movie. You could argue that 3 films is a stretch for the hobbit story but thats not what it is. Theres the whole gandalf hunting down the necromancer plotline thats only refered to in passing in the hobbit book. I assume that part is going to be completely fleshed out in the hobbit trilogy. I’m very excited to see that.

      • Jackson has said himself, for those of you who don’t know, that he incorporated material from the appendices into The Hobbit, to both further flesh out the characters and link it to The Lord of the Rings. Now, any true fan of Middle Earth will enjoy all the time they can get there, as this will be our last venture into that realm. I believe, from everything I have heard, that the first movie will end with Bilbo finding and securing the ring from Gollum, the second movie will end with the death of the dragon, and the third movie will focus on the war that results after the power vacuum. Fans of Middle Earth, enjoy. Those who want to complain about three movies…no one is forcing you to go.

        • That is, IF the Silmarillion will never be tackled…

        • Yeah, Ive been trying to figure out where the movie will end as well. They have shown in the trailers Gandalf in the burning tree, so Im guessing it will end in the general area of the eagles. Of course that shot could be something else entirely I suppose.

    • No, there was a 100 and something pages of Tolkien’s writings that were never published, Peter Jackson used these as the inspiration behind the third film.

  2. I always wondered if the Dead Marshes from book/movie 2 were the remnants of the battle of 5 armies…
    (I think it’s a battle much older, but the thought is cool)

    • That’s actually the battlefield of the Last Alliance where Elandil defeated Sauron with the help of the elves and Isildur cut the ring off Sauron’s finger.

    • No, Erebor is like way North-East of the more commonly known Middle earth, and the dead marshes are right before Morannon, The Black Gate,which is way south east of Middle Earth.

  3. While I am looking forward to seeing what happens having not read The Hobbit, I can’t help but feel that, like with all prequels it is rather pointless, the LOTR story told us everything we needed to know about all the characters, their history, what had to be done, why it had to be done etc and concluded perfectly, end of, job done, thanks for the memories!

    Releasing a prequel to those movies, like with star wars, hannibal lector and various other films does nothing but weaken the original material, I didn’t care why Hannibal became a cannibal, he was more menacing just being one, same with Norman Bates being a psycho, or how and why Vader turned to the dark side, there was a reason why The Hobbit wasn’t made first, it may be a fun adventure but it is not the epic saga of LOTR

    Will wait and see

    • LOTR is a sequel to the hobbit , The hobbit is never a prequel to LOTR

    • Um, first, The Hobbit was written first, and it’s not meant to be a sequel.
      It is a different story in with a (rather small) age gap in between. But many characters are there, But only the immortal ones play major roles(Gandalf, Elrond, and of course the One Ring, etc.)
      To moviegoer’s, if all you wan’t to know about middle earth is in the LOTR trilogy, then why bother even reading articles about the hobbit?
      To Tolkien readers, I think there is a lot more we’d like to know, There is so much unpublished work on middle earth by Tolkien. Even of what is published, Lotr and The Hobbit movies only show a fraction of it.

  4. SPOILER ALERT – Bilbo gets the one ring. :-D

    • oh man! you spoiled the movies for me lol just kidding. I couldnt help myself

  5. wouldnt it be cool if they had a teaser for the second one next week in front of An Unexpected Journey?

    We did get the teaser last December for this one so it is not entirely impossible.

  6. Crap they’ve already began promoting the sequel! Keep it coming!

  7. Cant wait for the Dragon as well as the Battle of Five Armies, to my knowledge Battle of Five Armies will be filmed starting in May of 2013. Has anyone seen the 13 minute documentary, at the beginning we see Dale, as well as the entrance to Erebor. Is this where the Battle of Five Armies will take place. From the brief footage we see it doesn’t look like a very large battlefield. The Battle of Five Armies will have Elves, Dwarves(some on Wild Boars), Men from Lake-Town, Eagles, Beorn(would like to see other Beornings arrive with him), Orcs, Goblins,Wargs, Bats. That is alot. Looking forward to all three films.

  8. That picture sort of looks like the gold in Scrooge McDucks MoneyBin. He was the richest Duck in the World. LOL.

  9. Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain with powers enough to cripple the Federation in “StarTrek into Darkness”.
    Benedict Cumberbatch as a dragon with power to desolate an area the size of Texas.

    This is sure becoming an interesting internet meme.

  10. Vaaaaaayw Thıs film is very beautiful and very very exciting. Türkiye Love the bilbo and thorın and gollum and other characters.I am waitıng hobbit 2 and 3. :):):):):):):):):)

  11. I honestly cannot wait for the 2nd and 3rd install.
    I believe that even with all three, there’s still more to be told! There’s so much unplublished work and all we get to see is a drop in the ocean! I must say I’m impressed. How they manage to retain fans and keep us waiting for “the next big thing”!
    #awesomeness!!!!!

  12. There’s no doubt that the Desolation of Smaug is among the most awesome part of the trilogy yet I am expecting that the biggest battle in the movie will happen in the third film. And I am pretty sure that Thorin and more of the dwarves will be killed there since they are fighting the orcs. Of course, the elves are there too and especially Bilbo

    • Yeah. It’s called the battle of the five armies: The Orcs, the Elves, the Dwarves, the Men, and the Eagles.