The first of Peter Jackson’s two Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, isn’t due to hit theaters until Winter 2012 and yet we’ve already gotten an early look at Martin Freeman as the adventurer Bilbo Baggins.

We’ve also gotten to see Sir Ian McKellen back in his ragged garbs as Gandalf the Grey, but today brings an early look at some other Middle-Earthlings who will appear in the Hobbit pics: the dwarf siblings Nori (Jed Brophy), Ori (Adam Brown), and Dori (Mark Hadlow).

Jackson’s Hobbit movies will offer a fairly detailed look at the collective dwarf culture of Middle-Earth. Considering the only representation of that world in the filmmaker’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was the deceased Longbeard clan of Moria and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), that idea sounds all the more intriguing.

It stands to reason then that the many dwarf characters involved in the Hobbit storyline will differ somewhat from Gimli, with respect to their appearances, attire, and manner. Dwarves are still dwarves, though, so there are certain characteristics (ex. the beards – remember, even female dwarves have those, apparently) that the Hobbit players will still retain.

Case in point: Check out Nori, Ori, and Dori in the image (via Warner Bros.) below:

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Here is an official description of these dwarf siblings:

These three brothers, all sons of the same mother, could not be more different from each other. Dori, the oldest, spends much of his time watching out for Ori, the youngest; making sure he’s not caught a chill or got himself killed by Wargs or Goblins. Nobody quite knows what Nori gets up to most of the tim, except that it’s guaranteed to be dodgy and probably, illegal. Dori, Nori and Ori are intensely loyal to each other – and whilst they are perfectly happy fighting amongst themselves, woe-betide anyone who means harm to one of these brothers.

Not only do these new Hobbit players look refreshing unique and different from Gimli, while still appearing appropriately… dwarf-ish, but the above character description is a good reminder to fans that Jackson’s new Tolkien adaptation isn’t aiming to strike quite the same dramatically epic and serious tone that his Rings trilogy did.

The Hobbit still has its fair share of dangerous scenarios – not to mention, grand battles between creatures both good and evil – but it’s also a bit more humorous and light-hearted a story than the tale of Sauron’s attempt to recover The One Ring and conquer Middle-Earth. Nice to see that Jackson and Co. appear to be replicating that in the film version.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters on December 14th, 2012.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again is slated for theatrical release about a year later, on December 13th, 2013.

Source: Warner Bros.