The time that fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have waited for is almost here. After several years in development hell, dealing with legal disputes and directorial change-ups, director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit is at last opening in theaters this week (well, the first installment of it, at least).

Early reviews have been decidedly mixed on the film, and part of that may stem from the fact that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is far lighter in tone than The Lord of the Rings. Given that its source material is a far cry from the apocalyptic Rings storyline, we’ve long suspected that – while The Hobbit is sure to feature its share of heavy moments – the film would serve as a brighter introduction to a Middle-earth, where the fate of the One Ring has yet to become an issue.

An exclusive new clip from features one of those more somber moments, as Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarves come together in song for “Over the Misty Mountains Cold”. Fans may recall that this very song – which laments the loss of a golden treasure the dwarves are seeking – was featured in the very first teaser trailer for the film, and just as it anchored the fairy tale aesthetic of that initial footage, the scene lends the same mythic quality to this moment early in the film.

To that end, the studio was wise to select this clip as an early peek at An Unexpected Journey. In addition to featuring several key characters and setting up the journey of the film’s title, it takes place in Bilbo’s home of Bag End, which plays a key role in the beginning of the Rings trilogy as well. It’s one thing to promise a return trip to Middle-earth, but this clip actually accomplishes the task of letting fans stick their heads’ in the door for a brief moment, leaving them wanting more.

For those who want to sing along with a friend, you can find the lyrics below:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in theaters (finally!) on December 14, 2012. Meanwhile, its sequels – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again – will be released on December 13, 2013 and July 18, 2014, respectively.