With Peter Jackson already solidifying his adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit as three films instead of two, there has begun considerable discussion among fans as to what parts of the epic story each film will encompass. While Jackson has already revealed his third film (titled There and Back Again) will be compromised mostly of ancillary Tolkien writings – serving as a bridge between The Hobbit storyline and The Lord of the Rings – the bigger question is where the first film (An Unexpected Journey) will end and where the second film (Desolation of Smaug) will begin.
Some of the production's cast and crew have given teases as to where the act-break might take place. Benedict Cumberbatch (who voices the dragon Smaug) even hinted as to the first film's final shot, but there's still some mystery as to what will make up each film's core plot. Regardless of where the films separate though, fans know they are in store for some very exciting story beats, from "Riddles in the Dark" to the Misty Mountains to a showdown with a troop of goblins.
Those goblins however, have been taking a backseat to the more recognizable elements of Tolkien's universe, but today we may have a brief peak at not just a goblin thug, but also the Great Goblin (or Goblin King). The scoop comes to us by way of The One Ring Tolkien fan site, who have come across what they purport to be action figure images of the Great Goblin. Also included on the packaging is a look at one of the Great Goblin's minions, who is just as repulsive as his leader.
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In The Hobbit novel, the Great Goblin captures Bilbo and his dwarf companions as they are trekking deep through the Misty Mountains, but we won't reveal more than that. It's certainly a highlight of the book, and will make for a major action sequence in what we assume will be the first film.
The images of the Goblin King and his minion are hard to confirm as part of The Hobbit's production, but their design aesthetic does fall in line with what we've seen of villains thus far. It's also worth pointing out that The Lord of the Rings' goblins had a greenish tint to their skin, whereas these goblins are more flesh-colored. Furthermore, the brief blurb of text with the Goblin King image suggests this is actually part of some sort of board game, but even then this could still be what the final creature will look like.
Another fan site (Heirs of Durin) believes that – based on the design of the goblin -- this image (seen below) from The Hobbit behind-the-scenes video blogs could be a goblin in the making, but if so, is in its early stages of make-up and effects. The Great Goblin on the other hand, who is to be played by legendary Australian actor Barry Humprhries (better known for his alias Dame Edna), has already been revealed to be a creation not unlike Gollum: a CGI character informed by an on-set motion-capture performance.
As more trailers begin to release – ones meant to set-up An Expected Journey specifically – we should be able to confirm the Goblin King's place in the film, and what he will look like.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releases on December 14, 2012; its sequel Desolation of Smaug releases on December 13, 2013; and the final film in the trilogy, There and Back Again, releases on July 18, 2014.
Source: The One Ring