While The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits in just one week, a new photo has given us our first look at the next installment in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Entertainment Weekly's Hobbit-riffic coverage this week debuted a number of photos, including this first look at Martin Freeman's Bilbo Bagins laying on a giant hoard of gold, which I assure you isn't there because of his wariness of the U.S. Dollar.
What does this photo reveal about the events in store for Bilbo and his dwarven companions when Desolation hits on December 13, 2013? Well, quite a bit, actually.
Also check below for another preview photo jumping to the trilogy's final installment with our first look at Orlando Bloom returning as Legolas hanging out with Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman!
Fans of the book know that this is the scene where Bilbo finds himself in the middle of the Lonely Mountain confronting the giant dreaded dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) amidst the creature's pilfered pile of loot. -- Of course, not before slipping on his "magic ring" to remain invisible from the fire-breathing fiend.
It is also a major departure point in the trilogy leading to a rift between Bilbo and Thorin after Bilbo finds a precious dwarven heirloom gem called the Arkenstone. -- Without spoiling it too much, let's just say they both mishandle the situation and, to quote Ron Burgundy, things "escalated quickly."
This photo from The Hobbit: There and Back Again (July 18, 2014) gives us our first look at a younger Legolas, son of Eleven King of Mirkwood, Thranduil. It appears that The Lord of the Rings trilogy's seemingly youthful elven archer had more miles on him than we thought, as some 60 years before the events of Rings, he gets ready for the trilogy's culminating "Battle of Five Armies."
Laketown resident, Bard the Bowman, however, will live up to his name, proving that elves aren't the only species that handle a bow with movie-epic accuracy. While he was a rather generic character in the book, director, Peter Jackson and company have greatly expanded his role, making him a late-to-the-party central hero with a back-story, similar to the way Faramir and Eowyn were handled in the latter part of the Rings trilogy.