Much-anticipated return to Middle-earth appeals to loyal ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans.
By Kevin P. Sullivan
Just days after the 10th anniversary of the release of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” we have our first look at director Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth. The first trailer for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” packs in a ton of action and gives fans a peek at what they can expect when the first of the two films opens next December.
We took some time off from watching the trailer on repeat to give you the rundown on the five key things you should pay attention to in the trailer.
It wouldn’t be “The Hobbit” without a strong member of the Shire folk to rally behind. Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins, and he jumps right into Jackson’s Middle-earth and feels right at home. He also fits in with the two returning hobbits, Elijah Wood and Ian Holm. Both make welcome returns in the trailer and draw in fans of the original films almost effortlessly.
Almost as important as Bilbo in “The Hobbit,” all 13 dwarves play key roles in the story. Fans who feared that the dwarves would look too cartoonish should find some peace of mind with the trailer. They completely worked (especially Richard Armitage as Thorin), with a balance between the child-oriented aspects of the book and the grittier look of the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
Nothing shows off that balance better than the dwarves’ song. J.R.R. Tolkien featured many songs in the novel, and Jackson and co. incorporated this one in a natural way. It’s a cool and ominous part of the trailer that sets the tone and shows the film’s close adherence to the novel. However, the films do diverge from the novel to cover new material in a few instances.
The White Council
Because the book does not offer enough action for two complete movies, the films have been padded out with tales from the appendixes and other Tolkien books. The main addition is the story of the White Council. For those unfamiliar with the books, during the journey to Lonely Mountain, Gandalf leaves Bilbo and the dwarves to fight a mysterious enemy alongside Galadriel and Elrond. Jackson confirmed the story line’s presence in the movie, but Cate Blanchett‘s appearance in the trailer is our only hint of what’s to come.
The trailer’s big reveal comes at the end as the camera cranes down to the One Ring in the foreground. Next thing we know, Bilbo is chatting up Gollum in the dark, and Andy Serkis crawls down to make his welcome return to the character. The ring and Gollum are the two biggest connections between “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” so their presence here is a near guarantee to rope in any fans of the first films.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
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