The first trailer for Peter Jackson’s sequel to The Hobbit has finally arrived. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug takes place straight after the events in the first film. Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves travel to the Lonely Mountain in order to retake their home from the dragon Smaug. The dragon moved into the dwarven home located inside the mountain and won’t leave. The place is full of gold and treasure so it is not surprising the dwarves want to reclaim it. They will face many perils during their quest including the return of Azog the Orc, giant spiders and Smaug himself. Bilbo now also has the One Ring in his possession and will no doubt have Gollum on his tail.

As the companions travel around they will encounter new characters who may or may not join the quest. This appears to be one of the main plot elements in the film and some of the new characters appear in the trailer.

Most  of the cast members from the first film return including Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown Wizard and also Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner and others as the Company of Dwarves.
The new cast members include the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas and newcomer to the series Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel. Tauriel is a female elf from Mirkwood and a Chief of the Guards there while Legolas is the Prince of Mirkwood. He lives there with his father Thranduil, The Elvenking played by Lee Pace. Bilbo and his buddies receive a lukewarm reception when they arrive in the area on their way to the Lonely Mountain. They are unwilling to explain why they are there as they fear telling every Tom, Dick and Harry where they are going could jeopardize the mission. Eventually their intentions become clear and based on the trailer it looks like Legolas and Tauriel may end up joining Bilbo and the others in their quest. Gandalf also leaves the group for a while at one stage during the film although it is not made clear why in the trailer.

The heroes will also travel through Dale on their way to the Lonely Mountain where they will meet Bard the Bowman and his people. Bard is played by Luke Evans who is doing well for himself these days and appearing in some interesting films. Bard doesn’t want the Dwarves to go to the Lonely Mountain and risk awakening the dragon. A man known as Beorn who can turn into a bear is also rumored to join the group at some stage.

The trailer is action packed and The Desolation of Smaug appears to have a faster pace than the first film. Now that Peter Jackson has established the story he is free to throw in more action and move the plot forward. This will please the fans who felt the first film had a slow pace and took too long to get to the good stuff. The special effects are decent but there is always a risk that the CGI monsters will not blend in with the real actors. Smaug the dragon is shown for the first time as the viewer gets to see his face. Unfortunately he doesn’t look that realistic although to be fair the dim lighting may be partially responsible for this. Peter Jackson has a reputation for producing good special effects though so there is good reason to be optimistic about the final result. The music in the trailer is suitably epic and the editing is nice with some well placed camera zooms and establishing shots. Good use of the latter allows the viewer to marvel at some of the grandiose architecture in the film. It is a trick that worked well when it was used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and it also works well here.

The trailer will create a lot of excitement and get everyone talking. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13th so have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.