A (Guessed) Preview Into The Desolation of Smaug

Friday, January 04, 2013

This post will contain a summary of what I think will happen in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I may be correct in my assumptions, but then again, I may be a mile off the mark. I will go through the book and the photos that have been released and try to draw parallels, creating a rough sketch of what the movie will be like. There is a potential possibility for SPOILERS, so I warn you, if you want to be completely surprised by the next movie, do not proceed beyond the break. 
I will summarize each chapter and compare it with pictures and then combine the lot with my personal thoughts. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey goes through Chapter VI of The Hobbit, so it is safe to assume that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will begin in Chapter VII.
Chapter VII: Queer Lodgings
In this chapter, the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf depart from the eagles and visit the house of Beorn. Beorn, for those of you who do not already know, is a shape-changer. He is sometimes a bear, and sometimes a man. He keeps gigantic bees and is served by sheep. Gandalf tells him their tale and has the dwarves come in pairs every five minutes. They stay at Beorn's hall for two nights, and there was a great convocation of bears, including Beorn. When Beorn returns, he tells them that he found finds a goblin and a warg and slew them. The company then reach the edge of Mirkwood. Gandalf, after giving them warnings and advice, leaves them on the borders of the dark and dangerous forest. 
Here is the only picture of Beorn there is. He is in his bear-from, and towers over the wizard. I would estimate that he is at least nine feet tall. They are standing on the top of a large rock, probably The Carrock, which is mentioned in the book. There are several large birds of prey flying around in the sky. They are not the eagles, because their shapes are different. They look more like hawks or falcons, but it is impossible to tell because the picture does not define their shape nor their coloring clearly. From the fact that Beorn appears to be roaring in the picture, I expect that we will get to see quite a lot of him. He will change between his two forms at least twice, just to show the power of computer-generated imagery. Beorn, as a man, will probably be just as big as he is in bear-form. Mikael Persbrandt, the Swedish actor playing Beorn, will tower at least four feet over the dwarves. Grunting as much as speaking, Beorn will have a strong accent, and probably be rough and unrefined, closely following the book. 
Chapter VIII: Flies and Spiders
Bilbo and the dwarves begin perhaps the most well-known leg of their journey. They enter Mirkwood, and travel day, upon days in the vast forest. They eventually come across a stream, but do not touch it, because Beorn had warned them that it would put them in a deep sleep. They manage to safely get across, all except for Bombur, who falls in and instantly falls into a deep, oblivious sleep. The other dwarves are forced to carry him, taking it in turns. They become so discouraged that Bilbo has to climb a tree to see if the end of the wood was in sight. Though they really were not that far, Bilbo could not see the end, so he climbed down, dejected. That night, they spotted lights in the forest, but when they came to them, they disappeared. They thought they saw people feasting and enjoying themselves immensely, but they vanished when the dwarves drew near. The forest went dark when Thorin stepped into the circle of light and the company was separated. Thorin was captured by the elves (for they were the ones who were feasting), and the rest ended up entangled in spiderwebs, all except for Bilbo. Bilbo rescued the other dwarves, and they managed to drive off the spiders, but Thorin was gone, languishing in the prisons of Thranduil.
There have been at least five or six photos of this part of the journey, so the movie will probably spend a good portion in the vast region of Mirkwood. The picture above shows the dwarves carrying the sleeping Bombur. This photo shows Bilbo at the top of the tree. You can see the black butterflies swarming around him. Also, the leaves are orange. Either this is their natural coloring or it is late in the year. The rest of the photos portray Bilbo holding Sting and standing in front of an ominous background of webs and bones. From the absence of the dwarves, we can safely assume that they have been captured by the spiders.
There will definitely be some epic battle scenes between Bilbo and the spiders. If I am not mistaken, elves will be involved too, even though that is not the case in the book. In a Lego set released last year, it was Legolas and Tauriel, not Bilbo, who were fighting the spiders and rescuing the dwarves. Whoever kills the spiders, this scene will be another episode of Shelob's lair, minus Gollum and plus a lot more Shelobs. Radagast may play a part here also, though I doubt it, even though the wizard's home is in Mirkwood. I also do not think that Thorin alone will be captured by the elves. To be sure the entire company later is locked up by the subjects of Thranduil, but there is a picture that says otherwise. Thorin Oakenshield is holding a ready bow, and there are webs in background, suggesting that he is pointing his arrow at a hostile spider.
There is also the business of Gandalf. Where has he got too? Peter Jackson will have to provide some sort of explanation for the wizards abrupt disappearance. The original trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey suggests that he has gone to Dol Guldur to find out more about The Necromancer. While he is there, he gets into a tussle with an old man, or dwarf? Many people think that the grey, wrinkled figure may be Thrain, who was captured by the dark lord and imprisoned in Dol Guldur. Also, where has Radagast gone off to? Peter Jackson cannot possibly leave such a loose end, can he? Radagast may yet have a more dramatic role than anyone could imagine.
Chapter IX: Barrels out of Bond
The remaining dwarves, starving and hopelessly lost, are taken captive by the wood-elves. Bilbo, however, avoids capture by slipping on his ever-useful ring. The dwarves are thrown into a dungeon, and lose all hope entirely. Bilbo loyally seeks to rescue them, and eventually finds a way. He steals the keys from Galion, the butler, and sneaks the dwarves into barrels that are to be floated down the river to Laketown.
This is a short chapter, but we can be sure that it will not be excluded. The picture to the right shows the dwarves either climbing in or exiting their barrels. And, I have reason to believe that Peter Jackson may expand on the role of Galion. Actor Craig Hall plays Galion, who may have more to do than get drunk and have his keys stolen by an invisible burglar.
Chapter X: A Warm Welcome
The company arrives at Laketown on the shores of the Long Lake. They are given a very warm welcome by the Master of Laketown, who will be played by Stephen Fry in the movie. They have several days of much-needed rest and recovery, and then set out on the final stage of their journey: along the shore of the Long Lake to the slopes of the Lonely Mountain.
This chapter is also very short, but Peter Jackson definitely cannot skip Laketown. This on the right is the only glimpse we get of the town. It comes from the 6th production video of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Peter Jackson tells us how sorry he is that he cannot show us the awesome set he is right in the middle of. Though from the design of the tiles behind him I expect Laketown will be highly styled after a Norse village. That was, after all, the civilization Tolkien seemed to be copying in his descriptions of Dale, at the base of Erebor.
Sorry! This is as far as I will go for this particular post. It will have to be finished in another, because I have so much to say! So be sure to check back later to read A (Guessed) Preview Into The Desolation of Smaug Continued... Be sure to comment!

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