MAJOR SPOILERS! Find out more about Smaug! Do you want to discover more about the mysterious character of Tauriel? What about Bard the Bowman? We have not seen the last of Radagast, nor has Azog finished his role.
If you did not buy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on DVD or Blu-ray, I am sure you are dying to know. The event was hosted by Peter Jackson and Jed Brophy. After a brief introduction, they led a tour of the editorial department, in which a few spoilers were revealed, the chief of which was a rough computer model of Smaug. After this, they answered a few video questions, including ones by Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Steven Fry, and Evangeline Lily. Among the questions asked were what Peter's favorite weapon was, if any new regions of Middle-earth would be revealed in the next film, if we had seen the last of the Necromancer, and if Peter Jackson made clear the fact that Thranduil and Legolas were 'higher' elves than their subjects. The answers to these were Kind Theoden's sword, yes, no, and yes. (Peter Jackson was very tight-lipped on the subject of the Necromancer.)
Mixed in with all this were a bunch of little clips from the movie and a ton of production info. There was one long clip of Gandalf in Dol Guldur, which fills in some of the missing links in the first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. We have not seen the last of Radagast! The broadcast ended with glimpses of multiple new scenes.
Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch): Very little was revealed about this anticipated character and one of the major feature of the upcoming film. Peter Jackson was very careful to withhold information about the dragon. We did, however, manage to catch a glimpse of a computer model. It was by no means the finished product, but it did give a rough (very rough - it looked like a T-Rex with wings) outline of Smaug and the pattern of his movements.
Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans): Very suave and debonair. He is portrayed as sort of a 'Robin Hood' character - not caring very much for rules and regulations. We were shown a glimpse of him darting through Laketown, suggesting a flight from justice. He is almost as good with the bow as Legolas, and kills many an orc. He does not have very good relations with the Master of Laketown, but it kind to the dwarves, taking the trouble to ferry them across to Laketown. An interesting point about his character Peter Jackson makes is that it unclear whether he is good or bad, providing a lot of room for plot thickening and character development.
The Master of Laketown (Stephen Fry) and Laketown: From what I've seen, Stephen Fry has done an excellent job in his role as the Master of Laketown. He is a satire of government: paranoid and corrupt, the only place in all his works were J.R.R. Tolkien deals with politics. I am not sure how to describe Laketown. The city is is crowded, with narrow streets and tall, rickety buildings. The guards have conical helmets with fur lining on the bottom, which look very similar to those worn by the Turks or Mongols. It is entirely different from any other place yet shown in the Middle-earth films.
|"We are the dwarves of Erebor. We have come to reclaim our homeland!"|
Thranduil (Lee Pace) and Mirkwood: Mirkwood is perhaps the most terrifying place in all of Middle-earth, perhaps with the exception of Shelob's lair. Indeed, it is very much like Shelob's lair, full of spiders. PJ showed us a clip of the dwarves entangled in webs, very much like Frodo in The Return of the King. We also got a glimpse of Bilbo struggled out of his webs before he is completely tied up. Bombur falls prey to the sleeping waters of the stream, and must be carried. Mirkwood is full of dangers and surprises. It takes a special kind of elf to rule of its mysterious, dark expanses. An Thranduil is not just an ordinary elf. He and his son, Legolas, are of the Sindar, those who heeded the call to the undying lands before man ever set foot in Middle-earth. Their subjects are mainly of the Avari, those who did not heed the call, and therefore are 'lesser' elves. Thranduil is very different from any other elf-lord we have yet encountered. His kingdom, while among the trees like Lothlorien, is partially buried underground. This has a reflection upon his character. He his harsher and wilder. His enmity with the dwarves is very strong, leading to several confrontations with Thorin.
Legolas (Orlando Bloom): He is not that different from what he was in The Lord of the Rings. He is wearing armor though, something I have never seen him do before. His as accurate and fast with his bow as always. I think he may be more serious in the upcoming film, as this is before he has met his dwarf-friend Gimli. Gimli's father, Gloin, is in the company of dwarves, and I will be interested to see if they exchange any words.
Tauriel (Evangeline Lily): She is of the Avari, the lesser race of elves, and is part of King Thranduil's bodyguard. She is a creation of Peter Jackson, and will be the first real female fighting character in any of the films. (Eowyn did indeed slay the Witch-king, but she was not a warrior by vocation.) She is fierce, hates orcs, and uses her two knives and her bow with equal efficiency.
Gandalf (Ian McKellan): Before the dwarves enter Mirkwood, Gandalf takes his leave. Peter Jackson will make this similar to The Two Towers, with multiple plots and story-lines. Gandalf goes to investigate Dol Guldur, to learn what evil is lurking there. Peter Jackson showed a three-to-four minute clip of a scene in Dol Guldur, in which it is revealed that several deadly prisoners have escaped. Gandalf stumbles across a narrow ledge and comes to an opening. There are twisted metal bars hanging out and rubble on the inside. Nine tombs holding the nine Nazgul have been broken out of from the inside.
Radagast (Sylvester McCoy): In the aforementioned clip, Radagast pops out apparently from nowhere. He is silly and comical, yet his serious side breaks out in this creepy and plot-thickening scene. Though many of you may not like Radagast very much, you must appreciate his role in the story. After all, it was he who first discovered the threat in Dol Guldur, and he was brave enough to venture inside and face a power stronger even than a wizard.