‘Hobbit’ trailer: Radagast, wargs, a lighter look at Middle-earth

Sept. 19, 2012 | 12:44 p.m.
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Dwalin, played by Graham McTavish. Dwalin is Balin's brother and companion of Thorin. (Warner Bros.)

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Bifur, a dwarf in Thorin's company, played by William Kircher. Bofur is his companion. (Warner Bros.)

In honor of Tolkien Week, Peter Jackson has released a new trailer (below) for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” delving more into Bilbo Baggins’ story and revealing first looks at several beasts of Middle-earth.

The trailer, though action-packed, takes a less serious tone than the previous trailer, released some nine months ago, and certainly than “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy — a directorial decision that captures the lighter mood of “The Hobbit” compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s later work; though we see Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins bravely wielding Sting (his glowing sword) against a goblin, we also see him running barefoot through the Shire, map in hand, bellowing, “I’m going on an adventure!” Even Gollum, reprised beautifully by Andy Serkis‘ motion-capture performance, is more comedic (and even cute) than grotesque.

The trailer is more narrative-focused, describing the dwarves’ mission to reclaim their homeland from the terrible dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Unfortunately, the trailer offers no glimpse of Smaug, but does give fans a sneak peek at several Middle-earth monsters, including stone giants, goblins and wargs (enormous wolves). The new trailer also introduces several characters new to the big screen, including Radagast the Brown (a wizard like Gandalf the Grey and Saruman the White), who warns that “a dark power has found a way back into the world.”

Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett return to play Gandalf and Galadriel, respectively, and the trailer reveals a shortened version of a scene revealed to a Hall H audience at Comic-Con International in which the elven queen asks the gray wizard why he chose Bilbo for this quest.

“Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I’m afraid, and he gives me courage,” Gandalf answers.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was originally intended to be the first of two parts, but Jackson revealed this summer he is planning for a third installment. The first film is due in theaters Dec. 14.

In the meantime, fans can celebrate Tolkien Week leading up to Sept. 22 — Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthday. Sept. 21 marks the 75th anniversary of “The Hobbit.” And click through the gallery above for a look at Bilbo’s adventuring company.

— Noelene Clark


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20 Responses to ‘Hobbit’ trailer: Radagast, wargs, a lighter look at Middle-earth

  1. Dev says:

    I am betting my friend $50 this smash's box office records..

  2. Smurf_Oakenshield says:

    A bit childish, definitely. After all, The Hobbit book was indeed a bit more childish than LOTR

  3. Jeff Hopkins says:

    I am interested how Jackson is making three movies out of a relatively short book especially compared to LOTR.

    • Jak says:

      Jackson mentioned that he's using other Tolkien novels ie the silmarillion to fill it out and explain more of te history behind middle earth and main characters.

    • Jeff Jones says:

      Have you read the book? I wonder how they can get THE HOBBIT into only 3 movies!

      • sudde says:

        Unfortunately the film makers cannot use Silmarillion due to copyrights. Only The Hobbit and LOTR but there is much to be found in the appendices. :)

  4. ken says:

    i hope it means that nothing will be cut and more important nothing will be added at least no more than has already been released I am as big a fan of Legolas as anybody but he was not in the hobbit

    • Clint says:

      he actually was. his father is the eleven king in mirkwood. so id bet anything that Legolas makes an appearance in the movies. i dont think he says anything in the book but it is referenced that he was there.

  5. Rick says:

    But do they ever mention if Viggo will reprise his role but this time as Strider? Hmm…

  6. William H says:

    Very rare is it that I venture to the movie theater however being that the last movies I viewed were the Lord of the Rings I will see The Hobbit. Thank you J. R. R. Tolkien and rest in peace old tormented soul.

  7. Victor M says:

    One person I would like to thank for introducing me to these stories in high school, 1974-1978, My english teacher, Mr. Arce. first book was "The Hobbit". he told us about the "The Lords of the Rings". was hooked. as growning hoping they would some day make into a movie. My wish came through. early attempt was so so. now it really brings out the true story of the this great master piece of story telling by Mr.J.R.R. Tokien.

  8. GAP says:

    Please stop using Flash as a movie player!!! It's terribly slow and not platform universal.

  9. Betie says:

    Radagast was certainly not in The Hobbit but in lotr instead. Far as I can see Jackson is taking bits from all books. Lord Elrond was not in, nor was galadriel.

    • OLM says:

      …but they were most definitely in the appendices, from which were gleaned the added material. Given Mr. Jackson's track record with LOTR, I for one am more than willing to trust that he'll get it right and provide a compelling series in the spirit of the originals. The more, the better.

      • Bertie says:

        Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait to see it and do trust that Mr Jackson will get it right. LOTR trilogy is one of my favourites.

  10. Tom Hubbard says:

    You're right about Galadriel, but I thought Elrond was in it, briefly. At least, the company passed through Rivendell on their journey East. And while Radagast definitely wasn't in the book, Gandalf does explain, in "Fellowship", where he was and what he was up to when he left Thorin and Co. during their journey to Erebor. Radagast definitely fits into that portion of the *story*.

    • jbk says:

      Lord Elrond had a small part when the company entered the Last Homely House for rest. He told them about the swords glamdring and gondolin and also found the moon letters on the map which I think is the part in the trailer where the group is standing outside in the moonlight. I thought Radagast was a person Gandalf met when he was away from the drawves and hobbit during the story but wasn't really talked about. Maybe the part with him in the film is one expanded on to explain more about what Gandalf was doing when he was away.

  11. Dee says:

    Just saw The Hobbit for the 2nd time and LOVED it even more! This film is AWESOME !!! And I'll probably see it one more time before it leaves theaters.

  12. Jan Vyverman says:

    Does anyone know what the creatures in the "The Desolation of Smaug" trailer are? They attack a gate and Bilbo defends. It seems a bit like a warg?

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