Come December 13 all Middle Earth is set for a fiery encounter, or at least 13 dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard are. Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug introduces us to the most impressive depiction by far of Smaug since J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was first published in the late thirties.
The second part of the Peter Jackson trilogy, apart from some innovative cinematic technological impacts, is expected to be packed with new characters set to add flair to the movie. Thandruil and his Mirkwood elves stake their claim on the storyline. Beorn, the changeling, will also roar his way to add “bigness” to the upcoming film. In the trailer, he appears to be a huge bear wanting to kill the dwarves, but he is, really, just a man with a good heart. Likewise, we’re introduced to Bard, a descendant of the Lord of Dale, the city which Smaug had destroyed along with Erebor in the first movie. He’ll play a crucial role and we leave it up to you to discover how, if you haven’t read the book yet.
But if you did, you’ll notice some significant differences given Jackson’s liberal use of poetic license in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. For one, Orlando Bloom is back to play Legolas, Thandruil’s son. The elf, in fact, didn’t appear in the book version; rather, his first appearance was in the Council of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings, where we also saw the older Gloin—one of the thirteen dwarves—with his son, Gimli, arguing with the elf. And then there’s Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, Legolas’ love interest. Tolkien would have wondered who she is; she didn’t figure in the author’s imaginative mind at all.
But the movie belongs to the biggest character, nay, the biggest badass maybe in Middle Earth: Smaug. Tolkien told us little about this dragon, so we did some clever calculations to get the bigger picture and figured out he’s about five trolls big, even bigger than Treebeard (that’s based on the books, not the movies which had the size factor increased to Hollywood proportions). We know he’s fearsome, and his tail whip is likely more powerful than the other infamous whiplash, that of the Balrog. His voice is piercing cold and cunning; Benedict Cumberbatch did a striking voice rendition of Smaug. Oops, don’t tell that to the actor, he is said to hate it when people say he’s the voice of Smaug. He is Smaug! He scowled, screeched, bellowed, spewed, and all that Smaug did in the movie which surely will make him appeal to our emotions even more. Thanks to motion capture technology and his incredible voice acting skills, Cumberbatch gave us a truly malevolent dragon.
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