Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly posted 10 new images from The Hobbit just in time for Comic-con — featuring Thorin, Gandalf, Mirkwood, Gollum and much more. We were pretty sure the gallery would reveal some nifty new details of what we can expect from the movie.
Then they dropped a couple more with their magazine — a cool image of Balin and Dwalin, and a close-up of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield.
So TORn’s staffers have put their heads together to analyse the images. Read on to see what we found, and what we think! Of course, this post carries a SPOILER warning.
Deej: Mirkwood (and the spiders) is one of the scenes I’m most looking forward to seeing. Wondering if this is the scene where Bilbo looks up and sees the dwarves strung up in the trees?
Elessar: Bilbo looks a little wide-eyed, but obviously ready to attack having drawn Sting.
Garfeimao: Bilbo definitely looks like he’s keeping track of something. He’s fully concentrating on what he is doing, which would appear to be keeping the spiders occupied and leading them away from the dwarves in Mirkwood. And as someone who does not like spiders, it makes my skin crawl to see Bilbo covered in webs.
Grammaboodawg: Bilbo’s either recovering from being wrapped in cobwebs or going through them, but he’s standing amongst some debris that looks like wood and canvas. Maybe the remains of a covered wagon?
Linuxelf: Is it me or is Sting glowing blue? Maybe it’s the lighting of the shot? Bilbo looks battered after a battle, wide-eyed at what’s approaching next…
Magpie: Not much comes to mind except I notice his badly skinned knuckles and I wonder what that pile of stuff is in the lower left-hand corner of the image. It looks kind of gross, but I’d need a better quality image to figure it out.
MrCere: Great costume, great image and this look, this sense of connectedness, are what makes Freeman great. This spidery episode may be a place where the filmmakers want to deviate from the book.
Quickbeam: Blood, sweat, and spider venom… that’s what hobbits’ adventures are made of. Martin Freeman brings his Sting to bear in defense of his dwarven comrades.
Sarumann: The most perfect image of Bilbo I’ve seen yet! Martin Freeman even looks like a young Ian Holm.
Deej: I haven’t been able to tell which scene this is from, but it’s a great shot of the dwarves.
Elessar: Appears to be the group recovering from a battle with orcs perhaps? They also appear, I would say, to be listening to either Gandalf or Thorin on what to do next.
Garfeimao: This looks to be the dwarves on the mountain pass before they encounter the goblins, since they have all their packs with them, and before it begins to rain and thunder. Maybe they are seeing or hearing the beginnings of the thunder giants, or listening to whoever is up front scouting the trail.
Grammaboodawg: The dwarves we see are still carrying their packs, so this is before they’re waylaid by the goblins. It could be this is a re-do of entering the goblin’s tunnels and trying to cut through to the other side (aka Moria) instead of being caught sleeping on the goblin’s front doorstep.
Linuxelf: Kili’s face looks like he’s just seen some (disturbing) tracks? and is now listening to instructions from Thorin or Gandalf?
Magpie: My only observation is that Kili looks to be carrying his fair share — and perhaps more — of the load on his back.
MrCere: Clear evidence (and there is a lot already) that the dwarves — and dwarven culture with its weapons and clothes and props and hair — are going to be a joy.
Quickbeam: Dark and unwelcoming was the High Pass of the Misty Mountains. Mark Hadlow (Dori) shows his fine hair and beard-braiding. All their packs and supplies will be lost when they’re taken captive by the goblins.
Sarumann: As cool as it is to see the dwarves in the Misty Mountains, I can’t help but be a little disappointed that this shot looks so much like it was done on a sound stage.
Deej: Riddles in the Dark is another scene I’m excited to see. Wondering how closely this scene will match what (little) was shown in Fellowship of the Ring.
Elessar: Gollum being sneaky as always. Maybe trying to pull a fast one on Bilbo during Riddles in the Dark.
Garfeimao: Gollum actually looks a little innocent here, or at least, not like he’s plotting anything at the moment. He’s got more of a ‘what is it?’ type look on his face.
Grammaboodawg: Gollum looks a bit vulnerable and not intimidating at all to me. It could be this is towards the beginning of his encounter with Bilbo in the goblin tunnels before beginning the riddle game and is still curious about talking with someone civil and more like himself. He also looks like he has a bit more and darker hair.
Linuxelf: Looks like he’s about to get angry. “Are you testing my patients Mr Baggins?”
MrCere: This is a visual FX shot, which means it was handed to EW. They didn’t take this picture on set. Gollum looks the same, yet resembles Andy Serkis much more. Interesting how the process must have been refined over the last 10 years.
Quickbeam: This is definitely the softer, dare I say “healthier” side of Smeagol. He seems to have a few more hairs (remember this is Gollum before he was taken to Mordor and tortured mercilessly in Barad-dur).
Sarumann: I’ll admit it. This was the one I got most excited about. Gollum has always been one of my favorite characters, and the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter is one of my favorites in all of ‘The Hobbit.’ I can’t wait to see this depicted on the big screen!
Deej: What a beautiful shot. Gandalf looks apprehensive — perhaps this is as he’s leaving Bag-end after notifying Bilbo he’s going to have a few guests the next day?
Elessar: Looks like an old friend is about to take us on that adventure. It doesn’t appear he’s aged a day.
Garfeimao: He looks at home in the Shire, but he also looks like he’s either looking for someone, or checking to make sure he’s not spotted while he scratches a glyph on Bilbo’s door. Always impish, that Gandalf the Grey.
Grammaboodawg: He looks to be on the doorstep of Bag End and has probably just been “Good Morning’d” by Mr Baggins. I think he’s leaving after Bilbo’s run back inside and is contemplating leaving a mark on his green door. He appears to be wearing a full cloak sans sleeves (like Gandalf the White’s) rather than a sleeved cloak like in the portrait we see later.
Linuxelf: Gandalf looks really young, ready to go out on the big ‘adventure’, his staff really stands out with the in-twinging of the wood at the top looks like its growing.
MrCere: Just makes you want to go visit Hobbiton, or at least it does me. My eyes keep poring over the scenery.
Quickbeam: Feels like a studio photograph that was photoshopped over the Shire background.
Sarumann: I’m just going to go ahead and assume that this is right after Gandalf asks Bilbo to join him, and Bilbo tells him no. The look on Gandalf’s face seems to say “This poor hobbit has no idea what he’s in for.”
Deej: Barrels out of Bond! I agree with the theory that this scene will end the first film.
Demosthenes: I already put in my five cents about how I reckon this sequence will play out. Magpie is right though: those are wine bottles in the background. This great escape will also mark the end of the film I think.
Elessar: Fun to see all the dwarves in the barrels finally. I can hear them all griping with each other and Bilbo about the accommodations.
Garfeimao: My feeling is they are all getting into the barrels in order for the lids to be put on, and Bofur appears to be the cheerleader. Poor Dwalin is already all crammed in, as is Ori.
Grammaboodawg: I love how they’re stacked and probably waiting to be sealed inside. I’ve always pictured them as the barrels standing against each other. This makes seeing ALL the dwarves neatly stacked and packed much more comical and effective.
Linuxelf: Good to see the dwarves in the barrels, looks like Bofur is having a laugh as they try to squeeze in.
Magpie: The designer in me was impressed with how they managed to find a way to ‘display’ the dwarves so all of them could be seen while keeping a strong context of the barrels, the cramped confinement of the barrels, the individual situation of one dwarf per barrel, the individual personality of the dwarves, and a sense of comic panache.
Putting the barrels on their sides and stacking them like this was design genius. And it reminded me of a bee hive. My eye quickly went to the upper left hand corner to what I think are wine bottles.
MrCere: Is this barrels stacked up or a shot from overhead? I can see personality in these characters even here, which I love. Beautifully lighting in this photo, almost like a Rembrandt.
Quickbeam: Key issues of a daring escape: (1) How can I breathe in this thing? (2) Will Bilbo drown on the outside while I’m stuck in here? (3) Why does Bofur (James Nesbitt) get to keep his crazy hat when everyone else lost theirs? (4) Are those bulbous things in the wall old bottles of Dorwinion wine or space-eggs about to hatch?
Sarumann: As much as I want to just look at this picture as a whole, my eyes keep getting drawn to Bofur… and why on Middle-earth is he smiling?
Celedor: I was looking at the Galadriel pic to see if they were lighting her eyes the same as in The Lord of the Rings (they used multiple eye lights to give her eyes multiple highlights). It’s hard to say, just looking at a single photo, but it looks that for this shot she’s been lit the conventional way with a single eye light, and there’s just the one highlight in her eyes.
Deej: Elves really don’t age, do they? Guessing this is from the White Council scene?
Elessar: Galadriel is as beautiful as ever. She looks like she’s also about to drop some information on whoever that will shake the future of what they had planned.
Garfeimao: Beautiful and mysterious, she looks like she’s about to impart some wisdom, or give a dire warning.
Grammaboodawg: This is a classic look by the lady, imho, as she seems to be considering someone she has information on or an understanding about and is not entirely buying whatever it is they’re presenting.
Linuxelf: She looks like she knows something important.
MrCere: EW knows this is a familiar face for a great many readers, I mourn that they chose such a close up. I want to see her in context.
Sarumann: Yup, that’s Galadriel, all right. Not much else to say, really. I’m pretty sure this is a frame grab from the trailer.
Deej: Elrond looking at Thror’s map and discovering the moon-letters, I’m guessing.
Elessar: Elrond reading the dwarven map to the group about to let them know about a little secret. Another moment I’ve waited to see on screen for 10 years.
Garfeimao: Elrond seems rather intrigued by what he is looking at, probably Thror’s map.
Grammaboodawg: Elrond could be scrutinizing the map, although it looks thicker than the parchment we’ve seen mounted and framed on Bilbo’s table in LotR. Gandalf looks relaxed and unfettered while Thorin and Bilbo’s body language seems more curious. I’ll bet this is just before discovering the moon runes.
Linuxelf: Elrond studying the dwarven map, he’s interested in what he is hearing.
Magpie: Have we seen this brooch before? I scanned through Arwen’s daughter’s costume threads and Alley Cat Scratch, and searched Google and I don’t see it. That will be a marketable item, no doubt. I’m also intrigued by Elrond’s costume fabric. It seems heavier than past elven costumes have been — those look like silk to me but this looks sturdier. I think it’s either a deliberate attempt to give a somewhat different look to the character (likely to place him as being in a different time) or a result of having a different person in charge of costumes. I think it’s the former. See my following comment about Gandalf.
MrCere: How many great actors can you fit in a single frame? People think this cast is really good but it’s better than people realize.
Quickbeam: The elven master of lore and letters is about to school you in ancient dwarven calligraphy. Such a cosmic coincidence that Durin’s Day happened to fall on that exact night they were reading Thror’s map!
Sarumann: This is most likely Elrond explaining the secrets of the map to Thorin. I’ve always liked that, despite the deep prejudices elves have for dwarves, Elrond still takes time out of his day to help them.
Deej: Gandalf’s staff looks a bit different than it does in the LoTR films. This one seems to have more of a more polished, spiral shape to it.
Elessar: A chance to see Gandalf ready to go to battle. We didn’t get a chance to see Gandalf the Grey in ‘battle mode’ before but you get a sense of that in this picture.
Garfeimao: OK, Sir Ian really is Gandalf the Grey, no two ways about it. And here, he’s just saying ‘look at how my robes fly out when I spin, woohoo’.
Grammaboodawg: I love the action shot and subtle changes in his costume to differentiate his gear from LotR. His robe seems of thicker material and he has belt loops and his cuffs are less pronounced than in LotR.
Linuxelf: He looks great, maybe getting ready to go into battle?
Magpie: My first and overwhelming reaction: he looks just the same as in LoTR. There doesn’t seem to be any attempt at all to differentiate this method of dressing from that in LOTR. And the hat was shown in close-up in one of the video blogs and that seems, again, almost identical.
I guess there’s no ego involved in varying one’s mode of dress and this almost smacks of monks robes where the same fabric and pattern would be used across many years if not decades or longer. But the contrast between Gandalf’s and Elrond’s attire makes me think that the subtle shift in Elrond’s is meant to indicate a different point in time and not just a random re-design of a new costumer.
It’s interesting that the robes and hat don’t change but the staff does. I like the curling root end of this staff.
Someone on the message boards recently noticed (at least it was a new observation for many of us) that Gandalf’s staff in Moria has a G rune carved into it. I will enjoy getting better images of this staff to check out. The image of Gandalf in the Shire shows some light shining through the top, curly part. I wonder if he can stick a light crystal in this staff like he did in Moria.
MrCere: What we would we do without Sir Ian? Born to play Gandalf.
Sarumann: That may be one of the best images of Gandalf I’ve seen outside of a painting. Ready for action, with just the slightest hint of doubt in his face.
Deej: I went back to FoTR to look at Bilbo’s flashback scene and compare costumes. In the pictures I’ve seen so far, Bilbo has a red waistcoat, green vest, and sand-coloured trousers. In the scene from FoTR, Bilbo appears to be wearing a greenish-grey waistcoat, red vest, and brown trousers, similar to what he wears during the rest of the film.
Elessar: The young adventurer. I think you see here what becomes of Bilbo after this little journey and why he is considered ‘strange’ among the Hobbits of the Shire.
Garfeimao: These portrait type photos always strike me more as the actor getting ready to go, rather than a look at the character. So I see Martin Freeman getting ready to have a Hobbit-y adventure.
Grammaboodawg: He’s just neat and clean and full of Meriadoc-esque confidence!
Linuxelf: He looks confident with a twinkle in his eye. Maybe it’s after his return from his ‘adventure’ and he’s glad he went.
Magpie: There’s lichen on his walking stick. I think that’s cool. Contrast this with two other staves seen in this photo set. Bilbo’s looks like it was picked up off the ground for use as a walking stick, with the ends rounded either by hand or through long use (although one would have to flip ends regularly to get that sort of natural rounding).
Gandalf’s staff is organic in nature and the ends of every stave we’ve seen Gandalf the Grey carry looks very rooty. But this one looks like something nature wouldn’t form on its own. So… natural but yet somewhat preternatural (is that the correct use of that word?) The dwarven staff (forgive me, I do not know which Dwarf that is… I’ll work on it before the movie) is constructed with no traces of ‘nature’ or natural’ about it.
MrCere: Clearly some promotional work done by Freeman. I can’t help but admire the textures and fabrics and hair, prosthetics and makeup.
Sarumann: He looks so happy. Now I’m thinking: ‘poor Hobbit doesn’t know what he’s in for”.
Deej: Bad ass. 🙂
Elessar: A dwarf who’s ready to kick some butt is what this says to me. You get a sense of a dwarf with a chip on his shoulder ready to prove that he can lead, and also someone who wants what is supposed to be coming to him.
Garfeimao: Orcrist is stunning, a blade worthy of the King under the Mountain, to be sure. But I also love his fur-lined leather duster. Thorin is definitely regal looking.
Grammaboodawg: For some reason, this portrait of Thorin has him seeming a little less “in control” and a part of the dwarves instead of their rock-hard leader. He’s warrior-like and formidable, but I like this portrait better than the original posed shot.
Linuxelf: He looks like the confident leader that he is, and he looks like he knows how use that sword well!
MrCere: Is it possible people still don’t get that this movie is about three people moving the action? Gandalf, Bilbo and Thorin are the center of this film. Let me go on record again and say that Richard Armitage is going to be a gigantic star when these two movies are over.
Quickbeam: Thorin Oakenshield has graduated from using an oak branch to one of the finest weapons of old Gondolin. Imagine this sword might weigh and handle completely differently for a dwarf as opposed to the elf who forged it.
Sarumann: I’m still getting used to dwarves looking this cool. But, man does Richard Armitage own that role! He’s going to exemplify what it means to be a warrior dwarf. I also love the design of Orcrist, and will be hard pressed not to buy a replica once they become available.
Garfeimao: You can see a good close-up of Thorin’s ring, and the top of his dwarvish sword, so this image is taken before he receives Orcrist. And I just gotta say it, this is the epitome of hot dwarf, no two ways about that.
Linuxelf: Looks really determined, knows what he wants, reminds me of an old RoTK movie poster of Aragorn holding Anduril.
Magpie: I noticed how the angle of the sword hilt mirrored the angles of shapes on Thorin’s armor. I started thinking about how the basis for the dwarven design has always been angular — as opposed to the fluid, organic nature of elven designs. But this seemed to take angularity to a new dimension. It was almost crystalline, especially building layers of the sword hilt (think snowflake, which is also crystalline).
Crystalline is, of course, very appropriate to dwarves when associated with caves. There is a moment in LOTR, when Gimli and Legolas are each marveling at an aspect of Rohan. For Legolas, it is the great forest of Fangorn. For Gimli, it is the crystalline Glittering Caves of Aglarond. Each is demonstrating the basic nature of their race in their marvels. But they each, at that moment, acknowledge the marvels of the other and I feel it’s the moment when they understand each other and shed all final vestiges of rivalries of race. So I love this touch.
Compare and contrast the close up version of Thorin and his sword with the studio still of Thorin and Orcrist. First, as a number of people on the boards have noted, the Thorin with Orcrist is an older Thorin. He’s grayer and his face is more lined. Also, the elven sword’s sweeping, leaf-inspired, organic design is a sharp contrast to Thorin’s previous, angular, crystalline-inspired sword.
Elessar: Appears the two dwarves are hatching a plan or excited about what the plan being talked about might be. Poor Bilbo looks like he’s thinking what are these dwarves up to in my home.
Garfeimao: I love Bilbo’s colorful robe in the background, but I really love the close up of these two brothers. You can see scars on both of them, but they look like the discussion is a little lighter because Balin appears to be laughing. Poor Bilbo looks alarmed regardless.
Linuxelf: Bilbo looks worried about what he’s over hearing maybe his part as the ‘burglar’ and going on an adventure.
Magpie: I think this is the first patchwork design we’ve seen in Middle-earth. Patchwork can be done for purely aesthetic reasons, but it’s most often done (or was most often done) for practical reasons. One could use up fabric from other sewing projects or existing clothing not longer fully suitable for wearing. Traditionally, patchwork was done by women in the household — as opposed to merchants for sale to the public. Who made this bachelor’s bathrobe? Intriguing to consider.