On December 20th 2011 at approximately 10pm ET/7pm PT, Warner Brothers released the first official trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. What followed was a world of fans exploding in joy. We here at TheOneRing.net were equally giddy and now, after some time digesting, we offer our complete and detailed frame-by-frame look at the trailer.

Find the trailer online at Apple.com and TheHobbit.com.

The following screen caps and commentary are not confirmed and only speculation by the staff at TheOneRing.net.

And a special note: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! And Click the images to see larger versions

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey - Click for Larger Version

“My dear Frodo. You asked me once if I had told you
everything there was to know about my adventures. “

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins is greeted by Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins

Random note: A welcome shot for fans of the original film trilogy. Nothing like seeing Eljiah and Ian back on a Hobbit set!

Calisuri: Is it me, or do Hobbit feet look a lot bigger this time around?

Demosthenes: No admittance — except on party business! This is part of the flashback scene that we’ve heard about as the link point between the events of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. If Frodo isn’t off to find Gandalf, I’ll eat my hat.

Earl: That’s definitely not Ian Holm standing on the porch. It seems to me this is Martin Freeman… I have a feeling that over the course of the films we’ll get to see a “morph” of Martin Freeman’s young Bilbo into Ian Holm’s old Bilbo.

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“While I can honestly say I have told you the truth …”

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in Bag End

DemosthenesIt sounds almost as if Bilbo is reading from a letter. Perhaps it’s even the letter he left for Frodo with the One Ring.

MrCere: I find this trailer full of echos of the LOTR trilogy.  I doubt it is accidental, but perhaps it is a result of the style of the filmmaker.  They are subtle but they are evident in shots like this.

Quickbeam: Similar shot from FOTR where Bilbo writes what will become the Red Book of Westmarch, except this nighttime shot helps us realize the character is there all day and all night working!

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” … I may not have told you all of it.”

Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins

Demosthenes: The older Bilbo (Holm) looks troubled that he has in part deceived Frodo about his youthful adventures.

MrCere: I think it is a wise move to have Ian Holm on screen to help viewers make the transition from one actor to another.  Rather than shy away from it, it has been embraced and at least for this trailer, it works very well.


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Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Calisuri: Since the Hobbit rumors began, fan consensus has been that Martin would make an amazing Bilbo. Proof is in the pudding. Love it

DemosthenesBilbo outside Bag End blowing smoke rings. Is that a hint of a smoke ring? Anyway, we are sure the Chief Medical Officer (Surgeon General, if you prefer) does not approve.

maegwen:  Bilbo meets Gandalf, “Good morning!” “Good morning!” I am very pleased with Martin Freeman’s Bilbo. Freeman is such a distinctive actor, I wondered how well he could lose himself in Bilbo’s “skin” and I think — from what we’ve seen — he’s surpassed expectations. Great actor, great Bilbo.

Quickbeam: Professor Tolkien tells us that hobbits have a penchant for wearing bright colors, “chiefly green and yellow.”

Tehanu: Notice all the hobbit fabrics have a leaf/flower/vegetation motif. I like that detail – it reflects the hobbits’ nature-loving nature.


The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey - Click for Larger Version

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure”

Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey

Click for Larger VersionRandom note: Gandalf’s staff changes in shape throughout the LOTR films. In the Hobbit trailer it appears more furled than later in the trilogy. See image to the right.

Calisuri: He doesn’t look a day older than FOTR to me!

Demosthenes: Gandalf’s about to make Bilbo an offer he cannot refuse — something likely to make Bilbo late for many dinners.

Quickbeam: The difference in Gandalf’s staff seems to suggest a tree, or flowering plant, that is actually ALIVE — steadily opening up over the years. Since this earlier staff is more closed, his later FOTR staff seems to have “grown” or “botanically advanced.”

* Screencaps of Gandalf’s staves courtesy of TORn staffer, Magpie