This story is sponsored by Deep Into the Heart of the Rose - Now Available on Amazon Kindle!On June 12th Warner Brothers released the first official trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It can be viewed in its entirety at

Staff here at have now – a week later – watched the trailer again and again… and again… We’ve also been poring over large screencaps, with a magnifying glass, to spot any tiny details which just might give us some further insight into what we will see when the movie comes out at the end of this year. Check out what we spotted, below!

The following screen caps and commentary are not confirmed and are only speculation by the staff at We plan on providing additional updates and insights as staff chime in – so keep this page bookmarked!

If you would like to easily browse all high res imagery of the trailer, check out page 11.

We’d like to thank G.T. Denny, author of ‘Deep into the Heart of a Rose,’ for sponsoring this effort!

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! And Click the images to see larger versions


Calisuri – Stunning shot of the Lonely Mountain!

greendragon – Beautiful, majestic – love it. Also, this looks like the boat we saw in the ‘sneak preview’ last April, when Martin Freeman kept saying his line about ‘never venture East!’

Elessar – The Lonely Mountain looks stunning. A truly beautiful view.

MrCere – Isn’t this the logo for film studio Paramount Pictures?

Earl – The Mountain seems really majestic… enough to take one’s breath away.

Kelvarhin – Just a beautiful shot of the mountain… wouldn’t mind that on a poster 🙂

Garfeimao – Wait, this isn’t a Paramount film, just waiting for the Stars to stream across the lake and circle the mountain. And actually, this is kinda pretty, but they are taking a boat to the Lonely Mountain, rather than ponies around the lake, so one big change right off the bat from the beginning.

ImladrisRose – Cue Paramount studio music… Honestly, looks like the exact same mountain!

deej – Gorgeous – reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting

grammaboodawg – The colours, texture, and stunning look of the Lonely Mountain is so intense! To have the scale of the Company in the boat as it approaches puts Long Lake and the Mountain in great perspective.


Calisuri – Love the stairway – I just feel bad for Dori as he’s gonna have quite a time scaling that next step. Its a doozy! (bottom zig-zag stairs)

greendragon – This is brilliant. OK, a bit ‘Argonath–ish’ – but in a good way. Very dramatic. I’m assuming this is how the dwarves climb the side of the mountain to reach the hidden doorway… Who’s that who looks like he’s been left behind – is that Dwalin down in the bottom right of centre?

Elessar – Looking for the hidden door. I was curious how they would put this in the movie and I love that they have to walk up a really cool stairway within those great looking Dwarven statues.

Saystine – i love this idea that they have to climb the statues to get to the door, rather than just climb the mountain.

MrCere – As GD said above, it evokes the Argonath. Perhaps Gimli had never seen these or he might not have been quite so in awe as he was from his boat in FOTR. I like to think Dwarves, rock hewers that they are, either made those film Argonath or taught the world of men how. Clearly the same process at work in Middle-earth.

Magpie – I love how the ‘pixilated’ square-based Dwarf designs are worked into a staircase. (cropped image here). The scale of this shot when it came on screen was stunning.

Earl – We get to see another glimpse of the Dwarves’ craftsmanship at the height of their power – a towering statue carved into the mountainside, with a stairway zigzagging across it. The beard reminds me of Thror’s rather magnificent beard we see in AUJ.

Kelvarhin – Love the way the hidden steps have been worked into the Dwarven statue, they’re basically right there out in the open, but made to look like they’re just part of the design. As Earl says a great nod to Dwarven craftsmanship.

Garfeimao – Very cool sense of scale with the characters climbing up the axe of the Dwarf statue outside Erebor. I can’t wait to see this statue up close.

ImladrisRose – Like the Argonath, but IMHO even cooler than the sandal clad kings of old. Love how they showcase the scale in this shot!

deej – Agree with the others regarding the comparisons to the Argonaths. The level of detail in this shot alone is impressive.

grammaboodawg – That looks like the Company is walking up that sculpture towards a hidden door! What a fascinating possibility! Again… a great reference to scale!


greendragon – another beautiful, stunning shot. These are the moments I love in PJ’s films – such great artistry.

Elessar – Dale looks torn all to pieces, which is so much different than how we see it basically in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I can’t wait to see more detail if we get inside Dale. It looked so beautiful in the first movie and its sad I think to see it so torn up. Its going to add a real emotional impact to that scene.

MrCere – There it is, the geographic location of the titular Desolation of Smaug.

Calisuri – Check out the caved in dome! Pretty sweet.

Earl – This looks a lot like the city of Leh up in the Indian Himalayas ( I love how sad the ruined city looks… just as described in the book where Bilbo couldn’t bear the sorry sight of it.

Kelvarhin – another lovely scenic shot, but personally I always envisaged Dale as being more ruinous, it just seems too “intact” to me, but maybe that’s just the distance.

ImladrisRose – Stunning cinematography, as usual. The use of blue color grading to emphasise the mood of what is being seen by the company is superb. Blue = sadness.

Garfeimao – The ruins of Dale don’t look half bad covered in snow. I imagine it gets much sadder looking once inside.

deej – Beautiful shot of Dale. I can’t wait to see the city in more detail.

grammaboodawg – Wow… devastated Dale looks like the first image we saw of the Mountain. The colour, the rough and crumbled look of it yet still holds the strong bones or foundation it was built upon. So sad.


greendragon – the dwarves – not surprisingly – look like they have their hands bound in this shot. That’s a LOT of elven guards! Check out the red hair at the front of the line – looks like Tauriel and Legolas leading the group. Thranduil’s realm looks more like Lothlorien that I would have expected – it’s more open and airy than I imagined. Yet the pillars in this shot remind me of Dwarrowdelf, which does suggest being underground. You can see Alan Lee and John Howe’s influence in this shot – gorgeous.

Elessar – Mirkwood looks great! I will say that moment does have a bit of the same feel you get when the Fellowship is shown going through Lothlorien. However, it looks beautiful. I love that it is bright and beautiful with this still being Greenwood the Great compared to the darker parts of the Mirkwood.

Saystine – this must be inside the elven realm. It seems underground, but still very airy. I am very excited to see more of this!

MrCere – I am slightly bothered that this is a distinct and intentional echo of the LOTR trilogy. Obviously intentional, these stuck out to me a lot in Hobbit #1. I hoped we were over them.

Earl – I can’t imagine how this team comes up with such distinctively wonderful designs for every single culture. And is that Thranduil’s throne at the very top?

Kelvarhin – Thranduils halls! Really glad that they seem to have kept in the design that they’re supposed to emulate, but not quite reach, the grandeur of Thingol’s halls. Not sure why there’s a waterfall in there though.

ImladrisRose – LOVE seeing Mirkwood!! The detail on the bridge reminds me of Rivendell architecture, but the deeper into the shot you look, it looks more like Lothlorien. Beautiful blending of two gorgeous environments, however I can’t wait to hopefully see unique elements that make up the darker environment that is Mirkwood.

Garfeimao – The Mirkwood Elven realm seems to be a cross between Moria and Lothlorien, with a mix of Stonework and Woodwork, love how the bridge they are walking on is made of stone with tree roots either carved or actual ones worked in. The other bridge off to the right is from a tree root, unadorned.

deej – This shot is at once distinctly Elvish and also different from anything else we’ve seen in the LotR or first Hobbit films.

grammaboodawg – Amazing!! This is a thousand times grander and beautiful than anything I ever imagined! Wow! Again, great reference to scale as we see as many as 2 Elves to each Dwarf. And there’s the River running below! Are those barrels I see riding down the rapids? Those pillars have elements of both Rivendell and Lothlorien.


greendragon – is that a lone figure on the staircase, at right? If so, who is it?

Magpie – the structure toward the top right intrigues me. It looks a bit like a throne but I’ve found other images of a throne that seems to use or be modeled after the antlers of the elk-like animal Thranduil rides in AUJ. The structure reminds me of Thranduil’s crown. (comparison image here)

Calisuri – Yea, the guy on the right is oblivious to the company of dwarves being marched in.

ImladrisRose – I’m looking for Galadriel’s swan boat.

Garfeimao – This hall has a ‘Grotto’ feel to it, with the streams running through and the ferns growing, and bits of sunlight streaming through the darker parts of the cavern.

deej – Love the little details in this shot, like the beams of sunlight coming through.

grammaboodawg – OK! Comparing this shot with the previous one, I really think I can make out barrels and now very small figures standing in and by the water above them higher up the River where the barrels would have come from!


MrCere – How good is Lee Pace? How good was casting? How great is this costume design? Better than anything we see in this trailer, including lots of things I like, including my initial dragon responses.

Calisuri – Check out that crown concept. Absolutely love the costume design on Thranduil. And could Lee Pace be any more suited to play this role?

ImladrisRose – The crown is incredible. Lee Pace, I don’t think anyone is more suited to play Thranduil. This shot is stunning. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of a shot of Brad Dourif in Two Towers that I loved. Would also like to add, the color palette for Mirkwood is so warm and fall like, love the irony.

Garfeimao – I like that they changed the crown to Wood and dried pine boughs rather than the more metallic images we got last year as our first image of Thranduil. Great profile.

deej – I’m sure costumers are studying shots like this intently; prepare to see a few Thranduils at conventions for the next few years.

grammaboodawg – Thranduil! He exudes strength, poise, mystery, and is as tense as a bowstring pulled back to the cheek. Stunning!


greendragon – ‘The quest to reclaim a homeland…’ line sounds a little too much like ‘Frodo begins to understand… the quest will claim his life…’ I somehow feel like this is trying too hard to echo the LotR movies; and maybe it’s just because I know those films so well, but I can’t help feeling like the actors here are doing impersonations of the elves from those films! ‘Let’s all …. speak slowly… like an .. elf…’ :/

Elessar – Thranduil looks pretty cool. Still not sure I dig the crown but I think I can warm to it.

MrCere – I read greendragon’s comments here after making a similar comment above. It is nice to know I am not alone in my feelings about trilogy similarities.

ImladrisRose – His eyes are very blue. I also noticed that Orlando’s eyes were strikingly bluer than in LOTR. I don’t know if this is a color grading choice or if PJ had the actors wear the bluest of blue contacts, but for me, it’s very distracting because they are almost too blue. It seems unnatural to me. Oh, but that crown!!!

Garfeimao – Legolas thrilled the fangirls 12 years ago, now we finally get to see where he get’s it from. I’m just going to say it here, Hubba Hubba.

deej – Lee Pace seems to have captured just the right amount of haughtiness and beauty needed for an Elf.

grammaboodawg – Powerful and immovable. Nothing is going to change this guy’s mind.


Elessar – Thorin looks like a Dwarf put through the ringer and none too happy about it.

Saystine – I love this shot of Thorin. Richard is right. He looks best when he is kind of scruffy and dirty! 🙂

MrCere – He seems to have shredded lint stuck to him – or spider web strands. This is the go-to Thorin hero shot it seems.

Kelvarhin – Sort of echoing MrCere, but can’t help thinking “It’s gonna take him hours to get that stuff out of his fur coat”. Maybe that’s the real reason he brought his nephews along, “Boys! Clean my stuff!” Apart from that, the fangirls are gonna love that photo.

ImladrisRose – Here we have Thorin, taking hair styling advice from Radagast…

Garfeimao – Caption this: ‘I’ve got spider web remnants all over me and you want to chat about whether or not I have the right to reclaim my homeland? I don’t think so!’

deej – If I were Thorin, and had just gone through what he and his friends had, I wouldn’t be too thrilled with taking any crap from the elves, either.

grammaboodawg – You don’t often see Thorin like this. Most of his gazes have that low brow, eyes drawn up appearance… but here he shows apprehension or even fear. He’s wearing the events he’s endured. The spiderwebs, dirty, lost, and captured by the very Elf he feels betrayed them in the dragon attack. That’s cruel-hard on this very proud Dwarf.


Saystine – the barrel escape is going to be epic!!!

MrCere – This evokes for me the need to suspend my disbelief as the Goblin section did in Hobbit 1.

Calisuri – At first I thought it was Bilbo that was rolling out first…which as we know would be very very wrong. hah. The beard seems to imply that is Kili first?

Kelvarhin – how on earth did he not brain himself on those rocks!

ImladrisRose – I agree, I think it’s Kili. I hope that in the final version these kinds of shots are easier to visually process.

Garfeimao – Everyone sing – ‘Roll out the Barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun.’

deej – You’ve heard of the Barrel of Monkeys game? Get ready for Barrel of Dwarves!

grammaboodawg – Here they come! I hope they don’t crack their heads on those rocks! I can see the trap door pulled up against the ceiling above the opening. There wood on the sides of that opening, too. What is that line of what looks like plates on a shelf to the left and on the side of the wall from where the barrels are?


greendragon – I think I’d have felt happier with a lid on my barrel, if I were going to drop from that height!!

ImladrisRose – Splash, crash, oww…

Garfeimao – The question here is: ‘Why No Lids?’ That just seems so very impractical, while swamping seems much more likely to happen. BTW, with no lids on the barrels, they have to float downriver upright, which begs another question ‘what barrel does Bilbo scramble on top of and how if they are open?’

deej – A barrel lid would definitely have been a good idea.

grammaboodawg – No! Those are crashing one on top of the other. Bam! Crack! There’s no getting out of the way! Pushed down and pinned in the water! Yoikes!