Gandalf How will The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug unfold. It’s the big question. How do all the threads fits together? What’s being changed? What’s being added that was never in Tolkien’s text of The Hobbit?

Here, Ringer Captain Salt from the TORn messageboards attempts to put string together all the teasing hints that we’ve seen make their way onto the internet over the past 12-18 months.

Needless to say, this really is SPOILER country. If you don’t even want to know what the plot might be, don’t go here!

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An attempt to decipher The Desolation of Smaug plot

A guest feature by Ringer Captain Salt

The Prologue

Will we make an unexpected return to Bree at the start of The Desolation of Smaug?
Will we make an unexpected return to Bree at the start of DOS?
We know that PJ has said the film opens somewhere “familiar but unexpected”. We also know that a scene was apparently shot at the Inn of the Prancing Pony during the past summer’s reshoots (perhaps a flashback with Gandalf and Thorin planning the Quest for Erebor), and that there will be more material concerning Thrain, who will be played in an expanded role by Sir Antony Sher and who will be present in a revisitation of the Battle of Moria; both seem like potential prologue material — or, they may be present somewhere else in the film.

Act One

Most likely will open with Thorin & Co. heading for Beorn’s house, probably with Azog (or the threat of Azog) still hot on their heels. Perhaps we might have an exchange between Bilbo and Gandy here, as reported from Cinema-Con 2012:

Gandalf: You’re not the same Hobbit who set out from the Shire…what did you find down there, in the Goblin tunnels?
Bilbo (pausing, fingering the Ring): My courage.
Gandalf: Good…you’re going to need it.

Thorin & Co. arrive at Beorn’s house, apparently enraging Beorn who attacks the Company as they try to keep him out of his house. Mikeal Persbrandt has mentioned being strapped to the ceiling for a “difficult torture scene”; his Bridge Direct action figure mentions that he is “the last of his kind”; and the (possible) bear paws used a Bolg’s shoulder pauldrons have led to speculation that there may be a subplot where Bolg or the Necromancer’s minions have a personal animosity with Beorn (perhaps we might have a flashback.

Or Beorn will be introduced to the audience prior to the Company a-la the Rohirrim in TTT). There will also apparently be a scene where Beorn questions/slays at least one Orc himself.

How will the company meet Beorn?

Thorin & Co. will enter Mirkwood, while Gandy will leave them to investigate the growing shadow of the Necromancer; he seems to be departing with some urgency in the bit of this scene from one of the vlogs:

Gandalf: Give me a horse!
Ori: Why, where are you going?!
Gandalf: In search of answers!

Perhaps information given to Gandy by Beorn will spark his side-quest, but for whatever reason, he evidently will leave the Company in a flurry here. Bilbo and the Dwarves enter Mirkwood where many of the events from the novel are (or at one point were) included, such as: Bombur falling into the enchanted stream and being carried by the other dwarves; Thorin’s stag; and Bilbo’s tree/the butterflies (some of this may end up in the EE, or in my opinion, it’s likely to play-out as a rather brief montage).

Somewhere along here, Ori may find a pouch witch will elicit an alarmed (or excited?) response from Dori.

Meanwhile, Gandy investigates the King’s Tomb (crypts of the Nazgul) along with Radagast, only to find that they are empty. There was mention of Gandalf and Elrond scouting out Dol Guldur, but this seems to have been replaced with Raddy as Gandy’s sidekick.

Bilbo and the Dwarves will encounter the spiders; the dwarves will be “webbed” by the spiders, but will apparently be given chase by the beasts before they’re captured – Bilbo evidently escapes and has a confrontation with the spiders here, where Sting will most likely be named. The Wood-elves including Legolas and Tauriel are involved in fighting off the spiders in the film. The dwarves are captured, and Thorin will have a rather tense encounter with Thranduil (Thrandy: It has been a long time since Thorin Oakenshield ventured north…for what purpose?) after which the Dwarves are imprisoned.

Thranduil and Thorin will not get on.

A subplot will involve Tauriel, a young Silvan elf who is a Captain of the Elvenking’s guard and who feels strongly about intervention in the “rise of evil” (potentially a response to the growing power of the Necromancer) while Legolas, apparently taking a cue from his father, is initially isolationist. There is rumored to be a romantic subplot involving Tauriel as well; supposedly Kili will become attracted to her (though for all we know, this is one-sided and a Gimli/Galadriel type-thing); there are pursistant rumors of a Legolas/Tauriel romance; and (IMO most intriguingly) rumors that Tauriel will have an unrequited thing for Thranduil.

Craig Hall has been cast as Galion, the King’s butler, while Eli Kent is playing an Elf named “Lethuin”. (?!?) Robin Kerr also plays an Elf named “Elros” (probably of Rivendell), but obviously we don’t know how he fits into the film.

At one or more point(s), the Elves will battle ranks or Orcs — either on the parapets of the Woodland Realm, on Dol Guldur, somewhere along the River Running, or some combination of these options. At least one Orc will be captured and interrogated by the Elves.

Legolas: There was more the Orc could have told us.
Thranduil: There was NOT more he could have told me!

Azog and his hunters will continue to track Thorin’s Company into DoS; presumbably, Fimbul — who was originally intended to be Azog’s lieutenant, and who appears on the DoS Annual — probably plays a larger role reminiscent of Yazneg in the first film. Ben Mitchell also plays “Narzug” who it doesn’t seem was in AUJ. Conan Stevens as Bolg will also have a part to play amongst the Orcs, probably not only in relation to Azog but in the Necromancer story as well.

Azog will stalk the dwarves across Mirkwood.

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