Courtesy of Ringer narflet on the TORn messageboards, here is a cool summary of all the plot hints and twists that are revealed in the movie tie-in book The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Annual 2014.

Fair warning, these ARE plot spoilers. Keep away if you prefer surprises!

What do you make of it all? And if you like what you see, remember you can order your copy of the book from Amazon.

Tauriel in The Desolation of Smaug Annual 2014.

At Beorn’s hall by Mirkwood

– The company is chased to Beorn’s house by Beorn himself (Beorn doesn’t like dwarves, but when he discovers they’re running from Azog he helps them instead).
– ‘Beorn is the last shape-shifter in the whole of Middle-earth. Most of his kind were killed by Azog, so when Beorn finds out that The Company are fleeing from Azog, he agrees to help them.’
– Beorn tells Gandalf that the rumours of ‘a great evil’ in Dol Guldur are true, which is what makes Gandalf decide to go there himself and leave Thorin & Company to face Mirkwood alone.

At the Halls of the Elven-king

– Thranduil has ordered that his elves are not to leave the forest, and they’re not to have anything to do with any other race (especially the dwarves).
– When Thorin & co are captured, Thranduil guesses they’re going to the Lonely Mountain and will release the dwarves to go on their way, for a promise of a cut of the gold. But Thorin refuses, so he imprisons them.
– Legolas isn’t as set in his ways as his Dad.
– Tauriel is at odds with Thranduil and doesn’t understand, or agree with, his segregation. She’s ‘very headstrong’ and ‘doesn’t always follow orders’.
– Tauriel is ‘quite unlike other Elves’ and it’s hinted that she quite likes the dwarves (or is, at least, intrigued by them).
– The wood elves give chase through the forest when the dwarves escape in barrels, but don’t follow them out of the forest.
– Except for Tauriel, who does follow then to Lake-town (defying Thranduil) and Legolas who decides to follow Tauriel (because he’s ‘very protective of her’).
– Bilbo may get separated at some point in the escape.

Some events at Laketown

– Bard discovers the dwarves as they wash up in their barrels (because he’s a ‘great hunter and often spends his time in the hills around the river leading from Mirkwood into the Long Lake’), and eventually decides to trust them and take them to Lake-town.
– Bard has three children: Bain, Sigrid and Tilda (which explains the ‘injured girl’ in the piece above and is possibly part of his motivation for helping the dwarves?)

Developments at Dol Guldur

– Gandalf may do some of the following in Dol Guldur: unlock a gate; see things that aren’t really there/things appear other than they are; cast a spell making it look like there’s more than one of him; cast a protection spell; have to work out where to walk as there are trick stones that lead to traps.
– Lastly, there’s a suggestion that Smaug is also looking for the Arkenstone.

You can also see six dramatic new images from the Annual HERE and a stunner of Beorn in his angry bear-form HERE.

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