During the event, fans were treated to costume displays, live Q&As, a preview of the end credit music video, and most importantly, 20 minutes of nearly complete, previously unseen footage. As stated in previous posts, this means movie spoilers are coming, so feel free to stop reading now if you wish to spend the next four weeks without knowing what’s to come.
1) Howard Shore’s heroic return to form. The scenes were not full length sequences, so the music was not full length, but there was definitely some really great sounding epicness to be heard during the Live Event sneak peek.
Last chance, spoilers really are coming from here on out.
2) Bilbo’s joy at breathing in the fresh air and seeing the butterflies. Just the first of what will be many times that Martin Freeman just exudes the very essence of being ‘Bilbo’.
3) The spiders of Mirkwood speak, (although we don’t hear them at first). It is not until Bilbo puts on his Ring that we hear their discussion. Disturbing, to say the least. Talk of hunger, biting, stinging, tasting, and feasts. Bilbo is horrified and he knows it is up to him to help the dwarves at this point.
4) Bilbo’s little ‘letter-opener’ earns the name Sting in a very satisfying way. We did not see any more of the spider sequence, but based on his fight and from what has been seen in trailers, this whole sequence promises to be a real humdinger.
5) No, we do not get to see Legolas drunk, but, yes, the famous drunken Wood-elves scene seems to be intact. Elves are not infallible, or incapable of having fun, and that is an encouraging thought.
6) Bilbo the Adorkable hero. Let’s play musical barrels. Who do you think losses? Martin Freeman is brilliant, always brilliant, and this moment is a perfect example. Bilbo gets the dwarves to the Wood-elves’ cellars and tells them to get in the barrels and they balk. Exasperated, Bilbo asks for trust. Thorin grunts: ‘Do as he says’, and quick-march they all clamber into the barrels. Bilbo releases the handle and the floor drops out, and the barrels roll away into the river.
Then, the floor locks back into place and, oops!, Bilbo realises he needs a way out himself. So he’s searching all about trying to find the non-existent empty barrel for himself, he hears Elves coming, can’t figure out where to hide. So he steps onto the ramp, and in a Keatonesque piece of physical comedy, spends long moments stamping the floor until he finds the right spot. It slowly upends and a deadpanning, stoic-faced Bilbo slides ever-so-slowly backward down the ramp into the river, where it appears Thorin was actually waiting for him. Then off they all go on the wildest river ride we are likely to see for a long time. Yup, that’s Bilbo hanging onto Kili’s barrel for dear life.
7) Thorin trusts Bilbo. After rejoining the Company from under the Misty Mountains, running to his rescue during the fight with Azog, fighting off spiders larger than himself and killing at least one, getting the dwarves free so they could assist in the fight against the spider colony, turning up at the Elven prison cells with the key and a plan, at this point in the film Thorin trusts Bilbo just as Gandalf said he would.
8) Bard sneaking the company into Lake-town. We did not see how the barrels and dwarves got into the boat or how the agreement was reached to sneak them into Lake-town, just a few moments of them all sailing across the lake. The dwarves don’t trust Bard, he’s doesn’t seem to care but apparently they’ve agreed to pay him to smuggle them into Lake-town. Bard never really gives them too much detail about he plans to accomplish this task, which is probably for the best, it turns out to be rather smelly, and fishy.