Desolation of Smaug poster artwork A short clip from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug featuring Thranduil, Tauriel and Legolas screen this evening at the The MTV European Music Awards, introduced by Martin Freeman.

Our army of spies and crebain have alerted us to its existence, and a recording of it is already floating about around on the internet. The clip is, in fact, a significant part of one of the scenes screened at the worldwide Fan Event last week.

Since it contains some clear movie spoilers, and Peter Jackson asked us to give folks every opportunity to avoid spoilers, I’m going to throw in some spoiler space just to be safe.


Official TORn spoiler space
Official TORn spoiler space
Official TORn spoiler space
Official TORn spoiler space
Official TORn spoiler space

Last chance!

“Hello MTV!”

Martin Freeman: Hello MTV. I hope you’re enjoying the European Music Awards. I’m excited to share with you an exclusive look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Don’t miss it when it comes to theatres everywhere, beginning December 13th.

And now, here’s an exclusive look.

Legolas: You were tracking the Company of 13 dwarves. Why?
Tauriel: Answer the question, filth.
Orc (in an Orcish dialect): I do not answer to dogs, She-Elf!
Legolas: I would not antagonise her.
Tauriel: You like killing things, orc? You like death? Then let me give it to you.
Thranduil (in Sindarin): Enough! Tauriel, leave! Go now.

*Tauriel leaves*

Thranduil: I do not care about one dead dwarf. Answer the question. You have nothing to fear. Tell us what you know and I will set you free.
Legolas: You had orders to kill him. Why? What is Thorin Oakenshield to you?
Orc: The dwarf runt will never be king again.
Legolas: There is no King under the Mountain, nor will there ever be.
Thranduil: None would dare enter Erebor whilst the dragon lives.
Orc: You know nothing, your world will burn.
Legolas: What are you talking about? Speak!
Orc: Your time has come again. My master serves The One. Do you understand me, elfling? Death is upon you. The flames of war are upon you.

You can watch the clip in full below.

Or if that doesn’t work, go here. Now with added spoiler analysis below!

Some quick analysis

Now, this clip, when it was shown as part of the FanEvent was the second sequence shown of the five, coming directly before the barrels escape sequence was shown. Yet, the mention of “one dead dwarf” makes me wonder if, in the timeline of the film, it might come after. Let’s try this theory on for size…

The dwarves escape, but their escape is noticed by Azog’s orcs, who attack them. At the same time, the Wood-elves are trying to recapture them too, and trying to fight off the orcs. Kili receives a wound from an orc dart, and the elves presume him dead. They capture an orc, and bring him back for the interrogation that then occurs here in Thranduil’s oddly configured throne/podium/thing.

Flaws in this theory: to my mind, Thranduil’s “seal the borders, no-one goes in and no-one goes out” order that concludes this scene (not shown in the MTV footage above) makes more sense as a precursor to the barrels escape, as it gives motivation for the Wood-elves to try and attack the Company as they escape. Yes this is all very non-canon, of course — whichever flavour you choose. It is what it is.

The second thing of interest is the reference to The One.

As I wrote in our summary of the FanEvent footage, The One is, I guess, some intentionally obscure way to refer to the Necromancer (Sauron).

Sauron’s servants (apart from the Mouth of Sauron, seemingly) are not permitted to use his actual name. Thus they usually refer to him obliquely. In The Lord of the Rings, Grishnakh uses “The Great Eye”. “Lugburz” is another, although that is, strictly speaking, the name for Barad-dur itself. “High Ups” is another term employed.

Very close readers of Tolkien will also have realised that the name “Eru” (the ultimate creator of Middle-earth within the Legendarium) means in Quenya “The One”, or “He that is Alone”. Would Sauron take a perverse pleasure in ordering his servants to emulate this honorific address? And would an elf interpret such as a sort of sacrilege? Is that part of why Thranduil lops off his head without warning? (If so, he took a little while to feel offended about it)

The One, of course, might also refer to The One Ring. But that seems to defy logic. Even in movie!land, at this point The One Ring is held to be lost, even by Sauron. It’s not until Gandalf starts playing detective, and Sauron captures Gollum, that folks in Middle-earth twig to the fact that it’s still around and up for grabs.

Finally, “your world will burn”. In the Quest for Erebor (in Unfinished Tales and in a briefer version in Appendix A of Lord of the Rings), Gandalf speculates on the terrible consequences of Sauron making an alliance with Smaug. Perhaps this is Azog’s mission? Perhaps his task is to take the head of Thorin, present it to Smaug on behalf of the Necromancer, and forge an alliance. Smaug would indeed make a powerful ally of a Sauron who — at this point — is probably not as strong as he could be.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!