Well, the teaser trailer is here. and I think we can all agree that it was well worth the wait. Here are thirteen highlights from it that we totally love!

Bilbo thinks


Garfemaio: This may well be before the battle, he is considering what steps to take next.
Deej: Could this be Bilbo in Erebor, during the standoff between the dwarves and Bard?
Mithril: This looks like inside Erebor to me by the angular cut of the stone pillars. The white statue in the shaft of light in the background is a Dwarven statue. But what’s on the table? It looks like the remnants of a meal. Maybe the last meal before they go to battle? My first reaction was that it reminded me of a tomb, like Balin’s tomb in Moria.

Smaug strafes Lake-town


Garfeimao: I just think of Bofur’s line “Furnace with Wings”.
Deej: Just a taste of the destruction we’ll see from Smaug
Mithril: Lake-town is toast. Literally. Of “all those who did not [survive]”, how many were Lake-town residents? I wonder if all Bard’s kids make it out alive.

The Lake-town refugee camp


Garfeimao: I bet this happens just before the famous photo of Legolas with Bard.
Deej: For the elves, the death and destruction they’ve just witnessed has to be hard to comprehend.
Mithril: So we know Legolas and Tauriel are reunited at least for a time. We see the smoking ruin of Lake-town in the background knowing it is uninhabited now.

Galadriel rescues Gandalf


Deej: Galadriel rescuing Gandalf from Dol Guldur?
Ainu laire: It reminds me of Aragorn and Arwen in TTT after the Warg rider battle, and I wonder if we’ll see Gandalf awakening after that. One also wonders if poor Celeborn will be involved at all, too.
Garfeimao: Very tender, and gives depth to the sorrow of the Elves when Gandalf falls in Moria 60 years later. BTW, can’t wait to see what that shawl material really is.
Mithril: Emotion-filled. Scary to see Gandalf like that. Will Galadriel’s kiss be what wakes him? For we know for sure he makes it.

Dwarves march forth, dressed for battle


Deej: Dwarves in armor = bad-ass
Garfeimao: One thing we don’t know is how the Lake-town four reunite with the Erebor. Even Bombur and Ori are kitted out. Bilbo is still with them, so this must be before his deception with the Arkenstone is discovered.
Demosthenes: surely to the tune of War Pigs. And I want a Warmoose redux!
Mithril: Bilbo looking on, not dressed for battle. Or wait! I think he is wearing the Mithril vest! You can see where the short sleeves end, it has a silver sheen, and the edge of it looks metallic. Bofur still has his hat on, not yet a helmet. If you catch this scene a moment earlier, you can see Thorin to the right of Kili.

Bard meets the elves of Mirkwood


Deej: Bard looks a bit surprised (and overwhelmed) by the Mirkwood army.
Garfeimao: He definitely looks overwhelmed by their precision and full force.
Mithril: Just before this, you can see the Elven army parting for Bard to walk through. Is he in command? Great armor. Flashy Even their bows match the gold.

Balin, Dwalin and Fili ride the war chariot to Dale


Garfeimao: Clearly Dwarf-made iron chariots don’t take well to ice driving.
Mithril: So, where is this frozen lake? Is that the ruin of Dale in the background? Long Lake where Lake-town sits is not frozen. Is Dale elevated enough that a lake near it would be frozen solid? There is snow in the mountains, but still.

Thorin will have war


Ainu Laire: I just cannot help but marvel at the fantastic work of Weta with the design of Thorin’s helm. It’s very different from Gimli’s but still carries a clearly Dwarvish design.
Deej: “I will have war!”; Thorin decending a little deeper into madness.
Garfeimao: Thorin’s helm — is that Thror’s helm?
Mithril: Kili looks really shaken with what Thorin has just declared. Thorin’s helm is amazing. The part that is against his forehead has the same zig-zag pattern as Thror’s beard chain. Wait! It is the same helm that Thror wore. It is the crown! Thorin is wearing the crown!

Thranduil fights in Dale


Deej: If Legolas learned to fight from his father, then I imagine we’ll see some gravity-defying moves from Thranduil.
Garfeimao: He is definitely a whirling dervish in this sequence.
Mithril: My first reaction was why is he fighting alone? Usually a king would have a a contingent protecting him. Notice the Orc/Goblin has a helmet.

Bard rides a cart


Ainu laire: Note that he also has a sword on him. I don’t think the figure in the front of the screencap is an Orc, though it’s definitely difficult to see.
Mithril: The figures in front of him are men. They are trying to get out of the way. They duck down, and the cart goes over them. The cart is out-of-control.

The clan of Dain arrive on war-goats


Deej: More war rams; animals in Middle-earth are put through a lot, aren’t they?
Ainu laire: It makes me wonder if any of the designers play LOTR Online. They’ve had goat mounts since 2008 for Moria.
Garfeimao: Rams are perfect, they can run into anything and not be hurt by the collision. Gives the Dwarves mobility and that battering ram feel as they plow down all in front of them.
Mithril: The clan of Dain arrive on war-goats War rams with armor! Ha! The Dwarves are carrying spears, not axes, although they probably have axes, too.

“Will you follow me, one last time?”


Deej: Fantastic shot of the dwarves; reminds me of that classic shot of the Fellowship at the Council of Elrond
Mithril: Deej, great comment. It is reminiscent of the Council of Elrond. Is Thorin addressing them with his final pre-battle speech?

And lastly, the MUSIC!

Mithril: Brilliant! I wish I’d been there the moment someone suggested, “What if we use the song Pippin sang for Denethor?”
Demosthenes: I always thought the music (the dwarves singing) truly made the first trailer for An Unexpected Journey soar. Here, we have the same effect — Billy Boyd’s voice creates the perfect emotional resonance for the final film.

BOOTNOTE: this isn’t our frame-by-frame analysis. That will come in a day or so — it takes a bit of time to marshall our thoughts!