The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second part of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy and it is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, although some elements are taken from the story and The Apprendices of The Lord of the Rings. It was released on 13 December 2013 in North America. It was preceded by An Unexpected Journey in 2012 and followed by The Battle of the Five Armies in 2014.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company continues East, encountering along the way the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all — a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself — the Dragon Smaug.
Plot[edit | edit source]
At the Prancing Pony Inn in Bree, Gandalf the Grey warns Thorin Oakenshield that someone is trying to have him killed. He persuades Thorin to obtain the Arkenstone to unite the Dwarves, and suggests that a stealthy burglar may be needed to steal the jewel back from Smaug.
Twelve months later, Thorin and his Company are being pursued by Azog and his Orc party down the Carrock following the events of the previous film. After Bilbo informs the group that a bear is also tracking them, Gandalf ushers them along to the home of a skin-changer. Upon their arrival, they are attacked by the same bear; Gandalf reveals that it is the home of Beorn and that he may be able to aid them in their journey. That night, Azog is summoned to Dol Guldur by the Necromancer, and instructs his son Bolg to take over the hunt for Thorin. The next day, Beorn loans his horses to the company so they can reach Mirkwood and hinder the pursuing Orcs. Upon arrival at the forest border, Gandalf discovers Black Speech graffiti imprinted on an old ruin, coinciding with a telepathic message from Galadriel imploring him to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl (at an unnamed location). Without giving any reason for his sudden departure, Gandalf advises the Company to follow the Elven path though Mirkwood, and to wait for him before entering the Lonely Mountain. But upon losing their way in the forest, the Dwarves are captured by giant spiders. Bilbo, with the help of his new Ring, manages to free them from the webs and names his sword Sting. However, while fighting the attacking spiders, Bilbo drops the Ring, and he begins to learn of the corruption it has on him after brutally killing a crab-like spider to retrieve it.
The Dwarves are captured by the Wood-elves, including Legolas and Tauriel, a captain of the guard. They are to the Elven-king Thranduil's kingdom, and are locked up. During their captivity, a romantic subplot develops between Tauriel and Kíli. While the others are imprisoned, Thorin is given audience with Thranduil, but he refuses Thranduil's aid and is imprisoned as well. Under the cloak of the Ring, Bilbo helps the Dwarves to escape by using empty wine barrels, which are sent floating down the river. Along the way, they are ambushed by Bolg and his Orc party, while the Elves pursue the Dwarves to cease their escape. In the ensuing chaos, Kíli is wounded by a Morgul arrow. Legolas and Tauriel are forced to halt their pursuit of the Dwarves in order to end the Orc onslaught. One captive is imprisoned and questioned by Thranduil. When Thranduil learns that "The One" has returned, he decides to seal off his kingdom to protect it from the impending evil. However, Tauriel leaves to save Kíli, whom she learns has been poisoned by Bolg's arrow, and Legolas accompanies her.
Subsequently, the Company meets a man named Bard, and they bribe him to smuggle them into Lake-town, where the descendants of Dale made their home, and where the Master of the town rules with an iron fist. The group attempts to steal weapons before being captured and in the process learn that Bard is a descendant of Dale's ruler, Girion, who died attempting to kill Smaug with Black Arrows. After Thorin convinces the townfolk and Master that they will share the riches of the recaptured Mountain, the adventurers receive a grand send-off the next morning. The injured Kíli is ordered to stay behind until he gets his strength back; Óin, Fíli and Bofur also remain to tend him in Bard's house.
As the events of Thorin's Company occurs, Gandalf reaches the remote tomb of the Nazgûl and found that they have been revived. He is joined by Radagast the Brown, and it is revealed that the Necromancer cannot be a mere human, as the Nazgûl answer only to one master. Returning to Mirkwood, while sending Radagast to warn Galadriel of their discovery, Gandalf enters the Orc- and Warg-infested Dol Guldur, and is attacked by Azog. While attempting to escape, the Necromancer appears, and, following a duel between the two, Gandalf is captured. With his worst fears realized – that the Necromancer is indeed Sauron – Gandalf watches in horror as the Orc army marches toward the Lonely Mountain.
Once at the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo deciphers the map's cryptic clue and uses moonlight to find the hidden keyhole that opens the secret door into the mountain. Balin then explains Bilbo's real purpose and sends him down to the treasury to locate the Arkenstone. Unfortunately, Bilbo's searching quickly awakens Smaug, who initially finds the Hobbit amusing, but swiftly tires of him and intends to kill him. In Lake-town, Bard hears the rumbling caused by Smaug's awakening and attempts to affix the last Black Arrow to the town's launcher, but is arrested. Óin, Fíli, Bofur, and Bard's daughters, Sigrid and Tilda, are attacked by Bolg's hunting party before Legolas and Tauriel drive them off, with the latter remaining behind to tend to Kíli. Then, in a dream-like state after his medication, Kíli admits his love for Tauriel. After convincing Thorin that they must help Bilbo, the Dwarves enter the Mountain and find themselves and the Hobbit being hunted by Smaug. Tricking the fire-breathing Smaug into rekindling the forges, they attempt to kill the dragon by drowning him in a flood of molten gold. However, Smaug survives, and stumbles out of the mountain determined to make the people of Lake-town suffer for giving aid to the Dwarves, leaving Bilbo horrified at the turn of events.
Scenes[edit | edit source]
- The Quest for Erebor**
- The Master Summons
- A Commander of Legions
- Queer Lodgings
- Last of the Skin-changers*
- Where the Shadows Lie*
- The Elven-Gate**
- Flies and Spiders
- The Woodland Realm
- The Elvenking
- King and Captain
- Feast of Starlight
- Barrels Out of Bond
- The High Fells
- Bard the Bowman
- The Nature of Evil
- Smuggled Cargo
- The Master of Lake-Town**
- The World of Men*
- The Home of Bard
- "It Is Our Fight"
- The Prophecy**
- A Warm Welcome**
- The Parting of the Company*
- The Lonely Mountain**
- A Spell of Concealment**
- The Hidden Door*
- Son of Thrór*
- On the Doorstep
- The Courage of Hobbits
- The Enemy Revealed**
- Inside Information
- The Black Arrow
- In the Dragon's Lair
- Under Arrest
- Bilbo the Burglar
- Smaug the Magnificent
- Orc Attack
- Elvish Medicine
- Hunter and Hunted
- "She Walks in Starlight"
- A Desperate Plan
- Duel in Lake-Town
- The Forges Relit
- Smaug the Golden
- End Credits
* denotes a scene only available in the Extended Edition cut of the film.
** denotes a scene which includes extended content only available in the Extended Edition cut of the film.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- See also: The Hobbit (film series)#Main cast
Uncredited[edit | edit source]
|Frazier Anderson, Cory Beeston, Ben Fransham, George Harach, Jamie Harrison, Joseph Mika-Hunt, Shane Rangi, Warwick Sadler, Marco Sinigaglio, Mark Trotter, Min Windle
|Frazier Anderson, Michael Andrews, Mark Atkin, Dimetrius Baccellia, Jim Baltaxe, Nigel Bautista, Aleksandr Beliaev, Vivien Bell, Jack Binding, Terry Binding, Riley Brophy, Chris Brough, Lincoln Brown, Mel Buchanan, Tony Burton, Melanie Carrington, Ron Chamberlain, Coleen Cleary, Trevor Cooper, Yvette Cottam, Raymond Cox, Paul Craze, Estere Dalton, Brendan Dee, Dave Fitzgerald, Paul Gaudin, Nigel Harbrow, Jamie Harrison, Michael Harrison, Fraser Hesketh, Chris Hewer, Keirryn Hintz, Christian Hipolito, Kathryn Briggs Hobbs, Martin Howells, Gideon Jack, Erana James, Raymond Jones, Fern Karun, K.C. Kelly, Gustav Kessel, Taniora Kidwell, Isabelle Rose Kircher, Kristi Kleijn, Phil Mackie, Asofa Manase, Heli Matilainen, Simon McArthur, Steve McDonald, Shirley McGregor, Carlton McRae, Ceci Mediano, Liz Merton, Iain Middleton, Joseph Mika-Hunt, Linda Murrel, Jimmy James Nielsen, Stephen O'Neil, Kyosuke Okada, Ivy Padilla, Mark Pearson, Lise Perichon, Wayne Phillips, Derek Price, Dinah Priestley, Daniel Rathbon, Leon Reedijk, Adebisi Riwanou, Tom Robinson, Gabriela Roque López, Michelle Scullian, Chromatic Semitone, Tim Simpson, Bruce Sinclair, Jeff Slaven, Dianne Smith, Ziggy Stiles, Ken Stratton, Jennifer Tebbs, Annie von Herck, Manuela Vetters, Chase Voss, Allan John Webb, Ruben Werle, Christopher Winchester, Nikky Winchester, Pedro Worcel, Nigel Zega
|Frazier Anderson, Joseph Mika-Hunt
|Dorothy Anne Bonner
|Geoff Boothby, Dean Knowsley
|Rosalie Button, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Karen Thompson
|Karl Dickson, Walter McGinnis, Dallas McKinley, Keith Mole, Mark Pearson, Paul Randall, Phil Reilly, Karl Vader
|David Donaldson, John Howe, Alan Lee, Steve Roche
|Bruno Du Bois
|Laketown Man with a Wheelbarrow
|Brady Dyer, Gary French
|Prancing Pony Wench
|Stephen Grey, Simon Leary, Wesley O'Duinn, James Waterhouse-Brown
|Ajala Hesketh, Chimtamani Hesketh, Alaina Wilks
|Maitreya Hesketh, Sanjaia Hesketh
|Fataneh Howe, Dean Knowsley, Dra McKay, Sebastian Meek
|Albert Dreary Snr.
|Stan The Wonder Pug
|Pug in Laketown
|Thrór (Extended Edition)
|Burier of Witch-King (Extended Edition)
Deviations from the source material[edit | edit source]
The Hobbbit: The Desolation of Smaug covers the seventh through twelfth chapters of The Hobbit with a few elements added from the Appendices from The Lord of the Rings. While it generally follows the story, a number of liberties were still taken:
- Thorin's encounter with Gandalf at the Prancing Pony, in which the Wizard urges him to take back Erebor, was not a chance meeting as it was in Tolkien's writings, but rather orchestrated by Gandalf himself.
- The extended prologue shows a survey of the Battle of Azanulbizar, which had already been seen in the previous film An Unexpected Journey, where it differed from the books insofar that Thrór's death didn't occur during the Battle, but before, initiating the War. In this extended prologue the film departs further from the books because Thorin can't find his father Thráin II after the Battle, whereas Tolkien wrote that Thráin did not disappear afterwards but travelled to the Ered Luin and lived there together with Thorin for 39 years; only then Thráin set out to revisit Erebor and was captured.
- Thorin says: "I received word that my Father had been seen wandering the wilds near Dunland. I went looking, and found no sign of him," and to Gandalf "My father came to see you before he went missing." There are no hints of this in the books, where Gandalf didn't encounter Thráin until he found him in Dol Guldur.
- Gandalf urges Thorin to unite the armies of the Dwarves to retake Erebor, but in the books from the beginning he planned to retake the Mountain in secret.
- Since the film's antagonist, Azog, and the pursuit of the Orcs are invented for the film, in the books, Gandalf doesn't show Thorin a message in Black Speech about a bounty on Thorin's head, and Gandalf doesn't meet strangers who mistook him for a "vagabond." The two strange peoples in the Inn are inspired by Bill Ferny and the Squint-eyed Southerner, who filled a similar role in The Fellowship of the Ring.
- In Tolkien's writings, there is no "oath" sworn by the seven Dwarf families to the one who wields the Arkenstone.
- As told in The Quest of Erebor, the term "Burglar" (or "Master Burglar") emerged by chance, but, in the film, Gandalf meant to use it in the particular context in which Thorin and Company see Bilbo later on.
- The meeting in Bree happened on 15 March T.A. 2941, and the Company comes to Beorn in late summer, but the film says that 12 months are in between the prologue and the Company's arrival at Beorn's.
- The Dwarves see Beorn first in his bear form and flee from him into his house, and barricade the front door. In the book, they come as several couples while Gandalf is telling Beorn their story (which doesn't occur until the next morning in the Extended Edition of the film).
- In the book, Gandalf already knows that he must leave the Company to deal with the Necromancer, but in the film he doesn't decide to leave until noticing a banner with a red eye on a tree at the entrance of Mirkwood. He doesn't tell the Dwarves as to where he's leaving and why.
- Bilbo wants to tell Gandalf of the One Ring. In the books, he has no such tendencies.
- In the Extended Edition of the film, Beorn says there is an alliance between the Orcs of Moria and the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and, throughout the film, Azog and his son Bolg's alliance with the Necromancer is shown. Azog doesn't appear in any way in the books after his death at the Battle of Azanulbizar, and his son also only appears at the end at the Battle of Five Armies, while Sauron has nothing to do with Thorin's Company and the Erebor quest at all (except for Gandalf's fear that Smaug could align with Sauron).
- The corruption of the Ring concerning Bilbo is displayed clearer in the film; he is shown playing with it at night and very aggressevily killing a spider-like creature that stands between him and the Ring.
- As often in the trilogy, it isn't made clear how long the journey lasts; in the book, the Company wanders through Mirkwood for almost one month, almost starving, and suffering heavily from the immense darkness in the forest -- although in the film there is much more light, the Company's confusion and growing insanity is much stronger.
- Instead of crossing Mirkwood's Enchanted River by boat, Bilbo and the Dwarves climb on vines that extend across the river, and there is no deer leaping over it (Thorin sees a stag after crossing and shoots an arrow at it, at which point it runs away). This scene is only seen in the Extended Edition of the film.
- When Bilbo climbs the treetops in Mirkwood, he is able to see the edge of the forest, the Long Lake and the Lonely Mountain, but in the book the Company happens to be in a valley, which is why he cannot peer over the surrounding treetops, therefore believing they were still deep in the forest.
- The Elves fight the spiders and capture the Dwarves afterward.
- In the book, Thorin was captured separately before the rest of the Company and kept captive in his own room (where he was treated and fed well), though he wouldn't reveal his purpose for being in Mirkwood. The other Dwarves weren't told he was there. In the film, they all get captured together after the Elves' fight with the spiders.
- Thranduil guesses the purpose of the Company's mission was to retake Erebor, and tries to make a deal with Thorin. In the book, he is oblivious to this and only wants to know why they wandered through the forest.
- Thranduil at first allowed the other Dwarves to move about freely within his halls, but he finally locked them up, each to his own cell, because they were being obnoxious and insulting in the book. In the film, they are immediately locked up.
- Neither Legolas nor Tauriel appear in the book. The latter character is a creation of the filmmakers.
- The Elven-feasts and fires are only alluded to in a conversation between Kíli and Tauriel.
- Bilbo hides the Dwarves in the barrels (with no tops) while the chief guard and Galion the butler were asleep, and he launches them into the river himself. In the book, the Elves themselves later pushed the barrels (which they thought were empty; they were also covered with lids) through the trapdoor and opened the portcullis at the water-gate to let the barrels into the river.
- In the book, the portcullis was a grate lowered down across the opening (the water-gate) that let the stream from the cave flow out into the river. In the film, the portcullis was a side-swinging type, and it wouldn't have kept anybody inside the cave because it was outside on the river.
- There is a pursuit by the Elves after the Dwarves' escape from the Elvenking's Halls (whereas the Elves did not yet know the Dwarves had escaped in the book), and the pack of Orcs who were pursuing the Company in the previous film catch up and attack as the barrels float down the river. The Elves then counterattack the Orcs.
- Kíli is struck with a Morgul arrow by Bolg during the barrel escape when trying to open the water-gate, and it slowly saps his strength through the rest of the film. He is ultimately healed by Tauriel (who uses athelas to do so) in Lake-town, where his health had become critical. Throughout the film, an emotional relationship forms between both. No such incidents occur in Tolkien's works.
- There is an interrogation of a captured Orc who reveals to Thranduil and Legolas that there is a "shadow" and that his master "serves the One", making Thranduil decide to barricade his kingdom, against the will of Tauriel.
- In the book, Raft-elves intercepted the barrels and loaded them into a raft they steered down the river to the Long Lake, where Men in boats pulled it to Lake-town with the undiscovered Dwarves still inside and Bilbo (still wearing his Ring) riding along. In the film, Bard is introduced in their place much earlier than in the book (where he does not appear before the attack of Smaug as one of the town's bowmen) where he is a bargeman and meets the Dwarves on the river. Balin convinces him to smuggle the Company into Lake-town in the barrels (where they are nearly discovered), to hide them in his house, and to give them weapons. On the way to Bard's house the Dwarves overpower some of the Town's guards (Extended Edition), with the bystanding people not minding, but even helping the Dwarves by hiding the unconscious guardsmen, undermining the Master's authority. Bard suspects who Thorin might be, and confirms it after examining a wall hanging with Thorin's genealogy.
- In addition to Bain, Bard has two other children: daughters Sigrid and Tilda. He is also revealed to be a widower. Though Bain does appear in the Appendices, he does not appear in The Hobbit.
- The part of the Master of Lake-town is extended as well, displaying his corruption in a more detailed way. He has a majordomo in the film: Alfrid. Alfrid frequently informs the Master of various goings-on in the town, particularly the rumors of people plotting to possibly unseat him from his position of power - Bard (who is frequently spied on by the Master), in particular. In the book, the Master had various aides who were unnamed and only briefly mentioned.
- The story concerning the Dwarvish wind-lance appears only in the film, as does the legend that Girion loosened a scale from Smaug's breast during the Dragon's attack on Dale.
- The discussion about Thorin's Company doesn't take place in a great hall but in front of one.
- In the book, the poem concerning the return of the King under the Mountain has a positive connotation:
The streams shall run in gladness
The lakes shall shine and burn,
All sorrow fail and sadness
At the Mountain-king's return!
In the film, it is recited by Bard with a negative meaning:
And the bells shall ring in gladness
At the Mountain King's return,
But all shall fade in sadness,
And the lake will shine and burn.
- Due to his worsening condition, Thorin refuses to let Kíli go up to the Mountain with the rest of the Company. Fíli and Óin opt to stay behind to look after him. Additionally, Bofur gets left behind after oversleeping. When the left-behind Dwarves ask the Master and Alfrid for help (Extended Edition) they are harshly repelled. All thirteen Dwarves went up to the Mountain in the book.
- The High Fells of Rhudaur, as well as the tombs and the existence of corpses of the Nazgûl, their rising, and Gandalf and Radagast's examining of said tombs are all invented for the film.
- The events of The Hobbit take place T.A. 2941, but, in the books, Gandalf's second investigation of Dol Guldur happens T.A. 2850.
- In the Extended Edition of the film, Gandalf encounters a gaunt, bewildered Thráin while investigating Dol Guldur after discovering the open tombs of the Nine. He somewhat heals the Dwarf's insanity, and Thráin helps guide him through the fortress, also revealing that his father's ring had been entrusted to him and had ultimately been cut from his finger and taken from him by Azog during the Battle of Azanulbizar (in the books, the Ring is not taken before Thráin's capture in Dol Guldur). Thráin is ultimately swallowed up by the Necromancer just before it reveals itself to Gandalf to be the Dark Lord Sauron. Gandalf calls the Dwarf his "old friend," whereas in the books he doesn't know him and doesn't realise his identity until months after the meeting. Thráin does not give Thrór's Map and Erebor's Back Door key to Gandalf in the film (apparently having done so in the films' timeline on a previous, unseen occasion).
- In the books, there is no mention of a combat between Sauron and Gandalf, and he isn't taken prisoner as depicted in the film.
- In the book, the last rays of the setting sun on Durin's Day reveal the keyhole to the secret door into the Lonely Mountain, as predicted by the runes on the Thrór's Map. In the film, the light of the moon reveals the keyhole after the sun has set; the Dwarves, having tried to smash it, started to go back after losing hope.
- Bard is imprisoned toward the end of the film, purely because the Master sees him as a threat.
- Bolg's Orc pack arrives in Lake-town to ambush the remaining Dwarves, but are foiled by the arrival of Legolas and Tauriel. They retreat once they realize Thorin has already reached the Mountain.
- Bilbo has only one audience with Smaug, and does not take a gold cup from him. He also takes his Ring off not long after the Dragon detects his presence.
- Smaug seems fully aware of Thorin and Company's presence, as well as Sauron's impending attack on the Dwarves (since, as Thráin revealed to Gandalf, the Dragon is in league with Sauron).
- The climax of the film is an involved battle between Thorin's Dwarves and Smaug inside of the Lonely Mountain, in which they ultimately try (unsuccessfully) to drown the beast in molten gold after re-lighting the forges. In the book, the Dwarves never see the Dragon at all; by the time they head downstairs to the Dragon's lair, Smaug is long gone (in fact, although they don't know it at that point, he is already dead).
- At the battle, more places of Erebor are shown than are mentioned in the books, such as the forge hall, the "Gallery of Kings," and a chamber with the corpses of those who could not escape during the Sack of Erebor.
- Bilbo leaves the Mountain watching Smaug fly toward Lake-town.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
|Pictures from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Trailers[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- The Hobbit (film series)
- Images from The Desolation of Smaug
- The Desolation of Smaug posters
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack:
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tie-in books:
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Chronicles: Art & Design
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Official Movie Guide
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Visual Companion
- Children's books:
[edit | edit source]
- "Titles and Release Dates Announced" dated 31 May 2011, The Hobbit Blog (accessed 21 December 2011)
- "Andy Serkis to serve as Second Unit Director" dated 8 April 2011, The Hobbit Blog (accessed 21 December 2011)
- Peter Jackson, "Production begins in New Zealand on The Hobbit" dated 20 March 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)
- "The Hobbit Trilogy titles and release dates" dated 2 September 2012, The Hobbit Blog (accessed 2 September 2012)
- "Warner Bros. full synopsis for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug provides some plot hints?" dated 17 October 2013, TheOneRing.net (accessed 17 October 2013)
|Licensed screen adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's works
|The Hobbit (1966) · The Hobbit (1977) · The Lord of the Rings (1978) · The Return of the King (1980) ·The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (2024, upcoming)
|The Lord of the Rings film series
|The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) · The Two Towers (2002) · The Return of the King (2003)
|The Hobbit film series
|An Unexpected Journey (2012) · The Desolation of Smaug (2013) · The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
|Hobitit (1993) · The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022-present)