As someone currently preparing her Hobbit Halloween costume (furry slippers included), I am very excited to see another trailer for the second installment in Peter Jackson’s new trilogy. We got a teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug a few months ago, and it was action-packed and fast-paced and CGI-filled. I’m inclined to like this new “official main trailer” better because it’s quieter and less frenetic. And most exciting of all, we finally get to hear Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice as the title dragon Smaug. And my goodness is it fantastic!
There’s been some argument among Tolkien fans about how much these trailers should reveal, and the issue of Smaug (both his appearance and his voice) has been one of the most controversial. The first trailer gave us a look at the dragon’s head peeking around a corner at Bilbo (Martin Freeman). We didn’t get a voice or body to go with it, though. In contrast, at the end of this new trailer, his voice is practically all we get, in addition to a couple of vague neck shots (ooh, sexy). But I’m okay with that, because what a voice it is! It sounds like it’s been altered to make it deeper and more dragony, but it’s still pretty Cumberbatchy as well. Is it okay that I’m kind of attracted to a dragon in this moment?
If you’ve read the book, you know that Bilbo and Smaug have a discussion that’s likely to be this movie’s version of the standout scene with Gollum in Unexpected Journey. Since Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman already have a bromance going with Sherlock, it’ll be interesting to see how this relationship plays out, especially because… well, one of them will be a dragon.
In addition to Benedict, we get the requisite Ring talk, a quick glimpse of the Eye of Sauron (uh oh, not him again) and plenty of Elf action, including the suggestion that not-in-the-book Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and not-in-any-book Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) have a little romance going on. That’s sure to upset a lot of purists, who are already upset that a made-up character is even in the movie. It also might upset people who think Legolas’ one true love is Aragorn. Eh, I’ve got faith in Peter Jackson to make it work, even if making three movies from one book is a little unnecessary. I’m sorry, I just can’t quit him.