Answers we expect from Battle of the Five Armies...
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The Hobbit can certainly talk the talk, but does it have the substance to walk the walk?...
I was one of the many surprised that director Peter Jackson had decided to split the single, rather small, book of The Hobbit into three separate parts. However I think I speak for those doubting masses that Jackson has again shown a great understanding of the books and what makes them great. If the third in the series is anything like the first two, we are in for a treat. But what of those burning (pun intended) questions left when Smaug broke out of the mountain and made flight towards Lake-town that the trailer is yet to answer?
What have they done?
Words uttered by Bilbo himself as Smaug made haste to turn Lake-town into cinder. It doesn't seem much of a match between the pitifully guarded city of men and the bringer of fire and death, but there are faint glimpses of hope. Bard, who has that long haired whiff of the Aragorn (son of a fallen leader, born to take back his throne) about him, and his son have the black arrow and there is a nifty looking wind lance on the roof that just might take advantage of the chink in the armour of the great dragon. Will he achieve what his father couldn't and bring the beast down?
He's been captured? Again?!
Gandalf the Grey, our slightly patronising grey wizard, was last seen hanging in a cage captured by the Orcs and the pyrotechnic al apparition of Sauron "The Dark Lord". It does seem a little strange that a wizard as powerful as Gandalf seems to spend at least a third of these films imprisoned by someone or something.
So, with the third and final instalment upon us, will Gandalf finally live up to his potential and contribute a physical presence, rather than just a flurry of vocal outbursts?
About that Sauron fire ball...
We all knew he was going to come back in force anyway (I'm presuming you've seen the first three Lord of the Rings films), but the appearance of Sauron in the Desolation of Smaug brings a new power player into Middle Earth and he's not just going to sit around and let those pesky Dwarves get all the loot. There is going to be an awkward moment when Men, Elves and Dwarves are going to have to decide who is on what side...and for one I cannot wait to see how that goes.
What's gnawing Thorin?
Well he has his kingdom back now! With Smaug departed from the mountain kingdom of Erebor to make merry in the land of men, Thorin and his Dwarven brethren have a whole lot of gold to go all Scrooge McDucking in (google it). He has made promises to a number of people - such as the soon to be crispified Lake-towners, who were promised gold, and the Wood Elf king Thranduil who is sure to come looking for those emeralds he was hankering after, but in the trailer he doesn't seem to be playing ball.
What would you do if you were a dwarf king sat in an impregnable fortress mountain full of gold and jewels? And where is that ruddy Arkenstone when you need it?!
Is this love born to last?
I mean really? In the most unlikely of pairings, Kili the dwarf and Tauriel the elf seem to be a match made in some dark twisted fantasy corner of J.J.R Tolkeins mind to give all men hope of catching the uncatchable. This isn't like Aragorn and Arwen marrying to link the kingdom of men and elves, Kili isn't even a king for goodness sake! This will only end in tears.
And no, this isn't a height thing. Just ask Jamie Cullum and Sophie Dahl...
You and whose army?
If the trailers anything to go by, we already know the elves are going to war with their super shiny armour and very cool ninja fighting style. The Dwarves could never resist any kind of fight and are now sat on a gigantic pile of gold. The final groups we know will be present are the Orcs and the Men, as what Middle Earth battle would be complete without these forces thrown into the Peter Jackson mixer?
This, however, begs the question - who or what is the fifth army? Bilbo is a big time player, but a one man Hobbit army he is not.
Ultimately, the big questions raised by the ending of the Desolation of Smaug leave the scene perfectly set for the final cataclysmic episode in the Tolkein. We all knew at the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that there would be a battle, but it was more of a tease and wasn't as grand as the siege of Helms Deep in the Two Towers. With a name like "The Battle of Five Armies" anything less than complete Middle Earth carnage would seem a disappointment; and as Smaug is already enroute to torching Lake-town this film promises to be one of the most action packed of the entire series.
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