8 Things You Need To Know Before Seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-12-12 12:02:00discussion comments
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Wizards
Wizards
Who Are They? Unlike Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Orcs, who have entire populations living in Middle-earth, there are only five wizards: Gandalf The Grey, Saruman The White, Radagast The Brown and Alatar and Pallando The Blue. Wizards look similar to the race of men, but have the power to control magic. Though they may look like feeble old men, the truth is that wizards are some of the most powerful beings in all of Tolkienís writings.

How Do They Fit? Gandalf, portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen, continues to be The Hobbitís central wizard character and the sequel finds him continuing the help Bilbo and the dwarves accomplish their great mission. Unfortunately, extremely dark developments in Middle-earth take Gandalf away on another quest, for which he receives some assistance from Radagast (Sylvester McCoy).

Elves
Elves
Who Are They? Much like wizards, elves are an immortal race of beings from Middle-earth and some of the most beautiful to boot. In addition to being incredibly powerful creatures, with enhanced senses, unparalleled archery skills, and amazing speed and agility, they are also known for their amazing beauty Ė most standing about six feet tall with flowing hair and pointed ears. Oh, and they typically hate Dwarves.

How Do They Fit? In An Unexpected Journey we saw a pair of Noldor Elves in Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving), but in The Desolation of Smaug the focus is put more on the Silvan Elves, specifically those who live in the Mirkwood forests. The king of the Mirkwood Elves, Thranduil (Lee Pace), was introduced in the first movie briefly Ė establishing a long, bitter feud with Thorin Ė but the new movie also brings back the crafty, brave Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and introduces to the beautiful warrior Tauriel (Evangeline Lily), a character who wasnít featured in Tolkienís books.
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