With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug's release date slowly creeping up, we've begun to see more and more from the film, be it in the form of new posters, a new behind-the-scenes featurette or a new little teaser. Today we get a preview of another variety, as Entertainment Weekly has just debuted a whole gallery of new stills from the movie.
First up top we have the titular hero, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), wondering around amongst the dwarfs' treasure in Erebor below the Lonely Mountain. You'll notice that he is a big hunched over, as though he is sneaking around. This is probably because sleeping in that pile of treasure is the film's other titular character: Smaug the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Next up we have the great Gandalf The Grey, once again played by Sir Ian McKellen. As was previewed in the first movie, the great wizard is separated from Bilbo and the dwarfs in The Desolation of Smaug and gets to have an adventure of his own with Radagast The Brown (Sylvester McCoy). As you can tell by the tone of this image, it's not a journey of sunshine and rainbows.
From talking about a hobbit and a wizard we now come to a trio of elf characters that will be heavily featured in the movie. Above you see Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, an elf warrior created specifically for the film adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien tale (fun fact: the book has zero female characters).
Next up, of course, is Legolas, who is once again being played by Orlando Bloom.
And then there's Thranduil (Lee Pace), who we got to see briefly at the start of the first Hobbit movie. In the sequel Bilbo and the dwarfs will cross paths with them, and the heroes actually wind up being captured. Fortunately, they're able to make a daring escape.
The focus of this next picture is Bard The Bowman, played by Luke Evans. Living in Laketown he encounters Bilbo and his friends right before the group gets ready to head up to the Lonely Mountain, and he's none too happy that they plan on disturbing Smaug's slumber. He winds up playing a vital role int the story, but I won't spoil what it is here.
Finally we come to our last photo, which is my favorite of the entire bunch. That's Stephen Fry wearing some heavy and horrible makeup to play the Master of Laketown, another character in the same city as Bard. The character hasn't been featured in any of the trailers just yet, but I can't wait to see him in action.
This isn't the full gallery of new photos, as you can see seven other brand new stills from the movie over on EW's page.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be in theaters on December 13th.