Can one possibly spoil Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? I mean, the original Hobbit novel has been around since 1937. The director already has rewarded fans with one rich Hobbit movie, and it lays out basically the tone (and quality) they can expect in Smaug. But if you were a newcomer to Tolkien’s universe, the four clips shared by Empire do reveal a decent amount, so only venture forward if you don’t mind learning a few additional details about Bilbo Baggins’ next journey.

The first clip, "Found Something," is above. The next three are below. Give them a spin:

That final clip features a familiar face in Legolas (Orlando Bloom), who reprises his role from Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. He appears alongside a franchise newcomer in Evangeline Lilly, who assumes the part of Tauriel, a character Jackson made up for these extended Hobbit tellings.

The actress joined Jackson and co-star Richard Armitage for an informative Google+ Hangout Wednesday morning. It was the latest stop in a full-blown marketing campaign that included the film’s L.A. premiere Monday evening, and builds right up to the film’s release date on Dec. 13.

I still think the selling point of Smaug will be the dragon, himself. Given the popularity of Game of Thrones, and an utter lack of legitimate dragon thrillers in theaters at the moment, Jackson has the chance to captivate audiences and wow normally cynical franchise trackers with an eye-popping character. Could we possibly be talking about Smaug with the passion and enthusiasm we brought to conversations about Andy Serkis as Gollum back in the LOTR days? Jackson achieved movie magic back with Gollum in the Rings movies, and I’m genuinely curious to see if he can do it again.

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