Brand New Hobbit Trailer Shows Off Lighter Tone, More Characters and a Game of Riddles

The latest trailer for the first installment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has arrived and it is simply stunning! Our second full look at the festival of British acting talent known as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey gives us lots of new footage, including trolls, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy’s Radagast the Brown, a bunny sled, dwarf shenanigans, stone giants, wargs, Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel, Hugh Weaving’s Lord Elrond, a game of riddles between Bilbo and Gollum and lots, lots more.

While the film's first trailer was very heavy on the dark, theatrical feel - complete with mournful song performed by star Richard Armitage– the second manages to retain a similar epic sensibility, while conveying more of the lightness and humor of the Hobbit story. (Technically, it is a children’s book, after all.) Plus, we get to hear quite a bit of dialogue here, especially as compared to the first trailer, which lets this one be a bit more straightforward in terms of telling new fans what the story's all about.

Click through and give it a look for yourself – as well as the four additional bonus endings which were also released on the official site today. It’s enough new footage to make any hardcore Hobbit fan excited. 

I’m really not ready to publically admit to how many times I may have watched this today. (Here’s a secret: It’s a lot.)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Official Trailer 2 [HD]

Things I love: Everything. Things I really love: All the glimpses of Radagast, but particularly the bunny sled, the trolls, the tiny bit that I assume is Gandalf turning the trolls to stone, Goblin Town, general dwarf silliness at Bag End, and, of course, the absolutely perfect riddles in the dark scene with Gollum and Bilbo. Also, because I am a huge nerd, the One Ring turning into the “O” in “Hobbit” made me smile pretty wide.

It also seems to me that this trailer gives us our first hints about how the Hobbit story is going to flesh out over three films –so far that looks like a bigger independent story/more character development for Gandalf, an earlier insertion of the Mirkwood/Necromancer storyline than I originally assumed, and bigger roles for smaller (awesome) secondary characters like Radagast and the other dwarves besides Thorin.  

It’s a shame that didn’t get a sighting of Lee Pace’s Thranduil and that the bits from Comic Con with Orlando Bloom haven’t made it out into the world yet. But that seems so nitpicky, when we got so much else, and when it looks so fantastic.

Martin Freeman looks born to play Bilbo Baggins, doesn’t he? It’s almost enough to get me to forgive the fact that Hobbit filming kept him from doing Sherlock press, and surely is part of the reason Series 3 filming had to be pushed back so far. The moment where Bilbo’s running through the Shire, yelling at someone that I deeply hope in my heart is a Sackville-Baggins that he’s going on an adventure made my whole day.

And if this new footage wasn’t enough on its own to have you making December 14 countdown calendars, you can actually watch the trailer with four additional alternate endings – the bulk of the clip is the same, with just the last little scene swapping out. You need to be on a desktop to see this, as far as I can tell, because they aren’t embeddable and won’t work on my phone, but here are links to all four versions. It’s all new, and all worth a look!

Gandalf and the wager.  

Bilbo, the dwarf contract and our first mention of Smaug.

Bilbo’s famous letter opener sword, Sting.

Gollum and Smeagol

My personal favorite is the scene with the dwarf contract, if only because I think it does the best job of balancing the two very distinct pieces of this movie – occasionally silly humor and actual epic fantasy. (And also because I can’t wait to see Smaug, and at least we get a name check here.)

We’re under a hundred days, folks. Not that I’m counting or anything.