The Lonely Mountain awaits…and so does the dragon's lair.
The new trailer has hit the web for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the upcoming second installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's famed novel.
And Middle-earth fans disappointed by An Unexpected Journey who have been hoping The Lord of the Rings ringmaster picks up the pace with less talk and more action and high-stakes drama that put it on par with other favorite second chapters (Two Towers, The Empire Strikes Back anybody?) may well get their wish.
The teaser kicks off with Bilbo Baggins, once again played by Martin Freeman, standing atop the dwarvish treasure in the Lonely Mountain—for which he and a company of 13 dwarves are on a quest to reclaim—humbly addressing the terrible Smaug, the unseen dragon who guards the riches and is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
"Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, oh Smaug the stupendous," says the nervous hobbit, nicknamed the "burglar" by his pint-size companions.
Led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the group is assisted on their journey by a host of allies, starting with Thranduil (Lee Pace), the "Elvenking" who rules the northern realm of Mirkwood and who's the father of Legolas.
Speaking of the elven prince, Orlando Bloom reprises his role as LOTR's fan-appointed heartthrob. And along with killing orcs, he has some nice scenes with the head of the elven guard, a female elf named Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), though unfortunately for them, Jackson has previously said there'll be no romance between the two.
And of course, last but not least, Bilbo and the dwarves get some wizardly advice from Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen).
On the battle front, Desolation looks to have its fair share, though nothing along the lines of the kind of epic battle scenes that Jackson masterly pulled off in The Two Towers. While there is a brief shot of a massive Sauron-esque army and what appears to be a city under siege, mostly viewers get glimpses of Legolas and Tauriel taking out baddies with swords and arrows; Bilbo fighting a nasty giant spider; and Gandalf swinging his staff in what looks to be the home of the evil sorcerer, the Necromancer (once again voiced by Cumberbatch).
The trailer comes to a spine-tingling climax with Bilbo lying amidst mounds of gold in Smaug's lair as the evil fire-breathing dragon beckons him from his hiding place.
"Where are you, thief?" sneers Smaug in an absolutely terrifying growl. "Come now, don't be shy. Step into the light!"
We can't wait to see what happens. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters on Dec. 13.