'There and Back Again' will be the final Hobbit film in the trilogy and likely the last ever Middle Earth film directed by Peter Jackson so it goes without saying that like 'Return of the King' the director will be pulling out all of the stops to blow people away. Especially considering that storyline-wise 'There and Back Again' will be the biggest film in terms of scale and action!
This seems to be confirmed by the Hobbit's visual effects supervisor who recently said in an interview earlier this year "There's going to be a battle. That's not too much of a surprise for people. It'll be spectacular. Film one was the set-up, getting to know the characters and everyone up and on the way. Film two was the consolidation of all of that and getting to know what drives Thorin for the quest of his homeland and what drives Bilbo. Film three is going to be the payoff for all of that."
So what can we expect to see that will truly make 'There and Back Again' the pure unabashed spectacle that it deserves to be?
The Desolation of Smaug
I mean this in both sense of the phrase. Seeing Smaug literally desolating Laketown and rendering the rickety wooden lake-born village to ashes will be visually stunning as will the eventual downfall of Benedict Cumberbatch's serpentine villain courtesy of Bard the Bowman and his black arrow. This is likely to kick off the movie and will really get the adrenaline pumping for events to come.
The attack on Dol Guldur
Dol Guldur has featured heavily in the Hobbit films being the base of all evil with the Necromancer, Bolg and Azog the Defiler all originating from that central point. In the final moments of 'Desolation of Smaug' we saw that Gandalf was held captive there. This storyline comes from the appendices of 'Lord of the Rings' and ends with Celeborn (who I don't believe we'll see in the film) and Galadriel destroying the fortress and freeing the forest of its evil. I believe this is a sequence we will see in 'There and Back Again' and it'll be spectacular to see Galadriel's true impressive power.
Beorn the bear wreaking havoc
We saw so little of Beorn in 'Desolation of Smaug' and even less of the skinchanger in his bear form. Whilst his appearance was fleeting and forgettable in the second film it'll only serve to contract to the pure wrecking ball of fury that he'll be in 'There and Back Again'. Expect the bear to make a significant impact to the next moment I talk about.
The Battle of Five Armies
Peter Jackson has already proved that he's very good at capturing battles on film at the grandest of scales. Helms Deep in 'The Two Towers' and The Battle of Minis Tirith in 'Return of the King' were fantastic spectacles but I expect the Battle of Five Armies in the Hobbit: There and Back Again will be Peter Jackson's pièce de résistance after thirteen years of honing his fantasy battle craft.
Thorin Oakenshield Vs Azog the Defiler
This will be a spotlighted moment of the film. The heroic dwarf fighting to reclaim his homeland for his own kind against the monstrous orc that is determined to end the dwarf's bloodline. The clash between the two was teased in 'An Unexpected Journey' only to be interrupted. In 'There and Back Again' expect the two to get a prolonged fight to the death. However this will also be a standout moment because we all pretty much know how it will end.
All in all there's a lot that is going to happen in the last film and it's certainly going to be entertaining on a superficial 'Michael Bay' level. We'll have to see how good the rest of the film is!
Daniel Wood is a long-time 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' fan after his dad read him both books as bedtime stories as a child. Of course back then he didn't understand a word he was hearing, so he's grateful they made films. Follow Daniel Wood on Twitter.
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