One of the most anticipated things fans are looking forward to seeing in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey is the dragon Smaug come to life. Thanks to the 9th TV spot below you can finally catch a glimpse of what he will look like.
One of the last great dragons of Middle-earth, Smaug rose to prominence by laying waste to the town of Dale and capturing the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) with all of its treasure. These events occurred some 150 years before the events of The Hobbit, and Smaug was already centuries old at the time. The Hobbit recounts the tale of a party of dwarves (consisting of a few of the original residents of the Lonely Mountain and their descendants) and the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (their titular burglar) to recapture the mountain and kill the dragon. In the book, the dragon is sometimes called Smaug the Golden or Smaug the Magnificent.
Centuries spent sleeping atop his gold hoard caused gold and gemstones to become embedded in the flesh of Smaug’s belly, augmenting the already essentially impenetrable armor of the scales that covered most of the rest of his body. However, when Bilbo observed him in his lair, the Hobbit discovered a small bare patch on Smaug’s left breast. When Bilbo told his Dwarven companions about Smaug’s weakness, he was overheard by the thrush that roosted by the mountain’s secret door. The thrush in turn told Bard the Bowman of Esgaroth. When Smaug attacked the town, Bard shot his Black Arrow into Smaug’s left breast, the weak spot in his armour, and the wound proved fatal.
After Smaug’s death, the Dwarves claimed the treasure as theirs by birthright. This created a conflict with Bard and the Elven king Thranduil of Mirkwood, who each wanted a portion of the gold as reimbursement for all the damage Smaug had caused their kingdoms over the years. The Dwarves’ leader, Thorin Oakenshield, refused to share the treasure as long as they stood in arms before his gate, and declared war on both of them. Conflict was avoided by the arrival of the Goblin and Warg army, who also wanted the treasure, and the Dwarves decided to ally with the Elves and Men to fight this greater evil in what became known as the Battle of Five Armies. Among the items in Smaug’s possession were the Arkenstone and a number of mithril mail shirts, one of which was given as a gift to Bilbo by Thorin Oakenshield, the company’s leader. In The Lord of the Rings, set years later, the shirt saved Bilbo’s relative Frodo from injury several times.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie synopsis:
A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.
Fran Walsh (screenplay), and Philippa Boyens (screenplay)
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in theaters on December 14, 2012.