The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Poster


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Martin Freeman and the Elvish actors all play characters who cannot grow facial hair. The actors, however, not only grew facial hair, but had a complete five o'clock shadow by the end of a day's filming, even if they were clean-shaved at the beginning of the day. This shadow appears blue on film. Rather than shave repeatedly during the day, the actors had orange make-up applied, which canceled out the blue shadow.
The insult Thorin screams in Dwarvish at Thranduil in Khuzdul basically translates as "I dump my feces on your head."
During filming, Ian McKellen had to spend hours in a box with nothing but a microphone and pictures of the dwarves for company (the footage would be edited in to make him look taller than the dwarves), and was so upset by this that he exclaimed "This is not why I became an actor!" The microphone was still on and everyone on set heard him as a result. In consolation, the cast and crew surprised him by sticking gifts and encouragement messages into his trailer.
The only time Legolas blinks is when he realizes he has been wounded. This is in keeping with the character, as the only time Legolas blinks in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is when he is strongly surprised.
Orlando Bloom performed all his own stunts.
As in the first movie in the series, Bombur doesn't speak for the entire movie.
Gloin takes great insult that the portrait of his bearded wife is mistaken for being his brother. In the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), his son Gimli notes that Dwarf women are often mistaken for men, on account of their beards.
Orlando Bloom is two years older than Lee Pace who plays his father, King Thranduil.
Benedict Cumberbatch suggested to read the Necromancer's Black Speech backwards to make it sound diabolic and unholy.
Thranduil's sudden scars reflect a little-emphasized facet of J.R.R. Tolkien's lore: elves' "Fëa" (a metaphysical concept analogous translatable as "soul") occasionally influences the "Hröa" (the fleshly, physical body), particularly under moments of extreme stress. This can manifest as extreme physical changes that reflect the mind's state, in this case deep war scars.
As the company has entered Beorn's house, Dori (Mark Hadlow) tells Ori (Adam Brown) to stay away from the door, and then says: "It's not natural. None of it." This is the exact same quote as Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) says to Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) after climbing down their Elvish rope in the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
Bilbo steals the keys to the prison from an Elf addressed as Elros. Elros is also the name of Elrond's brother. The two brothers had both human and Elvish ancestry on both their mother's and father's side, and as such were perfectly half-Elf and half-Man. While Elrond chose to be an immortal Elf, Elros chose to become a mortal man. He thus became the progenitor of the Numenorian race, and an ancestor of Aragorn.
It took one processor-week to render a scale from Smaug's body. In other words, if a single computer processor were used, each scale would have taken a week to render. Fortunately, Weta Digital used a large server farm of multi-processor machines for its effects rendering.
Benedict Cumberbatch studied iguanas and Komodo dragons at the London Zoo's Reptilian House to prepare for the voice of Smaug, aiming for a tone that would "bridge between animal and human, a deep and rasping guttural dryness to the voice."
After the barrel riding sequence, as the Orcs continue to search for the Dwarves, one of them dips his finger into a pool of blood on the ground and tastes it, spitting in disgust and says "Dwarf blood!". This mimics a scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) where Gimli dips his finger in a similar fashion into some blood left on some leaves and tastes it, only to spit out in disgust and say "Orc blood!"
Aside from providing the voice of Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch also supplied motion-capture performance to portray the dragon. However, since Smaug's body is impossible to motion-capture fully, only Cumberbatch's face, upper body and arms were captured and the rest of the body was completed in keyframe animation.
In a midnight screening in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the cinema's speakers broke after Smaug's first roar.
The roles of Sigrid and Tilda, the daughters of Bard, are played by Peggy Nesbitt and Mary Nesbitt, the daughters of James Nesbitt (Bofur).
The fish that were dumped into the barrels to hide Bilbo and the dwarves were real fish with a few rubber props mixed in. At one point Adam Brown (Ori) had as much as 400 pounds of fish dumped directly on him. Brown hates fish and had to fight his own phobia while buried in them in the barrel and while he waited for crew members to pull them off of him. Since the fish were slippery, they had to be taken out by hand one at a time.
Laketown is also called Esgaroth by dwarves and elves. Esgaroth is a word that means "bed of reed".
The budding romance between Kili and Tauriel was not a part of the original footage shot in 2011-2012; it was added to "beef up" the second film during re-shoots in 2013.
The sudden scars on Thranduil's face are a creation of the film adaptation. According to J.R.R. Tolkien's texts and books, the last battle where Thranduil fought was the last alliance at the end of the Second Age (about 3000 years earlier), where Sauron was defeated. The scars, a creative liberty of the writers, represent a symbol of Thranduil's endurance by war.
John Bell grew 6 inches in between the time that principal photography was completed and pickup shooting began. He had to stoop down when standing next to Luke Evans to maintain continuity.
Evangeline Lilly's character, Silvan elf Tauriel, was created for the films. Tauriel is a name that in Sindarin language means "Daughter of the Forest".
The 48 FPS 3D movie was shipped to some theaters via a standard SATA hard drive. It was shipped with a security code that prevented the content from being viewed or copied until the code was released by the distributor about 24 hours in advance of the initial release time of the movie. The 48 fps 3D version of the movie occupied 639 GB of data on the SATA hard drive. The theater in question could have downloaded the entire movie via a secure satellite link, but the download would have taken more than a full 24 hours. Given that 96 frames per second are required for the 3D picture (48 fps for each eye), the data size for each frame for each eye is about .66 megabytes.
This is the only movie in the Middle Earth series directed by Peter Jackson to not feature Frodo and Gollum and the first of the many Middle Earth films including animated ones not to feature Elrond leaving Gandalf being the only one to appear in every single film based on Middle Earth series written by J.R.R. Tolkien as Bilbo doesn't appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Lawrence Makoare, who plays Bolg, played the Uruk-Hai's leader Lurtz in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), and Witch-King of Angmar and the Orcs' leader Gothmog in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman)'s performance was dedicated to 'Paul Walker', who he co-stared with in Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and who died a few days before the film's release.
When Benedict Cumberbatch was young, his father, actor Timothy Carlton used to read "The Hobbit" to him as a bedtime treat.
To prepare for the role of Tauriel, Evangeline Lilly underwent training for swordplay and archery, as well as studying the Elvish language.
Originally Doug Jones was meant to play King Thranduil, but Peter Jackson cast Lee Pace, of whom he was a big admirer since watching Pace's film The Fall (2006).
Much of the cast have worked in adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories:
Mirkwood is a derivation from the Germanic word "Myrkviðr" and it means "Dark Wood".
The only Middle Earth film not to feature Hugo Weaving.
Christopher Lee (Saruman) commented that he would have loved to voice the dragon Smaug in a film adaptation of 'The Hobbit'.
Jed Brophy appears in The Hobbit Trilogy as Nori. His son Sadwyn Brophy appeared as Eldarion in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
At one point, Bilbo and the company of Dwarves arrive at Laketown, which was mentioned in a conversation between an aging Bilbo (Ian Holm) to Frodo (Elijah Wood) in Rivendell, in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), this film and its sequel The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), were shot concurrently and wrapped on July 6, 2012 after 266 days of principal photography.
Neither Peggy nor Mary Nesbitt actually shared any screen time with their father, his scale double was used for the scenes in Bard's house.
Several of the women who turn out to see Bilbo and the dwarves leave Lake Town for Erebor are actually tall male crew members who were dressed up as women to get the proper scale of humans vs dwarves & Bilbo for the shot.
A pair of Megaloceros giganteus (Irish elk) antlers flanks the Elf king's throne.
The stone that Kili carries is called Labradorite, named after Labrador, Canada, where it was discovered. The Inuit people call it the "frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis" and it is considered to be magical, which may be the reason why Kili jokes about what may happen if anyone were to touch it. Labradorite can appear black, gray-green, dark gray or grayish white and refracts colors such as blue, green, gold and red in the light. You see these qualities as Tauriel inspects the stone herself.
Robert Kazinsky was cast as Fili and had filmed a few scenes, but left the project and returned to England about a month after filming started due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Dean O'Gorman.
Benedict Cumberbatch,Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Lee Pace and Richard Armitage of the cast were all chosen by the readers of Empire Magazine among 'The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars' in 2013.
When Guillermo del Toro was going to film the series, he had Ron Perlman in mind to voice Smaug.
The Mirkwood scenes required nearly all color to be drained from the footage, in order to make the forest appear "sick". As a result, objects that needed to retain their color, such as certain mushrooms and lichens, had to be painted in neon colors to be noticeable at all in the final film. Peter Jackson remarked that the set looked like it was painted in 1967. The actors also had to have their faces painted unusually red in order to retain color.
While the novel and the previous film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) are mostly told through Bilbo's point of view, this film shifts the perspective to mainly Gandalf and Thorin with little involvement from Bilbo in many major scenes.
Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) once dated her Lost (2004) co-star Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings series.
While the cast was shooting the barrel escape scenes in the specially-constructed indoor "rapids" tank, several of them (without naming names) stated that they had to "relieve" themselves in the water, since they had to stay in the tank for so long without so much as a lunch break. When Martin Freeman found out, he was furious, since Bilbo spends all of his time during that scene directly in the water, and had been swallowing a great deal of it.
According to visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, classic European and Asian dragons (particularly the European wyvern) served as inspirations for designing Smaug.
Evangeline Lilly has been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Middle-Earth" novels since she was 13.
This is (as of october 2014) the only Peter Jackson-adapted Tolkien film that does not include a "Wilhelm Scream", something that has become a trademark for him. In November 2014 the extended edition included 2 scenes in which the "Wilhelm Scream" is used
This film is features the first occurrence of seeing the character Legolas bleed on screen.
In the "Barrels out of Bond" sequence, there are two instances where Thorin throws a sword at an orc to kill them, first to protect Balin when an orc jumps at him from above, and second to stop an orc from attacking Legolas from behind. If you pause the film at these times you can see that in both instances the sword he throws has the same design as Balin's sword, which he used in both films until was taken by the Wood Elves upon their capture in the forest.
Eva Green auditioned for the part of Tauriel in 2010, losing the role to Evangeline Lilly. Green's audition took place right after Benedict Cumberbatch's, who successfully obtained the role of Smaug.
Both Lee Pace (Thranduil) and Luke Evans have been the lead in a fantasy epic directed by Tarsem Singh.
The sound editors for The Desolation of Smaug pulled an all-nighter to finish the sound before handing it in, because they were behind schedule due to the sudden change of plans from two movies to three movies.
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Nathaniel Lees was originally cast as the Necromancer.
Only entry in 'The Hobbit' series in which Lee Pace does not ride on an elk.
Tauriel the She-Elf was never included in the book Series, but she appears in both the Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies.
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The name of Lee Pace's character, Thranduil, is a Sindarin word that means "vigorous spring".
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Richard Armitage hated the tan overcoat he was given to wear when the Company traveled from Laketown to Erebor, and begged Peter Jackson to find a way to have him somehow lose it. Jackson then wrote the scene in which Smaug lets a blast of fire loose on the Company, catching the back of Thorin's coat on fire and necessitating its removal.
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In order to keep Kili's bodily proportions correct while filming the scene in which Tauriel is healing his leg wound, Aidan Turner's upper body and his scale double's legs were filmed performing the same scene with the cast twice, then spliced together in post-production.
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Alan Lee:  The conceptual designer appears as one of the musicians, when some of the Dwarves and Bilbo leave Laketown. He also appeared as one of the 9 kings of men in the intro of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Stephen Colbert:  as the eyepatch-wearing Lakewood Spy who knocks on the door with the walking stick. Colbert, a longtime Tolkien fan and expert, had brought his wife and two of his sons to the shoot. When his scene was completed, Peter Jackson personally presented Colbert with a replica of the sword Sting.
Katie Jackson:  as the barmaid serving Thorin and Gandalf at The Prancing Pony

Director Cameo 

Peter Jackson:  at the beginning of the film as the camera sweeps through the town of Bree, he walks out of the pub looking drunk and eats a carrot. He previously had a similar cameo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Jackson also filmed another cameo for this film; he played another spy in Lake Town, a man who'd hide in a basket and signal his comrades with wild bird calls. The scene was adamantly vetoed by his co-producer and -writer, Philippa Boyens and was never used.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to Kili, the Labradorite stone he carries was a gift from his mother to remind him of his promise to return to her. When he is looking at it in Thranduil's dungeons, runes can be seen on it, which translate as "inikhde", a word in Khuzdul (the dwarvish language, created by J.R.R. Tolkien) which means "return to me".
When Bilbo first confronts the dragon Smaug, he explains who he is in various nicknames. He says that he comes from "under hill" to which Smaug replies, "Underhill?". This is the name by which Frodo Baggins covered his true identity "The Lord of the Rings" as per Gandalf's request.
Thranduil makes it clear that he doesn't consider Tauriel to be worthy of his son, Legolas, but the film avoids explaining why. In the books, it is established that the wood-elves of Mirkwood are Silvan, but Thranduil and his family are Sindar ('Grey Elves'), a more noble ruling class of elves. This difference is also alluded to in the film by the fact that Thranduil and Legolas are blonde, while all the other Mirkwood elves have darker hair ( although Legolas' hair colour was never declared in the books).
When Kili is being saved by Tauriel from the Morgul-tipped arrow, Kili sees Tauriel surrounded by light. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), the first time that Frodo, similarly hurt by a Morgul knife, sees Arwen, she also appears surrounded by light.
There is a fan theory that the Arkenstone is actually one of the lost Silmarils, from J.R.R. Tolkiens "The Silmarilion." Changes in the visual design of the Arkenstone from how it is described in the book seem to indicate Peter Jackson (or one of his design team) subscribe to that theory. Since they do not have film rights to that book, explicit references to its story and characters do not feature in the movies.
The Arkenstone in this film is presented as a symbol of Dwarf kingship. In the novel, it was just a family heirloom.
When Bilbo puts on the Ring in the black forest of Mirkwood, he can understand the giant spiders. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Frodo could hear the Nazgul when both met in the Weathertop.
When Legolas fights against Bolg and the rest of Orcs in Laketown, he uses Thorin's sword ("Orcrist", the Goblin-cleaver), which he kept after disarming Thorin and the Dwarf company when they were captured in Mirkwood.
When The Necromancer is revealed as Sauron, he initially appears as a ghost clad in armor, as he was shown in the prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
When Bilbo fights against a giant spider in Mirkwood with his sword, he hears the spider say "It stings, it stings". This gives the name to Bilbo's sword, which years later he would give to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
During his confrontation with Gandalf, the Necromancer reveals himself as Sauron, with his shadow turning into a giant eye of fire. This was his shape in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The first meeting between Gandalf and Radagast takes place in the mountains of High Fells of Rhudaur, to investigate an underground cave. They find some tombs desecrated, and its iron doors blown out. These are the tombs of the Nazgul (the ancient nine kings of men), mentioned by Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Rhudaur is a Sindarin word (a fictional language created by Tolkien) and means "Eastern Forest".
The rune inscription inside the hidden door read by Gloin says: "Here in lies the seventh kingdom of Durin's folk. May the Heart of the Mountain unite all Dwarves in defence of this home".
In the book 'The Hobbit' the whole chapter where the dwarves were captured by the Spiders was changed quite a bit. To lure away the spiders Bilbo sings a song. Once away from the spiders also how they encounter the Elves was changed. Both Bilbo and the dwarves chase firelight into open spaces to get to the elves, but the fire was snuffed out. This happens three times before getting captured and held in the Elven Dungeons.
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WILHEM SCREAM: As Fili and Kili trip a Laketown Guard during the chase in the market with a bit of rope, after the Dwarves entry into Laketown.
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