The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Battle of the Five Armies can be found here.

The Battle of the Five Armies is the third part of a three-part adaptation of the novel The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). The first film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) covers the first six chapters of the novel and a few moments from the seventh chapter. The second film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug covers the seventh through the 13th chapters. Finally, this film covers the remaining 14th through 19th chapters. Also, based on comments by Peter Jackson leading up to the release of the first Hobbit film There and Back Again, the movies may contain scenes based on the appendices from the novel The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, also by Tolkien.

Because The Hobbit is such a short book it was reasonable to assume the story would be wrapped up by the end of the second movie. But the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ends where the book would still have six chapters remaining. These scenes include, among others, the Battle of the Five Armies and the struggle over the Arkenstone. So a significant portion of the book has been shifted to the final film in the trilogy. Initially, The Hobbit was planned for one or two films, following the original book more closely. Shortly after Guillermo del Toro left the directing position to be replaced by Peter Jackson, MGM agreed that a third movie should be developed to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, since both books were so starkly different in tone that film audiences may have a hard time reconciling the two films series. What is also known is that Peter Jackson has used the appendices of the novel of "The Return of The King" to help develop the story of the third film.

Tolkien's novel specifies that the climactic battle "was called the Battle of Five Armies ... Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves." As the movie does not feature an army of Wolves (Wargs), the identity of its "fifth" army has been the subject of some debate. Some viewers have argued that the movie depicts two separate armies of different species of Goblin or Orc. Others have argued that the Eagles represent the movie's fifth army. Support for the latter view may be found in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, in which Bilbo refers at the start of the battle to "four armies" (apparently treating the Goblins and Wolves as one single army). On the appearance of the Eagles, Bilbo then describes them as the "fifth" army.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote extensively on every detail of the history of his fantasy world, seen in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Much of this writing exists not as narrative storytelling but as story notes and fictional historical accounts. The appendices to Return of the King are part of that extensive work. They were included in the book to give readers a better understanding of the history of Middle-Earth leading up to, including, and following the events of The Lord of the Rings. The appendices include detailed timelines, family trees and a pronunciation guide. Also included is a story not told in the books. This includes, but is not limited to, some of Gandalf's back story, the creation of the Rings of Power, and what happens to all the main characters of LotR after the original story. Peter Jackson has said that he has pulled a lot of information from these appendices to help fill out the story of the first two Hobbit films and to create a story for the third film. Tolkien's breadth of writing on Middle-Earth can also be found in books like The Silmarillion and the 12-volume series The History of Middle Earth, to which the filmmakers do not have rights.

Peter Jackson previously signed on as an executive producer (the same role that, comparatively, George Lucas served on Episodes 5 and 6 of Star Wars); The main reasoning appeared to be timetable conflicts with other directing commitments Jackson already had or has made (The Lovely Bones, Tintin). The fact that Jackson was in a financial conflict with New Line Cinema at the time may have also played a role. There may also be the matter that the previous Lord of the Rings movies are hugely popular movies. This will raise the expectations for The Hobbit considerably, while the novel is in many regards (e.g. story structure) quite similar to the Ring-trilogy, which has also become much more popular than the Hobbit over the years.

With Peter Jackson at the helm, expectations will likely rise to unrealistic proportions. This could lead to potential mass disappointment with the fan base, arguably comparable to when George Lucas decided to create his prequel trilogy to the original Star Wars trilogy himself, and when Steven Spielberg created a fourth Indiana Jones movie after nearly twenty years. Jackson himself also experienced first-hand how high expectations can get when he is listed as director, having met with some harsh criticism for his post-LotR movies (King Kong, The Lovely Bones). However, since del Toro left the project and the financial conflict with New Line Cinema was settled, Peter Jackson expressed willingness to step in as director. Moreover, he was "available" due to the delays in production. He has directed all three films (it is now a confirmed Trilogy) with shooting started in February 2011.

Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who all wrote the previous Rings Trilogy, have written the screenplay for The Hobbit Parts 1, 2 and 3. The movie has been split into three parts with added expanded content from the book (i.e. drawing story elements from the Appendices, see below), it is clear that the maker's intentions for this film go beyond a mere introductory prequel. We can expect "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" on December 14, 2012 followed by "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on December 13, 2013 and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" on December 17, 2014. The choice to extend the single relatively small, 297 (paperback) book was allegedly Peter Jackson's and he claims it is due to the sheer amount of content in the expanded universe, so that the story can be told in its entirety, as well as fan service, though there have been valid claims that the huge financial investment and potential profits were a factor in the final choice.

Yes, they were shot in 3D at 48 fps. They should also be available in 3D at 24 fps and 2D at 24 fps.

Thranduil probably should not know about Strider. Aragorn was raised secretly by Lord Elrond in Rivendell after the death of his father Arathorn II. However, Aragorn would have been alive at that time of the Battle of Five Armies; in the continuity of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films, he would have been in his mid-20s (between 25 and 27 years old). It seems as though Thranduil had been acquainted with Arathorn before he died and might have met Aragorn as a young man. In J.R.R. Tolkien's book-continuity, Aragorn would have been 10 years old at the time of Thorin's quest.

The Dwarves' New Year occured on the first day of the last moon of autumn. Durin's Day only happened in years when this moon and the sun appeared in the sky together. Using the crescent moons seen at Midsummer's Eve in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and on Durin's Day in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we can estimate that the date for Durin's Day in the latter film was on or near October 27 (the twenty-seventh day of Winterfilth) in Shire Reckoning. On our Gregorian calendar that should convert to October 17.

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