Behold! ‘The Hobbit’ Trailer Is Here

Hot on the heels of the trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises" comes the first look at "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The hotly anticipated prequel (the first of two) to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy hits theaters December 14, 2012.

As expected, the trailer spurred massive interest on the Web. Online searches for "hobbit trailer," "watch hobbit trailer," and "hobbit trailer 2012" all roared into breakout status. Commenters around the Web who chimed in with their thoughts on the Peter Jackson-directed film are, for the most part, quite positive.

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Over at Entertainment Weekly, many fans admitted that they actually got a little teary-eyed during the trailer. One commenter wrote, "Is it wrong that it got me a little misty?" Another quickly replied, "Not at all. When the dwarves sang, it got me misty too. Jackson always did hit the nail on the head with regard to Tolkien's songs."

Over at IGN, the commenters are also almost uniformly positive. One fan writes, "Now THAT'S how you do a Trailer!" Another writes, "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY." And another clear fan writes, "The Hobbit is going to so amazing, but the wait is going to be painful too."

From what we see in the clip, the film does make a few notable changes from the novel. For one, Gandolf (played by Ian McKellan) appears to have a bit of a love interest, in the form of Cate Blanchett's Galadriel.

Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, is poised to be the film's breakout star. Best known for his work in the UK's version of "The Office," Freeman has been described by Peter Jackson as "fantastic." In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Jackson said, "We couldn't find anyone who was better than him. He is simply fantastic." Ian Holm played an older version of Bilbo in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Check out the 'Dark Knight Rises' Trailer >>

But what about what we don't see? The International Business Times points out that the trailer keeps Smaug, the fearsome dragon of Misty Mountain, under wraps. Elijah Wood's Frodo is seen only briefly. Ditto for Gollum, who makes a chilling appearance near the end of the trailer.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Ready to return to Middle Earth? Leave a comment below.