Fans who attended The Hobbit panel (hosted by Stephen Colbert) at this past weekend’s Comic-Con were rewarded with a poem in Elvish and first look at the teaser trailer for the final installment in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. In keeping with the previous two movies, Battle’s full trailer won’t be released until October — a few weeks before the film’s Dec. 17 premiere — to allow time for the elaborate visual-effects to be completed.
Still, there’s enough footage to satisfy most dedicated Middle-earthlings. The clip opens with the voice of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman) as he recounts the grim toll of a violent clash. (For those keeping score at home, the five armies of the film’s title include warriors representing the races of Elves, Men, and Dwarves facing off against a host of Goblins and wolf-like Wargs — with lots orcs and giant eagles and bats thrown in for good measure.) Throughout much of the 2-minute teaser we hear the voice of Pippin (Billy Boyd) singing his haunting lament to Denethor from the third* Lord of the Rings movie.
The clip is packed with scenes of war, including shots of a fierce Tauriel (Evangeline Lily), a grim Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), and a strafing run by the vengeful dragon Smaug. Most intriguing is a brief snippet that shows Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) tenderly kissing the brow of a lifeless Gandalf (Ian McKellen).
It’s a predictably fast-paced assemblage that reveals more about the mood of the movie without giving away much in the way of plot. But that shouldn’t matter to the millions of fans who’ve waited years to see how Peter Jackson will end his final visit to Middle-earth.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters December 17, 2014
*This post has been corrected since its original publication.