And the bells shall ring in gladness At the Mountain King's return But all shall fail in sadness And the lake will shine and burn...
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second film in the three-part cinematic adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's classic fantasy novel The Hobbit, directed by Peter Jackson and adapted for the screen by Jackson and Guillermo del Toro.Picking up where the first film left off, we find the company running from Azog, who has nearly caught up again after the eagles came to their rescue. They seek refuge in the home of the skin-changer Beorn, then take off towards the forest of Mirkwood. Gandalf is forced to part ways with them to investigate the supposed Necromancer, and without him they encounter one obstacle after another, including spiders, elves, orcs and men. And as the Lonely Mountain looms closer, so does the threat of their greatest enemy — the dragon Smaug.
The Desolation of Smaug provides examples of the following tropes:
Achilles' Heel: Only a special dwarven-made "black arrow" fired from a special dwarven mounted ballista can pierce a dragon's hide. Dale had four such arrows, three of which were used. While they didn't take Smaug down, the last of the bolts knocked off a scale, leaving a weak point in his hide.
Bilbo's time with Smaug is greatly expanded upon, including Thorin and company making a valiant effort to take Smaug down while still within Erebor.
Bard gets introduced to the plot much earlier on than he was in the book — where he shows up literally right before Smaug's about to attack Laketown — and his character and motivations are well established in preparation for the third film.
Thorin's greed and obsession with reclaiming the Arkenstone is played up far more in the film than it was in the books. Naturally this was done to establish Thorin jumping off the slippery slope in the next movie.
Adipose Rex: The Master of Laketown is disgustingly fat and filthy.
Adult Fear: Bard fears for the safety of his children and his town, since a nigh-unstoppable fire-breathing dragon could come at any time and destroy them all. By the end of the film, all his fears are coming true: Smaug is on the way — and, since he's behind bars, there's nothing he can do to save his children. Bard's youngest daughter Tilda, who looks about eight-years-old, doesn't help the matter by asking her dad if they're all going to die when Smaug is mentioned.
The Alcoholic: The Master gets several brandies down before breakfast.
The elves of Mirkwood are shown talking to each others in their native tongue, but when Bilbo sneaks through the palace, he comes across Thranduil and Tauriel having a conversation without speaking Elvish. However, Bilbo is shown in later installments to speak Elvish, so it might be Translation Convention.
The dwarves speak Common to each other even when Bilbo isn't there. Justified in-universe, because Tolkien explicitly stated in his notes that Dwarves are extremely secretive about Khuzdul, their native language, and that they use it very rarely, hardly speaking it in everyday life. As such, Dwarves frequently speak Common even when only among themselves, and they definitely never speak Khuzdul if there is even the faintest chance of an outsider overhearing them (for this reason, only a very few non-Dwarves in the history of Middle-Earth ever learned the language). Background Tolkien deliberately drew strong parallels between the Dwarves of Middle-Earth and real-world Diaspora Jews, both by explicitly constructing Khuzdul to resemble Hebrew (and Arabic, or rather, Semitic languages in general) in phonology and grammar, and by presenting the Dwarves as a species that lost their homeland and was living among other races, split into several groups and frequently adopting said groups' speech and mannerisms. As such, the use of the Khuzdul language probably would be similar to the use of Hebrew by most Diaspora Jews prior to the founding of Israel, which is to say, only on special occasions or for special purposes (in the case of Jews/Hebrew, as a liturgical language almost exclusively), and there'd be nothing unusual about using the language of the "host nation" even among themselves.
Annoying Arrows: Averted. Kíli takes an arrow to the knee, and instantly collapses in pain. Rather than pull it out, he resolves to jump down into a barrel, snapping it off, which still hurts. The poison on the arrow turns out to be the most pressing issue, though.
The Anticipator: Thranduil plays with this trope: Bilbo uses the ring to disappear, and he stumbles onto the chambers of Legolas's father, Thranduil. He subverts this trope, asking why he is hiding in the shadows, and stating that he can come out now. However, Bilbo finds out that Thranduil is not speaking to him after all, but to Tauriel who had been lingering in the shadows as well.
Arc Words: The word "precious" shows up a few times throughout the movie.
While the dwarves manage to get through the rapids in the open barrels, in real life the barrels probably would have filled with water and sunk very early on. Not to mention the likelihood of the barrels being destroyed or ruined by hitting rocks.
Much like Scrooge McDuck, landing and falling on all those coins, hard and repeatedly, would have done poor Bilbo no favors whatsoever.
Gandalf and Bard are both held behind bars by the end of the film.
Bait and Switch: At one point, Beorn looks like he's going to crush a mouse; he just sets it aside, showing his gentle nature towards innocent creatures. Also in that scene, it looks like Beorn is preparing to throw the dwarves out of his house to be torn apart by orcs, but ultimately he helps them escape. He might not like dwarves terribly much but he hates orcs for what they did to his people.
Bears Are Bad News: Played with; Gandalf isn't sure if Beorn will help Thorin and co. or eat them. It turns out Beorn doesn't like dwarves very much, but he hates orcs a lot more. Gandalf also points out that the bear will try to kill them, but the man can be reasoned with.
Everything Bilbo tells Smaug — that he's alone and just wanted to marvel at the dragon's majesty. Smaug sees right through the deception and deduces the truth with ease. It doesn't help that Bilbo is running after the falling Arkenstone right as he's insisting that's not what he came there for.
Also Balin's "We are simple dwarven merchants," while they're standing ten feet away from barrels splintered by a fight with elves and orcs and hauling around absolutely nothing in the way of merchandise. Bard doesn't buy it for a second.
Body Horror: Thranduil's classic elven good looks seem to be an illusion, which briefly disappears when he's talking to Thorin about dragons, showing that he's actually horribly burned and missing chunks of his face.
Boom, Headshot: To a number of orcs, including one instance of Legolas nailing two through the head with the same arrow. The elf has talent.
Brains and Brawn: Played with in the arrival at Beorn's house. The Company is ramming the huge door in a panic to get inside, and then Thorin arrives last, simply lifting the latch to open it, just in time to escape the enormous bear pursuing them.
Break Them by Talking: Smaug loves to use words just as much as his fiery breath and claws to attack Bilbo. He discerns Bilbo's purpose to find the Arkenstone, then ruthlessly slanders Thorin as a greedy weakling and tells Bilbo how worthless he is in Thorin's eyes — simply a pawn to be used and discarded.
Peter Jackson again has a cameo appearance eating a carrot in Bree, just as in The Fellowship of the Ring.
Legolas rides an orc's body like a snowboard, just like he did with a shield in The Two Towers.
When Sauron has defeated and captured Gandalf, his spirit forms itself into something very familiar — a fiery eye. The pupil at the centre then takes on a shadowy version of the armored giant he fought as at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.
Thorin insults Thranduil with the same Dwarvish words that Gimli later uses to describe Haldir in The Fellowship of the Ring.
In the chase to Beorn's house, Bombur showing everyone that Dwarves are indeed "natural sprinters" as was (will be?) claimed by Gimli in The Two Towers.
Glóin carries a huge locket/small picture frame of his wife and his young son, Gimli. When the elves are searching the dwarves, Legolas looks at Gimli's picture and comments that it must be of a malformed Goblin.
Tauriel heals Kíli's wound with kingsfoil ("Aye, it's a weed!") like Aragorn while chanting and glowing like Arwen. She also calls Legolas "mellon", which is Elvish for "friend" and the password to the Mines of Moria.
The floor of Thranduil's throne room seems to be decorated with same moonlight and starlight-reflecting metal as the doors to Moria.
Likewise, the reveal of the keyhole on the secret door of Erebor, by the light of the moon no less, echoes the reveal of the Western Door of Moria. As does the use of Exact Words between "speak friend and enter" and "the last light of Durin's Day".
Bilbo inadvertently alerting enemies of the presence of the Company (in this case, the spiders of Mirkwood). Another hobbit did that in The Fellowship of the Ring with the Goblins and trolls of Moria: Pippin. Both happen to be part of the Took family (Bilbo by his mother).
Sauron reduces Gandalf's staff to ashes much like the Witch-King did in The Return of the King.
The use of "precious" (by Smaug) and "It's mine," (by Bilbo) in reference to the Ring.
Gandalf discovers nine empty tombs whose occupants have been raised by the Necromancer.
Smaug shakes off the molten gold and sends it flying every which way in a cloud of little glittering specks, echoing the dragon-firework Pippin and Merry set off in Fellowship.
Fíli claiming that, if Kíli can't climb the Lonely Mountain, then he'll be there to help carry him to the secret door, like Sam saying to Frodo in The Return of the King, "I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!" He chooses to stay in Laketown with Kíli, though, so the famous scene is not reenacted.
In his battle with the Necromancer, Gandalf has a You Shall Not Pass moment. Given that the Necromancer is in fact Sauron (and that they are fighting Maia to Maia), it ends as well as expected for Gandalf, which is not well at all: in Dol Guldur's prisons.
Legolas' dramatic entrance, coupled with the line "Don't think I won't kill you, Dwarf," addressed to Thorin, is similar to Haldir's in The Fellowship of the Ring, the Lothlórien Captain even remarking about Gimli that "The dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him in the dark."
When Bilbo kills the Mirkwood creature that touched the Ring, he does so with the same ferocity that Sméagol displayed when he murdered Déagol to take the Ring. (Fits this trope in prequel terms, but overlaps with the Call Back trope since chronologically, Déagol's murder came first.)
During the Company's attempt to get away from Smaug, they are alerted to him moving directly above them thanks to gold coins falling from his form. Before this, he was moving so silently they wouldn't have known he was there - much like Frodo wouldn't know Shelob was stalking him from above, until it was too late.
Can't Argue with Elves: In full force with Thranduil and his people to the point where they hardly appear to be on the side of good. They're downright hostile, taking the dwarves prisoner indefinitely and confiscating all their belongings just for being in Mirkwood and trespassing in Thranduil's kingdom. It's noted earlier on that this sect isn't as wise as the ones from Rivendell.
The Cassandra / Only Sane Man: Bard is apparently the only one in Laketown who remembers that, while the Prophecy promises gold, it also promises destruction, and the wealth and riches everybody's so excited about still has a big ol' dragon sitting on top of it. Regretfully, no-one seems inclined to listen to him when he brings that point up, as they are too caught up in tales of treasure to care about the risks of Thorin's venture.
Catch-22: According to the prologue, Thorin has spent decades trapped in one. He can't defeat Smaug and reclaim the Arkenstone (and with it, the throne of Erebor) without the aid of the other dwarf nations. But the other dwarf nations will only undertake a war that risky for another king, which Thorin isn't without the Arkenstone, which he can't get to without defeating Smaug. Gandalf suggests that he Take a Third Option: hire a burglar to steal back the Arkenstone for him, thus gaining him the authority to call the other dwarves to war.
Cat Scare: With one of Radagast's birds when Gandalf enters the tomb of the Nazgûl.
The giant crossbow and special black bolts capable of piercing dragon scales is given enough attention (along with Bard and his grandfather as its users) that audience members who haven't read the novel can probably guess it'll be important later on.
While Bain is hiding the last black arrow, a large statue is shown prominently enough in the background that it is clearly supposed to be remembered when he or someone else comes to get it.
Cliff Hanger: A huge one. Gandalf is captive in Dol Goldur, the Orc armies are on the march, Bard is in a jail cell, and Smaug is on his way to destroy Laketown; and none of our heroes is in a position to do anything about any of it..
Clink Hello: The dwarves realize Smaug is crawling through a chasm directly above them when a coin drops from the dragon's underbelly and lands on the bridge they're crossing.
Convection Schmonvection: Present throughout once Smaug makes an appearance. His flames frequently come within inches of Bilbo and the Dwarves, but they aren't particularly hampered by it. In the finale, the dwarves trick Smaug into firing up a giant forge that melts down tons of gold into running liquid, and then spend extended amounts of time in its immediate vicinity without a slightest sign of discomfort. Thorin even sails the molten metal in a wheelbarrow! It's no wonder that the stuff didn't manage to even hurt Smaug.
Zig-Zagged: At times Smaug's fire-breath turns nearby metal and stone extremely hot; he purposefully tries to fry the protagonists this way when they're in an enclosed space. Other times the combination of fire-breath and the extremely high temperature of the molten gold should cook Bilbo and the dwarves alive, but don't.
Corrupt Bureaucrat / Obstructive Bureaucrat: Alfrid does whatever it takes to keep the Master of Laketown in power — which, by extension, keeps him in a powerful position. He's willing to fuel the Master's anger against Bard, imprison people for political reasons, and spy on the general populace. And he doesn't care if people are starving, those barrels of fish are illegal!
Creator Cameo: As stated above. Jackson is actually the first person to appear in the movie.
Cruel Mercy: Smaug briefly considers letting Thorin have the Arkenstone just to watch it drive him mad with greed, and later refrains from killing Bilbo just to make him watch Laketown and the people who helped him be obliterated.
Curb Stomp Cushion: Gandalf manages to hold off Sauron's darkness and even repel it once before it overwhelms him.
Darker and Edgier: Than An Unexpected Journey. Parallels the change in tone in the book as the narrative progresses, though it happens earlier than in the book (for example, the book introduction of Beorn was a whimsical example of Gandalf's Guile Hero qualities; in the movie, they just barge right in pursued by a bear).
Death Glare: Smaug's glare is one by default. When he fixes his gaze on you, you know unequivocally that he has decided you're going to die very soon.
Sauron, given that he transforms into The Great Eye when Gandalf faces him, you can tell from that point on that if he's looking at you, you're in for a world of hurt
Deliberate Injury Gambit: Bolg allows himself to be stabbed by Legolas so he can gets his hands on the nimble elf. He didn't succeed in killing him, naturally, but Legolas got himself a fair beating.
Demoted to Dragon: Azog is summoned by the Necromancer to raise an army of orcs in Dol Guldur, denying him from hunting down Thorin's party while promising "All will die in time". Azog tasks his son Bolg with the job of finding and killing the dwarves.
Once Thorin and company get into Erebor, they all realize that they will most likely die at the hands (and flames) of Smaug because they didn't even have a plan to defeat him.
Thorin, when he sends Bilbo in to find the Arkenstone: it seemingly never occurred to him that Bilbo would have to search an area at least equal to a city block, with not much more to go on than "a large white gem, you'll know it when you see it".
Likewise the thought of using molten gold as a weapon against Smaug seemed like a good idea... until you realize this is a creature whose insides can withstand obscene power of dragon fire, comparable in heat to Mount Doom itself. All they did was make him angry. Very, very angry.
During the barrel escape scene, you can see Bilbo thinking this once the trap door closes after the others.
Also averted. In the original book, the dwarves had no real plan beyond "get to the Mountain, have the burglar yoink the treasure." Smaug rightfully points out that it would an incredible amount of time to steal the treasure one handful at a time, he would surely notice them before they finished, and even if they pulled it off they would still have a mountain of treasure in the middle of wilderness with no real way getting it anywhere they could spend it. In the film, however, they are solely after the Arkenstone to use it to make the other dwarf lords honor their oaths and attack Smaug.
Didn't See That Coming: When your enemy's plan to kill you consists of luring you up to giant gold statue which then dissolves into liquid gold from it not cooling yet, Smaug can hardly be blamed for not expecting it.
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Thorin does this constantly to Smaug while being chased by him. He uses it to his advantage to keep Smaug off guard and make use of his fire breath in an Indy Ploy.
Distracted By The Shiny: Smaug, by the gigantic golden statue in Erebor's Hall of Kings. Pretty understandable trait in a dragon.
Distressed Dude: Kíli ends up needing to be rescued several times by Tauriel.
Double Entendre: Kíli asks Tauriel if she's gonna search him, because he could have anything down his trousers. She sharply retorts that she won't because he could have nothing down there.
Dragon Hoard: When Smaug is finally seen for the first time, he is completely buried inside his mountain of gold. Smaug is also able to detect that the invisible Bilbo is wearing "something made of gold" (the Ring), which suggests he can sense (or maybe smell) gold.
Droste Image: The Necromancer (a.k.a. Sauron) appears as the Eye of Sauron with his humanoid form as the pupil, repeating itself infinitely from within.
Despite warming up to Bilbo in the first film, and also despite Bilbo's enormous help in getting to Erebor, Thorin is back to treating him like garbage. Lampshaded by Balin and Smaug, of all characters. Though he clearly has more faith in him than he did previously, trusting him to rescue them from the elves. His attitude is less that Bilbo is a useless encumbrance, as in the first movie, but that one life is less important than their quest.
Both Thorin and the Master of Laketown blame Lord Girion for not managing to kill Smaug, and hold Bard in contempt for his ancestor's failure. Which is a bit rich, considering Smaug probably wouldn't have attacked Dale and Erebor in the first place if Thorin's grandfather hadn't been so greedy, and Thorin, with all his dwarves, didn't manage to so much as scratch Smaug, either. Plus, while Girion was pledged to defend Dale, it's much harder to do so when you throw a dragon into the mix, which clearly nobody had prepared for, and he died trying to bring Smaug down. And anyway, Girion managed to pave the way for Bard's opportunity to finally kill Smaug.
Dynamic Entry: When Gandalf is trying to negate the concealment spells around Dol Goldur, Azog waits until he's nearly done then dives in to attack just as Gandalf finishes his final counter-spell.
Beorn has no love for dwarves, seeing them as greedy and self-centered. But he's willing to provide Thorin's party horses to take them to Mirkwood, because he hates orcs more than he hates dwarves.
During the escape from Thranduil's halls, Elves and Dwarves find themselves allied temporarily against their common foe, the Orcs.
Establishing Character Moment: Bard's introduction establishes his knack for assessing a situation, and his both highly accurate and steady aim with a bow. The first trait makes him realise Smaug will most likely attack Laketown if the dwarves get into the mountain, the second lets us know that if any human can kill Smaug, it's this guy.
When Thranduil "frees" his orc prisoner. He liberates his head from his body.
In a change from the book and animated movie, the "last light of Durin's Day [that] shine[s] upon the keyhole" isn't the last ray of sunlight but the first ray of moonlight — Durin's Day is marked by the sun and moon being out at the same time.
Extreme Melee Revenge: Bilbo brutally shanks some kind of Mirkwood arthropod that grazed the dropped Ring, showing that the Ring's corruption is getting to his head.
Facial Horror: There's a brief moment where Thranduil lets a magical glamor fail and we see that he was burned by dragonfire long ago, searing half his face down into muscle and bone, and leaving one eye milky-white.
Failed a Spot Check: When getting the lay of the land above the Mirkwood canopy, Bilbo either didn't notice that he'd stepped in spider webs, or that a spider was cocooning his feet. Admittedly he was half crazed from lack of fresh air, but still...
The Fair Folk: The elves of Mirkwood are "less wise and more dangerous" than their kin elsewhere, and Mirkwood itself is a distinctly fey place.
As in the first film, Elves and many Humans really despise Dwarves. Much of the bigotry stems from Thorin's unhinged grandfather being the cause of Smaug's arrival and subsequent destruction of Dale. Even Beorn dislikes them intensely because of their arrogance and selfishness.
Amongst Elves, there's even racial bigotry: Thranduil considers Silvan Elves to be beneath him and his royal line, despite both descending from the Teleri.
Thorin swears that he will not repeat the mistakes of his forefathers (especially as pertains to dragon sickness), while standing in front of a gigantic statue of one of his ancestors. The statue and Thorin share the exact same profile, hinting that all may not go as desired for the heir of Durin.
The last line of the Laketown Prophecy ("And the lake will shine and burn...") is said while the waters of the lake are afire from the light of the setting sun, giving us a taste of the city's potential destruction by Smaug.
Smaug tells Bilbo that no blade can pierce his scales. The very next shot is of Bard carrying a Black Arrow.
For the Evulz: Smaug enjoys causing death and destruction not only for the sake of it, but also to personally hurt people who he claims to have wronged him. He lets Bilbo live just to make him watch Laketown's destruction.
While Alfrid is speaking to his superior, the Master of Laketown, he's trying to pour out the chamberpot from an open window. Sadly, the window blows back while he isn't looking, and most of the mess is deposited back onto him. He takes it in stride, however, and for several shots after, he can be seen with some nasty yellow muck on his shoulder.
Alfrid also sneaks a slug of the Master's brandy while his back is turned (or he was testing it for poison).
Thranduil knows exactly what confronting a dragon entails.
The Wizards in general, but more specifically this exchange:
Radagast: What if it's a trap? Gandalf: Oh, it is undoubtedly a trap.
Smaug. He knows the reasons of Bilbo's presence in his lair and he's not fooled by his Blatant Lies.
Bard suspects that to go traipsing about in a treasure room where a dragon lies sleeping might not be the brightest of ideas.
Thorin has a couple of examples:
He doesn't buy Gandalf's excuses in Bree:
Thorin: This is no chance meeting, is it?
Likewise, despite being captured by the Mirkwood Elves after narrowly surviving the spiders' attack, Thorin can barely suppress a smile when he hears that Bilbo is unaccounted for. Thorin seems to know that "missing team member" does not equal "dead team member," but rather equals "team member who is lying low and who will break the team out of imprisonment at the earliest opportunity."
Glamour: Thranduil uses one to hide grievous injuries from an encounter with dragon fire in the past.
The beginnings of this seem to already be taking hold of Thorin's mind. He becomes much more belligerent and selfish as they approach Erebor, regularly mistreats or disregards Bilbo after arriving there, and is even willing to leave an injured Kíli behind in Laketown. All of Elrond's predictions about the line of Durin and gold madness are coming true.
The Master of Laketown also has a bad case of this, willing to risk Smaug's wrath for a promise that the dwarves will share the wealth of Erebor with him. Notice a running theme, yet?
Gold Makes Everything Shiny: A surprise bath in molten gold makes Smaug shiny until he shakes it off. It also temporarily makes him "Smaug the Golden", one of his appellations in the book.
Gondor Calls for Aid: Gandalf sending Radagast to warn Galadriel about the Necromancer, knowing that, per their conversation in the White Council, she will answer his call.
Smaug, of all characters, falls victim to this once the dwarves arrive on the scene. In his rage, he changes from a cunning strategist and master manipulator into a wild dog, running after whoever taunts him first. Granted it was probably because he didn't expect that they could hurt him.
The dwarfs tell Biblo that the Arkenstone is a "large, white jewel." As he soon discovers, and Thranduil brought up earlier in the film, that doesn't narrow it down very much.
Bilbo doesn't wear the ring the entire time in Smaug's chamber (he does use it, but takes it off eventually). He's already used its powers extensively and is fully aware of the help it was against the elves, but against a dragon — even when the dragon is obviously intent on getting him — he doesn't use it to its full potential. Though to be fair, this may be because he's beginning to sense the ring's evil and is afraid that it will make things worse.
If I Wanted You Dead...: When Tauriel sneaks out to help the dwarves and Legolas follows, she notices and turns her bow on him, commenting that she almost mistook him for an orc. Given how close he is, Legolas retorts that, were he an orc, he'd have shot her by now.
Impoverished Patrician: Bard is revealed to be a direct descendent of Girion, the last Lord of Dale. He makes much of his living from smuggling — quite a step down in the world. His three children, Sigrid, Bain, and Tilda, count as well. They're heirs to one of the wealthiest kingdoms in all of Middle-Earth, but most of their childhood has been spent in poverty and they're definitely struggling when the dwarves arrive in Laketown.
Improvised Catapult: Unintentional example, and it ends badly for the catapultee. When Laketown is attacked in an orc skirmish, one of the orcs attempts to flee on a boat, which the dead body of another drops on, launching him into the air to be decapitated by Legolas.
Bombur uses a barrel to devastating and hilarious effect, though perhaps unintentionally.
Averted when the dwarves see the cobbled-together weapons the Bard has sold them; they're not impressed and insist on stealing better ones.
Indy Ploy: Drowning Smaug in molten gold. It doesn't work.
Inter Species Romance: Sort of between Kíli and Tauriel, not helped by Evangeline Lilly's appearance on the Daily Show where she explained that Tauriel might consider bridging the Elf/Dwarf divide. Nothing actually comes of it in the film. Given that Kíli dies in the Battle of Five Armies, not much will come of it. Unless, of course, he's Spared by the Adaptation.
It wasn't exactly smart of Thorin to turn down Thranduil's deal without a second thought, considering said deal was pretty much their only way out of the Wood Elf Kingdom, but he has a very valid reason not to trust the king. He rightly points out that Thranduil didn't aid them against Smaug when he attacked them — which is understandable, if cold — but he also turned his back on the refugees and refused to help them. Thranduil betrayed their trust; why should Thorin trust him now?
Smaug taunts Bilbo with the idea that Thorin merely hired him to find the Arkenstone, and considers him expendable. A few minutes later, Bilbo sees that there may be an element of truth to this.
Knight Templar: Thranduil's overriding need to protect his kingdom has made him callous and cruel, and has blinded him to greater troubles of all of Middle-Earth.
Lava Surfing: At one point Thorin floats on top of a stream of molten gold using nothing but a wheelbarrow.
Lyrical Dissonance: "I See Fire", the Ed Sheeran song that plays over the credits, has a tune that, if not exactly happy, is at least catchy and deceptive. The lyrics, on the other hand, are all about a city — probably Laketown — seeing its impending doom in the approaching form of Smaug, with such delightful lines as "I hear my people screaming out" and "blood in the breeze".
Made of Evil: The Necromancer manifests as a wispy cloud of blackness. Gandalf tries to fight him off with an expanding globe of light spell until the Necromancer's darkness overwhelms him. At the end of the battle, the darkness erupts into flames and forms the Eye of Sauron.
Manipulative Bastard: Smaug excels at this. He's happy to talk to Bilbo for a while and turn all his fears and doubts against him. He refrains from killing Bilbo because he wants him to watch Laketown burn. He even briefly considers letting Bilbo take the Arkenstone to Thorin, just for the pleasure of watching it drive Thorin mad with greed.
Manly Tears: Balin gets quite misty when the dwarves finally step into the old halls of Erebor.
In the middle of the film, Bilbo humanizes their host when the dwarves grumble about him by saying that "His name's Bard". Later, when Thorin is insisting that he will not risk their quest for the sake of one burglar, Balin reminds Thorin that "His name is Bilbo", giving Bilbo an identity and admonishing Thorin for his callous brushing off of Bilbo's fate. This is especially meaningful because of whom Balin is paraphrasing — the hobbit whom they once believed would likely be useless and only took on at Gandalf's insistence, has now become a valued member of the party, to the point where the wisest of the dwarves respects his advice.
Also, when Legolas took Thorin's Elvish blade, he called him a liar and a thief. Those same words were used by Smaug to Bilbo.
Mêlée à Trois: Happens during the river escape sequence. The elves want to recapture Thorin's company, the orcs want to kill them, and the dwarves are trying to escape both of them.
Might Makes Right: Smaug sees himself as the rightful king and owner of Erebor and everything in it because he alone was strong enough to take it by force.
Missing Mom: Bard's wife and the mother of Sigrid, Bain, and Tilda, who apparently died sometime prior to the film. Balin makes the mistake of bringing her up when he tries to persuade Bard to ferry them to Laketown.
Missing Trailer Scene: In the trailer, Azog is present when the orcs raid the elves' fortress in Mirkwood; there's a shot of him leaping on the wall. However, in the movie, the raid is led by Azog's son Bolg, and Azog is not present at all.
A brief but chilling one with Bilbo in Mirkwood. In the course of the battle with the spiders, he drops the One Ring. When he scrambles down to the forest floor to look for it, he sees a much smaller spiderling touching it with one of its legs. Instead of distracting it, which is what he would usually do, he flies into an Unstoppable Rage and slaughters it ruthlessly before picking up the Ring, holding it up to the dead spider and hissing "Mine!" Then he sits back and suddenly realises what he's done, and ends up gazing at the Ring and the scene in horror for a good while before pocketing it again.
Said pretty much word for word at the end of the film, as Bilbo helplessly watches Smaug fly off to destroy Laketown: "What have we done?"
Mythology Gag: With elements from The Lord of the Rings books that weren't in the films:
Hobbits are seen working and relaxing in The Prancing Pony Inn in Bree; in The Fellowship of the Ring Frodo & Co. are the only hobbits seen, although they do have hobbit-sized accommodations.
Azog calls Gandalf "sharku(l)" which is translated as "wizard" but it also means "old man", which is further warped into "Sharky", which is what Saruman's posse calls him in "The Scouring of the Shire" in The Return of the King.
The large, roundish statue near the High Fells seems to be a reference to the WildMen who show up in Return of the King who guide the heroes to the Paths of the Dead. Or the statues of ancient "Pukel Men" that flank the entrance to Dunharrow proper.
Narcissist: Smaug, who clearly enjoys Bilbo's feigned flattery despite knowing that Bilbo is lying through his teeth.
Smaug: You have nice manners, for a thief and a liar!
Trailers for the film build up the idea that Thranduil offers the dwarves aid, but they're unsure if they can trust him. Actually, Thranduil's offer for aid is met with the verbal equivalent of Thorin spitting in his face, after which they're imprisoned and escape. The exchange in the trailers where it seems they're discussing if they can trust Thranduil, they're actually discussing Bard.
Also, there was a scene in the trailer in which a corrupted Thráin ambushes Gandalf in what appears to be Dol Guldur, jumping him from above and fighting him. This scene (probably a flashback from when Gandalf got the key and the map from the imprisoned Thráin) doesn't happen in the film, and it's unknown if it will do in the third installment.
The scene at the end of the first trailer where Smaug rounds a corner and stares down Bilbo does happen, but Bilbo is wearing The One Ring at the time. Not that it helps anyway. It's worth noting that the context had changed too; the trailer made it seem like Bilbo hadn't met Smaug yet, and in the film Smaug speaks during the sequence, whilst the trailer version of the shot has no speaking (in fact Smaug grimaces, as if he's about to cover Bilbo in fire).
Probably the spiders would have found the Company anyway, but Bilbo certainly didn't help by strumming the webs he found like a freaking guitar string, meaning the spiders could tell where they were. And he did it twice.
This trope encompasses pretty much the entirety of the Company's actions once they get to the Lonely Mountain. Nice job waking up a huge, unstoppable killing machine and then massively pissing him off, not to mention letting it slip to this psychopath that the people of Laketown helped you and you care about them. Bilbo at least realises just how badly they screwed up.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Of all the Irony, Smaug showing up when Thorin goes after Bilbo. He likely saves the latter, since Thorin was holding him at sword point and possibly about to push him off the ledge.
No Sell: Smaug can detect Bilbo by smell, so using the Ring to slip away ends up not working for the first time.
Not So Stoic: Thranduil maintains a steady, calm demeanour throughout the film... save for when Thorin rages at him for refusing to help the refugee dwarves and turning his back on them. He actually looks hurt and taken aback — that or pissed off, which quickly leads to him ranting at Thorin in turn.
When kind Cloudcuckoolander Radagast hardly makes any quips, and his eyes lose their playful glint, you know that the Necromancer is serious business indeed.
And when the friendly, kind-hearted, gentle and polite hobbit of the group goes completely mental on a creature that just happened to get close to his ring, something is clearly ten kinds of not quite right.
Thranduil when he realises just who the Necromancer is. He doesn't take the news very well. After all, the last time the wood elves fought him, Thranduil's father, Oropher, paid the ultimate price, and only about a third of the army came back.
Legolas when he realises Tauriel went out into the forest alone, just as Thranduil is about to seal the borders of his kingdom.
The dwarves when Alfrid orders the barrels of fish they're hiding in thrown overboard.
Bilbo when he sees part of Smaug's tail peeking out from under the gold and realizes just how big Smaug is.
Bilbo and the dwarves are crossing an exposed bridge when a coin drops in front of them. They look up to see Smaug silently passing overhead.
Gandalf when he realizes Sauron is about to overwhelm him, and a few seconds later when he watches Sauron dissolve his staff
One Bullet Left: There's only a single black iron bolt capable of killing Smaug left.
Oubliette: The catacomb of the Nazgûl is designed this way, with the tombs arranged around a deep pit-like shaft and only accessible by a series of very tiny ledges.
Our Dragons Are Different: Smaug is a classic Red Wyrm of lore. Smaug's wings are part of his forearms rather than being separate, making him a wyvern-type dragon; he's also fiendishly intelligent and manipulative, as befitting his pedigree.
Outrun the Fireball: A variation occurs when Thorin is rising out of a mine shaft via pulley system while being pursued by one of Smaug's fireballs, managing to reach the top and get out of the way just in time.
Overly-Long Gag: The chain of destruction wreaked by a bouncing, barrel-wearing Bombur.
Pardon My Dwarvish: Thorin declines Thranduil's offer to let the expedition go in exchange for 'something that belongs to [him]' from Erebor with a string of dwarvish that, if Thranduil's reaction and Thorin's tone of voice are anything to go by, probably wasn't anything very nice.
Parental Relationship Veto: Thranduil does seem to like and trust Tauriel, at least, but warns her not to get Legolas's hopes up. Whether she was actually trying to in the first place is up for debate.
Playing Gertrude: A male example. Lee Pace as Thranduil is actually two years younger than Orlando Bloom, who plays Thranduil's son Legolas. In Tolkien's backstory Thranduil witnessed Galadriel taking over Lórien from his own folk — which happened roughly 5500 years before the actual story starts. He also took part in the Battle of the Last Alliance in which Elendil died, as did Thranduil's own father, Oropher — at the end the 2nd Age, over 3000 years ago. All of this making him at the very least, 3000 years older than his son Legolas. The effect is less jarring when you consider that elves don't age once they reach adult status — unless Legolas is under 50 years old, there really wouldn't be any physical differences between them.
Plucky Girl: Bard's elder daughter Sigrid has enough pluck to throw furniture and crockery at Bolg's orcs when they invade her home. She can even be seen grabbing the kitchen knives when an orc tries to hurt her little sister.
Poisoned Weapons: Kíli gets shot with a Mordor arrow when opening the river gates to let the Dwarves through. Its effects take their toll on him very soon.
Police Are Useless: The Master of Laketown has a seemingly endless supply of men to stalk and harass a bargeman and petty smuggler who has never been shown to have done anything to him, but none of them did anything to stop (or even notice) the thirty orcs who snuck into Laketown in the middle of the night, or do anything to react to a child screaming because thirty orcs broke into her house in the middle of the night.
After four films without any talking animals whatsoever — not even the Eagles — it would have been a bit odd for the giant spiders to suddenly start having conversations with each other out of the blue. The film solves this by letting Bilbo understand their Black Speech, but only when he's actually wearing the Ring.
Having Bilbo remain in the grey half-world of the Ring during his scenes with Smaug would have been a real pain, so Bilbo takes it off almost at once when Smaug tracks him by scent and stays visible for much of their confrontation.
In the book, Smaug has a gap in the golden armour over his heart for pretty much no reason. (Well, aside from it being a Shout-Out to Fafnir, a dragon from Norse legend upon which Smaug was heavily based.) Thus, in this version, the gap comes from one of Girion's ballista bolts hitting its mark and breaking off some of the armour when he tried to kill Smaug, and moreover bringing it full circle for when Bard will ultimately finish the job his ancestor started. Incidentally, having Bard already know about the gap cuts out the need for an "oh, I can understand this thrush" moment as well, keeping the no-talking animal theme alive and kicking. Though technically, he only heard a rumor about the gap — only Bilbo can confirm and tell where it is.
Also in the book, the black arrow with which Bard kills Smaug was merely a very well-made normal arrow fired from a normal bow. Keeping to that would have looked absolutely ridiculous; even with the gap in Smaug's armour, expecting a creature his size to die from being shot in the heart with a normal arrow would be like expecting a human to get stabbed to death with one poke from a drawing pin. Instead, Bard's black arrow is not unique, but rather the last of a series of harpoon-sized Dwarven missiles designed to be fired from a specially designed crossbow/ballista, all the better to provide the size and force needed to be an effective anti-dragon weapon.
Priceless Paperweight: Girion's last Black Arrow is hanging from the rafters of Bard's kitchen. Bard hangs pots off of it.
Since Thorin trying to reclaim Erebor means inevitably trying to take on Smaug — a creature who, need we be reminded, completely destroyed two powerful kingdoms in a single morning — you can understand why Bard is iffy about the dwarves' quest, even without the handy prophecy warning of doom.
An argument can also be made for Thorin's refusal to deal with Thranduil, given that Thranduil has gone back on his word before, and shows a disturbing propensity towards using Exact Words.
Smaug expected a pack of dwarfs to show up in Erebor eventually, even though eventually turned out to be decades.
Protector Behind Bars: Bard begs the guards to release him when he realizes that Smaug is approaching Laketown (and therefore, his children).
Psychological Combat: As is typical for Middle-Earth dragons, Smaug loves this as much as causing physical destruction. A side effect is his weakness for riddles; Bilbo attempts to take advantage of this, but Smaug quickly sees through the ploy and discerns far more than Bilbo intended.
Psychological Torment Zone: Mirkwood makes those that travel within suffer from hallucinations, distorting their senses and causing them to wander endlessly. In particular, when Bilbo looks down he sees his own feet walking backward, then looks back to see himself behind him.
Reality Ensues: Bilbo is sent looking for the Arkenstone, told it's a white glowing jewel and he will know it when he sees it. The treasure room is as large as a small city; Bilbo has as much luck as you would think... at first.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Thorin delivers one to Thranduil when they meet again, calling him out on turning his back on Thorin and his people when they needed aid and hiding and ignoring the suffering of others.
Red Shirt: The Mirkwood elves provide the good guy redshirt muscle this time around, though despite being caught off guard they're able to fight the Orcs pretty evenly; you can see several orcs die in the opening seconds of the fight.
Rousing Speech: Thorin gives a pretty good one in Laketown, exciting the crowd and convincing the Master and the town's citizens to support the dwarves over Bard's protests.
Rube Goldberg Device: The dwarves improvise one using Erebor's foundry and industrial machinery. The end result is Smaug being hit by molten gold. It doesn't really faze him.
Rule of Symbolism: Thorin is shown standing beside a giant carved face of the previous King Under The Mountain, after saying he won't make the same mistakes his predecessor did.
Run or Die: The start of the film opens with the Company managing to get some distance from the Orcs. Then they find out there's something much worse lurking in the woods: Beorn in his bear form. Once Gandalf realizes it's him from Bilbo's description and they hear him roaring nearby, he has the group haul ass as he knows Beorn is tracking them by their scent. They just barely get inside Beorn's home as he comes charging out of the wood towards them.
Running Gag: While it's the first time for him, in this film Gandalf loses his staff for the fourth time in the Middle-Earth series as a whole.
Thorin is more callous and becomes more obsessed with claiming Erebor than in the first film, and he becomes more ruthless the closer they advance their goal:
While imprisoned in Thranduil's court, he refuses the deal Thranduil offers to them and scorns him out of a personal grudge, dooming the expedition to imprisonment from which they only escape because of Bilbo's help.
He persuades the corrupt Master of Laketown to provide them with gear and supplies in exchange of Erebor's gold, fully aware of and not seeming to care about the danger that Smaug poses to the town and its people.
He leaves the wounded Kíli behind in Laketown (which in itself is understandable, since they don't have time to wait for him to heal), explicitly stating that even his own family comes second to the quest.
After Smaug awakens, he's willing to risk "The Burglar's" life rather than his own, and Balin has to call him out before he changes his mind.
And lastly, after finding out that Bilbo hasn't found the Arkenstone, he holds him at swordpoint to prevent him from escaping, allowing the whole expedition to rush into Smaug's lair to be trapped instead of escaping to the surface.
Bilbo himself seems to show signs of this as well, considering his behavior begins to slowly but surely change under the influence of the One Ring, most notably in Mirkwood. A spider barely grazes the Ring after Bilbo drops it, and he hacks it to pieces before hissing "Mine." He doesn't seem too far gone yet — he has the sense to look completely horrified afterwards.
Kíli couldn't have died from the arrow poison, because he has to live long enough to die in the final battle.
This obviously goes for any character who we've seen in the The Lord Of The Rings films, which includes Gandalf, Legolas, Glóin (present at the Council in Rivendell), and Bilbo himself. Balin, Óin, and Ori also survive The Hobbit trilogy since Gimli mentions that the former rules Moria at the time of FOTR and the books state that the latter two joined him. Consequently, The Hobbit films tries not to have too much of the 'will-they-survive' kind of drama involving these characters, though sometimes it trusts that the viewers will temporarily forget Bilbo's guaranteed survival and throw him into life-or-death struggles for drama, anyways.
The same can also apply to several other Company members who are mentioned throughout Tolkien's post-Hobbit works. Bombur is stated to be incredibly fat and well into old age in Erebor by the time The Lord of the Rings takes place, Dwalin lived well into the Fourth Age and died at a very venerable 340-years-old, Glóin told Frodo in Rivendell that Bofur and Bifur were still alive and living in Erebor, and Bard the Bowman and his children (namely Bain) live to rebuild and rule the restored city of Dale. Both Dori and Nori are stated to be very rich and alive during the War of the Ring.
Smaug smelling the One Ring on Bilbo was not in the book. It seems that Peter Jackson gave the dragon a new knack for Sherlock Scan.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: The orc prisoner mocks Legolas and Thranduil about the coming war and return of Sauron, then Thranduil just beheads him.
Sins of Our Fathers: Bard's ancestor was charged with defending Dale and failed to dispatch Smaug with the black arrows at his disposal. It is a family shame that Bard still carries with him. Invoked by the Master as to why Bard is opposed to Thorin entering Erebor and risking Smaug's wrath.
The Master of Laketown and his second in command, Alfrid.
Not to mention Smaug. Who should get bonus points for being literally a winged snake.
The Smurfette Principle: Tauriel is one of only two major female characters in the the trilogy so far, the other being Galadriel. Tauriel also has a romantic subplot with Kíli.
Somebody Else's Problem: Aside from a (rejected) offer to help Thorin, Thranduil knows that dark forces are gathering, but doesn't do anything about it. When Tauriel questions him on not pursuing the source of the giant spiders outside their kingdom's boundaries, suggesting the spiders will instead attack other lands, he explicitly states that doesn't care for anything but his own kingdom.
Tap on the Head: Bard gets one from the Master of Laketown, via a wooden beam. He wakes up with no visible injury.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Not only swords, but axes, knives, and just about every conceivable weapon get thrown by the heroes during the river escape sequence.
Time-Compression Montage: Surprisingly missing from the events at Thranduil's castle. The book states that it took quite some time for Bilbo to figure out how to get the dwarves out of the dungeon, and for an opportunity to get the keys to come up. The film implies that Bilbo was able to set up and execute the escape in a day or so.
Toilet Humour: Quite literally — the dwarves (and Bilbo) end up sneaking into Bard's house through the latrine, much to the confusion of his daughters.
Sigrid: Why are there Dwarves coming out of our toilet? Tilda: Will they bring us luck?
Tranquil Fury: Legolas falls into one of these after Bolg successfully injures him, something that nobody else has managed. It was only a nosebleed, but the look on Legolas' face was of barely contained rage, and the last we see of him, he's on his horse, trying to run Bolg down and kill him in retribution. Which, given that Bolg is likely fleeing toward the Orc army moving out from Dol Goldur, is probably a bad thing.
The One Ring is shown to have additional powers besides turning the wearer invisible: putting it on allows Bilbo to understand the language of foul creatures like the spiders from Dol Guldur — which, considering that Sauron crafted it himself, makes sense.
Apparently, it also allows him to understand Sindarin, assuming that he didn't have some knowledge of the language already, or that Thranduil and Tauriel weren't speaking in the Common Tongue.
Trap Is the Only Option: Gandalf recognizes that walking into Dol Guldur is probably a trap, but under the circumstances he can't afford not to try.
Unexpected Character: Legolas, to those who had read the book before seeing the movie. And, to a lesser extent, Sauron, though he had been built up prior to his appearance at the climax and was mentioned in the book, but didn't make an appearance.
Ungrateful Bastard: Bard agrees to take the dwarves to Laketown, providing them with an effective escape from both the elves and the orcs, and shortening their critically timed trip to the Lonely Mountain. Dwalin complains about him and suggests throwing him over the side of the barge.
Uniqueness Value: Having never encountered a Hobbit before, Smaug finds Bilbo and his riddling talk too interesting as a curiosity to kill him... immediately.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Zig-zagged. Thorin's plan isn't explained to the audience and it works perfectly despite some hiccups on the way. However, the intended effect fails to kill Smaug, something Thorin didn't plan for.
Villainous Breakdown: Smaug has a minor one after Bilbo evades him and the dwarves throw numerous insults at him. While he chases them around Erebor, heavy objects are dropped on Smaug's head, he's sprayed with water in the middle of breathing fire, and then he's finally lured to a gigantic golden statue that melts instantaneously and almost succeeds in drowning him. All of this ultimately leads to him having a very fiery outburst of anger before deciding to burn Laketown rather than attempt to kill Thorin and the others.
Weird Moon: This movie has a lunar phase error; in the movie, as in the book, "Durin's Day" is when the sun and the last full moon of autumn are in the sky together. But in the movie, "the last light of Durin's Day" turns out to be not that of the setting sun, but that of the moon. This is impossible as a full moon at sunset can only be a rising moon, hence the moon would be around the other side of the mountain and couldn't illuminate the keyhole. In the book it is only specified as the "last moon of autumn", and described as a crescent. In the movie, it is also a visible crescent moon, which can be in the same part of the sky as the setting sun.
Balin calls out Thorin's decision to leave Bilbo at the mercy of the awakened Smaug on the grounds that he cannot risk his life and the quest for the sake of a burglar.
Balin: His name is Bilbo.
Legolas makes it clear that he is unimpressed by his father's use of Exact Words (see above). And, it seems, his father's behaviour in general.
Bard and Thorin, reciprocally:
Bard: You have no right. No right to enter that mountain. Thorin: I have the only right.
Women Are Wiser: Downplayed, but present with Tauriel. The only main female character in the movie, she is the first to point out that the Mirkwood elves should do something about the evil spawning beyond their borders, and is much less racist toward the dwarves, showing an interest in Kíli and having a perfectly civil conversation with him, while Thranduil refuses to act on anything that doesn't affect his kingdom, and her male counterpart Legolas clearly looks down on the dwarves. Downplayed in that Legolas pretty quickly realises that his father has flaws, seems to pay attention when Thorin saves his life, and agrees to help Tauriel with the orcs without much of an argument.
Worthless Yellow Rocks: Óin asks Bard for kingsfoil, an effective healing herb that is used by elves and dwarves alike. Bard replies that it's a weed, and that they feed to the pigs. It's a Shout-Out to the books, where a similar discussion takes place in Return of the King with Aragorn and a medicine man in Minas Tirith, showing that he is not only king, but still a ranger at heart.
You All Meet in an Inn: The film reveals that Thorin and Gandalf met this way in Bree, inside the Prancing Pony Inn.