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Film / The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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"It began... well, it began as you might expect. In a hole in a ground, there lived a Hobbit."

"You will have to do without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a great many other things before we reach our journey's end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you; the world is ahead."
Gandalf the Grey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first 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. It is a prequel to Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, telling the story of eponymous hobbit Bilbo Baggins's (Martin Freeman) adventure with the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. It was released on December 2012.

The film starts with Bilbo Baggins having a peaceful life in the Shire. One day, Gandalf shows up at his house and tries to convince Bilbo to go on an adventure. When Bilbo refuses, Gandalf invites a party of thirteen dwarves for dinner regardless. Bilbo discovers that the dwarf leader is none other than Thorin Oakenshield, and they plan to reclaim their homeland of Erebor from the dragon Smaug. Despite his reservations, the next morning Bilbo decides to follow the Company, beginning a journey that will change his life forever, and also of all the Middle-Earth...

Followed by The Desolation of Smaug.

An Unexpected Journey contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to K 
  • Action Prologue: Bilbo narrates a description of Smaug's takeover of the Lonely Mountain at the beginning of the movie.
  • Actor Allusion: Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie plays an elf named Lindir. Lindir is Elvish for "singer" (a character of this name does appear in The Fellowship of the Ring.) Also a reference to the unnamed elf (and Memetic Bystander) McKenzie played in The Fellowship of the Ring. If not for that, he probably wouldn't have a role (let alone a name) in The Hobbit.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Though the books (particularly the "Quest of Erebor") also imply that revenge is a significant motivation for the quest, the movie emphasizes Thorin's desire for his homeland rather than revenge or the recovery of their treasure.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Radagast the Brown doesn't do much in The Fellowship of the Ring besides telling Gandalf that Saruman wanted to see him and later sending the eagles to save him. In The Hobbit, he leads a pack of warg-riding orcs on a merry chase on a sled pulled by giant rabbits, heals a hedgehog whilst driving away giant spiders, and disarms the Witch-King of Angmar.
    • While the dwarves and Bilbo are (or in Bilbo's case, become) reasonably badass in the original books, the dwarves are more competent in some ways in the film than in the book (fighting the trolls rather than all but Thorin being captured by them by surprise), and Bilbo shows his competence and toughness earlier on (whereas in the book he's basically The Load until they enter Mirkwood).
  • Adaptational Context Change: Gandalf's delivery of the line "I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means... me!" Unlike the original book and prior adaptations, Gandalf pauses before finishing his sentence, as though he forgot what his name actually meant before settling with "me". This gives him a more fallible image that isn't usually this apparent.
  • Adaptation Distillation: While the film is beefed up from the novel in many ways, there are other sections of the narrative which were simplified for the transition to the screen, or other odd details that were left out entirely:
    • Bilbo's family history from the very beginning of the novel is omitted.
    • Occasional descriptive details along the journey are also left out. Among them is that shortly after leaving the Shire, the company passes through the Lone-lands, where sinister-looking castles are mentioned, and there is a brief segment where one of the ponies runs off and Fili and Kili nearly drown in a river trying to get it back.
    • Likewise, parts of the adventure inside the Misty Mountains are condensed, such as Bilbo spending more time wandering through the tunnels before and after meeting Gollum, and a longer segment with him trying to evade the goblins' notice. He spends a bit more time with Gollum too, featuring a few extra riddles that aren't in the film.
    • After the company escapes from the mountain in the novel, they journey further on and some time passes before the goblin and warg attack. Whereas in the film, Azog's forces attack them almost immediately after they make it out of the mountain.
    • The eagles have a larger role in the novel. Not only are they shown with the ability to fully speak, but after rescuing Thorin and company, the eagles take them to their eyrie and let them stay the night, and then the following morning the eagles carry them further on before departing. Their leader, the Lord of the Eagles, is not identified in the film, and his dialogue with Gandalf is removed.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The film provides an expanded role for Radagast, who is only mentioned by name in the novel, and whose presence in all of Tolkien's writings is very minor in general. Similarly, there is the addition of an extra villain in Azog, who was dead in the novel, to tie events together.
    • A lot of backstory is depicted, including the splendour of the original Kingdom Under the Mountain, Smaug's attack on it, and the Battle of Azanulbizar, which are only mentioned in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings.
    • Material is added that was inspired by "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales, where Gandalf lays out much of the story's behind-the-scenes action to the rest of the Fellowship.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Neither Glamdring or Orcrist glow blue when orcs are near in accordance with The Lord of the Rings where Sting alone glowed blue, but Gandalf states that Sting glows blue because it was made by the Elves raising the question of why the other two don't.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief:
    • Radagast in The Lord of the Rings is portrayed as a simple wizard who lives in the forest with animals rather than help the people of Middle-Earth. Saruman considers him to be a fool for this, although his personality traits are unmentioned. The Hobbit film portrays the wizard as a Cloud Cuckoolander who has odd habits such as keeping birds under his hat making Sauruman's disdain somewhat understandable.
    • Bofur is considered the comic relief among the Company, while his book counterpart was a Flat Character that had only two lines. The same could also be said of Ori and several other dwarves.
  • Adaptational Timespan Change:
    • In the book, Thorin and Balin were young when Smaug attacked Erebor (24 and 7 respectively), and it's another 174 years before the dwarves set out to reclaim it. Here, the two look about the same age during the two events, so much less time has passed. It's implied to be sixty years ago, since it's said that the dragon was last seen at that time.note 
    • The scenes with the goblins and with Gollum originally took place one after the other, with many hours in-between, while here they take place at the exact same time.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Great Goblin, only in comparison due to being a villain in both versions. The sole reason is his willingness to help kill Thorin for Azog even before the dwarves are caught in Goblintown, whereas in the book, he and the goblins believe the dwarves are spies and have come to attempt to destroy them. It doesn't help that Gandalf kills him in attempt to save the dwarves. Not to mention the goblins pursued Thorin's company to avenge their ruler, and even worse, later in the book after the slaying of Smaug, the goblins believed the dwarves, elves, and men to be more of a threat with Smaug's treasure, regardless of the three armies not exactly willing to share the treasure. In the first film, Gandalf's killing of the Great Goblin is justified as Azog and his own orcs are pursuing the dwarves since the beginning, and instead of the Goblintown goblins following Thorin's company, Azog's orcs continue to follow.
  • Adipose Rex: The Great Goblin is enormously corpulent (and pustulent), and nearly the size of a troll. His neck fat alone hangs down past his chest. Despite all this, he's also Acrofatic.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Bilbo when stuck with Gollum who's contemplating whether or not to eat him. He uses the riddles game to stall him/convince him to show him the way out.
  • Ambiguously Human: Kili approaches this, being taller and lankier than the other dwarves and nearly clean-shaven (this in a race where even the females have beards!), despite even his brother Fili looking like a full-blooded dwarf. Thorin himself has fairly noble features (being a king, after all) except for his large nose and short stature.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Thorin is shown to have cut off Azog's forearm in a flashback and naturally assumed he bled to death. Azog returns with a Hook Hand consisting of a metal rod impaled all the way through the arm from the stump to the elbow with a nasty looking claw on the end.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Thorin confronts Bilbo furiously after Bilbo takes on Azog, keeping him from killing Thorin. After listing Bilbo's perceived failings, he embraces Bilbo, declaring, "I've never been so wrong in all my life!"
  • Arc Words: "Home is behind. The world [is] ahead." Originally taken from a song in The Lord of the Rings (the song, called "A Walking Song," was written by Bilbo in the book and sung by Pippin to Denethor in the film version) but thematically appropriate for the theme of this film too.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Saruman's list of reasons he disdains Radagast's (alleged) habit of eating mushrooms ends with how they stain his teeth. This is an allusion to a similar conversation Saruman had with Gandalf in the Fellowship of the Ring film, where he accused Gandalf of having grown "too fond of the halflings' weed." It may also allude to the books (Unfinished Tales), where Saruman does scold Gandalf for smoking while with the White Council.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Thorin chews out Bilbo, listing all his potential failings and finishing with "I have never been so wrong in my life!".
  • As You Know:
    • One of the trolls chastises the others saying that he does not want sunlight to turn him into stone. Might or might not be in play too when Gandalf talks to Bilbo about one of Bilbo's ancestors.
    • After making clear in the prologue that he's writing his account expressly for the edification of his nephew Frodo, Bilbo nonetheless opens the main portion of his narrative with Tolkien's passage, nearly verbatim note , describing what a hobbit hole is like for someone who's never heard of them—but Frodo would be well familiar with hobbit holes and especially this particular hobbit hole, given that he has been living there. This is compounded by the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where he also writes and narrates the "Concerning Hobbits" prologue from The Lord of the Rings in the first person, again as though for the benefit of non-Hobbits.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Though Thorin's claim to the throne comes from being of the royal line of Durin, the respect he gets from the other dwarfs stems from his victory over Azog at Moria in the battle that gave him the name Oakenshield.
  • Attack Animal: The wargs note  who hunt our band of dwarves. Azog has an albino-looking one, like himself. In the books they were actually a fully sentient race with their own society and language; here that's reduced to using complex tactics based on a single command.
  • Audible Sharpness: Bilbo's sword effectively sings when he pulls it out of the sheath, but continues to do so as he holds it. Another is when Thorin pulls out Orcrist when fending off wargs. Thing is, he wasn't carrying it in the sheath.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The dwarves' relationship with Bilbo shows steadily through the journey that they come to see him as one of their own, despite their initial doubt of him. Kíli was the first one to attack the trolls when they discover Bilbo and later on, Thorin had to pull him back when the trolls threatened to rip Bilbo apart. Most of the dwarves were quick to help Bilbo when he twice almost went over the edge of the mountain path they were taking. They're also very quick to push Bilbo towards the centre of the group whenever a dangerous situation presents itself. Later on, Bofur attempts to comfort Bilbo after Thorin harshly claims Bilbo wasn't one of them and then sincerely wishes Bilbo the best when he tries to leave. And finally Thorin after Bilbo saves his life and pulls him into a hug in his gratitude.
  • Badass Boast: Radagast volunteering to draw the warg-scouts away from Gandalf and his party:
    Gandalf: These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!
    Radagast: These are Rhosgobel rabbits! I'd like to see them try!
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Thorin's confrontation with Azog at the end of the film.
  • Battle Bolas: Dori uses a set of metal bolas as a battle weapon.
  • Battle Cry: Thorin shouts the ancient dwarven battle cry when he rallies his troops at the Battle of Azanulbizar.
    "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" or "The axes of the dwarves! The dwarves are upon you!"
  • Beast of Battle: The Gundabad orcs ride wargs.
  • Behemoth Battle: The battle of stone giants.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: When the party is captured by trolls, Bilbo tries to gain time and avoid them being eaten by claiming the dwarves have parasites. To which Kíli protests, until Thorin (despite being tied up in a bag) kicks him so that he changes his tune.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: Thranduil does not come to the dwarves' defence against Smaug or help the refugees of Erebor. Years later, this is still a sore spot for Thorin.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Bofur appears to develop one towards Bilbo, who despite being an adult is the smallest and least experienced when it comes to fighting, pushing Bilbo to the centre of the group whenever a dangerous situation occurs.
    • Fíli towards Kíli, as well, which makes sense since Fíli is Kíli's older brother.
    • Thorin frantically calls out for Fíli when it appears he's been killed in the stone giants' crossfire (Which also makes sense, considering Fíli and Kíli are his nephews), and he's very quick to intervene when the Goblin King orders his minions to start torturing the youngest dwarf (Ori).
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Gandalf pulls his blindingly flashy entrance just in time to save the dwarves from the goblins.
    • Just as an Orc is about to cut Thorin's head off, Bilbo tackles the Orc and stabs him. Bilbo then becomes cornered by Azog's wargriders after he saves Thorin; cue the other dwarves coming in to save his ass and the eagles coming in to save theirs.
    • Elrond and his riders inadvertently saving Thorin and Co. from the warg-riders at the Hidden Pass.
  • Big Good: Although the White Council is supposed to be this - watching over Middle-Earth and keeping it safe from evil, particularly that of Morgoth, Sauron and their deputies—it is really Galadriel who deserves the title. Saruman is shown to be already succumbing to his own ego and bias, dismissing those he thinks are beneath him like Radagast, and ignoring theories that clash with his world view, while Elrond and Gandalf despite having their independent viewpoints both take their cues from Galadriel—Elrond because she's a close relative, mother figure and his mother-in-law and Gandalf because he is her old friend and mentor. Galadriel is not only constantly watching over Middle-Earth—diligently noticing even small things—but she cares about the fate of Middle-Earth and the creatures in it, having the perspective, wisdom and power to guide its destiny in the right direction.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Thrór when he loses the Arkenstone in the prologue.
    • Thorin when Thrór is killed. And later when he thinks that Fíli and the others have died in the thunder battle.
    • Balin when Thorin rushes out to face Azog.
  • Bilingual Bonus: For those who understand Quenya, the lyrics of the Ethereal Choir that plays when Thranduil pays homage to Thrór is an early hint that the white gems that the Elvenking desires have a connection to his wife, and that they are made from pure starlight.
    [Nin]quë silë misë nár (A white fire shines within her)
    Nóna sil[më] anda[né] (The light of a star, born long ago)
  • Blatant Lies:
    • "They'll never see you! It's perfectly safe! We'll be right behind you."
    • Shortly afterwards, Bilbo's Batman Gambit of telling the trolls that the dwarves all have parasites.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite the battlefield of Azanulbizar being drenched in blood, there's surprisingly little of it when Thorin cuts off Azog's arm.
  • Book Ends: The film begins and ends with close-ups of eyes. The first eye belongs to the MGM lion, the second eye belongs to Smaug.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Happens twice to orcs during the Battle of the Hidden Pass, once by Kíli, the other by an elf archer.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The trolls try to cook the dwarves without killing them first - and keep their word of not 'disarming' Bilbo if they throw down their weapons.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tom the troll gets abused freely by Bert for virtually anything.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The film opens with Frodo leaving to surprise Gandalf, which he does at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring.
    • Bilbo and Frodo are shown setting up for the birthday party later that night, seen in Fellowship of the Ring.
    • The Ring pops onto Bilbo's finger exactly as it did (or will) onto Frodo's.
    • Gandalf has trouble with the chandelier, exactly as he has in Fellowship of the Ring.
    • Gandalf calls on the eagles through the help of a moth/butterfly... again.
    • Gandalf splitting the boulder into two to defeat the trolls is a call back to what he did with the Balrog in the Fellowship of the Ring. Not to mention that he does so just as the sun rises. "At dawn, look to the east" ring a bell?
    • The elven cavalry's trumpet sounds the same as the one Haldir's reinforcements use at the Battle of Helm's Deep.
    • Saruman comments disparagingly on Radagast's fondness for mushrooms, much like his comment in Fellowship of the Ring about Gandalf's "love of the halflings' leaf".
    • During the same conversation, Saruman's comment to Gandalf - "Always you must meddle" - has a strong ring of familiarity towards Grí­ma Wormtongue, who refers to Gandalf as a meddler.
    • When Gandalf is explaining to Bilbo about true courage being knowing when to spare a life, the music is a rendition of the music played in Moria when Gandalf and Frodo are discussing the incident where Bilbo spares Gollum's life, which is where Bilbo applied Gandalf's advice, and it appears again for that moment in An Unexpected Journey. From The Fellowship Of The Ring:
      Frodo: It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.
      Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand.
    • Bilbo's sparing of Gollum's life is of course Calling Forward to when Frodo does the same at Emyn Muil. This is a critical part of the story as it sets in motion a chain of events that allows for the destruction of the One Ring.
    • The three trolls turn to stone in the exact same positions we see them in during Fellowship. Funny because they are visibly arguing, with one pointing down (at what was evidently the dwarves they were discussing eating). This made sense as it's how the scene happened in the book. Here, the scene is played differently (as Gandalf doesn't pit them against one another), but yet as they turn to stone their postures shift to have them face one another and for one to point downwards with his index finger.
    • Gandalf catches a glimpse of Bilbo pocketing the ring, setting up his knowing that Bilbo has it in The Lord of the Rings. Similarly, Bilbo keeps the ring in the same pocket as he does in Fellowship of the Ring (the front left pocket of his waistcoat).
    • Balin carries the big Book of Mazarbûl that the Fellowship finds in Moria, recording the last moments of the colony.
    • The original trilogy is the Trope Namer for Kneel Before Frodo - Bilbo earns a big hug from Thorin, rightful king of the greatest dwarf civilization after Moria, acknowledging this.
    • Dwarven women do in fact have beards, as described by Gimli in The Two Towers. They're just softer and wispier. (However, they could hardly be mistaken for Dwarf men.)
    • The warg riders' meeting place with Azog to tell him that they've lost Thorin's Company is Weathertop.
    • When Radagast goes to investigate Dol Guldur, he is attacked by the Witch-King of Angmar's ghostly human form, using a similar knife to the one which stabbed Frodo in Fellowship. According to the director's commentary, that blade is in fact the very same Morgul blade that the Witch-King stabs Frodo with later, although how it comes back into his possession has yet to be elaborated upon.
    • During the unexpected party, when the dwarves' arguments that Gandalf chose wrong by Bilbo start to heat up, Gandalf berates them by standing up, with his shadow filling the room, as his voice gains a threatening tone (the look on Bilbo's face here is priceless), just like he did in Fellowship, when Bilbo accuses him of wanting the Ring for himself.
    • Thranduil's actions in the prologue establish the reason why dwarves still harbor a deep distrust of elves many decades later in Fellowship of the Ring. In particular, it explains Gimli's immediate dislike of Legolas at the Council of Elrond in Fellowship, since Legolas is Thranduil's son and Gimli is Glóin's son.
    • The Extended Edition offers a reason why the elves don't trust the dwarves: before Smaug came, Thranduil paid Thrór homage in Erebor. During this visit, Thrór dangled a necklace belonging to Thranduil's late wife in front of him, and then refused to give it back to him. Thranduil's expression at this makes it clear that this was the beginning of their rift, from his side.
    • Thranduil's reluctance to aid the dwarves in fighting Smaug shows that he is no lover of hopeless battles; a trait that may have rubbed off on his son Legolas, judging by his own despair at the seeming hopelessness of defending Helm's Deep against Saruman's army.
    • In Fellowship, Bilbo offers Gandalf some wine, but Gandalf would prefer to have "just tea". During the unexpected party, Dori offers Gandalf camomile tea, but Gandalf prefers wine!
    • Kíli deflecting Goblin arrows with his sword (and looking surprised it worked) echoes Aragorn's Throw It In moment in Fellowship where he deflects Lurtz's thrown knife.invoked
    • When Radagast spots the Necromancer's shadowy form, the camera employs the Vertigo Effect, which was previously done early in the first LOTR film when the Nazgûl are approaching the Hobbits on the Shire road, and again in the third one when Frodo gazes into Shelob's Lair. All three times are linked to an evil presence.
    • Even the movie posters have gotten in on this. This poster is a callback to a Frodo poster for The Fellowship of the Ring, which is also referenced in this Japanese poster.
    • Glóin notably carries an axe that Gimli will later inherit.
    • The flashback of Azog's defeat bears strong resemblance to Sauron's defeat in the battle of the Last Alliance: the good forces are almost overrun and their king is struck with fear upon seeing the Evil Overlord's literal Foe-Tossing Charge (also, both Sauron and Azog are using a mace). The evil leader then kills the king effortlessly. The king's heir (Isildur and Thorin, respectively) first has a Heroic BSoD and then steps up to avenge his father/grandfather, is almost defeated himself and with one last desperate attack cuts his opponent's hand. This seals the Evil Overlord's defeat and turns the tide of the battle.
    • Gandalf tells Bilbo (basically) "Home is behind, the world is ahead"; In The Return of the King Pippin sings a song that starts with that phrase to Denethor.
    • When they fall into the hidden passage to Rivendell, Thorin pulls an arrow from the dead orc that has fallen after them, looks at it and says "Elves". Much in the same way, when the Fellowship enters Moria, Legolas pulls an arrow from a Dwarven corpse, scrutinizes it and announces "Orcs".
    • In the extended addition, there's a scene of Bilbo quietly exploring Rivendell. Aside from a moment when he sees a painting of the battle against Sauron (in paticular his Ring) it's very clear from his body language and expression that he finds the place delightful. When Elrond comes upon him admiring the view, he promises the hobbit that he's welcome to stay there if he wants. Many years later, Bilbo would wind up spending the last years of his life in Rivendell, after leaving the Shire behind.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: And has inscribed its mark on your front door.
  • Camera Abuse: The extended edition has the Great Goblin throw one of his minions directly at the camera during his Villain Song.
  • Cassandra Truth: Both Gandalf and Radagast are convinced the Necromancer is Sauron, or somebody as dangerous as him. However, some members of the White Council are either not convinced (Saruman) or don't see a threat (Elrond) to do anything about it. Averted with Galadriel who senses that something genuinely sinister is going on and puts her faith in Gandalf. The books let us know that by this time Saruman was actively looking for the Ring himself, which is why he is pushing the Ring-went-down-to-the-Sea hypothesis.
  • The Cavalry: The elven cavalry party, and a less literal one in the eagles.
  • Cavalry Refusal:
    • In the flashbacks, the elves refused to help the dwarves, both against Smaug in Erebor and against the orcs in Moria. This led to the grudge of the dwarves towards elves. The White Council was about to be a third one, but the dwarves (for good reason) left before they could refuse to help.
    • Thorin states that the dwarves of the Iron Hills have refused to aid the company in retaking Erebor.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The first 1/3 of the film feels this way.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Bilbo attempts to leave the Company while in the goblin cave, feeling he doesn't belong among them on this adventure. After his adventures in the mountain, he forgoes the chance to escape with the Ring and returns to the Company.
  • Chase Scene:
    • Between Radagast the Brown and the orcs.
      Gandalf: Those are Gundabad wargs. They'll outpace you.
      Radagast: These are Rhosgobel rabbits! I'd like to see them try!
    • Also, later in Goblin Town when Gandalf and the dwarves run to escape the goblin horde.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The game the dwarves play with Bilbo's dishes seems like just a bit of harmless fun at Bilbo's expense. But it also serves to establish their skill at passing items between each other during frenetic situations, which they put to use during their escape in the barrels and the Battle of Five Armies when they pass weapons between one another in the midst of battle.
  • Clean Cut: By Gandalf to a goblin. He nudges its head with his staff and it slides away.
  • Cold Open: Kind of a tradition now. Like the others Jackson movies set in Middle-Earth, this one begins this way, providing very useful Backstory about Erebor, Thorin, his grudge towards the Elves and last but not least, the scale of Smaug's destructive power.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Elrond reveals that the map Thorin has contains moon runes that can only be read on a certain day in the year — and only if the moon is in the exact same phase as it was when they were written, meaning that the opportunity to read them comes only one night every thirty years. It just so happens that Thorin's Company arrives in Rivendell on that exact same day with the moon in the correct phase. Elrond even lampshades this, saying that fate must be driving their quest.
  • Cooking the Live Meal: After the Company are captured by a party of three Trolls, half of them are tied to a spit without being killed first, which means they end up shouting and complaining about the flames whilst the Trolls turn them over. That said, the Trolls are very divided on how exactly they should prepare their dinner.
  • Cool Car: Radagast's rabbit-drawn sleigh.
  • Covered in Gunge: Bilbo after his involuntary service as a troll hanky.
  • Creator Cameo: With Peter Jackson at the helm, it's a matter of where in the movies he'll be, not if he'll be in it. Turns out it is a very difficult cameo to spot in AUJ, where he is a dwarf fleeing Smaug in the prologue.
  • Crowd Song:
    • "Blunt the Knives" — Justified in that it comes across as a drinking song that the Dwarves all know and adapt to include Bilbo's name.
    • "Misty Mountains" — In this case, it's a song that the Dwarves know by heart because it's a poignant part of their oral history.
  • Cue the Sun: Gandalf cracks the boulder to expose the trolls to the dawn.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: A statement is heard during Balin's telling of the failed attempt to retake Moria, right as Azog the Defiler takes the head of Thrór.
  • Decapitation Presentation: In a flashback, Azog does this with Thrór.
  • Demanding Their Head: Azog the Defiler (who survived the Battle of Azanulbizar that killed him in the book) has put a price on the heads of the entire company of Thorin Oakenshield—but especially with Thorin himself, who cut off Azog's left arm in the Battle. In addition to the Goblins of Goblintown trying to collect it, Azog happily sends one of his own Orcs to bring him Thorin's head after he's already worn Thorin down with his mace and his Warg. The Great Goblin himself lampshades it when confronting Thorin and revealing Azog's still alive to him.
    Great Goblin: I know someone who would pay a pretty price for your head. (Evil Laugh) Just a head. Nothing attached.
  • Description Cut: Gandalf describes Radagast the Brown as a great wizard, the watcher and protector of the forest. We then immediately cut to Radagast, a doddering old man covered in bird poop and dirt.
  • Developer's Foresight: When first discovered, Sting lacks the Elvish inscription seen in The Lord of the Rings, which reads, "Sting is my name, I am the spider's bane." In the film, Bilbo is told that swords get names based on their deeds, and his "letter opener" blade hasn't seen battle. Clearly Bilbo had the inscription added after he named Sting in Mirkwood.
  • Divided for Adaptation: One of three movies adapted out of a single novel.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Saruman's appearance plays this for all it's worth, since he declares that Sauron couldn't possibly be coming back... even though he himself has suspected it and at the time of The Hobbit was trying to locate the One Ring so he could usurp Sauron.
    • Furthermore, when Bilbo asserts that "I really believe that the worst is behind us." at the end of the film, we are then privvy to a shot of Smaug briefly awakening from his slumber (due to a thrush knocking an acorn on the side of Erebor, said thrush being said to be a good omen, no less).
  • Drugs Are Bad: Saruman's chief opposition to Radagast's evidence seems to be all the mushrooms he ingests. Coupled with his disparaging remarks about pipeweed in Fellowship of the Ring, it can be seen that whatever his evils are, the man does at least have a strong anti-drugs stance. Also see G-Rated Drug.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe example where Thorin is quick to sternly lecture Kíli who had casually joked about orcs to a nervous Bilbo. It is understandable why Thorin doesn't think it's something to be joked about since he had seen many of his kin killed by orcs, including his grandfather. In fact, if you look closely you'll see that Thorin actually starts awake when he hears Bilbo say "Orcs?", and he looks around expecting an attack.
  • Dynamic Entry: Gandalf appears out of nowhere in the goblin caves to give the dwarves the distraction they needed to grab their weapons to make their escape.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Radagast the Brown is an odd case: he was in the book of The Lord of the Rings, but his role in the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring was filled by a moth Gandalf used to summon Gwaihir, Lord of Eagles.
    • The Witch-King of Angmar, in his spectral form, tries to kill Radagast.
    • There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it instant when we catch a glimpse of Girion, firing ballast bolts at Smaug when the dragon's attacking Dale.
    • Both Bolg and the bearded jailer Orc from Dul Guldur (himself an early design of Bolg) show up for blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos at the Battle of Azanulbizar. Dwalin beats them up just after Thorin cuts off Azog's arms. Bolg is lacking the scars and metal plates in his head, suggesting that he got those because of Dwalin's attack.
    • Frodo appears early in the film, asking Bilbo about his book.
    • Saruman comes to the aid of Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel in their fight against the Necromancer.
    • Galadriel is in Rivendell when the Company arrives, and manages to fend off the Necromancer at the cost of a great deal of energy.
  • Elfeminate: Lampshaded in the extended edition, where Kíli mistakes a male elf for an elven maiden.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: William the troll zigzags with this.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: A burning one is seen as Smaug attacks Dale.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • When Thorin first enters Bilbo's home, he doesn't introduce himself, bow or offer his services to Bilbo unlike the other dwarves, showing how proud and dignified he is.
    • Some of the dwarves show their defining characteristics when they first enter Bilbo's house and in the ensuing party:
      • Dwalin is surly and rudely takes Bilbo's food without much of a word.
      • Balin is rather more friendly and later guides the dwarves in organizing the table.
      • Fíli and Kíli, as the youngest and least secure, noticeably panic when Bilbo denies the existence of a meeting.
      • Dori, with his talk of chamomile tea and his wine enthusiast's description of the wine that he brings to Gandalf, shows that he regards himself as something of a cultural sophisticate.
      • Ori, when he asks Bilbo what to do with his plate, asks in a tone of voice that shows him to be somewhat timid and possibly not too bright.
    • Younger Bilbo is first seen sitting in front of Bag End, peacefully puffing on a pipe with not a care in the world.
    • The first time we see Azog in flashback, he beheads Thrór. When we next see Azog in the main story's timeframe, he feeds his own henchman to his Warg pack. Clearly, his title of "The Defiler" is by no means strictly honorary.
  • Ethereal Choir: A choir sung in Quenya is briefly heard when Thranduil pays homage to Thrór.
    [Nin]quë silë misë nár (A white fire shines within her)
    Nóna sil[më] anda[né] (The light of a star, born long ago)
  • Exact Words:
    • All the riddles played between Bilbo and Gollum rely on this. Justified, as riddles by their very definition rely on the Exact Words of their formulation. It took a bit further in the last one. Impatient that Bilbo was taking so long, Gollum demands that Bilbo quickly ask him a question. While thinking, Bilbo muses to himself "What have I got in my pocket?". Gollum mistook it for a riddle and complains before Bilbo, using Gollum's earlier words, retorts he is asking a question and decided to use that as his riddle.
    • During the unexpected party, Gandalf's drink request is "a little red wine". Dori brings him his wine in a ludicrously tiny glass, much to Gandalf's disappointment.
    • When Bilbo greeted him with a "Good morning", Gandalf lampshaded this trope by whimsically questioning the exact meaning of that phrase. Is Bilbo having a good morning, is he saying it is a good morning no matter what does Gandalf thinks, is he wishing for Gandalf to have a good morning or is it a morning to be good on? Bilbo simply replied: "All of them at once".
    • When Bilbo greets Balin with a "Good Evening", the dwarf treats it as a commentary on the night itself, adding that "although it might rain later".
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • "Why isn't it working? It's not like it's witchcraft!"
    • This dialogue:
    Gandalf: They must have come down Fromm the Ettenmoors.
    Thorin: Since when do Mountain Trolls venture this far south?
    Gandalf: Ooh. Not for an age. Not sense a darker power ruled these lands.
    [Gandalf and Thorin looked at each other with concern while the theme from the prologue of The Lord of the Rings briefly plays.]
  • Eye Awaken: Combined with Hellish Pupils, this is done for Smaug at the end of An Unexpected Journey.
  • Fat Bastard: The Great Goblin. He is grotesquely fat, with an underchin nearly as big as the entire rest of this head. He's also a torturer, a Bad Boss, and cooperating with Azog.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Great Goblin, whose reaction to having his stomach cut open (after a short scream, admittedly — more like an "ouch", really) is to nod and calmly declare "That'll do it." (for context, he had just asked Gandalf — in a much more enthusiastic manner — what he was going to do, "wizard").
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Thorin and Bilbo after Bilbo rescues him from being beheaded by one of Azog's mooks. Literally in this case, since they were battling amongst flames.
  • Fire of Comfort: Bilbo's opening narration for his book describes this, and one is also seen during some scenes when he is camping out with the dwarves.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Smaug's attack on the dwarven stronghold. He barely seems to notice the dwarves flying through the air as he walks right over the defenders.
  • Food Porn: Quite a bit of it during the party scene in Bag End, complete with lingering pan over all the food on the table.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The movie opens with Bilbo blowing an uncannily perfect smoke ring. That is all.
    • Thrór's case of Gold Fever serves as this, as Thorin will come down with a similar "ailment" after Lonely Mountain is reclaimed from Smaug, which stops him from negotiating with the men of Laketown and the Wood Elves (although the interracial tension and being a prisoner of the elves earlier probably didn't help).
    • Bilbo considers the rumors that he has "tunnels full of gold" silly, as he only has a single chest that "still smells of troll". Glóin, Nori and Bofur are shown burying a box of treasure taken from the troll hoard.
    • When Gandalf presents Bilbo with his elvish sword, he tells Bilbo that true courage comes from knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare a life. Bilbo contemplates killing Gollum but decides not to. This is a turning point, as he then shows considerable courage against Azog.
    • Thorin and Gandalf have a brief argument over whether or not to go to Rivendell. Later, while fleeing pursuing wargs, Thorin loudly wonders where Gandalf is leading them to.
    • After seeing Glamdring and Orcrist, Bilbo wonders if his own elvish sword has a name, and Balin tells him swords gain names depending on their deeds. "Sting" gets its name slaying the spiders in Mirkwood.
      Balin: More of a letter-opener, really.
    • Gandalf lights his pipe with a Finger-Snap Lighter, and later uses the same effect to set pine cones on fire, throwing them at the wargs.
    • The musical cue for the ring Bilbo finds. Though even Gandalf doesn't know its true nature yet, he senses something sinister.
    • The odd way that the ring behaves when dropped — it seems far heavier than it ought to be (an effect memorable in the LOTR films which was achieved using magnets).
    • Annoyed at Thorin's refusal to confide in Elrond, Gandalf mutters that Thorin's pride will be his downfall. The Battle of the Five Armies, during which Thorin dies, is directly a result of his pride and greed.
    • A subtle one: the rock the eagles leave the dwarves on at the end is shaped like a bear's head. It's called Carrock and is where they will meet the skin-changer Beorn.
    • Elrond helps Thorin read the secret runes on the map, only visible by the light of the moon. In the next film, it is the light of the moon which winds up being "the last light" on Durin's Day that reveals the secret door, not the setting sun.
    • As Elrond reads the moon runes on the map, he mentions a door appearing "when the thrush knocks". In the final scene the camera follows a thrush as it flies towards Erebor, then starts knocking snails against a rock. The noise wakes Smaug.
    • The rock the aforementioned thrush lands on is almost definitely the secret entrance, and the thrush itself plays a role in helping Bilbo find the keyhole and also Bard slay Smaug.
    • Radagast's home is attacked by giant spiders. Guess what's waiting for the Company when they arrive in Mirkwood.
    • Thorin's father Thráin went missing but was never confirmed dead, and Azog mentions having encountered him. Gandalf found Thráin in Dol Guldur, where he had been captured, tortured, and driven mad.
    • In the extended edition, Kíli takes an interest in the elves at Rivendell. He later develops a crush on Tauriel after arriving in Mirkwood.
  • Forging Scene: Quite a few, seeing as how this was the main industry of Erebor. One showed Thorin working as a blacksmith as a testament of How the Mighty Have Fallen.
  • Fork Fencing: The dwarves do this when eating at Bilbo's house, much to his chagrin. It leads to the "Blunt the Knives" song being performed.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: Gandalf, when Galadriel asks why he chose Bilbo to accompany the dwarves. He gives her a speech about how small, everyday acts of kindness and love are what he's found most effective as a bulwark against evil. He delivers this speech while facing the camera and staring contemplatively, almost (but not quite) looking directly at the audience.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Radagast appears like this, even letting birds nest (and crap!) in his hair rather than disturbing them.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Óin's Ear Trumpet is stomped on and crushed flat when the Company is captured in Goblin Town. Later, after they escape, he's shown using it, anyway.
    • Lots in Bag End during the party. One involves Fíli and Kíli trying to work out how to operate the tap on a beer barrel, then apparently giving up and just bringing the barrel itself.
    • When Bilbo suggests that the trolls skin the dwarves, Thorin is yelling and flailing around in anger, along with the others (who are all lying on their backs aside from Fíli, who is desperately trying to turn over).
    • After the Dwarves light their campfire in Rivendell, Bofur cooks a sausage over the fire. Next to him, Bifur is doing the same thing, but instead of a sausage, Bifur is attempting to cook a large piece of lettuce. Then, when Bofur throws the sausage to Bombur and causes Bombur's bench to collapse, all the Dwarves are doubled over with laughter except for Bifur, who is concentrating on his piece of lettuce as though he's determined to roast the heck out of it.
  • Genre Blind: The line "The worst is behind us". Oh boy...
  • Giant Spider: Some attempt to break into Radagast's cottage before his magic scares them back to Dol Guldur.
  • Gold Fever: Thrór, king of Erebor and Thorin's grandfather, is shown in flashbacks to be so obsessed with gold that it's even described to be a "sickness" and his obsession with filling his treasure rooms with enough gold to build a castle out of it is implied to have attracted Smaug to Erebor in the first place.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Sméagol is preparing to eat a goblin he dragged onto his rocky outcropping, the goblin is shown to be hit several times, but then camera cuts to Bilbo and the fading of Sting's blue glow (a sign there are live goblins about) shows he dies. When Bilbo looks up, the rock in the lake is bare.
  • Go Through Me: Bilbo does this after tackling Azog's mook and standing between Azog and the semi-conscious Thorin.
  • G-Rated Drug: Radagast seems to get high when he takes a whiff from Gandalf's pipe (another suggestion that "pipeweed" may not be tobacco, though tobacco also has a reputation for calming the nerves), and later Saruman comments disapprovingly of his worrying fondness for mushrooms.
  • Groin Attack: Bert the troll catches one from Dori's bolas.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: Bombur does this in Goblin Town, punching through two layers of goblin scaffolding and dislodging the goblins that had been swarming over him.
  • Headbutt of Love: How Dwalin and Balin greet each other—although, since they are dwarves, it's more like a full contact headbutting. There's also a more weary version in Balin's flashback, when they discover they've both survived the Battle of Azanulbizar, surrounded by a field of dead dwarves.
  • Heroism Motive Speech: Bilbo gives one near the end when he explains why he wants to go on with Thorin and Company despite the danger:
    Bilbo: I know you doubt me, I know you always have, and you're right. I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my arm chair, and my garden. See, that's where I belong; that's home, and that's why I came, 'cause you don't have one...a home. It was taken from you, but I will help you take it back if I can.
  • He's Dead, Jim: While Gollum drags a wounded goblin away and starts bashing its head in with a rock, Bilbo sees Sting's glow begin to flicker and then finally go out.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The Company's method of dealing with the trolls they encounter, due to the heights of both parties.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gollum would've eaten Bilbo if he hadn't said "Time's up", leading to Bilbo's figuring out the answer.
  • Holding Hands: Galadriel takes Gandalf's hands as part of her assurance that he has her support.
  • Hollywood Darkness: In the Misty Mountains. When the dwarves are camping on the goblins' front porch, it's night, there are clouds outside, no fires are allowed, they're not in direct sight of the entrance, and there isn't an opening above them. However, it's as light as any normal cloudy day — brighter even than the mountainside was minutes before. Gollum's cave is also surprisingly well-lit, although we do see a streak of light shining on to the spot where he plays the riddle game with Bilbo.
  • Horse of a Different Colour:
    • The elf-king rides a stag in the flashback to Smaug's original attack.
    • Radagast's sledge is drawn by large rabbits.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Saruman criticizes Radagast's stained teeth. Saruman's teeth are awful.
    • While Bilbo is writing There and Back Again, Frodo tells him that people say that he's becoming "unsociable." Bilbo denies it and then orders Frodo to put up the sign saying No Admittance Except on Party Business.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: First part of the film, where the older Bilbo saw his younger portrait. Look at his hand gesture.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Gollum and the three trolls. If you substitute "human-like" for "human", at least.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • There's a reason Thorin is called Oakenshield. By the time of his rematch with Azog, he has fashioned an actual armoured gauntlet, reinforced with iron fittings, out of that same oak branch.
    • While trapped in a tree, Gandalf ignites several pine cones to use them as impromptu firebombs.
    • The dwarves break off a railing when being chased by goblins and use it to swat them away. Shortly after that they pull down a ladder and use its steps to grab goblins by their necks.
  • Info Dump: The first half hour of the movie is basically exposition. But made fun.
  • Insult Backfire:
    • In the extended edition, after the Great Goblin finishes his Villain Song.
      Balin: That's not a song. It's an abomination!
      Great Goblin: Abominations, mutations, deviations! That's all you're gonna find down here.
    • Also after the Trolls capture the Dwarves
      Dori: You can't reason with them, they're half-wits!
      Bofur: Half-wits? What does that make us?
  • It's for a Book: Gandalf gives a variation of this as his initial explanation for why they needed the map translated by Elrond.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: A lot of people have criticized Saruman for being a bigoted jerk (not to mention a hypocrite given The Reveal of his own smoking habit in The Lord of the Rings) in dismissing Radagast's information about Dol Guldur, but he's actually pretty justified in pointing out that Radagast's mushroom eating compromises his intel, since the context makes it quite clear that the said mushrooms are hallucinogens of some sort.
  • Kerb-Stomp Battle:
    • Smaug burning Dale and taking over Erebor.
    • Elvish Archer Cavalry led by Elrond vs. Warg Riders
    • The eagles against Azog and his warg-riders.
    • Gandalf killing the Goblin King with a One-Hit Kill
    • Azog vs. Thorin, who is smacked with a mace multiple times, bitten by a warg, and rendered incapable of even moving the two inches he needs to reach his sword, all without getting in a single blow.
  • Kev Lard: Completely averted with the Great Goblin, who is done in by a single slash across the gut by Gandalf wielding Glamdring. While is isn't Gutted Like a Fish, even he quips in his own Pre-Mortem One-Liner that the slash did the job.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • As the goblins confiscate the dwarves' weapons, one of them snatches Óin's ear horn and stomps it flat.
    • One from the extended edition: when Thranduil comes to pay homage to Thrór, King Under the Mountain, the latter holds out a box containing the White Gems of Lasgalen, a memento of Thranduil's late wife. Before Thranduil can touch the gems, the box snaps shut. The look on Thranduil's face strongly suggests that this could have been the real cause of his later rift with the dwarves.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Even with an almost fully armed company of 15, with many capable fighters, they are not going to win when the odds are either something like 5-to-1 plus the disadvantages of Beast of Battle (against orcs) or 1000-to-1 (against goblins). Thus rather than continue fighting against large enemies and overwhelming numbers, they are forced to retreat more than once.

    Tropes L to Z 
  • The Last Straw: The sausage that causes Bombur's bench to collapse.
  • Line in the Sand: Invoked by Balin towards Thorin at the beginning. He tells Thorin that they don't have to go on the quest, and can continue the life of peace and plenty they have built in the Blue Mountains.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Balin, a bit. When Bilbo greeted him with "Good evening," Balin agreed, though he predicted it would rain later. Later, when Bilbo interrupts Balin and Dwalin going through his larder with an irritable "I'm sorry," Balin mildly accepts his apology.
    • Toyed with when Gandalf meets Bilbo and their conversation about the meaning of "Good morning." However, it is revealed that Gandalf was doing it intentionally, partly to remind Bilbo of who he was and partly because it amused him to do so.
  • Living in a Furniture Store: Played with. In the main storyline, Bilbo's house is very clean and tidy, showing how uptight and organized he is. But sixty years later, Bag End noticeably has more books and things scattered around the floor and tables.
  • Living Statue: Of the possessed kind. As Radagast explores Dol Guldur, he passes some statues of the Nazgûl... one of which tightens its grip on its sword as he walks past it. When Radagast turns to examine it, the Witch-King of Angmar emerges from the other statue behind him and tries to ambush him from above.
  • The Load: Thorin thinks Bilbo is this in the beginning. By the end, when Bilbo saves him from Azog's mook, Thorin declares he was wrong.
  • Made in Country X: Apparently, "Made in Rivendell" was on the bottom of some candlesticks the Dwarves stole from Rivendell. Type 1 as the Great Goblin dismisses them as "Second Age, couldn't even give them away."
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    Great Goblin: That'll do it.
  • Man Hug: Dwalin and Balin share a couple. Thorin gives one to Bilbo after Bilbo saved him from Azog's mook.
  • Manly Tears: Dwalin and Balin after surviving the Battle of Azanulbizar.
  • Meaningful Echo: When the dwarves first arrive at Bilbo's home, Gandalf is seen ticking off his fingers when counting how many dwarves are present. Later on, Gandalf does the same thing when escaping from the goblin caves but realizes someone is missing: Bilbo.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The trailers for the first movie have several scenes that are nowhere to be seen in the finished product. However, as the first trailer was released before the decision was made to make three movies, some of those scenes appeared in the second film, such as Gandalf exploring Dol Guldur, or were cut and appeared in the extended edition DVDs.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: The Eagles set the travellers down on a bear-shaped rock formation, foreshadowing Beorn's upcoming appearance in Desolation.
  • Motivational Lie: Subverted. Gandalf tries to give Bilbo a motivational speech by talking about a famous ancestor of Bilbo's, "Bullroarer" Took. At the end Bilbo says that he thinks Gandalf made most of that up, and Gandalf shamelessly says that good stories can use a little embellishing every now and then. Ironically, while Gandalf's line can be seen as the filmmakers lampshading the Adaptation Expansion of the book, the story about Bullroarer Took inventing golf is not one of their additions.
  • Mundane Utility: In the meeting Gandalf discreetly uses a small fire spell to light his pipe. He uses the same spell at the end to greater effect by turning pine cones into fire bombs.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Gandalf can't quite remember the names of the blue wizards. They're Alatar and Pallando, or perhaps Morinehtar ("Darkness-slayer") and Rómestámo ("East-helper"). The names are given in Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth, but Christopher Tolkien has refused to sell the movie rights to those. However, the film actually gets away with naming them the Blue Wizards since their colour was only revealed in Unfinished Tales.
    • When Radagast tells Gandalf about the spiders that have "recently appeared" in Mirkwood, he says something to the effect of "Some spawn of Ungoliant, or I am not a wizard."
      • With respect to the following film, Smaug isn't surprised by Bilbo's presence in the Lonely Mountain and they have a calm, though tense, conversation rather than him realizing that a piece of the treasure has been taken and yelling, "Thieves! Fire! Murder!" So Radagast yells it when he first rides up to Thorin's Company instead.
    • The Great Goblin bears a strong resemblance to his animated counterpart. Also, his followers resemble their counterparts from the 2003 video game.
    • In the extended edition, Bofur sings part of the "Cow Jumped over the Moon" that Frodo sings in the Lord of the Rings book at the Prancing Pony.
    • Bilbo says to Elrond, "Go not the Elves for counsel for they will say both yes and no", a line Frodo says to Gildor Inglorion in The Fellowship of the Ring''
    • In some shots, it looks like Glamdring and Orcrist glow, which they did in the books.
    • While the sun was clearly rising on its own, the way Galdalf breaks the stone in two to expose the trolls to sunlight gives the impression that he summoned the sun like in the 1977 animated film.
    • The first few notes of the film's version of "Misty Mountains Cold" is very similar to the same piece from the animated film.
  • Naked People Are Funny: In the extended cut, while the dwarves are staying at Rivendell and generally making a nuisance of themselves, Elrond's aide worriedly asks how long they'll be staying. Elrond replies he isn't sure, and then suddenly both elves react to something offscreen — cut to the dwarves swimming naked in a big fountain and slapping each other's asses with rolled-up towels.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Azog and Thorin's "rematch" has all the trappings of a standard Moment of Awesome, intense closeups, Unflinching Walk, dramatic music, Thorin with an oaken branch as a shield just like their first fight, you name it, only for Azog to knock Thorin down and render him helpless with a single smack of his mace.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Thorin sees Azog in person for the first time since their old battle, and charges him. Powerful elven sword in one hand, a fashioned branch armguard in the other, awesome music in the background along with a Battle Amongst the Flames theme going on, he prepares to finish the fight they started... and he's laid out in seconds by Azog's warg (who had an advantage in height, powerful legs/jaws, and a big advantage in mobility), allowing Azog a staggering hit just as he's getting back up, then gets bitten by the warg and can only manage a glancing blow that sends him sprawling heavily. Only Bilbo's intervention saves him from himself.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: The giant eagles. They don't just rescue the dwarves in the movie, but attack Azog's forces directly, killing nearly half of them before finally winging off with their charges.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Thorin's opinion of cutting Azog's arm off. The look that Gandalf and Balin exchange suggests they (accurately) suspect Azog may still be alive.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel, the wisest and most powerful wizards and elves of Middle-Earth... who could not even agree that Sauron has returned, much less form a plan to stop him.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Stone Giants aren't trying to put the protagonists in horrible danger and possibly get them killed, they're just too busy fighting each other and the company is too small and insignificant to them for the Giants to notice they are there.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Saruman is one to the point where he intends to forbid the dwarves from embarking on their quest, not realising as Gandalf and Galadriel do that the dwarves have already left.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Galadriel does this to Gandalf.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Thrór is decapitated by Azog in the failed attempt to re-claim Moria from the orcs.
    • One of the gargantuan stony giants has its head knocked off by a boulder flung by another such giant.
    • Gandalf decapitates a goblin via Clean Cut.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Great Goblin completely freaks out the moment he identifies the elven swords.
    • Ori's expression when the Great Goblin orders his cronies to kill the dwarves "starting with the youngest".
    • Elrond and Galadriel have the equivalent reaction when they see the Witch-King's sword.
    • Bilbo when he sees Sting is glowing blue and remembers what that means...
    • Also, when he realizes that Gollum figured out where his 'precious' is.
    • Blink and you miss it, but at Rivendell, when Gandalf meets Galadriel, he closes his eyes and puts on a VERY fake-looking smile when seeing Saruman has come to check up on him.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: During Thorin's Unflinching Walk. It is actually the language of Númenor, taken from "Revelation of the Ringwraiths".
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Azog makes it clear to his mooks that they can kill the other dwarves, just as long as they leave Thorin for him. When Thorin goes down easily, he seems to lose interest and orders a mook to behead him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: From what we see of The Great Goblin, he sits on his throne and rules Goblin Town, and that's about it.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The stone giants, briefly mentioned in the book. They are actually made of stone, coming alive and literally wrenching themselves free from the sides of the mountains.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: The party escapes from the goblins of the Misty Mountains, only to get cornered by a worse group of orc warg-riders. Furthermore, they climb trees to escape and use fire to keep the orcs and wargs at bay — which backfires and leaves most of them dangling from a tree over a cliff's edge. Gandalf and Thorin even lampshade it, saying, "Out of the frying pan ... and into the fire," in a nod to the chapter of the book named after the phrase.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: During the Goblin King's song, he spears a hapless Mook through the chest and hurls him away — the goblin goes flying towards the screen and jostles the camera with his arm as he passes.
  • Picky Eater: Played for laughs. The dwarves aren't exactly thrilled to eat elvish vegetables and seem downright confused by the lack of meat.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: The trolls use Bilbo to make the dwarves surrender.
    Tom: Lay down your arms or we'll rip his off!
  • Plummet Perspective: In the "Out of the Frying Pan" sequence, Gandalf sees the branch from his tree fall down from the cliff.
  • Primal Fear: Eating and feasting are important through the story. When enemies are encountered, they often also want to eat the heroes.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The battle of Azanulbizar. The Dwarves were victorious, but the majority of their forces were dead or mortally wounded, including their king.
  • Rack Focus: This is used several times in the first film, in particular during a telepathic conversation between Gandalf and Galadriel. The focus fades forwards and back several times within one shot to indicate who is "talking".
  • Railing Kill: Literally — the dwarves take up a handrail and use it to swat groups of incoming goblins off a catwalk.
  • Refusal of the Call: Bilbo's initial reaction to Gandalf and the dwarves' offer. Becomes Jumped at the Call when he wakes up the next morning and realises his normal life just wouldn't be enough for him if he didn't do it.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Gandalf apologizes to Galadriel for the ravages time has wrought on his appearance compared to her. She's not bad for someone who has been in Middle-Earth two full Ages longer than the wizards (though along with the other wizards, Gandalf is actually older than Galadriel and even the universe).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered to Thorin by the Great Goblin.
    Great Goblin: Well, well, well! Look who it is. Thorin, son of Thráin, son of Thrór. King Under the Mountain! Oh, but I'm forgetting, you don't have a mountain. And you're not a king. Which makes you... nobody, really.
  • The Resenter: Implied in the prologue when Thranduil the Elvenking shows deference to Thrór, there is a subtle expression of displeasure on his face. Likewise when he turns away from aiding the dwarves after Smaug invades, his face shows a hint of satisfaction.
  • Retcon: The references to Bilbo's adventures in Fellowship of the Ring were copied directly from how they happened in the book. This film contradicts them in multiple ways:
    • The illustration of Smaug on Gandalf's map of Erebor showed him with four legs and a pair of wings. The glimpses of Smaug in this film's prologue matched this — until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug portraying him with two winged forearms and hindlegs. This later revised in the Extended Edition to mirror his appearance in the later films. However, the illustration of Smaug on the map was not changed.
    • When Bilbo told children about his encounter with the trolls, he said that their attempt to cook the dwarves was delayed by them arguing over how to do it. In this film, they only have a minor discussion over it – instead, it's Bilbo who attempts to delay them.
    • The brief glimpses of "There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale" mentioned the trolls dropping a key and the Company using it to unlock the door to their cave. Here, the cave is open.
    • The prologue showed Bilbo crawling along the ground when he finds the ring, and Gollum yells that his "precious" is lost. Here, Bilbo is standing up when he finds it, and Gollum yells that the goblin he is eating has too many bones. The prologue was narrated by Galadriel, who was not present, so it's justified.
  • Revealing Hug: Bilbo's face when Thorin hugs him in gratitude for saving his life is rather shocked-looking. No surprise, since by that point he thought that Thorin would never accept him.
  • Riddle Me This: The game between Gollum and Bilbo.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Radagast tends a few.
  • Robotic Torture Device: The denizens of Goblin Town attempt to use these on the company. One is essentially a giant press with two plates full of nails, the other are two barrels covered in nails where a victim is meant to be pushed in between. Ironically, after seeing one of the dwarves has an elven sword, the Great Goblin simply orders them to be killed without the use of the devices.
  • Rock Monster: The stone giants.
  • Running Gag: Everybody's tired of eating mutton.
  • Sadistic Choice: The trolls tell the dwarves to surrender or else they will rip Bilbo apart. They surrender.
  • Savage Wolves: The Wargs are enemies.
  • Say My Name:
    • When Thorin confronts Azog towards the end.
    • Fíli yells Thorin's name with concern as he is being carried unconscious by the eagles.
    • Dwalin when Thorin is bitten by Azog's warg. He tries to go help and ends up almost falling off of the tree.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • The landscape shots of New Zealand are as beautiful as the ones in The Lord of the Rings. There's a reason why Peter Jackson wanted to keep filming there.
    • The CGI ones deserve a mention — the sweeping shots of Erebor may be the first time this trope was pulled off underground! Except for Moria, which was actually BIGGER. If you look closely, you can see similar designs on the pillars. Which makes sense, since the dwarves had to leave Moria because of the Balrog and moved to Erebor.
  • Scheherezade Gambit:
    • Bilbo keeps Gollum from eating him by proposing to Gollum to play a game of riddles.
    • Also when Bilbo stalls the trolls hoping for the sun to come up.
    • Attempted by the dwarves in Goblintown to protect Thorin. The Great Goblin puts the kibosh on that, though.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Though not without reason. However, Thorin is so disdainful of them that he very nearly refuses to wield one of the finest and mightiest blades ever forged in Middle-Earth, purely because it is of elvish make.
  • Sequel Hook: An Unexpected Journey ends with Smaug awakening.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In the Extended Edition, Smaug is retconned into being a wyvern to reflect his design from the subsequent films, but the drawing of him on Gandalf's map of Erebor still depicts him with the four legs and two wings he originally possessed.
    • Gandalf tells Bilbo that elvish blades glow when orcs and goblins are nearby, but Orcrist and Glamdring don't glow at all while Azog's scouts are chasing the dwarves and Gandalf.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Braveheart in the Nanduhirion scene when the dwarves all charge at once.
    • Even to The Adventures of Tintin (2011). Here, Jackson shouts out to himself as Thorin makes his badass entrance down a tree trunk to face Azog. The falling tree sequence some minutes before is also suspiciously familiar for all Tintin viewers (as the falling masts of the Unicorn).
    • Also Asterix with Bombur being similar to Obelix, envisioned with a big belly, no beard, whiskers and long red braids, and for extra points, someone stops him from drinking directly from the cauldron.
    • Elrond says the moon runes with the same (or similar) intonation as the Elrond in the Rankin-Bass film, seen here.
    • In the extented version, Bilbo and Elrond have a little chat where they used lines that belonged respectively to Frodo and Gildor in The Lord of the Rings
    • Thorin's blade being named Deathless, a fitting name for the weapon of the descendent of Durin I, father of the Dwarven race. Also, Graham McTavish gave the idea of naming Dwalin's axes Grasper and Keeper, as a homage to Emily Brontë's dogs.
    • On several occasions, the Orc warlord Azog gives of a cry of WAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHH!!!
    • One of the livestock Bilbo dashes past as he leaves Bag End is a pig that's been harnessed to pull farm equipment.
  • Silence, You Fool!: From Thorin when the other twelve dwarves burst into a random blowout over how many dragons Gandalf killed.
  • Silly Song: "Blunt the Knives", the song the dwarves mock Bilbo with when he complains about their table manners.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Azog is completely absent from any promotional material for the first film despite being the main antagonist of the trilogy. The reason for this is that he went through several redesigns during the production and his look was finalized only two months before the premiere, after both main trailers have been released.
  • So Much for Stealth Silencing a potential orc witness is not as easy as it seems, since Kíli hesitates to shoot and his aim is off. Their victim's screams soon alert the rest of the orcs of the dwarves' whereabouts.
  • Spared By Adaptation:
    • The ponies bolted after the warg-riders attack the Company, so they weren't captured and eaten by goblins as in the book. They also manage to avoid being eaten by trolls earlier on.
    • Azog died before the context of the story in canon.
  • Squashed Flat: Hard to see it, but it happens to a couple goblins when the dwarves are rolling a boulder ahead of them during their escape.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Kíli and Fíli do it to Bilbo after encouraging him to go rescue the ponies.
    • Galadriel does this after she encourages Gandalf to continue helping the dwarves.
    • Gollum pulls this on Bilbo during the game of riddles. Bilbo is distracted by a bat, and when he looks back Gollum has disappeared... and his leering voice is echoing off the walls as he tells his final riddle and menacingly wonders out loud how Hobbits taste.
  • Stealth Pun: In the extended version, the Great Goblin performs a Villain Song before the captured dwarves, despite them not enjoying it one bit. He has a captive audience.
  • Stock Scream: Late in the film when the heroes are escaping from the goblins, one goblin is knocked off a bridge into a pit and utters the Wilhelm Scream.
  • Take My Hand!: The dwarves do this when Bilbo is dangling over the edge after the stone giants' fight. Fíli actually yells it to Kíli as the stone giant Fíli is on starts to move and they're separated. Kíli's face when Fíli is pulled just out of reach is devastating.
  • Take That, Audience!: In one scene Gandalf recites a story of Bullroarer Took's defeat of the orc-king Golfimbul (in which he knocked the orc's head off and it went down a rabbit hole, inventing the game of golf).note  Bilbo mentions that some of that story has to be made up. Gandalf counters that all good stories deserve embellishment. This same claim could be applied to the film adaptation, which embellished the original book to make three films.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: What Bilbo does to delay the trolls from eating the dwarves until the sun rises. He also tries this with Gollum, to less success.
  • Talking to Themself: Gollum, of course, although his Split Personality is emphasized more (a lot more) than it was in the book.
    Sméagol: Ooh! Ooh! We knows! We knows!
    Gollum: Shut! Up!
  • Tastes Like Chicken: The trolls complain that all they eat is this trope, except for chicken itself, which to them tastes like fish.
  • Tempting Fate: Sort of a Running Gag:
    • Bilbo does this at Bag End as dwarves keep pouring in.
    • The Goblin King taunts Gandalf and is killed with ease.
    • After the dwarves survive unscathed their fall into the depths of the goblin kingdom, one of them points out "it could've been worse"... and then the Goblin King's huge corpse falls on top.
    • Bilbo's statement at the end of An Unexpected Journey: "I really believe that the worst is behind us." Cue Smaug awakening....
  • That's No Moon: The mountain pass Bilbo and the dwarves must traverse is already precarious, but it gets even worse when it turns out they're actually walking along the shins of one of the stone giants.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Dwarves make terrible house guests, as Bilbo and Elrond can attest.
  • Title Drop: Thorin and Gandalf together say the original chapter title when the Company have just escaped from the goblin caves and are now being hunted by wargs.
    Thorin: Out of the frying pan...
    Gandalf: ...And into the fire.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • During the party, Bilbo angrily says to Gandalf that he doesn't even want to talk about what the dwarves have done to the bathroom, and that they've all but destroyed the plumbing.
    • The art book reveals that the Great Goblin's throne is also his throne.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bilbo, who goes from an ordinary hobbit who as a responsible adult shows disdain for adventures to killing a huge orc warrior, a warg and fending off Azog to protect Thorin.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Gandalf's justification to Saruman, Galadriel and Elrond for sponsoring Thorin's quest: he believes that while Smaug only cares about Erebor and its treasure, dragons once worked for Sauron's master Morgoth (whose return is truly impossible) and still might be persuaded to ally himself with Sauron if he were ever to return, and the power Smaug would bring to Sauron's armies would be too horrible to imagine.
  • Trampled Underfoot: The Great Goblin uses a pile of his own minions as a willing footstool who get Squashed Flat whenever he steps down from his throne.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Radagast's arrival to Rhudaur to warn Gandalf and give him the sword is quite jarring for both geographical and chronological matters. Though it's never cleared where he crossed the Misty Mountains by nor how much time it took for him, the only possible option is that he entered by the High Pass (the place where the Company firstly intended to go before being captured by the goblins), which is quite a feat given that it is still very away from Rhosgobel or Dol Guldur. Justified in which he probably made it in time thanks to the speed of his bunny-sled, which had been showed as incredibly fast and reliable.
  • Unflinching Walk: Thorin does one as he is confronting Azog for the second time, while surrounded by flaming trees and attacking wargs.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The Dwarves in Rivendell. Elrond and his soldiers saves them from an Orc ambush and lets them stay in his house and giving them food (even after Thorin is rude to him and he first sees them as an armed group on his doorstep). In response they ridicule the food he offers, the music, break some of his furniture (Bombur's table scene), make a mess (in the extended edition) and then leave without even a "thank you". When Elrond helps Thorin, Gandalf had to strong-arm him into accepting Elrond's help and Thorin proves stubborn and unwilling every step of the way. Even with Thorin's anti-elf grudge that's petty.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: In the extended edition, Kíli is checking out some elf-maids, to Dwalin's disapproval. Kíli reassures the dwarves that he doesn't fancy them, although "that one there is not bad". The elf then turns around...
  • Veganopia: Rivendell is portrayed as this, with most of their food being fruits and vegetables. Many of the dwarves are perplexed by the elves' diet, wondering where the meat is.
  • Vertigo Effect: When Radagast sees the Necromancer at Dol Guldur.
  • Villainous Glutton: The trolls are a problem to the main characters purely because they are hungry. Gollum too, but his emaciated appearance clearly sets him apart.
  • Villain Song: Goblin Town appears in the Extended Edition as a number for the Great Goblin.
  • Visual Pun: Radagast's hair is a literal bird's nest.
  • Wall Crawl:
    • The Misty Mountain goblins do a lot of this, though the dwarves seem to pretty much always see them coming.
    • And true to his character, Gollum "introduces" himself to Bilbo this way as well.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Kíli appears to want to impress his uncle Thorin and becomes embarrassed when he makes a mistake while Thorin is watching, or gets reprimanded by him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Radagast disappears from the movie without a comment after distracting a warband of orcs.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • When Bilbo doesn't kill Gollum.
    • And a small one, when Bilbo is listening to the dwarves talking about him deserting them, after they all escape the goblins in the mountains. He is wearing The Ring at the time, so he's free to let them believe he's gone for good and go back to Rivendell. Of course, he reveals himself and continues the journey.
  • Wild Card: The reason Gandalf wants Smaug out of the picture; the dragon isn't loyal to anyone, but could be recruited by the forces of evil. See Too Powerful to Live above.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Especially in the final shot but throughout the film we get nice pullbacks seeing just how awesome Middle-Earth is. Even a bit of I Can See My House from Here: with them looking at the Lonely Mountain which is the dwarves' home.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: When telling Bilbo about the other wizards, Gandalf mentions the two Blue Wizards, but claims to be unable to remember their names. Their names are Alatar and Pallando, but the film makers do not have the rights to Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth or The Silmarillion, and as such they cannot be legally named. This also resulted in the backstory of the Nazgul being rewritten.
  • You and What Army?: Inverted by Balin; he comments that even if the dwarves had an army to take back Erebor, the task would still be monumentally difficult — and yet the thirteen of them are going to try with no backup whatsoever.
  • You Are Not Alone: Galadriel reassures Gandalf that he has her support after Saruman dismisses Gandalf's concerns and proof about the Necromancer.
    Galadriel: Do not be afraid, Mithrandir. You are not alone. If you have need of me, I will come.
  • You Have Failed Me: Azog does not tolerate failure, feeding one of his soldiers to the wargs for failing to kill Thorin or die in the attempt.
  • Zerg Rush: The hordes of goblins pursuing Thorin and Co.

♫ Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To find our long-forgotten gold... ♫


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): An Unexpected Journey


Yazneg gets Eaten Alive

Yazneg returns to Azog empty-handed, trembling with fear about how he barely escaped alive from the Elves after they foiled their chance to capture and kill Thorin Oakenshield. Azog tells him that paying for his failure with his life was better than at the hands of the Elves, holding him by his neck and then feeding Yazneg to the Wargs before declaring to his minions to get the word out on finding the Dwarven King, starting by placing a bounty on his head.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouHaveFailedMe

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