Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Go To
''"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."

"King? There is no king under the mountain nor will there ever be. None would dare enter Erebor, whilst the dragon lives."

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. It was released in December 2013.

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.

Followed by The Battle of the Five Armies.

The Desolation of Smaug provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to L 
  • Achilles' Heel: Only a special dwarven-made "black arrow" shot 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.
  • Action Girl: Tauriel is the action girl Arwen almost became for The Lord of the Rings.
  • Actor Allusion: When the Master of Laketown jovially greets Thorin and his company with "Welcome, welcome and thrice welcome!" it almost sounds like he's introducing an episode of QI.
  • Adaptation Distillation: As with the first film, many descriptive and transitional details are either condensed or removed outright:
    • Beorn's role in the film is reduced, and the characters spend less time at his house before journeying on to Mirkwood. This would continue into the next film, with Beorn only appearing at the end of the battle and then at the dwarves' funeral, in both cases very briefly.
    • The entire Mirkwood segment is shortened significantly. The journey appears to last much longer in the novel, where the company encounters more strange and creepy things prior to their run-in with the spiders. Most notable of these is when the company stumbles upon a party of feasting elves three different times, only for the elves to keep mysteriously disappearing.
    • The fight with the spiders is also much longer in the novel, and ends differently. In the film, the elves make their debut by coming to the dwarves' rescue, whereas in the novel, Bilbo and the dwarves are eventually able to fend off the spiders on their own. This is also where Bilbo reveals the secret of his magic ring to the dwarves, which they never find out about in the films.
    • In the novel, the elves capture and interrogate Thorin separately from the other dwarves, the rest of whom are captured and interrogated sometime later. Bilbo also spends at least a week at the Elvenking's palace, sneaking back out and then back in multiple times, before he comes up with a plan to free the dwarves. The film condenses this so that the dwarves are all captured at the same time, with only Thorin being interrogated, and their breakout from the palace also happens much sooner.
    • After Bilbo sneaks into the mountain in the novel, he steals a gold cup from Smaug and takes it back outside. This causes Smaug to awaken and fly out from the mountain in search of the thief, while Bilbo and the dwarves retreat into the mountain. Smaug then returns to his original resting spot and lies in wait until Bilbo returns. After their encounter, Bilbo flees outside a second time, until he and the dwarves hastily rush back in to escape an impending attack from Smaug, who then destroys the secret passage before heading to attack Lake-town. In the film, Bilbo has only one audience with Smaug and does not steal a gold cup from him, and Bilbo does not come back out from Smaug's lair until after Smaug flies off to Lake-town.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The film adds several original characters, most notably Tauriel, who is put into a romantic subplot with both Legolas (who is not mentioned in the novel) and Kíli.
    • 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. Bard the bowman from the novel is also split into two characters here, Bard himself and Braga, the captain of the guard.
    • Laketown and its residents in general are given detail well beyond the descriptions from the book. Laketown is developed into a poverty-stricken, third-world state, with several named inhabitants who have bigger parts. The Master of Laketown, and Laketown counselor Alfrid Lickspittle, are both unnamed minor characters in the book but have several scenes in the film.
    • Thorin's greed and obsession with reclaiming the Arkenstone is played up far more in the film than it was in the book. Naturally this was done to establish Thorin jumping off the slippery slope in the next movie.
    • Bilbo's time with Smaug is greatly expanded upon, including Thorin and the company making a valiant effort to take Smaug down while still within Erebor.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • In the book, Thorin's first order of business after Bombur woke to give him a Breaking Speech solely because Bombur was (understandably) feeling very vulnerable, fatigued, and disoriented. Here Thorin is shown as behaving much more appropriately in the face of Bombur's misfortune.
    • Likewise, the rest of the company never follows book Thorin's example, resulting in Bombur not being alienated from the rest of the company.
  • Adaptational Timespan Change: In the book, the dwarves are imprisoned by the elves for several weeks while Bilbo scouts the palace and looks for an opportunity to get them out. In the film, they're prisoners for only one night before Bilbo frees them.
  • Adipose Rex: The Master of Laketown is disgustingly fat and filthy.
  • The Alcoholic: The Master gets several brandies down before breakfast.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Kíli takes an arrow in 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 subverts this trope: Bilbo uses the ring to disappear, and he stumbles onto the chambers of Legolas's father, Thranduil. The Elvenking asks why he is hiding in the shadows and states 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.
  • Artistic License Biology: When the Company enter Erebor, they find piles of dwarf corpses who had been burnt by Smaug's fire 200 years ago, but all of the corpses are completely intact with blackened clothes, hair and skin. Evidently, Jackson intended them to look like the corpses of Romans excavated in Pompeii. What he doesn't realize is that all of those Pompeii victims are plaster casts — the Romans were burnt to death in the pyroclastic flow, their bodies were encased in ash, and then they decomposed inside the ash leaving a skeleton inside a hollow in the shape of their bodies. The only way to reconstruct the shape of their bodies was for archeologists to pour plaster into the hollow and remove the ash, but without the plaster they'd only be skeletons.
  • Artistic License Physics:
    • 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.
    • Gold melts at 1064°C/1948°F. Due to black body radiation, a substance of this temperature will glow orange, regardless of the color of the material. It would not look like a gold-colored liquid. Also, while even a cast-iron wheelbarrow would easily float on molten gold just as depicted (gold is almost 4 times more dense than iron, and iron doesn't melt until 1538°C/2800°F), all metals (including iron) are VERY good conductors of heat. This would result in the wheelbarrow rapidly heating up to the same temperature as the molten gold, causing it to also glow orange, and frying the dwarf inside very quickly. This is, after all, exactly how stoves and frying pans work, and the wheelbarrow would work just like a cast iron pan (only more so because the molten gold is hotter than a typical stove, and convection currents in liquid also transfer heat much more efficiently than solid heating elements). Molten gold is also HEAVY (4 times heavier than iron). You wouldn't have to worry about being burned by excessive temperature or suffocated. You would outright be crushed. Given this is a universe where magic is known to exist, you would expect at least a Hand Wave, but there is none, leaving the audience to assume A Wizard Did It. It's ironic that Jackson would forget what molten gold looks like, considering that the very first shot of The Fellowship of the Ring depicts molten gold: "It began with the forging of the Great Rings..."
  • Ascended Meme: Turns out that before going on to surf on a shield, Legolas was surfing on a whole lot of other things.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Smaug lives and breathes this trope. Half his lines are him boasting about what a badass he is.
      Smaug: I am King Under The Mountain!
    • Thranduil gets one:
      Thranduil: A hundred years is a mere blink in the life of an elf. I am patient. I can wait.
    • As does Thorin, to Smaug:
      Thorin: I am taking back what you stole!
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Thorin and the dwarves get captured by giant spiders until Bilbo comes to rescue them, then get locked up by the Mirkwood Elves until Bilbo comes to rescue them.
    • 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.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Bolg disarms Legolas by catching his sword under his armpit. More justified than most as the sword only has a blade on one side and the blunt end was underneath his armpit. Had it been the reverse that arm would have been gone.
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Smaug does not take kindly to those who question or insult his magnificence. The dwarves use this to their advantage.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Fíli becomes visibly angry when Thorin refuses to take Kíli with them to the Lonely Mountain, and insists on staying behind in Laketown to take care of his injured brother.
    • Bard's oldest daughter, Sigrid, starts throwing furniture, crockery, and kitchen knives at the orcs who invade her home and threaten her siblings. Bain, her brother, also tries his hardest to defend his sisters, kicking a bench into one of the orcs.
  • Bird Caged: Gandalf ends the movie hung in a gibbet, watching the orc army march.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • 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.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Bard and Thorin during their argument on whether to enter the Lonely Mountain. Bard argues that if the dwarves awaken Smaug, it could have dire consequences for Laketown, while Thorin points out that if they do manage to kill Smaug, they could easily restore Laketown to its former glory with the vast wealth stored in Erebor.
  • 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. See also Thorin's fight with Azog in the next movie, where he (briefly) defeats the more powerful foe with quick thinking and tricksy footwork.
  • 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.
  • Call-Forward:
    • 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 the 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's 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 Déagol's murder chronologically came first.)
    • When he captures Thráin, Azog cuts his finger off in order to get his Ring of Power, much like Gollum does to Frodo.
    • 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.
    • Bilbo being able to shake off the effects of the waters of Mirkwood may Call-Forward to Gandalf remarking on hobbits' strong-mindedness in The Lord of the Rings.
    • Dwarves REALLY don't like forests.
  • The Cameo: Stephen Colbert as one of the Master of Laketown's minions. He's glimpsed on screen for about three seconds: he's the rough-looking individual who flips an eyepatch down over his right eye before tapping on a door with a staff.
  • 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.
  • Can't Take Criticism:
    • Smaug, as part of his gigantic draconic ego, responds with murderous rage to even the vaguest and most feeble insult to his greatness. Thorin exploits this to trick Smaug into unwittingly re-lighting the Lonely Mountain's forges with his fire breath when he's attempting to kill Thorin and the Company.
    • King Thranduil himself shows signs of this during his converation with Thorin. His eyes are wide with shock and outrage when Thorin calls him out for turning his back on the dwarves' suffering years ago, and he snaps once Thorin starts speaking of dragonfire on top of that.
  • The Cassandra: 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 Dilemma: 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. When Thrór declared the Arkenstone to be the King's Jewel, he ended up making it impossible for anyone to be crowned king without it, and Thorin can't get to the Arkenstone 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.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: The dwarves are rescued by the elves, only to then immediately be taken into custody and thrown in jail. They would have likely spent the rest of their lives in there were it not for Bilbo sneaking in and helping them to escape.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 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.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Every single one of Smaug's lines. A side effect of an ego the size of a mountain.
  • Cliffhanger: A huge one. Gandalf is captive in Dol Guldur, 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..
  • 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 the slightest sign of discomfort. Thorin even sails the molten metal in a wheelbarrow! Conversely, there are other times when Smaug's fire-breath turns nearby metal and stone extremely hot, where 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 doesn't. Despite this being a universe where magic is known to exist, not even a Hand Wave is presented, and the audience is left to assume A Wizard Did It.
  • Cool Chair: Thranduil has a pretty sweet antlered throne, perfect for his Slouch of Antagonism.
  • Cool Crown: Thranduil's ornate crown features protruding, spiky twigs, autumn leaves and berries.
  • Corrupt 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!
  • Crapsack World:
    • Since the destruction of Dale and the Kingdom of Erebor, Laketown has degenerated into this, complete with a dictatorship and spy network.
    • Also Mirkwood, which used to be Greenwood the Great but is now dark, poisonous and constantly being overrun by ginormous spiders.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The dwarfs notice Erebor's forges are too cold to work. Thorin's solution? Taunt Smaug into lighting them.
  • 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, being more serious and foreboding in tone. Parallels the change of 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 get his hands on the nimble elf. He doesn't succeed in killing him, naturally, but Legolas gets 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.
  • Description Cut: Smaug boasts proudly that no weapon can pierce his armor... cut to Bard carrying a Black Arrow.
  • Desperate Object Catch: Bilbo nearly kicks the key to Erebor off the cliffside in his haste to find it before the keyhole vanishes from sight. Thorin steps on the thong to which the key is tied, securely trapping it under his boot, just before it can fall.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • 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." Bilbo does know it the moment he sees the Arkenstone, but that doesn't help him find it in the first place.
      Bilbo: [upon finding a random prism] "A large, white jewel." Very helpful.
    • Likewise, the thought of using molten gold as a weapon against Smaug seems like a good idea... until you realize this is a creature whose insides can withstand the obscene power of dragon fire, comparable in heat to Mount Doom itself. All they do is 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 take 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 the 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.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Bilbo attempts to pull this off with Smaug and fails miserably. He did buy himself enough time to just run, though.
  • Distracted by the Shiny: Smaug, by the gigantic golden statue in Erebor's Hall of Kings. A pretty understandable trait in a dragon.
  • Distressed Dude: Kíli ends up needing to be rescued several times by Tauriel.
  • Divided for Adaptation: One of three movies adapted out of a single novel.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During his dialogue with Bilbo, Smaug angrily knocks over a couple columns while ranting. Cut to Laketown, where ominous rumbling from a mountain is audible and startles the residents. And an hour or so after the rumbling, fire and death come out of the mountain to destroy Laketown later that night . The movie is a lot more unsubtle with this imagery than the book was.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the extended edition, Gandalf meets Thráin and mentions he's led Thorin to Erebor, which he assumed Thráin wanted. As it turns out, Thráin wanted nothing of the sort.
  • 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.
  • *Drool* 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.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • 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 Guldur, Azog waits until he's nearly done then dives in to attack just as Gandalf finishes his final counter-spell.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • 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 dislikes 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 realize 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.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Bilbo decides to name his sword Sting after he stabs a Mirkwood spider in the face with it, causing it to scream "It stings!"
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Why Thorin's insults are so effective at riling Smaug — the egotistical bastard just can't stand being insulted.
    • Smaug's greed is so complete that he will not suffer a single coin of his treasure be stolen from him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Smaug, as befitting a Fire Drake of Morgoth.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Thranduil "frees" his orc prisoner, he liberates the latter's 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 of moonlight — the end of Durin's Day is marked by the sun and crescent moon being out at the same time.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Lake-Town is a town. On a lake.
  • Extended Disarming: Fíli has a lot of knives hidden on his person, to the annoyance of his Elvish captors. Comes back when, during the barrel escape, even after the elves take all those knives from him, Fíli still has another knife on him.
  • Extreme Mle 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 Glamour 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 doesn't notice that he stepped in spider webs, or that a spider is cocooning his feet. Admittedly he is 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.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • 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 dwarves intensely because of their arrogance and selfishness. Although he hates orcs considerably more.
    • 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.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The orc prisoner derides the Elvenking as a mere "Elfling." Thranduil responds by slicing his captive's head off.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch's performance, Smaug would be quite charming if he wasn't so thoroughly vile.
  • Fingore: Thráin's finger was removed by Azog. His ring finger, specifically.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Bilbo and Thorin get along far better compared to the first film, though Thorin gets a bit more unstable the closer they get to Erebor and its treasure.
  • Forced to Watch: Smaug tells Bilbo that he'll enjoy making him watch Laketown burn.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • 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).
  • Glamour: Thranduil uses one to hide grievous injuries from an encounter with dragon fire in the past.
  • Glory Days: Thorin's Rousing Speech to the citizens of Laketown.
  • Gold Fever:
    • Smaug has this. He tells Bilbo in no uncertain terms that he will not suffer even a single coin of Erebor's treasure to be stolen from him. His gold lust is used against him when Thorin and company mesmerize him with an enormous and recently poured gold statue of Thrór that's still hot enough to melt and collapse on him.
    • 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.
  • Hates Being Touched: Dwalin, it seems. On two separate occasions, he threatens someone about to touch him. However, since the two potential offenders were Bard and Bard's son, one might surmise that Dwalin only objects to being touched by humans.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: As Gandalf discovers, the Necromancer is merely a guise; it's actually Sauron, the true power behind all the evil seeping back into Middle-Earth.
  • Hollywood Density: Aside from the lack of convection, the film fails to correctly represent the behavior of molten gold: because it's very dense, it flows very slowly, so running it down a series of channels and filling up a giant statue mold would take hours, and its collapse probably several minutes, giving Smaug plenty of time to eat all the Dwarves or escape. The filmmakers managed to avoid a similar error with the golden coins because they had made thousands of prop coins and were able to pile them up to see how they behaved; however, they were unable to find a reference for molten gold. And also because it's very dense, Smaug wouldn't be able to submerge in it anyway.
  • Hope Spot: For a few seconds, it looks like the Company has successfully drowned Smaug in molten gold. Then he emerges, unharmed and enraged.
  • How Would You Like to Die?: Smaug gives Bilbo the choice, though he doesn't get to make good on it.
  • Hyper-Awareness: One of Smaug's abilities.
    • He discerns immediately upon meeting an invisible Bilbo that he carries something made of gold, yet far more precious than simple metal.
    • By detecting the scent of dwarf on Bilbo, Smaug deduces that Thorin is back to reclaim Erebor and that he sent Bilbo in to find the Arkenstone.
  • I Am Legion: Azog to Gandalf upon the latter seeing the army in Dol Guldur. Although he specifically says "We are legion."
  • I Am the Noun: Smaug storming off to attack Laketown: "I am fire. I am... death."
  • Icy Blue Eyes: In the close-up of Thranduil's striking blue eyes, his piercing gaze is rather frosty, much like his temperament.
  • Identical Grandson: Downplayed. Bard and his ancestor Girion are both played by Luke Evans, but unless you know it already, you won't recognize him in Girion under heavy make-up.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • 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 Bilbo 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, not to mention Smaug by that point demonstrated expertly that Bilbo might be invisible but Smaug can smell him, hear him, and sense the air move around when Bilbo does. Invisibility is no real help at that point.
  • 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. While this seems to bother them somewhat, they all consider being murdered by a dragon to be a worse fate.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Legolas, natch. The Dwarves show great skill with throwing their weapons during the barrel escape, and Bard shoots a rock out of Kíli's hand without injuring him. Then there's his ancestor, Girion. While he "missed the mark" in the fight with Smaug, the flashback shows that each of his shots at the very least glanced off Smaug's hide while he was in flight. The crowner however is probably Tauriel, who shoots an orc arrow out of the air with her own arrow.
  • 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.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • 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.
  • Interspecies Romance: Sort of between Kíli and Tauriel, not helped by Evangeline Lilly's appearance on the 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.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Just as Smaug is happy to soak up Bilbo's compliments, blows to his ego make him lose focus.
    Thorin: I did not think to see you so easily outwitted! You have grown slow and fat in your dotage... slug.
  • I Will Show You X!:
    Smaug: Revenge? Revenge?! I WILL SHOW YOU REVENGE!
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • 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?
    • Thranduil in turn has a point about Thorin: he warned Thorin's grandfather about his greed, which Thrór ignored to his own peril. Among other things, Thrór's greed caused him to build the treasure hoard that attracted Smaug, and on a more personal note, he denied Thranduil a piece of jewelry that was rightfully his (one belonging to Thranduil's dead wife). Thranduil sees Thorin as having the same greed as his grandfather; the Dragon Sickness begins to take effect in Thorin less than a movie later.
    • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Thorin attempts to do this on Smaug after the company is trapped inside of Erebor. Using Indy Ploy and his memory of the place, Thorin tricks Smaug into lighting the furnaces of the Dwarven forges in order to pour molten gold into a statue cast. He then taunts Smaug towards the cast, delivering his curses and speech of revenge on the worm before ordering the dwarves to break off the cast, revealing a golden statue Thrór himself, the very same king that Smaug took Erebor from. Smaug, thanks to his greed, is awed and distracted by its golden aura before the still-hot statue collapses on him, burning and drowning Smaug in a sea of molten gold he coveted so greedily. Unfortunately for Thorin, Smaug is still alive and all of that burning gold just makes him more angry and determined to destroy Lake-town.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: In this case, molten gold is treated as basically warm-ish, gold-colored water. Leaving aside the problem of Convection, Schmonvection, riding a barrow on it wouldn't work because it's simply too dense an element to flow that quickly.
  • Lava Surfing: At one point Thorin floats on top of a stream of molten gold using nothing but a wheelbarrow.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Justified in this case. When trying to make it past Smaug to the forges, Thorin orders the dwarves to split up. As a large group, he would surely roast them. In smaller teams, at least some of them would make it. Ultimately, all of them manage to reach the forges precisely because Smaug has to divide his attention between several groups.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Dwalin threatens to rip a child's arms off if he ever tells anyone how they snuck into Bard's house via the commode.
  • Luxurious Liquor: Thranduil loves fine wine and keeps a well-stocked wine cellar. One of his servants observes, "Say what you like about our ill-tempered king, he has excellent taste in wine."
  • 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".

    Tropes M to Z 
  • 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.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The townspeople when Smaug leaves the mountain.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • 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.
  • Mle 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. Of course, the elves are soon focusing on the orcs, since they won't tolerate such an intrusion in their kingdom.
  • 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.
  • Million Mook March: The Goblin and Warg forces moving out of Dol Guldur.
  • Mind Screw: Walking through Mirkwood has this effect on Bilbo and the Dwarves, especially in the extended edition. At one point, Bilbo, walking forwards, looks down, and sees his feet moving backwards. He looks ahead and sees himself... or he looks back and sees himself looking ahead at himself.... The whole sequence if disorienting and nightmarish, and that's before the spiders show up.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: When Legolas gets a nosebleed from his fight with Bolg, which is a rather tame injury when you see the piles of his enemies' corpses surrounding him, he looks visibly confused for a moment before he gets pissed. Justified in that it's probably the first time anyone has caused him even so minor a wound.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken for Quake:
    Dori: Was that an earthquake?
    Balin: That, my lad, was a dragon.
  • A Molten Date with Death: The dwarves try to kill Smaug by drowning him in molten gold. Immediately Subverted when Smaug rises from the flood of gold unharmed, furious, and very shiny.
  • Mook Horror Show: Bilbo attacking the giant spiders while invisible. At one point, he chops a spider's legs off one by one, and the spider screams in terror, asking what's happening to it.
  • Mugging the Monster: Gandalf relates an encounter with some "unsavory" types who mistook him for a vagabond.
    Thorin: I imagine they regretted that.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • 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 realizes 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 Wild Men 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.
    • A few to the original Hobbit that aren't as important in the film: when trying to tiptoe away from Smaug while the dragon is still asleep, Bilbo is holding a golden cup, which was what he stole in his first trip into Erebor in the book. Golden coins later fall from Smaug's belly as he crosses over the Company, which were a major plot point in the original book.
    • Before the Necromancer is revealed to be Sauron, he appears as an overbearing dark cloud. In The Return of the King book, this was the form Sauron took when the One Ring and his empire are destroyed.
  • 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!
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Bilbo trying to find the Arkenstone in Smaug's hoard. Not only is it buried in a mountain of gold, but there are also countless jewels of similar shape and color among the pile.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • 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 doesn't happen in the theatrical cut of the film, although it is restored for the extended cut on home video.
    • 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 has 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).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • 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 realizes just how badly they screwed up.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Bolg and his team trying to slaughter the Dwarves as they escape in the barrels turns out to be the perfect distraction; the Elves are so busy fighting the Orcs that Bilbo and the dwarves get away.
    • Of all the Irony, Smaug showing up when Thorin goes after Bilbo. He likely saves the latter, since Thorin was holding him at swordpoint and possibly about to push him off the ledge.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Smaug has scales stronger than any armor. Even a bath in molten gold won't slow him down.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The stairs in and leading up to the Tomb of the Ringwraiths are horrifically unsafe, barely wide enough for one man to walk on them and with no safety railing. Of course, nobody was ever expected to need to go in there once the doors were sealed, so this might be somewhat justified. The path to the hidden entrance to Erebor isn't much better, though as with other examples in the films that would make it easier to defend.
  • No-Sell: Repeatedly with Smaug; appropriate for the last great fire-drake.
    • He can detect Bilbo by smell, hearing his breath, and feeling his air, so using the Ring to slip away ends up not working for the first time.
    • The Dwarves eventually start throwing something similar to Molotov Cocktails at him. They barely make him flinch, and notably don't stop his charge.
    • Their final plan to drown him in molten gold just pisses him off.
  • Not So Stoic: Thranduil maintains a steady, calm demeanor 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.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Thranduil "frees" the Orc captive's head from its body.
    • His son gets to do it later on to an unlucky Orc catapulted from a boat.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Thranduil when he realizes 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 realizes 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 when he unconsciously takes off the Ring and realizes that he's just revealed himself to the dragon. "There you are!''"
    • 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.
    • In the extended edition, Gandalf gets another when he finds Thráin and learns the ring he had, the last of the Dwarven Rings, was taken by Azog. He also gets one before this at the borders of Mirkwood, when he finds an Elven statue defaced with graffiti of the Eye of Sauron.
  • One Bullet Left: There's only a single black iron bolt capable of killing Smaug left.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • 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.
    • In the extended edition, Gandalf gets one. He's usually confident and cool-headed, but when he tries to negotiate with Beorn he looks really nervous, probably to show that Beorn is, indeed, very dangerous. Note that this scene is played completely differently in the book, where he is just as confident as usual.
  • 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 dragonnote ; 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 Klingon: Or 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. Some have translated what he said as "Die a death of flames!"
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Or just relationship — 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.
  • 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 Morgul-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.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • 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 (forged by the Dwarves of Erebor) that was shot from a normal longbow. 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 shot 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.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • 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 Dwarves to show up in Erebor eventually, even though eventually turned out to be decades.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Put on a Bus: Elrond and Saruman for this film (as Galadriel represents the rest of the White Council during her brief appearance). This incidentally also makes Desolation the only one of the six Middle-Earth films where neither Elrond or Saruman appear (or in the case of the latter if you're counting the Return of the King Extended Edition).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In the original screenplay, Bofur was supposed to be part of the group that accompanies Thorin and Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain. However, James Nesbitt had to return to the U.K. to work on another project, so the script was re-written to accommodate his schedule.
  • "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 Herring: The Dwarven Windlance is clearly set up as the primary device needed to shoot the Black Arrow and kill Smaug. But in the following movie, the windlance is never used and the chaos ensuing from Smaug's fire and destruction forces Bard and Bain to shoot the Black Arrow with a makeshift longbow up in the bell tower.
  • 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.
  • Rescue Romance: Kíli has his life saved by Tauriel three times; by the third, he's quite smitten.
  • The Reveal: "Sauron!" Counts as Internal Reveal though, because it's not really a surprise for the audience.
  • 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.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • 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 for 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 afterward.
  • Saved by Canon:
    • 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 try 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.
  • Saying Too Much: One of the many names Bilbo introduces himself as is "Barrelrider". This tips off the dragon that the men of Laketown are involved (as barrels are made there) and that Bilbo is working with dwarves (perhaps he heard about their escape from the orcs hunting Thorin; it's not made clear, though Smaug is certainly in communication with the Enemy).
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • It turns out Thranduil had fought Dragons from the north long before the fall of Erebor and has never really gotten over it, explaining his original reluctance to fight Smaug.
    • Beorn also has elements of this trope.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Tauriel shoots down an Orc arrow headed for Legolas. Improbable Aiming Skills, indeed.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Orc prisoner mocks Legolas and Thranduil about the coming war and the 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.
  • Slasher Smile: Smaug's mouth is permanently shaped into one.
  • Slouch of Villainy: While he's an antagonist rather than a villain, Thranduil sits like this on his throne.
  • Smug Snake:
    • 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 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 he doesn't care for anything but his own kingdom.
  • So Much for Stealth: Done as a Running Gag — it's clear no-one quite gets the whole "burglar" business.
    • Bilbo has to tell the dwarves to shut up while he's busting them out of their cells.
    • When the dwarves are robbing Laketown's armory, Kíli insists on being fine about carrying a huge pile of clangy weapons despite being weakened by the poison arrow, causing him to end up falling down the stairs with an appropriate racket. This brings the guards down on them right quick.
    • Gandalf is sneaking across the bridge into the Necromancer's lair when Radagast the Brown shouts that it might be a trap.
    • When Bilbo is searching for the Arkenstone, he finds a large stone and then tosses it aside into the gold, and then shushes it.
    • Bilbo ends up starting a gold slide that exposes Smaug's eye. Then he tries sneaking away as quietly as possible, but given what he's walking through, the noise ends up waking Smaug anyway.
  • Spikes of Doom: Dol Guldur has serious No OSHA Compliance, as it is covered in outward-facing spikes with no apparent purpose other than to make the Necromancer's lair look sinister.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Regardless of how their relationship plays out, Kíli and Tauriel are already this, being a Dwarf and an Elf whose nations have hated each other for over a century. Oh, and Kíli's going to die.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Bilbo does this with Smaug because running would earn him instant death, so he uses flattery to stay alive.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Despite his huge size, Smaug can be real quiet and stealthy when he is not shaking the earth with his rage. At one point, he is even able to go unnoticed by the dwarves while climbing above them until a loose coin falls off his scales, drawing their notice.
  • Stock Scream: Used twice in the special edition. Unfortunately, when the classic "Wilhelm" is used by Thráin, just before he is engulfed by Sauron, it breaks any sense of drama in what was up to that point a very upsetting, dramatic scene. And the other one? Used when the dwarves trip a Laketown guard.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: After Kíli is cured of the poisoned arrowhead and falls into an exhausted slumber, this is how Tauriel (and the audience) learns that he's crushing hard for her.
  • Talking Your Way Out: At the very beginning of their conversation, Smaug tells Bilbo in no uncertain terms that this will not save him. He has a weakness for riddles, but is immune to Talking the Monster to Death.
  • 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.
  • Title Drop:
    Bilbo: What is this place?
    Balin: Once, it was the kingdom of Dale. Now, it is a ruin. The Desolation of Smaug.
  • 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?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Thorin is getting more abrupt and churlish the closer he gets to Erebor.
    • The company as a whole gets this way with regard to Bard. In the process of sneaking them into Laketown, it's completely obvious that Bard is really going out on a limb for them, but they are nothing but surly and ungrateful toward him throughout the entire ordeal.
  • Tranquil Fury: Legolas falls into one of these after Bolg successfully injures him, something that nobody else has managed. It is only a nosebleed, but the look on Legolas's face is 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 Guldur, is probably a bad thing.
  • Translator Microbes:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The film has many lines that ominously reference Sauron, such as "A darkness is coming," or "A shadow grows in the dark."
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: Alfrid gives the old "we know where you live" threat to Bard, who calmly responds that it's a small town, so everyone knows where each other lives.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Rescue: The elves shut the river gate on the heroes and their guards are waiting and ready. Bilbo and the dwarves look trapped... and then the orcs show up, prompting enough chaos that the dwarves are able to make a getaway.
  • 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.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: There's a close-up of Thranduil's gorgeous, vivid blue eyes while he's sitting on his throne. Later, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where his irises sparkle when he says "white gems of pure starlight" while talking to Thorin.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • 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 behavior 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 she 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 realizes 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 a 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.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Smaug on seeing Thorin in the Hall of Kings.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: When Thranduil kills the orc prisoner after he promises he would free him, and Legolas quotes this trope practically word for word.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Desolation Of Smaug


Into the barrels

In order to escape from the wood elves, Bilbo commands the dwarfs to get into barrels and fall to the river. He didn't take into account on how HE would escape, though.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / DidntThinkThisThrough

Media sources: