WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.
- The first trailer manages to be a massive tearjerker just by the fact that it's got "Pippin's Song" playing over it.
- The last line of the trailer could count too, as it doubles as being spoken to the audience for the end of the Middle Earth saga:Thorin: Will you follow me...one last time?
- Whether you're a father or a son, the opening scene when Bard challenges Smaug, all so his children and his people have the merest chance to survive, has to be the most emotionally resonant moment of the entire film. The track "Fire and Water" cinches the moment as an equal to any of the original trilogy's best moments. Even better that it encapsulates J. R. R. Tolkien's major theme of fighting great evil even when it would appear to be futile.Smaug: WHO ARE YOU THAT WOULD STAND AGAINST ME?!
[Bard, evidently terrified of the unstoppable monster, starts Macgyvering his bow.]
Smaug: Now that is a pity... What will you do now, bowman? You are forsaken; no help will come! Hmm...ah... Is that your child? You cannot save him from the fire! HE. WILL. BURN!
Bard: [attaches the limbs to the bell-tower and pulls the string taut, the black arrow resting on Bain's left shoulder] Stay still, son. Stay still.
Smaug: Tell me, wretch, how now shall you challenge me? [as he nears he reveals the broken patch in his scales, Bard sees it and helplessness changes to hope] YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT BUT YOUR DEATH! [Middle-earth–shaking roar]
Bard: Bain. Look at me. You look at me. ... Little to your left. ... That's it. [fires the black arrow right into Smaug's heart]
- When the Company watches Smaug wreak destruction upon Laketown, the devastated looks on their faces says it all. They all know that this is their fault, but there's absolutely nothing they can do to make up for it, except to listen to the people's cries for help and watch the town fall into ruin.
- It's especially worse for those of them who have family members down there. Bofur, Óin, Kíli, and Fíli could've been dead, and none of them would've been any wiser.
- Balin sums it up best: "Those poor souls."
- The way Nori simply grips Ori's shoulder, giving him what little comfort he can spare. Throughout the series, Dori and Nori are shown to be extremely protective of their little brother, and it's clearly eating away at Nori that he can't protect Ori from seeing all this death unfold in front of him.
- Ori's reaction is a Tearjerker all on its own. Being the youngest, he is obviously the most innocent and naive of the Company, surpassing even Bilbo, who has at least killed a warg mount and a giant spider by this point. When the camera focuses on him, Ori is uncharacteristically quiet with a Thousand-Yard Stare, and it's pretty obvious from the tears in his eyes and the shakiness of his breathing that he's trying extremely hard not to cry.
- When Dwalin confronts the increasingly mad Thorin. The scene becomes Tear Jerker double-layered. First is how heartbroken Dwalin is over Thorin becoming a Broken Pedestal. Then Thorin actually starts crying and begging Dwalin to not speak to him as if he was "some lowly dwarf lord", as if he was "still Thorin Oakenshield". While they don't dwell on it a lot in the story, Thorin spent many years wandering in poverty and working for meager pay just to get by and being treated much like the Roma in Real Life. And deep down that really hurt Thorin, and it's likely the reason the dragon sickness affected him so suddenly and so hard. He was REALLY an Iron Woobie, and the dragon sickness weakened him enough for us to see how truly broken he is inside. Recovering Erebor wasn't just a quest for Thorin to restore his people's lost land, but also restore his own self-esteem and identity, and the dragon sickness corrupted it. Damn.Dwalin: You sit here in these vast halls with a crown upon your head, and yet you are lesser now than you have ever been.
Thorin: Do not speak to me as if I were some lowly dwarf lord. As If I were... still... Thorin Oakenshield. [unsheathes sword clumsily] I AM YOUR KING!
Dwalin: [looking crestfallen] ...You were always my king. You used to know that once.
- And it all culminates in Thorin threatening to kill Dwalin, one of his closest friends. Dwalin's role here has to be the most heartbreaking examples of Undying Loyalty of the whole series. Dwalin will not break his oath of loyalty to Thorin, even if he's mad, consumed by greed and paranoia, and threatening his closest friends. He's disgusted by what his friend has become and there are real, sorrowful tears in his eyes when he delivers that line above... but Thorin is his king, so he will obey, no matter what. Even if it means standing by and watching a whole Dwarf army get slowly annihilated.
- Back in An Unexpected Journey, Thorin declared he would take the Company over an army of the Iron Hills. Now he treats his friends like servants and waits for the army from the Iron Hills to take by force what he lays claim over.
- Balin's own reaction is just as heartbreaking, in a different way. Bilbo finds him in an abandoned room, quietly having a breakdown and then forcing himself not to weep in front of the hobbit. Because he's one of the oldest, Balin simply cannot fall apart in front of the other, younger dwarves who look to him for strength and guidance. His pain and his grief have to be hidden at all times. But it's so deep and he's so frightened of what Dragon Sickness might do to his friend, he all but tells Bilbo not to give Thorin the Arkenstone ... should he find it, of course.
- Fíli's death. Azog holds him up in front of Kíli, Thorin, Dwalin, and Bilbo and taunts them while Fíli pleads helplessly for the others to escape, before he is run through and unceremoniously thrown off a cliff, landing at his brother's feet.
- His final moments are even worse. As Azog dangles him in front of the others, he desperately calls out to the others, "Run!" He knows he's about to die and yet he still tries to protect Thorin, Kíli, and the others.
- When his body is dropped, it lands right in front of his brother. The horrified look on Kíli's face says it all. Considering how close they were portrayed throughout the entire trilogy, one shouldn't even be surprised anymore that he went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge soon after.
- The adults' reactions make it so much worse:
- The way Dwalin flinches as soon as Fíli is stabbed. This is a Dwarf he has known his entire life, and it's not that far of a stretch to assume that he was one of the young princes' surrogate uncles, probably even having a hand in training and rearing them himself. It can also be noted that of all the terrible things the Company had experienced so far, none of them - aside from Thorin nearly being eaten by Azog's warg - came even close to Dwalin displaying as much emotion as he did in that moment.
- As soon as he sees that Azog has Fíli in his clutches, Bilbo repeatedly murmurs "No ..." under his breath, and simply closes his eyes in mourning when the prince is stabbed.
- And worst of all - Thorin. Knowing that there's nothing else he can do, Thorin refuses to leave his nephew alone and, despite it being extremely painful on his part, watches him be murdered. He knows that the boy must be scared out of his wits, and so, he gives him one last comfort in the form of letting Fíli see a familiar face before he goes, just so he doesn't die alone. Despite that, he openly flinches when Azog's blade runs Fíli through, and as soon as his nephew is dropped, he gives the body one last glance before he starts yelling for Kíli as well, worried sick out of his mind.
- Kíli's death. As Bolg stabs him through the chest, he looks at Tauriel one last time, mouthing "I love you", and sheds a tear before he dies. Tauriel can only watch in despair, as she is too worn out and injured to stop it.
- Kíli's death is also heartbreaking for another reason: Thorin never saw him die. It's more than likely that Thorin dies thinking that at least Kíli was still alive, and that the line of Durin would still endure through his youngest nephew.
- Not to mention that, in the end, Kíli couldn't keep his promise to his mother that he would come back to her.
- After the Battle of the Five Armies, Tauriel mourns over Kíli's body. As Thranduil appears, she says that if this is love, she doesn't want it. She then tells him to take it from her because it hurts so much. Thranduil, who earlier claimed that her love for the Dwarf was merely an illusion, sorrowfully admits with his eyes wet with tears that it hurts because her love was real. And the fact is he knows that, because he felt the exact same loss when his wife died.
- Particularly that line about how much Love Hurts. Try to not cry at the way her voice cracks on the last word.Tauriel: [crying] Why does it hurt so much?
- And then this is followed by Tauriel kissing the dead Kíli on his lips. Pass the tissues.
- The reason Kíli died was because he jumped in to protect her from Bolg. Not only must Tauriel live forever with her grief, she must do so knowing Kíli died because of her.
- This might serve as a comfort or it might drive this example further into tearjerker territory, but here goes: Word of God says that strange fates befall Elves who fall in love with mortals; the most popular example being Arwen, who became mortal because she loved Aragorn. Book canon also says that Elves can die of broken hearts, which also happened to Arwen after Aragorn finally died of old age. There is at least one other book canon example of this phenomenon. So it's a very real possibility that Tauriel didn't have to live forever with her grief after all. This would also explain why she isn't seen in the later events—at the very least, she could have lived a mortal lifespan and was too old to be in action by the events of Fellowship. At the most extreme, she may have only lived for the span of a few days before succumbing to heartbreak.
- Although she's only briefly mentioned in Desolation, the mere thought of how Fíli and Kíli's mother, Dís, will react upon learning of Erebor's reclamation and the Battle of the Five Armies is downright horrifying. Aside from Dáin Ironfoot, she is the only dwarf left of Durin's direct line, having lost her father, grandfather, and middle brother during the Battle of Azanulbizar and now her oldest brother and two sons during the Battle of the Five Armies. And it's probably safe to assume that the rest of her immediate family perished when Smaug took over Erebor and that the unnamed (and absent from the Quest) father of Fíli and Kíli is dead. Dís has literally lost all of her close family members, and will continue to lose others, such as her cousins Balin and Óin, in the near future.
- The confrontation between Thorin and Bilbo atop the battlements. By this point, Thorin has fallen so far into gold madness that Bilbo realizes he has no choice but to use the Arkenstone as a bargaining chip, which he knows Thorin will view as a betrayal. It's literally Bilbo's last effort to save his friend from complete insanity. And Thorin looks like he's about to cry when he learns of Bilbo's perceived treachery, angrily lashing out while claiming that Bilbo holds no claim or sway over him.Bilbo: You are changed, Thorin. The dwarf I met back in Bag End would have never gone back on his word. He would have never doubted the loyalty of his kin.
- The mortified looks on the dwarves' faces when Thorin orders Bilbo thrown from the ramparts just seals the deal. They look at Thorin like they don't know him anymore.
- They aren't the only ones; Thranduil and Bard are both watching this play out from below, and even they, the men getting ready to go to war with the Dwarf King, look shocked to see Thorin acting like this. In Thranduil's case, it's probably just dawning on him what's happening to Thorin.
- From Thorin's perspective, Bilbo, the one person he trusts at that point—the one person who doesn't care about the Arkenstone or its meaning to the dwarves; the one person who's followed him not because of gold or family or duty to the crown, but because he cares about Thorin and the Company; the person he's given a mithril shirt to as a token—not only steals from him, but steals the Arkenstone itself. That Thorin basically gives up on anything but the gold afterwards, until the dragon sickness is lifted, suggests an internal crossing of the Despair Event Horizon.
- Thranduil and Legolas's reunion after the battle; at first, Thranduil's just so happy and relieved to see that his son's alive—and then Legolas flat out states that he's leaving the forest and not coming back. Ouch. You do have to feel sorry for Thranduil at that moment; he looks so sad when his son leaves.
- In addition to that, Thranduil tells Legolas that his mother loved him more than anyone. It seems pretty obvious that that is not what Legolas wanted to hear. He would have preferred just having his father say "I love you" straight out, but Thranduil couldn't even do that at the right moment. The broken heart of a son right there.
- At least we can take solace in the fact that he does at some point go back, since in The Fellowship of the Ring, he's been sent to Rivendell by his father. Presumably, they reconciled eventually.
- The commentary by the scriptwriter for this scene between Thranduil and Tauriel that explains so much about Thranduil's character in the film. She [Tauriel] says "There's no love in you." She's actually utterly wrong. Thranduil has loved so deeply that he can't go near it anymore. He can't approach it, he can't touch it, it is not to be talked about. So when he finally says to Legolas, "Your mother loved you, more than anything, more than life," that's what we said to the actor in that moment is that she died saving her child.
- Not only that, but in the movie companion books, it's revealed that the necklace of white gems belonged to his wife. So Thranduil was willing to start a war with the dwarves all so he could reclaim the last memento he has of her.
- It also makes it Harsher in Hindsight when you see the extended scenes of the first Hobbit movie. Thrór invited Thranduil to his halls, showed him the box full of white gems, and just as he was about to touch them, closed the lid on it. Yeah. The Dwarf King dangled the necklace of Thranduil's deceased wife, the last memento that exists of her, and fricking smirked about it. Yeah, no wonder they imprisoned you when you came to Mirkwood.
- A deleted segment, not even 20 seconds long, gives us Gandalf helping Thranduil realize that he fucked up royally. This happens just after Thranduil was ready to kill Tauriel and Legolas stands between them.Gandalf: Those gems were not all your wife left you, my friend. She left you a son. Tell me, which would she have you value more?
- Bilbo's refusal to accept Thorin's death, not knowing how to respond to his final words and even whispering that "the Eagles are coming" as if that would make everything okay.
- For him, it was supposed to. The Eagles have always been a sign of hope and victory in Middle-earth, and the last time Bilbo saw them they were saving the day. In his mind, now that they've arrived, everything is supposed to be okay... but it isn't.
- Then he snaps out of his denial and breaks down sobbing, still holding Thorin in his arms.
- "Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books, your armchair. Plant your trees, watch them grow. If more of us valued home above gold, this world would be a merrier place."
- The happiness and relief on Thorin's face when Bilbo reaches him. The first thing he does is apologize for his actions and always putting Bilbo in peril before begging for the hobbit's forgiveness, prompting Bilbo to say that he didn't mind facing any sort of peril so long as he was at Thorin's side. So, instead of dying alone and ignorant of his friend's forgiveness, Thorin got to Go Out with a Smile in Bilbo's arms, content in the knowledge that at least one of his closest friends had survived the war and would return home to live peacefully in the Shire.
- Bilbo saying goodbye to the dwarves, particularly when he says they can come to Bag End anytime.
- Bilbo's reaction when the auctioneer in the Shire asks who Thorin Oakenshield is. And Bilbo walking through the ransacked Bag-End, months after having left home.
- It's especially heartbreaking as Bilbo's answer to the question perfectly sums up the nature of death. He was previously unable to finish his sentences when speaking of Thorin, but with time, while the pain is no less, he is now so used to it that he can finally say "He was my friend."
- From the Extended Edition, the funeral scene. Dear God, the funeral scene! The worst reaction to it is, of course, Bilbo who can't help himself from breaking down into a sobbing mess.
- Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye" playing over the credits is a major tearjerker for both The Hobbit series and the Middle-Earth films as a whole, as it not only represents Bilbo's final parting from his friends but also the end of the Middle-Earth films completely."I bid you all a very fond farewell."
- The music video that accompanies it is even worse, as it contains scenes from all six films, as well as behind-the-scenes from both trilogies. Everyone looks so happy to be working on these films, and now they're over.
- The film ends where The Lord of the Rings trilogy begins: an elderly Bilbo admiring the One Ring as Gandalf comes to visit. What a perfect way to end the Middle-Earth series.
- Although many people are more than happy to have him dead, many fans of Smaug were upset to see the magnificent dragon die very early on into the movie. Especially when you consider he's the last "great" dragon. Evil though he were, there was a little less magic in the world without him.
- This feeling of dismay is perfectly mirrored in Smaug himself; he's gasping and moaning in agony, while his own fire apparently burns him alive from within. His facial expression (draconian though it may be) displays fear and disbelief that he's dying so suddenly and ignobly. He may have been a force of evil, but that was still a harsh way to go.
- The pose as he falls is also a sad sight, right after his eyes go blank.
- "We can't stop that dragon! Nothing can stop that dragon!" Coming from Bard, Determinator extraordinaire, that's heart-wrenching; what's even more so is how despairing he is at his inability to protect his children, and the Oh, Crap! look on his face when he sees Smaug coming right for them.
- The fact that even after everything that happens, Balin, last seen smiling and talking with Bilbo, will go on to die in Moria between the end of this film and The Lord of the Rings, along with Óin and Ori.
- Balin just goes through so much crap in the film. He realizes what exactly Thorin is becoming under the dragon sickness and he's utterly sickened and horrified, but he has absolutely no idea what to do. When Bilbo asks him whether giving Thorin the Arkenstone would help, he has a very faraway expression in his eyes as he contemplates aloud about what the stone is before saying, "No. It will make things worse." One can interpret it as Balin figuring out that Bilbo has the Arkenstone... and is telling him to keep it away at all costs, even though to do so just kills Balin.
- Another Harsher in Hindsight moment: The acorn that Bilbo shows Thorin over in the film's Heartwarming Moments is implied to be the future Party Tree, the beautiful oak tree that Bilbo plants, takes care of, and watches grow. The same tree that Sharkey's men cut down during the Scouring of the Shire in Return of the King—Sam plants a mallorn tree to replace it, but the oak tree is gone. And they don't even cut it down for lumber or kindling—just because they can.
- The party tree is actually visible in the shot when Bilbo returns home; in the film canon Bilbo plants it in Dale during the big battle. It's still a tearjerker though as Thorin directly references Bilbo's acorn on his deathbed, thinking he still has it.
- The absolutely devastated looks on Bombur's, Glóin's, and Bifur's faces as they watch Laketown burn. For all they know, their family is there—burning to death.
- Along with all those innocent people, that they swore to protect.
- Thorin's reaction also rather falls into this considering his sickness has already progressed so far that he's staring obsessively back at the mountain rather than to the town where both his nephews are in equal danger.
- Peter Jackson's last cameo is the picture of Bilbo's father, Bungo Baggins, hanging over the fireplace at the end of the movie. This was also his very first cameo in The Fellowship of the Ring and served as his way of saying goodbye to Middle-earth.
- This penultimate scene is a tearjerker in hindsight. You might have at least expected a scene of Bilbo enjoying his house after all the crap he's gone through and all the talk of home. However the town took Bilbo for dead and auctioned off most of the contents of his house. It's a rather somber scene for Bilbo and the audience, who probably didn't expect the conclusion of Middle-Earth on the silver screen to simply be an empty house.
- Like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, it can be a reference to returning from World War I, only to find everyone acting normal, and nobody cares or understands what you've been though.
- The final scene becomes this once you realize that by the time it takes place, not only are Thorin, Fíli and Kíli dead, but so are Bard, his children, Balin, Ori and Óin, and possibly Tauriel. Oh, and Lord of the Rings with all its tragedy is just around the corner.
- A bit of comfort, but Bard and his children might still be alive, Bard doesn't seem to be that old, and the Hobbit takes place "only" 60 years before Lord of the Rings, so while slightly unlikely he might just be pushing 90 and his kids only in their 70s.