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Click here for tropes pertaining to the trilogy as a whole.


  • Accidental Innuendo: Lindsay Ellis herself lampshaded this very homoerotic line in her review of this movie.
    Bilbo Baggins: I was going to give it to you. Many times, I wanted to.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Was Thranduil actually going to kill Tauriel, or was he just trying to scare the shit out of her?
  • Anticlimax Boss: Smaug hits Laketown like a ton of flaming bricks, burns it to the ground, and suffers a One-Hit Kill from Bard's Black Arrow — all within the first eleven minutes. Admittedly, this is mostly accurate to the book, but it's compounded by the fact that it's placed so early in the film. Some have said if Smaug had kicked it at the end of the second movie then it wouldn't be as glaring an issue.
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  • Anvilicious: Greed is baaaaaaaad.
  • Award Snub:
    • The film has only received one Oscar nomination... for sound editing. Which it lost to American Sniper.
    • It's almost universally agreed that "The Last Goodbye" should have been nominated for Best Song.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye". At once a heartwarming and tear-jerker piece, it is nigh impossible not to be moved while listening to it, especially if one is also watching the videoclip.
    • Howard Shore's score is nothing short of breathtaking.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The extended edition has earned acclaim so far for greatly improving the film, tying up the loose plot threads and fixing a lot of Special Effects Failures. Unfortunately, fans have already noted that one specific scene - which is in YT and all of twenty seconds long - was not included. Gandalf asks Thranduil what his deceased wife would have him treasure more; her jewels or their son. This would have gone a long way to explain Thranduil's motives in the movies.
  • Catharsis Factor:
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    • Smaug getting impaled and killed with the spear after how destructive he was...especially with the moment being teased not only since the beginning of the first movie, but the second one ending with the cliffhanger of him escaping and going after the town as well.
    • Alfrid's hilariously epic death scene in the extended cut is enough to make it worth putting up with nearly two hours of his obnoxious comic relief.
    • Azog finally getting killed during his final fight with Thorin was a long time coming.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Dáin Ironfoot, for being simply awesome and the way he devours the scenery.
  • Epileptic Trees: One popular fan theory, albeit one that is never taken seriously, is that the Arkenstone is actually one of the three Silmarils, one of which is said to be entombed within the depths of Arda and conveniently lines up with how the Dwarves of Erebor found the Arkenstone deep within their mines. Most of the popularity for this idea comes from how utterly ridiculous it is to imagine Bilbo stumbling upon and possessing not one, but two Artifacts of Doom.
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  • Fan Nickname: Still referred to by some fans as There and Back Again.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Christopher Lee has often been best known for being Typecast as the big villain (like Dracula or Count Dooku) who gets killed off sooner or later, to the point he greatly regrets not taking up more heroic roles such as Dr. Loomis. It is fitting that the last film featuring him to be released when he was still alive had Saruman the White (a villain in The Lord of the Rings) be a heroic character fighting alongside Elrond and Galadriel against the Ringwraiths and Sauron.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • When Bilbo is preparing to leave Erebor, he gives a little speech about how the Dwarves will only remember Thorin as their king, while to him "[Thorin] was... he was my... he was..." and just looks away. This is then brought back right at the end when one of the Hobbits questions who Thorin Oakenshield is, and Bilbo has a hard time saying "he was my... friend."
    • Thorin doesn't suspect Bilbo whatsoever when he believes (rightfully) that someone has taken the Arkenstone, but he does suspect the rest of the Company, whom he's known for far longer and is presumably very close to.
    • It's hard to list all the scenes suggesting Thorin loves Bilbo or vice versa very much for fear of forgetting something. The "acorn scene" springs to mind. To whit: a paranoid Thorin approaches Bilbo as Bilbo is fiddling with something, believing it may be the Arkenstone, only for Bilbo to reveal that it's an acorn he got from Beorn's garden and that he intends to plant it back in the Shire so that as it grows, he can look at it and remember. Thorin's immediate response is to start smiling uncontrollably because Bilbo evidently is the cutest thing ever at that moment.
    • In the midst of Thorin's madness, and as he's swearing left and right that he will not part with a single coin in Erebor, he earnestly gifts Bilbo a mithril shirt; something that will protect him that is made of one of the rarest and most valuable ores known to dwarves. Bilbo doesn't seem to understand the weight of the gesture, but all the dwarves in earshot go silent. Thorin's given reason for the gift is that whatever may happen, he will not lose Bilbo. It doesn't help that Thorin holds the shirt up to look through the fine material at Bilbo when presenting him with it, an action that seriously borders on flirty. It's almost a callback to the scene in the second movie where Bard holds up a lacy nightgown and tells Braga, "Your wife would look lovely in this" and "I know her as well as any man in this town."
    • A special mention has to go to when Thorin dies, with a tear-jerking farewell between just him and Bilbo, who is notably very relieved to see him in his last moments, followed by Bilbo sobbing and looking heartbroken... interspersed exactly inbetween Tauriel grieving over Kíli, looking equally heartbroken, and Thranduil espousing on the nature of love. That just felt less like a Ship Tease and more Anviliciously hitting the audience over the head.
    • This fits into a larger context in Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth. Virtually all characters in the series have either Heterosexual Life-Partners or Platonic Life-Partners, initially with the notable exceptions of Thorin and Bilbo. As Bilbo takes a position as Thorin's equal (something none of the Dwarves, his subjects, can really do), they do become Heterosexual Life-Partners. Many of Jackson's Heterosexual Life-Partners have been the subject of Ho Yay in the past, so it fits in the context of fan reaction as well. You can also add in the fact that, afterward, Bilbo never married and was known universally as a solitary bachelor.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Azog was clearly shown to be a bad guy in the previous two movies, but he crosses it here when he orders his army to attack the civilians who fled Laketown.
  • Narm:
    • Legolas' explanation of the Orc army's giant bat monsters: "These bats are bred for one purpose. [long dramatic pause] ...For war". As if there was any other way that sentence was going to end.
    • The sheer craziness of Legolas's antics ( hitching a ride on a giant bat before shooting it in the head (while hanging upside down) to land on a tower, causing a troll to ram a tower so it keels over to form a bridge, and using falling stones as stepping stones in a manner reminiscent of a sidescroller game) during the final battle.
    • Even more ludicrous is a scene added in the extended edition: during said bat ride, Legolas whips out his daggers and cuts through a line of orc soldiers, killing at least two dozens in a single run.
    • Legolas throwing Orcrist to kill the orc that has cornered Thorin. He holds the sword as if he's about to send it spinning, like a throwing axe. No, he somehow manages to toss it like a spear. Not only that, but we have a good look at where the Orc's armor is weak when he makes a two-handed swing behind his head. Legolas manages to get him right through the thickest plate on his chest armor, proving that Armor Is Useless when you're a mook. Given Legolas's Improbable Aiming Skills, it's almost as if he deliberately ignored the weak spot to prove how great a sword-thrower he is.
    • Thorin's hallucinations in the hall with the gold floor, which almost look like something from an early 2000s music video.
    • His earlier Dragon Sickness-induced refusal to give up any of the gold of Erebor to the men of Laketown, with overdrawn, stylized slo-mo/Punctuated! For! Emphasis! diction and super-low tone intended to evoke Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug.
      Thorin: I will not... paaaart... with a sssssssssingle coiiin. Not... one... piece of it...
    • When Thorin snaps out of his dragon sickness, the Dwarves, who have been ordered around by him and increasingly getting upset with his tyranny, are placated merely by his serene smile and the line "we are sons of Durin". Likewise, when Thorin and Dáin meet on the battlefield, Thorin just laughs and pats his cousin on the back. All is forgiven as if Dáin hadn't been watching his soldiers getting themselves killed for Thorin's pure greed just until a few minutes ago.
    • The conversation between Thorin and Bard through the gap in the barricade isn't bad in itself, but the way Thorin slowly slides into and out of frame is just unintentionally silly.
    • As in the previous films, Galadriel's "Dark Lady" persona when she's facing off against Sauron is either terrifying or hilarious.
    • Kíli's tear as he dies is either heartcrushing or so over-the-top it becomes hilarious.
    • The moment between Kíli and Tauriel after Smaug's rampage where he gives her his runestone is abruptly ruined by Tauriel suddenly standing very straight and stiffly greeting her lord Legolas as the camera pans over and reveals him glowering at the two of them just off-screen.
    • There are numerous shots, one in close-up, of trolls climbing over the walls of Dale, which would be considerably more intimidating if a certain series hadn't already made a meme out of deformed nearly naked humanoids coming up over walls. It doesn't help that for some reason Peter Jackson introduced a new species, Ogres, in this film that is nearly identical to the Titans, with spindly limbs and an oversized head.
    • The armor the elven army wears looks very similar to Elven Armor from Skyrim; in tandem with the already dodgy special effects on them in places, they look like they stepped out of a video game.
    • Bard shoots Smaug down with a makeshift bow made by jamming the broken halves of his bow into the pillars of the tower he's standing on. If a spear-sized steel arrow could be launched with enough force to bury itself to the feathers into a dragon's body, and it all hinges on two pieces of wood lodged into two bigger pieces of wood by one man using his bare hands (one hand per piece of bow!), it means Bard has superhuman strength.
  • Narm Charm: Galadriel channeling her "Dark Lady" persona against Sauron and his Ringwraiths is as awesome as it is ridiculous.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Smaug is only in the first several minutes of the movie, but he leaves one hell of an impact with his rampage.
    • The White Council coming to Gandalf's aid against Sauron and the Nazgûl, who could also technically count for this trope.
    • Radagast gets an awesome scene leading the Eagle forces to the battle and eliciting an Oh, Crap! reaction from Azog of all people before disappearing again. The extended edition has a couple more small scenes with him.
    • Beorn gets a brief cameo in both his human form and his bear form, but it's still no less memorable. However, Word of God said that he would have more scenes in the Extended Edition and it was proven true. The original storyboards had a longer scene planned out than even the Extended Edition version, which culminated in him fighting a troll and killing it.
    • Resident Ensemble Dark Horse Dáin Ironfoot gets a magnificent Establishing Character Moment and participates heavily in the climax, but all in all, he has maybe ten minutes of screen time, tops.
    • The large orc torturer in Dol Guldur is especially notable, looking much more realistic than Azog and Bolg. Interestingly, he was an early design of Bolg and can be seen at the Battle of Azanulbizar being defeated by Dwalin.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • While she was more of a Base-Breaking Character than a full-on Scrappy, this movie stopped much of Tauriel's hate, with several viewers noting that while they don't pair her or Kíli, their final scenes together are effective Tear Jerker moments.
    • Likewise, Kíli/Tauriel's romance had a similar fate. While it still has some detractors, the shipping has become much more beloved since this film, if Tumblr and Archive of Our Own are any indication.
  • Retroactive Recognition: One of the Lake Town extras is Thomasin Mckenzie, who appears alongside her mother and grandmother and would go on to star in movies like Jojo Rabbit, Old and Last Night in Soho. She later gave a fun story about what it was like working on such a massive set.
  • Shocking Moments: The White Council vs. Sauron and The Nine fight is so epic it's almost a shame it takes place so early in the movie.
  • Sequelitis: Though the quality of the trilogy as a whole is a topic of much debate, it's pretty near-unanimous that the third is the weakest, given a combination of rushed effects work, Bilbo and the non-Thorin dwarves being almost completely sidelined, and the padding and pacing issues by way of Adaptation Expansion (whereas the titular battle in the book lasted only several pages, it lasts almost half the runtime in the film). Whether the film is outright bad is another story, as many people still enjoyed it. But whether you think the series went downhill from its first film or pulled it together in its second, it's hard to find someone who thinks Battle of the Five Armies is the best one.
  • Signature Scene: There is a common agreement that Smaug's attack on Laketown and the battle between Sauron and the White Council are the best and most memorable scenes in the whole movie.
  • She Really Can Act: Evangeline Lilly's performance as Tauriel was well-liked even by detractors, particularly her last scene where she's mourning Kíli.
  • The Scrappy: Alfrid might just hold the record for the most disliked character in the entire series and in just days after release. Both detractors and people who like the film almost universally despise Alfrid, mostly because his Aesop Amnesia comic relief takes valuable screentime away from the dwarves and other, more important characters. This makes it rather funny to listen to Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens's commentary on The Desolation of Smaug, where they both gush over Ryan Gage's performance and are absolutely certain that everyone will adore his expanded role in the third film. Worse, it took until the extended edition for him to get karma, where his death was met with much fan rejoicing.
  • Special Effect Failure: Despite being the sixth and last film of the Middle-Earth franchise, this film has probably the worst effects.
    • Early on, as Bilbo, Thorin, Balin, and Dwalin are discussing the fate of the Arkenstone, the characters are poorly composited against the backdrop of Erebor. Even on a first viewing, the blurry halo around their hair and the fur of their clothes is apparent and distracting.
    • There are A LOT of moments in the titular battle, particularly when the action moves to Ravenhill, where you can tell that the backgrounds are CGI. The almost entirely digital Orcs, and the Legolas stunt with the falling rocks, really don't help.
    • When Thranduil first walks through the army of elves, it is clear that several of them are CGI, even in the foreground next to him. To that point, there appears to be far more of a uniform look to the digitally created soldiers in each army, with very little differentiation in terms of colouring, detail, and movement. The effort in this regard appears reduced from the original trilogy — made over 10 years prior.
    • During the assault on Dol Guldur, Sauron appearing and floating towards the courtyard is clearly CGI and not terribly convincing.
    • Ravenhill itself looks more like a video game cutscene as opposed to a fortress. There also seems to be constant smoke billowing throughout, often obscuring the image, making it seem like the effects artists did to obscure how bad the effects are when plain snow would have worked just fine.
    • More a practical effects failure, but during the close-up on Balin's face during his discussion with Bilbo about the Arkenstone, it's near impossible to ignore the places where Ken Stott's beard is clearly glued on to his face.
    • During the fighting in Dale, for the most part we have the Orcs as actors in make-up. It's... glaring to say the least when they're compared to the digital Orcs.
    • The infamous Legolas stunt with the falling rocks where he climbs them like steps is so obviously CGI and was so filled with Narm that there are stories of where entire theatres actually burst out laughing.
    • Cate Blanchett carrying a pretty obvious Ian McKellen mockup.
    • An acceptable example. It's easy to tell that it's by and large Christopher Lee's stunt double during the White Council fight, but it's acceptable because Lee was in his early 90s while filming the part (and couldn't even travel to New Zealand to film). His health had been in decline for some time (and he would pass away several months after the film's release), so no one is begrudging it.
    • In the battle scenes, there are clearly orders of magnitude more soldiers in the long shots than the closeups. There are several times where we see forces dozens of ranks deep fighting a tightly packed massed combat in the long shots, only to zoom in and see the same combat represented by a few dozen guys in at most two ranks. Again, this is something the original trilogy did better ten years before.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • The films' production being finished before any were released makes it impossible to be deliberate, but it's hard not to get this feeling when Tauriel ends the film having to potentially live forever with the knowledge that the man she loved died because of her. Ironically, this ending for her actually induced many sympathy feelings and made a lot of people think better of her.
    • A straighter example applies to Alfrid. While he gets away with being terrible in the theatrical version, he suffers an absolutely hilarious death scene in the Director's Cut. This was so well-deserved that the focus audience cheered when they saw this.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many older Tolkien fans take issue with the battle getting the same heroic treatment as the War of the Ring got from Jackson when World War I veteran Tolkien intended it to be a similar tragic absurdity.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The film kills the Master of Laketown off far too early; all the stunts Alfrid pulls would have been much funnier (and less grating) if it had been Stephen Fry doing them. It's even worse that Alfrid's exit to the film is pretty much the same fate the Master had in the book prior to dying in the wastelands off-screen. All of this is likely explained by the movies being filmed as two films at first, with Alfrid's last appearance being him thrown into the water shortly before the Master's death. When reshoots of new material to expand it to three films were ordered, however, they could not bring Stephen Fry back for comic relief scenes as they'd already filmed his death. Therefore, we got Alfrid's expanded role instead.
    • Alfrid is presented during the whole film as a Dirty Coward whose only desire in life seems to be to get rich. Some viewers were expecting a scene like Gríma Wormtongue's final one, in which Alfrid would show that, for all his cowardice, he's at least got standards or is willing to kill to stay alive. But no, he remains an unchanging 1-dimensional jerk to the end.
    • Smaug is only in the movie for a few minutes. While his death is faithful to the books (chronologically) you think they would either break the films up differently or revise the story to give him more screen time.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While some viewers would take issues with the cases of Special Effects Failure listed above, they are few and above, considering that 96% of all shots had some GCI in them and 25% of the entire movie was CGI entirely. Some specific examples:
    • Smaug's attack on Laketown, the White Council in Dol Guldur and much of the titular battle look incredible.
    • Part of the reason the extended cut is so well-liked is that the visual effects are greatly improved. Special mention goes to most of the digital doubles who now move more fluidly and realistically, the chariot chase, and Dáin Ironfoot, who, as one reviewer put it best, looks less like a character from Beowulf and more like a realistic and living character.

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