Last year's release of The Hobbit was warmly received by this blogger. In many ways, I actually preferred it to the Lord of the Rings: it seemed lighter, somehow, and there was more obvious character growth in our protagonist. Though a bit uneven in pacing, it didn't feel too long, either. It left me eager to see the rest of the series.
That wait got a bit shorter today with the release of the first trailer for the second part in this trilogy. Behold The Desolation of Smaug:
I'm actually a bit underwhelmed by this trailer, which I feel reflects more on the editing than on the source material. There weren't many surprises or major plot references. The most intriguing, but still unsurprising, aspect was the appearance of a certain well-known elf. As someone not well-versed in Tolkien lore, I'm unsure how Legolas Greenleaf works into this tale, seeing as how he was not in the original book. But all will be revealed upon the film's release on December 13, 2013.
In the meantime, if you've still not seen the 2012 release (which is now available on DVD, with an extended cut home release supposedly due later this year), you can cheat by watching this shortcut of how The Hobbit should've ended: