‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: A GIF Review

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: A GIF Review

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is that rare movie sequel that bridges the first and third installments of the trilogy while still succeeding as a standalone. When we left off with Bilbo Baggins ( Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey ( Ian McKellen) and Thorin Oakenshield and his army of dwarves, they were nearing the mountain where the great dragon Smaug ( Benedict Cumberbatch) is guarding the dwarves’ hoard of gold–and the mystical Arkenstone, which will restore Thorin to his rightful place as king. “The Desolation of Smaug” adds new information about all the key players without it feeling like filler, with plenty of political intrigue and scares leading right up to the cliffhanger.

With the movie clocking in at 2 hours and 40 minutes, I’m not going to give you a detailed, blow-by-blow review. Instead, enjoy this GIF tour through the movie’s key moments, from the nightmare-inducing spider scene and seemingly every character’s obsession with jewelry to the fearsome dragon Smaug. (Plot spoilers, but let’s face it–it’s Tolkien, we’re here for the journey more than anything else.)

The giggles kick off immediately with director Peter Jackson’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo:

Source: Giphy

But as the dwarves continue their journey, we know things are getting more serious as we witness Bilbo’s growing dependency on the One Ring:

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(This will always make me shudder.)

When Gandalf abandons the group to do his own thing:

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And poor Bilbo is trying to tell him about the Ring:

Source: Panda Whale

But doesn’t:

Source: Chicken Smoothie

The spiders–oh God, the spiders:

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Bilbo’s a total bad*ss when he puts the Ring on and goes into the shadow realm:

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Legolas’ ( Orlando Bloom) in-your-face arrows in battle:

Source: WiffleGIF

Yay for the giggle-inducing Gimli joke, especially since it was Legolas who heard it:

Source: Chucklefish Games Forums

Seriously, is everyone in this movie some form of royalty?

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When Thorin and Bard ( Luke Evans) keep getting up in each other’s grills:

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When Gandalf tells the orcs, “Release your master–where is he?”

Source: MRW GIFs

The first appearance of Sauron–and the flaming eye is a person!

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Smaug appears, Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice is glorious and Sherlock and John are reunited:

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Bard reveals, there’s one iron arrow left to kill Smaug with!

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Bilbo with the Ring, Thorin with the Arkenstone–everyone is going crazy over jewelry:

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Bilbo saves the day yet again:

Source: Nerd Wars

But Smaug gets away anyway:

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Natalie Zutter
Seeing as Natalie spent her childhood reading Star Wars and Tamora Pierce novels, she’s used to being the token geek at anything from celebrity websites to book websites. (Though she’s also a recent romance convert!) A graduate of NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she stages plays about superheroes, sex robots, and Internet fandom in her spare time. As a pop culture blogger, she has written for Tor.com, Crushable, Quirk Books, BlackBook, and other outlets.


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