Peter Jackson hasn’t done “small” in some time, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies won’t be an exception, just going by a newly-released giant tapestry for the film. It’s fitting enough, however, as this fantasy blockbuster is (probably) the last of Jackson’s movies set in Middle-earth; the final chapter (and Jackson’s favorite installment) in the filmmaker’s Hobbit trilogy; and the segment of Jackson’s ongoing adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literature that will bridge the events of young(er) Bilbo Baggins’ grand adventure with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
To recap where we left off in The Desolation of Smaug (spoilers?): Smaug the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) has been driven out of the Lonely Mountain by Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf company, only to takeoff seeking his vengeance against the inhabitants of Lake-town. Meanwhile, Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) has been captured shortly after he discovered that The Necromancer (also Cumberbatch) was actually a not-fully-regenerated Sauron, who proceeded to set his army of Orcs on a march to conquer Erebor. Oh, and Kili the dwarf (Aidan Turner) was left wondering if the medical miracle-working elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) would ever consider dating him, after all this war business was settled.
The aforementioned Battle of the Five Armies tapestry (via Digital Spy) features all of the aforementioned characters, along with many other key players who were placed on the board over the course of either the first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, or The Desolation of Smaug. We’ve also broken the banner down into the individual poster components, which you can peruse through below.
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There are certainly a significant number of important narrative threads and character subplots that need to be tied off in The Battle of the Five Armies (seriously, will Tauriel admit she loves Kili?!). Not to mention, certain returning characters such as Saruman (Christopher Lee) – assuming they weren’t just thrown into the banner for the heck of it – should help to bring the Hobbit movie trilogy full-circle, while also foreshadowing what lies ahead (for said characters and Middle-earth in general) in the Rings films.
In other words: if you haven’t given up yet on Jackson’s massive and sprawling expedition through Middle-earth – despite the filmmaker’s still controversial decision to turn The Hobbit source novel into a trilogy – then reaching the final destination alone may be reward enough. Judging by the Battle of the Five Armies trailer, the movie is also shaping up to be a pretty good fantasy epic on its own terms.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in U.S. theaters on December 17th, 2014.