To attract global fans whether they watched "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy or read J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, Peter Jackson split "The Hobbit" into a trilogy. On Christmas Day in 2012, the first installment, "An Unexpected Journey" released in theaters and earned over $900 million worldwide afterward despite mixed reviews.
Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" continues the story of Middle Earth. "The Hobbit" tells the adventure of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins traveling with the wizard Gandalf the Grey and a companion of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield occurring 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings," which Jackson directed also about a decade ago as a trilogy. Jackson and his screenwriters, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Fran Walsh, adapted portions from the appendices of "The Return of the King" besides "The Hobbit" to create the trilogy.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" develops the foundation of the story leading up to the point when the companion sees the Lonely Mountain or Erebor, the home of the dwarves, in the distant horizon.
Before the story of the companion's adventure to Erebor, the movie opens with the familiar faces of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins portrayed by Ian Holm and Elijah Wood respectively. The Baggins are preparing for Bilbo's 111th birthday, which is part of the beginning in "The Fellowship of the Ring." Simultaneously, Bilbo is writing a book about his adventure that occurred 60 years ago, which is the story of "The Hobbit."
Later on, the movie shows the story about the kingdom of dwarves living in Erebor. Over time, greed brought down the kingdom when Smaug, a fire-breathing dragon, destroyed the civilization to seek the golden treasures hidden in the mountain. This event forced the dwarves to find new homes. When Smaug was destroying Erebor, Thranduil, Legolas' father, came to aid the dwarves. However, Thranduil did not help the dwarves and left, which started the hatred Thorin has toward the elves.
As the movie progresses, the companion begin their journey in The Shire. Eventually, the companion encounter Trolls and orcs riding wargs. Meanwhile, the side story of Radagast the Brown, a wizard protecting nature, leads him to his encounter with the companion telling them about a necromancer in Dol Guldur. After the wargs, the companion seek refuge in Rivendell and meet Elrond. During the companion's stay, Gandalf discusses the necromancer with the White Council consisting of Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman. However, Saruman doubts Gandalf's story due to his distaste of Radagast's liking for hallucinogens.
Without Gandalf, the companion continue their journey through the Misty Mountains where they become captive to goblins. Meanwhile, Bilbo falls to a lower lair encountering Gollum and stealing the mysterious Ring. Then, Gandalf saves the dwarves and reunites with Bilbo. As they continue, Azog, an Orc-war chief, catches up to them and injures Thorin. In the book, Azog is already dead. The Eagles rescue and drop the companion on a flat cliff. After Gandalf heals Thorin, the companion sees Erebor in the horizon, while a bird flies to the mountain waking up Smaug.
The second installment, "The Desolation of Smaug," or "The Hobbit 2," will be released this year around Christmas. "The Hobbit 2" will show the companion's battle with and defeat of the fire-breating dragon Smaug.