6 reasons to return to Middle Earth in ‘The Hobbit’: Watch

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the long-awaited first film in Peter Jackson’s adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel is hitting screens in just a few days. While the film will offer plenty of new things to look at, “The Hobbit” will also bring back a number of beloved elements from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as seen in these 6 brand new clips. 

Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins, at the title hero who is joined by dwarves, wizards and more on a quest to recover treasure from the mighty dragon Smaug. Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett and others return to reprise their “Lord of the Rings” roles, while Richard Armitage joins the franchise as the dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield.

1. That Jackson/WETA magic is back (above)

The director’s talent for eye-popping, breathless action returns here with a combination of CG and practical effects courtesy of WETA. The fellowship battle a bevy of goblin in this subterranean action clip worthy of the “Indiana Jones” saga. There’s even a Wilhelm Scream in there.

2. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey
In many ways the glue which held the “LOTR” trilogy together, McKellen’s return was absolutely essential for the new films. As seen below, no one can deliver a dressing down — or a desperate warning — better than the “X-Men” vet. 

3. The Middle Earth mythology will be further enriched
Jackson and his co-writers continue to honor the source material’s dense, seemingly endless mythology. New lands, characters and creatures will be introduced. Even swords have names in Tolkien. In this clip, Elrond (Hugo Weaving) displays a treasured Goblin cleaver, as Bilbo feels a little sword envy.  

4. Martin Freeman is Bilbo
Known for TV work like “The Office” and “Sherlock,” Freeman has always been a dependably funny chap who’s time to shine has come with “The Hobbit.” His deadpan reactions and nice guy appeal work perfectly in this scene, in which Bilbo looks over the adventure contract. “Incineration?!”

5. New friends
Among the new faces which Bilbo (and the audience) will get to know are 13 dwarves, introduced here:

6. Gollum is back
Although he’ll be playing a much smaller role in this trilogy, the pitiful creature who watches over “the precious” will be a welcome sight for fans. 

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opens December 14.