We left off from the last movie, watching in horror as Smaug destroys the island city of Laketown. Panic and chaos ensue. Everyone makes an attempt to flee. Not all escape. Bard pierces Smaug’s heart with the black arrow, which was handed to him by his son in the nick of time. The dragon rears up in pain, making a feeble attempt to fly, and with his last breath, falls down on the city. How fitting that Smaug manages to take out the corrupt Master, his cronies and the gold aboard their ship.
Bard becomes a reluctant leader and tries to help the people to shelter. They have only one place to go to that would make sense – the lonely mountain. They need food, shelter and to rebuild their lives. They make way for the ruins of Dale.
A huge part of the struggle is Thorin’s descent into madness – he cannot cope very well without the Arkenstone. He is suffering from what is known as “dragon sickness.” In an ironic twist of fate, Smaug predicted that Thorin would go mad with the need for the stone and it would be his ruin. Unbeknownst to Thorin, Bilbo has it. Because of his obsession with the stone, none of the dwarves are allowed to leave the lonely mountain. Thorin orders them to search for the stone amidst the massive mounds of gold and jewels in the mountain. All the dwarves can see just how sick Thorin is becoming. He orders the rest of the crew to seal off the mountain, as he doesn’t want to be robbed or taken by surprise by anyone.
Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman fight their way through Nazgul ghosts in an attempt to free Gandalf. This causes Galadriel to lose much of her strength; however they overcome the Nazgul enough to make sure that Sauron and company retreat to the east. Saruman asks Elrond to help Galadriel and remarks that he will take care of Sauron himself. *Hmmm, we all know what that ends up leading to in the other movies*
Tauriel and Legolas check out a dark, dingy place called Mount Gwundabad. Unfortunately for them, they find out that Azog (the really gross looking orc from the first Hobbit movie) has commissioned an army to head over to the lonely mountain. This army has giant bats, orcs and goblins.
The arrival of Thranduil at the ruins of Dale is a welcome sight for the surviving people of Laketown. However, Thranduil makes it clear he wants his share of precious jewels that belong to his people. They are inside the mountain. Bard goes to entreat with Thorin, but isn’t successful. Greed and lust for the Arkenstone have turned Thorin into a total stranger; none of the dwarves in his company recognize him anymore. Thranduil gives Thorin until dawn; if no agreement is made, they will attack the mountain. When Thranduil and Bard ride up and entreat Thorin and show him the Arkenstone; he goes mad. Bilbo has his uses; he snuck out secretly to bring the stone to Bard and Thranduil, in order that an exchange is made. Just in case things didn’t go his way, Thorin made arrangements. A raven flew out of the mountain to send word to his cousin, Dain. Dain’s army of dwarves shows up and is just about to square off against Thranduil’s army when a large noise is heard. It’s the orc’s calling card. They’ve come to fight against the dwarves, the elves and anyone else standing in their way. Azog wants to see the total destruction of Thorin and anyone else who sides with him. As the two armies prepare to fight, Azog’s army comes into play. There’s huge beasts, orcs, bats all lead by Azog, who is atop a ruin. With all the fighting going on, a second orc army comes into play and things look grim.
It’s your classic scenario of good versus evil; honouring your word and bond and remembering what is important. Thorin comes to his senses, after having some pretty vivid hallucinations about his grim future. He storms out, fights his way through and takes a small party of dwarves with him. They ride towards Ravenhill. Fili is killed; Kili fights and kills orcs in his anger at seeing his brother die. Thorin fights Azog; Bilbo is knocked out, Tauriel overtaken and Kili killed. Just when things look dim, we see the army of eagles. The eagles come to the aid of Thorin, Gandalf, Bard and everyone else who was in dire need.
Azog is killed by Thorin but it is revealed that Thorin is grievously wounded. He makes peace with Bilbo and passes away. It is also revealed that Legolas rides on to meet a young warrior, a ranger who goes by the name of “Strider.” The people of Laketown bury the dead inside the mountain. The jewels that Thranduil wanted are returned to him. Bard and Dain are crowned King of Dale and King of Under the Mountain, respectively. The people of Laketown are given a share of the riches and use it to rebuild their lives. Bilbo politely declines attending Thorin’s funeral and leaves to return back to the Shire with Gandalf. As they are about to go their separate ways, Gandalf tells Bilbo that he knew about the ring all along and strongly advises Bilbo not to use it. Bilbo’s home and belongings are about to be sold off when he returns in time and offers proof of his identity.
After many decades, who should come knocking on Bilbo’s door again? Gandalf. And we all know what happens when Bilbo goes outside to meet with his old friend…but that is another story. One that has been told. Enjoy it all now has it comes full circle.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies debuted 08.08 and airs now across all of HBO’s platforms.