The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer shows dramatic war-torn finale

Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage star in the film trilogy's conclusion

A dramatic new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has sparked excitement online ahead of the film's 12 December release.

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson is behind the third film in a popular trilogy based on JRR Tolkien's novel, The Hobbit.

Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage star as hobbit Bilbo Baggins and King of the Dwarves Thorin Oakenshield in the epic conclusion to the classic fantasy adventure.

The Dwarves of Erebor finally reclaimed their lost wealth in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but must now face the devastating consequences of awakening the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch) upon the vulnerable people of Lake-town.

"As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honour in his search for the legendary Arkenstone," the official synopsis reads.

"Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead."

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has returned to Middle Earth and sent an army of Orcs and Wargs to attack the Lonely Mountain. Before they know it, the Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide to either unite or face destruction.

Five great armies go to war in a dramatic 45-minute battle scene, leaving Bilbo fighting for both his own life and that of his friends. Lake-Town burns and terrifying bats "bred for war" descend upon the troops.

 

"When faced with death, what can anyone do?" asks Bilbo, while Tauriel cries over a seemingly dead body before being thrown brutally against a wall.

"You have but one question to answer," Gandalf says. "How shall this day end?" Bilbo puts on the famous ring and…you'll just have to wait to find out.

Sir Ian McKellen reprises his role as Gandalf, while Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Cate Blanchett return as Legolas, Tauriel and Galadriel respectively.

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