Tolkien broke the boundaries of contemporary fantasy when he introduced Smaug, the dragon and one of the biggest villains in his book, the Hobbit. An ancient creature that is known for both his immense strength and brutal cunning, Smaug would set the trend for other dragons that would come along in other fiction. In more traditional literature, dragons are often depicted as mindless and ravenous beasts who are only interested in having their next meal which often takes the forms of hapless damsels which are all too often sacrificed to them by fearful villagers which heroes then have to rescue. These primitive dragons can already be quite frightening in and of themselves; Tolkien upped the ante when he finally came up with Smaug. Already a fierce threat to men, dwarves and elves, Smaug is a great menace just because of his immense strength and destructive power, but also a cunning that would easily put any run-of-the-mill overlord on a run for their money. And this time, in the upcoming movie, we get to see Smaug lay waste to Lake Town, a feat many fans are eagerly awaiting.
Then we have Azog, the Pale Orc, who is only mentioned briefly as an enemy of the dwarves in the book. However, in the book, the monstrous orc has been dead for quite some time and the dwarves only struggle to fight his minions and descendants to reclaim their lost kingdom. The current adaptation however breathes life into the pale orc and shows to the audience just what kind of menace he was during the days that he still lived. A mountain of a monster already, he is backed by hundreds or thousands of nefarious orcs and goblins with their equally monstrous wolf-mounts the wargs. He was among the orcs who fought against Thorin in the battle for the dwarf kingdoms and though he had managed to kill Thorin’s father and grandfather, had lost his arm to Thorin, a fact that he resents to this very day. Holed up now in Moria, Azog is pleased to hear news of Thorin on the move again as this would allow him to take vengeance on the hapless dwarf. And better yet, Azog is slated for an appearance in the Desolation of Smaug, the second installment of The Hobbit films and will likely try to catch Thorin off guard again after being cheated of his quarry in the previous film.
Desolation of Smaug will also introduce a lot of new characters that weren’t even found in the original book including Tauriel, a female elf guard not found in the books but is said to have a large role in the upcoming movies. The Lord of the Rings books are known to have very few prominent female characters which Peter Jackson seems to want to avert especially with more prominent roles for characters like Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy who served as a love-interest for Aragorn and Galadriel the elf queen. Not much is revealed about the new character, but one can already assume that she is not a warrior to be trifled with.