In “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), is convinced by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to leave the Shire and join Thorin (Richard Armitage) and his Company of 12 dwarves. Their quest is to venture to the Lonely Mountain to help defeat the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) and reclaim the Dwarven empire.
After an encounter with three trolls, the Company is pursued by orcs and meets Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) before escaping to Rivendell, the Elvish homeland. Here, Gandalf meets with elder elves Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee) to discuss the rumor of an evil Necromancer. The Company continues its quest sans Gandalf, trekking into the Misty Mountains, only to be captured by goblins in their underground lair. Bilbo gets separated and stumbles into Gollum (Andy Serkis). Winning a riddle game, Bilbo steals Gollum’s magic “precious” ring that makes him invisible. His feat of trickery makes him, at last, a true “burglar.”
Meanwhile, Gandalf returns to help the dwarves escape the goblins and their disgusting king. Our heroes reunite on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. They are attacked by wargs (giant wolves) and orcs, as well as Thorin’s sworn enemy, Azog the Defiler. To escape, they climb pine trees that are set on fire, and are finally rescued by eagles. “An Unexpected Journey” ends with the party resting on a giant stone outcrop called Carrock, looking onward to the distant Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), the former Dwarvish homeland now occupied by that fearsome dragon — and the objective for the next stage of their journey.