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Our heroes’ earlier exploits...

In the trilogy’s first film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” hobbit Bilbo Baggins departs the Shire to join the Company of adventurers — Gandalf the Grey, head Dwarf Thorin, and 12 other Dwarves — on their quest to retake their kingdom of Erebor in The Lonely Mountain and defeat the dragon Smaug. They travel east, meet the wizard Radagast the Brown, and pass through the friendly Elf refuge of Rivendell. With Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman the White, Gandalf wonders whether the evil Necromancer has returned. The Company leaves for the Misty Mountains, where they are captured by goblins, except Bilbo, who encounters Gollum and finds his ring. They all escape, only to be attacked by Orcs led by Azog, Thorin’s nemesis, then are saved by the eagles.

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Warner Bros./Photographer

In the second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” after a stay with half-bear, half-man Beorn, the Company (minus Gandalf) enters Mirkwood. They are attacked by giant spiders, and saved by Bilbo, then taken captive by Wood-elves led by Elven-king Thranduil and son Legolas. Bilbo helps the Dwarves escape downstream, but they are attacked by Orcs and Kíli is injured. They meet Bard, who smuggles them into Lake-town. Meanwhile, at the tomb of the Nazgûl, Gandalf and Radagast discover the Dark Lord has awakened. Gandalf enters the Necromancer’s lair, Dol Guldur, where he is imprisoned after a duel with the evil one. At The Lonely Mountain, Bilbo enters a secret door and converses with Smaug, stealing the Dwarves’ crown jewel, the Arkenstone. As Orcs attack Lake-town, the Dwarves (minus Kíli, Óin, Fíli, and Bofur) enter the mountain and try to kill the dragon, who flees and prepares to torch Lake-town as punishment for helping the Dwarves.

More coverage:

- Bests and worsts of ‘The Hobbit’ on film

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- ‘Hobbit’ by the numbers