the final film, The Battle of the Five Armies. As some of you probably didn't realize though, these sets contain some interesting spoilers...
WARNING: Major Spoilers Lie Ahead!
A few weeks ago at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con LEGO and Warner Bros. revealed the largest set in this wave and in the past week images of the three other sets leaked from a factory in Mexico. With these pictures we can now piece together (pun intended) some key scenes from The Battle of the Five Armies. Let's start with the smallest set of the wave, the $15 Witch-King Battle.
First item to notice is location. This scene obviously takes place in Dol Guldur. The architecture and box art match that scene in sets released last year (2013). Second thing to consider are the minifigs, especially the elves (Elrond and Galadriel). This is further confirmation of the White Council's assault on the ruined fortress. Those are just the major revelations, but we can dig a little deeper.
Elrond's costume is somewhat blurred in the picture, but it resembles (as it should) Hugo Weaving's costume as seen in this picture from the movie set:
It is also very similar to the one released in a polybag in 2012:
Also, this confirms that the Nazgul will play a big part in the battle, Nazgul that will not be clothed in black cloaks. In the film the Witch-King of Angmar should look very similar to his appearance in AUJ and FotR.
Next, look at Galadriel's face. Could this be her "losing it" as Peter Jackson put it? She's obviously very terrified. Good thing she had the Light of Earendil with her. Yes, the same phial that she gave to Frodo in Fellowship of the Ring. Can you see the white jewel in her right hand emanating light? That white jewel piece is the exact same element used for the Phial of Galadriel in a 2012 Lord of the Rings set:
Notice also how Galadriel does not wield a sword or other weapon. Indeed, none is provided for her as the back of the box shows:
The small image in the top right showcases the weapons for each minifig in the set. There is the Nazgul's Morgul blade, Elrond's long sword (name?), and the Phial of Galadriel. Could this be Galadriel's 'weapon' in the film? Will she fight the darkness of Sauron with the light of the Silmarils? It's a very interesting idea, one that could further connect the two movie trilogies. Remember that the White Council's Assault on Dol Guldur, while extremely important in the story of The Lord of the Rings, is not described by Tolkien in great detail. That leaves a wide hole for interpretation. Personally, I appreciate the addition, but I also hope Galadriel's role isn't belittled to waving around the flask, as powerful and important as it is. Finally, before leaving this topic, below is a poster from AUJ showing Galadriel holding the phial. Since the prop never appeared in that film many fans thought it was just thrown in by the marketing team, but now I'm not too sure.
Two more points of interest regarding this set. First, Saruman is not included. Don't jump to conclusions right away. We already know he will have a bigger role in this film than in any of the other Hobbit films so far. Some could take this to mean though that he won't be as important in this particular scene. I don't agree with that analysis. LEGO can't include more than a small handful of minifigures in every set, especially ones that cost $15. To help drive up sales they often try to include as many exclusive minifigs as possible. I think that's the case here. We've never seen these 3 figs before and two different versions of Saruman were already produced last year in LotR sets. I still fully expect to see Christopher Lee driving out his future rival from Dol Guldur.
Finally, it looks like the 'bad guys' are firing flaming projectiles at the Council. This could be a major part in the sequence or it could be a hyped up play feature (something LEGO does in many sets to appeal to younger kids).
Moving on, now we come to the $30 Attack on Laketown. This set depicts one of the earliest scenes of the film, Smaug's attack on Lake-town. Bard will apparently be set free from prison and he will make it to the dwarven wind-lance. Even after Legolas killed scores of orcs in DoS it looks like Tauriel will still have her hands full. Bolg must have started with a large army! Bain will also be involved in the struggle. (That's him with the bright orange hair. An interesting colour choice, I think he would've looked better with Bilbo's hair piece.)
The back of the box advertises some of the play features:
These could be referencing "gags" that take place in part of the melee, or they could simply be things LEGO added for 'play value'. They are trying to sell it to 8-14 year olds after all.
As expected, Bard will still be garbed in his rugged brown coat from the previous film (more on that later). I should also point out that dwarven wind-lance is covered by a roof, unlike this shot in DOS:
|(Ignore the subtitles)|
The picture of this set is not fully complete, the right side of the box had been cropped. Nevertheless, there's a lot to learn. As the title plainly states, this set will be from the Battle of Five Armies (The Battle of the Five Armies is the name of the whole film, Battle of Five Armies refers to the battle itself). The 'bad guys' (the Orcs and Wargs) will employ some massive siege engines in the film. In the set up on the box it looks like this particular device is being used to shoot down the Great Eagles.
The battle (or at least part of it) will be fought on ruins around the Lonely Mountain, particularly Dale and Ravenhill (see my in-depth teaser trailer analysis). I think this structure in the set could be Ravenhill, but that's just a guess. The brown, 'wooden' beams could suggest Dale.
Azog will be a key leader for the Orcs and Wargs as indicated in DoS and the teaser trailer. Too bad we didn't get a Bolg minifig. (Polybag perhaps?) Thorin looks fully decked out in his kingly armour and crown. Compare him to this screenshot from the recent teaser trailer:
Bard and Legolas will be important combatants too. The Legolas minifig looks identical to the one previously released in 2012 and 2013.
The minifig of Bard should be the same one given away at this year's San Diego Comic-con:
His torso and leg print match the blue coat he wears in this promotional image released back in July:
Sometime between the destruction of Lake-town and the battle Bard will lose his old coat in exchange for this blue one.
Last but certainly not least we have the largest set of the upcoming wave, The Lonely Mountain. When LEGO revealed this at Comic-con it fueled the fires of a rumour going around saying that Smaug will survive until the end of the movie. Those rumours are false! There has not been one scrap of evidence to support that claim, including this LEGO set. (Luke Evans (Bard) even said himself how he's looking forward to his character's 'huge moment' for his character.) Even so, why do people still say that? There are 2 main reasons. First, the box says "The Battle of the Five Armies". Second, the dwarves are wearing battle armour not previously seen before while in Erebor with Smaug. By the time the dwarves 'suit up' Smaug is supposed to be lying at the bottom of the lake.
While at first glance something may seem fishy there is a perfectly simple explanation. This set incorporates scenes from different films. LEGO does this all the time with large licensed sets. Orthanc and the Ewok Village are wonderful examples. It's a way LEGO can try to draw more customers by reproducing different iconic scenes. In this case we have the throne/Arkenstone from film 1 (and film 3), Bilbo and Smaug from film 2 the mines and furnaces from film 2, and the battle-ready dwarves from film 3. All of this is packaged under the BotFA logo for continuity with the rest of the wave and to capitalize on all the hype soon to come this Fall/Winter. Simple. Until we hear or see it directly from someone like Peter Jackson saying otherwise, I don't believe Smaug will remain alive for more than 20 or 30 minutes into the film.
As to the dwarves' costumes, they will undoubtedly be more muted colours in the film (like in the teaser trailer). Bilbo's costume matches the one we saw in DoS and in the teaser trailer/posters for BotFA.
Finally, there's one last enigma still unresolved. Last year LEGO released a set featuring Beorn fighting orcs in Dol Guldur.
No such scene ever appeared in the theatrical cut of Desolation of Smaug. Since LEGO took the time to produce a set like this such a scene must have been important in the film at some point. Is Beorn going to help rescue Gandalf or could it be a separate visit? We could see this scene in the Extended Edition of Desolation of Smaug this November or in The Battle of the Five Armies the following month.
These sets will be available from LEGO and most major retailers starting October 15, 2014 (except for #79011, Dol Guldur Ambush which was released December, 2013).
That concludes my thoughts and speculation on the subject. What do you think though? Feel free to comment below!