12:15 pm EDT, December 7, 2012

First photo from ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ released

Yesterday we Tolkien fans got our first look at The Hobbit: There and Back Again – the third film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy that isn’t scheduled for release until 2014.

But what about that second film, Desolation of Smaug? We haven’t seen a photo from it – until today.

In the photo released by Entertainment Weekly, we see Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) on a huge pile of gold and likely looking up at the dragon Smaug found in Tolkien’s book on the Lonely Mountain.

The first photo from The Hobbit sequel

This plot point takes place late in Tolkien’s Hobbit story, so the next question is: What will be happening in the third film, There and Back Again?

Jackson has said he’ll be pulling from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, to which The Hobbit is a prequel, to flesh out the trilogy. “The dragon is a huge, wonderful, amazing part of the story, but it doesn’t end there,” says screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens to EW. “Everyone can suspect there’s a rather large battle in film three.”

We would hope so, or else There and Back Again would be very anti-climactic.

An Unexpected Journey opens next Friday, December 14. Part 2 of the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, will be released December 13, 2013. There and Back Again, part 3, will be released July 18, 2014. Watch the final An Unexpected Journey trailer!

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