New and beautiful stills for The Hobbit have come to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

As pretty as these may be, I'd like them a whole lot more without all of the extra Entertainment Weekly tomfoolery going on in them - but alas, you can't always get what you want.  Except an adaptation of THE HOBBIT captained by the team who cracked LORD OF THE RINGS and crafted a series of fantasy films so impressive that they were rewarded by the Academy with a record number of Oscars.  So there's that.

And so here we are with a set of pictures from part one, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.  I'd say Gandalf, Gollum, and Middle Earth in general are truly looking better than ever.

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And because why not: "An Unexpected Journey" comprises the first half of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy tale which follows the journey of Bilbo, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by Gandalf, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild.

Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever... Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

 THE HOBBIT begins the first half of its journey there and back again (in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D) on December 14.

Extra Tidbit: Thorin's sword looks completely badass. I want it. Though not as much as I want Narsil.



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