When the second and third installments of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug (out Dec. 13, 2013) and There and Back Again (out July 18, 2014), arrive in theaters, we’ll encounter some familiar faces as well as some new ones as Bilbo and the dwarves continue their perilous journey to the Lonely Mountain, home of the dragon Smaug. One familiar face will be Orlando Bloom’s elf Legolas (pictured here in a shot from There and Back Again — click to enlarge), a major character in the Rings trilogy but one not mentioned in the Hobbit book.
So what is he doing in these films? “He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit, and because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm,” director Peter Jackson explains. Conferring with Legolas is one of the Hobbit trilogy’s major new faces: the heroic human Laketown warrior Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans). “Bard is an interesting character, but [in the book] he’s kind of a random character who comes in after the fact,” says screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens. “We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.”