The filmmakers explain what they're adding or fleshing out to turn The Hobbit into a trilogy

Stretching one novel into three films may seem like, well, a stretch. But Peter Jackson & Co. are also drawing on material Tolkien wrote outside the Hobbit book, including 120 pages of appendixes to The Lord of the Rings. “There’s a lot of great material in there,” Jackson says. Here are a few of the story elements that, with the addition of a third film, they can dive into more deeply.

The backstory of the dwarves
”The dwarves have an ancient enemy that had been defeated when we come into the story of The Hobbit,” says Philippa Boyens. ”Anyone who’s seen Lord of the Rings has seen Moria, and when you read the appendixes, you understand how that homeland was taken by orcs. The character of [the orc chieftain] Azog the Defiler was especially, dare I say it, appealing to write for.”

The White Council and the rise of Sauron
For a large part of the Hobbit book, Gandalf disappears on a mysterious errand. Jackson’s films will show us where he goes: to meet with Saruman, Galadriel, Elrond, and others in a summit called the White Council to discuss the growing threat from the Necromancer, a sinister character glancingly referred to in the Hobbit book who becomes the evil Sauron in the Rings trilogy.

The Battle of Dol Gulduer
In the appendixes, Tolkien chronicles an epic battle at the stronghold of the Necromancer involving elves, giant spiders, orcs, and wargs. ”One of the main protagonists in that is Galadriel,” Boyens says. ”We get to go there. We get to see it.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Movie
  • 170 minutes