Last year, 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' ended on a huge cliffhanger that promised a fiery start to 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.' The new poster for the third film in director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth prequel trilogy takes the final images from the previous film and runs with them, promising a showdown that fans of the book have been waiting three years to see.

Despite the title of the film, neither Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins nor those five armies are seen on the poster. Instead, the focus is on Benedict Cumberbatch's terrifying dragon, Smaug, and Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman. As is typical in blockbuster poster design these days, Bard has his back to us, which makes him look either incredibly brave or ridiculously stupid. After all, you don't just stand there while a fire-breathing dragon flies toward your hometown.

Anyway, here's the official synopsis for the film:

Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

And here'e the poster. 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' will open on December 17, 2014.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.