The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Official Trailer

The Desolation of Smaug official trailer released

THE Hobbit fans can catch their first glimpse of The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in director Peter Jackson's trilogy.

The official trailer, released this morning, shows central character Bilbo Bagggins (Martin Freeman) coming face-to-face with the evil dragon Smaug.

The two-minute trailer also features the highly anticipated return of Orlando Bloom as elf warrior Legolas.

He is joined by a new elf character dressed in green - the flame-haired Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly.

The trailer hints at Gandalf the grey wizard's upcoming encounter with the Necromancer, played by Star Trek Into Darkness baddie Benedict Cumberbatch.

There are also several seconds from the dwarf company's barrel ride down a raging river, a sequence which was nearly derailed during filming by flash flooding.

Fast & Furious 6 star Luke Evans is also shown in his role as the Bard, who warns dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield that if he awakens Smaug "it will destroy us all".

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.