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'The Hobbit' movie trailer: what it tells us, what it leaves a mystery (VIDEO)

'The Hobbit' movie trailer is out, and it answers some questions while leaving others unclear. Did we just see Dol Guldur? Probably. What will Smaug look like? No idea.

This screen cap from 'The Hobbit' movie trailer shows what could be Dol Guldur, Sauron's lair in Mirkwood.

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For a video clip that's only about 153 seconds long, it's sure getting lots of attention. And for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien or Peter Jackson – well, it should.

The movie trailer (see below) for the long-awaited movie about an unexpected journey arrived Wednesday. And it reveals a lot for those fans to chew over, tantalizing footage from a film that's still a year away from arrival in movie theaters.

For now, here's a discussion of three of the more interesting bits.

1. How non-"Hobbit" material fits in

Mr. Jackson and the team behind the movie seized the opportunity to stretch a single book by Mr. Tolkien into two cinematic parts. In doing so, the director is bringing in some material that was outside Tolkien's book, but is a part of the broader Tolkien canon – appendices and other works that explain what was going on in other parts of Middle Earth during the events of "The Hobbit."

But it has been a mystery as to how he would accomplish this. The trailer provides clues. 

For one, a key character seen in the trailer is the elf Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), who figured prominently the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but isn't in Tolkien's "Hobbit" book at all. Her presence in the film points to the inclusion of the so-called White Council and its battle of good versus evil.

In the book, the wizard Gandalf disappears to participate in those events. Now we'll get to see what happened. Or at least Jackson's rendition of it.

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