As filming for The Hobbit trilogy comes to an end, the franchise says goodbye to some of its most loved characters. The time has come for Legolas and Gandalf to put down their bow and staff respectively, as the actors that portray them leave behind a loved series.

Ian McKellenHere's McKellen enjoying a smoke and some lines

Expected to feature heavily, as he did in The Lord Of The Rings, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas will enjoy his last outings in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is expected to hit cinemas this December, and the last film The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

Peter Jackson – the cinematic brain in the jar responsible for all things Tolkien-on-screen – posted on Facebook: “A day after saying goodbye to Gandalf and Tauriel, it was time to farewell Legolas. What a great day it was, with Orlando battling a serious Orc for all 12 hours of shooting – part of the battle of the 5 Armies for the third Hobbit movie. When we finally got the day done, we said goodbye to Orlando, had a couple of beers…and couldn’t resist doing this!”

Orlando BloomBloom played the sharpshooter Legolas in the films

As Jackson mentioned, filming for Gandalf is also done. "Seconds ago we finished our last shot with Gandalf" said Jackson. "The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I'm feeling very sad right now." The first Hobbit film had noticeable flaws, but die-hard fans of the series won’t let that perturb their enthusiasm for the next two films set to follow the trials and tribulations of Bilbo Baggins.