The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won’t be out for another 6 months, which means it’s just the right time to start dripping teaser photos, trailer snippets and plot bytes to keep Tolkienites’ appetites whetted.

GandalfIan McKellen‘s Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The latest tease comes in the form of a ‘first look’ style reveal on the film’s official Facebook page. In it, Ian McKellen‘s Gandalf and Luke Evans‘ Bard the Bowman are looking at something presumably ominous  - let’s face it: they’re not laughing at Bilbo trying out Legolas’s bow, are they?

The Battle of The Five Armies will pick up where, and there are spoilers coming, Smaug is forced out of Erebor, causing them to question exactly what it is they started by subjecting the world to Smaug’s fiery wrath. Martin FreemanLee PaceBenedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline LilyCate BlanchettRichard ArmitageOrlando Bloom, and Hugo Weaving are all set to return on December 17. 

More: 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies': What We Know, So Far

Previous to this ‘first look’ photo, Jackson posted a message on his Facebook account on July 3 to quell fan curiosity about an upcoming trailer. "Thank you all for your responses to my posting about Lorri and Damien's book. Of course, many of you asked about the Hobbit Trailer. So, yes - there will be a Hobbit Trailer. But like the previous two years, it's not going to be released until around Oct. The complex VFX work required to produce the battle shots we're all wanting to see are simply not far enough along yet,” he said. 

“However ... yesterday I finished work on a Teaser Trailer and that has just been delivered to Warner Bros. So no doubt this Teaser Trailer will be making it's way into the world sometime soon... Cheers, Peter J".