Sep 25 2012, 5:12pm
I don't disagree with anything you're stating, except for your using the terms "named" and "introduced".
Gandalf, Saruman, Bilbo, Elrond, Galadriel, Frodo, Gollum (possibly Legolas) are all important named characters, but are not being "introduced" as they are already established in the LOTR trilogy. So, they won't require much as far as introduction... except bilbo.
as far as "named" characters go, sure the trolls have names, Thrain has a name, the goblin king, Grinnah(?),..they all have names, but will WE even know their names? Lurtz had a name, Grishnakh, and Sharku had names, but we didn't know them or need to know them. So, I'm sure we're splitting hairs here, but the only characters being REALLY introduced (that the audience will need to know) are:
Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Nori, Dori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bilbo, Radagast, Lord of the Eagles, Smaug and the Necromancer.. ?
That's actually fewer than were introduced in FOTR; Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Gollum, Isildur, Elendil, Aragorn, Arwen, Elrond, Sauron, Ringwraiths, Arwen, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Saruman, Galadriel and Haldir. Not to mention all the other "named" characters whose names don't matter; Celeborn, Lurtz, Barliman, Proudfoot, Sackville-bagginses, Gaffer, etc...
It's not such a stretch to introduce Tauriel in film one... IF they go that route.