Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett has signed on to Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ films, reprising her role as the elf queen Galadriel.

The news is surprising since Galadriel doesn’t appear in ‘The Hobbit’. The move might concern some, but it also excites many as people speculate where – beyond the text of the book – Jackson will take the two films.

Other roles for the film have been filled – here’s a complete list of new casting:

Ken Stott- Dwarf Lord Balin
Sylvester McCoy – Wizard Radagast the Brown
Mikael Persbrandt – Beorn the shapeshifter
Ryan Gage – Drogo Baggins
Jed Brophy and William Kircher will play the dwarves Nori and Bifur

The only real surprise is that Ian McKellan has not been officially brought back as Gandalf. McKellan is reportedly keen to take on the role again, and Jackson wants him back. Unless there’s something brewing that we don’t know about (such as salary issues or a health problem on McKellan’s part), expect Sir Ian to be back as Gandalf the Grey in short order.