Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert was (mostly) out of character but fully in geek mode for his appearance in a video preview for "The Desolation of Smaug," the second part of director Peter Jackson's adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit.

Colbert, whose devotion to Tolkien's works led him to feature Jackson's first installment, "An Unexpected Journey," for a week on The Colbert Report, brought out a framed map of Middle Earth to ask if Jackson would highlight the class differences among the Elves of Mirkwood.

"I want to know if you're making a delineation between [King] Trhanduil and Legolas, who are Sindar, and the elves who lived in Mirkwood, their subjects, who are Avari, or Nandor, or a mixture of Avari [and] Nandor and Sindar," Colbert asked. "They're lesser elves than Thranduil and Legolas in the Tolkien mythos. Are you showing that differentiation?"

Colbert went on to explain how some elves from the Avari class did not heed the call of the Valar exhorting them to move to Valinor, before slipping briefly back into his late-night persona.

"Are you taking that into consideration?" he asked again with a touch of mock exasperation. "Thank you."

After responding with a simple "Yes," Jackson had a question of his own related to a mug he received after his December 2012 appearance on Colbert's show.

"Basically, the one that you give away for free has got dishwasher-proof ink on it. The white ink stays," Jackson said, comparing it to a mug he "mistakenly" walked away with. "The one your guests drink out of, we've had this through the dishwasher maybe once or twice, and it just washed away. So my question for you, Stephen is: the mug that your guests drink out of, do you ever clean it? Do you ever worry about spreading germs?"

At that point, a member of Jackson's production team, "Jaberz," interjected, saying, "When Peter steals something, he likes it to be of a certain quality."

Watch the video, which also features appearances from a Lord of the Rings cast member and was released on Monday, below.

[h/t The Mary Sue]