The best order to watch The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies

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As Amazon prepares to launch a new series in the Lord of the Rings universe, there has never been a better time to catch up on all the adventures of our Hobbit boyfriends leading up to this point to get a feel for it. of the universe in which they live.

It should be noted that the Amazon series will not return or review the paths of history already covered in the two film trilogies so far. Instead, these will be based on some of the longer, deeper, and more historic worlds missed by the two films. Think of them as being thousands of years before the Hobbit, when evil reappeared in Middle-earth.

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Best Viewing Order for Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

But the question remains: what is the best order to watch the two existing trilogies? There is no right way, of course, but there is a way that makes the most sense to us.

Depending on your patience and commitment, you may want to research the extended editions. Each of the six films is available in a much longer version than the one released in theaters / cinemas. All of this easily exceeds the three hour mark.

NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Most of the movie may be set after The Hobbit trilogy, but The Fellowship of the Ring is a really good introduction to Middle-earth, the Hobbits, the Elves, the Shire, and most importantly, the story of The One Ring. Additionally, part of his narrative is key to understanding what happens in the Hobbit movies. Mainly, because the Hobbit movies begin with an old Bilbo writing his adventures to Frodo, and therefore an introduction to Frodo is important.

In this movie, Frodo and his company: Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Merry (Meriadoc), Pippin (Peregrin) and Sam (Samwise) take possession of the ring and begin their journey to Mordor, where they aim to throw the ring into the fire to destroy it. While being hunted down and pursued by the terrifying Nazgul of Sauron and the army of Orc and Uruk-hai of Saruman.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

As mentioned, the story begins with Bilbo recounting his adventures to Frodo. Wizard Gandalf and a gang of dwarves seek to reclaim their lost city in the lonely mountain which is teeming with treasure and is currently home to the dragon Smaug. Bilbo first seizes the One Ring in this film after a puzzle game with the creature Gollum. What’s in his pockets?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Bilbo, the dwarves – led by Thorin – and Gandalf the Gray continue their mission to reclaim the city. They have made it through the Misty Mountains and must now tackle Mirkwood Forest, which is not without peril and they must do so without Gandalf. Once at the mountain, Bilbo – as the designated burglar – must find the secret door and steal the precious Arken stone which the dwarves revere as the key to their power and the regaining of control of their city.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Bilbo and company are engaged in a war, the dragon has left the lonely mountain and the inhabitants of Lake-town are threatened. Orcs, dwarves, elves, people, and even giant eagles prepare for war as Bilbo grapples with a power-mad Thorin. Gandalf is also saved from the necromancer in this film.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The company is divided at the end of the scholarship, and Frodo and Sam therefore continue their mission to destroy the ring without the rest of the company. It is on this journey that they correctly encounter Gollum for the first time, while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli set out in search of Merry and Pippin who have been captured by orcs. They meet the inhabitants of Rohan, his besieged city and his horsemen in exile. We are introduced to Ents – tree shepherds who take a long time to say anything – and Faramir, Boromir’s brother.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Sam and Frodo’s perilous journey is almost over early thanks to Gollum’s underhanded work, but whatever obstacles in their path they must bring the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. The rest of society – now joined by the might of Rohan – is engaged in war with the dark forces of Middle-earth to save Gondor, while its power-mad steward seems determined to demolish it from within.

Chronological order

While some of the Fellowship of the Ring scenes occur in the years leading up to the first Hobbit movie, most take place in the later times. It takes place after Bilbo’s 111th (or eleventh and eleventh) birthday. Likewise, while the Hobbit stories are subsequently written by an older Bilbo, the story itself takes place when Bilbo is younger.

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Ordering films in theaters (release date)

Of course, you can just watch them in the order they were released. That way you look at them in the order anyone would have looked at them, had they been to see them on their opening nights. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but if you do, you arguably end up with the weakest of the six movies.

  • The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

What about animated films?

There are two animated films that were produced long before the big budget Jackson epics. The Hobbit (1977), The Lord of the Rings (1978) and The Return of the King (1980) were all based on Tolkien’s novels and are classic animated stories, but let’s just say they didn’t age very well. There have also been a number of shorts and even Lego shorts to coincide with the Lego console / PC games.

Where does the Amazon TV series fit in the timeline?

The Lord of the Rings television series is based on the Second Age of Middle-earth, placing it thousands of years before the events depicted in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. So don’t expect to see a lot of Frodo or Bilbo in this production. Here’s how Amazon Studios describes it:

“Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows a set of characters, both familiar and new, as they face the dreaded re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elven capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the far reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that will endure long after they are gone.”

The first season has been in production since early 2020, with production halted shortly thereafter. It’s slated to air on Amazon Prime Video at some point in 2021, and a second season has already been ordered. In fact, the original deal included a five-season commitment, so we could see this as a recurring series for a good few years.

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Lord of the Rings and Hobbit games

Of course, there’s a lot more action in Lord of the Rings than in the main theatrical releases. You’ll find plenty of games for consoles and PCs, including – but not limited to – the following:

  • The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2002)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • The Hobbit (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring (2003)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth (2004)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (2004)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Tactics (2005)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (2007)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (2009)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (2010)
  • The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (2011)
  • Lego The Lord of the Rings (2012)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
  • Lego The Hobbit (2014)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017)

Did you like it?

Then maybe you’ll like our other movie order viewing guides:

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