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How To Watch ‘The Hobbit & ‘The Lord of The Rings’ Trilogies In Order

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The Lord of the Rings film trilogy shook up the film business in the early 2000s, collecting roughly $3 billion at the box office and winning a total of 17 Academy Awards – a record that the trilogy still retains! Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s series demonstrated that a well-made fantasy picture can be a tremendous hit. The Hobbit trilogy, a prequel series released a decade later, may not have been as good as the original, but it is nonetheless fantastic in its own right.

The Tolkien franchise’s great success insured that fans will be able to return to Middle-earth in the foreseeable future. When Amazon announced a multi-season The Lord of the Rings TV series in 2017, their hopes came true. Over the years, more information about the show has been available, including the astronomical $465 million budget for the TV adaption. That is significantly more than Game of Thrones’ budget, and it will be the most costly TV show ever made.

The first season of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will premiere on September 2, 2022. With only a year until the show premieres, it’s time to explore Middle-earth so we can be prepared. We’ve made two lists for you here, one in chronological order of events and the other in order of release date, to make your viewings a little easier. Any of these will help you get the most out of your binge-watching experience.

The Lord of The Rings Movies in Order of Release Date


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – December 19, 2001
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – December 18, 2002
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – December 17, 2003

The Hobbit Movies in Order of Release Date

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – December 14, 2012
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – December 13, 2013
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – December 17, 2014

The Hobbit Movies in Chronological Order


The Hobbit series is a prelude to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was published a decade later. The films are based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit, and depict the adventures of Frodo’s uncle, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). So, if you want to stick to Tolkien’s timeline, start with The Hobbit trilogy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

An Unexpected Journey, the first film in The Hobbit trilogy, was a commercial triumph. It made more money at the box office than The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers combined. The story begins with an elderly Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) beginning to write down the details of his 60-year-old adventure. He describes how Gandalf (Ian McKellen), seeing Bilbo’s hidden desire for adventure, persuades him to join a band of dwarves in their quest to enter the Lonely Mountain. The fact that Frodo is shown reading the same book in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King adds to the intrigue.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Smaug, one of Middle-last earth’s great dragons, made his screen debut in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film digs more into Bilbo’s character by showing him to be a brave and trustworthy ally to the dwarves by reclaiming the Arkenstone from Smaug’s stolen treasures. With a worldwide total of $959 million, The Desolation of Smaug outperformed both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.

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

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the series’ concluding installment, is significant for several reasons. Ian Holm and Christopher Lee made their final live-action appearances before passing away in 2020 and 2015, respectively. Lee portrayed Saruman The White in both series, and his persona is fully realized in this film. Conflicts emerge between the forces of mankind, elves, and dwarves, attracting Sauron’s attention, and Bilbo finds himself in the midst of a horrific war. The film concludes on a similar note to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, bringing Bilbo’s saga to a close.

The Lord of The Rings Movies in Chronological Order


The Lord of the Rings trilogy dramatically transformed the fantasy genre. The films, directed by Peter Jackson, are based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s literary trilogy of the same name, which was released between 1954 and 1955. These films are set 60 years after Bilbo’s adventure in The Hobbit trilogy, and portray the handing of the Ring of Power to Frodo (Elijah Wood), who must now embark on his own quest to rescue the world.

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

The film that launched it all and made The Lord of the Rings a global phenomenon. Even after numerous viewings, the viewer can sense Frodo’s and his eight companions’ (who make up the Fellowship of the Ring) excitement as they set off on their quest to Mount Doom in Mordor, the only place where the Ring of Power can be destroyed. At the time of its initial release, it was the fifth highest-grossing film of all time, grossing $880 million worldwide.

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

The Two Towers follows the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring and features four alternative storylines. After an orc ambush in the last film, the group is split up, and one of the crucial members is gone. Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin) resume their quest to destroy the One Ring in Mordor, where they encounter and are joined by Gollum (Andy Serkis), whom Bilbo met during the events of The Hobbit. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) come across a resurrected Gandalf as the nation of Rohan is on the edge of extinction. Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) escape the orcs’ grasp, encounter Treebeard the Ent, and with his help organize an attack on Isengard, Saruman’s fortress.

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

The Return of the King, the last installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, wowed moviegoers all over the world. It was a masterpiece, lauded by critics and spectators alike as a watershed moment in filmmaking and the fantasy picture genre. Middle-final earth’s stand against Sauron is depicted in The Return of the King. To give Frodo a chance to destroy the One Ring, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the rest of the forces of light join forces in a seemingly impossible struggle against Sauron and his army at Minas Tirith. The epic fights, soundtracks, setting, and direction are all very stunning. It’s no surprise that this picture holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by a single film.

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