What order should I watch Lord of the Rings in?

The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power series will premiere on Amazon Prime on September 2. It belongs to the movie universe based on the books of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Based on the works of the author, two trilogies of films have already been released. But the fact is that Tolkien first wrote The Hobbit, and then The Lord of the Rings. You need to read them in exactly such a sequence, which coincides with the chronology of the narrative. After that, fans can pay attention to The Silmarillion, a collection of myths and legends from Middle-earth, which was published after the writer’s death.

Stories based on Tolkien’s works were shown on the screen in a different sequence due to copyright issues. Therefore, there are two options for viewing: by the chronology of the action or by the year of release.

We believe that the latter option is more logical. Although The Hobbit tells about earlier events, some details of the past are explained in the first trilogy. Yes, and the heroes are introduced there.

Therefore, we suggest watching movies in the Lord of the Rings universe in that order.

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • USA, New Zealand, 2001.
  • Fantasy, drama, adventure.
  • Duration: 178 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.8.

The film begins with a backstory telling how Sauron created the Ring of Omnipotence in order to take over all of Middle-earth.

Many years later, the hobbit Frodo celebrates his 33rd birthday. It is on this day that his old friend, the wizard Gandalf, comes to the Shire. Soon the hobbit and his companions will have to go on a dangerous journey, because it is in the hands of Frodo that very ring.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

  • USA, New Zealand, 2002.
  • Fantasy, drama, adventure.
  • Duration: 179 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.8.

Frodo and Sam continue to Mordor and meet Gollum. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli head to Rohan, which will soon be attacked by an army of orcs. Only Gandalf can save the day.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • USA, New Zealand, 2003.
  • Fantasy, drama, adventure.
  • Duration: 201 minutes.
  • IMDb: 9.0.

At the beginning of the film, they show how Gollum got the Ring of Omnipotence in the past. In the present tense, he quarrels Frodo and Sam. And Aragorn and his comrades, having defeated Saruman, turn to the governor of Gondor for help. All of them will face the last battle with the forces of Sauron.

4 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

  • New Zealand, USA, 2012.
  • Fantasy, adventure.
  • Duration: 169 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

On the eve of his 111th birthday, the aging Bilbo Baggins decides to describe his adventures in a book. Then the action is transferred 60 years into the past. Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, visit Bilbo uninvited. They say that the hobbit should go with them on a journey to retrieve the treasure that once belonged to their people.

Watch on iTunes →

5 The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  • New Zealand, USA, 2013.
  • Fantasy, adventure.
  • Duration: 161 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

The dwarves continue on their way to the Lonely Mountain. They escape from the werewolf and the orcs, but are captured by the elves. They later manage to escape. Meanwhile, Gandalf learns of the awakening of an ancient evil.

Watch on iTunes →

6. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

  • New Zealand, USA, 2014.
  • Fantasy, adventure.
  • Duration: 144 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.4.

Bilbo and the dwarves reached their goal, and the archer Bard killed the dragon Smaug. But near the Lonely Mountain, five armies are gathering, which will fight for treasure and power.

Watch on iTunes →

7. The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

  • USA, 2022.
  • Fantasy, adventure.
  • Duration: 1 season.

This series will be a prequel to all films. Its action will unfold thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit. But in Tolkien’s world, some creatures live very long lives. Therefore, viewers will see, for example, the elves Galadriel and Elrond.

Bonus: How to Watch The Lord of the Rings in Chronological Order

If you don’t care about obscure references in The Hobbit or you know Tolkien’s world well enough, you can watch the adaptations by the sequence of events taking place in them:

  • Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, 2022.
  • 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: The 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

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