How to watch lord of the rings movies in order

How to watch Lord of the Rings movies in order

The cinematic landscape was forever altered in the early 2000s with the release of Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series. Not only did the trilogy rake in close to $3 billion in global box office earnings, but it also set a new standard by snagging a staggering 17 Academy Awards, a record that remains unbroken to this day.

These achievements proved that the fantasy genre could be both critically acclaimed and commercially lucrative when executed skillfully. Although Jackson’s follow-up, The Hobbit trilogy, released about ten years later, didn’t quite capture the same level of critical adoration, it remains a remarkable cinematic achievement in its own right.

How you can watch Lord of the Rings movies in order

We’ve organized the films from The Lord of the Rings series chronologically by release date, providing you with recommendations on where you can watch each one. This allows you to immerse yourself completely in the story without the hassle of hunting for each movie individually. Continue reading for an all-inclusive guide created to ensure you experience The Lord of the Rings saga just as the creators intended.

Here is the list of how to watch lord of the Ring movies in order (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

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

Director: Peter Jackson

Cast:

    1. Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
    2. Ian McKellen as Gandalf
    3. Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Writer: Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)

IMDb: 8.8/10 (as of my last update in September 2021)

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

The film that catapulted The Lord of the Rings into global acclaim is a cinematic experience that never seems to age. Even with multiple viewings, the audience remains captivated by the fervour of Frodo and his eight fellow adventurers, collectively known as the Fellowship of the Ring, as they embark on their perilous mission to Mount Doom in Mordor, the sole location where the Ring of Power can be annihilated.

Upon its debut, the film became an extraordinary box office hit, ranking as the fifth highest-earning movie of its time, raking in $880 million globally during its first run. Additionally, director Peter Jackson later released an extended edition for the initial trilogy, amplifying the runtime of the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, from 178 to 228 minutes — an impressive duration

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

How to watch The Lords Of The Rings in Chronological Order

Director:
Peter Jackson

Cast:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Writer:
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, and Peter Jackson. Based on the book “The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

IMDB:  8.7/10.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Continuing the narrative that began with The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers unfolds across four distinct plot arcs. After their company is fractured due to an orc attack and the loss of a pivotal character in the previous instalment, the separated members of the Fellowship each face their own challenges.

Frodo and his loyal companion Sam make their way to Mordor with the aid of Gollum, a character introduced during Bilbo’s adventures in The Hobbit. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli discover the beleaguered realm of Rohan and reunite with a miraculously revived Gandalf. On another front, Merry and Pippin elude their orc captors, encounter the ancient Ent known as Treebeard, and hatch a plan to assault Saruman’s stronghold, Isengard.

The film’s extended edition stretches the original 179-minute runtime to a hefty 235 minutes, enriching the cinematic experience.

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

how to watch The Lord Of The Rings in Chronological Order

Director:
Peter Jackson

Cast:

  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn

Writer:
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)

IMDb: 8.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Certified Fresh

The concluding film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King, left an indelible impression on cinephiles worldwide. Celebrated by critics and viewers alike, it stands as a monumental achievement in both the art of filmmaking and the realm of fantasy cinema.

This final instalment showcases the ultimate confrontation with Sauron, as key characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli rally the forces of good for a near-impossible battle at Minas Tirith. The aim is to divert Sauron’s attention, granting Frodo the opportunity to annihilate the One Ring. With its awe-inspiring battles, musical scores, landscapes, and direction, it’s not surprising that the film ties the record for the most Academy Awards captured by a single movie.

The extended edition takes the already considerable 201-minute duration to an astonishing 252 minutes—surpassing four hours! If you’re daring enough to revisit all the extended editions in a single sitting, gear up for a nearly 12-hour cinematic odyssey.

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Hobbit Movies in order:

Released roughly ten years after The Lord of the Rings films, The Hobbit trilogy actually serves as a narrative precursor within Tolkien’s fictional universe. Adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 book of the same name, these movies focus on the exploits of Bilbo Baggins, portrayed by Martin Freeman, who is the uncle of Frodo Baggins. For those aiming to watch the series in a sequence that aligns with the original literary chronology, it’s advisable to start with The Hobbit trilogy.

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – December 14, 2012

Director: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Cast:

  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

IMDB: 7.8/10.

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%

The inaugural film in The Hobbit trilogy, “An Unexpected Journey,” was a financial triumph, raking in over $1.017 billion and outperforming the box office earnings of “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers.” The narrative is kickstarted by an elderly Bilbo Baggins, portrayed by Ian Holm, as he sits down to chronicle the extraordinary adventure he embarked upon six decades prior. Guided by Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, Bilbo is enticed into accompanying a band of dwarves on a daring mission to reclaim their homeland within the Lonely Mountain. This manuscript is the very one that Frodo is seen completing in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” neatly tying the two epic series together.

2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – December 13, 2013

How to watch Hobbit movies in order

Director: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro (Based on the book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Cast:

  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

IMDb: 7.8/10.

Rotten Tomatoes: Ratings fluctuate, but as of my last data in September 2021, it had a 74%

The Hobbit’s second instalment, “The Desolation of Smaug,” introduces us to the formidable dragon Smaug, brought to life through the voice talents of Benedict Cumberbatch. This chapter delves further into Bilbo’s evolving persona, showcasing his courage and loyalty as he manages to procure the coveted Arkenstone from Smaug’s hoard of pilfered riches. Financially, the film also made a strong impression, raking in $959 million globally, which eclipsed the box office revenues of both “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers.”

3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – December 17, 2014

How to watch Hobbit movies in order

Director:
Peter Jackson

Writer:
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro; based on the novel “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Cast:

  • Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf
  • Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

IMDb: 7.8/10.

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

The concluding film in The Hobbit trilogy, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” is particularly notable for several reasons. It marks the final live-action roles for both Ian Holm and Christopher Lee, who passed away in 2020 and 2015, respectively. Lee’s portrayal of Saruman the White shines especially brightly in this instalment. The movie thrusts Bilbo into the chaos of a grand conflict involving humans, elves, and dwarves, all while catching the menacing eye of Sauron’s legions. Serving as a narrative bridge, the film comes full circle by dovetailing neatly into the beginning of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” thus bringing Bilbo’s epic journey to a fitting close.

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Wrap Up

Helmed by Peter Jackson, the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary fantasy work, “The Lord of the Rings,” was rolled out annually over a three-year period. The cinematic journey kicked off with “The Fellowship of the Ring” in 2001, continued with “The Two Towers” in 2002, and reached its grand finale in “The Return of the King” in 2003. This trilogy skillfully unfolds a monumental quest across its three separate but interconnected films.

The Hobbit is directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit trilogy takes viewers on an exciting trip through a magical and adventurous world. The series has impressively earned close to $303 million at the box office.

In this blog, we have discussed all the necessary details that you need when you are watching the Lord of the Rings movies in order. So, step into this enchanting realm today.

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