How to watch the Lord of the Rings movies in order

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JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic, The the Lord of the Rings, has, for decades, been a beloved favorite of millions around the world. With a new prequel story set in the same universe about to debut on Amazon Prime (the highly anticipated and hugely expensive, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power), there’s plenty of excitement for fans old and new, and plenty of inspiration to revisit the stories that started it all. That you’re planning a marathon to celebrate power rings or exploring Middle-earth for the first time, here’s how to watch all the One Ring action in chronological order.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Before the The the Lord of the Ringsthere was The Hobbit. Although the film adaptation only came nearly a decade after Peter Jackson’s smash hit LOTR films, the story, like its celluloid predecessor, was divided into three installments.

In it, we meet Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) – the titular mild-mannered hobbit, who finds himself (you guessed it) on an unexpected journey when the wizard Gandalf and a group of dwarves recruit him to help. to steal a legendary treasure from a dragon. Importantly for Tolkien fans, this film also introduces the One Ring and kicks off the events that will eventually lead to the LOTR trilogy.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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In the second part of The Hobbit trilogy, Thorin Oakenshield and Company (including the hobbit, Bilbo) fight their way through Mirkwood, home to a kingdom of wood elves, including LOTR Fan-favorite Legolas and Lonely Mountain, the ancestral home of the dwarves, to battle the dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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The epic conclusion of The Hobbit The trilogy sees the fallout of ousting a dragon and the dangers of greed. In case the title wasn’t a giveaway, expect some epic battle scenes to begin before not-so-homebody hobbit Bilbo finally concludes his adventure – with a certain ring in tow.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy begins more than half a century after Bilbo’s unexpected journey. The aging hobbit leaves behind his most prized possession, his ring of invisibility, with his nephew, Frodo, but the ring carries a powerful secret – one that will send Frodo (and his band of friends and brave companions) into his own great adventure, and leaves the fate of all of Middle-earth hanging in the balance.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

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The second movie of the LOTR The trilogy finds the brotherhood scattered and many battles ahead as noble Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli struggle to recover their kidnapped hobbit friends, while ring-bearer Frodo and his trusty right-hand man Sam take a dangerous path to try to destroy the One Ring and find a dubious ally in the cunning Gollum, who has returned to claim his “precious”.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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The conclusion to such a dramatic tale couldn’t be anything less than epic. Expect jaw-dropping battle scenes, heart-pounding danger, and edge-of-your-seat anticipation as the Fellowship battles the forces of evil Sauron, attempts to reclaim Aragorn’s lost throne, and perhaps , just maybe, to destroy the Ring to deal with them all once and for all.

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