How to Watch All 'The Lord of the Rings' Movies In Order
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With news dropping that a potential new trilogy of Lord of the Rings movies is in development over at Warner Bros., Internet chatter has been as hot as the fires of Mount Doom. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. head Michael DeLuca announced work on a new film, stating, "For all the scope and detail lovingly packed into the two trilogies, the vast, complex and dazzling universe dreamed up by J.R.R. Tolkien remains largely unexplored."
The large Tolkien fandom was certainly why Amazon went forward with the popular Rings of Power television series last year, which presumably led Warner Bros. to itching for a story that would go "deeper into the cinematic world of Middle-earth," like Frodo trekking to find the One Ring. If you're also ready to dive back into the the Lord of the Rings franchise, allow us to be your humble guide. We’ve compiled every streaming service option for every film from each of the LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies. So, recruit your fellowship of fellow LOTR geeks and get to streaming. Here’s how to consume The Lord of the Rings film universe in order, according to plot chronology. (Plus where to find them.)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
If you're looking to go in chronological order for your journey, rather than in order of release, then you'll want to start with An Unexpected Journey. The 2012 film kicks off The Hobbit trilogy, which serves as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy of the early 2000s. Set 60 years prior to the events of the LOTR trilogy, An Unexpected Journey follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he finds himself on a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Picking up where An Unexpected Journey left off, The Desolation of Smaug sees Bilbo Baggins continue his quest as he takes on the Lonely Mountain. Not to mention, his caravan includes a pretty star-stacked cast, with the likes of Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Lee Pace along for the ride.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
In the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy, Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf the Grey, Thorin Oakenshield, and the thirteen Dwarves in an epic final battle. You'll surely ride the adrenaline of this action-packed finale straight into the LOTR trilogy during your movie marathon.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
The fateful film that made nerds of us all. The Fellowship of the Rings sees Elijah Woods step into the role of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit who inherits the omnipotent One Ring. Holding the ability to restore the Dark Lord Sauron's full power, Frodo and his band of comrades must destroy the Ring in order to protect the fate of Middle-earth. However, they'll need to travel to Mountain Doom in Mordor to complete their quest.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy continues to follow Frodo on his quest to Mordor. However, the film also expands to cover three separate narratives, tracking the journeys of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, as well as Merry and Pippin.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Don't lose stamina on your quest to fulfill your epic movie marathon. The Return of the King is not only an extremely satisfying finale to the Lord of the Rings franchise; it's also considered one of the greatest films of all time, ranking among the top 30 highest-grossing films in history. As Frodo, Sam, and Gollum set out on their final leg of the quest to destroy the One Ring, no amount of nerdy research will prepare you for the twists and obstacles that unfold in this final installment.
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