In what order to watch the films of the Lord of the Rings saga?

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy has become one of the most successful fantasy sagas. The Hobbit may not have lived up to expectations, but Peter Jackson and his team were able to build a universe that has marked a before and after in contemporary cinema.

With Peter Jackson at the helm, his productions revolutionized the field of special effects and epic recordings, from which many other films have since drunk. For example, the creation of Gollum, played by Andy Serkis, was executed with a technology motion capture that pioneered. Then he has been vital in the creation of characters like Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Hobbit poster.

Now, on the way to the two decades of the first films, it is surely a good time to revisit them, but in what order to do it? Taking into account that since 2012 the trilogy of The Hobbit was released, which serves as a prequel and tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, the list expands to six films … for now.

This is probably the best time to watch the movies, since by 2021 Amazon is expected to premiere its long-awaited series, which will extend Tolkien’s vast universe for eras and epochs not yet explored and which will be directed by the Spanish JA Bayona, among other filmmakers. In addition, fans of the Peter Jackson film universe will have the opportunity to return to Middle-earth with a prequel in anime format. The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim, a film that will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama, director of Ghost in the Shell. Peter Jackson will not participate directly, but the screenwriter of the trilogy, the Oscar-winning Philippa Boyens.

Lord of the Rings, order

Aragorn in a scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Order to see the saga of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ chronologically:

If what we want is to see the films in the temporal order that Tolkien established in his books, we must start with the prequel trilogy of The Hobbit, where we see how the ring arrived in The Shire and changed Bilbo’s life forever. There we will also meet Gollum and the dragon Smaug for the first time.

Afterwards, the original Lord of the Rings trilogy should be seen in the usual order.

– The chronological order would be like this:

  • 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)

Order to see the saga of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by release date

If we pay attention to the release date, the order to see the films is clear:

  • 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)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Bonus track: the movie about JRR Tolkien

If after this we want to culminate the film experience linked to The Lord of the Rings, it is also advisable to take a look at Tolkien, the film released in 2019 that tells the life of the writer, played by Nicholas Hoult.

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In what order to watch the films of the Lord of the Rings saga?